Whether you’re buying your child their very first guitar or you’re a working musician, there are plenty of good secondhand buys. You just need to know where to look and what to look out for. I want to share with you how to buy good quality second hand music equipment.
If you can’t afford to buy new equipment why not look at secondhand?
Try before you buy
Before you take it home, you need to try it out. Whether you’re buying from a store or from someone’s home, you need to plug in and try it. Don’t take their word for it.
When this did happen, if it’s within the budget, I’d price how much it would cost to fix. When you weigh up the price of the item plus the cost to fix it, you have to ask is it still cheaper than if I bought it new or could I get it back to a reasonable condition and sell it myself. That’s what I did.
The item I bought was an electric guitar and it needed new pickups. I didn’t try it before I took it home and when I plugged in, it didn’t work. I found a local repairer who fixed it for next to nothing. I thought about keeping it after it was fixed but I managed to make a bit of money on it and get a better guitar, the one I was probably after in the first place.
Check your prices
Before you go forking out all that hard earned cash for a secondhand piece of music equipment, make sure you know your prices. I like to do a Google search on the item first and see what it’s selling for from say a new music shop or on ebay. This will be your guide when it comes to negotiating your price. If it’s selling for not much less than new, I wouldn’t bother. I’d hang out until it becomes available or buy it new if I can afford it. This is also your negotiating power. You can tell the seller the price he’s got it for isn’t much less than new and you can offer your price. You might be lucky and he’ll realise that his price is too high and take your offer.
Why do I prefer buying secondhand?
You’re probably asking why I’d prefer to buy secondhand instead of buying new. I have bought some new gear over the years but I’ve found a lot of really great gear buying secondhand. Gear that I would never dream of having. It gives you great negotiating power if you want to trade in the future. It’s also a great way to not see this stuff end up as landfill. I’ve been at my local tip shop and you wouldn’t believe what music gear people just throw out. Music equipment should last a lifetime. Some guitars have been played with love and with passion. It’s just a damn shame to see it end up in a scrap heap. I’m all about saving the environment, reusing and recycling.
Eric Clapton’s Secondhand Guitar “Blackie”
Did you know Eric Clapton’s favourite guitar is a Fender Stratocaster called “Blackie”?
“My first Strat was Brownie, and I played it for years and years, a wonderful guitar. Then I was in Nashville at a store called Sho-Bud, as I recall, and they had a whole rack of old ’50s Strats in the back, going second-hand. They were so out of fashion you could pick up a perfectly genuine Strat for two hundred or three hundred dollars — even less! So I bought all of them. I gave one to Steve Winwood, one to George Harrison, and one to Pete Townshend, and kept a few for myself. I liked the idea of a black body, but the black one I had was in bad condition, so I took apart the ones I kept and assembled different pieces to make Blackie, which is a hybrid, a mongrel.” (Eric Clapton “The Stratocaster Chronicles”)
Eric Clapton sold “Blackie” on 24 June 2004 at Christie’s Auction House, New York to raise funds for Crossroads Centre Antigua (an alcohol and drug treatment centre) he founded in 1997. Blackie sold for $959,500 and holds the record for world’s most expensive guitar. Blackie was purchased by the Guitar Center. (source)
What have you got to lose?
I’m not saying I’m the next Eric Clapton but imagine the stories behind some of this secondhand music gear that’s out there. Not only could you be buying the best sounding piece, you could be giving life back to something that was once lovingly played. Don’t let it end up on the scrap heap.
You can find out more comprehensive, helpful, time and money saving tips to consider when buying secondhand gear here.