Hang Drum | How to Buy a Hang Drum (Handpan)
Buying a Hang Drum/Handpan
So, you are interested in buying a Hang drum? Well then get in line.
But in all seriousness, Hang Drums as well as Handpans are a very sought after instrument at the moment and almost every skilled Handpan maker has a waiting list for many months to come.
Before we proceed, it can be a good idea to get familiar with the difference between a Handpan and a Hang Drum (Hang), you can read all about it by clicking HERE.
As described in the post Hang Drum & Handpan | Difference Between Hang Drum & Handpan, the term Hang Drum isn’t used for the new instruments that are created, since the Hang was only created by the original builders in Switzerland, which stopped production in 2013. So, in order to buy an actual Hang and not a Handpan, you will have to buy it second hand from someone. It has to be noted that this can get quite expensive, since the prices for an original Hang have exploded, reaching prices as high as 15,000$ on auctions (original prices being 900-2,000$)
So from this point the subject: How to Buy a Handpan, will be discussed, unless it is specifically a Second Hand Original Hang that is being discussed.
What to Keep in Mind When Buying a Handpan
There are several of things that you have to keep in mind when buying a Handpan. Since it is a quite big investment, it is something that shouldn’t be rushed.
- Wait time
- Trustworthy Sellers
- Finding your scale
Handpan Price | Hang Drum Price:
The price of a Handpan is quite variable. It all depends on the builder and the quality.
Most Handpans range from 800$-2,500$. If you want to find a Handpan for around 1,000$ or less, you will most likely find it on Amazon or on Ebay. If you want to buy a Handpan from one of the popular builders, you will have to expect to pay around 2,000$ or more.
The price of a Hang drum on the other hand, is in another ballpark. As earlier mentioned the production has stopped and Hang drums can only be bought second hand from websites such as Ebay or Craigslist. If you want to get your hands on a Hang Drum, expect to dig deep into your pocket. It is hard to set a price on a Hang Drum but expect nothing less than 4,000$ and ranging up towards 15,000$(!). But when considering quality, a 2,000$ Handpan can offer the same.
In continuation of the subject of price, the quality and price almost always go hand in hand.
So, if you are paying 2,000$ for a Handpan from a respected builder, you will almost always get a great quality Hanpan. But if you buy a random Handpan for 800$ on Ebay, don’t be surprised if it doesn’t sound as great as a more expensive Handpan.
That being said, remember that like with every other product there are exceptions. You might find a great quality Handpan relativly cheap if you are lucky and do your research.
Waiting Time to Get a Handpan:
Buying a Handpan is very seldom a impulsive purchase. From the day that you first decide to buy a Handpan until you actually buy one, will mostly likely be a long time. And it should.
There are a lot of things to take into consideration before you spend such a hefty sum of money.
In fact, there are very few ways to acquire a Handpan fast. One of the ways is Ebay, where there are some Handpans for sale. But you must make sure that they are in the scale that you are looking for, that the seller is trustworthy, how the seller ships the Handpan and if the Handpan even can be shipped to your destination. Another way of getting your hands on a Handpan without much hassel is Amazon.
If you want to take the safe route and can wait for some time to get your Handpan, you should find a builder that makes your dream scale and get on their waitlist. This can however take many months and a lot of builders have very long waitlists.
Where there are honest people that want to buy something, there will always be someone who tries to take advantage of the situation. There are stories about people being scammed. These scammers often work through websites such a Ebay.
Some red flags to keep an eye out for to spot a Handpan Scammer:
- Brand new seller account without any feedback etc.
- Ridiculously cheap Handpan. This can easily be countered with not buying without knowing the market.
- The seller not wanting to meet on skype/telephone etc. to discuss/see the item.
- Seller pressuring you to pay right away or lose the opportunity (seller says he has someone else that wants to buy it right now).
- The seller wants to go around Ebays paying system in order to “skip the Ebay fee”.
There are some more detailed articles on how to avoid being scammed, such as THIS one.
This point is in continuation of the previous point. Find a trustworthy seller. This can be achieved by communicating with other people that have bought from said seller and talking to the seller over Skype or telephone etc. If you are purchasing over Ebay, try to find a seller with good reviews.
If you are in doubt in any way, then don’t buy. Again, the process of finding the perfect Handpan can take a long time and you should be comfortable and trust the seller when buying.
Finding Your Scale:
Handpans don’t all sound the same. Every Handpan is made in a scale. The most common Handpan scale is probably D.
