Selling Your Instrument


Selling your instrument can be a daunting task especially if it is your first time. ‘Can you tell me how much my instrument is worth?’ and ‘Where can I sell my instrument?’ are the two most common questions we get asked in regards to this issue and the answers to these questions are listed below.

But first! Have you considered donating your instrument? - Selling your instrument can be quite a time consuming exercise and there are plenty of people out there who can't afford to buy a good quality stringed instrument. We encourage the consideration of approaching your local school to see whether the instrument can be of use. Another great organisation is the Australian Children's Music Foundation. They also accept instrument donations and will distribute them to those who need them.

Can you tell me how much my instrument is worth? 

Unfortunately we do not give verbal valuations for resale or insurance purposes in store or over the phone as a matter of company policy. We do however give professional written valuations on instruments and bows for insurance purposes only at a cost of $150. It is impossible to do a valuation over the phone or via the Internet, with or without photos/sound clips/videoclips etc. So you will need to come into our store in Chatswood with your instrument for the valuation and it is essential to make an appointment.

If you are selling a student or intermediate level instrument, working out a selling price can be quite simple. Below is a list of things to take into consideration when deciding on a selling price.

  1. What brand is your instrument and how much did you pay for it originally? – Have a look through the f holes of the instrument. Usually on the inside of the violin there will be a label on which the brand of the violin is written. If you do not have your original receipt, research the brand on the Internet to give you a rough idea of what the violin is worth new.
  1. Does your violin need new strings? – Strings have a shelf life of around 2 years and a playing life or between 6 and 18 months. If you have been playing your violin for 6 months or more then the next owner of your violin will need to replace the current set of strings. The amount that you spend on strings will generally correlate with the Instrument quality, for instance, if you are selling a student violin, you will only need to replace them with student quality strings. Student quality violin strings start from around $30-$40 a set.
  1. Does your violin need a new bow? – The horsehair on a violin bow has a playing life of between 6 and 18 months depending on use. If you have been using the bow on a regular basis for over 6 months the next owner of your violin will need to replace the bow. Student quality violin bows start from $55 and rehairs for more expensive bows are $110.
  1. What is the overall condition of your instrument? – It is important to take into consideration the overall condition of your instrument. Are there any scratches or severe marks on the violin? Has it had any repairs done or does it need to have any repairs done? How old is the violin and were you the first owner? Scratches are just an aesthetic problem and they should not affect the selling price of your violin very much as they do not affect the sound. If your violin has had a severe repair done such as a neck repair or sound post crack repair, this will affect the selling price quite significantly.
  2. Does the violin need a service? – Stringed instruments are at their best when serviced regularly. We recommend that your instrument be serviced every six months and if you are selling your violin is it particularly important to make sure it is in good working order for the next player. If you bought your violin from us originally regular servicing is free for the time that you are the owner of the instrument. If your instrument was not purchased from us originally service costs start from $80. (This does not include parts e.g. strings etc.)

* It is important to remember that the final selling price is entirely up to the owner of the instrument and the above information should only be used as a guide. ‘The Sydney String Centre’ is not responsible for providing any selling price for instruments bought at our store or elsewhere.

Where can I sell my instrument?

Below are a few ways in which we recommend selling your instrument.

  1. Through your teacher – If your teacher has a lot of students, it is very likely that another student is looking to purchase a violin in your size.
  1. Through school notice boards or newsletters – This is a good way to advertise that you are selling your violin, as your buyer will most likely live locally to you.
  1. Through ebay or gumtree – This is a good way to sell if you are more tech savvy however prices online can be very competitive and you may not get the price you were asking for.
  1. Through our store on consignment – If you bought your instrument from us originally and it is from the intermediate range we will happily sell your instrument on consignment for you*. To have your instrument put on consignment sale please make an appointment.

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