Selling Used Band Instruments

Man thinking about selling used band instruments

Occasionally we might need to replace our children’s older equipment or even our own used musical instruments, and get updated gears. In other scenarios, we just don’t use them anymore and are willing just to know what are they valued at right now.

It could be that you are willing to sell them, donating, repairing, or even recycling them. In any case of those cases, you should be conscientious of the various options on what to do with an unused and unneeded old band instrument.

How to Sell a Used Musical Instrument

If you are looking to sell an older instrument and are willing to check what are their current market options, whether online or in physical stores, then we got it summarized for you.

A used musical instrument will still hold its value as long it’s still in a decent state.

There are plenty of buyers who want to buy second-hand gear. So, your used musical instruments can help them to get their desired equipment and in change provide you with some money that could be useful for buying new equipment, a new instrument itself, or just for other hobbies or financial needs you might have.

If you are reflecting about where to sell those used instruments and how you should prepare them for the selling process, in this article, we will give you an informative guide to sell your musical equipment.


Where to Sell a Musical Instrument?

Currently, the variety of options to sell band instruments is extensive, especially due to the number of online websites and e-commerce platforms that are growing in number and popularity. For someone that isn’t yet comfortable with these platforms, or is used to but has never done so for selling a musical instrument, then we made the task easier by listing the most valid options these days.

On the other end, you still have traditional musical instruments shops, that continue to be a valid option and might be more beneficial in some situations, as well as more comfortable due to their closeness and knowledge of who runs them.

Are you looking to sell a used band instrument that we already covered in an article? Look in more detail at the following articles:

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Online Options

In the United States, the most known and popular online selling platforms for used music instruments, are Reverb, eBay, Craigslist, and Facebook (not in a particular order). They all have pros and cons but should serve you with enough viable options for you to sell a second-hand band instrument.

Reverb.com

Way more recent than the rest of the alternatives, this is the most music-specific marketplace you will find to sell your instruments online. Furthermore, it sells all across the United States.

Reverb.com has been growing in terms of popularity among music players and enthusiasts. It was recently bought by the e-commerce platform Etsy.

Reverb targets a music audience niche and among the various alternatives presented might be the one to go for if you are willing to sell the instrument to someone with some music knowledge and experience.

Reverb.com banner with different musical instruments

Advantages

  • Marketplace targeting exclusively musicians
  • Free listing and low fees when selling
  • Buyer protection and secure platform

Disadvantages

  • Relatively recent platform
  • Shipping rates and options vary by seller

eBay

One of the oldest resellers online platforms and an innovator by that time, has always been a reputable and secure place to sell used musical instruments.

Still costs money to list a product to sell, but does open a large market of possible buyers worldwide. If in doubt, follow their useful complete guide full of suggestions and tips to sell your products. 

ebay logo

Advantages

  • Safe platform to sell a product – top priority for eBay
  • Large worldwide audience
  • Customizable listing for your sale

Disadvantages

  • High fees on sales
  • Extra costs for listings and improving your chances of selling the product
  • Somehow difficult to understand if it is your first listing

Craigslist

All around the US, and especially for every major metropolitan area, there is a specific Craigslist site, so you will be selling locally.

Craigslist.com is one of the most used online sites where you can sell your used band instruments. Craigslist freely provides you with a great opportunity to list your product for sale, in order to make a direct sale or just understand what might be its value locally. A vast amount of musical instruments are bought and sold every day in trades starting through Craigslist’s platform. It keeps displaying your product until it is purchased. 

craigslist logo

Advantages

  • Completely free, both the listing and the sale
  • Selling locally
  • Possible to keep re-listing for free

Disadvantages

  • Risk of scammers as it involves selling the product face to face
  • Limited audience to your regional area

Facebook

Whether through Facebook Groups or through their Facebook Marketplace, this social media platform also serves as a selling online platform for your used band instruments.

Considering that the vast majority of users have a Facebook account and are used to how it works, listing your instrument to be sold should be really easy whether through local or niche groups or through the Facebook Marketplace itself.

