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View Full Version : What are the Pros and Cons of buying a used Ukulele?



cyber3d
07-25-2017, 07:11 PM
Hi all, so just returned my Kala . . . again. So, I am without a Ukulele. Very sad. Maybe I should get a used one instead of a new one. But, what are the pros and cons of a used ukulele?

igorthebarbarian
07-25-2017, 07:56 PM
I've had good experience buying from folks here on the marketplace

mountain goat
07-25-2017, 08:25 PM
pros: a worn fretboard and signs of use across the soundboard is, to me at least an excellent indication the instrument has been played a lot and loved; often you will find a great deal on an instrument that may be essentially in like new condition, but by virtue of being second hand, might be sold at a bargain price.
cons: well, you need to be able to trust someone you don't know who is selling it. why are they selling it? have they disclosed all - if any - the issues the instrument might have in terms of action, fret wires and so on? how can anyone really describe the sound in words when our hearing and preferences as individuals are so inherently subjective?
In an ideal world we would all buy our instruments in person but that is not possible for many of us.
I do echo what igor said above; the vast, vast majority of sellers here are reputable, upstanding people.

spongeuke
07-25-2017, 09:13 PM
Its the only way you can get a vintage ukulele.

JackLuis
07-25-2017, 09:19 PM
Get on Craigs list and see what is available in your area. Out here there are lots of ukes available for very reasonable prices. (under $80 for sure) Are they K brand quality? Not hardly but hey, they play pretty well. For a couple of hundred you can have your choice of some pretty nice ones too. I'd only consider the ones I could try first, so that might restrict you choices in the "Heart Land" but in LA there should be a bunch available.

Croaky Keith
07-25-2017, 09:32 PM
I have never received a bad uke from the reputable dealers that I have dealt with, & I've bought a few. :)

Why not buy from Mim or HMS, these are reputable dealers in the USA, or Southern Ukulele Store if in the UK or Europe.

Buying a pre owned uke is not a bad idea if you are sure you can trust the description, & you often get a better quality uke for your money.

Buying from people on here seems like a good idea, because you know that they know & like their ukes, & I've not read any complaints from the buyers, only compliments.

cyber3d
07-25-2017, 09:38 PM
So, Igorthebarbarian and Mountaingoat, would you say the ukulele community is a tight community? I'm getting the feeling uke people are cut of different material. Maybe the aloha spirit.

mountain goat
07-25-2017, 10:36 PM
So, Igorthebarbarian and Mountaingoat, would you say the ukulele community is a tight community? I'm getting the feeling uke people are cut of different material. Maybe the aloha spirit.

I wouldn't generalise like that, no.
Human nature is human nature.
I can only speak from personal engagement
having bought and sold here for over 7 years now.
I've not had a negative experience.

deznuchs
07-25-2017, 10:47 PM
I haven't heard any problems with purchasing from this group. I'll be honest, I haven't purchased a uke yet from this group but I planning on it. Waiting for the opportune time (when my partner is not looking and when I have some extra cash to burn) to get a Pono RTSH-C when one comes around. Everyone seems to be extremely respectful, friendly and helpful. I think another plus is that you will be getting a broken in uke at a pretty big discount. Most of the ukes that I have seen here are quality ukes and hold their value pretty well. Worse case senerio, you could repost it. I have also noticed that ukes seem to circulate. UAS is pretty rampant in these parts (I have recently relapsed).

phil hague
07-25-2017, 10:52 PM
Hi, I see you live over the water in the USA. Maybe Kala are different over there, all of mine have been very good. Modest prices and very playable. I could buy an expensive uke, but I can play my Kalas and get good sounds from them, especially fingerstyle, so why change?

DownUpDave
07-26-2017, 12:08 AM
A couple of questions.......why did you return the Kala's, what is your budget and what is important to you in a ukulele.

