Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
Gilly

Keeping The Prices High

Recommended Posts

I have to say I don't begrudge any of the great concertina makers making a good living; these are skilled craftsmen and most of them are in Europe so their prices, looking from the west side of the Atlantic are very high, but that's related to the weak USA $. They SHOULD be wealthy men, they have a great skill, they stuck to their craft through thin times and I'm very glad for them that the revival in trad music is going to feather their nests for their later years. They absolutely deserve it! Yea Dippers! Yea Wheatstone! Yea everyone else making a good concertina! But of course they are not really 'rich' even now.

 

Alan.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

well, as to what a "custom dipper" fetches versus a vintage jeffries---these jeffries were not custom. and now they are a century old. and as to dipper prices, my understanding is that the prices for dippers that are not custom, or not custom beyond a couple of custom button placements, are very fair. the folks out there who are ordering fancy-schmancy special wood inlays and all the rest of the bells and whistles have nothing to complain about---but they are complaining, so far as i know. custom orders are of course more expensive and take longer to fill, and everyone understands that.

 

i agree with the "reality check" comment above. i'm not saying this is necessarily a good thing, but these days even ordinary middle-class consumers seem to have oodles of ready cash to spend on stuff or activities that i personally would consider unbelievable crap. but i'm one of those people....i just spend it on stuff like concertinas.

Edited by ceemonster

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The mind boggles at someone complaining about the cost of a Dipper. For one thing, if you are looking at the cost, that means the instrument is ready to be built...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
the folks out there who are ordering fancy-schmancy special wood inlays and all the rest of the bells and whistles have nothing to complain about---but they are complaining, so far as i know.

As far as I know, most of the people who have ordered custom Dippers are not complaining. The majority of those complaining seem to be folks who have not ordered, because they are personally unwilling to accept the reality of the time and expense that are required to make a Dipper concertina.

 

...custom orders are of course more expensive and take longer to fill, and everyone understands that.

Judging by the complaints, I'd say that not everyone understands that, although I think they should.

 

well, as to what a "custom dipper" fetches versus a vintage jeffries---these jeffries were not custom. and now they are a century old. and as to dipper prices, my understanding is that the prices for dippers that are not custom, or not custom beyond a couple of custom button placements, are very fair.

I'm afraid that one factor in judging prices is the habit of people not adjusting their expectations for inflation. A recent news article about the price of gasoline in the US reaching a new high of $3.15/gallon (US gallon) mentioned that adjusted for inflation (as measured by the Consumer Price Index of common household "necessities"), it was still lower than the $1.25/gallon high of the 1970's oil crisis. I.e., in less than 35 years -- and thus within the living memory of many (most?) of us, -- the dollar price of everything (on average) has nearly tripled. Yet too many of the complainers seem to think that the price of a concertina should not have risen. Do they think that Colin D. is still paying the same amount for meals, petrol, and taxes as he did in 1970?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I was just outbid on eBay at the last moment on a nice anglo by someone who I later discovered to have been bidding on about 6 different concertinas and a guitar all at the same time. <_<

 

Who would want 6 concertinas and a guitar except someone trying to resell them later. Ahh, the free market system!

 

A problem is that I don't know who it was so I could contact and make an offer.

 

A little bird told me that a certain concertina dealer bids for concertinas on ebay that he has no intentions of buying and doesn't even want. Just to keep the prices high. This made my blood boil. Am i just being naive, or does it make anyone else cross?

I would love a better machine but i haven't got a snowball's chance in hell when the dealers fix the price or have i? :angry: sorry i just wanted to blow off some steam :(

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I was just outbid on eBay at the last moment on a nice anglo by someone who I later discovered to have been bidding on about 6 different concertinas and a guitar all at the same time. <_<

 

Who would want 6 concertinas and a guitar except someone trying to resell them later. Ahh, the free market system!

 

Free market system is exactly right. Someone paid more than you were willing to pay, because it was worth more to him than to you. :P No grounds for complaint, there. If you had won that auction item, would you feel that you'd been unfair to the second-place bidder? :rolleyes: I doubt it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I was just outbid on eBay at the last moment on a nice anglo by someone who I later discovered to have been bidding on about 6 different concertinas and a guitar all at the same time. <_<

 

Who would want 6 concertinas and a guitar except someone trying to resell them later. Ahh, the free market system!

 

Free market system is exactly right. Someone paid more than you were willing to pay, because it was worth more to him than to you. :P No grounds for complaint, there. If you had won that auction item, would you feel that you'd been unfair to the second-place bidder? :rolleyes: I doubt it.

 

Someone who gathers prized instruments for the purpose of re-selling them later is better to be avoided at all cost. Free market has nothing to do with it. Using your logic,our kids are not as precios to us as we would think. Otherwise why would we pay so little to teachers and care takers? And meager tinkering of Frank Edgley is certainly not as worthy as crafty sexual explicity of Madonna.

Please.

A parasite is a parasite.

