What to Know When Buying a Used Clarinet

Buying Used Clarinets

Buying a used clarinet can be an intimidating task.

  • How much are used clarinets worth?
  • Where to buy used clarinets?
  • What if it’s not in good condition?
  • Will the mouthpiece fit my mouth comfortably?
  • Do I need to purchase new reeds for this instrument?

This article will answer these questions and more. It will help you understand what to look for when buying a used clarinet, where you can buy them, and how much they are worth.

If you are a beginner student or parent looking to buy a used clarinet for your school band, this article will be of use.

The first thing you need to know is that it is always best to go with a new instrument if possible.

However, there are times when buying used may be the better option.

The next important piece of information is what to look for when buying a used clarinet.


Where to Buy a Used Clarinet?

Once you have looked at a specific type of clarinet, it is time to make your purchase.

Some of the best places to buy used clarinets are through private market sellers. There are plenty of players or persons looking to sell their used or old clarinets in marketplaces like Craigslist, Reverb, eBay, or Facebook Marketplaces are good options for this kind of sale. There you can find used clarinets for sale from various brands.  We’ve detailed the pros and cons of each of those famous online marketplaces to buy band instruments, in the following article.

Reverb.com banner with different musical instruments

Another great option is if you have a music store near you, they should be able to recommend you the best options and you can check the used clarinet in person.

When you’re shopping around for a used clarinet, it’s best to start researching specifically by price range and location if needed so that you can find one near your home or where you play in the band.


What to Know When Buying a Used Clarinet

A beginner student or parent interested in buying a used clarinet to play in a band is frequently curious about how a second-hand instrument compares to a new one in terms of price.

Used student clarinet prices can range greatly from around $25 to $700, depending mostly on its condition, material, and brand.

For comparison, the price of a new student clarinet can vary from $250-$1000 but also depending on the brand, material, and what type of clarinet it is.  If you spend the time to look you may find a used clarinet that is worth more than it is being sold for.  

What to Check Before Buying a Second-Hand Clarinet

There are some factors that you want to consider when buying a used clarinet, no matter what type you’re looking at. The most important thing is to ensure that the instrument is in good condition and doesn’t have any major damages. Some potential issues with old instruments can be cracked keywork or damage from previous owners dropping it on its bell.

  • Does it have any missing pieces?
  • Any cracks or damage in the wood or plastic parts of the clarinet?
  • You also want to check its case and mouthpiece. Is there evidence of water damage?

These tips also include checking the pads and valves, as well as the screws on top.

The condition of the clarinet can vary greatly from one seller to another. You’ll want to inspect closely how clean it is as well as look for any blemishes or scratches on its surface. If there are too many signs of wear and tear then don’t consider buying it as it might cost more and really won’t perform well.


Which Brand or Type of Clarinet are You Looking to Buy?

Yamaha Used Clarinets

Yamaha clarinets are one of the most popular brands to start with.  

A Yamaha used student clarinet could range from $100 to $400, whereas an intermediate used one could cost you between $300 and $700 or even more.

Selmer Used Clarinets

A Selmer used student clarinet could range from $100 to $300, and an intermediate second-hand clarinet should be around $150 and $400.

Buffet Crampon Used Clarinets

A Buffet Crampon used student clarinet could range from $200 to 500$, and an intermediate second-hand clarinet should be around $400 and $900.

Leblanc (Vito) Used Clarinets

Vito used clarinets are a cheap option running from $25 to $200.  They are a little lower quality than the other brands but generally have a high level of playability for a beginner.  


Used Wooden Clarinets for Sale

Buying wooden used clarinets can be a difficult process. Wood is sensitive to rapid temperature changes and can degrade over time.  It’s good to try out the wooden clarinet before purchasing if possible.

You want to make sure you’re getting the best quality for your money, but it’s also important to know what type of wood is being used in the instrument and how old it is.

The main type of wood for clarinets is Grenadilla (African Blackwood). Some older clarinets may also be made of Ebony, a similar wood to Grenadilla.  Grenadilla comes from Central Africa while Ebony comes from West Africa with Grenadilla being more common than Ebony on instruments.  Also, clarinets are sometimes made from Rosewood, a softer wood with a slightly different sound.  


What Type of Clarinet are You Looking to Buy?

If you’re looking for a new clarinet, it might be helpful to know what type is best for your needs!

There are a few different types of used clarinets to choose from, and it’s important to know what you’re looking for before making your purchase. If you’re just starting out as a beginner student or parent and looking for an instrument in your school band, then the only type that may be available is a used student model. These models tend to be cheaper than professional-grade instruments but can still sound quite good!


Why Should I Buy a Used Clarinet?

Perhaps your budget doesn’t allow for purchasing an instrument new or you’re looking to upgrade from what you currently own. Whatever your reasons may be, it’s important to remember that buying used can be more beneficial in some ways versus buying a new clarinet.

The main reason for this is that you have more of a chance to research the model, make sure it’s the right size, and really determine if this instrument will suit your needs or not.