Buying a musical instrument online can be an odd process.
Some possessions don’t feel like they’re best bought “used,” do they?
There are, however, plenty of musical instruments you can find online that won’t be run-down or sullied by someone else’s use, and if you’re adventurous enough, you might even consider checking out Craigslist for some bargain-basement-level prices.
The problem? Many people are a little skeptical of Craigslist.
That’s why this article will push you through that fear and help you discover the cheap-but-high-quality used instruments you’ve been after all this time.
Have No Fear: Craigslist is Here
If you’re new to the ways of the World Wide Web, then Craigslist might sound a little scary to you. After all, all of these people are simply posting up rudimentary-looking classified ads, with little-to-no regulation monitoring each transaction!
It does sound scary, but you’d be surprised what a large marketplace is capable of when everyone is looking out for their own interest. With many of the sellers on Craigslist, you’re just looking at someone who wants to ditch something they don’t use any more and maybe make a decent – and fair – price for it. Sure, there are the “sketchy” areas of Craigslist, but if you’re just looking for an old accordion, you probably don’t have too much to be afraid of.
Patience Is Key
If you’ve never bought online before, you might be tempted to look at what’s available on Craigslist and make an offer based on what you see. But if you really want to find the best deals, you’ll do better to practice a little patience. Here’s two ways to do it:
- Contact the seller, but monitor the market. You can’t be too patient when it comes to making the seller an offer for their musical instrument, so you’ll want to at least get in contact with a seller to find out what the demand for their instrument has been like and what price they might be driven down to. In the meantime, it helps to continually monitor the ads on Craigslist to see if any better deals pop up. Don’t always buy the first deal you see.
- Be willing to walk away. You may think that you’ll never find a deal like this again – and you may even be right – but it’s the power to walk away that gives you a lot of leverage in the negotiation process. You shouldn’t threaten to “walk away” outright, but you should be willing to. This will give you an edge and a reason not to go over your maximum price.
Search the Right Way
If you’ve been paying attention, then you know it’s important not to look at Craigslist listings and make an offer based on what you immediately see. You’ll want to contact sellers, scope out the best deals, and check Craigslist daily to see if any new, interesting potential leads pop up.
Make sure you search for musical instruments that are of good quality, as well: be very discerning. Try to find pictures of instruments, and if a model name is giving, enter a Google search for that model to get more information about it. It’s also a good idea to make sure that any musical instrument you is safe and sanitary. If you’re too wary about this to go on Craigslist for musical instruments, it might not be the option for you.
If you really want to diversify your search for the best deal, check out Musical Instruments On eBay while you’re conducting a Craigslist search. If you’re persistent, you can find some amazing deals on musical instruments.
If you’re an astute shopper, you probably have no problem turning to eBay when there are no other options on the table. Heck, you probably don’t mind turning to eBay first so you can find bargains on used and new items before you ever try to find an item available on retail.
But is there any merchandise that you will always want to buy new – like musical instruments?
The prospect of buying a used musical instrument isn’t always an attractive one – particularly if you play an instrument that requires contact with your lips. But if you put in some time to research buying a used musical instrument of your specific variety, you should arrive at one particular conclusion: to buy used or not to buy used.
If you do decide that you can buy a used instrument on eBay, here are some tips to guide you along the way.
1. Check seller feedback religiously. The first major indicator of whether or not you’ll have a successful interaction on eBay is simple: seller feedback. When someone is selling a product, they are forced to display their seller feedback – which is like checking a particular seller’s recommendation. You’ll see references, recommendations, and negative views in many cases: one good rule of thumb is to stick to someone who has a very high feedback rating, somewhere in the upper 90%.
The reason to check for this is because each seller can only earn good feedback with a relatively solid interaction with a buyer. Remember one more thing: it’s important to check the amount of feedback this seller has received, as well. It’s not exactly impressive to have 100% positive feedback when there’s only one review. But if a seller has 1,000 reviews with a 98% positive feedback rating, then you know you’re working with someone with a solid reputation.
2. Place items on your watch list before you buy them. Buying on eBay can mean great prices, but it’s easy to post a “bid” for your desired object up front and forget about the rest. But if you set the item to your “watch” list instead, you might not inspire anyone else to compete with you – you may actually find that there are only a few bids by the time the product is nearing its sale deadline. This is a great time to place a bid because you give your fellow bidders less time to beat your price. Many times, you can win an auction by being the only one to bid.
3. Consider the instrument you’re buying. There are a lot of questions to ask (see tip #4), but most of them center around the type of instrument you’re buying. If you’re buying an electronic keyboard, for example, you’ll probably ask very different questions than if you’re only buying a bass kick.
4. Ask the seller a lot of questions. Before you ask questions, be sure to read the description of the instrument – you don’t want to ask the seller something that they’ve already worked to answer. But if you still can’t find an answer to your question, then it’s a good idea to go ahead and ask the seller your question directly. Don’t be afraid to ask about the condition of the product, either. It’s your money that’s on the line here.
5. Bid low. Remember: you came to eBay to get a low price on your musical instrument. You might think that this one product is once-in-a-lifetime, but you never know when a similar deal might show up. So don’t be willing to go past a certain (low) price for what you’re buying.
If you want more tips on buying instruments on eBay, check out this eBay Forum Post that covers the topic in greater detail.
There are a lot of people out there who consider themselves deal-seekers and voracious customers: these are the people who love talking to customer service representatives, haggling with individual retailers, and shopping around for the best price.
If you’ve never been that kind of proactive consumer but still enjoy a good discount on a musical instrument, it’s time to brush up on some great buying strategies. Buy musical instruments for less and you’ll wonder why you ever paid full price.
But where does one start, especially if you’ve never bought a musical instrument before? Don’t worry; we’ve got you covered. Here are just a few tips for getting the musical instruments you want at the price you determine.
Tip #1: eBay is your friend.
There’s truly no site on the Internet like eBay, the world’s largest marketplace for what you’re about to do. Whether you want to buy musical instruments or find a nice used Aston Martin to drive around town, eBay’s got just about everything. This is a great place to start even if you don’t plan on buying anything here – you’ll find out about how low prices can get for the used musical instruments you’re seeking. (And, yes, you should consider buying used instruments; as long as you know what you’re doing, you can ensure they’ll be high-quality). Better yet, we’ve brought all the best deals on eBay, about to end, right to this very site. Have a browse around.
Tip #2: Reputation is your reference.
One reason we encourage you to use eBay is that it really helps you to prevent fraud – all you have to do is peruse each individual seller’s profile and you’ll see what kind of customer feedback they’ve been getting. In other words, to succeed as a seller on eBay, you’ve got to provide products that are actually close to what people think they’re buying – otherwise you’ll just get hammered in the user ratings section. If you’re a new buyer, don’t work with anyone who doesn’t have an overwhelmingly positive user feedback rating. And make sure you avoid new sellers without any rating at all.
Tip #3: Haggle.
Other sites like Craigslist (caveat emptor!) will allow you to haggle with sellers in order to bring the price down – you might even consider trades and barters in order to secure the musical instrument you’re looking for. If you’ve never been much of a haggler, just remember this simple principle: the negotiator who is more willing to say “no” generally wins the day. If you’re willing to walk away because you don’t get a price you like, then you’ll be in the position to haggle effectively. Buy musical instruments with a keen eye on protecting your wallet in the process.