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How to sell a vintage guitar online:
Finding out what your guitar is worth

A guide to selling quickly at the best possible price

Finding out what your guitar is worth

Step 1: How to sell a vintage guitar online
Step 2: Finding out what your guitar is worth
Step 3: Advertising your guitar for sale

Step 2: Finding out what your guitar is worth

Before you ask, there is no such thing as an absolute guitar value for vintage instruments. Sorry. Online guitar prices go up and down over the years, and even within a year, with prices falling off in January, and again in Summer. But you can make a few generalisations:

  • Typically, guitars of the 1950s and early 1960s are worth more than those of the mid to late 1960s, and these are worth more than guitars from the 1970s
  • American guitars are generally worth more than European guitars, which in turn are worth more than most Asian guitars
  • Guitars by collectable manufacturers (e.g. Gibson, Guild, Gretsch, Fender) are typically worth more than brands you've never heard of
  • Guitars associated with popular performers are worth more than guitars that few entertainers seem to have used
  • Guitars produced in very small numbers are often worth more than better selling models, but not always
  • But possibly most importantly, guitars regarded as exceptionally well built (the most playable) will always be worth more than budget, or entry-level instruments
  • Autographed guitars tend not to have any extra value over a non-autographed one

Following this logic a 1960 Epiphone Casino (early period, US-made by the craftsmen at Gibsons Kalamazoo factory, associated with the Beatles and the Stones) is worth massively more than a 1970 Epiphone Casino (70s, Japanese-made, average quality, aimed at students). Probably ten times as much.

Whats more, values vary from country to country, from city to city and from year to year. And then there is condition. A vintage guitar that was bought and stored unused ever since is a very rare thing. Mint guitars like this can sell for very high prices. A beaten up guitar with replaced parts, a new finish and structural repairs might be worth very little, especially if it is not the kind of thing people chose to play.

Early Fender Stratocaster guitars on display in an upmarket US vintage guitar store Early Fender guitars on display in an upmarket US vintage guitar store. Dealers are often able to add huge premiums to the prices of their guitars, but some may sit unsold for many years

So although there is no such thing as an absolute value, guitars do tend to sell for something approaching a consistent price. A number of people follow the market and put their research into various guitar value books. These do give ballpark figures, though far from absolute, but they are a guide to whether a guitar is desirable or not - see vintage guitar price guides for some more information about these books.

And you can do this research yourself. One easy way is by searching completed listings on Ebay; prices of sold items are listed in green, unsold in black or red; each is relevant as you can get an idea of what sells, how quickly, and what doesn't sell at all.

Vintage guitar stores sell guitars typically at 30%-50% more than a private sale from a classifieds advertisement or a website like Ebay. Perhaps more still in a large city with a super-rich clientele. Many online stores offer guitars for sale at a considerably higher price than they expect to sell for; they might just get lucky, plus they have room to negotiate with a potential buyer. But many have guitars sitting in their sales rooms for years. But this method can also work for the private seller who does not know the value of their guitar; as long as they are also in no desperate hurry to sell. Ebay allows sellers to offer an item for sale at a fixed price, and accept offers. This will ultimately give an idea of value, probably a shade under what it is actually attainable.

When you sell online you have a vast reach - someone, somewhere wants your guitar. It is just a matter of making sure they see it and are willing to pay for it. You can't control how many people want your guitar, or how much it is worth, but you can do a lot to make sure they see it, and it is presented in it's best light; see part three Advertising your guitar for sale.


Vintage guitars for sale

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Rare Vintage late 70s / early 80s L-6S style Electric Guitar MIK

Rare Vintage late 70's / early 80's L-6S style Electric Guitar MIK

Lubbock, Texas, 794**, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

$450

Rare Vintage late 1970's / early 1980's Gibson L-6S style Electric Guitar MIK==Korea was just beginning to manufacture decent quality guitars when this version of the Gibson L-5S / L-6S design was made==The wider and thinner LP-type body is more comfortable to me than a Standard-style -- 13" wide lower bout, 10 3 / 4" upper, 1 3 / 8" thick, 3-piece body (seams are visible in the finish, but paint is smooth with no cracks; see pictures)==Original tuners are teisco / MIJ ... more
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The Realist RLSTVNQT Copperhead Violin Pickup - Acoustic Instrument Pickup

The Realist RLSTVNQT Copperhead Violin Pickup - Acoustic Instrument Pickup

Brooklyn, New York, 112**, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

$200

The Realist RLSTVNQT Copperhead violin pickup allows for excellent sound amplification on acoustic instruments. Crafted by The Realist, this model is specifically designed for violin use. The RLSTVNQT Copperhead is a top choice for musicians seeking to achieve an authentic and natural sound during live performances or recordings

