Consignments, Purchasing & Trades

HMT buys, trades and consigns!

We are always on the lookout for vintage and used instruments in good condition. Do you have a vintage/used instrument that's collecting dust and you want to find a good home for it, or you want to use it in trade towards something we're selling? We can find a good home for your instrument! Depending on our inventory needs at the time, we may offer you consignment, an outright purchase offer, and/or a trade offer for store credit. Please email us with details and photos of item(s) you would like us to consider for sale. If we confirm we are interested in evaluating your item, you may drop your item off at the store anytime during our open hours. Generally, we are not able to make any offers on the spot - so please be prepared to leave your item with us for evaluation (this may take anywhere from a couple of days to a couple of weeks, if we need to have one of our repair specialists provide further assessment). You will receive a claim check for your item. 

We do not commonly accept items for sale/trade/consignment that would need to be shipped to us, though we have accommodated this occasionally. You may email us to inquire, if you're not able to deliver your item in person.

We are required by Montgomery County law to report secondhand personal property acquisitions to the county police, to prevent the sale of stolen property. When dropping off an item for consideration, you will be asked for a drivers' license, and must sign a form affirming that you are the rightful owner of the item. 

Selling on consignment through us offers several advantages over selling privately (i.e. through Craigslist, Facebook marketplace, etc.):

We are open 7 days a week where customers can come in and try out the instrument. You don't have to worry about setting up appointments and having people not show up, and don't have to worry about dealing personally or financially with complete strangers -- often risky business on Craigslist. On the flip side, potential buyers usually feel more comfortable dealing with a reputable store than with a stranger.

We have been in business since 1972 and have an international reputation for a great selection of high quality acoustic instruments. People know to shop with us who are in the market for your item.

We ship internationally and can open your potential market worldwide (your instrument can be listed on our website which receives an average of 20,000 hits a day).

We can also list your instrument in our Reverb store (or in special cases, for eBay auction), where it will be available to millions of potential buyers. Our online stores have a stellar reputation and we handle all photography, individualized thorough descriptions, communication, payment, packing & shipping. Consignments sold through our Reverb store have Reverb's 5% selling fee deducted from the consignor's net.

All instruments brought in for consignment must be approved by store management. We may have the instrument examined by a repair contractor to evaluate for any needed repairs. If repairs are recommended, in most cases we will require the consignor to pay for repair costs before the instrument is put on consignment. Please see our Repairs page for basic rates on some repairs.

The consignor will be contacted directly with a recommended selling price. After the consignor agrees to the selling price, HMT will put the instrument out for sale.

We have reasonable commission rates on consignments that are based on the selling price of the item. We will discuss the rates directly with you.

Instruments must be left on consignment for a minimum of 30 days. If the consignor wishes to reclaim their instrument before 30 days, they must pay HMT the agreed-upon commission fee. After 30 days, the consignor may reclaim the instrument if they wish (please call HMT first to make sure the instrument is still there and hasn't recently sold). HMT may request that the consignor pick up their instrument, and/or recommend that the price be lowered in some cases if the instrument does not sell. If we want you to retrieve the instrument but we are unable to contact you after repeated attempts over a 90-day period, ownership of the instrument reverts to us.

Estate Sales:
Our store has assisted with the sale of many larger estate collections of musical instruments & equipment, both in the DMV area and beyond. If you need help selling a larger collection of instruments from a family estate, please contact us (preferably by email). On-site visits for evaluation may be possible in the DC/MD/Northern VA areas. 

Consignments are paid 30 days after the instrument sells. Payment will be mailed in the form of a check to the consignor, or electronically by Paypal or direct bank transfer. If the consignor would prefer to pick up their check in person, they must contact HMT first. It is the consignor's responsibility to notify HMT if contact information has changed.

Web sales
HMT may choose to advertise the consigned instrument on our website, and/or in our Reverb or eBay store. If the instrument sells on Reverb or eBay, we will deduct those service's listing/selling fees from the consignor's net (these range from 5-10% depending on the listing type). Listing on these services greatly increases the chances of sale. HMT handles all listing preparation, research, photography, communication with buyers, packing and shipping.

HMT will not be responsible for minor damage to the instrument due to normal environmental changes (fluctuation in temperature and humidity due to the change of seasons). In the case of partial or complete loss due to accident, we will either cover the repairs or purchase the instrument from you at the rate of 70% of your lowest acceptable price as stated on the consignment ticket.

Please contact us if you have any other questions!