Mark Thompson?s top tips

The Funky Junk boss gives his best advice on how to make sure you get the most out of your used gear purchase.

1. Looks Matter – “Very often cosmetic condition gives a good clue as to how it’s been treated. Especially if the seller still has the original boxes. That suggests he’s up his own arse and has been looking after the gear quite well!”

2. Be a Historian – “Find a bit of history about how it’s been used: has it been used as a doorstep or did he record for say two days a month? A lot of companies offer extended warranties, so see if those are transferable.”

3. Get Hands On – “Ask if you can try it first, and if that’s too difficult then ask for an independent technical report.”

4. Get a Guarantee – “If you can’t try before you buy – and I understand a lot of private sellers or a place like eBay won’t allow you to – be sure to get some sort of money back guarantee, even if it is only for a few days.”

5. Use a Little Common Sense – “Know what you’re buying! We’re astonished at how many people come to us with bits of gear they’ve bought secondhand and have no idea all the capacitors are shot or the pots are shagged and just say ‘I assumed that’s what they sounded like’. A lot of this stuff has been used professionally. It’s been turned on 24-hours a day. It’s been rock ’n’ rolled. It’s going to need some servicing and refurbishment. Don’t think for a moment that you’re going to go out there and buy something [that ’s perfect].”