Our Exclusive Rental Credit and Trade-Up Policies

3 Years

3 Years Worth of Rent Can Be Applied to the Purchase of Your Instrument!

We are the only store in the St. Louis area with such a generous policy. Not only can the 3 years’ worth of rent be applied to buying the instrument, but the 100% trade-in policy (see next column) can ALSO then be applied once you’ve purchased the instrument.

3 Years’ Rent Credit Additional Details

In order to keep your rental credits you must keep current on your rental payments: 90 days past due will lose accumulated credits (most of our customers choose the annual payment plan to save money and so that they do not have to worry about monthly credit card charges). Also, rental credits expire 30 days after an instrument is returned or the contract expires.

When it comes to “rent-to-buy”, you actually have a number of options:
a) 100% of up to three consecutive years’ rent credit towards purchasing the rented outfit.
b) 50% of all consecutive rental credit may be applied to any other outfit purchase.
c) 100% of all consecutive rental credit may be applied to the purchase of an outfit price which has a value 50% higher than the current rental outfit price.

Why do most rental clients continue their rental past 36 months for fractional (smaller) instruments whereas full-size instruments are generally purchased at 36-months?

A child who is playing a fractional instrument will often need an upsize every year or two. If the fractional-sized instrument the child was playing was to be purchased at the 36-month point of the contract, it would make upsizes more difficult for the child. This why our standard approach to rentals is that full-size instruments are converted to a purchase at the 36-month mark, whereas fractional rentals continue. We setup an information page that provides all the details about the application of credits at the 36-month mark.

Can I use the 3-year rent credit policy for buying an instrument in combination with the 100% trade-in towards a new instrument?

Yes, you can use rent-to-buy in combination with the 100% trade-in towards a nicer instrument. This is common as a student progresses and is ready for a better instrument. After renting an instrument for a few years the credits can be used to buy that particular rental instrument, and then that instrument, which has now been purchased from us, if it is in good condition (more info about trade-in condition can be found in the column about trade-ins), can be 100% traded in towards a more expensive instrument.

What if I have multiple children renting an instrument?

Let’s say you have two children learning an instrument. After a few years, one is ready to upgrade, whereas the other one is ready to change to sports. Can you take all of the rental credit from both rentals and combine them to purchase the upgraded instrument? Yes and no. The 100% rental credit is for a single rental. Sometimes, that works out best for you. Otherwise, when multiple rentals are being combined, we can use option B) or C) above.

We’ve worked hard to create generous, and flexible, policies. If you have a question about how the policy can work best in your situation, just ask!


100% Trade In Value When You Buy Your Upgraded Instrument From Us!

Instrument upgrades are much more affordable when you get 100% of the value of your first instrument towards your next instrument. Not only that, but it saves you the hassle of trying to sell your first/used instrument on Craigslist.

100% Trade-In Additional Details

The instrument being traded in needs to be in reasonable-to-good condition. Moderate wear is just fine. However, any more-significant repairs will need to be deducted from the trade-in value.

Other than that, the only consideration is that the next instrument you are getting needs to be 50% more than your trade-in. For example, if your first violin was a $500 violin and you kept it in reasonable condition, when you trade it in you get a full $500 trade-in credit towards any violins that costs $750 or more.

Can I trade-in a different type of instrument that I did buy from Top Notch?

Yes. This policy works when changing between types of instruments: violin/viola/cello/bass. The same two factors to keep in mind apply: the instrument being traded in needs to be in reasonable condition (repairs will need to be deducted from trade-in value) and the next instrument needs to be 50% greater in value (i.e. in order to get 100% credit when trading in a $1000 violin would require selecting another instrument that is $1500 or more).

Can I trade-in an instrument I didn’t buy from Top Notch?

Unfortunately, we can’t offer 100% trade-in for instruments that are bought elsewhere. However, other instrument trade-ins are evaluated on a case-by-case basis. If you have a trade-in: bring it by and let’s talk.

Have other questions about our trade-in policies?

Feel free to ask us! We strive to be fair and honest in our business dealings and are not out to get rich quick. The four of us who own the store work here each day: none of us have retired early! We know what it’s like to manage a budget and sacrifice so our children can participate in programs that will help them develop as a person – and we worked hard to create trade-in policies that would enable parents to provide those same opportunities to their children.

Whether the question is about renting an instrument, buying one, or a trade-in/trade-up policy- feel free to contact us anytime!