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View Full Version : Ukulele made me a merchant adventurer man



fabioponta
10-19-2011, 08:07 PM
I'm a teacher.
But,
since I knew the ukulele, just over a year and a half, I traded (bought and sold) many ukes and so many other things involving the ritual of playing ukulele, I can say that I became a merchant adventurer.
I never had problems with my almost 150 sales and purchases in that period (I always ask for photos, paypal payment and USPS shipping number), and living in Brazil, I've done business with luthiers and great people of Chile, the United States, Canada, England, Holland, Okinawa -Japan, Australia, China, and, of course, in all places in Brazil .

In this time I had to learn about shipping costs, customs fees, credit cards, currency conversion, paypal, costs of new and used instruments, etc...

Now I have 12 ukes, but between all the sales and purchases, I already have most of 60 ukes in my hands, the most cheap ukes.

I can say that before (or while) I became a ukeplayer, I became a dealer in everything that involves the ukulele.

fabioponta
10-19-2011, 08:10 PM
Some more adventurous dealers pushed by ukuleles?

Nuprin
10-19-2011, 11:51 PM
I'm not as experienced in world trade as you Fabio...I think all of my ukes have come from with the US thus far. I have learned a good deal about shipping costs and have read about customs charges. The only international dealings I've had was I sent a ukulele to Australia and I'm getting a custom from a luthier in Canada.

I have had my hands on a lot of ukuleles...many high-end, lots of not-so-high-end. I would say the one avenue that the ukulele has opened for me has been custom instruments. Before I started playing ukulele, I never imagined I'd be enthusiastic enough about an instrument to commission a custom. I've since had 5 made for me (Boat Paddle, MP, Mya Moe, Monkey Wrench, Moore Bettah) with a 6th on the way (Luis Feu de Mesquita). I feel very fortunate to have had the opportunity to have played so many fine ukuleles in my 2 1/2 years playing.

dkcrown
10-20-2011, 02:13 AM
Wow. I don't know how many I have had in my hands. And I suppose it would be easy enough to figure out how many I have now, but I'll focus on the places and people where/whom I have dealt with in buying and selling of ukes. Hawaii, Oregon, California, Texas, Georgia, Kentucky, Vermont, Michigan, Illinois, Massachusetts, New Mexico, Florida, Conneticut, New York, Tennessee, and Florida. And besides the good ol' US of A, Denmark, Norway, Australia and Japan. I feel like MGM!(whom I have done business with 5 different uke times not including strings, MiSi's, cases etc.)

I still haven't done business with Fabio, but looking at my history, it is only a matter of time! :)

AncientMatingCalls
10-20-2011, 03:58 AM
Hey fabio, if you don't remember me, I'm Eric. I sold you a kanilea tenor. I was just curious as to what you think of it after having it for a while now.

garyg
10-20-2011, 04:05 AM
I think that one of the reasons you've had so much experience Fabio is that #1) you are a scholar and #2) ukes are difficult to come by so unless you buy one and try it out, you're unlikely to find out much about it. I have also bought too many ukes <g> mainly because I wanted to try them out and also because I've always been interested in vintage items. So I think the lack of availability of ukes is one of the main reasons that we end up buying them to try or learn about. I bought my first vintage Gretsch about 4-5 months ago and then found out from searching and posts to the board that there was little available information on them. So I now own soprano Gretsch ukes from the teens-twenties (still not sure when they started making ukes, but this one has wooden tuners), late 30's/40's, and late 50's/60's (don't know when they stopped making ukes either). All excellent players. Is there a Gretsch historian around or anyone at the factory who knows about uke production? And through all of this I got to correspond with Ed Ball who is a Gretsch guitar expert. But of course you can't stop with one vintage uke so I now own a Martin 1M (~40's), a Gibson uke-1 (~ 50's), a Favilla uke 2 (30's-40's), and I just bought a bargain Silvertone uke. Buying all of these ukes required knowledge and investigation which as an educator myself, was a natural progression, but I don't think that I want to match your level of activity Fabio <g>. I have managed to retain some self-control because all my vintage ukes are solid mahogany and I've resisted buying a koa martin <g>, but I have been keeping my eyes on the old high end (but not unobtainably priced) koa Hawaiian ukes and mainland ukes. Actually, I'd like to sell/trade some of the ukes that I have, but they're difficult to let go of and I haven't even mentioned the non-vintage koa ukes that I own. Sorry, all of this is starting to sound like bragging but it's more in the nature of a UAS confession/explanation. Even the good shops like Dusty Strings don't have a particularly broad selection of current ukes and Mike McQueen at Uke Republic has the best selection that I've seen although I haven't been to too many shops. McCabes in LA has a great selection too and there are probably others that I don't know about. I know there is at least one person in NC who sells ukes. ciao, friends

roxhum
10-20-2011, 04:06 AM
I sold Fabio the world traveling Kamaka Pineapple. I wanted to add for those reluctant to ship internationally that it is no big deal. I think the greater risk is for the recipient since they pay the higher postage and customs. For those of us shipping it is just a matter of filling out one extra piece of paper and teeth grinding as you wait to hear that your uke arrived safely to it's destination.

