Clearly, we are all still living in very strange times. In one of our previous posts we mentioned that things were looking more optimistic, but here in the UK things went downhill very quickly again after that, so we’ll avoid tempting fate by saying the same thing again. Either way, we’re still operating solely on a mail-order basis with the usual one-week’s approval period that we’ve always offered. However, due to a number of factors, there are some things that can make the process of buying a concertina from Barleycorn slightly more complex from outside of the UK- we’ll outline a couple of them in this post.
We’ve always offered a one-year guarantee against major defects for any instrument purchased from us, and that is largely still the case. However, we’ve had a few cases of instruments being sent to countries with drastically different climates which can cause fairly serious problems to antique instruments- as most of ours are. Whilst we will still continue to offer our guarantee to all buyers for issues that don’t relate to climate-induced issues, we want to be transparent with this post saying that we are going to have to start selling instruments to these kind of countries at the buyer’s risk in those regards. We will, of course, continue to make buyers from countries with hugely different climates to ours aware of the potential issues they may face with these instruments, and at that point it will up to the individual whether or not it’s a risk they want to take. Of course, there are steps that can be taken to keep a concertina comfortable and to help avoid any warping or cracking. You ideally want to be keeping an antique concertina somewhere with a humidity around 50%, absolutely falling no lower than 40%. Humidifiers and dehumidifiers can be purchased at a very reasonable price, and they are crucial if you’re wanting to store your concertina in a climate that might usually take its toll on the concertina.
Another huge change to how we do business is Brexit. We’ll leave any politics out of this post, but it has undoubtedly made selling abroad (especially to Europe), much more complex and ultimately- expensive. We’re still in the process of gathering the cost of duties/VAT for each European country and we’re making a record of these things every time we sell to Europe, as each country has completely different rules when it comes to antiques/musical instruments etc. The reason we mention this is that buyers need to be aware of the extra costs they may face getting an instrument from us into their country. Again, we do make this clear when communicating with potential customers, although we really wish it wasn’t an issue we had to consider. We will try our best to ensure that the overall cost of instruments going abroad don’t become massively inflated, but the hard truth of it is that whilst our prices will stay the same, the cost of buying our instruments in Europe especially will be higher than they were B.B. (before Brexit). Having said that, we do remain the largest stockist of genuine concertinas in the world by a very long way, and our prices mean that we are still the best choice for European concertina buyers- even with the new duties/VAT costs.
We hope you’re all keeping well and keeping safe, and fingers crossed we’ll start to see you again in the flesh by the end of the year.