Re: Harps on Ebay

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I’ve only bought one instrument on ebay, and I bid on it only because I was able to examine it first hand. I’ve never bought a harp at a live auction, but have occasionally gone to an auction where one or more harps were being sold just to see what would happen.

What I’ve noticed in general is that harps in very poor condition tend to go for way more than they are realistically worth. I’m guessing that people who know nothing about harps get caught up in the gold and carving and are unaware of anything else. But what’s interesting is that on those rare occasions that a playable harp in really good condition goes up(I’m talking mainly here about a Lyon & Healy harp) they tend to go for significantly less than their market value. The price that most harps go for at auction, regardless of their condition, is $10,000 to $13,000. That includes the 20% buyers premium.

I’m less familiar with ebay. I understand that Erards come up regularly their and also the occasional L & H or Wurlitzer. In most instances, the Erards are worm eaten wrecks that are unsalvagable, and the L & H and Wurlitzer harps tend to be in need of major restoration. In as-is condition they would be worth maybe $1,000. They tend to go for $4,000 to $10,000. So auctions and ebay are not the places to look for bargains.