General Question

AshlynM's avatar

If you buy a musical instrument from one state, can you get it repaired in another state?

Asked by AshlynM (10552points) December 2nd, 2015

If I buy a violin from state A, can I get it repaired in state B? Sorry if this is a silly question but buying my first stringed instrument.

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13 Answers

Brian1946's avatar

As far as I know, you can.

Do you live in state B?

Is or will there be a warranty or insurance policy involved?

stanleybmanly's avatar

Are you talking United States? Actually the question is so peculiar that I’m really curious as to why you think there might be some restriction on repairing an instrument.

AshlynM's avatar

I live in state B. Yes, the United States. This is my first stringed instrument so I’m not sure of repairs and all that if I can just take it to any shop that does repairs. I don’t know if some stores have some rule you only take it their shop to get repairs.

Brian1946's avatar


“I don’t know if some stores have some rule you only take it their shop to get repairs.”

Some might have that rule if you want them to pay for at least part of the repair cost or guarantee the repairs, otherwise you have no obligation to do that.

AshlynM's avatar

State A has no sales tax so that’s why I want to get it from there.

stanleybmanly's avatar

If you own it, you can have anyone you choose repair it. But you must realize this. Can you explain why the manufacturer or store where you purchased the instrument would care? Are you asking about the legality of the issue?

AshlynM's avatar

No, I can’t explain it. Not worried about any legal stuff, simply curious. Thanks for your time.

msh's avatar

Good for you!
When purchasing, ask the seller what their warranty and responsibility would be, and for how long a coverage period would extend through- in writing.
Do some homework on your own- how close is a repair shop to where you are at home? If the problem is great enough $$, do they loan you an interim instrument?
Is the time and travel expenses to get work done, if at all needed, worth the amount you save on the cost of the tax on your purchase?
Would you have to take this instrument back for periodic checks by the company who makes that a point of their warranty?
Look up the sales site of the different shops and repairs. Look for any hoops they may make you jump through while covering it under warranty.
Is the warranty by the maker or the seller themselves? Why pay twice if the maker covers the same as the seller- only with a seller warranty fee added onto what is already covered.
Just brainstorming.
Enjoy what you are learning and the factor that you will own your own music-maker.
Have fun!

elbanditoroso's avatar

Quick answer: yes, of course.

Longer answer: If you buy a violin in, say, New York, and then move to Billings, Montana, there’s a really good chance that there won’t be a good violin repair person in Billings. So to a degree, depending on where you move may limit your repair possibilities.

Strauss's avatar

I’ve owned (and still own) many musical instruments over the course of the last several decades. I usually do my own repairs, unless the repair entails something out of my range of experience.

I have never seen any instances, except for warranty issues, where I could not take my instrument to any repair shop for work.

CWOTUS's avatar

In general, yes.

Unless you have some particular contractual or other commercial considerations, or perhaps unless your instrument is somehow legally regulated or constrained in one state (for example, as some homes are registered as historic landmarks, which may require special certifications for contractors, or specialized permits to do repairs and alterations), then you should be perfectly able to transport, modify and repair the device as you see fit.

EDIT: Now that I read your reason for wanting to buy in one state and use in another (sales tax evasion), the issue is clearer. Though most people can and do safely “evade” their state’s sales tax (which is technically illegal, but read on), states that have ‘em generally call the entire tax a “Sales and Use Tax”. That is, they recognize that you can easily buy goods out-of-state and thereby avoid paying the tax on the purchase directly, but if you check into the law you’ll find that you are still expected to declare the value of the otherwise-taxable out-of-state purchase and pay the requisite “Use Tax” to your jurisdiction. Almost no one actually does that, of course (the exception being big-ticket purchases such as vehicles, which can easily be purchased out-of-state, but then your state will hit you up for the sales tax when you attempt to register it, when you cannot show that a sales tax has been paid).

So, the answer is that “you can probably get away with it”, but you should recognize that doing what you’re wanting to do is a technical violation of law, and people do get into trouble over it. (The trouble usually amounts to paying the amount of the tax plus a moderate fine for the tax evasion issue, but it does happen.)

Plonk's avatar

Yes. You can get it repaired in any shop you can find. It’s always good to check the reputation of the repair person first. It is your instrument. This is not China, where such things may be restricted. Even in China, I suspect you can get a violin repaired at any place willing to accept your money.

AshlynM's avatar

Thanks everyone!

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