How to Price a Used Guitar

By Tim McQuade
Like most guitar owners, you may be wondering about the value of your guitar.

Pricing a used guitar is something anyone can do. Taking a relatively short amount of time to research your guitar can provide you with a fairly accurate estimate of how much your guitar is worth. If you know the make, model, year, condition, modifications and place of manufacture of your guitar, comparing your guitar to similar ones allows you to properly judge its value.

Learn About Your Guitar

A guitar's make and model are usually found on the head.

Look on the head of the guitar for the make and model, or directly inside the sound hole if it's an acoustic guitar.

To find the year, you need the serial number.

Find the year your guitar was made. You will need the serial number, which can be found on the guitar head, inside the sound hole, or on the back of your guitar. Most major guitar companies have serial number indexes on their websites. By searching or comparing your serial number to that specific company's index, you can establish the year your guitar was made. There are also websites available that allow you to search through multiple guitar brands, such as Guitar Dater Project, for example.

Locate the "Made in _" phrase beside the guitar model and/or serial number. Guitar companies usually have factories in America where their top models are made, and adjacent factories in other countries, such as Mexico or Japan. Guitars made in America are almost always worth more.

Judge the condition of your guitar. A guitar that has never been played is in new or mint condition; the more scratches and dents a guitar has, the less its value. Generally, a guitar with nothing more than expected wear and tear (scratches on fret board) will be listed in average or good condition; guitars with damage beyond just normal use (dents, holes, gashes) will be listed in fair or poor condition.

Modifications will increase a guitar's value.

Check for modifications to your guitar. Modifications usually increase a guitar's value. For instance, if you, or the prior owner, upgraded a guitar's pickups, this will increase the guitar's value.

Compare Your Guitar

Compare your used guitar to similar guitars.

Compare your guitar to similar ones. Going to a guitar store and looking at used guitars of the same make, model, place of manufacture and condition can help you gauge the worth of your used guitar.

Use the Internet to compare your guitar to others. Websites, such as G Base, allow you to enter specific information about a guitar and then search for similar guitars that are for sale. This allows you to see what the value of a used guitar is on the national or global market.

Read a current guitar price guide. Guitar price guides, such as "Blue Book of Electric Guitars," provide an accurate estimate of how much a guitar is worth. Guitar price guides can be found at music stores, book stores or on the Internet.

About the Author

Tim McQuade began writing in 1999. He has worked for two newspapers, including "The Ithaca Times," and has had a short story published. McQuade received a Bachelor of Arts in writing from Ithaca College.