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Montana Lutherie

Buying and Selling Used Mandos

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I don't usually post this often but we have a lot going on with the new website, or it could be today's got down to 66 degrees!

You may have noticed that we are introducing a new service called Mandolin Authority Certification, or MAC, for short.

You can send in your mandolin family instrument to be checked out, tuned up, and evaluated. Bruce has worked on many different brands of instruments and we welcome them all (not just for Webers in other words : )

Buying a high-end instrument on the internet is often a big decision and you can make it easier by having a reputable third party certify that is it in good playable condition and verifying the general condition.

And for Sellers:
  • Avoid problems and increase trust thereby increasing the resale value, and decreasing time on the market if you are planning to sell your mandolin.
  • Sell your instrument while keeping your identity private and allowing us to talk to buyers. For instance, in the past we have been contacted by people who inherited an instrument, are not knowledgeable, but desire to market it.

The story we tell on the website is Bruce was recently contacted by a player who bought a used high end mandolin online. He paid for it, received it, but it had a crack in the top. The player had a feeling that the seller had heavily humidified the instrument making the top swell and hiding the crack while pictures were taken. He will never know for sure, but you shouldn’t have to guess when making a large investment in such an important purchase.
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You can send it in just for the Tune Up with Certification for your own use or for selling yourself with the MAC Inspection for your prospective buyers, and we'll ship it back to you. Or, we will keep it at the shop and sell it for you.

We have posted our first MAC Instruments on our website and Facebook, but I will be posting them in the Classifieds here, on MandolinCafe, and other venues, too. In other words you can sell anywhere but can also show that it has been MAC Inspected. It all helps, right?

We started Mandolin Authority, a sort of club you can join for fun and gifts, but also discounts on repairs and the MAC Inspection. But that's for the next post...

Following are a few tips Bruce always gives people who are considering buying a used instrument.

Look at the Body:

Check all seams on the body: Top center seam, top to rim, back to rim, and back center seam. Checking is acceptable, but gaps Indicate the need for repair. Look inside the soundhole. Is there evidence of over humidification, water spotting or mold?

Look at the Neck:

The pressure the strings exert on an acoustic instrument's neck is extreme. Check the back of the neck where it meets the head stock for cracks. Check the neck by sighting down the bass and treble edges of the fingerboard, looking from the peghead towards the body. Take note of any twisting, humps or bows in the neck. If any irregularities can't be solved with truss rod adjustment, the instrument will need service. Good neck 'health' care is very important to the instrument's integrity and if not taken care of can damage the neck, requiring at the minimum a plane and re-fret and worst case, total neck replacement.

oo la la!
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  1. Mary Weber's Avatar

    Of course we are having trouble with our email right now, too- new website issues