Facebook marketplace logo

Advantages

  • How easy it can be to list an instrument for selling
  • Specific audience Facebook groups for each band instrument

Disadvantages

  • No intermediary protection for your direct sell
  • Still a similar option to Craiglist

Selling at Nearby Musical Instrument Shops

Before the emergence and growing popularity of online marketplaces, whether directed specifically to musicians or more general platforms like eBay, music shops were the place to go when you were willing to sell an instrument.

Over time, the trend has been shifting to online stores but those physical stores are still in demand and serve as a good alternative as well.

That might be a better and easy option for you to sell your used instruments, especially if you have a musical store nearby. But do not forget to do some market research, choose wisely, visit a few instrument stores, make a deal and get a fair amount for your instrument.

Some of the most known music stores where you can sell your instruments are:

  • Music Go Round
  • Sam Ash
  • The Music Zoo

Another option is pawnshops. However, these types of shops should only be used in our opinion in cases of “emergency” when you really need the money quickly and in an easy way.


Prepare Your Instrument to be Listed

If you want to sell your instrument at a reasonable and fair price then you should prepare it accordingly. You can increase the value of your instrument by improving its state so that it is listed or shown in a physical store with a minimal quality.

So, instead of immediately going to sell on a local shop or randomly listing and posting the instrument’s photos on online reseller websites, follow the following steps.

“Bench-marking” Your Instrument – Do Some Previous Market Research

Do you remember how much did the instrument cost in the first place? Or the actual value of the instrument? If not, it’s pretty easy to get an idea of the range price of the instrument and model you are trying to sell. Search on the online websites we’ve mentioned above, or make inquiries on your local music shops.

Prices might be changing from day to day, so calculate a reasonable interval price. You should be honest when searching for similar instruments like yours, as not only do you need to consider the model and the year, but also the current condition of your instrument for comparing prices.

Quick market research will help you to estimate how much your device’s worth.

Clean and Restore Your Instrument

When you are done with the market research, you can start to prepare your instrument for selling.

Depending on the instrument’s condition you might need some more work to do, whether repairing any malfunctioning parts or for example do some polishing of its surface. Any improvement in your instrument condition might signify an increase in its value. Prepare it for the best potential price you might get.

Even if for improving its condition you might need to restore it in a music shop specialized in repairing instruments, might worth the investment.

Take Some Quality Photos

After your instrument looks in the best condition possible, it’s time to take some photos before you can list it. Even if you take these photos with your mobile phone, don’t have any experience in taking photos, or don’t have any knowledge of the basic techniques needed for shooting objects, consider the following steps:

  • Always try to use natural lighting and avoid flash
  • The background is important, try to use a plain backdrop like a white wall
  • A camera tripod could help
  • Even if with a mobile phone camera, shot with the highest resolution possible
  • Shot the instrument from different angles and include close-up details

Describe your Equipment

After researching the market and preparing your instrument, it’s time to list it online or sell it directly in a musical shop.

In this last phase, describe the instrument as best as possible and be honest. Of course, describe it pointing its best characteristics, but don’t omit any features that might influence the instrument’s performance.

A professional-looking profile in one of the marketplaces we’ve mentioned above will help.

Also, when listing, the better you describe your instrument, the more potential buyers you might reach. Defining your instrument’s quality and present condition is a must. A catchy product description to attract buyers and the quality photos you’ve taken before will be a differentiating factor when comparing to similar listed products.


Other Options on What to Do With Your Old Instrument

Donate Your Band Instrument

Another route for your used band instrument could be in the form of donating it either to music schools or foundations that accept it and give the best destiny to them. If you chose this option, note that you can qualify for a tax deduction. If you make a donation, make sure to ask for a receipt to prove it.

Keep the Instrument

Depending on how sentimental is that instrument for you, perhaps keeping it can have more add value than selling it. Consider the pros and cons if you make this decision. One way or another, you should still repair and clean it, even if you are not going to sell the instrument.


FAQs section

Where to Sell Your Musical Instrument Online?

Nowadays the best marketplaces or websites to sell your used instruments online are Reverb, eBay, Craigslist, and Facebook.

Which Musical Stores Are Best to Sell Instruments?

If available near you, one of these music stores will suit you best for selling an instrument: Music Go Round, Sam Ash, The Music Zoo

What to Do With Old Band Instruments?

If you have old and unneeded musical instruments, you can sell them online or through a shop, donate, recycle, or eventually keep them.