Edited by m3838

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Colin's instruments are a treat. His reeds are and have been since at least the 1987 one I had a very good look at and all beyod that, are extremely well made. His reed pans make a great match for them. Consider yourselves lucky that his prices still don't compare to what a really good violin will go for, and lucky that a concertina is still mostly considered a folk instrument, or you'd be paying a minimum of 20 K for them ( doesn't matter whether it's Euros or Dollars.) This all to Colin's great misfortune. If you want lower prices, try making them yourself and see what it really takes.

If the concertina ever really takes off, prices will go down with an infux of actualy good Chinese instruments, , and those of us who have worked hard to make these things will, (if we are lucky), be able to concentrate on making the instruments we can only dream of.

Dana

PS. Alex Reidinger stopped by the other day and she is way better in person than the sound clips she has on her web site. Keep an eye out for her!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Someone who gathers prized instruments for the purpose of re-selling them later is better to be avoided at all cost. Free market has nothing to do with it. Using your logic,our kids are not as precios to us as we would think. Otherwise why would we pay so little to teachers and care takers? And meager tinkering of Frank Edgley is certainly not as worthy as crafty sexual explicity of Madonna.

Please.

A parasite is a parasite.

 

That's poor logic and unfair, and in the same league as the folk who say 'I couldn't buy that table (or whatever) at the local auction because the dealers were there.' A concertina has a value. Apart from the odd idiot, people won't pay more than an item's worth, not even to a dealer. The dealer has only paid the money knowing that he will make a profit, in other words he bought below market price. A private individual has NO EXCUSE for not outbidding a dealer. So, I'm sorry LangGang, you can't complain because you didn't get a bargain. If you wanted the Anglo that much you needed to put in a market rate bid. That's not to say I don't understand your irritation at having guessed it wrong, mind, it's agonising working out what something you really want IS worth, especially at long range.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
A concertina has a value.

 

And so Madonna's tits.

It's impossible to know whether a dealer bought 10 vintage instruments to snug them into the closet, hoping for the prices to go up, or it's a dealer, who will fix them, tune and restore, and thus create a bigger value. The first one is social parasite, the second is social engineer. Sometimes the two go together, like in the field of Law.

And a dealer should have more money allocated to the buying, than private individual.

Few dealers having most rare instruments rig the "free" market just as much, as few corporations selling Gasoline.

I personally think that fewer instruments at higher prices will do more harm to concertina players' population, than good.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

"these are skilled craftsmen and most of them are in Europe so their prices, looking from the west side of the Atlantic are very high, but that's related to the weak USA $. They SHOULD be wealthy men, they have a great skill, they stuck to their craft through thin times and I'm very glad for them that the revival in trad music is going to feather their nests for their later years. "

 

Have you heard the story of the luthier who won the lottery? When asked what he would do with all the money, he said "Well, I guess I'll just go on making instruments until it runs out"!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
The dealer has only paid the money knowing that he will make a profit, in other words he bought below market price. A private individual has NO EXCUSE for not outbidding a dealer.

Spot on, Mr. Dirge! The price of new concertinas reflects the quality of workmanship. The price of old ones reflects the imbalance of demand and supply. No social engineering or parasites needed, so none is involved. Methinks those who complain have imbibed too much of the sour grape. ;)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Reading these posts on concertina values worries me enough to add my point of view. Sorry if it is a little long….

 

I have been a professional classical musician for over 24 years and as such have been involved in instrument collecting, restoration etc. for quite a while. As a concertina maker and restorer, I think I also have a pretty good insight in this market.

 

When you compare other musical instruments markets with ‘our’ concertina world, one difference sticks out right from the start: knowledge of the people involved.

For instance, when you go to a violin or piano auction, 99% of the people involved are professionally trained, either as players, restorers, collectors (museums etc.). The all have a lot of knowledge on the subject. The price of a musical instrument offered at auction, etc. concsists of 2 components: A: instrument value (quality, condition, historical/musical importance) and B: trade mark up. In theory this should be around 80/20% for used/antique instruments. The first part (the 80%) usually is the minimum amount on the auction info sheet. The B part is determined not by the quality of the instrument, but on the retail value.

An example: As a hobby I collect 19th century concert grands with a ‘history’ (besides concertinas of course). Due to limited space I limit my grand collection to 2 instruments. one of my instruments is a 9 foot grand once made for Chopin, who unfortunately died before the instrument was finished in 1853. I bought it in England from (I think) one of the best restorers in the world. The price I paid was pretty close to the A component. The reason the B component was relatively small, was because nowadays not everyone can place an instrument of this size. For the ‘piano trade’ this instrument was not that interesting. Although the musical and historical value is very high. Because of the small B component in the price, this instrument will keep its value.

 

Another example: my neighbor deals in violins, starting at 100.000 euros ($135.000). He doesn’t play the instrument, but likes the dealing part. He travels all over the world buying and selling these instruments. His profit is the difference in the B component of the price. The A component does not change. Although the amounts are high, at least for me, the fluctuations in price are relatively small because people dealing at that price range know their instruments. They will not over pay. The actual value (A) is always lower than the price paid.

 

This is where the problems with concertinas start…first of all, the concertina market is not a professional market. There are (to my knowledge) very few people involved with any kind of professional free reed education. Names of makers, instead of condition etc. still make up a large part of the price.

