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I had a costomer call me the other day explaining to me that he just switch insurance companies, and in doing so was asked to get his Mark VI tenor sax appraised. He said with his old insurance company, it was valued at 5800. I thought that was fair. My question to you guys is, (a) Do you think its a good idea for a tech to get involved with this kind of thing? and then (b) How in the world can anyone judge the value of a Mark VI? I mean, they go anywere from $1500 to $12000! They just don't make them anymore, so you can't just goto the price book. And there is no blue book for saxophones! (not that I know of :) ) All I did was looked 10 Mark VI horns on the net and took the average value. It came to about 5800... And then lastly, (c) do you think it's appropriate to charge a fee for this service? I wasn't going to, but I wasn't sure what the rest of you guys did in this situation. Any thoughts? Thanks!
 

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In the violin world this is a common thing to be done. Do a web search for violin appraisals and use that as a guide for your fee, should be easy enough to find. You should probably include documentation, including pictures, in your appraisal.
 

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When I give an appraisal (which I do with all overhauls) I give the current retail price for a pro-instrument. I don't know if it's correct to do but I really feel that vintage saxophones are hard to find and good ones are harder.
So, a guy travels all over the world playing say, Buescher Aristocrat Altos, then he finds one and asks me to do a full pro overhual on this instrument including some standard key modifications ($1500.00-$1800.00). With this work done, I could give a value of $600.00 (what they go for on Ebay) or I can give the regular and current retail value of a new pro saxophone. With all the effort most players put into finding their instruments the lower appraisal seems inappropriate.

For what it's worth, a new Selmer pro alto retails for: $6545.00. With this quote, the player will have the funds they need to quickly replace the instrument should it be lost or stolen.
 

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As a former member of The Certified Appraisers Guild of America, giving a replacement cost of a new instrument is not the correct method of appraising. Yes, it is nice to know, but the insurance companies would frown on this practice. You must value the instrument for what that particular instrument is worth on the resale market, sans any restoration work. If the Sax would pull $600 on the open market and you paid $1,800 for an overhaul, you will be hard pressed to recoup the repair costs, although you could plead your case.

A written appraisal for insurance purposes is worth $35 - $100 depending on the value of the instrument.

Dan Parker
Original Swab Company
 

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Scenario 1: A student has a student sax. He can readily replace it with an equivalent second hand if it is stolen. It should be insured for what it would cost to get an equivalent second hand replacement.

Scenario 2: A pro player has an old, professional instrument, and needs it for his income, 6 nights per week. It is stolen. It is not possible to hire an equivalent, neither old nor new. He immediately needs the money to replace it. He cannot afford the unknown of waiting for an equivalent to turn up in the second hand market. What he needs is insurance money to replace it with readily available, new, equivalent, because that is all that is immediately available.

Completely different scenarios. The players needs need to be discussed with the insurance company at the time of insurance. IN the second example, the player will obviously have to pay a significantly higher premium to have his needs met.

As a technician, not buying or selling, I am not qualified to put a value on an instrument. If I were in touch with both new and second hand prices, I would be inclined to provide both an estimate of what it is worth in the open market, and also a cost to replace with a new instrument. Then the insurance company has the info to discuss intelligently with their customer.

It is realistic to charge for ALL services. If you take not charging to its ludricous extreme, you could become well known as a specialist assessor, do it all day, and become a man without an income. However, nice people do tend to provide the odd free service for regular customers, or to entice new customers. You decide!
 

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Insurance companies are used to this problem with old houses. Nobody could afford to build a house the way my house is built with the cut glass windows and woodwork and hand fitted granite foundation. If I recall correctly, you can insure to rebuild just exactly what you had for a significantly higher rate, or you can insure to get the same size box built. Disclose the intent and you should be fine.
 

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SaxmanTy1 said:
All I did was looked 10 Mark VI horns on the net and took the average value. It came to about 5800... And then lastly, (c) do you think it's appropriate to charge a fee for this service? I wasn't going to, but I wasn't sure what the rest of you guys did in this situation. Any thoughts? Thanks!
If you can and wan´t to do the evaluation of an instrument do it!
I can appreciate the approximate value of an instrument (an interval), but would personally not make a written exact amount on a paper.
But if you do an evaluation, why shouldn´t you bill for that?
It would be just like any part of the work with musical instruments.
If you give an evaluation but not charge it, why? To a friend as a natural part of an overhaul?
A standard procedure to a long term costumer(!!?)
But (I asume) you do have to try the particular instrument and consider in what way it doesn´t play perfectly in tune, tonal balance, sound projection etc. You need to have the experience to compare it with similar horns, sound and look.