Before you buy a Handpan, you need to figure out which scale you enjoy the most, and find a builder that can make a Handpan in this scale. Some builders only build a set number of scales and other builders can make Handpans in the scale of your desire.
There are a lot of Youtube videos that demonstrate the different scales.
It can be a long process in deciding which scale to choose, but you will be much happier for your Handpan, if you get just the perfect scale for you. So, take your time.
There are websites that have compiled many of the possible Handpan scales, so you can see some of the possibilities. For example, THIS website has compiled 300+ different scales.
This is also where Ebay can become a bit problematic, because the chances of finding preciesly your scale on there can be hard, especially if you want one of the rarer scales.
If have mentioned it many times throughout this article, but it is very important that you do your research before you purchase a Handpan. Join the forums, watch Youtube videos, google like you never googled before. Like some Handpan sites on Facebook and follow them on Twitter.
Get to know the various Handpan builders and learn what a quality Handpan sounds like and what the prices are. Then you will be able to determine yourself if a purchase is good or bad.
It is a process and it takes time, but when you get your dream Handpan, it’s all going be worth it. And since you are reading this, you are on the right track.
Great Websites About Handpans:
Facebook Pages About Handpans:
How to Buy a Handpan
So how do you get a Handpan?
There are various ways to buy a Handpan, some of which are already mentioned.
- Waiting Lists
- Craigslist and similar Sites
- Buying from a shop
- Up and Coming Handpan Builders
- Make your own Handpan!
Handpan Waiting Lists:
As mentioned earlier, the most popular Handpan builders all have waiting lists.
This is without a doubt one of the safest ways to getting just the right Handpan for a fair price. The only downside is that you must wait for quite some time in order to get your Handpan.
But if you aren’t in a hurry, this is the most recommended.
Handpans on Ebay:
There are Handpans for sale on Ebay all the time and you can get a bargain if you are lucky and smart, but you also run a much higher risk of being scammed or not getting the perfect Handpan.
Amazon also has some Handpans for sale. This is a perfectly fine way of buying a Handpan, if they sell the scale that you are interested in. Make sure that you do your research. The advantage of buying from Amazon, is that they are such a big company that won’t let people get scammed if they don’t get the product that was promised. Amazon will often refund the person, if he or she gets scammed.
Below you can see some of the Handpans that are on sale on Amazon.
(Keep in mind that the links below are affiliate links, which means that if you purchase via those, the website gets a small portion of the sale, which will help greatly in keeping it running).
The fifth Amazon link is for a Steel Tongue Drum, which is it some way similar to Handpans but much cheaper. Check out our post about the Steel Tongue Drum by clicking the button below:
Most of the Handpan builders with long waiting lists, will from time to time have a handpan raffle, where they choose a random person to get ahead of the queue and purchase a Handpan. These raffles are sometimes done for the people on the waiting list and other times they are done via Facebook or Twitter. This makes it a good idea to stay up to date on social media sites and mailing lists.
Buying Handpans on Craigslist and Similar Sites:
Ebay isn’t the only website where people can buy and sell things. Keep an eye on other websites where people can sell their belongings and you might get a really good catch. It would be especially good if it is local websites, giving you the opportunity to perhaps see and try the instrument before buying.
Buying a Handpan From a Shop:
It isn’t common, but some shops do sell Handpans from time to time. The problem will most likely be that you will have problems with finding the perfect scale, since the selection will probably will be small. And you will most likely have to pay it at overprice, since the shop will obviously have to sell at a higher price.
The great thing about this is that you will be able to hold and play the Handpan before buying it and you won’t have to worry about shipping etc.
Up and Coming Handpan Builders:
Due to the high demand and rise in popularity of the Handpan, there are a lot of new up and coming Handpan builders out there. Some of them are very skilled and sadly others are not.
This gives you the possibility to get your hands on a quality Handpan often at a much cheaper price.
The downside is that you can also risk getting a low quality Handpan.
To find such Up and Coming Handpan Builders, you need to stay active on forums, new Youtube videos and social media.
Make Your Own Handpan!:
Lastly and the most hands-on approach is creating your own Handpan. This can be a very time consuming project and your first Handpans will probably not sound as great as one from a more seasoned builder. But remember, practice makes perfect!
There will be an article up shortly which describes the basics on how to build your own Handpan, so stay tuned.
Feel free to leave a comment down below and share this on social media. What are you thought on the Hand Drum and Handpan and do you own one yourself?