The A and B component in the concertina prices are out of balance. There always seems to be a lot of emotion involved when it comes to concertina values. Example: We restore ‘rare’ high end concertinas for dealers. The price paid by the customer is often 3-4 times the value of the A component. This happens because the dealers wants to get the highest possible price, and the customer does not have any/enough knowledge about concertinas to know its real value. The problem really starts when this customer wants to sell this instrument again. He will base his price on what he paid for it, and will add something to compensate for inflation. To make things worse, asking exorbitant prices seems to give a certain status to the instrument. Normally in a ‘professional’ world, if this would have been a violin or piano, this instrument will not sell because the buyers have enough knowledge to know it is too expensive. In the concertina world I frequently see these instruments changing hands. The new owner thinks he has a top instrument because of the price he paid… it is not uncommon for concertina prices to consist of A :20% B:80%. This is of course not a problem when you find someone willing to buy it from you, but it is not healthy for the concertina market. I have read prices quoted for a ‘basic’ wheatstone Linota, which was not wheatstones best concertina model, of $10.000… When you look at the instrument from a instrument technical point of view, the A component should be around $2500-3500. a B segment of $7500 is very risky.. and will only be paid by people with little knowledge of the instrument. It is like buying a care only based on make and how much it shines, assuming the higher the price the better the car.

There is a tradition with musical instrument makers of keeping the price you charge close to the A component. I do this, and I know Dipper and Suttner do this also. Personally I think Mr. Dipper is the only one that should add a B component to his price because his instruments have proven to be of excellent quality over a long period of time. The $20.000 I read is ridiculous of course, since the cost (A) of making a concertina is between $3000-$4000.

 

I think the inflated prices of concertinas, especially anglos, will come down some day. There are plenty of examples in the musical world of prices that collapsed when new good quality instruments started to come on the market: pianos, dulcitones, brass.. They all went through a period with an “inflated B component. It seems that the market will always correct itself….

 

Wim Wakker

Concertina Connection v.o.f.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm sorry Wim, I've obviously missed something, but how can you take a finite pool of antique instruments regarded as unique and say '25% of the price is it's true value and the other 75% is trade markup'? Dismissing idiots and obsessives (and I'm prepared to grant you there are a higher proportion of them in the Jeffries buying market than usual) the price is the price, is the price, surely, set by the market.

 

It's the same with your piano. It's unique, so it's value is what someone will pay, no more, no less, but we would all expect to play less for a piano with no Chopin links and more if he'd actually played it. Apologies for quizzing someone of your credentials but I'm genuinely puzzled.

 

Someone said earlier 'apples and oranges' about Lachenals and Jeffries, implying they were completely different. Well I disagree, at least with the decent instruments. To me, probably more interested and knowledgeable about concertinas than most onlookers, you are all 'Some bloke playing an Anglo'. I'm more interested in what you play and how well you play it.

 

Wim, is it time for you to build an 'Exact Jeffries Replica, limited numbered edition'? The reed quality obviously doesn't matter too much, most of them are sold over the internet unheard...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Did that sound like a whine? Well, maybe just a little. :huh:

 

No real complaints about the free market system. You win sometimes :D ; you loose sometimes :blink: - I like it better when I win :)

 

 

Free market system is exactly right. Someone paid more than you were willing to pay, because it was worth more to him than to you. :P No grounds for complaint, there. If you had won that auction item, would you feel that you'd been unfair to the second-place bidder? :rolleyes: I doubt it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Someone who gathers prized instruments for the purpose of re-selling them later is better to be avoided at all cost....

A parasite is a parasite.

Please clarify - if somebody wanted to set up as a dealer (they would obviously have to get some stock to sell - maybe by buying instruments through Ebay) they are a parasite? And current dealers like Chris Algar are parasites?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Someone who gathers prized instruments for the purpose of re-selling them later is better to be avoided at all cost....

A parasite is a parasite.

Please clarify - if somebody wanted to set up as a dealer (they would obviously have to get some stock to sell - maybe by buying instruments through Ebay) they are a parasite? And current dealers like Chris Algar are parasites?

 

I guess you are replying to my older post. If you read the latest, you'll find answer to your questions.

Overall idea is "A thought is something that creates bigger thought".

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A brief lesson in free market economics:

 

An instrument dealer makes his living by buying at below market prices and selling at market prices. If you don't believe that, try taking your favorite concertina into a shop and ask what he'll give you for it in cash! :o Of course, he can't possibly give you the market price, because he'd have no margin for profit! <_< While some people seem to think "profit" is a dirty word, profit is what keeps shop doors open, instrument makers at the work bench, sheet music coming off the press, and publicans behind the bar. :D

 

If a dealer buys at above market prices, his capital will be tied up (and not earning interest) until some unknown future date when the market might climb well past what he paid. Few dealers have that much capital to waste on speculation - especially because new (and improving) mass-produced instruments are coming onto the market at relatively low price points. :unsure:

 

Yes, you can find examples of grossly overpriced instruments sold to the gullible :huh: - and (rarely) vastly underpriced concertinas sold by the gullible. :( - But by and large, the market sets the price pretty fairly. B)

Edited by yankeeclipper

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

×