Sax on the Web Forum banner

1 - 20 of 23 Posts

·
Banned
Joined
·
2,206 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I just won an ebay auction for a vintage tenor sax from a guy who claimed in his listing that it appeared that the sax had never been repaired. When I emailed him asking about the history of the horn, he said he didn't know much. However, after looking through his feedback tonight I noticed another listing for the same horn from a month or so ago--only that time he was the buyer! Apparently, he turned right around and resold it--for over $200 more! Ouch!

Well, it turns out this original listing had A LOT of info about the history of the horn (apparently at that time it was being sold by the second owner, who had bought it from his music teacher, the original owner, over 50 years ago). In fact, this second owner even said that his teacher had had it sent off to be relacquered by Martin in 1950.

I have to agree from the photos I've seen that they did an excellent job, and the engraving is still distinct (which is the reason I bid in the first place--that will teach me to ask if it's original!). But long story short--it just burns me up that the guy I bought it from totally hid this fact and tried to pass it off as original lacquer. He didn't actually say it in the ad, but he clearly KNEW it was and just didn't say anything about it in the listing. He also said that the horn appeared to have never been repaired.

Now I'm wondering, do you think I have a case for a possible return if I get Paypal involved? To me, a factory relacquer that this guy clearly knew about would seem like a repair (alteration from its original state) to me--maybe not to us sax geeks, but to the ebay layperson, perhaps? And there's also the fact that the guy clearly knew that it was a relacquer and neglected to mention it. I should also add that he buys and sells mainly saxophone-related stuff, and has well over 1,000 transactions on his account (power seller). So this guy knows what he's doing.

Any thoughts?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
337 Posts
I don't think so. I mean, if the relacquer was so good you can't tell the difference, that seems ok to me.

Is it a repair? No I don't consider a relacquer to be a repair, what are they fixing? Nothing.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
268 Posts
It's definitely a shady dealer, not putting everything up front.

Relaquering is a major thing for a horn, isn't it? I've never had it done to any of mine. Seems like that sort of thing should make the ebay listing.

As for whether or not it's a repair... eh. It's fixing the look of the horn, but it's not fixing how it sounds. Go figure, bit of a toss up on that one.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
2,206 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
Thanks.

From the layperson's standpoint, I almost think a repair could be interpreted as any modification to the horn that was professionally done, such as a relacquer job.

Maybe a sax technician would not consider it a true repair, like resoldering work or something, but for the purposes of an ebay/Paypal complaint, it might fly.

I think it's interesting in a way that I now know the history of the horn back to 1939, and that it was a gift from a teacher to his pupil. I like knowing things like that rather than not knowing them. It just turns my stomach that when directly asked about the history, the guy clammed up, obviously so as not to broach the subject of the relacquer.

I think my horn buying days on ebay are coming to a close. I just hope nothing else is wrong with it. If anything is, it would have been something this last guy did to it, as the second owner who owned it for 50 years sounded almost reverent of it in his listing.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
552 Posts
I have a 5 digit Mark VI thats been relacquered -- its the 2nd best horn i've EVER played . -- play it for a few days before you try to get a refund .
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
464 Posts
I agree, play it first BUT... a relacquer is definitely a repair; a repair to the coating. If you get your house scraped and painted, is that a repair? Sure it is. Same thing only painting your house doesn't lower the value.
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Technician
Joined
·
1,863 Posts
I agree with JMM give itr a few days and see how you like the way it plays.

As regards to lacquering -some early horns never came with lacquer -or relacquering IMHO I would consider this a repair as it is major work. In order to do a good lacquer job the body must be clean and therefore polished either by hand or more than likely by buffing machine. The keywork would need to have all the corks, felt, pads screws removed and the body would have had the springs removed. New cork felt pads and springs would have been fitted. So basically the sax would have been "overhauled" - if there had been any damage to the sax like posts out of line or dents or dings then these would have been removed prior to the polishing.

If the seller neglected to mention this and you are certain that it has been relacquered and you are not happy with the horn then I would try to get it sorted amicably with him/her.

I would take it to a tech who should be able to tell you if it has been relacquered or if any work has been done. Armed with this info email the vendor and let them know your techs findings along with the evidence of his original purchase. He may offer to give you a partial refund which means that you keep the horn and get some money as well.

If you dont want to keep it as it is "not as described " then you can file a dispute with ebay and try and get it sorted out that way.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,036 Posts
Does anyone else think it "a bit off" to do the research AFTER the bidding.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,036 Posts
Nope, but...

In the matter of "Hiding information" - the original buy transaction was found using the same ID ???? - if the vendor had been attempting to hide this, a reasonable man might expect him to run two IDs - many people do this and not always for nefarious purposes.

