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At Lisa’s Clarinet Shop we believe the best way to buy a new instrument is to sell the one you have and use it as a down payment toward a new one. In recent years, professional woodwind instruments have tremendously gone up in price, making it less accessible for many to buy a new instrument without the sale of their current one.

While using the economic benefit your current instrument has is a great value to you, another reason it’s a good idea to sell your old instrument—if it is made from any type of wood—is that wooden instruments really need moisture to remain supple and agile. Wood clarinets benefit from use as the moisture works into pores of the wood. As it ages, less water is absorbed and this is also true, regardless of age, if you play on the instrument less and less because you are enjoying your new one.

Trade In or Consign?

When deciding to purchase a new instrument with us, we are happy to consider taking your existing instrument in on trade after you select the instrument you wish to buy. Before the sale we can give you an estimate of what you can expect to receive on trade against your new purchase with us. It is also possible, however, due to the condition, age, brand, model, customizations or other issues, that we may not be interested in taking your instrument on trade but would be willing to sell it on consignment.

When we take an instrument on trade, the value we offer will be directly deducted from the price of the instrument when you finalize the transaction. While we provide an estimate upfront, it is given without seeing the instrument in person and is subject to change. Typically, we find we are right in our assessment, provided the information our client provides is accurate, but we do need the right to inspect it before committing to our estimate.

Most instruments we take on trade are instruments we have an easy time quickly selling. As I am sure you realize, when we take your instrument against a new purchase, we will have to sell it before we will recover the monetary value of the one you purchased. As a result, we accept instruments on trade that typically take us 8-12 weeks to sell and not 9-12 months. We also only accept trade ins against new instrument purchases and not used instrument purchases. We will, however, consider taking your used instrument in this situation on consignment.

Completing the Trade-In Process

When we agree that your instrument can be traded toward another, and on its value against a new purchase, the instrument you wish to trade will be sent when you return the new instruments you have decided not to keep, or at the end of the trial process.

At this time, the instrument will be added to our inventory and the value deducted from your invoice total.

The best part of our trade-in process is that all of the setup work we need to do to sell your old clarinet is left in our hands to complete while you realize the instant benefit of its value without having to wait for us to sell it.

How Consignment Works

On a daily basis, we receive calls and emails and texts and chats about clarinets for sale in the marketplace from their owners. We do accept brands other than Buffet in our consignment market place but typically those instruments we consign tend to be harder to sell and take more time as a result.

When it comes to models, we are only interested in consigning professional level instruments. We do not consign student and intermediate models at this time.

Step 1

If you are interested in consigning with us, the first step is to contact us and tell us your name, and about the instrument you wish to sell and its history. We require the model, serial number, and some pictures up close of its keys, logos, and case. We also would like to know what you hope to get upon the sale of the instrument so we can determine upfront if we can actually achieve your goals or not and why.

Step 2

After we receive your inquiry, we will let you know if we think we can sell this instrument and at what price. We will also review our setup fees and commission. From a lot of experience selling instruments on consignment, our setup fees and commission structure are not negotiable. We find that regardless of who set up your clarinet or how frequently cared for it is, there is always work to be done to get the instrument sold at the level our clients expect.

Step 3

Once you accept our offer, we are happy to help you sell your instrument, and will send you a fully insured label, if you like, that will be deducted from the sale price of your instrument. We charge $48 for Bb, A and Eb clarinets and $150 for alto or bass clarinet. Our insurance covers value up to 10K. If you wish to insure for more than 10K you will need to send the instrument to us yourself.

The reason we offer to send a label, is because you will find most Bb, A and Eb professional used instruments shipped will cost you $150 to send and alto and bass clarinets run $300-500. We want to pass through our discounts to our clients and consignee’s because we truly are a great place to do business and care about what we do and how we do it.

The label is sent through email and we ask you to confirm the day you drop it off at the carrier.

When we receive it, we notify you we have it and in a separate email, typically, affirm the value we discussed or propose a new one if need be. If for any reason once we have received your instrument you do not wish to consign your instrument with us, and want it to be returned, you will be responsible for shipping both to us and for the return to you. This doesn’t happen often at all, but as long as we are talking about the process, seems best to point this out here.

Step 4

Hopefully within 6 months your instrument has sold. We do ask if you consign with us that you don’t call us every two weeks for an update. If you are not willing to let us contact you when we have an update or wait no less than 3 months to reach out to us, it’s probably best you sell it yourself. Those who consign with us are typically not in a hurry but just want someone like us helping them sell their instrument with a huge audience.

Consignments for us are a labor of love. They are not easy to sell usually. And we know your purchasing mistake or instrument you inherited or no longer play enough has value you would like to realize. We do want to help but it’s going to take time to help you and we need your cooperation and patience.

So let me tell you about the process so you know what to expect.

  • First, your clarinet is fully insured with us from the moment you ship it to us if you use one of our labels. It doesn’t matter if it is in our shop or we send it to a trade show or out for a trial. You are covered if something happens to it under our watch for the value we agree upon in writing.
  • Second, once we have received your instrument our very first step is to fully inspect it and play on it to bring it up to the service standard level, we require to sell it. All our instruments have to play at their very best level to be tried. If it needs considerable work, it can take 2-3 weeks to be completed and ready for sale.
  • Once the instrument is ready to sell, it needs to be photographed and added to the used section of our website. This usually occurs within 4 weeks of receiving it on consignment. Now, entering week 5, we are officially off to the races to sell it.
  • To sell your clarinet, it may appear in our Clarinet of The Day Videos, be offered on display at a clarinet event, or sent out for trial at any point. Our goal is to find it a perfect home and to be able to call you and say ‘Sold!’

Step 5

Time to get paid for the sale. When we start the consignment process, we will ask you to choose a method of payment. We offer either PayPal (no fees) or Bank Draft.  When your instrument sells, we will send you an email confirming your payment has been sent.

If at any point during the consignment process you decide to ask us to return the instrument to you, you will be responsible for the setup work fee and shipping both ways.

It’s best to consider trading or consigning your current clarinet when you elect to upgraded or invest in a new instrument. We are so happy to be able to offer both options to new and repeat clients alike.