If they are well looked after, guitars tend to age like a fine wine. Most models either gain value as time goes by or retain a similar price tag to the amount that you purchased them for.
Parting with a guitar or other used music gear doesn’t need to be a hassle. In this comprehensive guide, I’ll present the best options for selling your guitar for cash, along with some useful tips to make sure you get the best value possible.
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The Best Ways to Sell Guitars & Other Used Gear
One of the best places to sell a used guitar or other second-hand gear is Reverb. This platform is solely dedicated to providing musicians with an easy way to list their used equipment, and quickly find a suitable new home for it.
Perhaps the standout quality of Reverb is the stellar reputation that they built amongst musicians. Music-gear enthusiasts are notoriously picky when it comes to buying and selling second-hand guitars, or other equipment. So, the generally positive opinion on Reverb’s service throughout the community is a good sign.
No matter what the item is that you want to sell for cash – whether it be a guitar, bass, microphone, audio interface, or keyboard, Reverb.com doesn’t discriminate. Due to their impressive traffic, you can be sure that your item will reach an extensive range of potential suitors.
Another commendable aspect of the service provided by Reverb is their lack of fees when listing your equipment. The way that they make their money is by taking a small seller fee, but only after your guitar’s sale has been fully completed and verified.
Additionally, Reverb allows you to list your musical gear with no time restraints. This means that even if you’re selling a niche item, like a second-hand 12-string guitar or a particular type of microphone, it will remain on the site until someone buys it.
This is convenient, as it means you don’t need to keep checking your listings as you would on an auction-style site. It also saves you time, as you can list the item, forget about it, and be notified when someone shows interest.
The customer base of Reverb.com generally possesses good levels of knowledge on used music gear. This is another advantage of the service compared to online stores that don’t specialize solely in guitars and musical equipment.
Although eBay is not exclusively dedicated to selling guitars and for cash, it does have a great community of music gear buyers and sellers. The main advantage of selling through eBay is the sheer volume of traffic that they get to their website and app.
If you’re concerned with ensuring that your beloved guitar goes to a suitable new home, the fact that eBay buyers will have searched specifically for the item should reassure you.
Another thing that you can benefit from when using eBay to sell your used music gear, is bidding wars. If you choose to list your item for auction rather than “buy it now”, there’s a good chance that potential customers will do battle to get hold of the item.
This can result in the item selling for more than it would on other sites or platforms. Alternatively, you can list it with a minimum price to ensure that you get the desired amount and minimize the risk of someone getting your used guitar on the cheap.
eBay does charge sellers, with varying percentages being taken from your profits depending on the amount that the item sells for. They also charge for listing the items, but these costs are pretty reasonable considering the huge exposure that your used gear gets.
Facebook Marketplace is another good platform for musicians looking to sell their used guitars. The main advantage of using its service is the flexibility it offers. Generally, most of the people interested in your gear will be local to your area.
This means you can easily arrange a time and place to exchange your guitar for cash. You can directly message potential buyers to discuss the relevant details about the item and its purchase.
Another benefit to using Facebook Marketplace is that you can share your item with all of your connections instantly. You can get creative with the images you post, and maybe even provide a video demonstration of how the guitar sounds to attract more interest.
Craigslist is quite similar to Facebook Marketplace, but arguably has a larger community of musicians looking to buy used gear. Again, it’s a local service that allows you to liaise with potential customers.
The great thing about Craigslist is that there are no feels for listing your used music gear, or additional seller fees. If your guitar doesn’t sell the first time, you can simply relist it until the right buyer comes across it.
The only pitfall of Craigslist is that it is less formal than some of the other platforms I’ve mentioned. You’re likely to come across people who show an interest in your guitar or other equipment, then ghost you when it comes to meeting up or finalizing payment.
With that being said, it’s a great place for local musicians to interact and help each other out. If knowing that your beloved old guitar is going to an aspiring musician who lives just around the corner is comforting though, this platform might be the best choice.
How to Prepare Your Guitar before Selling
As guitarists, we tend to overlook the imperfections of our beloved instrument. This is especially true if you’ve owned the guitar for a long time. The blemishes become a part of the instrument, but this isn’t the case for a new owner.
It’s therefore important to ensure that you prepare your guitar before listing it for sale.
Clean it Thoroughly
The first thing that needs doing is ensuring that all parts of the instrument are sparkling clean.
To do this, all you need is a fresh set of strings, some lemon oil, and a soft cloth. Firstly, you need to remove the old strings so that you can access the neck and fretboard. Then, take some lemon oil and generously splash it across the board.
With the cloth, you should gently polish each section of the fretboard, making sure to remove any dirt that has built up as a result of your playing. It might take a little while, but eventually, the fretboard will be shining and looking brand new.
You can then replace the strings, taking care to do a tidy job and not leave any tangles or excess lengths dangling from the guitar. Using wire cutters to remove excess string is always a good idea.
Ensure Accurate and Descriptive Listing Information
When it comes to listing your guitar, you need to ensure that the information you post is thorough and describes the instrument’s condition accurately. If you fail to mention the damage that the guitar has been subjected to, the buyer is not going to be best pleased when they get the item and may even request a refund.
Capture and Upload High-Quality Photos
One of the most effective ways to make sure your guitar catches the attention of potential buyers is by taking high-quality images. Simply uploading one blurry image of your instrument is unlikely to get anyone excited about it. You should use the best-quality camera possible, and take pictures from multiple angles.
Don’t be afraid to show off any imperfections on the guitar, as this is what gives it its character. Musicians love instruments that have been worn in, and the fact that the guitar is not in absolutely perfect condition is unlikely to deter them, as long as your present it honestly.
Include a Backstory
Another tactic that I’ve found to be helpful when selling guitars for cash, is giving a little backstory about the instrument. If you’ve used it to record an album or to play a particularly impressive show or you have any other interesting stories about it, include them in your description.
Showing that the guitar has been used and is capable of doing multiple things is bound to get more musicians interested. It also helps them to trust you as a seller if you are willing to interact on a more personal, relatable level.
Analyze the Market
Another step you should take before listing your used guitar for sale is to analyze the current market. You can do this by searching for recently sold items that match your guitar on sites like eBay. This provides you with an average price that your guitar has sold for so that you can avoid setting it too low or pricing customers out of a purchase.
The most important thing to remember is that there will be a musician out there who sees your guitar as the perfect acquisition. Don’t get disheartened if it doesn’t sell straight away– you simply have to keep searching until you find the right buyer!
Now that you’ve absorbed all of the information in this guide to selling a guitar for cash, you’re well-equipped to go out there and start presenting your gear to potential suitors.