How much is my instrument worth on trade?

A unique aspect of the musical instruments industry is the used/trade market.

If you have an unused or unwanted musical instrument you have several options for finding it a new home. The most obvious choice is selling it to a friend or online buyer. Of course that does involve some work on your part. (taking pictures, dealing with buyers, shipping etc.)

Probably the most common reason to sell an instrument is to purchase a new one! That's when trading your instrument in at a store is really handy. It's quick & easy with minimal work required on your part.

Here's how a trade-in transaction looks from the store's perspective:

When you trade in an instrument there are 3 parties involved (we call it the trade triangle):

  1. You
  2. The store
  3. The person who will end up buying your instrument
Pretend for a moment that you are looking at buying a used guitar.. what's the first question you ask yourself after determining the make, model & condition?

"Is it a good deal?"

Of course!! We all do. Therefore the store has to think about that question when calculating your trade value...

Will the next person think it’s a good deal?

We ultimately have to price your trade-in so that:

    1. You get fair value for your trade-in
    2. It's a good deal for the next person
    3. The store makes some profit on the instrument when it is sold

That can sometimes be tricky. Luckily we have developed a handy calculation that gives us a trade-in value price range & resale value price range. That way we can consistently offer fair trade values while being able to give the next buyer a good deal.. without going bankrupt ;)

Before trading in your instrument there are some things to remember:

  • You will (almost) always get more $ for your guitar by selling it privately
  • Trading it in gives you the advantage of ease, speed, convenience & safety vs. selling it yourself. 
  • You don't have to deal with flaky or shady buyers and you get to skip the hassle, expense & risk of packing & shipping the guitar. 
  • You don’t have to spend time taking pictures, creating ads, haggling with potential buyers or packing/shipping the guitar.
  • If the guitar is damaged in shipping... you definitely don't want to deal with that headache.

It can be quite a bit of work but someone has to do it!

How we determine the used resale value of a guitar

  • Is it a brand we recognize & trust? (not necessarily a big brand)
  • Is it a current model? (makes it easier to establish the price) 
  • If not a current model what is the “going rate” online? 
  • If not much info is available, what make/model would it compare to for reference? (example: set neck, single cutaway, carved top dual humbucker guitar or solid spruce top mahogany back and sides, sealed tuning machines acoustic)
  • What is the condition of the instrument?

 How we determine how much we can offer for it

  • Is it a make/model that is desirable enough to sell reasonably quickly?
  • How much prep work will we have to do to get it ready for sale?(restringing/repair etc)
  • Will it more likely sell in our store or online? (different costs involved - shipping etc) 

We take guitars, amps & pedals on trade all the time so if you are interested in what your guitar might be worth, shoot us an email at with the following details & we'll give you a *rough idea* of what it might be worth on trade!

  • Make
  • Model Number
  • Serial Number
  • Approximate age
  • Detailed description of the condition & functionality
  • What you are interested in trading towards

*final trade value can only be determined once we have seen the guitar in person and completed our tests/analysis