So, are you selling or buying? If you are selling a trumpet, you need to appreciate the value of your instrument. This needs to be considered bearing in mind how old it is and its condition. If you are buying a trumpet, then going into the market can be fraught with difficulties and even danger.
When I say danger, I mean that you may have saved up your money for months. You may have identified a second-hand item you think will be good. Only to find it isn’t, then your money’s gone, and you have to start again.
With a second-hand musical instrument, it can be even more tricky. Just how much should you pay or sell for? That’s why I decided to take an in-depth look at second-hand trumpets and ask the question, just how much do used Trumpets sell for?
Let’s Start With Buying a Trumpet
You may be a beginner or any level up to a pro. But wherever you are in the scale of things, there are things to think about. So, before we start talking about costs, there are some things that you probably should consider first.
How Old Is It?
A trumpet is a mechanical device, and like all mechanical devices, it can wear out. Simple things like springs, corks, and felts that are all replaceable can go quite quickly. More problematic issues might include pistons and valves.
Just like buying a car, age can have some relevance to its condition. However, it has to be said, not always. It is perhaps more important how the instrument has been cared for. If it has received plenty of TLC, then it will be in a far better condition in one-year younger that hasn’t.
There are some trumpets in use that are going back to the 20s and 30s still being played. Age, therefore, is probably only relevant when the care of the instrument was brought into the equation.
A Way To Tell The Age
If you are concerned about the age of the instrument, then a quick check of the serial number should answer your questions.
Where To Buy a Trumpet?
There are more options available today than when I was buying a second-hand instrument. Today there are other options. While it has opened up possibilities, it has also gained traction amongst the unscrupulous.
The internet has opened up a treasure trove of just about every instrument under the sun that can be bought. And it is here there are some of the biggest dangers. Let’s just identify a few:
- Damage to an instrument is not always visible in an online picture.
- You do not usually get the opportunity to play it or have someone check it.
- If it is being sent to you, damage can occur on the way.
- Valves, pistons, and any number of working parts could be worn out and need replacing.
There are innumerable things. Even buying a new trumpet online can have its problems. Once again, you don’t get to try the actual instrument, and even the same models can sometimes vary in quality. But at least you can send it back if it is a reputable dealer. Second-hand instruments will almost certainly not carry that security.
I don’t want to dwell on the problems as you can get some good deals. Just be careful and if you are new to the instrument, get some help. Let’s move on now to what you might expect to pay.
How Much Do Used Trumpets Sell For?
That is rather a “how long is a piece of string” question. It depends on what you are looking for. But to give you some idea, let’s break it down into three areas:
- Budget or Starter Instruments.
- Improver Intermediate Instruments.
- Professional Level Instruments.
I am not going to review each instrument. If that’s what you are looking for, you can find them where I have mentioned. But having said that, they are all quality instruments that are currently for sale at the time of writing.
Budget or Starter Instruments
There are several budget and starter-level trumpets available. Some are poor quality and just cheap, but sometimes you will get a good, cost-effective manufacturer. One such example is Eastar Trumpets.
They make a very good brass instrument with no plastic parts or linings and are a good starter trumpet. The trumpet, plus case, and a cleaning kit, second-hand, are currently on eBay at $130.
If you want to spend a little more and get a bit more quality, then the Yamaha YTR-2330 is a good option. They are probably the most popular Beginners trumpet. Please bear in mind that a trumpet, such as the Yamaha YTR-2330 could also suit a player right up to intermediate level. On eBay, at the moment, there are several priced between $400-900.
Improver Intermediate Instruments
There is quite a range of intermediate trumpets. Perhaps one of the best known again is Yamaha with their Yamaha YTR-4335G. At the moment, it is priced on eBay second-hand at $500-900, which is a lower price than you would expect. The new 4335G might set you back about $1800.
Professional Level Instruments
A professional-level instrument, even second-hand, will cost a considerable amount. There are two that we can consider here.
The Bach Stradivarius is a well-respected instrument that will set you back on eBay second-hand for about $2000-3000. The Yamaha Xenos Artist series is another very respected high-level instrument that again can be found in a price range of around $2500.
