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Discussion Starter #1
Hi all-

Noob here, posting because I'd really like to sell my Selmer Mark VI Alto sax but am not really sure how to proceed. I'm a multi-instrumentalist and very experienced in selling other instruments, but as you can imagine, selling a saxophone is very different - particularly one of this quality and vintage. I live in the Boston area and there's really only one store around here (Rayburn Music, f you're familiar with it) that seems capable of helping me out - but I'd prefer to sell online than to consign this horn with them, if possible. I just don't really know where to begin with something quite so valuable and with such a discrete user base. For example, putting something like this on eBay just seems like a really narrow window of time in which to allow people to find it - 7 days? That's nothing!

I figure you folks are probably the experts about how to do this kind of thing. Any suggestions you have for how to proceed are welcome! If you'd like to see pictures of the horn, it's here and it's a beauty - it deserves better than to live in my closet!

https://www.flickr.com/photos/enderisnotmyrealname/sets/72157628181730101/

Thanks much!
-Mike
 

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You can list on eBay for a longer period than 7 days. I've seen 28 day auctions or fixed price sales. Why not tell your repairman, Emelio, that you have your horn for sale? Figure the most you want for it, deduct what eBay will take, then just sell it locally for that price.
There's enough influx of wannabe jazz musicians between all the schools in Boston to find a trust fund baby to buy it.
It's like my beauty of a horn. Looks like it's been underwater for a few years!
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks for the response! It has not been underwater, unless my closet has plumbing problems I'm unaware of - it's a really nice silver and in the time I've owned it, it's been taken good care of or sitting idle in a climate-controlled environment. So it probably needs a small tune-up/pad refresh at worst...

Good point about the longer listing times available. Do you have experience selling a horn on eBay though? It just seemed like such a crapshoot to hope that people are looking at that exact time.

I went back to Rayburn to see if they wanted to consign this horn a few years ago and they were just kind of - snobby and generally not the kind of people I wanted to work with directly, so I figured maybe there was a better way to go right to the potential buyer, you know? When I sell guitar equipment or something I've always done it with Craigslist or eBay and never bothered with middlemen.
 

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Yah...at this point, if Rayburn even still exists, it's basically a nuke fallout zone......

Actually, why is selling a sax different from other vintage instruments, really ? It's not, at all.

You list the condition, provide a lot of photos (probably at least 7, but more like 10+), provide the serial # (x'ing out one of the last two digits) so people can determine the age, and just be honest about it's playability.

eFlay, Craigslist, maybe any other chat boards you belong to (but unfortunately you would not be allowed to post a FS ad here because you need a min. number of posts t do this).

Decide if you would be willing to ship it, then bone up on properly packing a sax.

I would personally stay away from consigning the instrument somewhere, because a shop is gonna wanna make a good penny on a VI and therefore they will put a high pricetag on it, even for a VI. But if the consignment agreement stipulates you can end the agreement and pull the horn at anytime (in the event you sell it elsewhere), then maybe.

Dunno if the music schools/conservatories around Beantown have any bulletin boards where instruments FS can be posted, whether 3D or virtual....but that could be another option.
 

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I agree with Jaye...there is little reason to think you cannot sell that horn locally and save the considerable risk and hassle of the mail. Just be smart with craigslist. There are a ton of players in your area who would love that horn. You just need one who loves it and who also has the cash. I would do consignment as a last resort. Direct sales will yield you more cash AND give you more wiggle room with the price. How much you negotiate is personal and depends on how fast you need to move the instrument. Its not hard to move a VI at a fair price.....ever.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
JayePDX: It's a little different because most of the equipment I've sold has been 1) electric guitar equipment, which has a wider potential buyer pool, and 2) significantly less expensive than a Mark VI, so less vulnerable to the whims of an auction window. But yeah, I guess I'll head back to CL.

Sigmund451: I appreciate the advice there. I'm not in a rush to move the instrument; I just feel bad that I don't really play anymore. Somebody should be enjoying this horn!
 

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enderisnotmyrealname,
It seems as though you are really trying to sell the horn in THIS thread, but as you may be aware you have to have 100 posts in order to officially list here on the Forum. There are good reasons for this rule.
You've been given some good suggestions and yet you linger...

I would caution any SOTW member from doing business with you in this manner.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I don't think I've done that at all, runzoff. I've not put any price up, or linked to any kind of classified ad. All I wanted was some experienced advice about how to sell what's fundamentally a pretty niche instrument, and some other folks have been very friendly and helpful. I keep "lingering" because people have answered my post and because I want to tell them thanks! Feel free to ban me or blacklist me, though, if that's how things work here.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Whaler, what exactly is silver plated? Does that mean a re-lacquer? This horn is all original. Or do you just mean, "it's a silver saxophone"? I understand that that is kind of weird, yes.
 

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Administrator note:

This was posted in the wrong area, and has been moved to the correct sub forum.

Let me remind the author that new members with less than 100 posts are not allowed to buy/sell on the forum per the SOTW rules. Anything beyond asking HOW one goes about selling a horn constitutes breaching those rules.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
SAXISMYAXE: How have I gone beyond asking HOW one goes about selling a horn? Aside from the other conversations that this thread has spawned, which have been even less related to selling, and more related to the horn itself?

WoodyReed: Yeah, I know! He wasn't very friendly, either, but I like what he did to it. Still though, Rayburns always gave me a bad vibe.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Side note, SAXISMYAXE: I do appreciate you putting this in what you think is the proper forum - I looked around for a while to try and find the right place but this forum has a million subforums and I couldn't figure it out.
 

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Whaler, what exactly is silver plated? .
It's a brass horn with silver plate on it. No, not a relac. In general silver plated horns are a bit more desirable (plating out-lasts lacquer), but for some reason silver-plated MKVIs are a bit devalued. Personally, I think that's nonsense, but you can't argue with market value. Your horn could use a polishing. If it were polished up it would look like new. To do it right would require breaking it down to do the job. If it needs pads, then it would be worth having it re-padded & polished. However, with a horn like this that might be best left up to the buyer, unless you're looking to get top dollar for it, which you won't in that condition.

The good news is it's a MKVI, which is arguably the most desirable model saxophone and fetches the best prices. You shouldn't have difficulty selling it (especially in the Boston area), assuming you ask a reasonable price for it. Whoever buys it will have to put some $$$ into it. What you have is not all THAT valuable; horns like this are sold all the time.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
That is some pretty helpful info, though a little disappointing! I figured the low serial number was something special, but I know that there are a lot of Mark VIs out there, and that tenors are generally more desirable than altos anyway. Thanks for the polishing info!
 

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Disappointing?! What are you disappointed about? You have the most prized model of saxophone out there (it IS pretty special). When I said it's not THAT valuable, I meant it's not a Picasso painting or a Ferrari, but as saxophones go, it's great. Yes, tenors are worth more of course. And if it was in pristine condition, or top playing condition, it would be worth more than it is now. But it's still worth a fair amount of cash. And my point is, being a desirable model, you shouldn't have any trouble selling it, unless you ask more than 'market value,' which is true of anything you try to sell (even a Picasso).

p.s. I can't tell you what it's worth because I pay no attention to altos (being a tenor player). I'm sure you can get an idea by cruising around on ebay and other sites. But you also have to account for condition; maybe take it into a tech and find out what work it needs; any buyer will want to know that.
 
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