At the time of writing this post, we’re facing an uncertain future- further lockdowns look extremely likely after the Christmas period and there’s no way of knowing when things will return to any sense of normality. In this post, we’ll be talking about how we’ve been operating throughout the pandemic, our plans moving forward, and how you can still buy with and sell to Barleycorn Concertinas in these strange times.

Whilst in lockdown, like every other business, we moved to a mail-order-only service. Obviously this isn’t ideal when purchasing a musical instrument, especially when each concertina can be so different tonally to another of the exact same model. The only thing that makes this process viable is our one-week approval process- if you don’t like the instrument then you can send it straight back to us. Obviously this could become a fairly drawn out process if you have a very exact idea of what you’re looking for, so if that is the case, it might be best to wait until it is possible to come and visit us to try numerous instruments.

At the time of writing, we find ourselves in Tier 2 restrictions (depending on when you’re reading this, this may have changed), which allows us to operate as normal with a few extra precautions in place. We have hand sanitiser available, and Chris will maintain a social distance throughout the whole process. All handled instruments will be cleaned as much as possible (without potentially damaging them) between customers. Obviously, as we’re dealing with antique instruments, we’re unable to open doors and windows to ventilate the showroom, but be assured that conditions will be as safe as we can possibly make them if you do choose to come and try out our instruments.

We’re still buying concertinas at the moment, and this part of our business hasn’t been affected much. Our new way of doing things is to offer a minimum price which would still be fair even if the concertina turned up with some horrible defects, and after we’ve examined the instrument we’ll review that price and, 4 times out of 5, pay you more so that the price is completely fair for you. We won’t ask you to send us the instrument without paying you that minimum agreed amount beforehand, and we also cover the cost of postage. If you have a collection of instruments to sell, or a particularly valuable item, we are happy to make the trip to a suitable, outdoor mid-way point to see the instrument/s.

We’re certainly not the first business to say that we long for a return to a Covid-free world, but it’s the truth. We’ve been in the very fortunate position to carry on trading over the last 8 months, but we miss going to festivals with a stall, meeting you all at concertina weekends and having you come to visit us without having to bleach your hands beforehand. That will be the reality again one day, but until then, we’re still here for all of your concertina related needs.