The Victor-Victrola Page
Annoying Repetitive Questions
The following "general categories" of questions have been emailed to us over and over. 95% of the questions that we receive fall into one of these groups. We don't mind getting emails, but these types of questions are usually asked because the writer didn't take the time to read any of the information on our website. These are presented in the order of the volume received. And yes, these ARE annoying. But they are occasionally fun to read. Given that our current email volume is running at about 4,300 submissions and inquiries per month, perhaps you can relate to how tiresome these can become....
Annoying Question Category #1 (about 26% of all questions submitted)
"I found a Victrola, and want to know all about it. Tell me:
where it was made"
what year it was made"
where I can fix it"
why the little whatcha-ma-callit won't work"
where I can find parts"
where I can get some needles"
where I can sell it"
how much money I should ask for it?"
Answer: Everything you are asking is covered on this website. While we would love to become a pen-pal or an unlimited support resource for your Victor or Victrola, with 140+ inquiries coming-in every day, we can't possibly sift through all the questions, copy the appropriate answers (which are already on this site), and email personalized responses back to everyone. And given that these questions are often sent by individuals who don't have adequate time or motivation to research their phonographs on this website or elsewhere, we must conclude that a hopeless impasse has been reached!
We love talking to new collectors and hobbyists at shows and auctions, or emailing a reader to discuss a rare find or an unusual model, but there has to be a limit to our correspondence. And unless questions are of a topic of broad interest to our readers, our answers (if any) will be brief. Does that make us grumpy or not "reader-friendly"? We'll let you make that determination. We try to respond to 10-12 emails daily.
This site was created over the course of 35 years as a free resource to support the hobby and provide public information; please take some time to "dig-in" before asking questions!
Annoying Question Category #2 (about 20% of all questions submitted)
"Please tell me the value of my phonograph. I can't/won't pay for an appraisal. This is a special request, which is needed:
for my ill, elderly parents, who have been evicted and have no money and are about to lose everything unless they can sell their Victrola"
to help me out because my 'ex' left it in the house, and I need to sell it ASAP before he/she comes back to pick it up"
to settle a family inheritance/will problem with my greedy uncle who stole all our money"
to settle a long family argument"
because I want to sell it, but I don't want to spend any money" (at least an honest reason!)
so my cute but impoverished grandchildren will know the value of this wonderful family heirloom"
for insurance purposes, as my house just burned down"
for our wonderful charity auction, as we have no idea where to start the bidding"
because we spent all our money buying the Victrola, and don't have anything left"
to cover the burial costs of Uncle Louis, who passed-away last year. He didn't leave us any money, only a Victrola"
Answer: We don't provide free appraisals or price "guesstimates". Sorry. Please read the GETTING STARTED section!
Annoying Question Category #3 (about 12% of all questions submitted)
"I have an Edison (or Sonora or Silvertone or ______ ) Victrola, but can find no information on this machine on your website. Why?"
Answer: Because this is a Victor Talking Machine products website, and you have a different brand of phonograph. Try to find information on Honda cars on the Ford Motor Company website. It's the same idea. You haven't read the GETTING STARTED section!
Annoying Question Category #4 (about 10% of all questions submitted)
"I have a really nice RCA Victor Television/Radio/Phono Console. Why isn't it listed on your site?"
Answer: This site does not cover RCA products, only those products made by the Victor Talking Machine Company prior to 1929. You haven't read the GETTING STARTED section!
Annoying Question Category #5 (about 7% of all questions submitted)
"My Victrola tag says it was made in 1906, but your website information says it was made much later, in 19__ (fill in the blank). Why?"
Answer: Those 1904 or 1906 references are patent and/or trademark dates, not production dates. You haven't read the GETTING STARTED section!
Annoying Question Category #6 (about 4% of all questions submitted).
My Victrola motor (thumps, grinds, stalls, etc.). What could be wrong? Please send me detailed repair instructions.
Answer: Please pick-up one of the repair books listed under the REFERENCE MATERIAL section of this website. We have never repaired or rebuilt motors, as we are not a mechanical repair service. We send them out for work when needed. Therefore, we can't write-out repair instructions. Our focus is on the history of these early phonographs. You haven't read the GETTING STARTED section!
Annoying Question Category #7 (about 3% of all questions submitted)
What is the name of the Victor Dog?
Answer: Nipper. You haven't read the GETTING STARTED section!
Annoying Question Category #8 (about 2% of all questions submitted)
I have _____ old 78 records. Please tell me what they are worth, and where I can sell them.
Answer: They are usually worth between 50 cents and $2.00 each. Sell them at swap meets or garage sales. And good luck, they are usually not very fast movers! You probably haven't read our introductory section on records!
Annoying Question Category #9 (about 2% of all questions submitted)
I have a Victrola Model _____. Do you want to buy it?.
Answer: Unless you have a model of extreme rarity or in exceptional original condition, we are not buying phonographs at the present time.
Annoying Question Category #10 (about 2% of all questions submitted)
Where can I get needles? Will you mail me some?
Answer: See the parts and repair links for sources for needles, and no we won't mail them to you.
Annoying Question Category #11 (about 2% of all questions submitted)
My aunt has some kind of old phonograph up in her attic someplace. I haven't seen it since I was a kid, but it sort of looks like the picture you have on your home page, except it's a little different. Do you think it is worth anything?
Answer: You must be kidding.
Annoying Question Category #12 (about 2% of all questions submitted)
I have a box of rusty parts from some old phonograph laying in my basement. Do you want to buy them? If not, can I mail them to you for just the cost of postage?
Annoying Question Category #13 (about 2% of all questions submitted)
My Victrola is really in bad shape, and I want to refinish it. What do you recommend?
Answer: We'd recommend that you refinish it. Start by reading the restoration section of this website, not by sending us an email.
Annoying Question Category #14 (about 1% of all questions submitted)
Why doesn't your website use the new mega-traversal trans-lingual java-dynamic hyperbolic-paraboloid HTML-O-MATIC web code format? Your site looks dated and clunky, is hard to maneuver around, responds slowly, and is just generally irritating. In fact, it pisses people off and gives them headaches. You can hire us for $150/hr to make it a lot better and people will come flocking to your site!
Answer: We are obviously not competent or creative website designers. That should be apparent to all our readers. We use ancient (almost Victrola-era) Microsoft Front Page 2003 (no longer supported, but that hasn't stopped us so far), because it functions just like Word and we don't have to learn any new code or software programs. This site has over 400 pages with tons of graphics, and we would much rather spend our time and money doing research and restoring Victor products than spending hours learning new code or dumping a fortune on a site upgrade. Besides. we already have enough flocking people visiting this site, given the volume of email that arrives daily. However, any expert web design volunteers are most welcome to upgrade this site to your heart's content! You provide the code, we will provide the munchies and beer.
Annoying Question Category #15 (less than 1% of all questions submitted)
If I send you my Victrola, will you fix it for free?
Answer: We will gladly fix it for free, but you won't ever get it back.
And there you have it....about 95% of our total email volume can readily be classified into one of these groups. And virtually all of them could be answered simply by reading the introductory material on our website!