or so questions
you should be asking before you rent an
* What is the "out the door
cost" for the first rental period? What is the rental per
month (both to start and to continue)?
You may find a low starting rental rate with the cost per month
going up thereafter. This may seem like a good plan for you but remember
to calculate the total cost for the amount of time you intend to rent. A $35.00
initial rental plus the $25.00 per month thereafter will
more than a $20.00 per month rate for a 9 month
rental period. Lashof Violins rate for violins is $15-22
(based on instrument value) per month paid quarterly with no rate changes.
* How much of the
The rental credit you
accumulate towards the instrument purchase may have a
maximum allowable. Make sure
this fits to your situation. Some programs
will offer 9, 12, or 18 month maximum credit
and then sometimes only a percentage of that amount.
Lashof Violins' policy is 100% rent applicable until
you have reached the full rental value.
* What happens when
my child grows and needs the next size while I am renting? Will my rental money
I have paid in transfer?
Your child will grow. When you need a
bigger size, what will be your financial responsibility? One common type of rental program applies only to
the initial rental instrument. If your child grows and you need
an instrument in a larger size, the amount you
have accrued goes away. While
you are renting from Lashof Violins there is never a
charge to change sizes to instruments of equal
value (excluding damage without
* Is a Maintenance or
Insurance plan available? What would that plan cover? What would not be covered?
Check what would actually
be covered under a potential maintenance/insurance plan; many policies exclude theft or limit
what maintenance items are covered.
Lashof Violins insurance covers a large variety of repairs and instances, including theft, damage, gluing, rehairs,
touch-up, etc. Insurance costs are $15.00 for
standard violin/viola rentals and $30 for cello rentals (per 3
month period.) Coverage does not include intentional
or malicious damage, such as carving or writing on
the instrument, or applying decals; nor disposable
accessories such as strings or rosin.
Does the store carry the other things that I will
Along with your rental or
step-up quality instrument, you will need some other
accessories. Does the store carry a wide variety of
violin family products or just the very basic
beginner products? Will they be able to offer advice or opinions on the different products available on the market and help you find the right products for your needs? Lashof Violins carries over dozens of different types of rosin, styles of shoulder rests, and types of strings, as well as music and instrument stands, sheet music and etude books, and
everything else dedicated to the violin family. We
of in-stock violin specialty products.
* Does the store
have an on-site repair department?
Check to see if the store does
their own repairs on site or if they have to send
them out. Even if they have their own repair department,
check to see if it is on site and if they have specially
trained violin family repair personnel. A guitar
repairmen may not the same as a violin
repairmen. Many teachers will have individual
specifications and requirements. Not having direct contact with a repairman can be a very frustrating and even confusing experience. In addition, it could
take several weeks to get your instrument repaired
if it needs to be sent out of the building to
For example, a now long-time customer had taken their violin to a local store (without an on-site repair department) to have the strings changed. Due to the lack of string experience of the employee at that store, when the employee removed the tension from the entire instrument to replace the string set (this is not advised), the soundpost fell inside of the instrument. Because no one on staff knew that removing tension from the instrument could result in the soundpost falling, the staff informed the customer that the instrument would have to be shipped to the repair location and the soundpost reset would be an additional (shocking) $50 fee on top of the string purchase and installation fee and the repair would take two weeks to complete. Had the customer come to our store initially, they would have received free installation with the purchase of the strings and, had the soundpost fallen, could have had their soundpost reset for free while they waited.
Lashof Violins does all of
own repairs on-site and is a repair facility for
MCPS and other area schools and music stores which means we know
what your teacher wants. All our rental
instruments are set up to exceed MENC standards for
* What happens after
I own my rental instrument and need to trade it in
for a bigger size? How much trade in value will I
Hopefully, you will rent
long enough that you will get to own your instrument. If this happens
and you need to get a larger size instrument of the same
basic quality, you need to find out what your extra costs
will be. With some programs, once you own an
instrument, it is no longer available to be used as a trade. At Lashof
Violins, once a
rental instrument outfit (including bow and case) is paid off, there is a 10%
devaluation per year to exchange for another of
similar value (less any loss in value due to damage). If trading for a handmade, step-up
instrument the trade in will be 70% of rental money
paid (less any loss in value due to damage).
