It can be tough to find very many harps on the market at a given time in a given area, and there’s no guarantee that the size, style, and brand you’re looking for will be for sale when you need it. If you’re willing to drive some distance, your chances of having a choice will increase. It is even possible to arrange to buy a harp somewhere far away and have it shipped to you, but you have to decide whether you want to buy the harp without ever getting a chance to see or hear it in person.
To find harps for sale, contact teachers, professional harpists, and fellow students in your area. The more people you ask, the more likely you are to pick up a lead. You can do the same thing with harpists in other cities that you’re willing to drive to. If you happen to live near one of the handful of retail outlets for harps such as Lyon & Healy West, Vanderbilt Music, or the Harp Connection, give them a call to see if they currently have anything used for sale.
To search nationally, you can check the classified ads in Harp Column Magazine, browse the selection of Certified Pre-Owned Harps available through Lyon & Healy, or contact all of the stores named above, as well as others such as Salvi Harps Incorporated, or the Virginia or Atlanta Harp Center.
Yes, you can also find harps for sale on ebay, and a lot of them. While I wouldn’t recommend that you buy one sight-unseen, you may find listings for harps in your area, and the seller may be willing to let you have a look at it in person.
Even if you find a harp or two for sale close by, it’s worth consulting all of these resources to see what’s out there. You can always use ebay and some of the stores who sell used harps for comparison shopping even if you don’t buy from them. There’s no Kelley Blue Book for harps, and no final authority on what they should be worth. It would be good to have as much information as possible about asking prices for harps across the country.
By pulling both local and Internet resources together, hopefully you will find at least one harp, maybe more, that matches your interests and price range. In our next post, we’ll discuss what happens next, and how to pre-screen a harp AND its seller before making a trip to visit it.