If you don't need something that is perfect in everyway then by all means buy used from here. Buy from an established member, someone who's Marketplace post is not their first one and just joined to try and sell something. Most used ukes in good condition are discounted 25%-40%. That is the biggest pro......cheaper price.

Cons......can be, high action and harder to play then a new uke set up by HMS, Uke Republic or Mims ( highly regarded retailers here). Might have slight defect that has gone unnoticed. Scratchs, dings and dents that may or may not really bother you once you see them in person. No warranty, you buy it, you keep it. Some people here will allow you to return it after a short initial inspection period if you pay the return postage.

I have bought and sold over 25 ukes here in the marketplace and have always been happy. If you can live with something "not new" it is a great way to get more uke for less money

Graham Greenbag
07-26-2017, 12:40 AM
Hi, I see you live over the water in the USA. Maybe Kala are different over there, all of mine have been very good. Modest prices and very playable. I could buy an expensive uke, but I can play my Kalas and get good sounds from them, especially fingerstyle, so why change?

My experience echoes the above.

The posters on UU certainly are a different set to those on other forums. I've found folk here to be virtually all really helpful and friendly, broadly they give the impression of folk that you can rightly trust - buy here with confidence.

I tend to buy 2nd hand rather than new when I can, it's cheaper and more ecological. A small percentage of the purchases on eBay haven't been good deals but overall I'm happy and have saved quite a bit against new prices.

banditcosmo
07-26-2017, 02:38 AM
One big pro is if you don't like it you can always sell it for hopefully what you paid so you won't be out any money. Buying new you lose value right away so if you don't like it you will lose money.

mountain goat
07-26-2017, 03:16 AM
One big pro is if you don't like it you can always sell it for hopefully what you paid so you won't be out any money. Buying new you lose value right away so if you don't like it you will lose money.
that's a great point brother. thanks.

Booli
07-26-2017, 03:48 AM
So, Igorthebarbarian and Mountaingoat, would you say the ukulele community is a tight community? I'm getting the feeling uke people are cut of different material. Maybe the aloha spirit.

I've bought two ukes from folks here on UU, and sold only one, directly to another UU member, and all 3 transactions were completely painless.

Part of that is that honest folks are easy to deal with, and the other part I believe is due to a combination of my own paranoia and OCD that forces me to do due diligence and make sure that my expectations are set according to reality, and not according to some fantasy or some ignorance.

If the first post from a new member is a for-sale post, I personally will avoid it, no matter how good the deal, and if a seller person has less than maybe 50-100 posts but has been on the forum at least 6 months to a year, then IMHO, they are not really active here and part of the community so it is hard to judge their character or integrity.

The advantage to Craigslist, OfferUP, Kijiji and similar local online 'want-ad' type sites is that you usually can meet the person and try the instrument out and inspect it before any money leaves your wallet.

Otherwise you are buying blind from an online vendor, and that is WHY reputable vendors (all of the following include expert setups with every instrument, but GUITAR CENTER does NOT) are worth using such as HMS, Mim's Ukes and Uke Republic, especially since their sole business is ukulele and NOT geetars, trumpets or kazoos that are simply drop-shipped from an Asian factory, and then sent to you without ANY inspection what-so-ever like Amazon and a few other places.

Some of the more experienced sellers here on the UU Marketplace will also allow for a 48-hr inspection period (and return window) from the time the shipping/tracking shows that it has been delivered and the seller might offer a full refund if returned in the same condition, with the caveat that the buyer pays the return shipping.

I find this policy quite generous and very considerate. I do not know how it is on other forums like the Acoustic Guitar Forums, TalkBass BanjoHangout or MandolinCafe, but on UU, there is a lot of grace and compassion here.

Nickie
07-26-2017, 04:19 AM
Everyone, especially Dave and Booli, have offered important information. I've sold one uke here and traded for one, and have had no issues at all. I believe that you can trust UUers, who offer some pretty neat ukes in our Ukulele Marketplace forum. If you're gonna buy new, stick with Mim's Ukes, Uke Republic, HMS (Hawaii Music Supply), or Elderly Music.

