Handpan Price -Why Are Handpans so Expensive?
When I first discovered handpan via a video on YouTube I was sold. I needed one. I looked for one. What is the handpan price? I stopped in my tracks. WOW! How much?
Why are handpans so expensive? – A good quality handpan is neither mass-produced nor quick to produce. Mostly made to order, a handpan is crafted by highly skilled creators to your own specification. With very few skilled manufacturers in the world, demand is high and supply low. That is why handpans cost so much.
I decided to investigate further and look into the production process, the number of manufacturers, and where they were located. I wanted to know the price of handpans. I also wanted a grip on supply and demand and of course, I wanted to know what the best handpan was!
a woman played a mysterious, ethereal-sounding instrument, some sort of melodic drum. I was captivated. It was a dreamy sound I’d never heard before, yet something about it was so familiar.Ilana Strauss
How much can I expect to pay for a handpan?
You’ve seen a handpan and you may have even played a little on one, and now you want to buy one. How much will a handpan cost to own?
You’ll need at least $2000 and expect little change from $4000 in some cases. Second-hand instruments can be picked up below $2000. Anything below $1000 has to be questioned or positively reviewed to be taken seriously. Any handpan costing less than $1000 should be treated with extreme caution.
Handpan Price Comparison
|PANArt Original [2nd hand price]||$3000+|
|New Handpan price [To order]||$2000-$4000|
|New Flash Sale price||$1500-$2000|
|2nd Hand price||$800-$4000|
|Far East Mass-Produced Import price||$130-$600|
If you are looking to buy a handpan, you have probably noticed that you will be looking at a handpan price of around $3000 for a ‘good’ one. Handpans fall into the ‘expensive’ envelope on the basis that $3000 isn’t an accessible price for everyone.
Pre-Owned handpans available for sale on eBay and other sales pages on the internet will provide little relief. Because they are not in ready supply, demand is high. High demand = inflated handpan prices.
How Much Do New Handpans Cost?
A typical price for a new, well-crafted, handpan is going to be, at the bottom end, around $2,000. At the upper end, above $4,000. This is direct from the few manufacturers in the world.
If you want to have your pan custom-made [most are], you will still pay around the same price. Also, expect to wait for anything up to and beyond 12 months for your instrument to be ready.
New Handpans on eBay
The cheapest ‘buy it now’ ‘new’ handpan on eBay I could find was $689. Shipped from Hong Kong, I am not going to question the quality of this handpan as it would be unfair. I would, however, be very wary of spending this amount for a handpan I will not see until it arrives. I am currently trying to find anyone who has purchased one to get some reviews.
PANArt Hangs were sought after. As the original instrument, they were only in production for a short time before being discontinued. And while they were pretty rare at the time, that elusiveness has caused them to be even more expensive on the second-hand market now.
New Handpans on Amazon
The cheapest new handpan price I could find on Amazon was $728. The product was noted as being shipped from outside the United States, and with shipping coming in at $165, one can only imagine it will be making a lengthy trip!
Again, at this stage of the game, I would be reluctant to buy off the shelf from an unknown maker from the other side of the world. Even to save $1000.
The number of makers of handpans continues to grow all the time, with at the time of writing, some 100+ manufacturers. Right now if I were looking to buy for the first time, I would still try to find a supplier I could visit for an off the shelf product if you can’t wait. Otherwise, choose a pan from one of the listed suppliers on the site here, have a chat about what you want precisely and sit tight for a pan that will be made to your specification and a very high standard.
The fact that new makers are cropping up all the time can only mean more competition and in turn competitive prices. But this will come mainly from eastern areas where production costs can be lower. The one thing that remains to be seen is the quality of the materials, the finish, and the tuning. But expect to see the price of these handpans become less expensive over time.
How Much Do Second Hand Hanpans Cost?
Handpans are one of those rare commodities that manage to retain value quite well, so long as they remain in good condition and have been cared for. Some, including the original PANArt products, have increased in value since they stopped being produced.
Used Handpans on eBay
The cheapest I found on auction was located in the US. $489 with no-bid and a ‘buy-it-now’ option at $1,999. Presumably, there is a reserve around that price.
To give you an idea of the demand for the long-deleted PANArt Handpans, there was one in the US, listed at $8,500 and another in Slovenia listed ay a shade over $11,000. The price for PANArt is coming down though.
I’d certainly want to be touching and feeling those pans before sending that money over Paypal.
As explained above, had you bought an original PANArt product when available, these are now changing hand for twice and even three times the original sale price.
I would still be wary of second handpans that look very cheap. It would be unusual to see one at this moment in time, and if you do find one, there would be questions to be asked about its condition.
Beware the fake as well. An inexperienced eye, or maybe even ear, would not be able to tell. If you are looking to spend a great deal of money, if possible, find someone to help.
Don’t Forget Shipping Costs for Your Handpan
In addition to the price, you pay for your hand made hand pan, you are going to have to pick up the check for the shipping costs too.
This is not going to be cheap as handpans weigh quite a bit, need sufficient packaging protection and courier shipping. Sometimes across long distances and from other countries. When doing so, further potential taxes and customs clearance costs can come into play.
Unless it is essential you buy from a particular manufacturer, I would suggest finding one or two close by if possible. Visit the workshop, I am sure they will be only too pleased to welcome you. You will get to speak directly to the person who will be making your handpan instrument and at the point it is ready, be able to travel and collect the finished article.
