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Selling your clarinet


For most people, selling a clarinet is far outside of the normal comfort zone. It is daunting and time-consuming for the un-initiated to list clarinets on eBay or sell them via Craig's List, and many music stores don't want to accept used instruments. So I have started this page [Dec2012] to give advice for those wanting to sell clarinets. In some cases, I can help.

First, try to determine the value of your clarinet. 
  • Go to eBay, and hit the Advanced Search link next to the top search box. Enter the brand of clarinet you have, and before searching, click to choose “Completed Auctions.” Try to find comparable sales based on age, condition, similarity of models or serial numbers. Prices listed in green are for items that actually sold. Prices listed in red indicate items that did not sell.
  • Check the reviews for instruments found here at ClarinetPages and determine if your clarinet is a professional, semi-professional, or student model clarinet, and whether it is a contemporary or vintage model. Find the paragraph near the end of most reviews that starts with the words “This clarinet is most appropriate for…” See the last row of the table below if you can't find information on your clarinet at this site.

If your clarinet is  agegeneral value  Recommendations
 a top of the line wooden Buffet, Selmer
Leblanc/Noblet, Yamaha,
or other professional instrument
For Buffet wooden clarinets, make sure that it is NOT stamped Made in Germany!
 and if it is from 1980 or newer
(or 1970 and newer for the Buffet R13 line)
 generally over $1000, and much more if reconditionedYou will probably get the best price by first having the instrument reconditioned and then put on the market.
If you have a good local music store, definitely check out what they will do for you.
Consider having me (Phil) recondition your clarinet. See the section near the bottom of this page. 
The best way for you to sell will probably be by listing with a fixed price on eBay, using a long listing. See Tips for selling on eBay below.
 as above
plus
vintage Conn 424
 but if it is from before 1980/1970 not reconditioned, perhaps as much as $300,
if reconditioned perhaps as much as $1000
 You will probably get the best price by first having the instrument reconditioned. Because of my low prices, consider my service for that.
I give pointers below for selling on eBay or other sites like Craig's list.
unusual, a clarinet with extra keys
or if you are selling an A and Bb pair,
or if it is a different size
 no matter the age value hard to determine You might put a note at the ClarinetPages.info forum or the for sale bulletin board at woodwind.org. You will likely need to sell it via eBay or another service.
Use this link to Send a question to the Forum.
 an intermediate and semi-pro wooden clarient produced by BuffetSelmer
Leblanc/Noblet/Normandy, Yamaha,
also some newer brands sold by major music retailers on the Internet, 
including newer and better-model Amati,
and higher model Jupter.
This is the row for Buffets that are stamped Made in Germany.
 both newer and vintage instruments $70 to $300, and around $500-600 if reconditionedYou will probably get the best price by first having the instrument reconditioned. Because of my low prices, consider my service for that.
I give pointers below for selling on eBay or other sites like Craig's list.
a French stencil wooden clarinet 
(which can have almost any name but is usually marked as
“Made in France” or simply “Paris.”)
or almost any other odd-brand wooden clarinet
 most of these are vintage instruments $50 to $250 Check out if your clarinet is one that I have reviewed in the Vintage section. Refer to the What's my French stencil clarinet worth page. Consider donating the clarinet as suggested on that page, or in some other way getting it into the hands of a deserving student. In most cases, your clarinet can become a very usable intermediate student instrument, but will need to be reconditioned.
If you decide to sell the instrument, I would recommend auctioning it without reconditioning.  (If you recondition this kind of clarinet, it will be hard to recoup that investment.)
For any brand/model not reviewed or listed under the ClarinetPages Vintage page, please send a note to the ClarinetPages.info forum by using this link.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            
 a plastic major brand (Vito, Bundy, Evette, Buffet, Yamaha) student instrument  
or a Ridenour hard rubber clarinet
 from 1980 or newer $40 to $160Check out values of completed eBay auctions. It is easy to find values on these because of how many are sold.
Consider donating it or getting it into the hands of a deserving student. 
If you decide to sell the instrument, I would recommend auctioning it without reconditioning.  
 as above,
including student brands like Conn, Artley, Jupiter.
but from before 1980  $40 to $80Consider donating it or getting it into the hands of a deserving student.
If you decide to sell the instrument, I would recommend auctioning it without reconditioning.  
 a weird brand, or vintage plastic or hard rubber clarinet,
97% of metal clarinets,
and 98% of modern Chinese plastic clarinets,
any cheap clarinet
 from any time, and especially vintage instruments $25 to $60Your clarinet will probably bring a better price if made into a table lamp.
Some of the weird brands can be good student instruments
If you have a metal clarinet, be very sure that it is not one of the 3%, because they can be very valuable! See the Metal Clarinet main page for more information.
For any brand/model not listed in the reviews here at ClarinetPages.net, consider putting a note at the ClarinetPages.info forum. Ask the forum members for information and if they would be interested in buying it.
 an antique Albert system clarinet
or an even older boxwood clarinet
antique value can vary widely There seems to be increased interest in some better antique Albert system clarinets, especially by jazz players in Europe.
Please send a note to the ClarinetPages.info forum using this form. Ask the forum members for information and if they would be interested in buying it.
    
    

Tips for selling via eBay:
I'm sorry that I cannot give advice about Craig's List or other services because I have not used them. 
For selling on eBay, the best time to sell reconditioned clarinets is around mid-July through August. 
If you are going to have your clarinet reconditioned, consider that my price is half of what music stores charge for that service. See the “Spa Treatments” page.

If you have a very valuable instrument valued at more than $1300, you may get the best price by living dangerously: Meaning, include in the listing title that it is a No-Reserve auction, and give the starting price as something like 95 cents. Choose a auction length of one week or 10 days. Your strategy is get as many people excited and bidding as soon as possible. My advice would be that if you don't have 25 people watching and 7 people actually bidding, close the auction several days before the cut off time. (Be sure to find out how long before the closing time you can pull the auction. It may be 48 hours.) If you pull your No-Reserve auction, then list as Buy-it-now for a fixed price. For information on how to take the pictures for your listing, see below. If you are not into the risks involved in this method, then I would advise you to use the way I normally sell clarinets in this value range, which is described in the next paragraph.

If you have an intermediate or semi-pro clarinet as defined above, I find it is better to list on eBay as a Buy-it-now fixed price sale. It would be best to have the clarinet reconditioned first. Put the sale length at 30 days. If it doesn't sell, keep reducing the price and re-listing until it sells. See the next paragraph about information to include in the listing.

For the French stencil category and everything below that, if you decide to sell rather than donate your clarinet, you are probably better off honestly describing the condition of the clarinet and putting it up as a normal, one-week auction with a low starting price. Include lots of pictures. 

Taking pictures and listing tips: Use your camera's macro/flower setting and shoot from around 7 inches away. Try to show the condition of the pads and the keys. Please tell if the clarinet has been in storage for a long time, or if it was recently being used. Tell whether there has been any work done on it recently. For wooden clarinets, please describe and/or picture any cracks at any location, and any chips in the tenon joints.



 




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