Independent artists will often be faced with the choice of investing into new music equipment or the decision to trust pre-loved equipment.
Our artists have found there are many advantages to buying 2nd hand equipment. In this article, we’ll look at these advantages and give you some suggestions on how to approach buying these items with wisdom.
We understand that music gear such as synths, software, and controllers, value differently than musical instruments and so we want to specify that for the purpose of this article when we speak of music equipment, we are focusing mainly on musical instruments.
Used music gear is both affordable and retains its value.
It’s helpful to recognize that MOST new music equipment will never be as expensive as when you purchase it. Like your car depreciating as soon as you leave the lot, with many instruments, as soon as the box is opened and the item is used…. its value has decreased. However, studies also show that once a new guitar, for example, is released and has been out for half a year or so, this item stabilizes. Meaning you can essentially buy it, play it for years and resell it for a good price, sometimes even a profit. Many instruments maintain a solid market value for long periods of time.
Consider that gear such as amp, guitars, and basses haven't even changed much in 50 years. Instruments such as brass, drums and wind instruments have changed even less.
New instruments are tempting to buy but are not always technically an upgrade from last year’s enticing product.
Artists often appreciate supporting the wider music community. Selling your gear directly to other independent artists not only gives you an opportunity to upgrade, it ensures that you're directly supporting the art.
Although we encourage artists to always protect and take proper care of their music gear, becoming paranoid over every dent can take its toll.
2nd hand equipment can look loved but it’s also been tried and tested. You don’t have to worry about your stomach dropping the moment your new gear gets its first scuff. It’s already happened. You can also be less paranoid about other musicians having a turn trying your instrument out.
When purchasing new equipment, you are confined to a smaller amount of options. Most manufacturers follow that year’s trend and so your choice becomes limited to what’s popular.
When buying 2nd hand you get more varied choice, and sometimes basically the same choice. Only cheaper.
Always double check yourself. Is this what you want or what you need? Asking yourself that initial question to begin with can save you money in the long run.
Look at Facebook buy/sell/trade, Craigs list online community purchases or even download new community sales app’s. Buying used from big consumer sites like Amazon or eBay, where the seller most likely doesn’t live nearby, can easily lead to trouble. An attached photo is helpful, but even a photo cannot pin point many problems. Make sure the internal condition of what you’re buying is as sound as the external.
If you are compelled to purchase on one of the bigger sites, check out the seller’s ratings and comments. Ask as many questions as you’d like to from the seller. Get as much information as possible. See if the seller is upfront about the item’s condition and usage. These sellers seem to be more trustworthy. Also ask for multiple pictures. Stay clear of sellers who don’t have a picture in the ad or have a picture they took off a website.
Our artists suggest that the best way to purchase is to always play before you buy.
One of the most popular online re – sale sites is Reverb.com.
Reverb.com is a popular online marketplace where artists can learn about, buy, or sell used gear.
Although they may be a little pricier than craigslist, they do have benefits over buying on amazon for example.
They’re a 3rd party marketplace like e-bay or amazon. They help facilitate interactions with buyers and sellers and was launched so that buying and selling musical instruments could be trusted and affordable. Their buyers and sellers range from large manufacturers and dealers to small business owners and individuals. And although most sellers will not provide you with a warranty (unless the product they’re selling is new). Reverb requires the sellers to accurately describe the item AND the seller. The seller is also aware that if you buy an item that wasn’t what they described, you have 7 days from delivery for a refund.
For more tips for musicians check out our website at https://www.sageaudio.com/blog