How to Rent a Flute
What to know before you go..
Hi, I’m Rebecca Fuller the instructor and expert of the Learn Flute Online.com learning programs, and today in this video we will exploring everything you need to be aware of, and what to know when you want to rent a flute.
It’s great to have you here learning how to play the flute. When the decision arrives to decide between renting and purchasing a flute, there are definitely a few things to think about.
Renting a flute is always a good idea if you’re helping a youngster explore different hobby possibilities in their life, and you’re not exactly sure they’re going to stick with it or not… but then again, owning your own instrument usually helps with that commitment process.
Nevertheless, there are definitely times when renting a flute is the right choice for you, and you’ll want to have a bit of knowledge before you make that first phone call. No worries, I’m here for you. Here are some very important details you need to know about renting a flute:
When you first call or visit a store that offers instrument rentals, you’ll be asked if you are looking to rent a ‘student’ model, or ‘intermediate model, or an ‘advanced’ model of a flute.
If you’re on a higher level than beginner, you’ll want to own your flute, not rent it. There are reasons, but in this video, let’s stick to just renting a student model flute, which is the basic beginner level flute, and the most comment level of flute to rent.
Know, first of all, that stores cannot and do not carry every model, make and brand of flute. If you have a certain model in mind, you may very well be disappointed if you ask for it. Most stores have contracts with certain companies and so those are the only brands they will carry. If you’re looking for something specific and they don’t have it, be prepared to do go somewhere else and do some shopping.
You’ll receive usually a few choices, and unless you already know how to play the flute, you’re at the mercy of the salesperson as to which brand will be right for you.
You can ask if they will have any other brands or models come into their store in the future. Otherwise you’ll be offered what they have in stock. And, if you call at the beginning of the traditional school year, they’ll be running pretty low on choices.
You’ll usually be offered to rent a used flute because the salesman will know that you might possibly be drawn to a lower monthly price.
Beware though, used flutes many times come with problems because they’ve been handled by someone else for a year. You have no idea what’s been done to it.
Some businesses do have great flute technicians who can put the instrument back into great shape, but many don’t. So when you rent a used flute, you are stuck with that exact instrument for the duration of your rental contract- whether it’s a lemon or not.
I called around to a few businesses that rent flutes so that I could get a current idea of “what’s happening in the rental world”. I called businesses on both ends of the United States, and also here in my own home state.
Some of the information varied, but let me give you the low-down on what I was told.
First of all, let me say that I called inquiring about renting a flute for myself – an adult for some of the places, and one of the place just assumed I was calling for my child so they immediately gave me a band package price, which was good to learn about as well.
The conversation I just had today went something like this:
Hi, I’m an adult looking to rent a flute. Can you give me the information I need?
Usually the reply was, ‘sure’ what do you want to know? Haha, this was funny to me because if someone is renting a student model flute one can assume I wouldn’t know hardly anything.
My next question was something like, “How much does it cost to rent a flute?”
I would then be told that I can choose from a used flute or a new flute, and that the full price of the instrument (with tax) would be divided up into 18 months, and that’s how they get their cost that you pay per month.
Ok, sounds great. What kind of agreement do I have to sign to rent a flute?
The answer has been pretty consistent to this- a full blown contract has to be filled out and signed. This information includes your social security number, your income information, driver’s license, two non-family contacts who can vouch for you in case you disappear with the rented instrument.
So basically know that this agreement is lawfully binding, you must pay, and the credit department is tied to the contract. Once you decide to rent, you’re bound by the duration of the contract.
Also, the money paid towards the rental flute is (as I mentioned before) only paid towards the exact flute you’ve rented. So, if half way through the contract period, you decide you want a different brand of flute or possibly a step-up model, it’s probably not possible. But, you can be sure to ask the company about this when you talk to them.
Another important part of my calls was when I asked about the warrantees on the instrument. Now, I know that some businesses work that right into the contract so you feel at ease about your choice, but one of the places I talked to today, for example told me point blank that almost all problems with flutes are operator error, and they don’t fix them for free at all.
There is something you can remember to ask for; and that’s a ‘renter’s protection package”. Now, this may add to your monthly bottom line, but it may just save your bacon as well because if your flute is broken, lost, or even stolen then it should be covered because of your protection package.
It’s a lot like when you rent skis at the local ski resort… haha, they get you on the low-monthly cost of the package, and then tell you kind of ‘by tthe way, if you break them you have to pay for the whole thing right then unless you purchase the insurance. Well, I guess that’s just how it goes.
So, when does it make sense to rent or should you buy?
Here are some things you can consider; if you’re brand new and not sure you’ll stick with it, that’s something to think about. But, I happen to know that the investment you make in your education usually determines if you will stick with it or not. It’s how we humans seem to operate.
Also, if you do a little looking around you can notice that the price they’ve given you for the flute is the full retail price. Yikes. There is no discount on it. And, you can do a little online shopping to notice that the eight hundred dollar price tag they’ve put on your student model flute is actually a three hundred dollar flute when purchased online. Ya. It’s true.
Now, I’m not telling you to never purchase from a physical store or business, I’m just saying to do your homework. Student model flutes vary quite a bit, and there are a lot of brands out there nowadays in a very wide range of quality and price.
The higher the level and quality of the flute, the more consistent you’ll see the prices – the highest level flutes never change in price, no matter where you get them (unless it’s from an individual owner selling it directly to you).
Let me make sure you know one important detail here on this subject, and that’s that an instrument being sold through a physical store or business almost always has been thoroughly combed through by a technician who is supposed to make sure it is in as primo condition as it can get.
An instrument ordered off the internet has no guarantee of that, unless you can call the company and find out if a technician has seen the flute.
I’m here to tell you that there IS a difference between an instrument that has been thoroughly checked over and fine-tuned by a tech and one that is freshly stamped out at a factory, boxed and shipped.
So, my final summary here?
Number one: consider buying before renting. Your educational investment will have more weight in the long run. That shiny, brand new flute will be yours. And if you make sure you get the proper education, it’ll last you many, many happy years.
Number two: do your homework, ask a lot of questions, and don’t sign a contract until you feel comfortable you understand the details. Ask the business if they ever have a rental sale.
Many drop their prices at the beginning of the school year. Also, is the price different if you were renting for a child? Things to think about..
And, Number three: Come to Learn Flute Online.com and get started right. You’ll find the information in the membership area easy to understand, simple to follow, and super convenient.
It’s the information I desperately needed many years ago when I was new, and now I’ve made it available, online, to you. You can even get started for free with several lessons that will ensure that your flute will stay safe, in good condition, and that you have the right concepts that will get you playing quickly- which makes it a lot of fun.
I’m Rebecca Fuller, thanking you for being here. Go ahead and subscribe, and let’s make sure you get all of the information you need to make flute playing a fun life-time hobby.
See ya later!
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