December 7, 2022

Guide on How to Sell Used Musical Instruments

As a musician, it can be hard to part with your old instruments. 

Whether you just purchased a brand new drum set and you’re ready to get rid of your old one, or you’ve decided it’s time to give up on your piano career, every musician has to offload their instruments now and then.

This isn’t always an easy task; your instruments hold some value whether monetary or sentimental which makes it harder to figure out what to do with them. Regardless of why you need to get rid of your old instruments, you still need to figure out how to sell them. 

In this guide, we’ll show you how to sell used musical instruments and exactly what you should do with the ones you aren’t able to sell. Here are 5 simple steps to sell your used instruments.

Step 1: Decide Which Instruments to Sell

Do you have a collection of used instruments that you’re ready to sell?

While you probably spent a good amount of money on each instrument, they might not all be fit to sell. Your first step is to determine which ones to sell.

It’s a wise idea to do a bit of research on your instruments to see how much they could be worth. If you have standard instruments, it should be easy to figure out their resale value. However, if you have any older instruments or antique pieces, it may be worth speaking to a professional in the music industry.

You should divide your sellable instruments into two categories:

Category 1: Oversized or under $40 value

Sell instruments you put in Category 1 at a garage sale or give them away to friends. These are likely instruments that are too heavy and burdensome to sell or transport. Or, they’re simply not worth the time and effort to sell.

Some examples could include:

  • Piano (too big)
  • Cello (too big)
  • Large Drum Set (too big)
  • Triangle (too cheap)
  • Recorder (too cheap)
  • Harmonica (too cheap)

Category 2: Small and over $40 value

For Category 2, focus on instruments that are small enough to fit inside the trunk of your car and worth at least $40. The wisest option for these smaller $40+ items is to simply hire someone to sell for you.

Some examples may include:

  • Guitar
  • Keyboard
  • Flute
  • Clarinet
  • Violin
  • Ukulele
  • Small Drum Set
  • Djembe

Step 2: Clean Your Instruments

Once you’ve determined which instruments have a resale value, it’s time to prep them to be sold. In order to get the best ROI from your instruments, it’s important to ensure they appear as new as possible. 

You should start by carefully inspecting all of your instruments. Are any of them damaged? Are any pieces missing? Do you have any accessories to go along with them?

Once you’ve determined your instruments are in decent shape, it’s time to clean them your items worth over $40 to maximize your ROI. For musical instruments worth less than $40, it’s less important because time spent cleaning may not be worth the amount you’ll get back.

Here are a few tips to ensure proper instrument cleaning:

  • Use a soft dry cloth to dust off the instruments and wipe away grime
  • Clean the inside, especially woodwind and brass instruments
  • Remember to vacuum the inside of your instrument’s case
  • Avoid harsh chemicals
  • Call your local music store for tips unique to your specific instrument

After you’ve done a thorough cleaning, polish your instruments to make them look as presentable as possible.

Step 3: Sell Your Instruments on Sella

Sella offers a simple online selling solution for all your small unused musical instruments above $40 like an acoustic guitar, violin, or saxophone. With Sella’s simple 5 step process, they’ll take any musical instruments off your hands.

  1. Figure out what you want to sell. This could be any smaller item like an old guitar or keyboard you don’t play anymore.
  2. Schedule an Appointment. Drop off your instruments at a designated location or request a pickup for a small fee.
  3. Sella Preps Your Items. Sella takes all the product photos, writes the listings, and suggests prices before putting them on the marketplace. You make any final approvals.
  4. Sella Sells. Sella then handles all advertising, management, negotiations with buyers, and physical sales.
  5. You Get Paid. Once your instruments sell, you’ll get paid quickly via Stripe.

Turning your unused musical instruments into cash has never been easier. Try Sella today.

Step 4: Give Leftover Instruments to Friends

Do you have any instruments you weren’t able to sell?

Your next best option is to give them away. Start by asking your friends and family. Are there any other musicians in your family? A younger brother or sister could learn how to play one of your instruments. Do you have a friend who could make use of your old guitar or drum kit?

Even if you can’t sell an instrument, it’s a nice feeling knowing one of your friends or family can get some use out of it.

Step 5: Donate Any Remaining Instruments

After you’ve sold and given the majority of your instruments away, you may still have a few remaining. Another fantastic option is to donate your remaining pieces to those in need. If you can’t keep your instruments anymore but they have sentimental value, this can be a suitable choice. 

As long as your instruments are in decent working condition, you could donate them to a local charity. And, if the charity is IRS-approved, you can qualify for a tax deduction. Just remember to get your receipt. 

Another place you could donate your musical instruments to is a local school or church. While your donation may not qualify for a tax deduction, you’ll feel great knowing you’re helping someone in need.