David Bakke shares tips for shopping smart, saving money, and investing for the future on the blog Money Crashers Personal Finance.
Considering that the price of a guitar can cost hundreds of dollars and the average drum kit costs nearly a grand, there’s no doubt that buying musical instruments can be extremely expensive. So whether you’re just learning to play a musical instrument or are a professional, it’s in your best interests to save as much money as possible – without sacrificing quality.
Here are five ways you may be able to score an excellent deal on your next piece of musical equipment:
1. Purchase Used Equipment
One of the best ways to save money on musical instruments is to buy used. Amazon and eBay are your best bets for online shopping, and you can also check Craigslist. Just make sure you check the reseller rating and return policy of any seller on Amazon or eBay, and if you agree to pick up an item found on Craigslist, take a friend with you, and only meet in well-lit, public places.
You may also want to check local pawn shops. Many feature a decent variety of instruments, and you can haggle over price to ensure that you get a great deal. Just be sure to check their return policies, as many do not offer cash back under any circumstances. If you’re considering buying from a pawn shop, test the item thoroughly before taking it home.
2. Thoroughly Research Prices Online
Prior to committing to any purchase, do an Internet search for your item, such as “used Gibson guitar price.” That way, you can gain a good idea of what your desired item is actually worth. Then, when you browse online or brick-and-mortar retailers, you’ll know whether you’re getting a good deal. Feel free to print out the results of your research and take it with you to a pawn shop, as this may net you a bigger discount.
3. Check Competing Stores
Perhaps you’ve had your eye on an instrument at a nearby music store. Have you checked any other independent music shops in your area to see if they offer a better price? Sometimes you can find a hidden gem with awesome prices, even if they don’t have a great online presence.
4. Use Social Media
If you have a lot of Facebook friends or Twitter followers, it wouldn’t hurt to mention the instrument you’re looking for on your social media accounts. Even if no one in your network has what you want, they may know of someone who does.
5. Pay More for Quality to Save Money in the Long Run
While purchasing a more expensive, higher quality instrument may seem counter-intuitive, it could save you money in the long run. If you save $50 by purchasing a cheap guitar that could break within a year, you’ll be buying another one much sooner than you planned. Invest in a quality item and you’ll get a much longer life out of your instrument.
If you find that you’ve racked up some solid savings by using these strategies, consider further improving your finances. Instead of blowing those savings on other purchases, put them towards a financial goal, such as saving more for retirement, or even investing in your kid’s college fund. Saving money on musical instruments is great – but putting those savings effectively to use is even better.
What additional ways can you think of to save money on musical instruments? Let us know in the comments section below.
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[Guitar image from Shutterstock.]