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The advantages and disadvantages of buying a violin online

I think it’s clear to almost everyone that the Internet is more than a research tool; it is a market place where we ca buy and sell anything. Buying a violin online has become a concept embraced by almost all musicians. But let’s look for a little bit at the advantages and disadvantages of buying a violin from an online store.

A fist advantage of buying a violin on the Internet, as opposed to buying it from a regular store, is definitely convenience. You can comfortably sit on your sofa, with your laptop in front of you, searching for online violin stores, and listening to your favorite music in the background. No driving, no traffic, no noise, no pushy sales people, no formal attire, no need to leave your house.

A second advantage is unlimited and immediate access to information.  You can easily validate all the information listed on a particular website about a particular violin. You don’t need to be convinced about a sales person about anything; with only a few mouse clicks you can find out where, when, and who made a particular violin, what the reputation of that violin maker is, how well that violin was received by musicians, how good the customer service was in a particular store, how many people enjoyed a positive buying experience with a particular online violin store, how many people reported a bad experience while buying a violin online, etc. The Internet made all this possible for us for us, and everything is free.

Another advantage of buying a violin from the Internet is that the next online violin store is just a click away. You can easily go from a store to another in a matter of seconds, without wasting time and money on driving around and trying to find parking. You can easily compare, side by side, the features of the violins from two or more different makers, you can easily find unbiased feedback about the violins you compare on online forums and blogs, you can ask for instant live help from the online stores in case you have questions, and you can definitely make a very informed buying decision.

Another advantage of buying a violin online is lower pricing. We all know that there is a very close connection between competition and pricing. In monopoly, the monopolistic corporation has total control not only over its products or services, but also over the selling price. This single-seller status gives monopoly extensive market control and becomes a price maker. Well, monopolies are very rare, and it’s not at all the case with the violin stores, especially with those that operate on the Internet. In the violin world there is o such thing as a “single-seller” status, which means that no violin store will ever have any market control, and they will never be price makers. The market control belongs to those who buy a violin on the Internet. The fierce competition between the online violin stores engaged them in a price war, which forced them keep the prices very low. The winners of this war are, obviously, the buyers.

So, in short, the advantages of buying a violin online are as follows: convenience, immediate access to information, large selection to choose from, fast violin comparison possibilities, and lower pricing.

Everything looks and sounds good, but there is always a catch. Let’s see now what the disadvantages of buying a violin online would be.

First and foremost, I would say that the incapacity of actually hearing a violin before buying it is a great disadvantage. A violin is not a piece of furniture or a statue that is going to be placed in the corner of a house and used from time to time. A violin’s main purpose is to produce beautiful sounds when the strings are touched by the bow. The visual appearance of the instrument is really not at all that important. Since the main function of the violin is to play well, and not to be a beautiful decoration item, a violin is usually bought for its sound performance and not for its physical attributes. The Internet does not really make that possible, and the buyers must rely 100% on the seller’s description of the sound. Most online violin stores acknowledged this weakness of the Internet, and try to motivate buyers to buy online by offering extended trial periods and sometimes free shipping, which transforms the online violin shopping experience a risk free one.

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3 Responses to “The advantages and disadvantages of buying a violin online”

  1. Violin Stores and Shops offer Violin Comparison and Online Buying Advice | Violins Only Says:

    […] their instrument through the means of the Internet much easier than they did a few years ago. Buying a violin online has quite a few advantages over pursuing the traditional way, which involves a visit to a violin […]

  2. 5 Things To Consider When Buying Your First Violin: the Violin Maker, the Wood, the Varnish, the Violin Size, and the Price | Violins Only Says:

    […] very easy and bring out the truth about the violin maker you are interested in. If you choose to buy a violin online, extend your research and try to find out what the reputation of the online violin store is. Try to […]

  3. Student Violin - How to Buy a Violin from the Internet? | Violins Only Says:

    […] there are three main choices open to you: you can either visit a violin shop in your area, buy a violin from the Internet, or you can opt to purchase the a custom made instrument directly from a luthier. The latter is […]

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