Buying a Used Musical Instrument
An alternative to buying a new instrument is to buy a second hand
instrument. Although you can save some money you still
need to know what you are doing or you could end up buying something
which is not in good condition. Second hand musical instruments
can be bought from many instrument shops, online shops, small ads
in the local newspaper or from Ebay.
Apart from the local instrument
shops you may find it difficult to see the instrument straight
away, it is therefore important to arrange to view it if you
can, which should definitely be possible with a small ad. A musical
instrument sold online through a shop or Ebay will require
further work. For Ebay instruments if the location of the seller
is local, ask if it is possible to view the item so that you can
ascertain the condition of the instrument before you put a bid
in. Otherwise, ask as many questions about its condition as you
can so that you can build up as much knowledge as possible about
that item. Make sure there are no knocks or dents as this can affect
its resale value.
is also worth checking out any paperwork that the seller might
have,this may help you decide whether it has been looked after
well. For example a piano should be tuned once a year to keep it
in good order. If you are not sure about a piano, a piano tuner will
probably agree to look at the piano and give you his opinion.
Auction houses often sell pianos, which can be viewed but very
often not played. The surveyor will have been looking at it from
a furniture/antique view. Most pianos at auction need some technical
work done on them, so remember to figure this into your price range.
Woodwind and Brass instruments can be awkward to buy second hand.
Most advice tends towards buying a new instrument as some damage
on these instruments can be very hard to find.
Another option is to visit your local instrument repair place
and seek their advice, the likelihood is that they would have fixed
many instruments and they may well have a good circle of contacts.
Information on maintenance or repairs is available in the Maintenance and Tuning section of our site.