Booli
07-26-2017, 04:33 AM
Thanks Nickie, I forgot about Elderly, and +1 for Elderly Music.

In the past 4 yrs, I've bought a guitar and two ukes from them that were all marked as 'used' but were in great shape and exactly as in the photos and description in the listing on their site, and the customer service on the phone has always been top notch.

I have a high level of trust and confidence with Elderly, that what-you-see, is what-you-get based upon their web site's store listings.

actadh
07-26-2017, 05:04 AM
When I first started playing, I didn't know what I didn't know.

I bought a Kay ukulele from a secondhand store thinking could replace the frozen friction peg and reglue the top to the sides, and a camp uke that needed some neck work and set up. I can learn to do that, but three years on, they are still needing these things. My lack of free time and poor mechanical skills keep me from it.

I did get a nice Silvertone and Harmony secondhand, but it was more luck than anything on my part.

I have made the decision not to buy from eBay, Craigslist etc. because it likely will need a set up or minor repair. Maybe I am missing some gems.

But, in the same three years, I have purchased a second hand Brueko from here and a 2011 Mainland and 1930's Globe from Antebellum Instruments. All are wonderful and are played and loved.

Rllink
07-26-2017, 06:21 AM
For me at least, this is not an easy question to answer. I've bought a lot of used stuff in my life, and been thrilled to save a little money. I've bought tons of Vintage Motorcycles and sold them. I was a collector of firearms for most of my life. But as I have gotten older I have gotten less so. Discovering the ukulele to me has been a journey of self discover, and ukuleles are somewhat personal. So I look at them from a different perspective than some I think. I don't have a lot of them and I don't buy, trade, or collect them. To me, a used ukulele is someone's cast off. Even if it is in pristine condition. I know that a lot of people here buy them, play them once or twice, and then get rid of them to make room for the next one. My logic tells me that there is a deal there, but in my gut tells me that it is the one that they didn't want. It is the one they were most willing to get rid of. I feel that way, even if it is something that I want. I just want a new one. I might save twenty or thirty bucks, maybe even more if I bought one used, but I'm past that point where it is going to make any difference in the long run. So for me the con is simply that it was someone else's ukulele and they are casting it aside.

So that is my feelings on your regular factory made ukuleles. I look at vintage ukuleles all of the time, and sometimes I think that I want one. But then I think about what I would do with a vintage ukulele and decide that I don't need a vintage ukulele setting around gathering dust. I would never buy a used custom built ukulele. Not only is it a cast off, but it is a ukulele that was custom built for someone else. I don't care if it cost $5000 and it is being sold for $500. At one time someone else said this is exactly what I want. If I were to get a custom built, I would have one custom built exactly the way I want. I don't want to settle for someone else's custom ukulele.

Okay, all that said, I don't buy ukuleles anyway. I've bought two, my Makala to begin with and my Mainland a year later. I look at ukuleles all the time, and while I have looked at both new and used over the last three years I have not bought one, so my opinion here is pretty much just BS. But it is my opinion. So it just seems to me the pro is that you can save money and that you will get it back if you resell it, and the latter is not a benefit is you don't plan to turn it around. I would never buy a ukulele that I planned to get rid of before I even bought it.

Booli
07-26-2017, 08:01 AM
Rollie-

Please don't take this the wrong way...

I can't help but have the feeling that for you to receive someones used ukulele, is almost like you seeing someone toss chewing gum on the ground, and what it would be like for you to pick up the discarded gum and begin to chew it yourself.

I am sorry you feel this way and I am also sorry if I am incorrect.

Please understand that I am not judging nor criticizing you, but merely just making an observation.

Rllink
07-26-2017, 08:14 AM
Rollie-

Please don't take this the wrong way...