For a handpan makers list worldwide, check out my list of handpan makers.
Could Handpans be Made Cheaper?
While there remain only around 100 manufacturers of handpans around the world prices will remain where they are.
Whilst there are new makers cropping up on nearly a weekly basis now, the demand is growing at a greater rate than new instruments can be produced and this situation means prices for a new, bespoke tuned handpans will remain ‘relatively’ high.
There is the possibility that far eastern mass production is likely and this could drive prices down on average. But established and renowned manufacturers will be able to maintain their rightful cost due to the very hands-on creation process. The timespan of which will not be changing any time soon.
The problem with mass production will be the cost of materials, the skill of the labor and speed at which production would be expected. In the strive for mass production and sale, to maintain profitability many crafting corners would have to be cut. This process would be very difficult to avoid production of lesser quality instruments.
That said, a very affordable handpan for a beginner is something that does not exist right now and I would fully expect this gap in a growing market to be rapidly filled. One can only hope the less than expectation sound and product quality that is inevitable does not deter a rookie from moving onto a better instrument in time.
Look out for handpan scams!
I saw a handpan advertised on facebook for $130
Yes, I have seen those sponsored adverts too. I have also seen a considerable number of comments on the adverts. Many from people who have rushed to provide their credit card details, making a purchase, and never receiving the product. Neither do they get a reply to comments on the thread.
Why not get in contact directly with the company to complain, instead of replying to a thread on Facebook?
Because a quick look at the website order page, you will find no business address. There are no contact details or any other information about who you are about to submit your card details.
Also, the alert will have noticed that the site is not even a secure website. Meaning your details are open to abuse.
The problem is, people generally know that handpans are expensive and then like a rabbit in headlights, all reason goes out of the window when they see a ridiculously low price. In a rush to take advantage, some people do not question how it could be so cheap.
Unaware of the danger many unthinkingly get sucked into a massive scam from which hundreds, probably thousands of people have parted with $130 and never got anything back.
Handpans are built to last. And that costs money
A new handpan may cost thousands of dollars but what you are buying is a handcrafted, unique instrument that anyone can play. If you have tried to learn an instrument in the past but have got frustrated by a lack of progress, the handpan could be for you.
Think about cast iron cookware compared with stainless steel and aluminum. How long would each last?
Your hand made, bespoke crafted and tuned handpan, with care, is going to last many times longer than a budget version made from inferior materials and less skilled labor.
I started and failed to learn a whole host of instruments from Piano, Guitar, and saxophone, progressing for a while and then failing to get ‘good.’
With my handpan, as soon as I picked it up, I began to make brand new sounds. Not following lessons, popular tunes, and chords, I began to realize not only was I able to play almost immediately, but I was creating original music myself. I was becoming one with my hand pan
A handpan may seem expensive to begin with, but a well-made handpan from a respected and established manufacturer will be of the best quality and with a little care will last for years and years. You will instantly connect with your instrument as you become one.
I hope this guide has helped to explain what you are paying for with a handpan and how the price may not be quite as expensive as your first thought.
Related Handpan Cost Questions
What is the Most Expensive Handpan
At the time of writing, there is a PANArt handpan on eBay listed in Slovenia at $11,000. There is a second listing at $8,5000 with a further $1846 in shipping costs to be added!! These are the most expensive handpans I can currently find but I won’t be buying.
Personally, I would not be rushing to part with that sort of money through eBay and PayPal and await delivery. Especially when the returns policy states ‘No Returns Accepted!’ This seller may have to wait a while!
New Handpan vs Flash Sale Handpan
A flash sale handpan can present a great value opportunity to buy the best quality instrument at a knocked down price. You will have to accept and have no choice of the scale or number of notes, but you could save hundreds of dollars against the cost of a new handpan and have it in your possession within days.
From time to time a manufacturer will have a flash sale of one or more handpans. The usual reason for this is a canceled order for one reason or another.
You will have to be quick to pick one up. They do not last long at the price. Keep en eye on manufacturer websites and facebook pages for announcements of flash sales and have your money ready.
What are the Cheapest Handpans?
A good handpan comes at a cost and a cheap handpan could be of questionable quality and longevity. There is something so pure about a perfect handpan and cost should not drive you to a lesser quality instrument. Perhaps a variation on the theme with a tongue drum could be an answer.
A viable alternative to a handpan for a beginner could be a tongue drum. Arguably they are equally as impressive sound-wise, readily available and potentially easier to play.
I won’t go into too much detail here regarding tongue drums as there is a full section on site. Just scroll up to the menu and head to the tongue drum category for a less expensive option
Best Handpan Makers
The best handpan makers can be found dotted all around the world. In North and South America, Europe, Asia, and Australasia. The original handpan was crafted in Bern, Switzerland in the late 1990s with the first production PANArt Hang Drum being produced in 2001.
Further collaboration between art and science is needed to make it possible that other hang makers may exist in the future.Felix Rohner – Inventer of the Hang Drum
Art and science must have collaborated hard. In the following 18 years over 100, active handpan makers can be found.
I cover these makers off in much deeper detail in a new handpan manufacturer comparison article. Locations, details, and new handpan cost comparisons are included as well as lead times for new orders.