The Ins & Outs of Buying Online

Buying Online

So you’ve decided that you want to buy a new or used saxophone online. What next? Is the process just like buying anything else online?

Things to Know

Before you buy, there are a few things you should know. This includes deciding what store you want to buy from, their return policies, and costs.

Choose the Right Store

There are many companies online where you can buy a saxophone. I suggest buying from a well-known company that you can trust. They provide options that are important when choosing an instrument- such as return policies. Some of these stores include,,, and

Note- All companies have different policies. The details in this post are not specific toward any one company. The details are just to provide an idea concerning what some companies have done in the past, or present. I strongly encourage the reading of policies, costs, and fees of each retailer before your purchase.

Return Policy

These companies understand the musician (I’ve never asked, but I assume many of the employees are musicians themselves). So, they know that musicians are not just going to buy a saxophone and be satisfied with whatever saxophone shows up in the mail. For example, when I was in the process of buying a tenor, I played 12 saxophones at a local music store before deciding on the best one for me. I now have a tenor that I have confidence in; I know I made the right choice.

Because all saxophones are not created equal (even if they are the same make and model), and retailers know we like to “try before we buy”, many retailers provide a 14-45 day return policy. Even though it can take some time because of snail mail, you are provided the opportunity to “try before you buy” with an online company.

Bottom line: know the company’s return policies before doing business with them.

Costs & Fees

When you decide which saxophone is for you, purchase the saxophone like any other online purchase. If you decide that you want to return the instrument, it’s common for stores to provide a full refund (according to their return policy) if returned within the 14-45 days. Remember, they expect returns because they know musicians want to “try before they buy”. But be careful! If you scratch the saxophone or dent it, you just bought it!

In regards to the return process, sometimes shipping is free and sometimes it’s not. In addition, there are restocking fees and sanitation fees as well. Sometimes they’re no big deal, and other times the fees add up quickly.

The 2 Step Process

Once you know what to expect when making a purchase, and who you’re going to buy from, you can move forward. The steps below will help you identify if the saxophone you purchased is a good one.

Note- It’s important to restate that not all saxophones are made equally, even if they’re the same make and model.

Give it a Try

When you receive the saxophone, give it a try, even if you’ve never played. Take a few days getting started with our free lessons. This will help you get a feel for how things work. Then if something is not working (according to the free lesson instructions) then you’ll know something isn’t quite right.

Note- Just because something is not working properly, it doesn’t mean the particular saxophone is a poorly made instrument. Saxophones need repair- sometimes even new ones!

Repair Tech

Next, take your instrument to a repair tech (at a local music store). Tell them that you just purchased the saxophone and that you’re a beginner. If you’re having any specific issues with the saxophone, share this information as well.

Ask them to have a look at the saxophone and make sure that everything is in proper playing order. That way, you’ll find out if there are any issues with the saxophone. Depending on who helps you, you may not even be charged for this service. Either way, the cost should be relatively low.

Important Tip: They may ask you to leave the saxophone at the front desk. If that’s the case, just ask if you can see the tech and have them run a leak light through it. If it’s a new saxophone, that’s all you may need (plus their opinion after they play on it). If it’s a used saxophone, tell them why you’re bringing it in and go ahead and leave it with them, with the understanding that you would like their opinion.

If there are issues with the saxophone, ask the repair tech if the repairs are normal or if you should return the saxophone. If you need to return the saxophone, you already know the process and fees of the retailer you purchased from.

The Okay

If you get the repair tech to approve your saxophone, you’re set! As long as you feel comfortable with the saxophone, then you’re ready to move forward with confidence. Have fun playing!

Summing It Up

Yes, this process does take some work. If you would rather just buy the saxophone and not deal with all these details, I would recommend buying a brand name saxophone. You may not get the best saxophone in the lot, but it will be a solid saxophone.

If you want to be detailed and make sure you have the right instrument, then you can follow the process in this post. If you have any questions, feel free to respond in the comment section. Thanks for reading, and I hope you find the perfect saxophone!

Comments 5

    1. Post
    2. Hi, Diana… I can certify what Jeff have just told you. I’m one of the over-50 students, complete beginner to wind instruments (had some musical background in piano and guitar) since 4 months ago. As for any instrument, constant practice is the key, and the hardest part maybe you’ll find is to get a good breath support. If you’re healthy enough to blow birthday balloons, you’ll surely be able to begin the excitement of learning this instrument. Try an alto saxophone, since it’s the less “air-demanding”, besides being lighter to hold and gives a smooth, cool sound. Regards.

    3. Hi Diana,

      You still a kid at 65, I’m 80 years old and I have been taking lessons from Jeff for about a year. I have played clarinet since I was 14. These are very different instruments. I can tell you that Jeff is a fantastic teacher. I wish I had a teacher like him when I was learning the clarinet. He has tremendous patience and his critiques of my playing have helped me to overcome many of the difficulties in trying to master the soprano sax – which is the most difficult to master. John Coltrane, at the peak of his jazz sax career started to play the soprano sax; it took him three years to master that instrument. Further, my wife has a very serious liver cancer and I could not finish the course (was just three lessons away from finishing). Jeff, for a most modest fee added a year extension. After almost three months disruption in practicing because my need to care for her (her name is Diana too), I’m back playing again. Having the lessons online is a great help to recoup from where I was before I had to put the sax aside. Go for the learnsaxonline course, I’m sure you will enjoy the experience.

      1. My deepest respect, Sir.
        Starting to learn a new instrument -whether or not you have a background in woodwinds- at your age is something to applause.
        Let alone living difficult times in your family.
        All the best.

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