abeluke
10-20-2011, 05:00 AM
I have been selling ukes in my country for about three years, is very difficult to find o good uke in Argentina and the only brand you can get here is Stagg.I used to buy from mike (MGM) but he's very ill right now. For now I'm trying to introduce the brand Mainland, I think they are very good ukes. I 've bought a lot of ukes from UU members too.

SuzukHammer
10-20-2011, 05:03 AM
I just want to thank those that have shipped to me internationally. I appreciate all who have worked with me selling me what basically is a shared musical experience.

Everytime I play Eugene's uke or France's uke or whose evers, I feel "connected".

I've had people refuse to sell because I live internationally. That is another lesson to learn. Learning how to be graceful in a transaction that won't work.

The country I am in has never charged me customs fees. Oh MAN!!! what a relief versus the last country I lived in which could hold your shipments hostage unless you give into what is basically extor.... never mind. Basically not fun is what I meant.

SuzukHammer
10-20-2011, 05:06 AM
I have been selling ukes in my country for about three years, is very difficult to find o good uke in Argentina and the only brand you can get here is Stagg.I used to buy from mike (MGM) but he's very ill right now. For now I'm trying to introduce the brand Mainland, I think they are very good ukes. I 've bought a lot of ukes from UU members too.

Abeluke,

My Mango Mainland is really turning out to be a real trooper. I have the Matte finish and I've sweated profusely, banged mine, played rough and exposed my uke to severe temperature changes and this Mainland uke is turning into a surprisingly robust uke. Its well worth the money.

fabioponta
10-20-2011, 04:40 PM
Hey fabio, if you don't remember me, I'm Eric. I sold you a kanilea tenor. I was just curious as to what you think of it after having it for a while now.

Hi Eric!
The kanilea tenor sounds amazing! I love the thin frets, and the loud and warm sound: it's my satin koa tenor :D

fabioponta
10-20-2011, 04:49 PM
Gary, Roxhum, John eugeneukelele, Eric: I forgot to thank you for the help with the rates and the confidence to believe I seriously wanted to buy yours ukes when we negotiate .

Living in Brazil, the most risky was the process of entering the national territory by the federal customs, yet I never lost a uke ..
Roxhum, that trip was the kamaka Pineapple!

Uke Republic
10-21-2011, 03:59 AM
I think we may all be 5 degrees of separation from Fabio! I sold him a uke and so many have bought from Uke Republic. Might need a thread of how many degrees of separation are you from Fabio :)

I finally put a uke on every continent last year. Sent one do a base in Antartica. Had to poke my chest out.
The Sailor ukes have been made in small numbers but are popping up rather nicely around the world to.
Viva la Ukulele!!!

fabioponta
10-21-2011, 05:38 AM
I think we may all be 5 degrees of separation from Fabio! I sold him a uke and so many have bought from Uke Republic. Might need a thread of how many degrees of separation are you from Fabio :)

I finally put a uke on every continent last year. Sent one do a base in Antartica. Had to poke my chest out.
The Sailor ukes have been made in small numbers but are popping up rather nicely around the world to.
Viva la Ukulele!!!

Wow, Mike: there are ukuleles from Uke Republic to Antartica?
The next step may be to change the name Uke Republic to Uke Empire!. lOL
No kidding, Mike is one of the guys more help to democratize the uke. Thank you!

Uke Republic
12-06-2011, 05:10 PM
Uke Empire :) Evil laugh follows:)
Wow, Mike: there are ukuleles from Uke Republic to Antartica?
The next step may be to change the name Uke Republic to Uke Empire!. lOL
No kidding, Mike is one of the guys more help to democratize the uke. Thank you!

Steedy
12-06-2011, 05:16 PM
Uke the Planet! :cool:

garyg
12-07-2011, 12:49 AM
Uke Empire :) Evil laugh follows:)

The question Mike is are you with the dark side or with the force? <g>

GinnyT11
12-07-2011, 02:59 AM
Mike's "Empire" is full of strum troopers.

Uke Republic
01-06-2012, 04:50 AM
;) That is clever!!! :)

Mike's "Empire" is full of strum troopers.