Used trombone prices in Japan

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Posaunus
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Used trombone prices in Japan

Post by Posaunus » Tue Nov 24, 2020 10:47 pm

I just came across these eBay listings for old Conn trombones for sale in Japan:

https://www.ebay.com/itm/CONN-tenor-tro ... 0008.m2219
{48H: US $4,620.00}

https://www.ebay.com/itm/trombone-CONN- ... 0005.m1851
{88H: US $4,158.42}


It's hard to believe the prices the Tokyo seller hopes to get for these instruments. I guess I should sell my old Conns (which look a lot better than these!) and buy a couple of new Shires or M&W or ... :idk:
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harrisonreed
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Re: Used trombone prices in Japan

Post by harrisonreed » Tue Nov 24, 2020 11:25 pm

Brands other than Yamaha are relatively rare here in Japan. Non Yamahas cost a lot, but most of what you find is in fantastic shape. With professionals here, I see almost exclusively Shires, Edwards and Bach, in that order, if it isn't Yamaha.
Last edited by harrisonreed on Tue Nov 24, 2020 11:30 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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BGuttman
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Re: Used trombone prices in Japan

Post by BGuttman » Tue Nov 24, 2020 11:28 pm

Does Japan have a barrier tariff on non-Japanese instruments?
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Re: Used trombone prices in Japan

Post by harrisonreed » Tue Nov 24, 2020 11:31 pm

I'm not sure, I think so though.
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Burgerbob
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Re: Used trombone prices in Japan

Post by Burgerbob » Tue Nov 24, 2020 11:36 pm

Welcome to eBay. Those listings clutter up all the saved searches I have. Tons of beat up old Bachs listed for more than new prices in the US.
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Re: Used trombone prices in Japan

Post by Hobart » Tue Nov 24, 2020 11:47 pm

You also have to consider that the horns have to get to Japan in the first place, an island in the middle of the ocean. It's easier to get a Conn from Elkhart to Chicago than Elkhart to Japan, so the Conn is going to cost more if you get it in Japan new. Apparently Yamaha horns are cheaper than domestic horns in Hawaii, likely for similar reasons.

It also may be a cultural thing and pride in their domestic products, or demands that Yamaha does the best job at meeting. Both General Motors and Ford don't perform well in Japan, and I wouldn't be surprised if it's the same with American-made brass instruments.
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harrisonreed
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Re: Used trombone prices in Japan

Post by harrisonreed » Tue Nov 24, 2020 11:57 pm

I'm not so sure. American cars don't sell well here because they don't fit on Japanese roads (seriously, "rich" people buy them and cause nothing but traffic jams and fender benders because they are literally too wide for the lanes) and historically are expensive and fuel inefficient. For comparison, my used Subaru R2 cost $1400 and gets about 50mpg without any mechanical issues to speak of, and had only 50k km on it when I got it. It's still too wide for the 1.3 lane wide side streets that are two-way traffic.

Pro trombonists on the other hand are mostly buying Shires and Edwards. I can't tell you how many Griego mouthpieces I've seen. Jun's is a local, boutique competitor in the mouthpiece departments.

People will pay quite a lot for a good American trombone here, used or not. The place to buy is Joy Brass in Southern Tokyo. Every time I went there (pre-covid) there was some amazing, big name brass musician shopping or getting a repair. For example I got to meet Eric Miyashiro there. An amazing person. A great shop!
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Burgerbob
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Re: Used trombone prices in Japan

Post by Burgerbob » Wed Nov 25, 2020 12:31 am

Yamaha is big in Japan, but it's also not held in the same regard as the top boutique makers. The marching band I taught near Nagoya for a couple years had an entire section of Edwards trombones, which was a big point of pride for them.
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Re: Used trombone prices in Japan

Post by WGWTR180 » Wed Nov 25, 2020 6:17 am

There's a TR 181 from Japanese seller listed at $5600! I contacted them to see why it is so expensive. Their response was "It belongs to a major US Symphonic player and that it was used in a major US Symphony Orchestra until recently. We cannot change the price at request of the current owner."
Yeh, that's it.
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Re: Used trombone prices in Japan

Post by Thrawn22 » Wed Nov 25, 2020 11:28 am

It trips me out how much those sellers are asking for everything from horns to mouthpieces. One seller had a 88HN i would almost be willing to pay the price they're asking.

On the flipside, it's a trip to see what a German seller is asking for some Conn basses he's selling.
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Re: Used trombone prices in Japan

Post by Kingfan » Wed Nov 25, 2020 5:15 pm

Hobart wrote:
Tue Nov 24, 2020 11:47 pm
You also have to consider that the horns have to get to Japan in the first place, an island in the middle of the ocean. It's easier to get a Conn from Elkhart to Chicago than Elkhart to Japan, so the Conn is going to cost more if you get it in Japan new. Apparently Yamaha horns are cheaper than domestic horns in Hawaii, likely for similar reasons.

