Buying trumpet online?

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by Saile, May 12, 2011.

  1. Saile

    Saile Piano User

    Nov 11, 2010
    Some people say, that you should "try" the trumpet before you buy it. Makes sense i guess for the obvious reasons.

    But what about buying a trumpet online? A lot of us on this forum do it. So is it a risk?
  2. gbdeamer

    gbdeamer Forte User

    Oct 16, 2008
    Simply, yes.
  3. SteveRicks

    SteveRicks Fortissimo User

    Aug 15, 2009
    There is always a risk. I have bought about 12 horns on-line. 11 of the 12 were fine. One came with a lot of unexpected prolems, required time in the shop, but the seller refunded part of the price. Of course, all I have said deals with looks and operation of the horn.

    Then there is the "how does it play" piece. Every horn is unique. Obviously it is smart to play before you buy, but for some of us, depending on location, that is near to impossible. So we are a slave to the internet.

    There are certain brands that you can be fairly sure that don't make bad playing horns. I rarely worry about buying a Kanstul or Olds on line, because of their consistent quality. Bach is something else. In those cases I bought from an individual, learned a great deal about the horn before bidding. For instance, my 1967 strad was bought by a trumpet major when he was a jr in college who had his professor go with him to several shops and try out horns to pick the best. By the way, it has turned out to be one of the Bach's that gave strad its reputation as a top pro horn.

    Always ask for the history on the horn, what was the level of player who owned it, have any repairs been done to the horn, what is its history, serial number, and get good pictures. Also, ALWAYS ask if any red rot, about valve compression, and if there is anything about the horn that keeps it from looking or playing "like new."

    While you never know if the horn is going to be a perfect match for you, you can save a considerable amount over the internet. Most people couldn't tell my Kanstuls from new. Yesterday I visited a shop that carried Kanstuls. They wanted $3645 for the last horn I bought for $1200 (used but like new). And, the shop would have added $328 tax to the bill.

    ALWAYS get a sale that allows returns. They typically make you pay return shipping, but that is minor in the long run.

    If you get a good price, worse case senerio is you are posting it on ebay to sell because you didn't like it. If you bought for a good price, you should come out about even.

    All this being said, PLAY first, whenever possible.
  4. mrsemman

    mrsemman Piano User

    Apr 8, 2010
    You can also check others on this forum and other forums regarding a brand of trumpet/ cornet/ fluegel horn, etc. you can contact the manufacturers, music shops that may have that brand of horn, or something similar. Finally, you can check with the brass review website.
  5. ExtraTeeth

    ExtraTeeth Pianissimo User

    Nov 13, 2008
    Perth, Western Australia
    All of the above.
    Know what the horn is worth.
    Check it out as far as possible.
    Buying online is always a risk
    As a rule of thumb I would expect at least a 30% reduction on an in store price to compensate for the risk.
  6. Saile

    Saile Piano User

    Nov 11, 2010
    Well online, trumpets are a lot cheaper. Everything for the trumpet is a lot cheaper online. I buy a lot of my stuff online because of that reason.

    But say you want to spend $1000 on a trumpet, would you risk and you online, or find one in a shop.
    The thing is, you find most of the good brands online as well. Where i am located, its hard to find the one you "really" want.

    I am thinking of getting one later on in the year and spend a decent amount on it. The question is, should i go ahead and buy the dream one off the net and risk it, or just buy an average brand one for the same price?
  7. tobylou8

    tobylou8 Utimate User

    Dec 22, 2008
    I would advise you to play what you got and be patient in selecting. Impulse buying (even at online pricing) could wreck your bank account and then you have a horn you don't like. If you have access to a music store, they will usually get a horn for you to try out. Music & Arts got 8 horns in for a buddy of mine to try (over a 6 month period). He didn't like any of them, so they sent them back. No fuss,no muss. I bought a horn off e-Bay once and it was a hassle though the buyer did accept the return finally. If you have an idea what you want, it will be easier to find the right horn. If you are just shopping around, I would go the music store route or check local classifieds. There are a lot of good horns that pop up from time to time on craigslist (like my $125 Blessing Super Artist in mint condition). Happy hunting.
    Last edited: May 12, 2011
  8. Saile

    Saile Piano User

    Nov 11, 2010
    well i am not looking now, just down the track.

    I guess if you try a few different brands you could probably narrow down your search
  9. gbdeamer

    gbdeamer Forte User

    Oct 16, 2008
    It's your money. You have to answer that question.
  10. flugelgirl

    flugelgirl Forte User

    Jan 20, 2008
    Seattle, WA
    If you buy from one of the online dealers, you usually get a pretty good return policy. Woodwind Brasswind and Music 123 do a 45 day return policy. Dillon Music does 7 days, but they are very good about giving you an accurate description of the horn if you ask them. I think Musician's Friend also does a 45 day, but I have found them to be not nearly as good with brass as they are with guitar equipment. Some of the custom makers are also very good about letting you do a trial run with equipment, but they are also good at doing a phone consult to help you narrow down your choices. I have bought several horns online that I've been very happy with, but I've done my research and read the fine print about the return policies. My advice is that if there's no return policy, look elsewhere!

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