Should you buy second hand gear or brand new? – Let’s talk about it!
Being a guitarist, in fact, being a musician we are all in love with gear! Hear of all ranges! For me, it is Amps, pedals and guitars! However, buying gear comes with a decision. Do you go brand new or do you go second hand gear? This is a choice we all make even if it’s subconsciously.
I thought I would put together an article going over some of the pros of cons of each new and used gear. So if you are looking at buying some new gear and don’t know if you should buy new or used this should help!
Brand new comes with warranty
Worried about things going wrong? Well, when buying brand new you don’t have that worry! Most brand-new gear will come with a warranty of some kind, no matter where you buy it from. Factory warranties are pretty universal now and apply to almost everything. So If you are worried about that piece of gear breaking or you being left out of pocket. At least with new you can send it back and get a refund or repaired.
The range and amount of warranty you get depend on the product and company. You will struggle to find any brand that doesn’t give at least a 1-year warranty with their products. For example, my Fender Tone Master (Review Here) comes with a 1-year warranty. Whereas most boss pedals come with a 5-year warranty. Most of the time all you have to do to claim the full warranty is register the product online. Simple and easy and gives you a whole lot of peace of mind!
Risk of getting scammed second hand
This is the main reason People are wary of purchasing second hand gear sites. Getting scammed! Many scams are around from taking your money and never sending anything out. Or sending fake parcels out, or saying they will buy something getting you to ship it and then never paying for it! Its heartbreaking buying something, getting excited then discovering it’s a scam. Sadly, there isn’t much you can do to get your money back! You won’t get this with shops! Due to being registered as a business, there are legal things you can do if you get scammed.
It is good to hear that websites like Reverb and eBay are making an effort to help cut down on scams, however, the Facebook marketplace is still swarmed with them! There are a few things you can do to prevent getting scammed and maybe it’s worth us putting an article together to help people avoid getting ripped off online.
Huge deals to be had in second hand
Now, the main reason people go second hand gear, and its biggest pro point, is the price! Most second gear will sell for less than the new gear meaning you can grab a proper bargain if you shop around! Do your research and being patient and brave can lead to some amazing savings!
Sites like eBay, Facebook and Reverb allowed everyone to resell their no longer needed gear, meaning someone is most likely selling that gear you are after. A lot of these sites allow the seller to list based on condition, so if you are after a pedal but don’t really need it to be in brand spanking new condition you can buy a “beat” up the pedal for even cheaper! It all depends on your requirements and budget!
Second hand gear won’t lose much money
Buying gear and then finding out when it’s time to sell or trade that it’s worth less than half the value is never easy! If only there was a way to ease that loss! There is! Buy second hand gear! Buying second hand gear means that someone else has already taken the hit on the depreciation, meaning if you buy second hand gear then go to sell it you shouldn’t lose too much money on it (sometimes even make money).
So if you are someone who chops and changes gear frequently, then second hand might be a way to go as you won’t lose as much money when you come to sell it.
Waiting list vs over paying
Now, sometimes gear gets very popular, and lots of hype is generated around it, I’m not here to discuss if the hype is worth it or not, I’m just here to say this causes issues if you want to buy that piece of gear.
Let’s take a guitar pedal, a builder might release a new pedal and this pedal generates hype, thus, causing two issues. Issue one is that you might have a long waiting list to buy that pedal (some can be over 2 years) and another is they appear on the second hand market for way more than retail. So you might have to decide which one you prefer. Pay retail but have to wait, or get it quickly but overpay.
Shop reputation vs sellers reputation
It’s always worth thinking about whose reputation is on the line when buying something. Is it the private sellers or is it the shop? Who is most likely going to suffer more if something goes wrong? This tends to make sure everything goes right!
If you order online from eBay or Facebook, it’s the seller’s reputation at risk if something goes wrong. So if they wanted to scam you they could just close the account and set up another one. Reputation doesn’t matter for private sellers! However, if you are a shop in a high street then you will make sure you have a good reputation as this will help sell! So you will find that shops and credible sellers will do everything and anything to make sure you are happy!
Second hand might have changes you want
Looking to buy a guitar so that you can swap the pickups out of it and do it up? Well, have a look at the second hand market, you might find it has already been done and is a lot cheaper! For example, A lot of people swap out the Modern line of Harley Bentons and put Fishman’s or EMG in them, so buying a second hand one will not only mean a saving in the price for both guitar and pickups but also mean the work has been done for you!
Of course, if you want to do the work yourself, and want to learn then you can always buy with a mix of new and used and you might save a bit of money. It all depends on what you want from the project.
Easy to get in shop advice when buying new
Not sure what you are after? Well, one advantage of buying new from a shop is you will be able to get advice from the shop staff! Try out various things and find out what is best for you! If you were buying off eBay or Reverb, you won’t be able to have this flexibility.
Now I am fully aware that a lot of music shops do second hand items as well, so you will also get the above benefits with those. So in a way, this point is for both but aimed at shops more than resell sites!
What do you tend to go from when buying gear? New or used? Do you have a preference? Let us know over on our Instagram! We would love to know what you all think about buying second hand!
As we said above, some points above will apply for both second hand and brand new, and some won’t! I think it’s up to you to look at your situation, what you want out of the gear and how long you plan to keep it. This will determine how and where you buy the gear from.
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