Used guitar pricing

Justin recommends buying used gear to save money.

Most people in my area seem to sell their used guitar almost the same price as they paid brand new. Maybe 15% off at most.

Maybe that’s the norm for guitar but I was surprised to see used guitar at almost full price because I usually sell my used house stuff (books, appliances, furnitures etc.) for 50% off.

We’re always looking for that good deal. So, from your past experience, what is a fair offer (x% off) for a used guitar ?

Let’s exclude vintage, rare and custom guitar from that discussion. Let’s focus on normal guitar for the average JG community player.


The monetary value of a guitar is simply what someone is willing to pay for it. It’s a straightforward supply v demand question. The easiest way to find what ‘the going rate’ for a particular guitar in your part of the world is to search online for what similar items have sold for and in what condition. They often become more expensive with time!

I have bought several used guitars, all for 1/2 to 2/3 original costs.

If the price was only 15% down or even less, I would by new and get some warranty and support.


This should be people are asking for almost the same price as brand new. What people ask for and sell for are two different things. Guitars under $500 are the majority of guitars on the market, so $100 of is a 20% discount.

Pick 4 or 5 you are interested in and offer what you think is a fair price. Remind the seller that used guitars don’t come with a factory warranty which is part of the cost when new. At least one of the 5 will be willing to sell their guitar at your price. Also keep track of how long the guitar has been on the used market. Guitars are on the market for a long time for 2 reasons.

  1. the owner really doesn’t need the money so will not budge on price
  2. the owner isn’t getting any offers on the guitar so they leave the add up, these are the ones who will sell for less than the posted price.

There’s an old saying “It never hurts to ask” so ask if they will take X amount. They will come back with a Yes or No but I’ll take Y amount. Then you either accept that price or offer what you are willing to pay.


Hard to say exactly. My own rule of thumb when buying (and selling) used gear is around 70% for items in great condition… otherwise lower. Bought an almost unplayed guitar on Reverb for nearly half price (of a collector)

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Personal experience is that given a few years pedals and multifx lose very little money ( if not appreciate a little). Obviously depends on what it is and whether it was valued/rated when it came out and has been upgraded or not.

In terms of guitars it’s a similar thing. I think those guitars at the budget end will have a bigger discount than anything half decent. A guitar that has a good name and hardware will typically lose less.

Hi mathieu :grin:
i have sold and bought quite a few guitars last 2 years. Just acoutics. Some expensive and some were more affordable priced. 50-70 % off retail is were the range is for an used guitar. 70% then the guitar is «as new» 50% is good condition but not «as new» I would not ever consider buying a 2nd hand guitar anything above 70% and even then it should be pretty much unused and 100% mint…
i have a pretty good overview on the 2nd hand market in norway that is… and there is no way you can sell it for the rate you mention…

As Jason said. The more affordable will loose more of its value, the more expensive higher end stuff will hold better value. But… not more than 70% is my experience.

What kind of guitar are you looking to buy?

I’ve bought and sold 2nd hand guitars a number of times. If the guitar is in good to very good condition, the going price is usually around 1/2 of the new price.

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Generally speaking, I don’t pay more than 70% of the retail price. And that’s only if the item is not too old amd in very good condition.
Anything more than that, I’d rather buy new.
Ideally 50% or less is what I aim for.

Same when I want to sell something. I never ask more than 70% for a used item.
It’s a matter of principle for me.

However, I have to say, with electric guitars it might be more complex if the owner has upgraded the pickups, nut, tuning machines, bridge etc. I’m not sure how that would feed into the price.

The used market for guitars in Australia is ridiculous. People want almost as much as new.

I’m glad to hear all your personal experiences. I will continue to look for a humbucker guitar like a Les Paul or an Ibanez in my area taking your advice into account. Thanks. :slight_smile:

I’ve seen people selling Ibanez Gios and asking an arm and a leg for them, ffs. Same goes for Epiphones or - often - anything resembling a Les Paul. I’ve seen ads asking for almost the same as a brand new Epiphone.
I got a Washburn with an amp for 100€.
And a brand new Epiphone on sale for less than what some id…uhm… Very ambitious people ask for their used Epi that stinks cigarette smoke and has dog hair everywhere…

What I mean to say is that there are opportunities but you have to plough through a lot of weed first…

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I agree with the posters that feel that the second hand market is priced too high. You are taking a chance on a used guitar sight unseen and the buyer should be compensated for that risk.

The prices for used guitars got inflated during the COVID lockdowns. Music shops had very little inventory, as lots of people decided to take up an instrument while they were stuck at home. That’s over, and supply has caught back up with demand, so the used market should settle back down.

But don’t expect someone to sell a guitar for less than what people are willing to pay for it. The market establishes the price over the long haul.

Good points Mark

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