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Apr 12, 2024 - 12:14:32 AM
33 posts since 3/3/2024

Came a cross this rather nice J E Dallas zither the other day. Looks like a new vellum and (incorrect) bridge have been put on.

rhttps://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/186384321802?itmmeta=01HV8JB0A25H4KTDYCA1WJ58AC&hash=item2b655f0d0a:g:~FYAAOSw6yxmFWt6&itmprp=enc%3AAQAJAAAAwAw0kp%2BWnvLa765NayKR80XtCyLgJqZfBtrCxscKO%2FkEZwRfosRS4IvKzmdpfZseq87s3dSqrXpq796NkFSIV4%2BeNNIOTd2DcsA9Y8KCq4OBwrigd7PiC25cGIGw3m6YwvPzyBb2WAeCn9x6BCEqWqx8CgCQvCyB%2F2KgFGkdMt6cyOOUOrdnG0EB9mxPVvjEKTYFH4kAqlkgo8TmvARFqo9%2FZePkJ18EkYH6nnWOD4zXs71zXu%2B8UNDPmpk4po3ryg%3D%3D%7Ctkp%3ABk9SR46FrJLaYw

Edited by - Keithstephen on 04/12/2024 00:53:43

Apr 12, 2024 - 12:41:51 AM

1961 posts since 4/25/2007

I saw that one sell at Brighton and Hove auctions about a month ago.

Apr 12, 2024 - 1:01:02 AM

33 posts since 3/3/2024

He wants £200. Too much for me!

Apr 12, 2024 - 1:30:24 AM

JSB88

UK

579 posts since 3/9/2017

Seen some wild prices asked for zither banjos on uk ebay in the last six months or so. Not sure if anyone is paying those prices

Apr 12, 2024 - 1:46:34 AM

JSB88

UK

579 posts since 3/9/2017

Just had a look and there are half a dozen on there for £250+. Is it me or are expectations outstripping reality?

Apr 12, 2024 - 3:01:56 AM
likes this

361 posts since 6/20/2020

quote:
Originally posted by JSB88

Just had a look and there are half a dozen on there for £250+. Is it me or are expectations outstripping reality?


No it's not you.

The grossly overpriced banjos on ebay.uk never sell. They sit there permanently like part of the furniture. The funny part is that the penny never drops for the sellers that potential buyers of vintage banjos are actually a knowledgeable bunch and that no-one else outside this small group has the slightest interest.

Genuinely, if naively, in the spirit of helpfulness I did once contact the ebay seller of a plain early 1900's 5-string to advise that it wouldn't sell for the £1000 he was asking and gave him the price range within which it would sell. Did my 'helpfulness' make any difference? No of course not; 16 months later it was still sitting there unsold at the original grossly inflated asking price. 

I've noticed in the last 2 or 3 years it's become more frequent to spot an auction purchase banjo offered on ebay within a week or so, for upwards of double the hammer price.

Edited by - Pomeroy on 04/12/2024 03:23:19

Apr 12, 2024 - 3:26:39 AM

361 posts since 6/20/2020

quote:
Originally posted by Pomeroy
quote:
Originally posted by JSB88

Just had a look and there are half a dozen on there for £250+. Is it me or are expectations outstripping reality?


No it's not you.

The grossly overpriced banjos on ebay.uk never sell. They sit there permanently like part of the furniture. The funny part is that the penny never drops for the sellers that potential buyers of vintage banjos are actually a knowledgeable bunch and that no-one else outside this small group has the slightest interest.

Genuinely, if naively, in the spirit of helpfulness I did once contact the ebay seller of a plain early 1900's 5-string to advise that it wouldn't sell for the £1000 he was asking and gave him the price range within which it would sell. Did my 'helpfulness' make any difference? No of course not; 16 months later it was still sitting there unsold at the original grossly inflated asking price. There's a zither banjo currently on ebay at £650 (realistic value £60 - £80).

I've noticed in the last 2 or 3 years it's become more frequent to spot an auction purchase banjo offered on ebay within a week or so, for upwards of double the hammer price.

 

 


Apr 12, 2024 - 3:36:58 AM

33 posts since 3/3/2024

Well I've seen some recently go for stupid money for what they are. Like £120 for an ordinary zither that needs work and will probably never play properly, and even if it did its still a cheapo zither in the first place. Very strange. Who knows who is buying them? But I agree there are a load on there that will never sell for the crazy asking prices.

Apr 12, 2024 - 3:43:59 AM

361 posts since 6/20/2020

The factor of rarity only works when a banjo is truly a rarity. What also seems to bypass these eBay sellers is that the banjo they have listed at an inflated price was manufactured in volume. There will be other examples around. Knowledgeable buyers can bide their time and wait for them to pop up.

