A Handy Guide to Buying Instruments Second Hand

So you’re looking for a second-hand instrument? That’s awesome! We LOVE that for you!

Written by Music Feeds

There are few things more satisfying than the sound of playing a perfectly formed chord on some vintage gear. Whether it’s your first time or fiftieth, the notes will fill you with a feeling of warmth and joy that’s rivalled only by the thrill of showing off your new love to someone else.

Finding the perfect pre-loved instrument can be a tricky and expensive task though, even for music lifers.

So we’ve teamed up with Cash Converters to clear out the clutter and make more music possible with our handy guide to buying instruments second hand.

Why buy second hand?

It’s cheaper.

First up, the obvious: price. A well-chosen second-hand instrument can offer significantly better value than a new one. So before you throw your money away on that bargain-priced department store guitar + amp pack, take a look at your local Cashies as there are stacks of affordable, 90-day-warranty protected instruments sitting in-store RN.

The quality is often better.

That value isn’t only reflected in the price tag though. Unlike a lot of other products, when it comes to musical instruments, newer doesn’t always mean better. In fact, some instruments don’t start to truly shine until they’ve been ‘played in’. There’s a reason many musicians are borderline obsessed with vintage gear, it often just sounds better. Add to that the changes in production techniques and the frequency of model releases (especially for things like guitars and bass), and you’ll find that there’s a LOT of amazing second-hand instruments out there just waiting for you to love. This is particularly good news for players at the budget level as you should be able to find a mid-level instrument at an entry-level price. Whether you’re looking for an electric guitar, a violin, a cello, a drum kit or perhaps the most hyped instrument of 2020, the saxophone, you’ll likely get better bang for your buck.

Nothing sucks the fun out of playing music like an instrument that just sounds bad, and most budget instruments sound bad. Whether it won’t stay in tune, the action is too high or it just sounds off, somehow, a low-quality instrument will make the experience far less enjoyable. With superior quality second-hand instruments, none of these issues should arise.

Whether you’re looking for an electric guitar, a violin, a cello, a drum kit or perhaps the most hyped instrument of 2020, the saxophone, you’ll likely get better bang for your buck.

Better quality instruments hold their value.

Which is good news for you, now, as you get a nicer instrument, but also later! Quality second-hand instruments hold and sometimes even increase in value, so when it’s time to upgrade, you shouldn’t find yourself out of pocket in the same way you would if you bought new or a budget entry model, which typically don’t hold their value at all.

Second-hand instruments come with a history

When you purchase a second-hand instrument, you’re typically purchasing a treasured part of someone’s personal history. Every note played, scratch, indent or customisation, adds to the unique sound of the instrument. Second-hand instruments often feel nicer to play as well, as they lack the factory stiffness of newer items. Of course, there’s also the chance that the instrument you’re picking up at Cashies has played a part in writing or recording a seminal work by an influential artist. Sometimes you’ll know this at purchase time, other times you won’t, but either way, the possibility adds a little bit more romance to what is an exciting moment for any musician.

You can find rare or limited edition models.

Purchasing second-hand isn’t just for beginners. If shows like Pawn Stars have taught us anything, stores like Cash Converters can be hotbeds for finding rare or limited edition models. A lot of people will sell instruments not fully aware of what they’re parting with.
So if you’ve been trawling the internet looking for that certain sunburst Tele’ to no avail, head down to your local store or search online and see if it’s waiting for you.

Buying second-hand in-store means you can physically see what you’re buying.

An advantage of being able to buy in-store at one of the 150 locations Cash Converters have Australia wide, is that you can physically inspect and often play the instruments that you’re buying. This is not true of online marketplaces and you never know where it might have originated from.

You can get advice from music experts.

Many second-hand stores such as Cashies have music experts who can advise you as to the best instrument available in-store to suit your needs. The valuations are done in consultation with these same people, meaning you can rest assured you’re making a quality purchase. These both add to peace-of-mind.

You can trade-in your old instrument for credit on your new one.

One of the benefits of buying second-hand in-store at Cashies is that you can trade-in your old instruments, for instant cash, and put it towards purchasing your new one. Which helps save you money, as well as the frustration of waiting for someone to come to your house, and if they turn up along with low-ballers.

It’s better for the environment!

Buying second-hand means that you’re giving an instrument another life. Instruments can last several lifetimes, and help to fulfil many lives. By opting for second-hand you’re ensuring that the materials that went into creating the instrument, continue to live on. It also means you’re not contributing to the manufacture of new unnecessary, cheap and mass-produced instruments that are destined for landfill. Win-win!

Many of your favourite musicians still buy second-hand gear!

From rockstars to concert pianists, film scorers and weekend warriors, musicians worldwide are obsessed with hunting down quality second-hand gear. Just strike up a chat with any notable musician you happen to meet and they’ll no doubt have a doozy of a story about a second-hand find. If it’s good enough for them, it’s surely good enough for you!

There you have it, a list of reasons why you should buy second-hand. Now that you’re sold, head out to one of the over 150 Cash Converters locations in Australia and find your perfect instrument.

With a 90-day warranty on most items, expert advice, the ability to physically see and in most cases play the instrument, an opportunity to trade-in towards your purchase and the best prices, buying second-hand will make more music possible.


We make more music possible with our great range of second hand instruments. Take a look on our online shop or visit your local Cashies store to chat to a friendly team member.