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Joyful Uke
08-12-2018, 07:34 AM
The thread on trying at a store & then buying online has me wondering if I'm the only one who feels conflicted about buying used.

I probably wouldn't feel guilty about buying a mass produced ukulele used, but when a smaller company (like Kamaka) or luthier (like Kinnard, Ono, LoPrinzi) loses the sale because of a used ukulele being available instead, I start to feel conflicted. And a seller, like HMS, Mim, or Uke Republic doesn't get the business either.

That said, I suspect they'd want their ukuleles where they will be used & enjoyed, and some of us have had the opportunity to try ukuleles via the used market that we wouldn't otherwise have been able to experience.

There are pros & cons, just like buying online instead of in a local store.

RafterGirl
08-12-2018, 08:17 AM
I own & have owned ukuleles that came to me from all of the sources you've mentioned. I've sold 2 ukuleles on the UU marketplace, sold a few to friends, and gifted some to people.

My starter ukulele was purchased at a small local acoustic guitar shop. They have a small assortment of low to medium end mass produced ukuleles, but nothing higher end at all. I do support them by buying all sorts of odds & ends from them, and having them provide service work that I need from time to time.

I've ordered new ukuleles online from Sam Ash, Uke Republic, Bonanza, and Mim. I've had Donna at Loprinzi custom build a ukulele for me. I've bought used ukuleles from a member of my local ukulele group & also from Reverb. There's really no opportunity for me to see or play anything other than low to medium mass produced ukuleles in my area. Getting something new, like a K brand, or a luthier built ukulele means online ordering. Getting a unique brand ukulele used means either happening upon one that a local uke group member wants to sell, or going to an online source like UU, Flea Market Music, UAS ukulele marketplace, Ebay, or Reverb.

I have no problem going either route .....new or used. Many people can't afford to buy new. Many people are probably like me....in their first year of ukulele addiction and searching for their perfect size & sound of ukulele, and buying used makes better sense financially. Whatever method gets a ukulele into the hands of someone who'll love it & play it is the bottom line for me. I try to distribute my ukulele funds in a variety of places....an equal opportunity addict ;)

captain-janeway
08-12-2018, 09:20 AM
I've only picked up one cheap one locally on CL because I wanted to try out soprano size. I like Mim, and I'd support my local shop if they had something that really screamed my name. It seems that everything seems to be price within $10 of each other if mass produced. Seems to be liked motorcycle helmets. No matter where you buy, they're all the same price.
I guess it really depends on the uke and how I felt about it.

Down Up Dick
08-12-2018, 09:37 AM
I haven’t bought anything used for a long, long time, and I won’t ever again unless I simply must have it. And I don’t sell nuthin’ to nobody anymore. I’d rather just give unwanted stuff away, like to Goodwill. I’ve had so much trouble and so many hard feelings from buyers when sellin’ stuff that I just don’t do it anymore.

Actually, I buy carefully and usually want to keep and use what I buy anyway. :old:

El Viejo
08-12-2018, 10:10 AM
Unless an instrument's one that I HAVE to have and that I just can't find new, I don't think I will ever be buying used again in the future myself. My last two buying experiences were both pretty poor... in both cases, the sellers were not very careful or knowledgeable in shipping. In one case, the seller chose to cheap out on ground shipping. As a result, the uke spent 13 days crossing the US in trucks with no humidifier during dead summer, and getting significantly heat stressed with the top noticeably sinking and the fretboard receding. The seller then was unresponsive when I raised the issue, and I gave up as it wasn't worth pursuing.

In another case, the seller shipped an instrument with strings under tension during the summer, resulting in a soundboard crack. Then we had to go back and forth about a partial refund- I chose to keep it rather than hassling with shipping it back. Again, though, not a good experience (though a repair and some proper humidification have the instrument back into decent shape).

More power to those who enjoy buying and selling used! I don't think it's for me, though. If I ever decide to get rid of an instrument, I will either sell it at a very cheap price to my local store who can then turn it around for a profit, or I'll just give it away to someone who would enjoy it.

To go with this strategy, though, I'll have to be like you, Down Up Dick- I'm going to have to be strategic about anything else I buy moving forward!

Down Up Dick
08-12-2018, 10:44 AM
Yeah, that’s the way ta go. Be careful what you buy and keep whatcha got! :cheers: :old:

Rllink
08-12-2018, 10:45 AM
I do not peruse the used ukulele market for something to buy, I know what I want and then I look for it. If I found what I'm looking for in used condition at a substantial savings compared to new, I might buy used, but so far that has not been the case.