I can't help but have the feeling that for you to receive someones used ukulele, is almost like you seeing someone toss chewing gum on the ground, and what it would be like for you to pick up the discarded gum and begin to chew it yourself.

I am sorry you feel this way and I am also sorry if I am incorrect.

Please understand that I am not judging nor criticizing you, but merely just making an observation.

No problems Booli, you should know that I would not take anything that you said as a personal assault. We all have our own opinions. I don't think that the chewing gum analogy really fits. I mean, who would buy used chewing gum? Nobody would. I'm sure you wouldn't do that. I don't have an analogy that would fit. I can not defend myself. I have no reason for how I feel, I just do. I am who I am.

Croaky Keith
07-26-2017, 08:21 AM
I'm pretty much the same, in that I'm not over keen on pre used, but I think in my case it stems from my childhood where almost everything I had had been handed down from my brothers.

(Having said that, I have just taken a gamble on a pre used piccolo, so I hope it works out OK.)

Rllink
07-26-2017, 08:24 AM
There are many legitimate reasons for "casting off" that have virtually nothing to do with the real worth of a uke. My first standard-sized uke was a used Mainland concert. It was in pristine condition, plays and sounds like a dream, and I got it for $100 less than new, with a gig bag included. It probably sounded better than a new one because it already had four years of seasoning—there's no substitute for time, and ukes generally improve with age. Had I only been looking at new ukes, I'd have ended up with a lesser uke due to my target budget, and it probably wouldn't have been set up properly. I wouldn't have even been looking at Mainlands. So for me, buying used was a boon all around.

I don't see the sense in paying extra money just to lose that value the moment you hand over the dosh. It's like gambling against a rigged wheel.

Ubulele, you are a very practical person. Sometimes I wish that I were more so. (But in this case not really.) I can see from your perspective where my opinion on the subject would not fit into your frame of logic, but I do not think the same as you. So that is me. As I said to Booli, I can't defend how I feel about things. That is how I am. But I find the defense of your stance is well thought out. I would expect nothing less from you. I just look at it differently.

Booli
07-26-2017, 08:30 AM
No problems Booli, you should know that I would not take anything that you said as a personal assault. We all have our own opinions. I don't think that the chewing gum analogy really fits. I mean, who would buy used chewing gum? Nobody would. I'm sure you wouldn't do that. I don't have an analogy that would fit. I can not defend myself. I have no reason for how I feel, I just do. I am who I am.

Ok. No worries.

Maybe it was a flawed analogy.

I appreciate that we all think differently based upon our experiences in life. I was just trying to understand your perspective. I am sorry that I failed to do exactly that.

Nobody should fault you for holding to your own true beliefs and opinions, especially not me, for I have not walked in your shoes. I respect your opinion and just wanted to also thank you for the kindness in your reply. :)

spookelele
07-26-2017, 10:07 AM
I've only bought 1 uke used, and it was from ebay.

Now.. the caveat, was that I bought it as a beater. Something I could take camping/hiking/etc where damage was likely.
I was careful about checking detailed pics, and it was a well known model (kala cedar top).
And I got a great deal on a good uke.

But... maybe that was luck.

There's always a bit of risk that you have to accept buying used. But it can be mediated by detailed pics, and seller ratings.

derbyhat
07-26-2017, 10:13 AM
I would never buy a used custom built ukulele. Not only is it a cast off, but it is a ukulele that was custom built for someone else. I don't care if it cost $5000 and it is being sold for $500. At one time someone else said this is exactly what I want. If I were to get a custom built, I would have one custom built exactly the way I want. I don't want to settle for someone else's custom ukulele.

This is really cool because I'm the exact opposite right now. The only way I'd get a custom uke is by buying it second hand on account of the lower price.

