Selling a Guitar? Here’s What You Need to Know

by Alec Plowman, Jun 10, 2018 . 4 min read

Selling a Guitar? Here’s What You Need to Know

For most people, the first instrument that they buy isn’t their instrument for life. That cheap electric guitar you bought online was great when you were learning to play the guitar, but you’re not a beginner guitarist anymore and now you need something up to the rigors of your playing.

On the other hand, perhaps you bought a guitar that, while technically a high spec instrument, just doesn’t suit your style of playing and you want to sell up and buy something else.

Selling a guitar is easy. Any old Joe with a computer and Internet access can do that. But selling a guitar so that you actually make a decent return? That’s another story. I’ve known loads of people that have sold guitars for much less than they should have, simply because they didn’t know how to sell them.

So, if you’ve got an axe you want to sell and want to make sure you maximize your profit, heed these words!

Good pictures are key

Here’s a nice, obvious one to start things off. When we buy something online – via an auction or listings website – we like to know what we’re getting. And key to knowing what we’re getting is having plenty of images to browse through.

In the past, I’ve seen listings for guitars that are in my price range, and seem to be what I’m looking for, but I haven’t responded to them because there were no pictures. When I don’t see pictures, it suggests to me that the seller has something to hide. I don’t trust that person. And when you’re buying second hand, trust is key. 

Take plenty of pictures of your second hand axe – and make sure they’re good, in focus pictures. Take close-ups of the areas that you, as a guitarist, would be closely examining when buying a guitar.

The better the pictures, the more views your listing will get.

Provide as much information as possible

“Electric Guitar. Used. Has Six Strings.”

I’m BAFFLED by the sheer number of second-hand guitar ads online that are just this. Who in their right mind thinks this will get a sale?

Give the reader as much information as possible when it comes to your guitar. Tell them who it was made by, what year it was released, where you bought it from, if all the parts are stock, or if you’ve made any modifications. Mention any flaws, or even any features that are particularly good about the instrument.

Once again, this is about building trust in the consumer. The more information I get, the more I feel that the seller isn’t trying to pull a fast one on me. So, don’t be afraid to nerd out on all the details.

Make simple repairs

Last, but by no means least, make sure your guitar is in ship-shape before you sell. Give it a polish, change the strings and check the intonation.

As a buyer, the last thing I want to do is purchase my new instrument and then spend hours tinkering with it to get it play-ready. Doing these things might seem like a hassle, but it’ll be worth it to entice more guitar buyers to your listing.

There’s a caveat here though; if you’re selling a guitar with serious issues, that’s a different story. Don’t try and make repairs if you’re not qualified to do so – the last thing you want to do is make a faulty guitar more faulty. If you’re selling a guitar that has problems, you need to be transparent about it. You never know, you may find a buyer looking for a project.



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