Buying a new banjo vs. buying used

Buying new vs. buying used

It’s late September and we are busy preparing for the holiday rush. We have been receiving a lot of new banjos both beginner models and professional models. A question that we receive quite regularly from first-time banjo buyers is, “should I buy a new or used instrument.” That’s actually a good question. While the answer to these good questions is usually, “it depends”, we thought it would be helpful to outline a few considerations when faced with this question.

Consider price point

If you are shopping for a banjo under $800, you are shopping for a banjo that we would consider to be a beginner banjo. There are some awesome banjos at or below this price point including the Goodtime by Deering line of banjos. Depending on how much they are played, how they are stored, and how they are maintained, these banjos can last for many, many years. Warranties at this price point tend to be 1 – 6 years. That’s very short compared to the lifetime warranties you’ll find at higher price points. Generally speaking, the lower your budget, the more you’ll want to think about buying a new banjo.

Consider what all you are getting

Are you getting a gig bag? What about extra strings, picks, and a strap? Authorized retailers of popular banjo brands like us want you to have a really good experience with your new instrument so we supply everything you need to start playing your banjo as soon as it arrives. Buying a banjo on eBay means you might be getting just the banjo and you’ll have to purchase the extra parts and accessories separately which can be expensive. Another consideration, when you buy from, we take care of setup, tuning, and pack it carefully in specially designed boxes for safe shipping. Lastly, you get the peace of mind that the instrument has always been stored properly away from moisture or high heat.

Consider what happens after you buy

If something isn’t quite right with your new instrument, chances are the store will work with you to make it right. Occasionally this happens to banjos we sell and we are more than happy to exchange the instrument or take it back and refund the customer (as long as it’s within our store policies). If you are buying a $50,000 prewar then you are buying used, as-is. Make sure you buy from a reputable seller who has positive feedback. It’s also a good idea to ask for pictures and videos or go try the instrument out for yourself. Speaking of, you can always make an appointment to come by our shop and try out any of our banjos.

Getting started

If you are completely new to banjos and not sure where to start, we highly recommend downloading our “Ultimate Banjo Buying Guide.” We cover how much to expect to spend on your first banjos, whether to get a 4-string or 5-string, as well as why pick an opeback vs. resonator.

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