Is Etsy safe to buy a handpan?

Hello everybody !

I’m so excited to be about to join the Handpan community :slight_smile:

So, here’s the thing. I’ve found the right handpan’s tone for me and saw a quite interesting offer offer from Novapans on Etsy (9 notes, D Celtic minor, generation 1 / 998.94$).

I’ve never bought any item on this platform and as a student (or any human being I guess) I cannot afford this amount of money for a scam…

Please help me, I m looking forward to read your advices.

Take care !


Hi Tita,

I only bought cheap things on Etsy and never had a problem with the site.
I’ve seen reputable players with Novapans recently like Jacob Cole and Nadayana who plays on a 9 notes D Celtic minor but it’s generation 3. I believe Novapan have different makers so I’m not sure about generation 1. Is it the same sound as this one?

Not sure what other people think but personally I don’t think it sounds great.

Thank you very much Bert !

So in your opinion, generation 3 sounds better than g 1 ?
I was actually hesitating a lot …
I have a classical piano formation so I wanted to explore the rythm a lot more thus less restrain seemed better for me :slight_smile:

What does make you think it doesn t sound great by the way?

This is a video I found on Youtube. It may not be the same instrument.
If possible, ask for a video of the exact instrument you are planning to buy.
For my unprofessional ears, gen 3 sounds much better than gen 1.
Better than a video, it’s ideal if you can try the instrument before.
After trying a Baopan D minor, I saved money and bought one.
I’m not a professional player so it’s hard to explain but on the Baopan, compared to the video I posted, the high notes seem more harmonious (here’s a quick recording)
But you’re right, it’s a matter of taste.

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Hello @Tita, here are a few recommandations to avoid any scam :wink:

Hi there.
While the pans are cheaper they have not a lot of good harmonics not sustain.I looked at all Footage that I could find .Go with an Iskra instead. For slightly higher price.
Best. Of Luck.

They start around 1K
Just follow The link in that video

Hi - whilst it is ‘safe’ in that you are likely to receive a handpan - you will not receive one that is good value for money - i.e. an great quality for the price you have paid - I dont think any of us are aware of any brands that sell on Easy that are worth what is being asked for them … you are always better dealing directly with a reputable maker - preferably one in a location where you will not get stung for import charges if you buy one … that has been recommended by an established / experienced player. Beware of posts along the lines of ’ I have just received my Novocain and cannot recommend it highly enough - its beautiful’ by someone who before they bought their pan has actually no experience in these instruments … has never touched a good quality pan, and is not experienced enough to tell an ok instrument from a good one. I would personally save a little more and watch groups like the swop and sale to see what different makes sell for and how regarded they are … Many of us have met many Easy purchasers at gatherings around the world who loved their instrument when they arrived - but realised they had been sold a doozie within a couple of hours of playing decent instruments - please be careful.

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Hey! I just purchased my G Pygmy Rav from Etsy… Now, the vendor had one for $500! He had no profile pic, just product pics. Oh, and also no reviews, just 4 or 5 sales at the time. I went ahead and purchased anyway, feeling very nervous about the whole thing. The seller communicated quickly and shipped the next day. I followed the tracking closely for a couple of weeks and it seemed to be fine. When I got it, it was everything I hoped for. The shop was called “people’sgoodsshop” and the Seller’s name was “Edoardo” Hopethis helps!

I bought mine from the Novapans Website (they sell as well at Etsy as you mentioned). The guy who sells the novapans is not a builder himself. He simply orders it somewhere in china. If I would have known I wouldn’t have bought it. I have a gen 4 D celtic Minor and mine starts to get wired marks, grey spots and a bit of rust after 5 months. After several tries of contacting these guys won‘t answer me back. After a few times I got finnaly an answer and the only thing he told me was: it‘s because I didn’t clean and oiled it every day for 20 minutes. What the heck? I mean common… I payed 799.-
I would never buy from Novapans again.

I hope that helps.

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NovaPans has over a 100 5* reviews on Etsy and I’m not sure what the reviews outside are but I can say this, I purchased by Gen 4 earlier this year and it does everything I want it to; notes (in tune), sustain, harmonics (much easier than those I tried on a friend’s), and it looks gorgeous too! The person I spoke with was very helpful and didn’t push me into buying any particular handpan. As you’d hope, thy just told me to have a listen to all the different handpans they had available and choose one which resonated with me best. Best decision I ever made. P.s. they paid for the international shipping and the import charges (all you have to do is ask them to help with this beforehand) and although I didn’t need to, they’ve got a return policy too. So again, don’t be persuaded to not even contact the guys, my NovaPans is great!

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I asked alex from novapans many times about cleaning and taking care. He told me in the beginning I should do nothing at all cuz his never had any rust or marks. And after the material shows some massive difference he changes his mind. I think this is not really a person who has a lot of knowledge about the products he sells. And the sound is ok but a friend of mine told me after a year his handpan just lost any tone and sounded horrible. Also the nitrated process wasn‘t done properly in his eyes. For a pan that costs 799.- it is in my oppinion not really woth it. Bad communication and teaching regarding material and taking care and If I would have known all these details I would sureley waited a bit more to buy a soma sound sculpture and enjoy it for a very long time. On the long run in my opinion this is a waste of money!

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I got my handpan off Etsy because payment protection. That and I didn’t want to wait months to get my handpan. I think what people miss every time they say “don’t buy online” is that most of the world today already buys online. It’s great if you’ve got someone down the road and even the money and time to do that but you “originals” forget we’re not as well-off as you are and buying a handpan today isn’t like the missionary experience into the Swiss mountains it used to be.

I’ll go with reviews, instant messaging, proof of quality videos and pictures over an email conversation with a maker who takes days to answer, expects me to pay a deposit and wait months for my handpan and doesn’t even have a return policy any day, no matter how special that feels. Then again, it’s great if you go through that. I just wanted to play a handpan, oh, and not get criticised for that.

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On a friend’s recommendation, I bought my first handpan from Novapan for $900 and I’m very satisfied. It’s a Damara tuning, which I love, it’s a good one for a beginner IMHO. It’s easy to make ;lovely and expressive music. I have ordered a second one from them, a Goonkali. And they are (or were) having a sale on Amazon under the name Panniverse, new instruments for $700. I don’t know what their quality is.

My Damara is made from stainless steel which avoids the rusting problem of regular steel ones. It also has a more musical sound, the notes have more sustain and resonance than nitrited steel does. I’m very happy with it.

There seem to be many many makers out there and there are going to be some lemons and some grand prizes~hard to tell ahead of time. Other people have had different experiences with Novapan, but mine has been great so far.

Good luck!

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