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Discussion Starter #1
I recently bought a VI tenor (114xxx) from a seller in Europe for a really great price (~$2.5K). The horn's no closet queen, but seems to be in alright shape (one or two solders from my review of the photos). Got tracking number and it's moving through the system. Also, the seller is a member of one of the sax groups on FB (joined about a week ago) and has remained in touch. Seems to be a musician (one of his photos shows him playing an accordion with a band) but not a sax player. Said the horn belonged to a relative who recently died. He knew it was a Selmer but didn't seem to know it was a Mark VI or what that meant.

Worst case scenario, if this is a scam, I paid with PayPal through goods and services and used my credit card on file with PayPal, so several layers of protection. I downloaded all the photos he provided (I have more than just the ones I posted here) and took screenshots of our entire FB messenger chat and made him send me an invoice on PayPal with the description, including the serial number. I figure there's zero risk to me. Some of you may remember that I won an eBay bid for a silver-plated 80xxx tenor for $3,900 awhile back, and while the seller never shipped, I did get all my money back from eBay. I just never hesitate to pull the trigger on a zero-risk transaction even if it doesn't seem 100% right.

Anyway, it looks like it has not been relacquered, but all lacquer has been stripped. I'm posting photos here to solicit input on whether it is in fact not a relacquered horn.

Thoughts?
 

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Forum Contributor 2016-17
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I own a 64,XXX Mark VI tenor that was relacquered before I got it. It needed an overhaul, and during that overhaul I had the residual lacquer chemically stripped. My engraving and the Selmer lettering on the bell look similar to yours (perhaps a tad sharper, actually). My guess is that the horn has been buffed in the past.
 

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Yes, definitely been buffed at least once but I'd say for a 114, he got it for about 60% of what I would normally expect. Very attractive and appealing horn - makes you want to play it!
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I really like the stripped look and even if it turns out to have been buffed, I don't think I'm going to regret paying $2,500 (including shipping) for it. If buffed, it doesn't seem to have been done that aggressively. If it is original it would be one heck of a steal.
 

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Probably has been relacquered at some point, maybe repaired. BUT....how does it play? That's the most important thing.

I just bought a relacquered '66 Mark VI alto from a friend of mine and it just sings....better than any other alto I've played. I'm a tenor player but that horn makes me want to play alto, too. I don't care that it's been relacquered, it is a great-playing Mark VI.

Enjoy!
 

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Discussion Starter #7
My primary alto is a relacquered 72xxx and I have yet to come across another horn that beats it (for me), including other VI's and modern horns I've owned at certain points. So, I don't really care about that. It's just that from an economic perspective, whether or not this one is original (and it looks like the building consensus is that it's not) will determine whether I managed to get a pretty good deal or a phenomenal deal. In any event, I'm pretty pleased.

It just shipped out from the Netherlands in the past two days, so haven't had a chance to play it yet. Hopefully I'll have it in my hands in about 2 weeks.
 

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My primary alto is a relacquered 72xxx and I have yet to come across another horn that beats it (for me), including other VI's and modern horns I've owned at certain points. So, I don't really care about that. It's just that from an economic perspective, whether or not this one is original (and it looks like the building consensus is that it's not) will determine whether I managed to get a pretty good deal or a phenomenal deal. In any event, I'm pretty pleased.

It just shipped out from the Netherlands in the past two days, so haven't had a chance to play it yet. Hopefully I'll have it in my hands in about 2 weeks.
$2500 for a Mark VI, even if you have to spend a little more to tighten it up with a tech, is great. I hope it turns out to be a great player for you.
 

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A couple of years ago I bought a beat up re-lacquered Mark VI tenor that was used in a high school marching band. Looked like it had been drug behind a car. It had a 112xxx neck on a 150xxx body. When I met the guy at a bank parking lot I pulled it out and played it. Butt ugly but screamed. $2200.
I sold it on eBay for $3600 and used that to buy a re-lacquered 1938 off FB.
The trick to buying a sax online without getting burned is good communication. I messaged the seller my phone number and talked. Ask for more photos. If they don’t send any or don’t respond, the red flag goes up.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I also do a reverse Google image search of any photos a seller sends me. I once uncovered a local scammer selling a Mark VI soprano he didn't actually own when I ran such a search and it turned out he had used photos from 2 different eBay listings.
 

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I'd also say it's a pretty good deal. If it turns out not to need an overhaul, it's a very good deal. Hopefully you did budget for an overhaul or at least a re-pad (whatever it needs). With an overhaul you might be in for a total of $3500 or so (depending on where you get it overhauled) and will then have it in tip top playing condition for that price. Not bad at all.
 

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Well, If it turns out to be a scam it seems like you got your bases covered Pay-Pal wise. Have you received tracking on the shipment? Even if it turns out to be a dog, you can turn around and sell it and make some money. I owned an SBA tenor for a few years and it was ugly as sin, all buffed out and re-lacquered but it was a good player. Then I bought my son a Yamaha 475 and played it up against that SBA for a week and I couldn't believe how much better that intermediate Yamaha was than the SBA. I sold it for twice as much as I paid for it. So, sounds like you made a good investment either way.
 

