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In-Home Flute Trials

Flute Center is proud to offer in-home trials so that flutists can test out any of our instruments before purchasing!

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In-Store Appointments

Contact us to book an in-store appointment to try flutes in New York or Chicago! Forgot to book an appointment? Come by anyway, we would love to meet you!

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All About Trials

Why Choose Flute Center?

We are Real Flutists

Our team of Resident Flutists provide expert advice for every flutist.

No-Pressure Experience

We know that finding the right flute sometimes takes time. Our Resident Flutists are patient and supportive as they guide you through the purchasing process.

More Flutes on the Shelf

We carry an extensive inventory so that we will have the right instrument for you, whether you are shopping for a beginner flute or a gold flute.

Trial Policies

  • We offer in-store trials as well as 7-day in-home trials. If your teacher is a ClubFC member, we allow an extended 10-day in-home trial.
  • In-home trials are reserved for clients who are prepared to purchase during or immediately after the trial period.
  • Client must be 18 years or older to set up an in-home trial. Clients under 18 must have their parent or guardian contact the Flute Center to set up the trial. 

Before you test any instruments, please remember to:

  • Remove all jewelry
  • Wash your hands before testing the instruments
  • Wipe down the instruments after each time you play
  • Do not use the cloths that come with new instruments
  • Do not use alcohol swabs on wooden instruments
  • Review your trial form to be sure that you have received all items listed. If your trial form is inaccurate, please contact us immediately.
  • Please care for the instruments as your own. Any instruments returned dirty, fingerprinted, dented or otherwise abused can be subject to a cleaning fee of $100-$300 per instrument. 

Please let us know if you have any questions or concerns during the trial process. Our Resident Flutists are happy to help!

Finalizing Your Purchase

If you intend to purchase a flute from your trial, there is no need to return it to Flute Center!

Contact Flute Center to finalize your purchase. FC generally expects payment in full when you decide on an instrument. We accept cash, wire transfer, personal and cashier checks, and all major credit cards. Additionally, we can arrange for you to pay for your flute directly through our website - just ask a member of our staff for help setting up and emailing you a link.

As a small business, our preferred method of payment is personal check or e-check. Please make checks payable to "Flute Center."

Visit our Financing page for more information on financing your flute.

To learn about selling an instrument at Flute Center, please see Consignments.

Returning Your Trial

When you have made your decision, please contact our Resident Flutists for a pre-paid return shipping label to return any flutes you do not wish to purchase. Return labels are included in the shipping fees listed on our trial page. We recommend holding onto the box and packing material to make the return process easier. 

To return: Securely package all items you do not intend to purchase in the original box, and adhere the return shipping label over the original shipping label. Make sure the original label is not visible. Please note:  When shipping your package back to Flute Center, ensure that your package is scanned and that you receive printed confirmation at a FedEx location. Do not use unattended FedEx Drop Boxes.

Shipping Terms & Rates

We ship packages using FedEx Express service except in areas where FedEx Ground / Home Delivery guarantees delivery in 3 days or less.

All packages will require a direct signature; any adult at your address can sign for the package. We cannot waive the signature requirement. As an alternative, we can ship your package to a FedEx Hold-At-Location where it will be available for pick up; please specify your preferred location when setting up your shipment.

Shipping Rates

Shipping prices vary depending on weight and time delivery of package, and include return shipping. Generally, the following rates will apply:

Express Service (roundtrip)

  • Piccolos: $90
  • 1-2 Flutes: $90 
  • Tocco Flutes: $90
  • 3-4 Flutes: $130
  • 4 Flutes + Headjoints: $130
  • 1 Alto: $130
  • 2-3 Altos: $190
  • 1-2 Basses: $190

Ground/Home Service (roundtrip)

  • Piccolos: $60
  • 1-4 Flutes: $60 
  • 4 Flutes + Headjoints: $60 
  • 1-3 Altos: $60 
  • 1-2 Basses: $60 
  • Tocco Flutes: $60 

Overnight Service: Varies on weight and location. No overnight shipments will be included in ClubFC / referral code free shipping perks.

Pre-owned & Unique Instruments

Flute Center is proud to be the world's largest marketplace for pre-owned instruments. By their very nature, these items are unique, one-of-a-kind instruments that are available for both trial as well as purchase on our website.

If a unique instrument on an existing trial is purchased via our website or with our sales staff, Flute Center will grant the trialing client the right to purchase the item from their trial, even if another buyer has made a purchase online in the interim. If the trialing client does not wish to purchase the item, they are expected to return it to Flute Center as quickly as possible.

International Trials

International trials must be paid for in full before shipping. International trials are subject to non-refundable taxes, fees and customs in accordance to their countries import laws.

International client have 7 days to try the instruments on their trial. If they decide not to purchase any of the instruments, they must initiate the return process within 7 days of receipt of the package.

All taxes, fees, customs, and shipping charges for international orders are non-refundable. 

Reviews from Real Customers:

I honestly didn’t know that customer service like this existed anymore. The Flute Center of New York (in particular my contact Katie) was a wealth of knowledge and was not at all deterred by my lack of knowledge of what I needed(I was buying an intermediate flute for my young but talented flautist.) They listened, recommended, and over delivered in every way.

Melissa K.

Wholeheartedly recommend the Flute Center. From the helpful videos on the website to the flutists who help you on the phone, very happy with the whole trial process and the customer service along the way. Fast shipping and flutists on the phone to answer questions (if I want a slightly darker tone or I am interested in a thick-walled flute, what else do you have?) - along with trying out different flutes and head joints in my house to compare and contrast. A+ experience.

Claire S.

Definitely recommend them. My son is at UNC-School of the Arts, a high school conservatory. When he began 10th grade this August it was obvious he would need a new flute. The Flute Center of New York was a delight to work with. The staff was insanely patient through the process and encouraged and suggested different combinations. They made the experience seamless and trouble-free.

Jim K.

Fantastic customer service during our in home trial and subsequent purchase

Amber C.

Whether you are local to NYC or not, FCNY is a must-consider seller if you are in the market for any kind of flute, used or new, professional or beginner. They have such an exhaustive inventory that you really will have a hard time NOT finding the perfect instrument for you. I've ventured and trialed with various other sellers this past year, both large and small, but in the end I only made purchases with FCNY because of the extent of their inventory and ease of setting up trials. You don't have to take my word for it though, you'll soon find out for yourself I'm sure!

Suyeon O.

The Flute Center of NY has the absolute best team working for them. They are friendly, extremely helpful and beyond amazing. This shop is the place for all your flute needs! I honestly wish I could rate them 10000000 stars! Best flute shop in the world, hands down!

Taylor H.


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