A person who is buying a used saxophone must first determine the purpose for which the instrument is to be purchased. If he intends to practice and play the instrument as a beginner, then the alto saxophone would be the choice for him. It is therefore important to remember that it should not be the case that just because the used saxophone is sold at a very affordable rate one may already rush in buying the instrument.
He may have the saxophone at the best price but it will not do him any good if he cannot maximize the use of the instrument because it does not best serve his purpose. Simply put, it is not a good choice for a beginner to purchase a soprano saxophone even if the price is reasonably low. Thus, discriminating according to the types of saxophone and in accordance with the use and purpose for buying the instrument is always a good start in buying a used saxophone.
Second would be the price. Although used saxophones are expected to be cheaper than new ones, an extremely cheap saxophone may hint at the instruments poor and unflattering quality – though not necessarily. Nevertheless, used saxophones may also be sold at a price only slightly lower than the price for other brand new saxophones. This may be due to several factors: the saxophones high quality, brand, make and model. Thus even at that price, the used saxophone may still be worth buying. This implies that buying a used saxophone also entails a consideration of the brand, make and model of the instrument.
Most importantly, in buying a used saxophone, one must never hesitate to ask questions about the saxophone. It is advisable to ask as many questions as one can pertain to the “history” of the saxophone such as: how was it used in the past? How often was it used? Had it even been repaired? When was the last time it had been repaired? How long has it been since it was first purchased? Questions like these will help a person decide whether or not he is amenable to buying a used saxophone. One may also inquire why the saxophone is being sold.
Finally, it is wise to play the saxophone first to test first-hand the sound, the tone, and the quality of the instrument before entering into the deal of buying the saxophone. In case one is a beginner and does not yet know how to play the instrument, bringing someone who knows how to play the instrument along would be practical and reasonable.