Buying from ebay

For some reason I'm wanting to buy a tenor sax. I'm going to pass on the "new" $300 horns I see on eBay, and have been looking at used ones. Most of what I see in my price range (dirt cheap) is going to need new pads and a tune up. Where do you personally draw the line price-wise at what you would pay for a horn that is going to need work right away?

There is a Conn for sale right now that would run about $300 shipped if no one else bids.
Depends mostly on you and your needs. Are you gigging with this instrument and need it to be ready to go fast? Will this just be a hobby horn that doesn't get much play? Be realistic in defining your needs. I will say that every used horn I've purchased was eventually replaced by a better instrument. It doesn't pay to go cheap if you are a serious musician.

The Conn could work for you but think *at least* $400 more to get the horn in reliable, decent shape. And I can't say enough about only going with sellers with solid reps. They have a reason to make the sale a good one for you. Where are you located that you can find saxes to look at and play test? Finally, if the deal is too good to be true, it probably is.
It really depends upon the horn.

For instance, I personally do not like older american horns due to the keywork and especially the table keys.

I'd rather go with some Dolnet french horn than a US horn at that low of a price range. Or even an Evette (french made) as I do like the Evette keywork.
Buy I know many prefer the vintage US horns.

As to where you draw the line?
Do you want to pull it out of the case when you get it and play it right away, or have to put time, effort and money into it?
and then It depends upon how much work/money you want to put into it.

Does it require just a few pads or a total overhaul ?
Is the body clean with no major dents or does it need dent work ?
Does the looks of it make you green with envy or it is literally green with envy ?

There are people who will buy a horn and repad it themselves to save money, others are not able to to that.

So it all depends upon what "line" you are talking about.

personally I'd rather spend $2000 for an SBA that needs everything than $7000 for one that is ready to play.
but lower down I'd rather spend $1000 for a Couf alto that is ready to play than a $400 one that needs everything.
So for me it all depends.
$300 is generally the amount I tell people to expect to pay in repairs for any horn purchased on eBay.

What's the best tenor on eBay for around $300 for Buy-it-Now? Probably this Olds Ambassador. Looks like a Buescher Aristocrat stencil to me. Personally? I'd wait until I see a Yamaha YTS-23 that's closer to your price range -- and completed eBay ads say that you can get closer to that $300 mark -- then spend a bit to get it fixed up.

I suppose there's an off chance that you'll win the 22M auction (i.e. a Conn at $300), but you might not be that happy with the purchase. The YTS-23 is, arguably, the best student horn out there. The 22M is a very average student horn.
Top Bottom