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Challenge to teachers

Elizabeth Ward

I guess it is time to revive this as recently I have had a couple of customers cancel at the last minute due to advice from teachers who have never even seen a Gliga.  This applies equally to the instruments I describe as European instruments.  And the European bows.  And Glasser bows.

Violin / Viola / Cello teachers, this is for you

If you are not tied in to a commission arrangement with a local shop (my margins are far too low to offer that) and if you are genuinely open minded about what your pupils buy but are simply concerned about the quality, then read on.

I have been selling Gliga violins since the Autumn of 2002.  I used to teach too, and the early Gligas I got were compared in my mind with Zeller / Poller - and they won.  I could actually play in those days and immediately knew that we had a winner.  Convincing others in the early days, when Gliga were completely unknown in the UK, was an uphill struggle but over the years we got more and more teacher recommendations - I did no advertising at all in those days unless you count some completely wasted money spent on advertising in NCO programmes and those of the orchestra I played in.  Eventually the demand for Gligas became such that the bricks and mortar specialist shops, and then the internet big boys, got involved, and at least one wholesaler investigated the brand too.

Nevertheless, astounding as it now seems to me, there are still teachers out there who have not heard of Gliga and who simply write it off as a cheap internet fiddle sold by non specialist shops.  This is simply not true!  Type "Elida Trading" (which was the name of my husband's business) into a search engine and see what comes up.  Or do the same with Gliga.

Drawbacks?  Gligas are not loud.  To get that tone with a lot of volume you need to be looking at the superior European instruments.  And some people find the bridge a little high.  If you particularly want a low bridge I can ask at the time of ordering.  In any case, how much does it cost to get a bridge lowered?  And if your pupil is going to be tuning on pegs alone, tell me because Gliga pegs tend to be a tighter fit than most (everything with pegs is to do with humidity of course) but I can shave them.  Or consider getting Wittner fine tune pegs fitted (I can get that done cheaper than most!).

The great majority of my sales come through teacher recommendations.  Gligas compete extremely well in their price bracket (and higher).  If you haven't yet seen one, and one of your pupils expresses interest, please be assured that the free returns policy applies, will continue to apply, and there is no risk involved.  If you want to call me first to convince yourself that I do have some idea of what I am talking about, please do.  I love talking to teachers.

If it's any different - for example if your pupil wants something really unusual that might take me years to sell elsewhere - that customer will be told clearly in advance before she ever orders.  The only things that are likely to annoy me otherwise, are if the pupil comes to me claiming to have a budget considerably lower than her real budget and then sends the instrument back saying "I had to pay four times as much to get something better", or refuses to give a budget at all and then comes back and says the proposed instrument is not good enough.  So if you really expect the pupil to spend three or four thousand, just tell her.  She'll find out eventually!

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