Some day, after winning the lottery, maybe things will change. Who wants in on the next big Powerball with me?

bunnyf
07-26-2017, 11:28 AM
I'm big on used. They can be a great bargain. Key word CAN. I've bought and sold here on UU with only positive experiences. If I found, down the road that a particular uke didn't suit, I have not paid full price and can resell without any kind of big hit. Now on the other hand I have made a few vintage purchases (not on UU) that were disappointing. I didn't lose a ton, but in retrospect I would not go down that road without being more knowledgeable or ONLY buying from a truly trusted source. My best used deal was my Pono PC Bari that I got used, 1/2 price, locally, from a TBUS member who bought it as their starter uke from HMS and only played for a couple of months. I don't rule out new, though. Sometimes it's hard to get what you want used. I've got my eye on a Pono steel string tenor guitar. I'll just keep my eyes out for a sale 'cuz I doubt I'll find it used anytime soon.

cyber3d
07-26-2017, 01:25 PM
Hi, I see you live over the water in the USA. Maybe Kala are different over there, all of mine have been very good. Modest prices and very playable. I could buy an expensive uke, but I can play my Kalas and get good sounds from them, especially fingerstyle, so why change?

I really liked the Kala KA‑SRT‑SC I bought. But, I think my not keeping it was meant to be. The first one had warped top board (really warped - just did not look at it from the side.), the second one had a noticeable buzz. It was delaminating from the inside. It was bad enough for me to put a borescope inside. Someone did not do a proper quality inspection. So, I've had it with Kala. That's why I thought to look for one in the Marketplace. However, I did just today buy a new uke. . .

Rob Uker
07-27-2017, 03:05 AM
It all depends on how much you crave a pristine instrument and how tolerant you are of scratches and wear marks.

bearbike137
07-27-2017, 03:59 AM
Other than a lack of warranty, I don't think there are any cons to buying used - as long as you take the necessary precautions when dealing with a private seller (Paypal, etc).

And the notion that people only sell lousy sounding ukes is absolutely incorrect. Ask Corey at HMS about the used Cuban Mahogany Ko'olua I sold him! Moreover, every vintage instrument ever purchased was a used instrument.

It is actually a great way to save money on purchases (and also limits your downside if you decide you want to sell it yourself).

bratsche
07-27-2017, 08:07 AM
Coming from my viola/violin background, buying used instruments is second nature. Comparatively few players buy those new. I buy almost everything used. I wouldn't buy a new house, vehicle, furniture or clothes (well, except underwear - LOL). I shop in thrift stores, and on Craigslist and eBay frequently. I love to find bargains I can be proud of spending little on for how good they are. Craigslist hasn't yielded much in instruments over the years, mainly just a few that I've found super-cheap and flipped for more money, but I've bought virtually all my 'keeper' instruments online. The one exception is a mandola someone made for me.

bratsche

Nickie
07-27-2017, 08:50 AM
bratsche,
I totally agree, both my fiddles were used, one was pretty old (1930s). I would never consider a brand new fiddle. But as for a house, after living in this 1956 vintage house, I'd take a brand new one any day. Old (used) houses are nothing but a pain in the bank account. If I had the money, we'd dump this sucker and move into a brand spanking new home.

Joyful Uke
07-27-2017, 03:13 PM
To me, a used ukulele is someone's cast off. Even if it is in pristine condition. I know that a lot of people here buy them, play them once or twice, and then get rid of them to make room for the next one. My logic tells me that there is a deal there, but in my gut tells me that it is the one that they didn't want. It is the one they were most willing to get rid of.

I think I get the idea of what you're saying, but I think it might depend on why someone is selling the ukulele.

For example, I'm toying with the idea of selling a ukulele that is a great ukulele, (IMO), but I'm realizing that I play better on smaller ukuleles, and can play longer on smaller ukuleles. (Might eventually sell the tenor, but keep Ohta San, soprano, and concert.) If I sell it, it's not really a cast off, but one that isn't right for me.

Some people sell because they've lost interest in ukulele, or have a health or financial situation that makes it necessary to stop playing.

