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Thread: Used beginner mandos

  1. #1

    Default Used beginner mandos

    Whatís the deal with used prices on more beginner friendly mandos? My 70s epiphone is finally caving in and itís time to finally bite the bullet and get a new one. Iíve been looking for beginner stuff thatís not complete garbage but all of the lowest end Kentucky stuff and the lowest tier Eastman stuff I can find darn close to retail even with them being used. I donít understand. Iíve had lots of instruments and I swear mandolins must have some of the best resell value Iíve ever seen or everyone just wants too much. Tell me the mandolins secrets 😂

  2. #2
    My Florida is scooped pheffernan's Avatar
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    Default Re: Used beginner mandos

    Buy a flattop. They start off cheaper and depreciate more precipitously.

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  3. #3

    Default Re: Used beginner mandos

    I think that people moving up from the likes of KM 150s and MD 305s or 315s decide to keep them rather than pass them on when they upgrade, but I have not paid much attention to pricing. If you are looking for a deal, occasionally The Mandolin Store will have seconds at a nice discount. Look in their used inventory.

    But heck, you aren't a beginner anymore. The good deals are A styles that sold for $2000+ that go used for $1200+.
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  4. #4
    Mando accumulator allenhopkins's Avatar
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    Default Re: Used beginner mandos

    Keep looking. A Google search found two expired Reverb listings of used Kentucky KM-150's for $180 and $225. Can't vouch for condition etc., but that's around 50% of what KM-150's are going for new, discounted. I'd hazard a guess that these offers don't last long, but they're there..
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  5. #5

    Default Re: Used beginner mandos

    Walmart sometimes has Kentucky mandolins very cheap. Sorry, I know they are not used but the price is often in the used range.
    Loar LM-370

  6. #6

    Default Re: Used beginner mandos

    Here's a Kentucky KM-250 for $250
    https://reverb.com/item/21873474-kentucky-km-250
    In my opinion, the best value beginner mandolin available today. Probably the best deal you're going to find.
    My approach with instrument buying however is to set my budget and buy the best instrument I can get in that budget, not the cheapest.
    How much do you have to spend?
    Best,
    Stevo

    If you have more to spend, this Kentucky KM-950 for $840 is a good deal on a great mandolin!
    https://www.mandolincafe.com/ads/139194#139194

  7. #7
    man about town Markus's Avatar
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    Default Re: Used beginner mandos

    Once you add in shipping costs, paypal, [if sold here] a donation to MC, and time ... selling an instrument at $200 doesn't net that much. Keeping a beater for canoe/camp/beach trips is worth that much to many people.

    The High School I work at has a `folk band' club, often full of violin players who would love to try a mandolin out. Now that I've upgraded past my $1000 mandolin, my starter/beater mandolin is likely going to be donated - it's a lot simpler and the thank you I'll get every year from the student will make my day once a year.

    I would not be surprised if a lot of mandolin players lent or donated their starter mandolins to kids [or sold for super cheap on Craigslist].
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  9. #8

    Default Re: Used beginner mandos

    I was actually looking at that one funny enough, but I just pulled the trigger on a km-172 that was on reverb. I havenít played in quite a while admittedly and Iíve never used anything other than laminate so anything solid will be a good transition step for me. Also I figured why not try an oval hole, itíll all be a good change of pace I think.

  10. #9

    Default Re: Used beginner mandos

    I lucked out on getting a used KM-156 on ebay for $225, it was in mint condition and the buyer had bought it new nicely set up from Folkmusician. It just takes a bit of patience to wait for a deal like that.

  11. #10

    Default Re: Used beginner mandos

    Check out used Breedloves (but not the "crossovers") and used Big Muddys (a.k.a. Mid-Missouris).

  12. #11
    Mando accumulator allenhopkins's Avatar
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    Default Re: Used beginner mandos

    Problem solved -- see Post #8.
    Allen Hopkins
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    Natl Triolian Dobro mando
    Victoria b-back Merrill alumnm b-back
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    Eastmn: 615'dola 805 m'cello
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  13. #12

    Default Re: Used beginner mandos

    People have always thought that saving precious metals for the apocalypse was smart, but after this nightmare it looks like I’ll be stockpiling used beginner mandolins.

