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Why wholesalers make a large mark up

Elizabeth Ward

When importing direct from overseas, you run the risk of something arriving like this.  It was actually stuck inside the case, the varnish stuck to the fabric, and now it has furry bits all over it!

This isn't really anyone's fault.  This violin came from China at a hot time of the year.  Unfortunately in China it is hot in the summer.  Soft spirit varnish and heat do not mix.  This happened with a Romanian instrument too (though not quite this badly) and I have had similar things from China before (though with indented fingerprints rather than stuck on bits of fabric)

Now of course if I had got this violin from the wholesaler it could simply go straight back.  The wholesaler would refund me (though probably not my postage) and then the wholesaler would list the violin next time they have a sale of "B stock" and some retailer would buy it at a significant discount and then either fix the problem (if possible) or sell it at a much reduced price (and you would probably be surprised at how difficult it is to persuade people to buy instruments with cosmetic faults).  But as it is, yes I got these instruments for less than I would have paid through a wholesaler, yes that means the customer gets them for less, but it also means that I as a retailer take the risk.

It's a pity because apart from this damage it's really very nice.


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