Getting “true” value from your buying dollars is best done by doing a little bit of homework on your purchase, no matter what it is, especially when shopping for banjos for sale. Finding a resource you can trust to give you “real” information can be hard. At Deering we know banjos! After over 19 years working here, I will try to help you know what to look for when buying a new banjo.
You will have to be sure you read more than one resource, but take a look at what your fellow buyers say and what they have experienced from the manufacturer once they have the banjo. Are they happy with the banjo? Did they have easy access to information about the banjo? How helpful was the website?
These are questions that will help you know if the brand you have chosen is one you can trust. Just how good is their reputation in the banjo world?
If a manufacturer stands behind their product, they will offer a warranty. A warranty shows you that the company is not only confident in its product but it backs up this confidence by offering you further service for your buying dollars.
Make sure that the warranty is well explained or that you can call the factory to get some further information on the warranty. Many warranties are non-transferable so a new owner is the only one who has the privilege of warranty service.
Repair services are costly. Things like new tuners, a new tailpiece, a new rim, new hooks/nuts; parts that are factory generated are often covered by a factory warranty. This can save you not only a headache but also save you money in the future.
Talking to an actual person for service is such a luxury these days. Many banjo companies don’t actually have a customer service department. Be sure you can access the customer service department. Do they have a phone number you can use? Do they have a real person at the end of the line? Do you have more than one email address you can use to get a service response? Does the company have free technical service? All of these things are important for you to know when you buy a new banjo. This banjo will be something you will have to learn not only to play, but to set up. For that you will need good customer support.
You want to choose a brand that has been making banjos long enough to really know their craft. The banjo has a multitude of parts and not only the materials used, but how they are assembled has a tremendous amount of bearing on how good the banjo will sound. If the manufacturer has been making banjos for a long enough period of time, they will have a reputation. You want to find out what exactly that reputation is before you invest.
Where can you buy the banjo? Is it carried in more than one store? This shows you that store owners believe the banjo is a good investment in their own precious inventory dollars. Are they available online? Online outlets are a great resource for folks who do not live near any local stores. Knowing that both local music stores and online outlets are willing to invest their own capital in a brand of banjo means they feel that customers are looking for that brand.
Does the manufacturer really “make” their own banjo or do they just perform a brief set-up procedure on incoming completed product? Or do they “make” banjos from components that are made elsewhere? This is what we would call “assembled” not “made” in their factory locations.
One year while visiting a city in Indiana, a group of us from Deering took the time to visit a local site that sells banjos. We asked if we might take a factory tour. We were very politely greeted and told that they do not make the banjos. They receive them in boxes and merely change the address on the box and ship it to their customers! They did not even open the box to perform a set-up procedure!
Have you ever bought a used car? You never know what kind of care that vehicle has had. Did they give it routine maintenance? The same is true of a banjo. By buying a new one, you will know that it has not been through conditions that are less than optimal for good performance. You will know that it has not been left in a hot car, or sitting by a sunny window. You will know that it has not been left in a moist closet or near an air conditioning vent. Because it is new, you can be assured that you are aware of its history.
Being the original owner of the banjo offers you benefits for better service after you purchase and this extends the value of your buying dollar. By looking at exactly what you get when you buy it new and what it would cost you if you had to pay for any repair services, the advantages of buying new makes it a worthwhile investment in yourself and your journey with your new banjo.
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