* Do I have to make a
decision at some point if it is to be a "rental
only" or "a purchase"?
Many policies have a cutoff date that turn
into a permanent rental after a certain time
period. Be wary of that dreaded policy that requires
you to decide if it is a rental only or a purchase. The
"rental only" means you have zero
credit to apply toward a purchase and the "rental towards purchase" may lock you into a specific instrument. Lashof Violins will allow you to
trade in your rental instrument (provided it is in
resalable condition) either while you are
renting or after you gain ownership. At Lashof Violins you rent until you own or
rent until you return, never with any obligation
- it's that simple.
* If I need to return
the instrument early how much money will I get back,
you have paid into a 6 month or a 9 month school year
plan, find out what happens to all the money
in up-front if you have to cancel your rental policy.
It is common on fixed-month policies that any
money paid in for a long term rental is lost if you
cut the first rental period short. Lashof
Violins has a short minimum rental period of only 3
months and after that any unused full months are prorated
back to you.
* What am I responsible for when I return my rental? Am I required to
return the instrument in re-rentable condition and how much might that cost?
Many policies require you to return the instrument in the
condition that you rented it in. If you have used a rental
for 3 or more months, this will probably include new
strings and a rehair at minimum - an additional cost
of at least $50.00 when returning the
instrument. Many programs even have cancellation or restocking fees. At Lashof Violins a rental return is simple,
bring in the instrument outfit and get a receipt. Damage charges will apply only if insurance is not taken
as an option (does not apply to insurance exclusions or if parts or strings are completely missing).
* Are there deposits
required above the rental
Do you have to pay an
additional amount above the rental fee and for how
long is that extra money kept? Many policies will
require a deposit or ask for "administrative" or "processing" fees in order to even walk out the door with an instrument. The
only thing Lashof Violins requires at rental time
are: the first three month payment on a major credit car, a picture ID with the current address, and a valid
card's information (under the same name as
the renter) on file for delinquent payment
* Does the
facility specialize in the violin family of
instruments or will I rent a violin from someone who has never played the instrument?
stores that carry all instrument families may have string instruments of adequate
quality, more frequently than not you will be
dealing with someone not versed specifically in the
violin family of instruments and their unique needs.
The child may not be properly fitted for the correct
size instrument and you may be pushed to purchase an
accessory that is not the best fit for your child. Many of
these stores also have other facilities that set-up
and repair the instruments. Lashof
Violins employees have a vast experience in the violin family business from
teaching and selling, to renting, playing, repairing, and
making. All instruments in our stock are set-up to
exceed MENC standards for orchestral instruments and are set-up personally in our store.
When my child becomes more proficient on the
instrument, what are my options to trade up to a
better quality of instrument?
If your child practices regularly, they will begin to excel.
When this happens, you will find yourself in the
situation of needing to get a better
instrument. What quality of instruments does
the store carry? Will they be able to assist you in
the climb to an instrument with a better sound to
compliment your child's advancing skill? Does the store have the knowledgeable
staff to assist you in selecting a better instrument?
How much of your rental equity will you be able to
use on the step-up quality instrument? Lashof
Violins has a large selection of step-up, high-quality,
handmade instruments to take your child to the next
level and beyond. During your rental contract, 70% of your rental equity can apply toward the purchase of a handmade instrument. Once
a rental instrument is paid off, there is a 10%
devaluation per year to exchange for another of
similar value (less any loss in value due to damage
). If trading for a handmade, step-up
instrument, the trade in will be 70% of rental money
paid minus any loss in value due to damage.
are many things to consider, but remember, in the end, it is
your money and your decision. Your equity and time are valuable and we at Lashof Violins have designed a competitive program designed to grow with you and your student!