Looking for a Used digital piano, keyboard or synth? Here are useful ways to go about it and also evaluate the model. These tips and suggestions will help you find electronic keyboards at cheap, discounted prices.
It’s quite common for most beginners and music enthusiasts to look for a used, also known as second-hand digital piano keyboard to cut down on cost, especially if they are just looking for some fun or are tentative about learning which doesn’t justify the cost of a new one.
At the same time there are many owners who would prefer to have a brand new one and do not like the idea of owning something that has been used before. But then, it may be possible for you to find an expensive product at a much lower price and something that works well, especially if it has been well-maintained.
If you are not happy with any of the entry level keyboard / synth, or if a particular model does not fit your budget, or if you really don’t want to spend a lot just to get that particular sound , you can definitely consider going in for a Used one, also known as pre-owned or second-hand music keyboard.
It might also be a good idea to buy a used one in case you are not sure whether you will be putting the necessary efforts to learn. Of course, it will not have the polished look that a new one has but you will definitely get it cheaper and the sound will also be good, provided you spend the time to check the board thoroughly.
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Wear Your Detective Hat
Remember, it is also possible that you might get something totally crap which could stop working or give you more trouble down the line, if you are not careful to test all the features before you buy. The board needs to be reasonably old, not something which is more than a decade old. And the more expensive the instrument you intend to buy, the more time you need to spend evaluating the various features.
If you decide to go in for a used instrument, it is very important that you check out all the functions and inspect the product from every angle. The more expensive the instrument, the closer you should examine it. So just wear your detective hat and start probing.
You don’t have to feel awkward about asking questions but you can definitely be courteous. I’m sure even the seller is expecting all sorts of questions.
Remember, buying secondhand doesn’t mean you are buying something broken but you can cover all bases by doing a close examination and avoid any heartburn later.
If you are a beginner, buying a used instrument can be a good option. You can go in for a model with better touch and/or decent number of sounds, styles, effects, and built-in sequencer so that you get plenty of features to play around.
Where To Find Them?
There are plenty of places where you can go and look for a used keyboard.
But, it may take some time to find your particular model, and that too for a decent used keyboards price. So have some patience!
- Dealer: Go to your local dealer/outlet and check if they have some used ones. You may not get it as cheap as you would have wanted. This is because of the warranty they offer for the used keyboard instruments, usually around 3 months. On the other hand, an advantage you get here is that you can expect a few choices of used electronic keyboards & digital pianos if you buy from a dealer.
- Newspaper/magazine: Go through the classified ads section in your local newspaper or music magazine. If needed, place your own advertisement in the newspaper.
- Music school/Institutes: Go to a music school and leave your requirement and contact number there. If any student wants to sell his keyboard or piano, he/she will surely contact you.
- Other places: You can approach someone who plays the Keyboard, he may have some references. Spread the word among your friends and relatives; they may know somebody.
Find great deals on special blowout items / Used Music Gear here…
What You Need To Check?
There is no point in saying that “I was ripped or he gave me a piece of crap or this function doesn’t work” once you have paid the money and brought the product back home.
Once you find a model you like, you will have to do some checks on it. If you know someone who knows about keyboards, take him along with you.
Obviously if someone is going to sell their piano for thousands it will have to be examined rigorously as opposed to when someone is selling their old Casio. So if you are buying a high end product take someone along with you who knows about the stuff.
You need to test all the functions and you really don’t have to feel awkward about asking things though it is better to be polite. If it’s a high end synth keyboard, even go as far as checking the midi setup, sampling etc.
Here are some more checks that you can do.
- Call before you arrive so that you don’t have to rush.
- Press all the knobs, buttons and go through all the features at least once.
- Check for excessive scratches and worn out markings at the base, on the back and on the buttons and sliders.
- Check the keys. They should not be broken or sticking. Play each and every key. Play the keys with the touch response ON/OFF. Make sure the touch response works.
- Make sure the speakers work. Check the speakers at high volume and make sure they do not rattle a lot. Check the sound from external speakers as well as headphones.
- Appearance – Make sure nothing looks broken (minor scratches are fine and expected)
- Check the MIDI, Sequencing & Sampling features. If the keyboard is high-end the owner will most likely already have that setup in place.
A little scratch here and there or a few loose buttons should not be a cause for concern. Used models are surely not going to look like a new one. As long as the buttons, keys and speakers are in good shape, you can definitely consider the instrument.
Ask for the user manual and check all the accessories that came along with the piano. Touch the keys and see if it feels very dusty; if the keys are synth-like slide your finger beneath the keys and check for dust. Excessive dust and filth is never good for any product. A dust-cover on the other hand indicates care for the instrument. A little scratch here and there or a few loose buttons should not be a cause for concern. Used models are surely not going to look like a new one. As long as the buttons and keys are in good shape and the sound produced is decent, you can definitely consider the instrument.
Usually, the more problems you find with the digital keyboard / piano, the more bargaining power you get while negotiating over the used keyboards price. But if there are a lot of problems, excessive scratches and markings, sticking keys, then you should skip that keyboard and check somewhere else.
Buy Online – The Blow Out Section
You can also visit the Blow-Out Section, available on most of the online stores. A blowout section contains all their blowout items – items that are refurbished, open box, or with minor blemishes.
But then they also come at blowout prices! Expect to get a decent discount on such items! You can easily save big dollars on some of the products.
You also may want to know that instruments in the Blow Out section have limited inventory and some of them really do get picked up fast.