What Kind of Handpan Could $800 (or Less) Buy You at eBay? (2016)

Loiter too long in certain Handpan hotspots on the internet, and you will find yourself force-fed such dogma as “Rule number one: NEVER buy on eBay!”.  

Here at HPM, we tend to be of the opinion that any kind of advice that comes in blanket-form, is usually of a very low quality .  If we were Star Wars geeks (and we are a little) we might state that “Only Sith deal in absolutes”.  And being Handpan-Jedi through-and through, we would ourselves instead advise caution, accompanied by an open mind.  And here’s why…

What kind of Handpan Could $800 (or less) buy you at eBay?

In a recent post we established that the average cost of a Handpan when purchased directly from a known/established maker is somewhere around the $2000 mark.  And while as far as we’re concerned, that is a fine and fair price for a quality handmade instrument, it feels fair to say that that price point was set at the highest wave of Handpan-madness - when it was near impossible to get your hands on a decent Handpan of any kind, and instruments by the likes of Pantheon Steel were selling for as much as $15,000.00 at open auction.

Things have changed a little since then though.  And during mid-2016 we announced having added our one hundredth name to our list of Handpan makers.  And while prices have been slowly falling over at eBay (a marketplace we monitor closely), very few of the more established makers have really tested their price-point at open auction following this past years influx of new builders.  And the only one who has in more recent times, found that the prices people were “happy” to pay (even if they might be willing to pay more in a closed sale), had fallen considerably.  

So, with this post, for comparison purposes, first we’ll be sharing a video of a Handpan from the Saraz team that sold recently in way of direct sale via their website for the cost of $2400. And we're singling out Saraz here only due to the fact that as makers they are now about as established as any are, and because we have a known price point for the sale of this particular instrument which was sold recently via flash-sale...

And then next we'll share videos of the last three Handpan that sold via eBay over the last few weeks at under $800 (at a combined cost of $2157 for the three instruments)...

(1) Handpan Hand Steel Drum Q-Handpan *Shaolin* Scale (Sold for $777)...

(2) Handpan by Logam Acoustic ''Agnima" (Sold for $730)...

(3) handpan prototype pantam percussion with heat treatments (Sold for $650)...

Of course, price isn't necessarily the only factor a prospective Handpan purchaser should be considering.  But for some it could be a deciding factor.  And for comparison purposes, hopefully this post demonstrates what kind of instruments do come up for sale for your consideration at auction at the sub-$800 price point, at time of posting. Leaving readers free to decide how much of, and where they choose to spend their money - for themselves.

How Much Does a HandPan Cost? - Average Price (2016)

“How much does a Handpan cost?” is one of those questions that we find people frequently reaching this website researching.  And with there now being well over one hundred known makers at time of posting, it is not a question that can easily be answered in simple terms.  Each Handpan maker charges whatever price they are willing to sell their instruments for, and ultimately, that is the cost of any given Handpan.

However, to give readers a rough idea of how much money they could be looking at spending on the purchase of a Handpan, it’s easy enough to take some known prices and figure out the average.  And so with that in mind, below are the last known prices we could find being charged by a handful of established makers.  Followed by the average cost of a Handpan, based on these prices (in U.S. dollars).

Zephyr: $1479
Harmonic Art: $1700
Spacedrum: $1507
Panstream: $1450
Innersound: $2260
Tzevaot: $2800
Saraz $2400

Average =  $1979

As you can see from the above list of prices the cost of a Handpan can vary considerably. And in real-world scenarios such things as geographic locations, shipping costs, and currency exchange rates are deserving of greater consideration. But based purely on the data above, we can take the average price of a Handpan when purchased directly from a maker to be close to the $2000 mark (at time of posting).

The Echo Sound Sculpture DuBas - Bass Handpan

A number of Handpan makers have experimented with the concept of a “Bass Handpan”, including both Pantheon Steel, and Aura.  And recently it has been the turn of Switzerland-based makers Echo Sound Sculpture to unveil their experiments in this area, with the release of video footage of the ESS “DuBas”...

When it comes to Handpan, essentially, the lower the note, the larger the space required upon the dome for the tone-field.  Which is why the DuBas from ESS in the video above features only three notes (and three Ding-like structures to allow for Ding-singing).  However to make optimum use of the additional surface space available, in this second video (below) ESS have mixed things up by also squeezing three TaK’s in between the tone-fields, for increased sonic-diversity…

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