I guess....
 

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MusicMedic said:
When I give an appraisal (which I do with all overhauls) I give the current retail price for a pro-instrument. I don't know if it's correct to do but I really feel that vintage saxophones are hard to find and good ones are harder.
So, a guy travels all over the world playing say, Buescher Aristocrat Altos, then he finds one and asks me to do a full pro overhual on this instrument including some standard key modifications ($1500.00-$1800.00). With this work done, I could give a value of $600.00 (what they go for on Ebay) or I can give the regular and current retail value of a new pro saxophone. With all the effort most players put into finding their instruments the lower appraisal seems inappropriate.

For what it's worth, a new Selmer pro alto retails for: $6545.00. With this quote, the player will have the funds they need to quickly replace the instrument should it be lost or stolen.
Not disagreeing entirely, but here's my take:

Seems to me that the value of this instrument would be the retail rate at some place like vintagesax.com or saxquest.com (i.e. the cost of a readily-available instrument of the same model in perfect condition) plus the value of any special modifications.

The $600 eBay price is not the street price for a comparable instrument (not fair to the owner), and the street price for a new Selmer is far less than $6545 (not fair to the insurer).
 

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awholley said:
.....and the street price for a new Selmer is far less than $6545 (not fair to the insurer).
But if you didn't have a current model Selmer then that's not a fair replacement. I play on a low Bb Mark VI. I'm not a huge fan of the S80 II's (and low A horns in general.)

If someone had insured a Rembrandt with Lloyd's of London, Lloyd's wouldn't try to replace it with a similar current model painting. It's a different value.
I know that my tech appraises at replacement cost (for the same model horn.)
 

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I agree with Curt. But I don't do appraisals, at least written, for the record. ones. The standard ought to be what it would cost to replace it. Yes, we all have "God's own" alto, or tenor, or whatever, and as such it is priceless. But while you would never sell it, if its gone and you need another, how much do you spend for "adequate" until the real thing comes along? Better to have insurance specifically for the horn with people who do that than a rider on the home owner's policy. Speciality underwriters will charge more per $100.00 of assessed value, but generally don't try to devalue the appraised value at the time of a claim.

Lefty
 

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littlemanbighorn said:
But if you didn't have a current model Selmer then that's not a fair replacement. I play on a low Bb Mark VI. I'm not a huge fan of the S80 II's (and low A horns in general.)

If someone had insured a Rembrandt with Lloyd's of London, Lloyd's wouldn't try to replace it with a similar current model painting. It's a different value.
I know that my tech appraises at replacement cost (for the same model horn.)
The example was a Buescher Aristocrat. I wouldn't think a Mk VI would be any different. In other words, you'd look at the price of a ready-to-play MK VI at a vintage sax dealer, not a new Selmer.
 

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As a player who is not a technician or involved in determining a sax's value, I think that as far as over all fairness is concerned, a hybrid method is best.

Curt is right that insurance money isn't very helpful if it isn't enough to buy a comparable instrument. And whether that is how you are "supposed" to do it or not is really irrelevant.

However, some consideration should be given to other factors regarding the instrument. Things like original lacquer left, past damage repair, playability, etc... should all be taken into account but I wouldn't go crazy over trying to get it exact. Just go online and find a couple of different MK VIs for sale with similar characteristics and average those prices. Also, modifications and overhauls don't really add to the resale value that much. They should be taken into account but not considered to be that important.
 

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I have heard of people being happy after dealing with insurance companies but I have heard of more people being unhappy. It is important that you decide what you want to receive if you need to make a claim and ensure that the policy will cover it.

Unless this is clearly spelled out you are at the mercy of the insurance company and don't bother wasting time thinking you could always take them to court if you are unhappy. Note that even among people on this board who know about instruments there is disagreement about what is fair coverage.
 
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