Why Buy Used Drums?
There are many reasons that someone would want to buy a used drum set. Used drums are more affordable, and this makes them a favorite of those who are just getting into drumming. Parents who want to let their kids get started with the drums often find that it's best to start with an inexpensive "student" set just in case the child ends up not liking the drums. Older newcomers may simply not want to spend several thousand dollars on drums before they know how to play them properly.
Active musicians are also attracted to the lower prices of used drums. They may want such a set to practice so that they can keep their "good" set ready for gigs. Alternatively, something may happen to one of their drums, forcing them to replace it in a hurry. Then, being able to pick one up at low cost prevents downtime.
Another group of people who like used drums are collectors. In that case, the goal isn't to save money. In fact, they may end up spending more than they would if they bought a new drum set! How can this be? Simply put, collectors like vintage drums. These are used, but they are also rare. Some vintage drums were played by famous people, which increases their value even more. Most collectors, however, are looking for specific makes and models that typically are no longer made.
Regardless of whether you're a collector looking for vintage drums or someone who wants an inexpensive practice set, there are some things to look for to help ensure satisfaction. Most of these are easy to check even for a beginner. Look for drums that have working adjustment keys and that are free of obvious damage. Many drum stores will put new heads on old drums, and if your goal is to play them rather than collect them, this is a plus.
If you're looking at a vintage set for collection purposes, get a certification or other written assurance of their make, model, and any relevant history. This is especially important for sets being sold at high prices, but is important for resale value in any case. Remember that with collectibles, any alteration from the item's original state may lower value. Therefore, in this case, you may want to have the original heads left on, especially if a famous person played them. If a drum head was autographed, you definitely want it!
Finally, you may need to shop around to get the best deal and find a drum set that meets your goals. Alternatively, check the same store several times. Used drums come and go, so your dream set may arrive at any time.