Do you have a rent to own program?

No. Our rental stock and sale stock of instruments are kept separate. However, if you rent an instrument for one year, we will credit you 6 months of that rental towards the purchase of an instrument of equivalent or higher value.

Do you rent bows?

No, we only rent instrument packages (instrument + bow + case).

How do I rent a violin/ viola/ cello/ bass from you?

See our Rentals page for terms, rates and sizing information. Please call us at (510) 843-5486 ext 4 to reserve an instrument or if you have questions about which size or model is appropriate for you.


How much does it cost to do a tune-up on my instrument?

We need to see any instrument before we can give a repair estimate. We will always give you a repair estimate for free and wait for your approval before starting any work. Unfortunately, we cannot give repair estimates over the phone or by email.

Can you repair my instrument on a Saturday?

Our repair shop is closed on Saturdays. However, if that is the only day you can come in, we can take the instrument in and call you on Tuesday with an time/ cost estimate. We may be able to do minor repairs like changing strings or replacing a tailpiece on Saturday, depending on how busy the shop is.   

Can you repair my instrument while I wait?

Simple repairs like replacing strings or a tailpiece can be done while you wait (T-F only). If the repair involves gluing (for example an open seam), expect to leave the instrument overnight or longer. Varnish repairs generally require upwards of 2 weeks. Carving a new bridge or resurfacing the fingerboard generally takes 1-2 weeks, depending on the work load of the repair staff. We are willing to loan you an instrument while yours is in the shop. Depending on the value of your instrument and the value of the loaner we may require a credit card for security.  

How often should I rehair my bow?

It depends how much you play. We usually advise approximately every six months.

What is your policy on bow rehairs?

We strongly advise calling ahead for an appointment to rehair your bow. With an appointment, the turnaround time is generally one business day. Without an appointment, you will likely have to wait up to two weeks. The cost for a violin or viola bow rehair is $80, cello $85 and bass $90 with an additional charge for colored or black and white hair. We use the same high-quality horsehair on every rehair. Additional bow repairs- such as replacing the leather or tip plate- will take extra time. Please call for an estimate on charges


I have an old violin, can you tell me how much it is worth?

Sometimes! We do need to see your instrument in person to do any evaluation or repair estimate. Read more in Richard Ward's article So You Think You Have A Stradivarius

Can I buy a gift certificate?

Yes, but we only have paper gift certificates at this time. Please inquire in-store or call us to purchase an Ifshin Violins gift certificate. They do not expire!

Are you able to appraise my instrument?

We will always provide an appraisal or certificate for instruments and bows that we have sold. Any other items are at the discretion of Ifshin staff and Jay Ifshin. For more information see our Appraisals page

What is your return policy?

Products purchased from our store or online store can be returned in their original packaging within one week for a full refund or store credit. The one exception is sheet music, which cannot be returned after purchase for copyright reasons. We also cannot take back any strings that have been installed on an instrument.

What is your trade-in policy?

You may trade in any instrument or bow purchased from us. We do not take trades from other dealers or private parties. If you are trading in your instrument for a new one at least 20% higher in value, we will give you 100% of the value of the original instrument minus charges for any repairs. Usually, the repair charges include a new set of strings and cleaning for instruments and a rehair for bows. If there is major varnish damage or cracks/ damage to the body of the instrument we may not be able to take it back on trade.

If you are trading your instrument or bow in for one equal in value, we will give you 80% of the value towards the new purchase (again, minus any charges for repairs).  

Please note: we do not buy back instrument that we have sold. The trade in value only applies towards the purchase of another instrument or bow. In rare cases, we will allow trades accross categories, for example a violin for a viola, but generally bows are traded for bows, cellos for cellos etc.

Also, please note that California state law requires that the full instrument or bow price is taxed. So, if you are trading in a violin worth $600 and buying a violin worth $1000, you will be taxed on the $1000, not the $400 difference. The trade-in instrument is considered a partial payment and applied after tax.

General Questions

Do you ever give tours of your shop?

Hopefully, we can start offering tours once the COVID 19 emergency is over.

My child is starting lessons. What does s/he need?

It is always a good idea to check with the teacher before buying an instrument or any accessories. Generally teachers will recommend a sheet music book, a practice notebook, a shoulder rest for violin/ viola and an endpin stop for cello. 

Do you ever host concerts or events?

Hopefully, we will able to host events again when the COVID 19 emergency is over.

Do you offer lessons?

No, we do not have in-store lessons, though a few of our staff do use the trial rooms to teach privately. There are many wonderful teachers in the Bay Area and we would be happy to give you the list we have compiled. You can start by looking at our online Teacher Guide.

Instrument Trials/Approvals

Do I need an appointment to try out an instrument?

For the time being (during the COVID crisis) we are operating all of our services by appointment only. We have four trial rooms of varying sizes and you can try all the instruments or bows you have time for while you are in the shop You are welcome to bring family, friends or a teacher as well. If you are interested in a particular instrument or bow you see on our site, you can call up to a week in advance of your visit and we can hold it for you.

Can I take an instrument or bow home before purchasing it?

Yes, and we strongly recommend doing this. We offer one week in-home trials for all our instruments and bows to allow you to play the instrument in different settings and for many listeners, including your teacher if you have one! The trials are free of charge, but we do require a Visa or Mastercard on file and a valid driver's license.

Will you ship instruments or bows?

In some cases. We can only ship violins, violas and bows with a total value under $20,000. Please call or email us to set up an on-trial agreement and contract. The shipping charge for 1-2 violins or 1 viola is $70, up to 3 bows is $45.  

Can I try Jay Haide instruments outside of California?

Yes! We supply dealers all over the country, and the world. All the dealers we work with have qualified luthiers who set up and maintain the instruments. You can find a list of dealers with contact information on our Jay Haide page