These are prices for instruments online. If the trumpet is located close enough, you may be fortunate enough to be able to view it first. If you are hoping to buy a second-hand trumpet from a music shop, you can walk in and look around. Then you can expect to pay about 15-20% more.
Selling Your Trumpet
If you have decided to sell your instrument for whatever reason, then you will need to be able to set a reasonable figure. To do this, you will need to determine its current value. You can go on various sites like eBay and check out prices before you set your own.
What Is The Current Value?
This will depend on the answers to four questions:
- Manufacturer and model type?
- The year it was made?
- What color is the finish?
- Overall condition?
Manufacturer and Model
This will usually be engraved somewhere on the instrument. With Yamaha, the Yamaha name is usually on the bell. The model name is placed on the middle valve casing over the serial number. With other instruments like Bach, for example, the Bach name and model are often on the bell.
The Year It Was Made
There will be a manufacturer’s serial number engraved somewhere on the trumpet. Once you have found that, you can go to the manufacturer’s website, and this number will give you the year of manufacture.
Bear in mind it might not be the year that you bought the instrument if you bought it new. It could have been in a warehouse or shop for a while and so could be earlier than you think.
What Color Is The Finish
This can be important because people have their preferences. Normally trumpets will either be silver-plated, or gold lacquered. Gold in some circles is the most popular, but silver trumpets still sell well. In recent years, there have been a few other colors arriving. Blue is sometimes seen.
You do need to make an honest assessment of your instrument and its condition. Silver and Gold lacquer finishes wear in different ways. You could see either flaking or scratching. If the instrument’s finish flakes away, it usually means it is lacquered.
And dents or heavy marks? They will affect the value because they can affect the sound, especially at the bell.
Start Your Valuation
Once you have identified that information, you can start to ascertain the instrument’s value. The valuation is not necessarily what you think it is worth. It is more to do with what they are selling for.
You can get this information from sites like CraigsList or eBay. Make sure you tick the box that says “completed items” so you can see instruments that have sold. But there is another consideration and the last on our list.
It Won’t Be The Measles
Are there any red spots on the finish, especially around the lead pipe? I don’t want to put a crimp in your day, but that is a problem. It is known as “red rot” and not measles.
Usually, a section with that problem needs to be completely replaced. On a cheaper model, it might be cheaper just to replace the instrument. Slides and valves are another potential problem area. They need to be working properly without any sticking.
I mention all this because it is all relevant to your estimate of the instrument’s value. It needs an honest and considered opinion. If there is a dent, say so. If there is something that needs fixing, you can mention it or get it fixed.
Most instruments lose a little of their original value as they age. I say “most” because some increase in value if they are limited runs, rare or unusual. However, the trumpet holds up quite well, providing it has no major faults. If you are thinking of buying a new trumpet, this should give you an idea of what you might expect to pay at the three levels we discussed earlier.
The professional player will enjoy the Bach LR180S-43 Stradivarius Professional Bb Trumpet. A quality instrument for the starter is the Yamaha YTR-2330 Standard Bb Trumpet.
Interested in Trumpets?
We have you covered. Check out our in-depth review of the Mendini by Cecilio Gold Trumpet Brass Standard Bb, the Mendini by Cecilio MTT-L Trumpet, the Yamaha YTR-2330 Standard Bb Trumpet, the Yamaha YTR-2335 Bb Trumpet, and the Jean Paul USA TR-330 Standard Student Trumpet for awesome trumpets you can buy in 2023.
You may also enjoy our handy articles on What’s the Difference Between a Cornet and Trumpet? and Are Eastar Trumpets Any Good? for more useful information about trumpets.
How Much Do Used Trumpets Sell For? – Final Thoughts
Prices are quite stable. So, choosing between buying new or second hand is always a difficult decision. It will, of course, save you money, but it could come with a set of expensive problems if you aren’t careful.
If you are selling, the price needs to be set properly so that you will sell it. The prices for used trumpets are usually quite stable and won’t vary much, which is a good thing.
Until next time, let your music play.