Posted 01 January 2005

Worldwide Real-Time eBay Listings

Robert Gaskins

Worldwide Real-Time eBay Listings for "Concertina"

This page shows the latest listings on eBay sites around the world for "concertina" just retrieved as this webpage was being displayed. Listings from eBay US are in one block, then listings from eBay UK are in a second block, and following these other countries that eBay so far makes available, in this order: Ireland, Australia, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Spain, France, Netherlands, Italy, Belgium, Canada, Tauwan, China, and India.

Worldwide eBay Listings Search

search tips for eBay

Check the boxes for the national sites to be searched:
   eBay US:   eBay UK:   eBay Ireland:   eBay Australia:
   eBay Germany:   eBay Austria:   eBay Switzerland:   eBay Spain:
   eBay France:   eBay Netherlands:   eBay Italy:   eBay Belgium:
   eBay Canada:   eBay Taiwan:   eBay China:   eBay India:
Include only items costing more than: units in local currency
Search for:


An initial selection of worldwide eBay results has already been retrieved and will be found further down this page. A search form (above) shows what was retrieved, and you can modify the form to get different results.

(1) Each country's eBay site has a checkbox, and by default all are checked. You can click on any country's checkbox to clear the check, and then items from that national site will no longer be retrieved until you re-check that box.

(2) You can set the minimum value (in units of local currency) for items to be retrieved. If you are looking for an instrument, then this should be set fairly high (the default is 200). On the other hand if you are looking for CDs, ephemera, music books, and other miscellaneous items, you would want to set this much lower—perhaps to 10 to see the better items, and even as low as 1. The lower the minimum value, the more items are returned (so the longer it takes to fetch them all from eBay).

(3) The default search string looks for “(concertina,konzertina)”, which is eBay's syntax for expressing “either 'concertina' or 'konzertina' or both”. You can change this to any search you like, following the same rules used for searches on eBay itself. Especially for searching one or two national sites with a common language, you can narrow a search down considerably. The vestigand will be sought both in the title and description of the eBay items. (See the search tips for eBay for quick details of how to compose an eBay search string.)

When the settings are what you want, click on the “Retrieve from eBay now” button at the lower left. Your screen will clear and (after a pause) your new results will appear. It may take a while to retrieve some hundreds of items from eBay's various servers all around the world. Sometimes the results will be incomplete, or missing entirely; this usually means that one of eBay's servers is experiencing problems, and you should try again later. A different problem is that all the items may appear to be returned correctly, but all the links to the eBay site are broken; again, this is caused by a temporary outage at the eBay site (which has been known to persist for some time). If a national site is in good order but returns no items when queried, its results will be blank but there will be a link to go to that national site to search further.

You can scan through all the items returned from all countries, and click on anything of interest. A new window will open and you will be taken to the national eBay site for the full description of the item, just as though you had found it by searching eBay itself. You can close that window and continue to scan the worldwide results listing.

The settings for your latest search (that was actually carried out) will be remembered on your computer for up to 30 days, and when you come back to this page you will be presented with the settings you last used. You can always return the settings to the original page default by clicking on the “Reset to defaults” button at the lower right.

Worldwide eBay Listings

Click on any item below to see its complete eBay auction description from a national eBay site in a new window. Items are arranged with newest listings at the top, with a minimum price (in units of local currency) as set in the search box. These listings are presented only for informational value; displaying and clicking on listings, bidding, or purchasing items does not result in any revenue to the Concertina Library, and the Concertina Library has no connection to eBay or to the sellers. The Concertina Library does not recommend buying from eBay sellers in general or from any particular eBay seller.


Experiences with Concertinas on eBay

Concertinists looking for playable instruments have found that it is necessary to be cautious about buying concertinas from eBay sellers. The desirable vintage concertinas are always in need of restoration, unless restoration has been undertaken in the last decade or so by the handful of qualified restorers. If you buy an unrestored concertina on eBay, then in order to have a playable instrument you will have to locate a qualified expert and book restoration time; restoration may cost many hundreds of pounds or dollars, and there may be a waiting time of months or years. If you buy a concertina on eBay which has been “restored” by an unqualified person without the proper parts, then the instrument may be unplayable, and practically unfixable. Even simple tuning may permanently ruin an instrument, since tuning is accomplished by filing down the metal tongues of the antique reeds. Most eBay sellers do not know what they are selling, and have no access to qualified restorers.

In general it’s better to buy vintage concertinas from the handful of qualified dealers, such as Chris Algar of Barleycorn Concertinas, or Wim Wakker of Concertina Connection, or Richard Morse of The Button Box, all of whom have access to qualified restoration talent and who sell fully restored vintage instruments, ready to play. One exception: Chris Algar does fairly often sell his own instruments on eBay under the identity “COCOA111”; these are always accurately described, and Chris‘s representation of whether or not they need further restoration can be relied upon. There are occasionally other instruments being sold on eBay by people who know what they have, but they are very hard to identify amidst the great mass of confident mis-representation and mis-description. Sometimes sellers who are well-known on the forums will post a mention there when they sell an instrument on eBay. There have been a number of fraudulent eBay auctions for concertinas, with the photos and descriptions copied from a previous eBay auction and then reused by a fraudster who does not actually own any instrument to deliver, sometimes coupled with an email offer to make a private deal with an inquiror. These scams are also sometimes pointed out in the forums.

This is not to say that eBay is useless. A long string of oddities have cropped up on eBay, including some extremely rare and valuable instruments (such as the Twelve-Sided Wheatstone Duet with Pre-Maccann Duet Fingering which is now on display at the Horniman Museum). But most of these rare instruments have been beyond restoration, useful only for museum collections. In addition to unusual instruments, eBay has provided many useful photographs of instruments which have helped to extend our collective knowledge. Very unusual instruments are sometimes discussed on the History Forum, which can provide useful context. So there is much to be learned by studying eBay listings: but caveat emptor.

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barleycorn at witney sept 1999
More than enough concertinas
at Chris Algar’s stand,
Witney, September 1999

Links to related documents

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The discussion forum on this site is the most popular spot on the web for news, announcements, and general conversation about concertinas of all types. Other contributed articles focus especially on Anglo concertinas and the Irish music often played on Anglos, but there are historical essays and photographs dealing with concertinas of all types. Also a large database of tunes (sheet music and MIDI sound files), and reports of people's experiences in buying concertinas.

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Concertina Library directory of all information on this website about historic concertina makers, so far including C. Wheatstone & Co., Lachenal & Co., C. Jeffries Maker, George Jones & Sons, H. Crabb and Son.
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Barleycorn is a widely-trusted source to buy concertinas—Anglo, English, or Duet. Chris Algar has been in business for over 25 years, and has delivered many thousands of fully-restored vintage instruments. He numbers most serious concertinists worldwide among his regular customers, but also offers reliable buying advice to beginners, using email and export couriers for global delivery on approval. The site includes samples from his archives of historical documents.

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With the goal of reintroducing the English concertina into classical music, this site features articles on playing skills (beginner to advanced) with music scores, sound files, and photographs. The site offers new Geuns-Wakker concertinas and restored vintage instruments, extensive restoration services and replacement parts, and re-published Victorian and contemporary sheet music. There are a number of MP3 sound files of older Wheatstone and Lachenal concertinas.

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