This high-quality instrument pickup is crafted to meet the demands of professional musicians. It accurately captures the nuances of the violin's sound, ... more
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Vintage Luna Classical Acoustic w /  HSC

Vintage Luna Classical Acoustic w / HSC

Mesquite, Texas, 751**, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

$500


Item: Vintage Luna Classical Acoustic w / HSC!
Description: You are purchasing a Vintage Luna Classical Acoustic w / HSC! The acoustic currently has a broken string but there are otherwise no issues regarding playability. A true vintage Japanese made classical that is ready to be enlisted as a workhorse. Please inquire with any questions prior to purchase
Shipping: $80 00 shipping to the Lower 48 States! We ship overseas. Overseas shipping prices will vary. Overseas buyers ... more
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1969 GIBSON SG CASE - made in USA

1969 GIBSON SG CASE - made in USA

Spring Hill, Florida, 346**, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

$500

1969 GIBSON SG CASE - made in USA. This case is an overall good condition. Has one broken latch. The inside is great. There's a few marks and little scuffs on the outside and could use a good cleaning. Will ship FedEx ground fully insured with tracking shipping to the lower 48 states only. No Alaska Hawaii, Puerto Rico, Guam or PO boxes. No international shipping
... more
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~ 1965 Hofner Model 173 Solid body Electric White Vinyl

~ 1965 Hofner Model 173 Solid body Electric White Vinyl

New York, 100**, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

$1795

Vinage original circa 1965 Hofner Model 173 in original White Vinyl
Nice and clean and all original
Original electronics are working great, pickups sound super warm and organic. All three pickups fully functional and sounding great
Neck is straight and playing well all the way up and down. Just set up at our shop so it's playing great
A nice and clean example for the player and collector alike
Comes with chipboard case
Guitar is exactly as pictured.
Buyer pays ... more
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1965 Hofner 500 / 1 Violin Bass

1965 Hofner 500 / 1 Violin Bass

Loveland, Ohio, 451**, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

$4995

1965 Hofner 500 / 1 Violin Bass, AKA the Beatle Bass, Hollow-body, Sunburst finish, Staple pickups, Large raised logo and larger Pearloid controlpanel, Fantastic warm and powerful tonality, Light weight, Plays great, Truly abeauty, VG++, Rare worn original hard case... more
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1981 U S.A. MADE DEAN BABY ML

1981 U S.A. MADE DEAN BABY ML

Southampton, Pennsylvania, 189**, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

$2300

HERE IS MY 1981 U S.A. DEAN BABY ML IN VERY GOOD CONDITION. PLAYS LIKE BUTTER. STAYS IN PERFECT TUNE. NECK IS STRAIGHT, TRUSS ROD WORKS AS IT SHOULD, FRETS ARE IN GOOD SHAPE WITH NO WEAR, ALL ORIGINAL AS IT CAME FROM DEAN WITH THE FACTORY KAYLER TREMOLO, GOLD HARDWARE, ORIGINAL DIMARZIO PICKUPS WITH THE GOLD POLES, EBONY 24 FRETBOARD, SET NECK AND ORIGINAL HARD CASE. IT JUST HAD A FULL SETUP AND FRET DRESSING AND POLISH. SETUP WITH A NEW SET OF 9 TO 42S. THIS GUITAR IS REALLY A GREAT SOUNDING ... more
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original 1962 Gibson ES-330 Sunburst

original 1962 Gibson ES-330 Sunburst

Carbondale, Illinois, 629**, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

$8190


Add Me to Your Favorite Sellers
Olivia's Vintage would like to present this 1962 Gibson ES-330 in its original Sunburst finish. It has a great playing neck with good frets. It's all original and 100% complete. The pictured period correct Gibson hardshell case is included, but it housed a guitar with a Bigsby at one time. This ES-330 is in great condition with only some minor nicks + dings, finish checking and other cosmetic wear. The guitar itself remains structurally sound with no ... more
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1967 Gibson ES-335 TD Vintage Electric Guitar

1967 Gibson ES-335 TD Vintage Electric Guitar

Loveland, Ohio, 451**, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

$10400

1967 Gibson ES-335, Tobacco Sunburst, Rosewood fingerboardwith block inlays, Kluson tuners, Pat number sticker humbuckers, Trapezetailpiece, Low action, Lively instrument, EC, Original hard case
... more
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1965 Fender Stratocaster Vintage Cady Apple Red Custom color Original 65

1965 Fender Stratocaster Vintage Cady Apple Red Custom color Original 65

Ladera Ranch, California, 926**, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

