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How to price a used harp?

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  • #142444
    Aria
    Member

    Can any of you experienced harp people tell me if there’s a formula for pricing a used harp? It looks like I’ve outgrown my 5 year old lever harp and will attempt to sell it. But I don’t know how to price it. Do harps generally lose value? How much value loss? Any tips would be greatly appreciated. Thank you!

    #142447
    cynthia-artish
    Participant

    Aria, Hi!
    I appraise harps. The answer to your questions, depends on certain things.

    1. If the harp is a quality instrument kept in good condition plus is “competitive” with the market’s desirable features (levers/stringing/size) it can, in deed hold value and sometimes appreciate.
    2. However, if the instrument is a “compromise” harp, meaning it is of economy materials (e.g. Harpsicles) or is used and in need of repair or maintenance or has other features that may be out-dated, it can lose value. Btw, Harpsicles are holding value quite nicely!

    Much can be said on this complex topic.

    Also, don’t rule out the possibility of keeping a harp you’ve “outgrown” for those more informal playing events. A student of mine gleefully kept her small 26 string Ravenna to use to play at senior homes and farmer’s market busking – while her larger, fancier harp would never do at the farmer’s market or camping trip!

    Another tip, check out the harp classified ads in the Column and other harp industry sources to get a read on what is out there and what it costs.

    Meanwhile, I could help you better if you were more detailed in your description of the harp.

    Good Luck!

    Cynthia Artish

    #142448
    Aria
    Member

    Thank you for this great info. Cynthia. I have a 5 year old Merlin Harp (RHarps). It is in great condition, other than a couple of minor dings in the finish. It has an entirely new set of strings. It was well taken care of, well-loved, and well played. I am selling it because I bought a pedal harp and had to completely re-learn my technique in order to produce beautiful sound on it. Merlin has such light string tension that I feel like I got away with murder for 5 years. Now that I am able to handle the tight tension strings on my Venus, I discovered that I like tight tension better (sounds more articulate, produces better dynamics). Whenever I go back to play Merlin, it has to be played so differently, it seems to be reinforcing old habits that don’t help me excel on Venus. And I don’t have enough time in the day to keep up trying to sound good on two VERY different harps. But Merlin is a really wonderful harp for people who don’t want to work too hard. I’m thinking of pursuing a tighter tension lever harp for travel.

    #142454
    HarpAficionadoBlair
    Participant

    Cynthia-artist has good advice. You might want to keep at least one lever harp for those impromptu performances or venues where you don’t want to put your beautiful, expensive pedal harp at risk. I believe lever harps might maintain value longer due to less tension on the soundboard and neck, little worries of cost of mechanical repairs, and longer structural life.

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