What does appear to be a more recent pattern is other sellers of similar banjos seeing these inflated eBay listings and assuming that their banjo is 'worth' that amount of money. That can be evidenced by one or two examples where a seller refers to another banjo they have seen on eBay at that inflated price.

My feeling is that the current economic situation might be playing a part in making some sellers over-price their loft find.

Edited by - Pomeroy on 04/12/2024 03:57:54

Apr 12, 2024 - 3:53:47 AM

33 posts since 3/3/2024

Indeed, and they often use that terrible auto generated spiel that is basically a load of utter dribble that tells you absolutely nothing about the instrument!

Apr 12, 2024 - 4:06:34 AM

3026 posts since 2/4/2013

quote:
Originally posted by JSB88

Just had a look and there are half a dozen on there for £250+. Is it me or are expectations outstripping reality?


Some people think old and therefore must have some reasonable value.

Then again there's a "China Countryman 2000ish" (so probably Korean) bottlecap listed for £750 on Reverb and has been there for 7 months.

Apr 12, 2024 - 4:13:23 AM

361 posts since 6/20/2020

There is also the occasional price spike due to a surge of interest by American collectors. About 5 or 6 years ago just such a surge artificially inflated the prices of specific (mostly Tunbridge-decorated) early English banjos. At it's peak sellers were asking, and getting £900 for not that rare Tunbridge-decorated banjos. Their antique 'prizes' secured these US collectors drift away to other banjo targets and prices here fall sharply back to their previous more realistic level. That process is driven by emotion; banjos have far greater cultural significance to American buyers and hence there is a clamour for 'historic' instruments which occasionally stretches to English examples. You can currently see a Tunbridge-decorated English banjo in the BHO marketplace offered in the US with an asking price of $1650. Good luck with that is all I can say.

Edited by - Pomeroy on 04/12/2024 04:18:03

Apr 12, 2024 - 4:35:11 AM

361 posts since 6/20/2020

We also mustn't lose sight that not all over-pricing is the result of chancers and greed. I recently negotiated the purchase of a basic but interesting early English 7-string banjo that had been listed at a significantly inflated price. The seller was approachable, reasonable and quite happy to negotiate and accept a price that was sensible and fair for both of us. eBay tends toward the anonymous and impersonal, but that sort of direct personal experience does restore one's faith in personal contact and human nature. 

Edited by - Pomeroy on 04/12/2024 04:38:55

Apr 12, 2024 - 4:59:45 AM

JSB88

UK

579 posts since 3/9/2017

On the subject of buying at auction and selling on ebay, I have noticed, via 'the saleroom' website, some really quite nice banjo's given estimates of very low prices, even when buyers premium is added. What the actual result was is patchy. Currently there is a nice fretless built by Andy Banjo with an estimate of £80-£120, 20% (from memory) premium and current bid of £75. Interesting to see if that turns up on ebay after 21 April, the auction end date. A bit frustrating as I fancy something like that but currently not the right time (and it's in Cornwall, which is a long way from, well, every where but Cornwall) :-)

Apr 12, 2024 - 5:44:09 AM

3026 posts since 2/4/2013

quote:
Originally posted by JSB88

On the subject of buying at auction and selling on ebay, I have noticed, via 'the saleroom' website, some really quite nice banjo's given estimates of very low prices, even when buyers premium is added. What the actual result was is patchy. Currently there is a nice fretless built by Andy Banjo with an estimate of £80-£120, 20% (from memory) premium and current bid of £75. Interesting to see if that turns up on ebay after 21 April, the auction end date. A bit frustrating as I fancy something like that but currently not the right time (and it's in Cornwall, which is a long way from, well, every where but Cornwall) :-)


I follow the Gardner Houlgate auctions because it is within driving distance for picking up lots. Grafton's are often fairly cheap. I bought a whyte laydie #4 (three ply rim and bracket band) for £220 including commision (they were sold for £750-$800 new). I don't really consider auctions further away because the postage costs are high. I think the commision costs are higher buying through places like The Saleroom as they want a cut as well, so I only use the Gardner Houlgate site where the total for commision and VAT is about 25%.

Apr 12, 2024 - 6:00:27 AM

JSB88

UK

579 posts since 3/9/2017

quote:
Originally posted by GrahamHawker
quote:
Originally posted by JSB88

On the subject of buying at auction and selling on ebay, I have noticed, via 'the saleroom' website, some really quite nice banjo's given estimates of very low prices, even when buyers premium is added. What the actual result was is patchy. Currently there is a nice fretless built by Andy Banjo with an estimate of £80-£120, 20% (from memory) premium and current bid of £75. Interesting to see if that turns up on ebay after 21 April, the auction end date. A bit frustrating as I fancy something like that but currently not the right time (and it's in Cornwall, which is a long way from, well, every where but Cornwall) :-)


I follow the Gardner Houlgate auctions because it is within driving distance for picking up lots. Grafton's are often fairly cheap. I bought a whyte laydie #4 (three ply rim and bracket band) for £220 including commision (they were sold for £750-$800 new). I don't really consider auctions further away because the postage costs are high. I think the commision costs are higher buying through places like The Saleroom as they want a cut as well, so I only use the Gardner Houlgate site where the total for commision and VAT is about 25%.


