A Beginner’s Guide to Buying and Selling Musical Instruments

Many musicians rely on pawn shops for affordable solutions to an expensive hobby. Whether you’re attempting to learn a new instrument or trying to upkeep your current equipment, the expenses can pile up quickly. You can save money by buying and selling used instruments. Use these tips to get started in the musical instrument market.


Swap your beginner instrument, mastered instruction books, or extra tuners for some updated gear. Once you get the hang of selling used instruments, you will find you can get a good price from a quick sale. Before you cash in the check, use these tips to make sure you get the most from your old equipment.

Make Repairs: If you’re willing to spend a small amount of money to repair your instrument, you can make more money in the long run. Have a music shop inspect and repair damages before you try to sell your instrument. Instruments often need tuning and polishing before they can sell. These small touches will help your instrument outshine others at the pawn shop.

Look for Local Buyers: You might be tempted to try and sell your instrument online. However, you can get more money for your instrument and sell it faster by selling through your local pawn shop. Buyers usually want to play the instrument before they commit to purchasing the instrument, so a pawn shop is the perfect venue to display your instrument.

Do Your Research: When you sell, know the basics of your instrument. Talk with the buyer about materials, age , size, and serial number. The more technical information you know the more confident you can be with the value of your product. Answer questions promptly and confidently to help the buyer feel secure in their purchase.

Don’t Overestimate Your Instrument: Although you have a strong attachment to your instrument, don’t let sentimental value cause you to overvalue your asking price. Look for similar used instruments in your brand to determine how much you should charge. Then talk with the buyer. Be open to compromise as they may have more experience in this area.


Buying used is a practical and affordable way to start learning a new instrument. Used instruments also tend to have a better sound after years of being played. If you’re hoping to find a quality, used instrument, do the following:

Consider the Condition: Although you shouldn’t expect your used instrument to come in mint condition, you can still look for key factors that will make a difference in the length and quality of the instrument. For instance, make sure the instrument hasn’t warped or cracked. Invite a friend or teacher with a background in music to help you find an instrument in great condition.

Ask Questions: Don’t settle for brief descriptions such as “new” or “used.” Look for descriptions that describe the condition, sound characteristics, and manufacturing techniques. Often the description shows how much the seller knows and cares about instruments. Ask questions to avoid buying from an uncertain or dishonest seller.

Know Top Brands and Serial Numbers: Every now and then, you will find an incredible deal. For you to recognize a good deal, you need to know top brands and serial numbers. This will also help you weed out the poorly manufactured instruments.

Shop Local: The best way to find the perfect instrument for you is to play it. Find a local pawn shop and test out all the different instruments. Each instrument has its own sound and physical characteristics, so try out as many as you can. Once you find the instrument that fits your needs, buy it.

Now that you know the basics to buying and selling an instrument, check out our other blogs for more buying and selling tips and tricks.

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