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Technique & Instrument Related to techniques, to the instrument, to the components, to maintenance.

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Old 02-22-2019, 11:43 AM   #1
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Join Date: Dec 2016
Location: Massachusetts, USA
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Default Suggestions on selling a set of pipes

Hi folks,

Looking for some insight on possibly selling a 2nd-hand set of pipes. In short, they were the pipes of a friend from a few years back. Great fellow—sadly, he passed away about a year ago. His widow is trying to figure out what to do with his pipes, and reached out to me for help.

They do have grown children and several grand-children ... so I will first ask and see if she might want to consider keeping them about in case anyone in the family might decide to take up the pipes. If they do, I feel it would be really cool to be able to keep the pipes in the family. The pipes aren't astoundingly old or anything, but they were HIS pipes ... it'd be wonderful if they somehow found their way into being a lasting part of his legacy. I'd even be willing to make occasional trips down to instruct, if it meant that happening.

If she's determined otherwise though, I told her I'd be glad to help her in anyway I can. I'm heading down tomorrow to get a look. They seem to be in excellent condition, but of course, I will need to verify this in person. They've not been played since the fellow's passing, and possibly for some time before (an assumption on my part, as I'm ensure of the condition/circumstances that claimed his life).

So they'll definitely need to be looked over for any signs of cracks, loose fittings, etc.

Here's what I'm thinking:
  • Look for cracks, loose fittings, dents, chips, etc.
  • Check valve and bag for airtightness, etc. Remove bag if it's leaking (old Canmore).
  • Calibrate drone reeds, don't know type
  • Set a chanter reed, since I'm sure whatever reed in there will be dried out and unusable
  • Hopefully quickly get them going, and record a video, assuming all the above goes well, taking care not to over-play them and risk cracks since they've been idle for at least a year or two
  • Take some good photos with good lighting ... showing drones lined up together for profile, etc. Close ups as necessary.
  • Write up details for her, so she can post online, probably will try on here first, along with Bagpipes Sale/Swap on Facebook

Am I missing anything? Basically, what would you do?

Also, what do people feel is fair pricing (I don't need specific dollar amounts here, more like rationale) for non-vintage, used pipes? Obviously I'm going to recommend she charge less than retail, but assuming the condition is excellent, what do folks feel is a reasonable mark down?

The set is definitely a set of Gibson bagpipes from 2007-2008. She even has the original receipt from the retailer who sold them, and Certificate of Authenticity from the Gibson shop.

Appears to have been a custom order. Drones and stocks are made of African Blackwood, with polypenco pipe chanter, blowpipe and blowpipe stock. Turned in the "antique" style, with no combing or beading. Chalice-top drones with Celtic-engraved nickel caps/bushes, ferrules and slides, with button imitation horn mounts. All kinds of extras too, like practice chanters, various maintenance items, etc ... Some of which might be best to separate out. One is a nice cocobolo long practice chanter that I'm actually rather tempted to snap up, though, I should REALLY stop buying bagpipe stuff for a while ... things are getting out of hand =P

The custom aspect is the part that's giving me the hardest time in trying to figure out a reasonable asking price. It's highly unusual for the antique style of Gibsons to have engraved nickel fittings, and there's the imit. horn mounts as well. I've certainly not seen it before. I called up the Gibson folks (new outfit, now located in NH), and they said they've not seen a set of that configuration either.

Would appreciate any feedback—I was quite fond of the owner, and I'd really like to do right by him in helping his widow in getting a fair price for what seems like a nice, and somewhat unique set of Gerry Gibson's pipes.

Thanks folks. I'll be having pictures and hopefully a video or two ready and up in a few days when I'm ready to make a posting to the Trading Post.

Would really appreciate any help/insight, as I really want to help her in any way I can manage.


Last edited by Pppiper; 02-22-2019 at 11:46 AM.
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Old 02-22-2019, 12:38 PM   #2
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Default Re: Suggestions on selling a set of pipes

I would sell the pipes as sticks and stocks. Clean them and oil them.
Check for and disclose all defects including the action of the tuning pins.

Sell separately the cover, cords, case, etc.

The bag is debatable...no telling whatís lurking there...itís certainly not sterile.
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Old 02-22-2019, 01:56 PM   #3
Ken Fitzpatrick
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Default Re: Suggestions on selling a set of pipes

Look up the bores make sure not warpped too and if you sell via internet make sure you have money in your Bank before posting on. Theres lots scams out there.

Last edited by Ken Fitzpatrick; 02-22-2019 at 02:00 PM.
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Old 02-23-2019, 10:03 AM   #4
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Default Re: Suggestions on selling a set of pipes

First thoughts:

Some small research should show what a
similar set is now worth and bringing on the
open market. (Ballpark value.)

Take several good and post-able photos.

Determine the mid-range price for the complete
package; all of it, as is, and put it up on our Trading

It sounds to be a really good set, and this approach
will save you, and the family, both time and trouble.

If... if...no success here, then off to E-Bay... with the
same asking price structure.

Wishing you the best of Good Fortune with it,


My friends all know,
With what a brave carouse...
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Old 02-25-2019, 03:41 PM   #5
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Default Re: Suggestions on selling a set of pipes

Since you know the make and vintage, I'd check ebay to see if there have been any similar sales recently. If you get two or three and they're for about the same price then you have a good benchmark.

Then I'd contact all the bands in the area and see if anyone knew of anyone knew anyone who needed a set. Given your location, it seems pretty likely someone in your area needs a set of pipes.
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Old 03-14-2019, 12:42 PM   #6
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Default Re: Suggestions on selling a set of pipes

Thanks for the suggestions everyone. I'll be getting in touch with some of the local bands, but in the meantime, I've prepared a listing in the Trading Post.


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Old 03-22-2019, 07:04 AM   #7
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Default Re: Suggestions on selling a set of pipes

Well, final sale is pending, and the widow is thrilled. Thanks for the input everyone, it was most helpful.

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