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How to Buy Used Musical Instruments—Without Getting Ripped Off

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Musical instruments can be incredibly pricy. A standard violin may range anywhere between $400 and $2,000! You want a violin, but you don’t want to pay an arm and a leg for one. How do you find a nice instrument that’s also at a decent price? The answer is buying a used-instrument.

There are plenty of places where you can find used-instruments at a decent price. Know you have options, like finding used instruments at DCP. Whether it’s an establishment or an individual seller, there are a variety of instruments to choose from. But before you buy, there are a few things you might want to do to avoid getting ripped off.


Know What You Want

Before you buy anything, it’s always good to know what you want. This is especially true when it comes to buying a used-instrument. Research the instrument you’re interested in before going to a seller.

Remember, despite your specific wants, it’s always good to be flexible with your purchase. You might not find the perfect instrument that fits all of your criteria. Still, it’s important to have standards while looking for the best used-instrument.

Here are a few things you should have an idea of for what you want:

· What kind of instrument

· Who makes the instrument

· How old the instrument is

· If it’s “new” used, or has been refurbished

Knowing the criteria you want your instrument to meet will make the buying process much easier. This will also give you a better idea of how much you should expect to pay. All of this information will prepare you to avoid shady deals, and get a great used-instrument.

Research the Market

When you go to buy a used-instrument, you might find a variety of price points. When researching what you want, make sure you also look at average prices. What is the average rate for the instrument you’re looking at?

Some sellers will try to hike up the price, especially if they think you won’t notice. Avoid getting ripped off by knowing what’s normal. This will also help you avoid deals that seem too good to be true, because unfortunately, those types of deals usually are.

Ask Plenty of Questions

Knowledge is power. This is especially true when trying to get the best deal possible. If you’ve done your research and know what you want, then you should also have some questions in mind. Ask the seller about their experience with selling instruments, how many they’ve sold, and what their return rate is like. Make sure you’re going to a legitimate used instrument seller.

Here are a few questions to ask about the instrument:

· What is the instrument’s past?

· Has the instrument received any major repairs?

· How often did the seller perform maintenance on the instrument?

· Was the instrument kept in storage or out in the open?

All of these questions will give you an idea of an instrument’s quality. Have an idea of the answers you’d like to hear. This way you’re able to weed out any options that aren’t right for you.

Play It and Inspect It

If you have past experience with the type of instrument you want to buy used, ask to play the one you’re considering purchasing. You’ll be able to feel the instrument’s condition. This way you can hear the sound it’s producing.

Physically inspect the instrument as well. Make sure there isn’t any significant damage that will affect the instrument’s playability. Check that all the parts are there, and that they’re in a condition that matches your standards.

Buy in Person

Buying anything in person is usually the way to go. Being able to physically inspect your instrument, as well as play it, and ask the buyer questions, are all benefits to buying in person.

There are plenty of instruments available online, but without being able to see an instrument before buying it, you could potentially get swindled. Scammers could use fake pictures, or make false statements in a description of the instrument. This makes sellers able to charge you more for an instrument that’s worth a lot less.

Bottom Line

Overall, buying the right used-instrument is a process. It takes time, and dedication to find the right instrument for you. Arm yourself with knowledge and questions to make sure you’re not being ripped off. This is so that you’re guaranteeing the perfect used-instrument for you.

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