'Trying to help an "older" friend sell a vintage Martin 3K

Tonya

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I'm seeking advice because I've never sold anything here (heck, I've kept all my ukulele--don't look in my closets, please!). My mom's friend, who lives in a seniors-only community with Mom, has a Martin soprano, circa 1940, that she was given by her mother-in-law years ago. It appears to be a 3k and has definitely been played (surface scratching near sound hole, small split on back). This woman is in her 80s and just wants to sell the instrument, no eBay or anything else. I'm 800 miles away from her but my mom told her to ask me what to do; thanks, Mom ;-)

What advice should I give her? She's not savvy tech-wise and there aren't really any vintage ukulele buyers that I've been able to spot in her neck of the woods. I guess I'd be happy to post it for her here at the Marketplace (I know she'd need to take a dated photo with my UU name) and then be middleman for her as a favor; I know she needs the funds.

Thanks for any guidance!
 
I'm seeking advice because I've never sold anything here (heck, I've kept all my ukulele--don't look in my closets, please!). My mom's friend, who lives in a seniors-only community with Mom, has a Martin soprano, circa 1940, that she was given by her mother-in-law years ago. It appears to be a 3k and has definitely been played (surface scratching near sound hole, small split on back). This woman is in her 80s and just wants to sell the instrument, no eBay or anything else. I'm 800 miles away from her but my mom told her to ask me what to do; thanks, Mom ;-)

What advice should I give her? She's not savvy tech-wise and there aren't really any vintage ukulele buyers that I've been able to spot in her neck of the woods. I guess I'd be happy to post it for her here at the Marketplace (I know she'd need to take a dated photo with my UU name) and then be middleman for her as a favor; I know she needs the funds.

Thanks for any guidance!
That's a tough one. 800 miles away and no eBay.

I think the best thing to do would be to have her send it to you. You could evaluate its condition and decide on a value. You could then post it here or elsewhere. Posting online is the best way to sell these days. If she doesn't want to send it, have here, or someone, take as many good quality pictures as possible and send them to you. You would take it from there.

Asking prices -
 
You might consider selling it on consignment or perhaps even selling outright to one of the music stores that will do that for you.
I've done that with Elderly Instruments, but know that others do the same.

It's an easy process with Elderly. You simply fill out an online form and then they'll give you an estimate of what it would be worth and what they'd pay if you want to sell outright or if you want to sell on consignment. If you agree to their terms, you then ship the instrument to them. (Or if you're in the area, of course, you could bring it to them. I don't live in that state but shipping was easy to do.) They'll then inspect the instrument, see if it needs repairs, (which they can do), and could change their estimate based on what they see when it arrives.

Selling on consignment, they'll contact you if someone wants to offer less money than it's listed for. You can accept the offer, refuse it, or counter offer, and they'll be the go-between. If you sell to them outright, they simply mail you a check.

I would guess that this is the process for other music stores that sell used instruments as well.
Depending on the location of the instrument right now, there might be a local store that would save having to ship.

Here is the link for getting the process started at Elderly, if you're interested in looking into that. I have no ties to Elderly but am mentioning them simply because I've sold through them and found them good to work with. YMMV.
And filling out the form will give you some idea of the value of the instrument. You have no commitment with them to follow through on selling.
IIRC, you do need photos of the instrument to fill out the form, which might be difficult in your case, unless the owner can take the photos and email them to you or can fill out the form herself.

 
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