Some musicians have a lucky hand when searching for and finding used instruments.
Obviously, there are various factors like initial production date, manufacturing location, materials, and fabricator that have a influence on the quality of the given object.
We’ve collected a few pointers that might help you in your decision-making process. Let’s start with the sales-person:
Power-seller or one-timer
It might make sense to check the frequency of sales made by the person you’re getting the instrument from.
If he or she sells instruments on a regular basis, it can indicate a solid connection to a local music market or scene.
A high fluctuation of products going in and out doesn’t have to make you suspicious. Everyone knows the type of musician constantly buying new gear and reselling it after an initial testing phase.
Be aware and keep your eyes peeled for online comments connected to the seller though. You might find positive but also negative stories of former transactions. Try to weigh them according to your specific situation.
Check for product updates first
Be a smart shopper and check for product updates first. This means checking out big international music exhibitions and also websites or press releases of potential brands you want to buy products from.
This can help you in two important ways:
- a product update might be around the corner, boosting your negotiating position
- it might keep you from purchasing an old modelIt really sucks laying down a hefty sum, just to watch the product value drop shortly after you bought it.
So be aware of developments in the product area and do some quick research prior to engaging in the transaction!
Don’t be stressed when testing
Take your time when trying out a used instrument. If you get stressed out by the seller – ask for more time or a re-schedule to a different date.
Testing the functionality of a product is vital when buying a used instrument. If a seller tries to keep you from testing a product – be it by canceling potential meet-ups on a regular basis, get your red light buzzing.
Try to get a bill
Its always good to have some kind of paper-trail to the source of your purchase.
Not only if you’re getting your tax-prep in line, also if things get messy and you have to prove that you got an item from a given seller.
Try to get a bill, or some kind of written deceleration of purchase and payment! Openly ask about product flaws. It’s definitely not a deal-breaker or invasion of privacy to ask about any known product-flaws or reasons to sell the product. You might gain an important insight on why the item is sold, the condition and maybe even info on potential product updates or better choices.
Engage in conversation about the instrument and dig a little deeper than just stats and reasons why to buy it!
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