How to Find Out the Age & Worth of a Guitar

Selling a guitar may seem like an easy task, especially with the advent of online auction sites such as eBay. While the actual process of selling your instrument may not require a lot of work, making sure you know the age and worth of your instrument may take some time to figure out. By taking the time, and following the right process, to verify the age and value of your guitar you will ensure that you receive the right amount of money for your instrument.

Locate the make and model number of your guitar. This is normally found on an oval sticker directly inside the sound hole or on the headstock.

Find the serial number for your guitar; it may be on the back of the headstock, next to the model number in the sound hole or on the square plate that connects the neck of the guitar to the body. Note the manner in which the serial number is written. If it begins with a four- or two-digit number, this could indicate the year in which it was made; 19580002 or 580002 would both indicate the guitar was built in 1958. Not all guitar makers design their serial numbers in this manner so this may not work for all instruments.

Contact the maker of your guitar--Fender or Gibson, for example--and give them the information you have collected. The maker will be able to verify that you have the right manufacture date or correct you if there is a difference between their findings and yours. Any guitar company will provide this information free of charge as a service to its customers.

Contact the company that made your guitar to locate an authorized dealer near you.

Pack your guitar securely in its case, including any manuals, purchase receipt or other relevant documents.

Take the guitar to the nearest authorized dealer and ask for an appraisal. Be prepared to leave your guitar with the dealer as this process may take a few days to complete.

Return to the dealer once the appraisal is complete to receive your official letter of appraisal. This letter will contain the exact date of manufacture, the condition of the instrument and the estimated resale value of the guitar. All of this information will be needed if your are planning to sell the guitar to ensure that you receive the proper value.


  • Keeping your guitar in good playing shape, and in a clean condition, can greatly increase its value.


  • Do not take your guitar to anyone but an authorized dealer to get an appraisal as some buyers may require a letter from an authorized dealer.

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