Some people here on UU seem to like to experiment with different ukuleles, and try one out, and then pass it along so they can try something else. Their "cast off" might be a fantastic ukulele in perfect condition.

And, yes, some are probably less desirable, but we all differ in taste, and those cast offs might be perfect for someone else.

I did buy one used ukulele from the Market Place here. It was just what I was wanting, (Kinnard soprano), including the woods I wanted. The advantage of buying used was I got it right away instead of a long wait on the Kinnard build list, and got it for a great price. I love it.

There is risk in buying used, but I think that there a number of people here on UU who can be trusted to give an accurate description, and make it a painless process. When I was buying the used soprano, I went back through the person's posts, and felt like I could trust the person. (And fortunately, that was accurate.)

There is also risk in buying new, as the OP seems to have experienced with your unfortunate experiences with the Kala.

While buying from HMS, Mim, or Uke Republic can help you make sure that the ukulele is well set up, many of the ukuleles for sale here have been purchased from those places, and are well set up also.

We all have our personal preferences, and Rollie is very entitled to prefer to buy new, (I feel the same about some other items). But you might find a good price for a well loved and cared for ukulele if you buy used, so it will be up to the OP to decide what is comfortable for him/her. It might be one that someone regretfully is parting with, (wrong uke for the person, or circumstances requiring selling), but it might be the perfect ukulele for you.

Edited to add:
There are some stores who sell used ukuleles as well. Someone mentioned Elderly, and I personally wouldn't hesitate to buy one from them.

I recently contacted Acoustic Music Works about a used ukulele, and they basically told me that it's a lovely ukulele, but based on what I told them, they suggested that it wasn't right for me, so I think I would trust them as well, since they gave up a potential sale, preferring to have a happy customer.

There are other places as well, depending on your budget, (I think Ukulele Friend is mostly high end ukuleles, correct?)

Lots of options, and trustworthy places to get a good price on a potentially perfect-for-you ukulele.

Olarte
08-04-2017, 06:00 AM
80% of my 40sh uke collection has come from the us market place. Just make sure you deal with an established member. It's part of the aloha spirit of UU.

Pueo
08-04-2017, 12:02 PM
Just a thought:
I have two ukuleles that I love very much that I am going to post for sale soon because there is a rather expensive high-end ukulele, also used, that I would not otherwise be able to afford.
There are only three or four of the 10 ukuleles that I have that are really worth anything in the resale market, so I have chosen to sell two of them to try and raise money to buy the one I want.

It was not an easy decision.
I have played this high-end ukulele and I know there is only a slim chance that a deal like this will materialize again.
I have played the two I want to sell and I really do love them, but they are each kind of redundant in my ukulele collection so I would be OK with letting someone else enjoy them as much as I have. Plus it will give me an opportunity to get something else. Sure I am losing money on the deal, but I figure I have had my time with the ukuleles I am selling and that time was easily worth it. I hope the potential buyer(s) feel the same way.

Booli
08-04-2017, 12:09 PM
@Bill - there is a lot of great wisdom in your words posted above. +1 :)

Ivan has also very adeptly summed up many things into a concise and accurate one-liner. +1 :)

Just my 2 cents of feedback and I welcome other points of view as well...\m/

Booli
08-04-2017, 12:11 PM
@Pueo - your thoughts and process are very similar to my own at the moment.

Likely this is a common experience for many. :)

Chopped Liver
08-04-2017, 12:23 PM
Reading about those ukes that are discarded and not wanted anymore, makes me wish I was rich and could buy them all to give them a home.:(

Weird, I know. You'd have to know my past to understand . . .

But I also understand the wanting the new uke smell! :o

Charley
08-04-2017, 04:33 PM
Of the half dozen ukuleles I've owned, I've bought a few new and a few used, and haven't had issues with any of them. Like others on the thread have mentioned, as long as you're buying it from a reputable place (like this forum), you're good.

