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Discussion Starter #1
So many vendors, when listing and picturing their vintage saxophones, do not give prices and want you to call. I find this inconvenient - what if I am interested in a dozen of their instruments? Why don't they just list a price? If it's negotiable, they could always add that. By the way, I have the utmost respect for several of the vendors that substitute "call" for a price. Just wonder why they don't just post it.
 

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At least vintagesax.com, whose reputation is sterling, asks "call or write." Your old-school wheeler-dealers don't want to give you anything in writing - not to mention that their sales technique is mostly high-pressure, which only works by phone.
 

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well, it is an old fashioned way of doing business, if you call you are definitely interested and they can talk to you. Then they tell you a price which is higher then the lowest price on the market and then you say it is too much so they ask you how much do you want to pay in the hope that it will be more than the minimum that they would be prepared to let the item go for (and they might still try to say that for a little more than what you said you can have it). Now you have commitment. WE can now talk about accessories , you do want the best mouthpiece available don't you ?
 

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It's probably to avoid potential customers' eyeballs from hitting the screen and their jaw from bouncing off from the keyboard after they've seen the price.
I've always said "If I have to ask how much, I can't afford it."

Some will use it as a marketing tool. You call to inquire about the 'priceless' horn. They give you an outrageous amount.
You say you can't afford THAT much, so they tell you about some 'less expensive' horns they have in stock.
Maybe, just maybe you'll go with one of those.
Then again, you just might have that amount burning a hole in your pocket and BINGO! They've made a sale. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I don't as a rule find that when I call these vendors they generally offer a lower price or try to sell me a less expensive instrument. It's usually wham bam thank you man. They cite the price and that's it. Some of these vendors, reputable with first rate horns well set up, probably get the prices they are asking for.
 

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I've never understood it either. I've always worked on the assumption that if they're reluctant to post their price I'm very unlikely to get a pleasant surprise when I call.

Therefore, I just don't bother. Plenty of other deals out there. Potential sale LOST.....
 

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Some dealers actually sell below the MSRP for certain items, and they cannot publish their prices.
 

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Some dealers actually sell below the MSRP for certain items, and they cannot publish their prices.
That's true in many cases. I worked part-time at a golf shop where OEM equipment was sold. Callaway, Titleist, Cleveland, etc. In order for the owner to sell the OEM goods he had to have a contract with them and had to sell at "suggested retail price." He discounted Callaway clubs for cash. Typically a caller would ask for the cash price for a Callaway driver. Wholesale at that time was about $200, suggested retail was $299. The owner sold the club for $225 cash. Problem was Callaway had telephone shoppers. The owner was caught by Callaway who told him to sell at what we tell you to sell for or lose the account.

I very much doubt that sellers of used instruments suffer under that same threat. But if "Bill's Big Music Store" has a contract with say, Selmer, he's going to sell or at least advertise those instruments for MSRP. He may discount them secretly but the threat of being caught at it and losing the account is something he doesn't want.

If any of you good folks here are dealers selling name brand horns, you know what I'm saying. If anyone knows a dealer running a shop, ask why they don't sell Selmers, or some of the more desirable horns. Vendor requirements for order quantity and following the rules set by the manufacturer can be stringent.

Its all about money, folks.
 

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Apples and oranges. Vintage horns don't have an MSRP so the selling price is what the market will bear. Perhaps the sellers just want to enjoy the bartering aspect of selling a vintage horn so they can determine whether you'll wind up being a long term customer. The advertised instrument may not be what you're looking for, but he may actually have the one you are... OR he may know where he can find what you're looking for.

Phone calls are cheap and strangers are friends you haven't made yet. You still own the power to pick and reject things and/or people you want to associate with... So call.
 

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Apples and oranges. Vintage horns don't have an MSRP so the selling price is what the market will bear. Perhaps the sellers just want to enjoy the bartering aspect of selling a vintage horn so they can determine whether you'll wind up being a long term customer. The advertised instrument may not be what you're looking for, but he may actually have the one you are... OR he may know where he can find what you're looking for.

Phone calls are cheap and strangers are friends you haven't made yet. You still own the power to pick and reject things and/or people you want to associate with... So call.
If you're referring to my post, reread the first sentence of the second paragraph. I have no problem calling about an item. Oddly though, I've posted on Craigslist "call Tom at" many times and have rarely rec'd a call. Lots of emails though. Strange.
 

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If I think you are loaded I will try to squeeze a higher price out of you. Ever watch Pawn Stars? If I list s a set price I may lose an opportunity to sell to someone that doesnt know what they're doing.
Here's a tidbit to wrap your mind around. New saxophones that have listed prices in stores .... no one pays that price, it's always haggled lower.
Many new saxophone prices say "call" because I believe some brands sell advertizing rights to certiain vendors, so everyone else can sell them, just cant advertize a price ... someone else may be able to speak to that better...
 

