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Rent vs. Purchase:

Why you might find renting first to be the best option.

“New Trumpets!  Only $200!  Educator-endorsed!”  

And don't miss those exotic brand names which could just as easily be either types of pasta or names of Renaissance painters.

When you’re searching for an instrument for yourself or your student, you’ll probably come across these offers, which are:

  • At their best - marketing slogans designed to attract you and get you to hand over the credit card. 
  • At their worst – misleading, unsubstantiated claims.

How can you tell if a deal is really a deal?  If you’re not personally familiar and knowledgeable with musical instruments, the Internet can seem like a great place to find a deal for you or your student.  But as the saying goes, “buyer, beware.”    

Whether you’re in the market for a band or string instrument or a piano, there are multiple reasons you might find that renting an instrument initially is the best option for you.   We frequently hear stories of parents who decided to buy a used instrument or found “an amazing deal” on a new instrument on the Internet.  Usually sometime around the second or third week of lessons, we get an influx of these instruments which have mysteriously broken or don’t seem to be working as expected.   

The repair costs required to bring many of these band or string instruments (we call many of them “Instrument-Shaped Objects”) to playing condition, if they can even be repaired at all, is often very close to the outright purchase price of a quality used instrument from Amro.  And when it can’t be repaired, many parents discover very limited and penalizing return policies for these products.

With pianos, sometimes parents try to get by with purchasing inexpensive portable keyboards or 61-note keyboards.  A few problems with this approach include: ·         

  • These instruments typically lack the fundamental qualities of a real acoustic piano. ·         
  • They typically don’t have weighted keys. ·         
  • At least twice the number of students quit piano when using portable keyboards.   

Purchasing an instrument, regardless of the level of the student is understandably a major investment.  Renting, however, is an affordable way to try an instrument that’s guaranteed to be suitable for lessons before you buy.  It’s also a great way to “test the waters” and see if you or your student wants to continue music study long-term, before committing to owning an expensive instrument.  If your or your student decides to switch instruments, you can return the rented instrument and select a different one.  Or, the instrument can be returned with no further obligation after the initial rental agreement.     

Another advantage to renting is the flexibility you keep for trading up in quality.  A beginning music student, especially a band or string student, needs an instrument which is more durable and is designed to be easier to play, but sacrificing some potential tone.  The rental instrument can take the initial wear and tear of learning how to handle and care for the instrument.  When you rent an instrument from Amro, you can trade up to a higher quality instrument as your student progresses without losing your investment.  Amro will apply up to 12 months of rental credit toward the purchase of that instrument or of a higher-quality “step-up” instrument.  

Most people who rent a band or string instrument from Amro also select the Maintenance and Replacement plan (“M&R”).  With M&R, your instrument gets priority service if it ever needs to be repaired.  Also, if your instrument is ever lost, stolen, or damaged beyond repair (except in cases of obvious deliberate abuse), Amro will replace it at no cost to you!   

See what some of our “Amroids” have to say about renting:


And of course, when you’re sure buying an instrument is the right option for you, Amro offers convenient and affordable financing options to fit every budget.

Click here for even more information about band instrument rental.

Click here for even more information about orchestra instrument rental.

Click here for even more information about piano rental.

Posted by Ben Fonville at 7:30 AM
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