In order to stimulate sales instrument manufacturers periodically repackage their existing pro level instruments with new model numbers while making only very minimal changes in the instruments. Add the very slow rate at which the technology changes to the fact that woodwinds (at least the metal ones) last a long, long time when properly cared for-in most cases longer than their owners’ playing lives. The result is that a whole lot of terrific used instruments are available, saturating the used market and keeping prices much, much lower than equivalent new instruments.
I decided long ago to almost exclusively buy used instruments. In doing so I can obtain fantastic instruments at maybe 60% of the cost of new ones. Not only can I better afford the instruments, but the used instrument will hold its value much better, enabling me to get my money out if I should I need to sell it.
That being said, used instruments that are being sold on consignment at big music stores have hefty commissions attached and the stores also hesitate to sell pre-owned instruments inexpensively so that they don’t end up competing with their new instruments for sales.
Soooooo… I haven’t bought a used instrument lately and would love some input on where to find instruments for sale directly by their owners in a marketplace that is safe for the buyer. Any tips on how to find the horn you want at a good price with protections for the buyer are welcome!