  14. #13
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    Default Re: Used beginner mandos

    There is an absolute dearth of mandolin options north of the 49th BUT I've been pleasantly surprised by the Epiphone mm 30s I've played in shops recently . For what they are , they sound surprisingly good ,( I'd buy one over the Eastman 305 , Gretch new yorker or any no -names under 300.00 ) they play well and record well . I've owned several in the past ...liked them both . They are available from time to time on Craigslist up here ( Vancouver ) for 150.00 or less CAD used. For what this may be worth.....

  15. #14
    Confused... or?
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    Default Re: Used beginner mandos

    Quote Originally Posted by Markus View Post
    ... Keeping a beater for canoe/camp/beach trips is worth that much to many people. ... not be surprised if...players lent or donated their starter mandolins to kids ...
    Absolutely! Lots of starter-level instruments around here. Not worth the effort of selling, but lots of loans out to friends & kids that went on to bigger, or at least better (hey, this IS a mando community!), things.
    - Ed

    "What our group lacks in musicianship is offset by our willingness to humiliate ourselves." - David Hochman

  16. #15

    Default Re: Used beginner mandos

    The OP needs to hang out here more. Exposure over time leads to an infection resistant to antibiotics or reason that will, over time, render the subject a moot point. Then we can graduate to a what should I get for under $2000 thread, a subject I'm more qualified to comment on.

    Someday I might float a new what should I get for $5k thread. One can dream. But this thread prompted me to get my Michael Kelly out and play it, bringing fond memories of the beach, the desert, and the redwoods. As stated by others, no reason to sell it, except if a friend was interested in taking up mandolin.
    Silverangel A
    Michael Kelly LSFTB
    Arches F style kit
    1913 Gibson A-1

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  18. #16
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    Default Re: Used beginner mandos

    Quote Originally Posted by Br1ck View Post
    But this thread prompted me to get my Michael Kelly out and play it, bringing fond memories of the beach, the desert, and the redwoods. As stated by others, no reason to sell it, except if a friend was interested in taking up mandolin.
    Absolutely! I still have my The Loar starter mandolin, whenever someone (that I trust) mentions they are thinking about learning mandolin, I loan it to them to try to see if they like it. Then I get it back, no harm, no foul. Allow me to encourage the fun of mandolining!

  19. #17
    Out of tune HappyPickin's Avatar
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    Default Re: Used beginner mandos

    I had been looking for a used MD305 for months to replace my beater. They were all either priced as new or in need of fret work. On a motorcycle trip last month I stopped at a music store in Waynesville, NC and spotted one hanging near the register. It was in good shape so I made an offer on it. Luckily, the bag that came with it had backpack straps. I didn't get a great deal but I got a fair deal on a solid mandolin.

    I was surprised that it took several months to find what I was looking for considering how many 305s are out there.
    Out of tune and out of time.

  20. #18

    Default Re: Used beginner mandos

    Quote Originally Posted by mandoleeland View Post
    I was actually looking at that one funny enough, but I just pulled the trigger on a km-172 that was on reverb. I haven’t played in quite a while admittedly and I’ve never used anything other than laminate so anything solid will be a good transition step for me. Also I figured why not try an oval hole, it’ll all be a good change of pace I think.
    I cannot say for certain, but Kentucky has a great reputation for good sounding mandolins that perform well above their price. It sounds like you made a good choice.
    Loar LM-370

  21. #19
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    Default Re: Used beginner mandos

    Flattops, kentucky km505, JBoviers, those are my recommends. Some of the Washburns, The Loars and Savannahs sound decent. Keep watching reverb, c'list, ebay, the classifieds, and get email updates on e.g. new Kentucky listings, they tend to go fast when they're decently priced.
    The Keepers: Kentucky km900, JBovier A5
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