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If I think you are loaded I will try to squeeze a higher price out of you. Ever watch Pawn Stars? If I list s a set price I may lose an opportunity to sell to someone that doesnt know what they're doing.
Here's a tidbit to wrap your mind around. New saxophones that have listed prices in stores .... no one pays that price, it's always haggled lower.
Did you see the show where Stephanopoulos was buying a Hemingway book? The roles were reversed and Rick was playing defense.

As for the list prices I actually believe some naive people do pay that.
 

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As far as new horns, some manufacturers will not allow discount prices to be published or advertised, so you have to call the dealer. As far as forbidding the dealer to discount, although that may be a common practice in some places, it's a little more complicated in the US, since it approaches some sticky legal issues. I don't know of a brand that isn't discounted. As far as the vintage, I'm like Dave C, I don't expect much. However, I'll call. The dealer is really inviting you to a bargaining session, with his dream price as the starting point. He's just trying to maximize his profit. Hey, it's free enterprise. Your job is to beat him down to what you want to pay, or walk.
 

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I find it annoying - I like to get an idea of what things are selling for. But given that the OP was asking about vintage saxes, particularly those those being sold by reputable dealers, I think it is less of a scam/high pressure tactic than a reflection that they believe they are selling something unique, and they probably think a simple price comparison is misleading.

They likely want to talk to you about the horn, and what they did in restoring/overhauling it. They don't want you to say, "Oh, that other place has a Buescher Big B for $400 less," because they don't think that is a fair comparison. Their volume is probably low enough to be able to do that, and they probably don't really want casual/impulse buyers. Or maybe they are just old school, and are trying to do business in a pre-internet way, that looks weird to us now.

I like the sites with descriptions and prices (although I have found at least one with decidedly optimistic descriptions of the condition of the horn). That said, I would deal with one of the non-price folks if I knew they were good to deal with, and they had something I really wanted. But it definitely slows down those impulsive GAS-attack purchases. On second thought, maybe no one should post prices...
 

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It's probably to avoid potential customers' eyeballs from hitting the screen and their jaw from bouncing off from the keyboard after they've seen the price.
I've always said "If I have to ask how much, I can't afford it."

Some will use it as a marketing tool. You call to inquire about the 'priceless' horn. They give you an outrageous amount.
You say you can't afford THAT much, so they tell you about some 'less expensive' horns they have in stock.
Maybe, just maybe you'll go with one of those.
Then again, you just might have that amount burning a hole in your pocket and BINGO! They've made a sale. :)
That's about the size of it right there....

I don't believe they really wanna converse, or barter, or whatever. I believe they know the price they are asking is too high for market, but once they get you on the phone they can eitehr rationalize, or try to hook you into something 'in your range'. I believe that if they listed those prices straight up, visitors would go there and see the high numbers and pretty much say to themselves "this merchant is too expensive, no point in coming back".

Keep the embarrassing pricetags off the site...in many modes of thinkng they'd do the merchant no good at all.

A lot of folks find it annoying. I can see why. Like CE and several others... I never do this.

Call a spade a spade. List the price.... and that's the price.

I think it is a reach to suggest the reasoning for not listing the price is because "we like to do it the ol' fashioned, chummy-chummy way, human way". I think it's the exact opposite of that, actually....

This is easy enough to disprove, or prove. Call up, across-the-board, several sites which do this, inquire about their pricetags, and make a list.

Cross reference that w/ some online research of market values. Even after adjusting for the amount of work which may (or may NOT, in many instances) have been put into it.....I would bet my bank account the latter prices will be significantly lower.
 

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Just like buying a car. They never tell you the low price until you sign, come back, go back to the mgr., say they are losing money, won't find it lower, etc.
I think that the horn sellers don't want to post a price and have you use it to get another dealer to sell it to you for $10 less.
Correct that some makers won't let a dealer post a discount price.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Just like buying a car. They never tell you the low price until you sign, come back, go back to the mgr., say they are losing money, won't find it lower, etc.
I think that the horn sellers don't want to post a price and have you use it to get another dealer to sell it to you for $10 less.
Correct that some makers won't let a dealer post a discount price.
I'm strictly talking vintage horns here - but let's say the dealer has fifteen or twenty vintage tenors I am interested in, depending on affordability, do I have to discuss the price of each one? Couldn't the vendor just post his price and in parenthesis write "negotiable"? The vendor would have the option of saying, sorry, I need full price for this one, or this one is on consignment and I have no room to move, or whatever. The vendor could even print something like 5000+ or whatever. I for one, currently looking for another tenor, am not going to call and go down the vendor's list. I suppose, on the other hand, one could just call the vendor and say, "I have XXXX thousand dollars to spend and am looking for a tenor," or something to that effect. Anyone done that?
 
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