Best Places to Buy Used Guitars (+ Where to Buy them Online)

Author: Dedrich Schafer | Updated: | This post may contain affiliate links.

New guitars can be quite expensive. Luckily, guitars don’t deteriorate so fast when taken care of.

That means that secondhand guitars are a great option for anyone looking for a new piece of gear without the high price tag. Or maybe you are looking for a vintage guitar that isn’t being made anymore.

Here is a selection of some of the best online sites that sell secondhand guitars.

eBay

As one of the largest secondhand online marketplaces in the world, eBay is the best place to find practically anything you can imagine. That includes almost any musical instrument, with guitars being particularly abundant.

There are tens of thousands of guitars listed on eBay at any given time – from standard guitars like Fender Strats to vintage guitars that are no longer being made, and even completely unique, custom works.

eBay offers two purchase methods for items: you can either pay the listed price to buy the item immediately, or you can bid on an item. Bidding on an item means that you offer the seller an amount, which they can then choose to accept.

You will likely be bidding against other buyers, though. This means that there is a chance of being outbid. But there is also the chance of paying a bit less for an item when bidding.

The shipping cost is always listed separately just below the price of the item. This way, you will know exactly what you are paying, and won’t be surprised by shipping costs. You might also be able to negotiate the shipping cost with a seller if you live close enough.

There are also usually several options for shipping, like express shipping, as well as tracking. eBay also offers some protection in the event something happens to the item during shipping.

Just be careful when buying a guitar on eBay. While not a big issue, fakes and replicas do sometimes slip through. So, do your research on the makes and models, and ask for proof like serial numbers from the seller before buying.

Guitar Center

Although you might not have guessed it, Guitar Center sells secondhand as well as new guitars.

Their selection might not be as large or diverse as some other online markets, but they still have more than enough on offer. They usually have a few thousand, to upwards of ten thousand used guitars for sale at any given time.

They also receive new stock each day. So, if you don’t find what you are looking for, you can just check back in a day or two to see if something of interest came in.

Since Guitar Center has so many stores (294), they can easily ship a guitar directly to your door. This can cut down on both time and cost of shipping.

Having a guitar shipped from one of their stores also makes returns easier. You can either have them pick the guitar up or drop it off at a store yourself. This way you don’t have to wait to receive a refund or potential replacement.

The big benefit of buying a used guitar from Guitar Center is the assurance. Since every guitar that comes into one of their stores is inspected, you know what you are getting.

You can rest assured that not only are you getting a guitar in good, working condition, but you are also getting the real deal. Fakes and replicas can be a problem on sites where a guitar is shipped by private individuals. Having a guitar go through a certified Guitar Center employee eliminates that risk.

Facebook Marketplace

The Facebook Marketplace has become quite popular for people looking to sell and buy secondhand items. There are plenty of guitars to be found along with many other musical instruments.

Facebook Marketplace works similarly to other secondhand markets like eBay and Craigslist. People list the items they want to sell along with a price, and buyers can contact them with an offer.

The great thing about Facebook Marketplace is that the items you are shown are usually within your local area. This does mean that you will likely be asked by the seller to pick the item up yourself.

This does give you an opportunity to inspect the item before actually paying for it, something that isn’t always possible on other sites. It isn’t as well-regulated as other sites, however.

There are people who sell damaged items, or even outright fakes. Once you have paid for an item, unless the seller is willing, you won’t be able to return the item and get a refund.

You also do need a Facebook account to be able to access the marketplace. If you have a Facebook account, this isn’t a problem, but if you don’t have one or have deleted your account, this is a bit of a nuisance.

Reverb

Reverb is probably the largest online marketplace for secondhand instruments. They are probably the most popular site for guitarists looking to buy vintage gear.

Unlike eBay, Reverb doesn’t have a bidding function. The listed price is usually what you will pay unless the seller is willing to negotiate the price.

Reverb also acts as the middle man for small, independent manufacturers. If you are looking for something special, it is the best place to go.

One of the biggest draws of Reverb is their celebrity auctions. Famous musicians will sometimes list gear that they are looking to sell.

The gear will be listed in one place on the site, meaning you don’t have to go looking for it. This gives everyone a fair chance at buying an item that was used by their favorite musician at some point.

These auctions are also often done in support of charity, like when Dave Mustaine of Megadeth sold his guitars and pedals. Not only are you buying a piece of music history, but you are also supporting a good cause.

Reverb doesn’t offer direct customer support. However, they will intervene if a seller and buyer are unable to come to an agreement.

Musician’s Friend

Although Musician’s Friend is owned by Guitar Center, they are their own, distinct thing. Musician’s Friend has been operating for many years and is a trusted brand in the secondhand market.

Because they share inventory with Guitar Center, that means that if one doesn’t have stock, neither does the other. They do have their own promotions, however.

This means that you can often find an item for less on their site than on Guitar Center’s. They also have their Stupid Deal of the Day.

This is their daily deal on a specific item, with a massively reduced price. While the deal isn’t always on a guitar, if you are lucky enough to spot a deal on an item you want, you could be saving hundreds of dollars.

Sweetwater

Sweetwater also has its Gear Exchange for anyone looking to sell used guitars. It works similar to any other online marketplace like Reverb or eBay. You simply list your guitar on the Sweetwater site.

The condition of the item is also labeled in the corner of the listing. This gives you a quick indication of the condition of the guitar or other piece of gear you are buying.

Conclusion

There are many more secondhand online retailers. Whether you are looking for something special, or just don’t have the money for a brand-new Fender Strat.

These are just some of the best places to buy used guitars. Just remember to keep your guard up and do your research before buying from any secondhand market.

About Dedrich Schafer

Dedrich is a guitar player, songwriter and sound engineer with extensive music production and studio experience. He mostly listens to classic rock and punk bands, but sometimes also likes listening to rap and acoustic songs.

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