View Full Version : Price seems too high

Scott Tichenor
Apr-15-2009, 10:30am
This bowlback is on Craig's List Chicago and on the Classifieds, which doesn't make me so nervous in itself, but the price sure looks wildly inflated:


Anyone have an opinion on this? Doesn't make me comfortable, plus, the seller is a first-timer on the Classifieds. That in itself isn't necessarily an issue. Just not getting a warm fuzzy feel. I've yet to ever see someone use the Classifieds to point to fraudulent Craig's List ads, but I'm waiting for it to happen. Again, I normally wouldn't make something like this public but this one is making me pretty uncomfortable. I believe I'm within reason to remove this ad if it's as wildly inflated as I think. There's pricing too high, then there's outright gouging...


Apr-15-2009, 10:51am
Hard to tell if this is gouging or lack of knowledge. The advertiser doesn't seem to know much about mandolins (the inlay between the ribs of the bowl doesn't constitute "ivory staves"), and may just be seduced by the "it's old, it's fancy, it must be really valuable" delusion. The photos are pretty poor as well.

However, if it makes management uncomfortable, nothing wrong with removing the ad. Would an effort to e-contact the advertiser be worth it?

Jim MacDaniel
Apr-15-2009, 10:53am
While not neccessarilly an indictment on the listing's authenticity, the seller did borrow the first paragraph of text in his listing from this web page (http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/113118/neapolitan_or_bowlback_mandolin_shopping.html).

Matt Hutchinson
Apr-15-2009, 10:57am
I work on a classifieds site in the UK and if this came in we'd investigate it. Not to say it's a scam necessarily but it would strongly make me consider the possibility.


Apr-15-2009, 11:03am
Interesting ... the Classifieds ad says it's a Lyon & Healy American Conservatory; the Craigslist ad is lacking that info. Looks to be really fancy as American Conservatory mandolins go ... I thought that was a budget brand? Even so, I can't imagine that it's really worth more than $1K. I'm not a bowlback expert; Jim Garber et al. may want to weigh in.

I can contact the seller via Craigslist and let you know if his reply seems fishy at all. But I'm with Allen: I think we're just dealing with an uninformed seller. He thinks a kidney bean tailpiece is rare and unique ...

Jim Garber
Apr-15-2009, 11:21am
Actually the seller says "Lyon And Healy Conseratory" -- I asked him if it was an American Conservatory. Aside from sloppy spelling/typing, it never really occurred that it might be a scam, probably because there is no way I would pay such a price for a vintage American bowlback.

American Conservatory would probably be considered a mid-range line of L&H, just below Washburn. They did make some instruments that rivaled Washburn line for ornateness and this could be one.

I wrote to seller because I was curious and wanted to see some pics.

What I sometimes do in these iffy cases is ask if I can take a look at the instrument, mentioned a friend or relative who happens to live nearby. If the seller then hedges or makes some excuse, I run the other way. I also ask for other pictures not easily supplied to see if they actually have the item in possession.

I don;t know if this person really believes that this is worth this ungodly sum, but we shall see, if any of us actually hear from him.

Shelagh Moore
Apr-15-2009, 11:30am
The price looks grossly inflated to me.

Scott Tichenor
Apr-15-2009, 11:56am
Thanks for the input. I appreciate it. I have enough information now that I've made my decision.

Apr-15-2009, 3:47pm
I saw a Craig's List ad the other day wanting $7K for an old Gibson A1. If someone posted an ad like that on the Cafe Classifieds, I'm sure lots of eyebrows would go up.

Oh, and $5700 was the approximate winning bid amount for a Style A mandola on eBay not long ago. This seller might have figured that if one L&H instrument sells for that amount, then another ought to do just as well.

Apr-15-2009, 5:08pm
Hi everybody!

I agree it seems "a little steep". Just FYI, Barrington Illinois is one of the wealthiest suburbs in Illinois and the U.S. It could sell locally for the asking price and everybody (who isn't a member of the cafe) could actually be happy... Maybe someone wants to ride one of their many horses in their private pasture and play at the same time. And someone else has tired of the whole mounted troubadour fantasy...

Apr-15-2009, 5:42pm
But the mother of pearl inlay was hand picked and cut to dazzle the eye!!


Apr-16-2009, 2:26pm
Wow - this feller will have a hard time even getting one tenth of his asking price.

And no ivory was ever used for these - jus' plain ol' celluloid.