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Honestly I’ll be shocked if it’s not a scam for that price. Call me a cynic.
I agree. Could be fake, could have bad unrepairable tone hole damage, corrosion problems, parts horn scavenged to restore a better horn, etc. About the cheapest I've seen a MVI tenor is $3500, and it needed everything. If its not a fake or totaled horn, it'd have to be stolen or something.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Whoa there. Let';s hold off on all the dire conclusions for now. It can';t possibly be anything either than the scenarios you listed because you';ve never lucked out or seen anyone luck out before, right? I get the thinking that it COULD be a scam (I thought so myself when I was making the purchase, which was the reason for all the caution and protective steps), but to rule out anything else other than negative outcomes is taking it too far, don’t you think?

In response to the other comments/questions, I did get tracking and it';s currently in customs in the country of origin. And yes, I paid the invoice I made the seller send me on PayPal and used a credit card to make the PayPal payment.

The seller is still on Facebook and has always responded to each of my follow up messages. If this is a scam, I can';t possibly think of a way he could pull it off and why he would agree to invoice me on PayPal. In the unlikely event it is, all I have to do is open a dispute (I have 6 months to do so) and get my money back. Since PayPal almost always sides with the buyer, it‘a another protective measure in my favor.

Honestly I';ll be shocked if it';s not a scam for that price. Call me a cynic.
I agree. Could be fake, could have bad unrepairable tone hole damage, corrosion problems, parts horn scavenged to restore a better horn, etc. About the cheapest I've seen a MVI tenor is $3500, and it needed everything. If its not a fake or totaled horn, it'd have to be stolen or something.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Yup, JL. I did factor in the cost of a potential overhaul.

I'd also say it's a pretty good deal. If it turns out not to need an overhaul, it's a very good deal. Hopefully you did budget for an overhaul or at least a re-pad (whatever it needs). With an overhaul you might be in for a total of $3500 or so (depending on where you get it overhauled) and will then have it in tip top playing condition for that price. Not bad at all.
 

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Whoa there. Let';s hold off on all the dire conclusions for now. It can';t possibly be anything either than the scenarios you listed because you';ve never lucked out or seen anyone luck out before, right?
You must not have been in the market in the last decade. Lucking out is finding a MVI for $4500. A crime or head injury is usually involved when you "find" one for half that, lol.

I learned a long time ago, everything for sale, is undesirable in some respect to the owner. Or, it wouldn't be for sale. Especially watch for the quick resale - it usually means someone's hasty purchase turned out to have a serious, unrecoverable flaw, and they want to dump it to the next unsuspecting buyer.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Coolstorybro. I see you';re fond of making hasty, non sequitur conclusions.

What may be undesirable to one player may be gold to another. What may not work out for one player might be exactly what another is looking for.

People find great deals all the time. Not that long time ago someone posted here about buying a YSS62R for $800 from a pawnshop. Those normally go for $3,500-$4,000. There are accounts of other great finds as well where the seller didn';t know what they had.

Again, making room for the possibility that there may be an issue is normal. Concluding that it couldn';t possibly be anything else is taking it too far. For instance, I am allowing for the possibility that you are just envious of someone else's good find... but I'm not concluding that that is the only possible motivation you have for crapping all over this thread.


Whoa there. Let';s hold off on all the dire conclusions for now. It can';t possibly be anything either than the scenarios you listed because you';ve never lucked out or seen anyone luck out before, right?
You must not have been in the market in the last decade. Lucking out is finding a MVI for $4500. A crime or head injury is usually involved when you "find" one for half that, lol.

I learned a long time ago, everything for sale, is undesirable in some respect to the owner. Or, it wouldn't be for sale. Especially watch for the quick resale - it usually means someone's hasty purchase turned out to have a serious, unrecoverable flaw, and they want to dump it to the next unsuspecting buyer.
 

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You must not have been in the market in the last decade. Lucking out is finding a MVI for $4500. A crime or head injury is usually involved when you "find" one for half that, lol.

I learned a long time ago, everything for sale, is undesirable in some respect to the owner. Or, it wouldn't be for sale. Especially watch for the quick resale - it usually means someone's hasty purchase turned out to have a serious, unrecoverable flaw, and they want to dump it to the next unsuspecting buyer.
That’s true about “always a reason”. I sold a beautiful Balanced Action tenor a long time ago because it seemed worn out. If I knew the horn technicians then that I know now, I might still be playing that horn.
 

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That’s true about “always a reason”. I sold a beautiful Balanced Action tenor a long time ago because it seemed worn out. If I knew the horn technicians then that I know now, I might still be playing that horn.
+1!! There are more than a few players who don't realize that a horn in serious need of repair (or even just replacing a couple of pads with major leaks) can actually be repaired. Many years ago, when my MKVI tenor was in need of an overhaul, I thought I needed a new horn! On a whim I took it into Best Music in Oakland (where they luckily had a really good tech on hand at the time, although I wasn't aware of that) and asked if anything could be done for it. After they all drooled over the horn and said how much it would be worth in New York City (I think it was $4k at the time which really blew me away; this was in the early '80s) they told me yes, it could be put into "like new" playing condition, but it needed an overhaul. I got the work done and they were right.

So, bottom line, the seller may think the horn is "worn out" and is unaware that it can be fixed. Or maybe they just don't want to put the money into getting it fixed, so they are willing to sell it at a bargain price. Maybe. I'm as paranoid about getting scammed as anyone, but in this case there are plenty of possible reasons other than a scam for the low price. And jman seems to have done due diligence to avoid getting scammed here. Hope it all works out well for you, jman! Let us know how it turns out.
 
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