Buying a used accordion can be a challenge, especially for those who don’t have experience with these musical instruments. When buying an accordion, don’t judge it on how it looks on the outside, since an accordion can have internal, unseen problems. Check the accordion for leaks, which can cause poor compression. Do a visual check to make sure the buttons and keys aren’t misaligned, and press on them to make sure they aren’t loose or stuck. Whether buying an accordion from a private seller or a retail establishment, be sure to ask how old the accordion is, and how much it has been used. Getting some kind of warranty or guarantee on the accordion is also a good idea.
When buying a used accordion, the instrument's appearance is not a good indication of its condition. A used accordion can look excellent on the outside, but its inner workings could be damaged in ways a visual check won’t reveal. Ask someone to play the accordion, and listen carefully for a hissing sound that could be an indication of an air leak that will result in poor compression. If the accordion continues to play even when none of its buttons or keys are being pressed, this could be another sign that it has a leak. Finally, if the bellows are easy to pull out even when no keys are being played, this could also mean the accordion has a leak.
The condition of the buttons and keys on a used accordion is also very important. While misaligned buttons or keys can be repaired, this is an avoidable added expense. Before buying a used accordion, give the keys and buttons a visual check to see how straight they look. Push the buttons to see if any feel too loose, too hard to press down on, or stuck in the pressed position.
Asking questions about a used accordion can help make judgments about its condition. When buying from a private owner, ask how old the accordion is, and how often it has been played. An accordion that was bought for a child who lost interest quickly might be in better condition than an accordion that is the same age, but has been played frequently. Try to get a guarantee or warranty that the accordion can be returned for a full refund if it proves to be unsatisfactory in some way.