Down Up Dick
08-12-2018, 10:49 AM
I do not peruse the used ukulele market for something to buy, I know what I want and then I look for it. If I found what I'm looking for in used condition at a substantial savings compared to new, I might buy used, but so far that has not been the case.

I do peruse the “used ukulele market”, but just to see what’s there (somethin’ ta do). I’m done buying ukes. :old:

bratsche
08-12-2018, 01:30 PM
It's been ages, as in decades, since I've bought any non-edible item new, with the exception of underwear (that's my limit. LOL)

I could probably afford to spend more, but it's kind of "the thrill of the hunt" principle at work. I always have half a dozen ebay and CL search tabs open, and peruse them multiple times daily. I go to thrift stores and garage sales, and even dumpster dive. Love to brag about bargains I've found, be it a musical instrument, clothing, furniture or decor item, camera, vehicle, hard to find or one-of-a-kind thing that appeals to me. That's just the way I roll. It's a habit I acquired early in life, and have fine-tuned over the years.

Okay, I lied somewhat in the first paragraph. We've paid to have some home improvements done, so those are technically "new" additions. But you can't exactly find used windows, doors, etc. that just happen to fit! In principle, though, I abide by the above as much as I possibly can.

bratsche

bearbike137
08-12-2018, 01:41 PM
Every used uke was once new.

A robust used market means a robust new market! Trust me, if there wasn't a viable used market, I would have bought a lot fewer new ukes.

Down Up Dick
08-12-2018, 01:48 PM
Come to think of it, there is one second hand thing I’ve been hankerin’ to buy. I’d like to buy a used banjo that I can take apart without worryin’ about wrecking it. I’d like to learn what makes it tick, and, mebbe, fix it up. I’ve looked at ‘em, but they’re either too wrecked or too expensive.

Do any of you have any luck buying instruments at Hock Shops? :old:

Nickie
08-12-2018, 03:49 PM
I've only bought 2 used ukes, and I sold both of them. They were okay, but I just didn't bond with them. I did buy a used UBass here for my wife, and she played it onstage yesterday and today.
My wife, however, has bought 2 used ukes, both from the same friend, and still has them both. She plays one regularly.
I trust Mim, implicitly, and would buy whatever she says to buy, she knows my tastes.
There is one local seller that I won't buy from again. I would buy from our Sam Ash, if one screamed at me from the wall.
I do look in thrift stores and hock shops, but so far have found nothing.
I plan to never buy from Amazon. I won't even buy toothpicks there.

Graham Greenbag
08-12-2018, 09:21 PM
The thread on trying at a store & then buying online has me wondering if I'm the only one who feels conflicted about buying used.

I probably wouldn't feel guilty about buying a mass produced ukulele used, but when a smaller company (like Kamaka) or luthier (like Kinnard, Ono, LoPrinzi) loses the sale because of a used ukulele being available instead, I start to feel conflicted. And a seller, like HMS, Mim, or Uke Republic doesn't get the business either.

That said, I suspect they'd want their ukuleles where they will be used & enjoyed, and some of us have had the opportunity to try ukuleles via the used market that we wouldn't otherwise have been able to experience.

There are pros & cons, just like buying online instead of in a local store.

Feeling conflicted about buying used instead of new? Please don’t be conflicted about it at all but instead buy and sell on the used market whenever you can. The used market is environmentally friendly in that it reuses an existing item; the used market also allows people to have an item at a price that they can better afford - or afford at all - and it allows people to release an item for funds that can then be used for other purposes including new purchase. I have sold a few Ukes and I’m glad to have put we’ll set up instruments into the market for someone to enjoy playing.

Luthiers and shops might miss a sale if you buy second hand instead but no one has a right to sell you something and you are under no obligation to provide them with a livelihood. Your money can, instead, go to someone else who provides you with an other service, or item, that you need more - who loose income when you buy a Uke instead. Indeed those individuals (Luthiers and Shopkeepers) can use their skills in multiple other ways too, they don’t need to be dependant on your purchases and are responsible for how they earn their living and who’s needs they cater for.

Buy and sell second hand where it works for you, but do it with some care and where practical with some protective mechanisms. Ensure that both sides are open and honest about description, condition and faults, and don’t sell to or buy from anyone who you don’t feel is genuine. In my experience nearly all buyers and sellers behave properly but occasionally you will come across a difficult person, so just like in any shop really.