For what it's worth, the only ukulele I haven't been super happy with was the one someone bought for me as a gift - not a bad ukulele at all, and lots of people like this particular brand and model, but it's just not what I would have chosen and I've always kind of felt stuck with it.

70sSanO
08-04-2017, 06:19 PM
I've bought both new and used instruments and have a few nice eBay guitars. If you buy off eBay make sure it can be returned.

On another note... you live in West LA. There has to be tons of used ukuleles not far from you on Craigslist, as has been mentioned, or at one of the many music stores and pawn shops. Just get out and see what available. Some of the best times can be had just searching for that one particular instrument. The downside are the ones you wish you didn't pass on and kick yourself down the road... Chris Squire bass, pre-Gibson Tobias bass, etc...

John

ksiegel
08-04-2017, 06:34 PM
I would never buy a ukulele that I planned to get rid of before I even bought it.

I have never bought a ukulele with plans to get rid of it. I buy (mostly) for keeps.

That being said, I got a Republic concert uke (new) a few years back, knowing it was being discontinued. Concert-size, with a hard shell case. I sent it up to Tudorp in Michigan, and he gave it a 1st-class setup, with a bone nut and bridge, leveled the frets, made it as nice as possible with what turned out to be a super-thick sound board.

I rarely play it - it sounds fine, but kinda quiet. laminated zebrawood body, a pretty little uke. But, as I don't play it, I was going to sell it, cheap.

My wife said "No." When I get around to a solid-body zebrawood uke that meets her approval, THEN I can sell the Republic uke, and not until.

As for Custom Ukes, I have one. Made for me by Bradford Donaldson. It is mine, period. Although everyone who has every played it loves the instrument (including Sarah Maisel and Stu Fuchs), I will not give this one up, even if I get to the point I can no longer play.

I do have a few 2nd/3rd hand ukes bought, sight unseen. All came from people I trust, here on UU.And I am happy with them. I have no plans to sell any of my ukes, as long as I'm alive.



-Kurt

librainian
08-04-2017, 06:46 PM
A long time ago I read the book "The Paradox of Choice" and realized that I was falling into the maximizer trap. Always wanting the best deal and the latest and greatest. I try to let the 80/20 rule and the law of diminishing returns guide my decisions these days and not try and stress so much about making the perfect decision all the time.

I enjoy trying different instruments and buying used is the only feasible solution for me from an economics standpoint. This comes with risks and I accept that as the price of my exploration and experimentation.

When I got into ukulele about 5 years ago I started with a couple of used Harmony sopranos via Craigslist for $15 each and have bought every instrument since used. I bought a vintage Cameo (made in japan) baritone at Goodwill that had some problems. I learned how to fix and do a proper setup on a uke because of that instrument and I got a lot of personal satisfaction from that process despite the fact it was not a stellar instrument.

I have bought every one of my ukes since then through this forum and none of them were perfect but all of them were loved and played before I had them and got more of the same from me regardless of any flaws in appearance or playability. Unless I still have them, these were passed on in the same manner with even more honest play wear and a better setup than I found them.

Music is inherently an ephemeral art form and so are the instruments we use to make it. Short of some major structural problems which are easy to spot, playability is something which can be fixed with a little practice and patience. If I had a Moore Bettah would I leave it hanging, afraid to scratch it or play the heck out of it? I vote the latter and I guess there is something about honest "player wear" that has its own special beauty to me.

dinghy
08-05-2017, 07:54 AM
ahoy

have been lucky
love second hand ukes

last month bought KoAloha soprano
about 1/3 original price

had cracked top
knew about it when offered to buy

fixed crack white glue and cleat

love this Uke
sounds wonderful
new
would have been way outside my price range

buy and sell second hand books,
in a 90 year old building
live in 98 year old house,
drive second hand old Volvo
sailing dinghy is second hand 35 years old,
this computer was bought second hand on ebay
my two dogs came from a shelter,

live with second wife,
am her second husband

yours truly
mac