Q:

What are some tips for buying used musical instruments?

A:

Quick Answer

When buying used musical instruments, be sure to research the instrument, consider different buying options and try to bring along a knowledgeable friend. Buying a used instrument is a practical way to save money but also comes with more risks.

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Full Answer

Research is the first step to buying a used instrument. Search online for information on different instruments in order to find which ones receive the strongest praise from other musicians. Checking the Completed Listings section of eBay is also a useful way to determine the typical selling price of an instrument.

There are a number of options when buying a used instrument, including Craigslist, eBay, music stores and pawn shops, and each has its advantages and disadvantages. Craigslist offers a large selection of instruments available locally, but there is no way to verify a seller’s reputability. Auction site eBay offers protection for buyers, but it’s typically impossible to test an instrument before purchasing it. Music stores such as Guitar Center sell a wide selection of used gear, and pawn shops can be a frequent source of deals and rare equipment.

Regardless of the purchase method, it’s useful to bring a more knowledgeable friend along who knows what to examine in an instrument. A skilled musician may notice flaws or problems with an instrument that a less experienced player may not.

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