Industry standard for specialist stringed instrument shops includes supplying items on approval. Yes I do this. This is what it means, and this is how it works.
Goods on approval originated in bricks and mortar violin shops, and for good reason (I have had instruments myself this way) - acoustics have a big effect on the way an instrument sounds and, when these instruments are very individual, as old violins are, the Sale of Goods Act could leave a customer feeling very disappointed because they could try a violin in the shop and love it, then find it sounded quite different in the different acoustic at home, but would have no right in law to return it. No shop relying on repeat sales and personal recommendation wants a dissatisfied customer. So instead, the customer selects a violin (or sometimes more) and takes it home after leaving a deposit, perhaps, or paying insurance, perhaps. My personal viola was out on approval for months to someone else when I fell in love with it, and when I told the shop that was the one I wanted, they finally suggested to the mane who had it that he ought to make a decision one way or the other. He wasn't sure. I was, so I had it.
Distance selling is rather different because under distance selling regulations you have the absolute right in law to return an unwanted item (with obvious exceptions, but it is rare that any of those exceptions will apply to musical instruments) for any reason at all within a certain time frame (currently 14 days). So in fact there is no real need for items to be sent on approval now, but the stringed instrument world is very conservative so approvals remain.
Yes I do approvals. The conditions are as follows: you need to give me a card number. Your card will not be debited until you confirm that you are keeping the instrument. On your part, you undertake to return the instrument in good condition at your own expense (you know, the way you would if you bought an item from Amazon or ebay and wanted to return it). The difference is that you won't have paid for it in advance.
I do request that you play fair. Postage costs money and I am a very small business, my postage costs are almost as much as yours would be. Also cash flow and stock levels are a constant nightmare. Please let me know your decision as soon as you can, within 7 days if you can. Please don't ask to have items on approval when the next lesson is weeks away, that isn't fair. Please don't ask for items on approval that you have no intention of buying, that isn't fair either. If your real budget for a violin is £5000, please don't get one of mine for a tenth of the price just in case you like it more. That is being rather unrealistic.
It will not usually be possible to send more than two violins at a time, and certainly not more than one of any particular model, unless two different players are involved. I am far too small to be able to do that, often there is only one in stock with small sizes!
Please note that adding items to your basket and failing to complete checkout will NOT get items sent on approval, it will make me think that you have changed your mind. If you want something on approval you MUST phone with a card number.
Due to problems with people asking for items and then changing their minds before they have even seen the item, I do reserve the right to refuse to send goods on approval if they are items I do not sell regularly. This does not affect your legal right of return. It is simply because too many people change their minds, often after the goods have left Gliga so that I am too late to cancel.