Friday, June 29, 2007

eBay Cello prep

If you haven't noticed, we do a lot of things besides the old retail activities that take place in the brick and mortar world. With & eBay, we've been able to go regional and national! Of course, this inevitably means more work on our part to consign and sell in a proper manner.

Take for example eBay. We just started last August with a few instruments thrown up there for practice and experimentation. eBay is referred to as the "Wild West" around the shop because of its quirks of penny bids, buy-now's, trick photography, incomprehensible descriptions, etc. Well, all of that isn't meant to be negative, since there are plenty of sharks, speculators, or amateur collectors that are out there for a bargain.

So, as trained pros at a violin shop what can we do to help buyers from being so wary? Well, for one, we're up front and honest about the condition of the instrument. This of course means taking photos of any damages or repair work, citing correct measurements, and even encouraging bidders to ask us questions. Second, we take a lot of time in preparing each auction item. We do any repairs setups that we're willing to risk, polish it up, photo-shoot, and deliver with insured packing.

Today, we're prepping another item up for bid. A hand carved German cello that's been consigned to us for auction online. The top has taken a beating with some significant cracks near the sound post and bass bar. The consignor says, "Sell it as is," but at the bare minimum we have to glue up some open seams and polish away its grime.

I'll have to show you another series on the glue process for closing seams but here is the cello with its clamps

The polish you're seeing being used is a water based. Something to keep in mind for all you string players out there, stick to this type since others can strip the varnish. Although it is a liquid, it contains tiny granules that smooth the surface when rubbed. It's the same idea used in polishing a camera lens. More careful polishing steps to be discussed in the future posts.

Next, the cello is sent to our mini lighting studio for a photo shoot. It's another make shift project worth blogging about. Here's the cello with lights, camera, and action.

And finally, thanks to software such as eBay's TurboLister, it enables us to crank out templates of listing descriptions that can be tweaked and modified. Will show you the results of the listing in the coming days.

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