Buying used musical instrumentsOn August 12, 2019 by Miriam Delorenzo
Second-hand musical instruments are very attractive because they are cheaper, but you must take into account several factors when you decide to buy them. As experts in buying and selling second-hand instruments, we give you five tips so that you can buy instruments with total security and peace of mind.
Buying a second-hand musical instrument is a very good option mainly because of the attractiveness of its lower price. But it can also lead to disappointment if the condition of the instrument is not as expected, or even to the dreaded, though easily identifiable, attempts at fraud.
Recently we published an article about the advantages of buying used instruments, and also gave you tips to sell your used instruments sooner. This time, the article, is about five good tips to keep in mind when buying used instruments.
Ask the seller questions
No matter how many photos the seller has published, and no matter how long the description is, you will never know everything about the instrument. So it’s best to ask him as many questions as possible.
Each type of instrument is a world and has its own particular characteristics, but there are some basic questions that can help us with all of them: Why do you sell it? Does the instrument have any defect that is not listed in the description? What use has it been given? What year did you buy it? Is it still under warranty?…
Uses secure payment methods
Unfortunately, in second-hand marketplaces, it is possible to meet con artists. Luckily, nowadays there are safe payment methods, which guarantee that you won’t lose your money in case you are being scammed.
Never try to close the transaction on your own with the seller, and even less if he tells you that he lives far away and has to send you a shipment, after you have transferred the amount of the instrument, since this is one of the most common mechanisms used to defraud: you will have paid money to a stranger but you will never see your instrument. Cases like this, in Wallapop, Milanuncios or Vibbo, are counted in thousands.
So if the app or web you are using to buy a second-hand musical instrument offers you a secure payment method, don’t think about it for a moment and use it. And if it also incorporates a shipping service, although it may involve a small extra cost, better than better, because they will bring the instrument to your home.
Suspicious if the price is too cheap
Following the line of what was said in the previous point, I doubt that the ads are abnormally cheap. Obviously it is possible to find bargains (and this article is proof of this), but it is also possible to find scams, and ads at prices that are too cheap can be an indication of this.
What’s worse is that what we’ve told you in the first point is very important: ask the seller a lot of questions, to know more about the product, but also to get to know the person who’s selling it to you better.
Trust in the seller
The seller has to earn your trust. How do we know if we can trust him or her? See if other users have rated him or her positively for previous sales and read carefully the comments they have left. Also look at other aspects, such as the sensations conveyed by the images of the instrument or the description (level of detail, tone and spelling mistakes…); the better it is written and the more information it gives in the description, the more confidence it will convey.
Ideally, you should be able to have a conversation with the seller before closing the sale, so that he or she can clear up any doubts you may have, and so that you can see the “feeling” he or she gives you.
If you can negotiate the price, do it
The seller knows that the musical instrument he is selling is second-hand and has already been partially amortized. Moreover, he does not live from buying and selling and does not have a margin that he has to meet yes or yes to survive: it is not a store of new musical instruments.
Therefore, it may be receptive to your proposal to lower the price, as long as it is not outlandish (for example, if you sell a second-hand electric guitar for 500 ?, it is coherent to offer you 450 ? for it, but not 250 ?).
You can also try to get him to add accessories in the sale (for example, following the example of the electric guitar: a case or case, some spare strings, a jack… for the same price or maybe a little more, if it comes out to you).
Or you can also offer him an exchange with other instruments of yours as part of the payment, as long as you think that what you are offering him might interest him as well, and not only you (if not, we advise you not to do so, as the seller might get upset and decide not to negotiate with you anymore).