Selling a vintage guitar? Is it the right time?

Times are hard just now, and everyone could do with a few extra pounds. So is it a good time to sell that old guitar that’s been sitting unloved in your closet for all these years? Well it all comes down to knowing what you’ve got, what it is worth, and presenting it in it’s best light to a prospective buyer. If it is true that the vintage guitar market is down now, can it really be the right time to sell? Well the answer may well be yes… read on!


Make sure you know what you’re selling

Before you can sell your guitar you need to know what it is, and what it is worth. Getting an ID should not be too hard, you probably know anyway, but if not one of the very many guitar dealers, or guitar forums should be able to help. As for valuations, our article on finding vintage guitar values should help you find an approximate figure.

So you know what you’ve got, and what it is worth, but is it a good time to sell? Well many people would say no. The vintage guitar market was at a high five years back, and prices are way down. But is this really true? The answer is not that simple. As a generalisation, a lot of guitars were overvalued then. It is true that the ludicrously expensive 50s Les Paul Standards, Stratocasters and Telecasters are not fetching the prices they once were; bankers are not getting the bonuses they did. But the dealers that bought them up, and artificially increased their prices (hence values) are now are stuck with them, unable to sell. So for them the market is definately down.

But these guitars are the real tip of the iceberg, and are not representative of most vintage guitar sales. The vast majority of quality vintage guitars that were selling for $500-$2000 in 2006 are still selling at the same ballpark figures. Some are selling for a little less, but many are selling for more. The fact is that the recession of the last few years has not damaged the intrinsic value of a fine quality vintage instruments, but it has damaged the value of price-inflated guitars with a premium added on for their rarity.

So is it time to sell? If you have a guitar that a musician would love to play you will almost certainly be able to sell at a reasonable price, not too far from what you would have got before the recession. If you want tens of thousands of dollars for a guitar that is too valuable to take out of your home, perhaps you’d better wait for the next boom!

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One thought on “Selling a vintage guitar? Is it the right time?”

  1. Interesting article Mickey, and although you don’t say it specifically I think you are saying vintage guitars for players are still going up in value, whilst vintage guitars for collectors are perhaps not? It is hard to generalise, but I don’t think prices have dipped too much, but I think things are taking longer to sell than once they would.

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