Edit. I note Nickie’s dislike of Amazon above and have empathy with it. Because I don’t like their business practices (aggressive tax avoidance is a form of theft) I’ll only deal with them when necessary and not otherwise.

DownUpDave
08-13-2018, 01:03 AM
I have bought and sold many ukes. The majority of the ukes that have gone through this house were used ukes and purchased right here in the UU Marketplace forum. Purchasing used from an established member is the safest way to buy used. I save money as compared to buying new and the seller recoups some of their expenditure, win-win.

It also allows me to try different wood combos, makes and styles to find out what I like. This becomes a way to educate myself and if it doesnt work out I resell in the Marketplace at a small lose. I have also purchased my fair share of new ukes from HMS.

Rllink
08-13-2018, 02:22 AM
I plan to never buy from Amazon. I won't even buy toothpicks there.Ouch, that kind of hurt.

Pirate Jim
08-13-2018, 02:23 AM
As many others have stated, do both! When there's a uke I know I want I'll more often as not buy new and support one of the too-few-and-far-between specialist uke shops. There's no substitute for buying used when you're wanting to try something out though. I've managed to get used high end instruments at a steal used and discovered that they weren't for me and moved them on at no financial loss and a lot of knowledge gain. Once I narrow down my preferences then I shop new without the financial risk. Obviously if you live near enough a shop that stocks a lot of ukes then you don't need to do this but it's worked like a charm for me.

Jerryc41
08-13-2018, 02:57 AM
A friend told me about UU and Fleamarket, so I've saved quite a bit buying used ukes. People take good care of their instruments, and I've never had a problem with a used uke. The only problem is finding what I want anywhere but new. Given the choice of two identical instruments - make and model - I'd buy the used one every time.

Swamp Yankee
08-13-2018, 05:00 AM
Every used uke was once new.

A robust used market means a robust new market! Trust me, if there wasn't a viable used market, I would have bought a lot fewer new ukes.

^^^ This ^^^^ When considering the purchase of any new instrument, the perception of how desirable that instrument might be in the future as a used instrument often weighs heavily in my decision process. A big consideration for many... will I be able to sell this without taking a bath in a year or so if it doesn't become a "keeper"?
The vast majority of instruments that I own were bought used, and without an opportunity to put hands on the instrument first. My experience, over the years of buying scores of instruments this way, has been overwhelmingly positive. Yes, now and then a seller will fail to mention something they ought to have, but as far as I can tell, these are the exceptions to the rule, and only once has their dishonesty resulted in me returning the item.

hollisdwyer
08-13-2018, 06:57 AM
I have bought and sold many ukes. The majority of the ukes that have gone through this house were used ukes and purchased right here in the UU Marketplace forum. Purchasing used from an established member is the safest way to buy used. I save money as compared to buying used and the seller recoups some of their expenditure, win-win.

It also allows me to try different wood combos, makes and styles to find out what I like. This becomes a way to educate myself and if it doesnt work out I resell in the Marketplace at a small lose. I have also purchased my fair share of new ukes from HMS.

Dave always makes such good sense. Purchasing 2nd hand was my entry to the wonderful world of Luthier built instruments. It taught me what a good instrument was and gave me the confidence to commission my own bespoke Uke/s.

greenie44
08-13-2018, 07:08 AM
Dave always makes such good sense. Purchasing 2nd hand was my entry to the wonderful world of Luthier built instruments. It taught me what a good instrument was and gave me the confidence to commission my own bespoke Uke/s.

I'm with you on this one. For the past, oh, 3-4 years, I have pretty much known what luthier's work I would consider. (Yes, I have a few ukes .. .) The thing about used instruments that always appealed to me is that they are pre-depreciated. If I buy a used instrument at a decent price and nothing untoward happens, I can pretty much sell if for near that price. So it's like a 'free' trial, or almost free.

Worked well for me when I got my first LdfM. I wanted one ever since I initially played one, and when I saw one used in the Marketplace, I jumped on it. Good idea!

spongeuke
08-13-2018, 03:31 PM
I'm a fan and pretty much play, Martin Sopranos. 20 years ago I could only afford distressed ones. After some basic fixes, I discovered the sound of these vintage ukuleles. I then buy used with the exception of one of the first Bushmans because of the price and bling. Last year, I gave it to a local fire victim. Tried New Martins at the local stores but wasn't moved to pull out the Wallet. It is a narrow field of interest as regards to the initial post, I just wish they would build them like they used to.

Xtradust
08-14-2018, 03:59 AM
I love the hunt. Sometimes you find a gem, sometimes you find a dud.