It also may be a cultural thing and pride in their domestic products, or demands that Yamaha does the best job at meeting. Both General Motors and Ford don't perform well in Japan, and I wouldn't be surprised if it's the same with American-made brass instruments.
By that logic, Yamahas should be expensive here. BTW Japan isn't in the middle of the ocean, it's less than 600 miles from Korea. California is about 6,000 miles away, Hawaii 4,000 miles.
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harrisonreed
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Re: Used trombone prices in Japan

Post by harrisonreed » Wed Nov 25, 2020 5:26 pm

You guys seem to be under the impression that these sellers actually want to sell to you. They don't. They definitely don't want to sell Conns or Bachs back to the west. At the very least, they'll sell to the west, but likely reluctantly and not for less than the going rate domestically. You can't apply what you think you know about economics to an economy that you really don't understand.

In 2007 I was on a trip to Japan as an interpreter for a Massachusetts machine tool company. They wanted to buy oil coolers. We went to a company that sold what they wanted to import and asked about setting up a contract. They said no. We offered to pay more than what it sells for in Japan and they said "What will we tell our Japanese customers when we can no longer satisfy domestic demand?".

I recently went to a shop to have the lacquer stripped off my king silversonic. They said they wouldn't do it. Why not, I ask. It will change the way the horn plays, and we can't take that risk, they said.

I went to a local mouthpiece maker to have an existing mouthpiece that I really like altered. Oh, no, we can't do that, we only make original mouthpieces, they said. Ok, can you copy this mouthpiece and make changes to that design? Yes, but that's not what we do, we create custom mouthpieces, they said. Well, can you at least keep the rim contour the same and the cup width the same, and try to create a mouthpiece that goes in the direction I'd like to go? Hmm, no, they said, no this idea of a cup that is so wide just won't work on tenor trombone, you'll never achieve what you're after because it's too wide. But I'm 95% of the way there already, I just think I need a few changes in the backbore and throat, what do you mean? Well, we create custom mouthpieces to meet your end state, but you don't really know what we know... -- In the end I was very close but they wanted me to come in many times and could not quote the cost of even one prototype, let alone the collaboration they wanted to do. And I'm a nobody. I politely thanked them for the consultation and left.

That TR-181 WAS probably owned and used by a major symphonic player. That's a big deal here. People place a different value on things here. The Japanese sellers aren't trying to be sneaky. They just aren't selling to people in the West who think they know what a used horn is worth. They are selling to a specific demographic, domestically. The people scratching their heads are on the outside, looking in. These aren't the horns you're looking for.
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Re: Used trombone prices in Japan

Post by johnjenkins » Sat Dec 05, 2020 11:14 am

Bach 5GL - buy it now: $145 USD, shipping: $198 😂

https://www.ebay.com/itm/363208362333
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Re: Used trombone prices in Japan

Post by greenbean » Sat Dec 05, 2020 11:29 am

On the other hand, I bought a trombone from Ishibashi Music in Japan that was a great deal. It was a Custom series Yamaha. I think Japan has LOTS of those available, thus the low price.
WGWTR180
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Re: Used trombone prices in Japan

Post by WGWTR180 » Mon Dec 07, 2020 6:27 am

harrisonreed. Okay so we should go on a fact finding mission and find out which Major US Orchestral bass trombonist used a TR 181 as their main instrument for awhile. When I inquired back as to who owned it and that I might be interested I never heard back. A sale is a sale whether they ship to the North Pole of the US.
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Re: Used trombone prices in Japan

Post by harrisonreed » Mon Dec 07, 2020 4:25 pm

WGWTR180 wrote:
Mon Dec 07, 2020 6:27 am
harrisonreed. Okay so we should go on a fact finding mission and find out which Major US Orchestral bass trombonist used a TR 181 as their main instrument for awhile. When I inquired back as to who owned it and that I might be interested I never heard back. A sale is a sale whether they ship to the North Pole of the US.
This is never the right attitude to take into business in Japan. This is the attitude Commodore Matthew Perry took into Japan in 1853. He said "Japan, a sale is a sale whether we are aliens from a country across the sea, or your usual domestic customers." And he fired cannons and got his sale. This set off a chain reaction that involved several internal civil wars, a regime change, the enslavement of millions of Chinese, Korean, and other SE Asian people, the hyper modernization of Japanese infrastructure, war with Russia, the bombing of Pearl Harbor, the war in the Pacific, but did not end with nuclear explosions and the end of WWII. Instead, the chain of events still continues, Japan keeps modernizing, still is a reluctant business partner unless you take their approach to setting up the relationship, still has a large movement to kick foreigners out and reassess trade deals, and does not want to sell you a trombone.

