Handbells are percussion instruments that are widely used in sacred music and in some secular music. Bells in general date back to ancient times, and handbells became popular in the United States during the nineteenth century. If you are interested in starting a handbell choir at your church, one of the biggest expenses that you could potentially encounter is the cost of the bells themselves. One way to trim a large percentage of this cost is to purchase used handbells instead of new ones.
Contact music leaders in local churches to see if they have any used bells that they would be willing to sell. They might even be willing to donate them to you.
Speak with the music (choral and instrumental) teachers at local schools to see if they have used handbells that they might sell.
Contact the head of the music department at nearby colleges or universities. Ask if they have used bells for sale.
Check online auction sites. They often have used instruments at a fraction of the retail price.
Check the "musical instruments" section in your local newspaper's ad section. You also might want to try online ads and trader services.
Visit your local music store. Many music stores sell used instruments as well as new ones.
Charlotte Johnson is a musician, teacher and writer with a master's degree in education. She has contributed to a variety of websites, specializing in health, education, the arts, home and garden, animals and parenting.