The Ultimate Guide to Buying a Ukulele

We’ve offered plenty of tips on choosing ukuleles and accessories, and now it’s time to explore some options concerning where to buy a ukulele.

As this fantastic little instrument is very popular, you’ve got many choices to consider. Each one comes with unique pros and cons to keep in mind! For example, buying a ukulele can be a budget-friendly endeavor, or you can spend more than $1,000 and outfit yourself like a pro.

Buying a Ukulele on Amazon

Amazon

Amazon is a great place to find just about anything, and it certainly doesn’t disappoint in the ukulele department. There are lots of instruments to choose from, plus a huge array of cases, strings, and other accessories.

Pros

  • Huge selection of ukuleles at every price point
  • Many high-quality ukuleles are offered at a discount
  • Most major manufacturers offer ukuleles via Amazon
  • Many ukuleles come as package deals complete with a case, instruction book, and other add-ons
  • All ukulele sizes are available
  • Unique pineapple ukuleles, banjoleles, and electric ukuleles are easy to find
  • Most of the ukuleles available on Amazon have been reviewed by others who have purchased them, making it fairly easy to purchase with confidence
  • Most sellers offer returns in case you’re not happy with the ukulele you received
  • Free shipping is often available

Cons

  • Some ukuleles are poorly made
  • Some sellers are not trustworthy
  • Shipping can sometimes be expensive

Buying a Ukulele on eBay

Like Amazon, eBay is a fantastic place to find unusual things, including some pretty incredible ukuleles. Many of the ukuleles found on eBay are used, although it is possible to find new ones. You’ll want to read the description carefully, look at the photos, and check out the seller’s reputation, particularly if you are interested in buying a rare or expensive instrument.

Pros

  • You can find interesting, unique ukuleles including antiques when you shop on eBay
  • eBay sellers are rated and reviewed, making it easier to guess whether you’re dealing with someone who is reputable
  • It is often possible to get a great deal on a good, gently used ukulele
  • It is fairly easy to find a ukulele in the size and finish that you prefer
  • Many reputable sellers offer returns in the event that you’re unhappy with your purchase
  • Free shipping is often available

Cons

  • Some ukuleles are damaged
  • Some sellers are not trustworthy
  • Shipping can be sometimes be expensive

Buying a Ukulele on Craigslist / Facebook Marketplace

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Depending on your location, you may be able to find a good ukulele on Craigslist or Facebook Marketplace without paying a lot of money for it. But be sure to take care with your purchase, and never go to a stranger’s home or a deserted location to look at a ukulele that you’re considering or to make a purchase. We won’t go into the frightening details, but people have been robbed, injured and even killed during transactions with strangers. Meet in a well-lit public place if you decide to do business with someone you’ve just met online.

Pros

  • You can sometimes find unique, interesting ukuleles, including antiques
  • You can often get a good deal and save money

Cons

  • Scammers are out there, and so are criminals looking for victims. Be careful!
  • You probably won’t be able to return the ukulele if you don’t like it

Buying a Ukulele at Walmart

Walmart: Love it or hate it, this place has just about everything a person could ever want – including ukuleles. Visit the store in person and you might find a cheap uke or two sitting on a shelf in the toy department. Go online, and you’ll find quite a few options to choose from, plus some nice accessories.

Pros

  • You can find a variety of cheap ukuleles to choose from
  • Accessories like cases, stands, and music books are available
  • Some ukuleles are sold as package deals with cases, books, and other accessories
  • You can have the ukulele shipped to your local Walmart and pick it up there
  • Walmart has a good return policy in case you’re not happy with your purchase

Cons

  • Many of the ukuleles are toys
  • Many of the ukuleles haven’t been reviewed so unless you have a specific model in mind, it’s hard to tell whether you’ll like the way the ukulele looks and sounds when it arrives

Buying a Ukulele at Your Local Music Store

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If you’re lucky enough to have a local music store that carries ukuleles, then you should go take a look at what they have to offer! Local venues are an excellent place to find high-quality ukuleles including models that aren’t typically offered online. You can also go to a music store to have your ukulele fitted with different strings, and many music stores also offer lessons.
Pros

  • It’s nice to support local businesses
  • Knowledgeable employees can help you make the right choice
  • You can find unique ukuleles in many music stores including high-end models that aren’t typically available online
  • Some music stores offer good-quality used instruments at discounted prices
  • Music stores offer additional services that will help you enjoy your ukulele and get more out of it
  • Music stores are great places to meet and connect with other musicians
  • You can try the ukuleles before making your purchase
  • Most music stores have reasonable returns policies; just be sure to check before finalizing your purchase
  • You can often find accessories at music stores, plus some of the larger stores offer ukuleles as package deals complete with bags, stands, and more

Cons

  • Music stores are sometimes a little more expensive than online venues
  • There are fewer models to choose from
  • You may have to travel a short distance to shop for your ukulele
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