May 27, 2024

Pros & Cons of Investing in Used Music Equipment

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Everybody loves a discount, especially when the cost of brand spanking new music gear can burn a large hole in your wallet. High-end musical instruments and equipment are built to last for many years, which is why so many people invest in used gear. 

A lot of folks imported brand new equipment to save money on music products. But, if you live in the United States, you’re probably well aware that the dollar isn’t what it once was, which adds to the cost of importing music equipment from abroad. During these strange times, unemployment rates are through the roof, so not everybody is in the financial position to buy luxury items like sound-canceling headphones or a Fender Stratocaster, but you can find many second hand music products for less than 50% of the original cost

However, buying used music items does have its drawbacks. You can save a small fortune by investing in second hand equipment, but you will want to be careful before agreeing on a deal. 

Pros: Shopping for Used Items Online

The problem with buying used items from a physical second hand store is that they only stock a limited amount of products. There are several well-known online marketplaces and auctions that allow people to sell their old equipment, so you are bound to find something that interests you. 

Going from store to store can take a lot of time, but you can shop around online in a short space of time. There are lots of sites like eBay and Craigslist that allow people to buy and sell used items. These online marketplaces use easy-to-use interfaces and apps, so users can find what they are looking for in a matter of minutes. So if you don’t want to buy brand new equipment from reputable stores like SoundImports, it might be worth your while checking out sites that offer second hand goods instead. 

Most sellers upload a range of photographs of the used items they are selling, along with a detailed description of the item. You should consider making direct contact with the seller for further information, which will give you an idea of what the product is really like. You should have no problems finding the best second hand Gibson guitars, Beats By Dre headphones, or SMSL amplifiers on most of these sites. 

Cons: Shopping for Used Items Online

Shopping for used music equipment online can be a daunting experience. There have been plenty of horror stories, and with cybercriminal activity and fraud on the rise, consumers have to be extra careful, especially when using their sensitive bank information to pay for these products. 

If the item you purchase has been damaged, getting a refund can prove challenging. You should only purchase an item from a reputable seller. Most online marketplaces allow consumers to rate sellers they have dealt with in the past, which will give you an insight into what it is like to deal with them. Consider reading reviews and comments before spending your hard earned money on second hand music gear, and keep an eye out for fake reviews. Make sure that the seller will give you a full refund if the product is damaged when it arrives at your door. 

The other problem you will find when buying a second hand product online is that you won’t get the chance to listen or feel it before you buy it. If you go into your local second hand store, you should be able to try the products for sale before you purchase them. When shopping online, you will have to put your faith in the seller and the product without giving it a go. 

Pros: Save Money

If you are in the market for a brand new Gibson Les Paul guitar, you can expect to pay approximately $2,000. However, you should be able to buy a used Les Paul for $1,000 online. Well known brands like Gibson manufacture guitars that are built to last, so most of them will function properly even after years of being played. 

People buy musical instruments all of the time because they intend on learning how to play, but many give up shortly after investing in the item. So, instead of the instrument collecting dust and taking up space around the house, they decide to sell it online or a second hand store instead. This is one of the reasons you’ll find thousands of instruments and other equipment on the web. If a person gives up playing after a short time, the instrument will be almost as good as new. Some instrument owners are happy to sell their old items for much less than the original cost, so there is a good chance you will be able to get an incredible deal. Lots of seasoned musicians only invest in second hand instruments. 

The seller might advertise the price on the marketplace, but there is no harm in asking for a discount. If they are a well-known seller, they will be used to negotiating with potential customers, so don’t be afraid to ask for a reduction. Even if they decline your request, there is no harm in asking. 

Cons:  There Might Be Hidden Problems

Years of wear and tear can damage music equipment, but just because the item looks and sounds great, doesn’t mean there isn’t something wrong with it. Music gear can have structural problems that you might not be able to see. If there are any hidden problems, you might have to spend a lot of cash repairing them or making adjustments to them. Fixing used music equipment can be challenging, so you might need to hire a professional to work on it. 

You won’t have to worry about structural damage if you buy new products. If there is a problem, you should be able to return it to the physical or online store, and they should replace it without any issues. Unlike used gear, most new music equipment comes with a warranty. 

Pros: Sustainability

Unfortunately, most music equipment is not disposable. Nowadays, the impact global warming is having on our planet is no secret, which is why you should consider buying used music gear. Because there is such a high demand for music equipment, the volume of music gear being produced is growing. 

If you consider that well-built music equipment is designed to last for decades, then you should have no problems buying used music equipment. Of course, you don’t want to invest in damaged gear, but you should think about the climate before purchasing brand new products. It’s a great way of saving cash and doing your part for the planet. 


Although it can be risky to invest in used goods, there are a lot of folks satisfied with second hand music equipment that they bought either online or from traditional second hand stores. If you are not in a position to buy new items, and you want to help the environment, then used gear might do the trick. Buying and selling used products online have been increasing in recent years. A recent survey showed that there was an increase in the number of second hand items being sold online by sixty-nine percent between 2019 to 2021. This means that there are more used items for sale on the web than ever before, so before you buy brand new, check out some of these marketplaces.

author avatar
Bernard - Side-Line Staff Chief editor
Bernard Van Isacker is the Chief Editor of Side-Line Magazine. With a career spanning more than two decades, Van Isacker has established himself as a respected figure in the darkwave scene.

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