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Valuation Guide

  • Alto < $3500

    Votes: 2 5.7%
  • Alto $3500-$4500

    Votes: 3 8.6%
  • Alto $4500-$5500

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Alto $5500-$6500

    Votes: 2 5.7%
  • Alto >$6500

    Votes: 1 2.9%
  • Tenor < $4500

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Tenor < $4500-$5500

    Votes: 6 17.1%
  • Tenor < $5500-$6500

    Votes: 9 25.7%
  • Tenor $6500-$7500

    Votes: 6 17.1%
  • Tenor > $7500

    Votes: 6 17.1%
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Discussion Starter #1
I was hoping we could get some crowdsourced data on the current market value for Mark VI alto and tenor saxes. People are asking for what I perceive to be outrageous prices, which is making it very difficult to parse through the weeds and know what is a fair asking price for a horn in decent condition.

I have created a poll. Please vote on prices that you have SEEN horns sell for with your own 2 eyes, preferably in the last year or two, so as not to skew the data. Sold listings on eBay have become inflated with people buying and selling their own horns multiple times to justify astronomical asking prices.

Feel free to elaborate on your votes in the thread
 

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Really people buy and selling their own horn multiple times on Ebay? So much so that it has effected the market value? I'm calling BS on that.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I'm not arguing that it is an effective strategy, but people definitely have multiple accounts to post suspicious "Sold" listings, only to repost the same item a month later, often with the same pictures.

I was told by someone recently that they would never buy an alto for more than 4k, and not a tenor more that 5k, which conflicted with everything I knew about the percieved value of these horns. I thought that was worth investigating a little bit, as I am in the market to buy an alto.
 

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Show us an example. When you sell an expensive item on Ebay you get a bunch of people bidding that ultimately don't follow through. The seller becomes frustrated and relists the item, possibly even creating a different listing. Show me the horn that sold under one account and the under another? There are bunches of fraud MKVI listings that show up periodically on Ebay. Whenever you see a bunch of MKVI listing together someones account got hacked. If you see a bunch in Canadian currency same thing.

There is no way for your poll to be accurate. Original lac, relac, cosmetic condition, repair history, play condition, recent overhaul, year made, are all things that have a big impact on value.
 

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This poll is too generic to yield any useful information. As noted above, there are many variables that determine the “market value” of each individual horn. You can't just treat all altos as one group and all tenors as one group and say that all horns falling within the same group should have the same market value.

RE: buying and reselling your own horn: this strategy is so terrible I don't think it happens at all (or at least not frequently enough to distort the info regarding sold horns). You do know that both PayPal and eBay will charge you 3% and 10%, respectively for each completed sale, right? What's more likely happening is that the buyer wins the auction or buys the item and then fails to pay or retracts the purchase, or the seller does the retraction because the winning bid was significantly less than the minimum amount they want to get for the horn (they should have set a reserve price in the first place, but that's another matter altogether).

It's also possible that the buyer didn't like the horn and put it up for sale because the seller did not accept returns and there was otherwise nothing wrong with the horn (just not a good fit). I know I've done that before with a Reference 54 I bought and resold on eBay.
 

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Let’s see...

A ‘70s Mk VI in poor condition - less than $4000. A closet queen 5-digit Mk tenor - greater than $9000.

Your poll is too broad to have any credible meaning.
 

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3000-25,000
 

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Tough to do anything with that poll. I've seen altos and tenors from $3000 to $20,000. The Mark VI market is all over the place and really, really difficult to judge when buying online. I've always seen it as a shot in the dark no matter how much or how little you pay. I believe that although Mark VI horns can be wonderful, the subject of valuation is based more on emotion and lore than on actual physical value and that takes "valuation" to a different level.
 

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So much depends on the condition (especially playing condition) of the horn, that, as Dr G says, the poll is way too broad to have any meaning. You need some qualifying statement such as "in perfect playing condition, sold by a reputable dealer" (which would fetch the higher prices), or "an ebay horn with no guarantee of condition," etc. And even then it's hard to place a valuation without seeing the actual horn and even playing it.

About the best you can do is say something like a tenor will sell for anywhere between $4k and $10k, depending........not really suitable for a poll.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I just don't think there is a good way to assess actual values for these horns. Has anyone seen a horn actually sell for $20k? Because I haven't....
 

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I just don't think there is a good way to assess actual values for these horns. Has anyone seen a horn actually sell for $20k? Because I haven't....
Yes. Seen one go for $19,500 not too long ago, sold by an individual, not a store.
 

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I just don't think there is a good way to assess actual values for these horns.
It is not dissimilar from houses or cars. One needs to know the market, and the details of what matters. Recall also that dealers often work with international buyers/sellers that you don’t see.

Has anyone seen a horn actually sell for $20k? Because I haven't....
I, too, have seen a mythical $20,000 Mk VI 5-digit in closet condition - played one for a few days. Nice horn.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
So I played 3 horns last week, al within 1000 digits of 107XXX serial number, and 2 of them were garbage, one was the best horn I've ever played. They were all set up by the same person, and none of them had any history of structural damage or relacquer.

It seems strange to me then that a horn would sell for a particular price because of the serial number. I know that's the story, that the 5-digit or the Sanborn serial numbers fetch considerably more, but I just don't hear that from people who are selling them consistently at sax shops or on consignment. Even minty horns coming from some of the top repairman in the world are selling for 9k or 10k.
 

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I was hoping we could get some crowdsourced data on the current market value for Mark VI alto and tenor saxes. People are asking for what I perceive to be outrageous prices, which is making it very difficult to parse through the weeds and know what is a fair asking price for a horn in decent condition.

I have created a poll. Please vote on prices that you have SEEN horns sell for with your own 2 eyes, preferably in the last year or two, so as not to skew the data. Sold listings on eBay have become inflated with people buying and selling their own horns multiple times to justify astronomical asking prices.

Feel free to elaborate on your votes in the thread
I think you are more interested in creating a “Mark VI Devaluation Guide”.
I’m sorry but I think think I have to call BS on guys buying and selling their own horns to inflate prices.
If you want a Mark VI be prepared to pay for a pristine example. If you really want a MarkVI just because they are great saxes, just get a re-lacquered beater and enjoy.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
I mean, some relacquers are worth buying, but I've more often seen them with significant material taken of the body of the horn, and totally jacked up tone holes. The horn I'm about to buy is worth 5k and is the best alto I've ever played. Original Lacquer, 107xxx alto. Do we think that is fair?
 

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So I played 3 horns last week, al within 1000 digits of 107XXX serial number, and 2 of them were garbage, one was the best horn I've ever played. They were all set up by the same person, and none of them had any history of structural damage or relacquer.

It seems strange to me then that a horn would sell for a particular price because of the serial number. I know that's the story, that the 5-digit or the Sanborn serial numbers fetch considerably more, but I just don't hear that from people who are selling them consistently at sax shops or on consignment. Even minty horns coming from some of the top repairman in the world are selling for 9k or 10k.
Please define "garbage" used in this context.
 

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So I played 3 horns last week, al within 1000 digits of 107XXX serial number, and 2 of them were garbage, one was the best horn I've ever played. They were all set up by the same person, and none of them had any history of structural damage or relacquer.

It seems strange to me then that a horn would sell for a particular price because of the serial number. I know that's the story, that the 5-digit or the Sanborn serial numbers fetch considerably more, but I just don't hear that from people who are selling them consistently at sax shops or on consignment. Even minty horns coming from some of the top repairman in the world are selling for 9k or 10k.
Please define "garbage" used in this context.
Two of the horns were altos.
 
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