HMT buys, trades and consigns!

We are always on the lookout for vintage and used acoustic instruments in good condition. Do you have a nice vintage/used piece 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! You can sell your instrument on consignment here, and/or the store owner may offer you an outright purchase price or trade value. If you can drop off the instrument at our store, feel free to do so at any time during our open hours to leave for consideration. Or you can contact us ahead of time and we may be able to make a preliminary offer and/or set up an appointment for you.

Currently, we are not accepting 120-bass piano accordions for sale/consignment. If you have a piano accordion 80b or smaller, or a button accordion in relatively good condition, you are welcome to send us an inquiry for potential sale/consignment.

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. This policy does not apply to items to be considered for consignment only.

If you are not local to us, you can ship us your instrument. We would prefer that you email digital photos first. Include as much information as possible about the instrument, and we will discuss further with you.

Selling on consignment through us offers several advantages over selling privately. (i.e. through Craigslist, local classifieds, 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 on eBay where it will be available to millions of potential buyers. Our eBay store has a stellar reputation and we handle all photography, individualized thorough descriptions, communication, payment, packing & shipping.
All instruments brought in for consignment must be approved by the store owner (David Eisner). At his discretion, he 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.

In most cases you will be required to leave your instrument for the store owner to examine. In some cases, we may be able to set up an appointment for you, or arrange pickup of your instrument if you are in the DC Metro area (please contact us).

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.

Consignments are paid 30 days after the instrument sells. This is to protect us from returns, bounced customer checks, etc. Payment will be mailed in the form of a check to the consignor. 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.

eBay/web sales
HMT may choose to advertise the consigned instrument on our website, and/or in our eBay store. If the instrument sells on eBay, we will deduct eBay's listing/selling fees from the consignor's net. These vary depending on the type of listing (auction vs. fixed price) and the final selling price of the item. In the case of an auction, the starting bid or reserve price will be the consignor's lowest negotiable price. If the item sells for a higher price, the commission fees apply as listed above. Listing on eBay greatly increases the chances of sale. HMT handles all listing preparation, research, photography, communication with bidders, 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 75% of your lowest acceptable price as stated on the consignment ticket.

If you are not local and wish to ship us an instrument for consignment, you must contact us for approval first. Please refer to our instructions (below) for shipping your instrument to our store. If the instrument does not sell, you will be responsible for return shipping if we opt to return the instrument to you.

Sell on eBay!

Want to sell your instrument on eBay, but don't have the time or the digital camera? Let us do it for you! We'll take the photos, consult with you on a price, post the auction and answer telephone and email inquiries from potential buyers. We have a high approval rating, a sterling record and a reputation for excellent customer service. Our latest eBay campaign raised more than $20,000 for one very happy client. Contact us if you are interested!

How to Ship a Musical Instrument to HMT

Please call or email first to find out if we do repairs on your type of instrument. (Or check our Repairs page) Please do not ship your instrument without a case -- it would be very difficult to successfully pursue a claim with the carrier for shipping damage, and the instrument would be vulnerable to additional damage in transit from the repair shop. HMT will not be responsible for the safety of an instrument that is shipped without a case.

Accordions: We regret that we can no longer accept shipped accordions for consignment or appraisal. 

Stringed instruments: first loosen the strings. Don't take them off completely, and don't loosen them completely; but loosen them enough to take most of the tension off the neck. (If there is a serious neck problem, please call us before doing this.) Remove all capos, picks, etc. from the instrument and case before shipping. Straps with metal parts: either remove the strap entirely or wrap it in plastic to protect the wood from scratches.

If the instrument fits loosely in the case (as most do), you must pack it so it can't shift around inside. Be very careful to make sure there is no space around the heel stock (the joint where the neck meets the body). If this area is not well secured the neck may snap off during shipping. The best material to use is newspaper or bubble wrap. Don't use packing peanuts if the instrument has a soundhole or other places where peanuts can get inside.

All instruments: Having secured the instrument inside its case, then pack the case in a sturdy cardboard box which gives at least 3" clearance on all sides. Especially if it is a heavy instrument, you will want to brace the case on all sides with blocks of styrofoam or something similar. Fill the carton with packing material, such as crumpled newspaper or styrofoam packing peanuts - use enough so the case can't move around inside the outer carton. Seal the box with heavy duty packing tape (masking tape and regular cellophane tape are not strong enough). Address the shipping label as follows:

House of Musical Traditions
7010 Westmoreland Ave.
Takoma Park, MD 20912

Important: Put your return address on the outside, not just the address of the packing company you may have hired. We need your street address, not just a P.O. box. Include the following inside the case, with the instrument:

1) Your name, billing address, shipping address if different, home and work phone numbers, fax or email address if you have one, and (if it is a repair or appraisal) credit card info, including card number and expiration date (if you wish, you may phone in this information).

2) A note describing the current condition of the instrument in case we need to make a claim for shipping damage. Tell us whether you are shipping the instrument for apppraisal, sale, consignment, or repair. Tell us what the problem is and what you would like repaired. Important: list anything that is missing or not operating correctly so that either of us can make a claim with UPS if there was any shipping damage up to and including a complete loss. HMT will not be responsible for any damage found later and claimed by you, if this information is not clearly stated.

When shipping, be sure to include insurance to cover the total worth of the instrument, case, and all other contents of the package. Please note that UPS will not pay a damage claim on an improperly packed instrument, or on an instrument that has not been insured. If you prefer, you may use a packaging and shipping service such as Mail Boxes Etc. Make sure, however, that they have experience shipping musical instruments.

Please contact us if you have any other questions!

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