Sometimes I’ll see a sad old vintage Uke that I know that I can fix up. I’ll buy it and give it to a kid.

It makes the kid happy and I’m happy that there is one more old Uke thats a step further from the grave. :)

WestyShane
08-14-2018, 12:09 PM
I probably wouldn't feel guilty about buying a mass produced ukulele used, but when a smaller company (like Kamaka) or luthier (like Kinnard, Ono, LoPrinzi) loses the sale because of a used ukulele being available instead, I start to feel conflicted. And a seller, like HMS, Mim, or Uke Republic doesn't get the business either.


You concern and empathy for retailers and manufacturers is admirable but I have to wonder, does it also apply to car dealerships?

Unless those entities also carry used ukes they are not losing the sale at all. They simply don't carry the item in question. Used ukes are a different product than new ones and that's reflected in the price difference between the two.

Someone who's only looking to spend $x isn't even considering buying from HMS, Kamaka, etc. if a comparable, but new uke, is going to cost them $xxx. The person who sells the used uke may well be liquidating their collection to make room and $ for something that they DO plan to get from the sources the OP lists.

Joyful Uke
08-14-2018, 04:31 PM
You concern and empathy for retailers and manufacturers is admirable but I have to wonder, does it also apply to car dealerships?


I'm not sure I get what you're saying, but my car didn't come with a ukulele. Maybe it was an upgrade?

I have bought used, (here on UU), as well as new, & buying used allowed me to try some ukuleles that I wouldn't have been able to try otherwise. I'm not suggesting that it shouldn't be done, butI do think that, like trying something locally & then buying on the internet instead (other thread someone started), there are pros & cons. It was interesting to hear responses. And maybe I'll feel less conflicted now, since I seem to alone in being conflicted. :-)

WestyShane
08-15-2018, 07:08 AM
I'm not sure I get what you're saying, but my car didn't come with a ukulele. Maybe it was an upgrade?

You expressed concern over the supposed loss of business HMS etc. would see if someone bought a used instrument.

I just wondered if you had the same kind of concerns for retailers of other more expensive items which can also be purchased on the used market.

I see where you're coming from though. I have an old VW that I continue to upkeep/upgrade and I prefer to buy from vendors who specialize in providing the unique parts needed to keep it on the road versus my local car parts shops - because I appreciate having those vendors around. But, at some point, frugality has to come into play as I simply can't make purchases solely on the basis of charity toward a commercial enterprise.

Pirate Jim
08-15-2018, 08:15 AM
How about property developers? Do you feel for them or are you ok buying a used house?

Just to be incredibly clear, yes I'm being daft and this is a poor attempt at humour :D

kerneltime
08-15-2018, 10:16 AM
And a seller, like HMS, Mim, or Uke Republic doesn't get the business either.


Ahem.. I have seen HMS sell used ukes, I have a resonator that was purchased from HMS that sold it after TLC to make it nicer.. infact buying used ukes from a website that knows what setup/TLC is, would be preferred!

Joyful Uke
08-15-2018, 11:17 AM
Ahem.. I have seen HMS sell used ukes, I have a resonator that was purchased from HMS that sold it after TLC to make it nicer.. infact buying used ukes from a website that knows what setup/TLC is, would be preferred!

Yes, but they do make money from the sale, so it does help keep them in business.

At least that's how it works when I sell outright (vs. consignment - but they make $ from consignment too) to places like Elderly, or to a local store. They give me X amount of $ upfront when I sell outright, and then when they resell it, they sell for the X amount + extra to give them some income.

Again, I have bought used from UU, too, so that does bypass that, so it's not a judgement on the various routes of buying an instrument, new or used.

bearbike137
08-15-2018, 11:54 AM
This is silly. If a homeowner wants to sell their house without using a realtor, that is perfectly fine and they have every right to do so. They have no moral obligation to use a real estate agent. That said, they are likely to get a better price and a quicker sale with a realtor (with a lot less work!), so there is a trade off.

All the above is true for ukes as well!

Joyful Uke
08-15-2018, 03:15 PM
I must not be stating things well.

Of course anyone has the right to buy or sell in any way they choose.

Thanks for all the interesting responses.

Jerryc41
08-16-2018, 12:41 AM
I'm not sure I get what you're saying, but my car didn't come with a ukulele.

I would bet anything that a car dealer in Hawaii has given a uke away with the purchase of a car. : )

If people bought nothing but new ukuleles, that would be great for dealers, but what would happen to all the old ukes? I wouldn't be too quick to donate a $600 uke.