Music Instruments

How To Appraise Pro Instruments

Published at 03/05/2012 20:28:30


The value of musical instruments will vary depending on several factors. Some factors that impact what pro instruments will be appraised for include the condition of the instrument, the age, and the type. Pro instruments will generally sell for and be appraised at higher amounts than instruments made for beginners and amatures. Pro instruments are often made with more features and superior workmanship. There is often also a hire demand for pro instruments, therefore, they will be able to be sold for more money.

Step 1

  • Determine the reason you are seeking an appraisal. If you think that the pro instrument you have once belonged to someone famous, or if you think it is an antique, you will want a certain appraisal type and appraiser. On the other hand, if you are thinking of buying the pro instruments for your own use or for someone else to use, you may want a different less expensive appraisal.

Step 2

  • Find an appraiser who has experience with the pro instruments you are seeking information about. Not every appraiser has experience in every item. Certain instruments, such as the violin will have many appraisers who specialize in this instrument. Other pro instruments may be more difficult. However, you can often bring them into a local instrument store to get some tips on who in your area could give you an appraisal.

Step 3

  • Get a verbal appraisal. Often an appraiser will offer a verbal appraisal for less money than a written one. This is useful if you are thinking about buying an instrument, or if you are thinking about having pro instruments restored. If you are just trying to see if it is worth it to restore an item, a verbal estimate is all you need. Likewise, if you are interested in buying an instrument and want to be sure the asking price is fair, a verbal appraisal will do.

Step 4

  • Getting a written appraisal. A written appraisal will cost more, but it is worth the cost and necessary if you are getting an appraisal for insurance purposes. If you plan to sell the instrument, a written appraisal will also be necessary. It is often worth the extra price to have written documentation.

Step 5

  • Store your appraisal in a safe place. You will want to keep this appraisal and any others that you may have done on your pro instruments. These will be useful if the time comes when you want to sell the item. People often have several appraisals taken over the years and all are kept together.


If you have pro instruments that you believe are antiques, only go to an antique dealer who has experience in instruments. Just because someone is an antique dealer, it does not mean that they are able to appraise your pro instruments.

Musicians usually are not interested in old or antique instruments, unless they were played by a musisian that they admire. You are often better off selling these items to collectors.

Be sure that your appraiser is reputable. Ask around to get names if you have to.

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