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Thread: Buy used rather than new?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
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    1,559

    Default Buy used rather than new?

    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.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2017
    Location
    Utah
    Posts
    1,211

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    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
    My ukulele family.....
    KoAloha Koa concert - circa 2006
    aNueNue Moon Bird concert - Spruce & Rosewood - 2018
    Blackbird Clara - 2019
    Kanilea KCS-SSP super soprano - circa 2016

  3. #3

    Default

    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.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Location
    Southern California
    Posts
    3,353

    Default

    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.
    Kala "Spalted" baritone - Lo D GBE- Fingerstyle
    Gold Tone tenor banjolele - Lo F BbDF Fingerstyle
    Luna “Peace” concert - CGDA (5ths) Fingerstyle

    Kala tenor eight string - gGcCEEAA Strum
    Flea "Red" concert - Hi-F BbDG Strum
    Kala "Exotic Mahogany" soprano - Hi-A DF#B Strum

    Mahalo yellow "Smiley" soprano (Dad's Day gift)
    Ka-Lai Pineapple soprano (old) gift

    Old age should rather be feared than death. - Juvenal
    God gave us old age so we wouldn't mind dying so much.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2017
    Location
    Sacramento
    Posts
    61

    Default

    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!
    Last edited by El Viejo; 08-12-2018 at 10:13 AM.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Location
    Southern California
    Posts
    3,353

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    Yeah, that’s the way ta go. Be careful what you buy and keep whatcha got!
    Kala "Spalted" baritone - Lo D GBE- Fingerstyle
    Gold Tone tenor banjolele - Lo F BbDF Fingerstyle
    Luna “Peace” concert - CGDA (5ths) Fingerstyle

    Kala tenor eight string - gGcCEEAA Strum
    Flea "Red" concert - Hi-F BbDG Strum
    Kala "Exotic Mahogany" soprano - Hi-A DF#B Strum

    Mahalo yellow "Smiley" soprano (Dad's Day gift)
    Ka-Lai Pineapple soprano (old) gift

    Old age should rather be feared than death. - Juvenal
    God gave us old age so we wouldn't mind dying so much.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Location
    Ames, Iowa
    Posts
    3,844

    Default

    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 don't want to live in a world that is linear.

    I just want everyone to understand that I am not a ukulele expert, even though it may look at times like I'm pretending to be.

    https://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_n...tective+Agency

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Location
    Southern California
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rllink View Post
    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.
    Kala "Spalted" baritone - Lo D GBE- Fingerstyle
    Gold Tone tenor banjolele - Lo F BbDF Fingerstyle
    Luna “Peace” concert - CGDA (5ths) Fingerstyle

    Kala tenor eight string - gGcCEEAA Strum
    Flea "Red" concert - Hi-F BbDG Strum
    Kala "Exotic Mahogany" soprano - Hi-A DF#B Strum

    Mahalo yellow "Smiley" soprano (Dad's Day gift)
    Ka-Lai Pineapple soprano (old) gift

    Old age should rather be feared than death. - Juvenal
    God gave us old age so we wouldn't mind dying so much.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2017
    Location
    FL, USA
    Posts
    962

    Default

    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
    Last edited by bratsche; 08-12-2018 at 01:39 PM.
    A bunch of stringed instruments tuned in fifths. And a bunch of cats!


    "There are two refuges from the miseries of life: music and cats." - Albert Schweitzer

    GearGems - Gifts & apparel for musicians and more!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Chicago, IL
    Posts
    487

    Default

    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.

    Originally Posted by ukemunga:
    "Best is a very personal thing. You gotta play it to love it. And you'll always think there's one better. And there is."

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