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There is what looks like a 62 button tenor or base MacCann concertina for sale on the UK EBay site for £1760. This same concertina was sold at auction on 12th December this year for £440 + commission (usually around 30%). It would appear that nothing has been done to it apart from maybe a polish. 

This appears to be pure profiteering with no real interest in concertinas (though I could be wrong) and annoys me a lot. It happens from time to time with concertinas I have seen at auction but I guess there is nothing we can do about it - apart from winning the item at auction!

Peter

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Dear Peter,

If you don't want it, don't buy it.

Welcome to the world of capitalism.

Are you resentful that he got there before you?

If the concertina is worth £1,760 then what' the problem? 

Do you resent the automobile dealer or the wine merchant?

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All I see in this incident is selling something for what it's worth, and I can't get too wound up about that. What if he'd found it in his basement, and it had cost him nothing at all?

 

 

Definition of profiteering. : the act or activity of making an unreasonable profit on the sale of essential goods especially during times of emergency …

 

 

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That is not profiteering; that is smart dealing. When you buy a concertina from an auction house, you will never pay the price for what it’s actually worth, why? because it’s an auction! This is a big aspect of being a dealer: you buy something for a relatively cheap price, you restore the item (if you have to), and you sell it for a higher price. Nothing wrong with that, sometimes luck knocks on your door and you get a superb item for less than £500, like this rare duet. If I had that concertina, I would sell it for a higher price (or I’d just keep it because it’s a rare one). 

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This  looks to be a 'New Model'   and should be  a nice player...

 

At one time I was living in  a  region of Australia  where  potatoes  were grown  and, of course, they were  cheap  to buy.  During that period I visited friends  who lived in a much more tropical  area  and there it was Advocados  that were  giveaway prices....  One night I had the wonderfull dream  of  buying a truck, filling it with spuds, driving up to the  hot country, selling at a great profit and  returning with a load of  advocados... a great idea  until  I realised  that people were already  doing this for a living  since the beginning  of trade routes.

Edited by Geoff Wooff
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The real bargain, I suspect was the 'next' lot, which was this one....https://www.the-saleroom.com/en-gb/auction-catalogues/plymouth-auction-rooms/catalogue-id-srpl10095/lot-d33bad67-d4c6-4e55-ab01-a9a901197356  and got knocked down at £200 !  I would have paid that just to look at it!

 

What it is listed at and what it sells for on Ebay are quite often two different things ?  A not dissimilar large Lachenal Mccann offered via C.Net ( and Ebay ) struggled to make it's much lower valuation a couple of years ago. 

 

 

 

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There is no problem with someone buying cheaply, if he does so honestly, and there is no problem with someone selling for the best price he can get.  That is not capitalism, but simply the free market in operation.

 

What would be morally questionable would be:

 

1)  Buying cheaply by convincing an elderly and vulnerable widow that a beautiful classic instrument was worth only a tiny amount.  On the other hand, if a person is not vulnerable and they have access to the internet, and they don't do their research, they can't blame the buyer if they don't get a fair price.

 

2)  Selling at an inflated price to a gullible customer — although, in the main, the customer is primarily to blame for not doing their research.

 

 

Dishonestly misrepresenting the facts about an instrument or its provenance in order to manipulate the price would be fraud (UK: Fraud Act 2006, section 2) and may in certain cases be theft (Theft Act 1968).

 

If someone stockpiles large numbers of items so that they personally have an influence on the market, and then they abuse that influence to manipulate prices, that is one of the less desirable aspects of capitalism.

 

I see no obvious problem with the example that started the thread.  Who among us would not buy cheaply from auction if the opportunity arose?  Who among us would not sell for the best price we could get?  We are all passionate about concertinas here, and perhaps feel differently about it because it is concertinas, but car dealers do it all the time and that is part of life.  No doubt classic car fans feel the same as we do when they see a classic car bought and sold for a quick profit.

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When that listing (the big Mccann) appeared it simply said Lachenal Duet and had 'one' image.....the first one via the link, of just the bellows - no ends etc!  It was like that for about two weeks.  The Wheatstone images had a poor picture of the Duet behind it which initially made me think it might be a Crane.  I put a £60 'starting' bid on, based on that half view and the fact that whatever and however it had to be worth that.  About a week before the sale date they increased the images as per the attached at which point I didn't pursue it.   I think it is possible to see the damaged fret work 'bits' inside the end, immediately under where the hole is.  