Whats the feedback status on this transaction?
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
13,985 Posts
I wouldn't worry too much about the re-lacquer effecting the horn's durability or playability. These horns have a lot of meat on them, and the original lacquer is often VERY fugitive. Since you hardly noticed the refinish job, it is doubtful that much more than a microscopic amount of surface metal was removed in the process.

If the horn is a good player, I wouldn't return the whole job because of it. I would however ask for that $200.00 difference the seller profited from to be returned. A re-lacquer, one could argue, is a repair of the one flaw Martins do seem to possess en mass, poor factory applied lacquer. And it DOES effect the collectible value of the horn from a purely (usually) cosmetic standpoint too.

Since the guy was deceptive about it, he deserves to be "spanked" a bit too.:twisted:
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member, Forum Contributor 2013-
Joined
·
5,183 Posts
Swingtone said:
I have to agree from the photos I've seen that they did an excellent job, and the engraving is still distinct (which is the reason I bid in the first place--will teach me to ask if it's original!). But long story short--it just burns me up that the guy I bought it from totally hid this fact and tried to pass it off as original lacquer. He didn't actually say it in the ad, but he clearly KNEW it was and just didn't say anything about it in the listing. He also said that the horn appeared to have never been repaired.

Now I'm wondering, do you think I have a case for a possible return if I get Paypal involved? To me, a factory relacquer that this guy clearly knew about would seem like a repair (alteration from its original state) to me--maybe not to us sax geeks, but to the ebay layperson, perhaps? And there's also the fact that the guy clearly knew that it was a relacquer and neglected to mention it. I should also add that he buys and sells mainly saxophone-related stuff, and has well over 1,000 transactions on his account (power seller). So this guy knows what he's doing.

Any thoughts?
You have pretty much answered your own question. He did not say it was original and you didn't ask. The seller is a definitely a little dodgy since he didn't respond honestly to your question about the history, but I can't imagine eBay or PayPal are going to do anything but frustrate you. Whether he sold it at a profit or a loss is not relevant.

I have some old Buescher literature that suggests that lacquer is a maintenance item. Given that reasoning, you have bought a well maintained horn.

I hope that it is a great horn for you when it arrives and certainly wouldn't push any panic buttons until you have it in your hands.

Good luck.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
98 Posts
yeah, don't freak out yet.

Ebay as well as Paypal aren't the greatest when it comes ot settling disputes. Use it as a last resort becuase they rarely will refund you full price.

And really, if the original ad seems alright. Then I'm sure hte sax is alright too. If you think the sax plays well enough then keep it.

Just use this as a learning experience. Ebayers can be very sneaky.
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member, Forum Contributor 2015-
Joined
·
32,938 Posts
saintsday said:
You have pretty much answered your own question. He did not say it was original and you didn't ask.
I agree. And I agree that it's just best not to go to eBay looking for the Great Deals anymore. There's little difference in price anymore between horns on eBay and horns from reputable dealers.

Give the horn a chance since it's already yours. It might be everything you'd hoped for (except original lacquer).

If you cannot kick the eBay compulsion, I'd suggest that, in a quiet moment, you write down all the details that matter and be sure that they are all answered to your satisfaction before bidding. For example, some other things that I now ask is where the horn has lived for the past 20+ years. I won't buy a horn from a coastal region anymore - too great a chance of deep pitting or corrosion in the mechanism.

G'luck.
 

·
SOTW Columnist, Distinguished SOTW Member
Joined
·
23,016 Posts
You're not going to get the guy's $200 profit back. I agree with those who say play the horn before doing anything. Hopefully it's a great player and that will be the end of it. If not, I doubt you have any recourse. The dealer was a bit shady, but he committed no downright fraud. If you had asked him up front about the lacquer and he told you it's definitely original, that might be a different situation. Probably the relac won't effect the horn in any way except to make it look good.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,293 Posts
I sympathise, but a Martin with good lacquer sounds pretty good. The metal loss, if any, is unlikely to be a concern. With the history it has thrown in as well, it could be a very good buy.

Recourse? None is my guess, but the sour taste should go away with time .... and some good blowing.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
1,501 Posts
I visited both listings. The seller (to Swingtone) indeed limited his info on the horn to the minimum, stating that the lacquer looked great and that it "seems" the horn had never been repaired, etc.

The impression is that this was a mint closet horn. The previous seller's description had substantial detail on the horn's background. Bought in 1950, rebuilt and relacquered by the Martin factory in 1951 or so, and stored away a few years later, for half a century.

I find it kinda hard to believe those pads are going to be in good shape after that much time, but .....
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member, Forum Contributor 2015-
Joined
·
32,938 Posts
From what you cite, it might have had acid bleed or similar blemish that was redone under warranty.
 

·
Moderator
Grafton alto | Martin Comm III tenor
Joined
·
28,919 Posts
A relacquer is a repair. The horn was misrepresented if, as you say, the seller must have known this. I would speak to them about this.
 
1 - 20 of 23 Posts
Top