Many years ago I used to deal in Victorian an Edwardian, and some Georgian and 20C furniture. Buy at auction sell from units and fairs. The premium could vary with some auctions as low as 7%. The one thing I take away from those days is viewing is key. Also having no real renovation skills I would be very reticent about buying from auction unseen. You could say the same for ebay but they do have some kind of money back scheme if 'not as described' , not that I have ever tried to use it! All the auctions near me never have interesting banjos even in the musical instruments sales. I often look at Gardiner Houlgate as they seem to run a decent banjo selection every so often. The Grafton fretless, in case any Cornishmen or women are reading, is listed by Leys Auctioneers. Might be worth a punt if your local.

Apr 12, 2024 - 8:13:27 AM

361 posts since 6/20/2020

quote:
Originally posted by GrahamHawker
quote:
Originally posted by JSB88

On the subject of buying at auction and selling on ebay, I have noticed, via 'the saleroom' website, some really quite nice banjo's given estimates of very low prices, even when buyers premium is added. What the actual result was is patchy. Currently there is a nice fretless built by Andy Banjo with an estimate of £80-£120, 20% (from memory) premium and current bid of £75. Interesting to see if that turns up on ebay after 21 April, the auction end date. A bit frustrating as I fancy something like that but currently not the right time (and it's in Cornwall, which is a long way from, well, every where but Cornwall) :-)


I follow the Gardner Houlgate auctions because it is within driving distance for picking up lots. Grafton's are often fairly cheap. I bought a whyte laydie #4 (three ply rim and bracket band) for £220 including commision (they were sold for £750-$800 new). I don't really consider auctions further away because the postage costs are high. I think the commision costs are higher buying through places like The Saleroom as they want a cut as well, so I only use the Gardner Houlgate site where the total for commision and VAT is about 25%.


Yes, I'll second that Gardiner Houlgate are very reliable. They also host dedicated musical instrument sales and that in general tends to draw in sellers with better quality instruments. Though my banjo interest is so narrowly focused that I have to go wherever I find what to me is an interesting instrument rather than be able to stick to a preferred auction house.

Apr 12, 2024 - 4:47:10 PM

361 posts since 6/20/2020

I wonder if this recent over-pricing of zither banjos is down to what is now popularly referred to by the latest buzz-word; a 'side-hustle'?

Maybe a few super-optimistic folk have had the same idea and think they've discovered some dusty musical instruments they can buy cheaply and quickly flip on ebay for an easy large profit?

ok, who's going to break the bad news to them? wink

Edited by - Pomeroy on 04/12/2024 16:49:31

Apr 13, 2024 - 12:21:26 AM
likes this

JSB88

UK

579 posts since 3/9/2017

quote:
Originally posted by Pomeroy

I wonder if this recent over-pricing of zither banjos is down to what is now popularly referred to by the latest buzz-word; a 'side-hustle'?

Maybe a few super-optimistic folk have had the same idea and think they've discovered some dusty musical instruments they can buy cheaply and quickly flip on ebay for an easy large profit?

ok, who's going to break the bad news to them? wink

Hopefully the "Market" will do that. Unless they can create a hipster buzz around the "Product"

Thinking maybe I should start investing in the zither bubble.  :-)

Edited by - JSB88 on 04/13/2024 00:22:58

Apr 27, 2024 - 11:47:31 AM

33 posts since 3/3/2024

Well it didn't sell first time but has sold on relisting for £180.
Oh ye of little faith!
I hope someone gets a lot of pleasure from it.

Apr 27, 2024 - 12:00:33 PM

361 posts since 6/20/2020

When John referred to over-priced zither banjos on eBay it was examples like this one that I had in mind. And to add insult to injury the additional cost of an appropriate bridge would take the cost over £700. By comparison the new owner of the fancy J. E. Dallas zither banjo probably thinks he/she got a 'bargain'.


ebay.co.uk/itm/375375580758?it...6a71o7kYw

I guess at £695 the premium price tag must include the time machine necessary to experience it as per the description as 'new'.

Edited by - Pomeroy on 04/27/2024 12:12:05

Apr 27, 2024 - 12:06:31 PM
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33 posts since 3/3/2024

Ha, yes I've seen that one. Restored to new with the wrong strings and bridge and the tension hoop too far down so vellum no doubt incorrectly fitted!

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