A Real Band and Orchestra Specialty Store

How To Sell Your Used Instrument

It seems that we all end up with instruments that are no longer in use, but don’t know what to do with them.  As a local music store, it is probably one of the most-asked questions.  “What should I do with this?”

My child doesn’t play anymore

If your child decided to quit band/orchestra, it doesn’t necessarily mean they will never play again.  Sometimes a student just doesn’t want the organized class and will continue playing on their own – or even sign up for private instruction.  Have a conversation with your child and see why exactly they no longer wish to be in band/orchestra.  This will give you a better idea of how to proceed because you’ll never be able to replace it for the amount you get out of it.  If you are on our Rent-To-Own program, all you have to do is return it to our store!  Absolutely no hassle involved.  This is also something our RTO program allows if your student is upgrading.

Should I sell it privately or to a music store?

This is a very valid question and I will address pros and cons of both sides of this coin.

Selling to a music store

-Cash now – no waiting

-Music stores might make you an offer and be able to give you a check right then!

-Fair evaluation

-They will give you an idea of the value as well as the price they can offer you

-Retailer Profitability

-This means the store will not be able to offer you the same amount you could ask if you sell privately

   Selling privately (online or otherwise)

-Higher profit

-You will definitely be able to make the most money selling your instrument on your own

-Advertising and waiting

-The downside is you will have to list it, answer any inquiries, and wait for someone to be interested

Determining price

-An easy way to come up with a good selling price is to have it evaluated by a music store – most music stores will evaluate for free

-If you don’t want to drive to a store, a good rule of thumb is half of the price you can get a new instrument of the same brand and model, then skim off the price for any cosmetic wear/damage

-Unfortunately with this step, it doesn’t matter what you paid.  It only matters what another person could walk into a music store and buy at that time

-Google (or even EBay) is a good source to look at other instruments of the same brand and model to see what others are listing.  This will likely be the most you could expect out of your instrument.


Don’t let all of this information intimidate you!  As a local professional, my job is to try and answer all of the questions you might have on any music-related subject.  Remember, these are best practices for selling your instrument and when you’re selling online, YOU are in control.  If you’re asking a fair price for a good product, don’t let internet people push your buttons.  We are here to help, too, even if we cannot buy your instrument from you!