All that over some silk and paper products that Japanese vendors really did not want to sell without a carefully constructed business relationship.
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Re: Used trombone prices in Japan

Post by WGWTR180 » Tue Dec 08, 2020 10:36 am

I'm not sure what you mean bout any of this. I'm not trying to insult anyone.
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Re: Used trombone prices in Japan

Post by tomato » Tue Dec 08, 2020 3:36 pm

i think anyone can ask whatever price they want if you want to buy well .if not just let run . :idk: :idk: any horn outside the usa cost more this why you can not find the great vintage horn in USA :horror:
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Re: Used trombone prices in Japan

Post by harrisonreed » Tue Dec 08, 2020 4:13 pm

WGWTR180 wrote:
Tue Dec 08, 2020 10:36 am
I'm not sure what you mean bout any of this. I'm not trying to insult anyone.
No worries. All I'm saying is that people are boo-hooing about items they want from Japan that they can't afford or feel like they should be able to easily buy. It happened in the past as well and someone pressed the issue. Didn't turn out well, and we still have issues importing items from Japan. The "a sale is a sale" stance is very western, doesn't usually apply here in Japan outside of a convenience store.

I know this because I have boo-hooed about prices here, worked with American importers here, and tried to have everything from repairs to custom work done and have had little to no success trying to do any of it on terms that would make sense to an American.

Essentially, this thread won't get anyone anywhere.
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Re: Used trombone prices in Japan

Post by ithinknot » Tue Dec 08, 2020 4:54 pm

harrisonreed wrote:
Mon Dec 07, 2020 4:25 pm
This is never the right attitude to take into business in Japan. This is the attitude Commodore Matthew Perry took into Japan in 1853.
And I didn't care for his work on Friends.

Seriously, though, it's super interesting to read about these cultural differences from someone who's been immersed in them, so thanks for taking the time, Harrison.
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Re: Used trombone prices in Japan

Post by paulyg » Tue Dec 08, 2020 9:15 pm

If you have a problem with how somebody does business, don't deal with them. Doesn't matter if they're American, Japanese, or Martian.

I don't get the impression that any of these sellers are struggling, and they certainly are not motivated. There are better places to buy horns if you want to deal in a more familiar manner. If you want THAT horn, well, maybe heed Harrison's advice. You will be doing business on their terms.

I'm a little curious, Harrison, about your brief history of modern Japan, though- is that the general impression over there, that Westernization is ultimately to blame for all of the atrocities committed by the Japanese?
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Re: Used trombone prices in Japan

Post by harrisonreed » Wed Dec 09, 2020 6:38 am

That is a very big can of worms, and there is no way to speak for any percentage of the population here. That said, and at the risk of going completely off topic (the subject is extremely fascinating), I gather from the media I see and articles they publish here that the Meiji government saw the modernization (the Meiji restoration) as a decision that was made in order to save Japan from western colonialism. All around them, SE Asia and India was crumbling under European and American colonialism, and had the arrival of Perry not forced the issue politically, Japan might have been colonized as well. Part of westernization therefore was to adopt colonialism in SE Asia. I don't think anyone or any history book here would try to say it was westernization that was to blame for the atrocities under Japanese imperialism, but they might argue that westernization, especially during the 1870s until WWII, was colonialism. If Japan committed heinous atrocities in SE Asia, it was because they stood on the shoulders of giants and, as Japan does with many ideas that take hold here, aimed to do "westernization" better than the West. If Japan was in the wrong, then the UK, USA, Holland, Spain, Portugal, France, etc etc etc were equally guilty. That is not to be taken as my opinion, just the general idea of what happened as it's told here.

I have seen a lot of media here, some of it aimed at children, that takes on the issue of Japanese colonialism and says exactly what happened. Usually the actors are conflicted because they were born in the 90s and don't know a single person who was alive when any of those events happened. This is at least better than the period where history books simply did not mention the subject in the eduction system.

I highly recommend any one interested in this period of history to check it out. The immediate aftermath of the arrival of Perry is a really crazy story of a revolution against the shogun, agents killing political figures with swords in the streets of kyoto, raids on secret meetings in hotels, american civil war style army battles, foreign intrigue (but no Tom Cruise), and politicians trying to build a nation on par with any in Europe while dealing with incredible amounts of internal rot and corruption. It was a complete mess until the 1890s, when suddenly half of the coast of Asia was a Japanese colony. The period leading up to WWII is equally interesting. There is a Ghibli film about the guy who designed the Zero fighter made famous in WWII that gives a completely different perspective on that conflict. "From Up on Poppy Hill" is a fantastic Ghibli movie that gives a glimpse into the society Japan had built just as they were putting that period of history behind them.
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Re: Used trombone prices in Japan

Post by WGWTR180 » Thu Dec 10, 2020 7:16 am

To clarify:
1. to paulyg: I don't have a problem the way this particular vendor was doing business. I was not considering purchasing from them.

2. to harrisonreed: Not whining at all. Just trying to figure out why someone would ask double what actual retail should be for a particular instrument. Certain items garner big prices for no apparent reason sometimes. Some do the same for particular reasons. But as you state I guess one needs to understand that particular market. I don't and that's okay.
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