 

https://www.the-saleroom.com/en-gb/auction-catalogues/plymouth-auction-rooms/catalogue-id-srpl10095/lot-2c8de821-3475-4914-8785-a9a901197356

 

A kind offer Wolf, but I am committed to developing my Crane skills - I am doing John's "Parson's Farewell" to death to get my fingers dialled into working both sides, so whilst I keep my eyes open for a larger/better Crane on a painfully tight budget, I am trying to pass on all other temptations.

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2 hours ago, Mikefule said:

There is no problem with someone buying cheaply, if he does so honestly, and there is no problem with someone selling for the best price he can get.  That is not capitalism, but simply the free market in operation.

 

What would be morally questionable would be:

 

 1)  Buying cheaply by convincing an elderly and vulnerable widow that a beautiful classic instrument was worth only a tiny amount.  On the other hand, if a person is not vulnerable and they have access to the internet, and they don't do their research, they can't blame the buyer if they don't get a fair price.

 

2)  Selling at an inflated price to a gullible customer — although, in the main, the customer is primarily to blame for not doing their research.

 

 

Dishonestly misrepresenting the facts about an instrument or its provenance in order to manipulate the price would be fraud (UK: Fraud Act 2006, section 2) and may in certain cases be theft (Theft Act 1968).

 

If someone stockpiles large numbers of items so that they personally have an influence on the market, and then they abuse that influence to manipulate prices, that is one of the less desirable aspects of capitalism.

 

I see no obvious problem with the example that started the thread.  Who among us would not buy cheaply from auction if the opportunity arose?  Who among us would not sell for the best price we could get?  We are all passionate about concertinas here, and perhaps feel differently about it because it is concertinas, but car dealers do it all the time and that is part of life.  No doubt classic car fans feel the same as we do when they see a classic car bought and sold for a quick profit.

As to #1, I have some friends who deal in oriental rugs and they inform me there are laws here in the U.S. against this practice.  You can't misrepresent either to raise or lower the price and can be sued for fair market value.  On the other hand, a low asking price is fair game.  I personally wouldn't expect to get much of a deal from auction or an online bidding site.  too many eyes on the prize.  Craigslist is a better bet and Facebook has a concertina for sale page.  to my mind estate sales and garage sales etc. are best.  but you need to get to them early.  I don't buy stuff just for speculation but to improve my lot.  I sit with my morning coffee, lap top, and a hand lens and go through craigslist.  Takes about a half an hour for 3 local sites.  lots of people are putting their estates and other sales up with group pics.  With the hand lens I can go through 5 or 6 garage sales in short order from my arm chair.  

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Auctions are possibly not the best way to sell a concertina.  To get the best price at auction depends on as many potential purchasers as possible knowing about the sale.  Many auction houses don't seem to do very much to publicise concertina sales to players (often when news of an auction appears here it has been posted by a member rather than the auctioneer), so in many cases they are probably bought by dealers rather than players.  If more players were aware of the sale and were bidding for something for their own use the prices might be higher.  Whatever the faults of ebay, it is more likely to be seen by players than something in the catalogue of an auction house.

 

The other issue is that even specialist instrument auctioneers may not be very knowledgeable about concertinas and may undervalue them, or in some cases have over-optimistic ideas about value.  The original seller may have grounds for complaint against the original auctioneer if they weren't properly advised.

 

The other thing to bear in mind is that auction houses charge a commission to the purchaser as well as to the seller, so what the purchaser actually pays will be higher than the hammer price, which is what gets reported.

 

It is common practice to start with a low asking price to get the bidding moving but to have a higher reserve price.

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Thanks for everyone's comments.

I appreciate we live in the world of capitalism where people are keen to make a quick profit. Perhaps I am a bit idealistic in hoping people would want to preserve the concertina heritage we have. I am not a MacCann player so did not want to purchase the concertina. My main issue with the sale I mentioned above was that there appears to be no 'added value' between the purchase & sale (no re-valving, re-padding, etc) - just pure profit on a rare concertina. But maybe that's life!!

The concertina appears to have been sold now.

Happy Christmas!!

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3 hours ago, rcr27 said:

The concertina has just been removed (“ended”) from eBay, not sold so I guess the owner isn’t making any profit. 

More likely sold 'off' Ebay to save fees for the seller and provide a discount for the buyer.  The vendor has a well established retail outlet and items priced at up to £85,000 on Ebay with quite a lot around the £10k mark and a Facebook business site so is easy to contact.  

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