Saxophone Forum


by historicsaxwhisperer
(17 posts)
6 months ago

Upper End Loaner Horns provided during repairs

Hello All, I am a conservatory trained saxophonist. I have been playing for 42 years. I still practice daily, but have found myself in the "Financial World" as my main field of income. In my spare time (Right), I have been restoring vintage saxophones for the past twenty years. This can be very profitable if you know what you are doing, which I do. I have found that the working jazz musicians in the Cincinnati Area love to just call me and want to drop by my home and have me fix their treasured 5K to 15K instrument at the drop of a hat. My name is getting out there even though I would prefer to just restore horns as opposed to working on horns that are actively being used. Many times it is very possible for me to drop what I'm doing to answer the call of a local jazz player in a bad spot. Sometimes its not and the local music stores (My competition?)are on a two week wait. Often players are reluctant to leave their horn with me for very long. A day or two at best. Sometime they just need them for teaching or playing a scheduled gig. I have had an epiphany!!. If I simply set up a few upper end horns I could use them as loaners while I worked on a players horn. They could keep working, I could enjoy my saxophone work and not feel like I'm on a time restraint. My saxophone work is what I do in my spare time, my relaxation away from a crazy financial world. A loaner would be free of cost to my customer. As long as the loaner is returned undamaged, it is just free use and shows my honesty as a tech. Since I have the players treasured horn as my collateral, I have no fear of not getting my loaner back from them. My reason for throwing this idea out there is just to see if this is something the saxophone community may find as a value when picking an experience saxophone tech or restorer. I don't accept email replys, so I'll check in often and see what others have to say.

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  1. by saxgourmet
    (108 posts)

    6 months ago

    Re: Upper End Loaner Horns provided during repairs

    be SURE your business insurance covers loaners/rentals......

    STEVE GOODSON
    New Orleans
    www.nationofmusic.com

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  2. by GFC
    (359 posts)

    6 months ago

    Re: Upper End Loaner Horns provided during repairs

    You seem like a very service-oriented guy.  There have been times when I would have loved to have such a service available.  My only comments would be along the same lines as saxgourmet's, that it is part of your business and you might want to think about protecting yourself from risk.  Loaning out upper end horns is nice, but not too upper end or difficult to replace if you want the collateral equation to really protect you. Maybe charge a loaner deposit, either applied to the cost of the repair if it is more than the deposit, or a balance returned if the deposit is more than the cost of the repair.  If the loaner got damaged, your compensation for repairing it could be figured into the final transaction.   If you carry over the best business practices I'm sure you're familiar with from the financial world - explicit written policies, procedures, and contracts - into your home business, that also goes a long way toward protecting yourself and your clients.  I suspect that there are more than a few musicians and techs who ran into misunderstandings, heartaches, and acrimony by not adhering to them, despite everyone's best intentions.

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    1. by saxgourmet
      (108 posts)

      6 months ago

      Re: Upper End Loaner Horns provided during repairs

      as I think about it, I don't know anybody who truly plays for a living full time (as opposed to part time hobby players) who doesn't have a back up horn....if they don't, they should learn to say "do you want fries with that?"......a back up is essential for any professional.....
       

      STEVE GOODSON
      New Orleans
      www.nationofmusic.com

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      1. by historicsaxwhisperer
        (17 posts)

        6 months ago

        Re: Upper End Loaner Horns provided during repairs

        That is hilarious!! I do get a few characters out of the University of Cincinnati jazz program. We have the wonderful Blue Whisp Jazz club here in town, so the jazz/UC connection is kinda fun sometimes. I have worked on a few players horns that I wondered the same thing, why no backup horn. But, then some of them are just very talented students that play constantly, like 8 to 12 hrs a day, have a wonderful near priceless old Selmer that they just feel naked without. No time to send it off to Tenor Madness for a repair. That seems to be the nitch I'm tying to fill. A great playing (Loaner)horn to use while their priceless relic is being serviced. Maybe they would like the loaner so much they want to buy it to be their backup. Cater to them now so when they become that Branford M, Ravi C, or Joshua R, I'm their man. I should be ready to kiss the Financial world goodbye by then... At this point, I'm just trying to keep it fun, not work.

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        1. by kelsey
          (808 posts)

          6 months ago

          Re: Upper End Loaner Horns provided during repairs

          I think you are doing a valuble service for your fellow saxplayers. Not everybody can afford first class backup horns, especially pro players. It's good that you are helping others.

          Barry Kelsey

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