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What Are the Pros and Cons of Buying a Used Trumpet?

Gregory Hanson
Gregory Hanson

The main advantage to purchasing a used trumpet is the generally lower cost of such musical instruments. In some cases, a musician may be able to purchase a used trumpet that is a discontinued model or that has a particular history of special interest. Care should always be taken when purchasing a used trumpet, especially when doing so over the Internet, as problems with the condition of used instruments are common and because less reputable sellers may employ deceptive advertising practices.

New trumpets, even beginner models intended for students, often cost a great deal of money. A used trumpet can often be purchased for substantially less money than a new instrument. Trumpets are put up for sale for any number of reasons. Musicians may upgrade to more expensive models as their skills improve. Student musicians may determine that they are not, in fact, interested in playing the trumpet, and may look to recoup some of the money invested in their instruments.

Man playing a guitar
Man playing a guitar

Some musicians may be drawn to particular models of trumpet, and in some cases, specific models may no longer be in production. Custom orders may be possible, but are typically quite expensive. The market for used trumpets offers access to older instruments at lower prices. Additionally, collectors may be interested in securing and perhaps playing a used trumpet that was once owned or used by a particular musician.

Used instruments are of widely varied quality. Many have been cared for appropriately, and are in excellent condition. Others, however, have been damaged. This damage may be cosmetic, in the form of scratches or similar minor damage. When shopping for a used trumpet, it is very important to carefully evaluate the condition of the particular instrument being purchased, to determine what sort of damage, if any, it may have sustained.

Working through a reputable used instrument broker can make evaluating the condition of instruments easier, as brokers have a stake in making sure that the instruments they sell are in the advertised condition. Brokers typically charge for their services, however, so instruments purchased from them will generally cost more. Instruments sold via the Internet are likely to be quite inexpensive, but it can be difficult to accurately evaluate their condition. Seller reviews, feedback, and careful examination of posted photographs and information can minimize the risks associated with purchasing a used trumpet in this fashion, but there is always some risk involved in buying goods over the Internet.

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