3 Ways to Find a Saxophone

3 Questions

  • Do you ever get tired of spending hours researching your next purchase?
  • Do you sometimes feel more confused or overwhelmed at the end of your research?
  • Do you just want all the facts in front of you so you can make your choice?

One of the purposes of this post is to make life a little bit easier for you.  We’ll get you the facts and provide the pros and cons so you can stop the research and get playing. Let’s talk about the 3 different ways (that we suggest) for finding a saxophone. If you would like suggestions on specific saxophones and brands, you can find our recommendations here.

#1 Buy New

This idea can be one of the first thoughts that enters our minds in regards to getting a saxophone. You can buy new from a local store, or online. Here are the pros and cons of each:

Online (Pros)

  • Huge selection of saxophones
  • Usually the best prices (sometimes significantly, and sometime just a little)

Online (Cons)

  • Lacks personalization/assistance found in local stores
  • You can’t play the saxophones before you buy
  • Hassle of shipping if you don’t like the saxophone, or if it needs warranty repair work

Local Store (Pros)

  • You can try all the saxophones in stock
  • Warranty work done in-house
  • The salesperson can assist in helping you choose the right saxophone

Local Store (Cons)

  • Saxophones can be hundreds of dollars more expensive than the same saxophone online
  • Smaller selection of saxophones
  • Sometimes a store won’t carry competing brands (like Selmer vs Yamaha)

Note: Some local stores will match online prices when asked.

#2 Buy Used

Just like buying new, you can purchase used saxophones at a local store or online. Don’t think of buying a used saxophone like buying a used car. Saxophones can appreciate in value rather than depreciate. However, you may need between $75 & $300 for repairs in order to get the saxophone in proper playing order. But once that’s done, your saxophone could be just like new.

Online (Pros)

  • A variety of saxophones are available
  • If you buy from a store (not an individual on eBay) the saxophone may already be repaired
  • Online purchases may be less expensive than local stores

Online (Cons)

  • If you don’t like the saxophone, you’ll need to deal with the hassle of shipping it back
  • Some people/companies don’t allow returns
  • May not include a warranty

Local Store (Pros)

  • Try multiple saxophones in store before you buy
  • Saxophones are often fully restored
  • May include a warranty

Local Store (Cons)

  • Prices may be higher
  • Smaller selection of used saxophones
  • May not include a warranty

Local Private Sale (Pros)

  • Some of the best deals available
  • Can try before you buy

Local Private Sale (Cons)

  • Only one instrument to choose from
  • Usually warranty not provided
  • Most likely will require some type of common repair

#3 Rent

The nice thing about renting, is that you don’t need to spend a lot of money all at once. You can stop renting at any time, and many times they will take care of repairs for you.

Online (Pros)

  • Can be less expensive than renting at a local store
  • Online renters claim it’s an easy process
  • Opportunity to upgrade to a better saxophone

Online (Cons)

  • Have to deal with shipping
  • Repairs may require shipping
  • Some companies use lesser known brands

Local Store (Pros)

  • Warranty work done in-house
  • Repairs often included in rental
  • Provide rent to own option and/or credit toward an intermediate/pro saxophone
  • A chance to play the saxophones before rental

Local Store (Cons)

  • Usually only 1-2 saxophones to choose from
  • Can be more expensive than online rentals

The Final Pros and Cons

Overall, the online option can be less expensive than local stores. The online stores usually have a larger selection of saxophones, but you’ll need to deal with shipping and put in some extra time deciding which saxophone is best for you.

Local music stores can be more expensive than online stores, but you have the luxury of working with a sales associate to find the best match. In addition, local stores may provide in-house repair as part of your purchase (up to 1 year). You can also try the saxophones before you spend your money. Keep in mind, that some local stores will match online prices if you ask.

If you have any questions or would like to share your own experiences finding your saxophone, please feel free to do so in the comment section. In addition, if you found this information helpful, we invite you to share this post using the social media buttons on this page. Good luck with your saxophone search, and have fun playing!

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