$48000

1965 Fender Stratocaster early custom color Candy Apple red 100 % Original, nothing touched, all the solder Joints are untouched. Gray bottom pickups have the original winds, Green pick guard early 65' pot dates. No routes, extra holes, touchups or repairs. The original Large frets are in great shape. A true collector grade instrument. Comes with the original no logo black case. This is an Extremely rare Vintage guitar. Buyer is responsible for all shipping.... more
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~ 1965 Hofner Galaxie 176 Sunburst w Original Funky Cool Gig Bag

~ 1965 Hofner Galaxie 176 Sunburst w Original Funky Cool Gig Bag

New York, 100**, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

$1599

Vintage original circa 1965 Honer Galaxie 176 solidbody electric
A very clean example with a good neck, excellent action and superb playability and tone
Neck is straight and plays with a good action and no buzz or issues
Original Hofner pickups sound incredible. Super warm and organic. All electronics fully functional and working great
Guitar comes with super cool original gig bag as pictured
Guitar is exactly as pictured.
Buyer pays $125 shipping in the USA, $150 to... more
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1964 Mosrite California Venture V2 Body / Neck Project

1964 Mosrite California Venture V2 Body / Neck Project

Lubbock, Texas, 794**, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

$2500

1964 Mosrite California Venture V2 Body / Neck Project==Obviously it??s been stripped of the original finish and unfortunately the pickups were dead==Serial number is 0404==Ships worldwide==
If you are considering a purchase, please take a minute and read our feedback !!!
We strive to achieve 5 star service !! PLEASE contact us if there are ANY problems (SEE RED BELOW)!! THANKS !!
Payment within 3 days please==We pack extremely well and ship quickly as possible!
PLEASE NOTE: Normal ... more
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Vintage 1960s Zenon Teisco Matsumoku Electric Guitar Gold Foil Pickups Japan

Vintage 1960s Zenon Teisco Matsumoku Electric Guitar Gold Foil Pickups Japan

Elmwood Park, New Jersey, 074**, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

$450

Up for sale is a Vintage Electric Guitar, Very Good Overall Condition As Shown, Please see photos for details, All original, Plays & sounds great, Neck is straight, Low fast action, Loaded with character showing age-handling-play wear-nicks-scuffs-finish loss-slightly bent tuner / tuners-light surface rust / tarnish & patina, No case, Push in - non threaded tremolo arm which has some type of wicking on it to help stabilize it, Unique sound from these gold foil pickups, Weighs just under ... more
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Gibson Standard 58 Les Paul Goldtop 1958 Reissue 1971 1 of 25 rarest Les Paul

Gibson Standard 58 Les Paul Goldtop 1958 Reissue 1971 1 of 25 rarest Les Paul

Hopewell, New Jersey, 085**, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

$10695

Gibson Standard 58 Les Paul Goldtop 1958 Reissue 1971 With original hang tag and blank guarantee card returnable to Kalamazoo
Being offered from the private collection of Sound Investments USA LLC

CONDITION AND PRICING PLEASE READ:
All electronics work and are original . very clean guitar. The Frets are ok but here is what my luthier said. The neck is slightly bowed on low E side and straight on high E side which he states can be fixed by replacing frets and compensating for ... more
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1959 Goya Deluxe 90 Blue sparkle

1959 Goya Deluxe 90 Blue sparkle

Nazareth, Pennsylvania, 180**, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

$4295

Just in is this really cool 1959 Hagstrom made Goya Deluxe 90 guitar
Quick Details
Weight 7 2lbs
Nut width 1 5 / 8th inches
Depth at 1st fret 0 88
Depth at 12th fret 0 92
These guitars were made by Hagstrom for Goya. This particular Deluxe 90 is in pretty good shape. It looks like the blue Sparkle top was reglued to the top of the body in spots around the edges of the body. There is also a few small cracks in chips in the plastic pearl covering around the body. It is minimal ... more
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1960s Original Fender String Display Box  / Vintage Fender Strings Promotional

1960's Original Fender String Display Box / Vintage Fender Strings Promotional

Weatherford, Texas, 760**, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

$300

1960's Original Fender String Display Box with Fender Strings. Please reference pictures. All strings are new. Some packages in good condition, and some are not. I did not count how many are in the display box. Please reference pictures as they are part of my description. Thank you!
... more
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Srsc800 Ibanez

Srsc800 Ibanez

Miami, Florida, 331**, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

$800

Very good condition ibanez bass with a powerful pickup Berttolini actives , very light body low action very good for any type of music??
... more
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1960s Hagstrom VIKING Hollowbody Sunburst made in Sweden

1960's Hagstrom VIKING Hollowbody Sunburst made in Sweden

Carbondale, Illinois, 629**, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

$1590


Add Me to Your Favorite Sellers
Olivia's Vintage would like to present this 1960's made in Sweden Hagstrom Viking in its original Sunburst finish. It has a great playing neck with good frets. It's all original and 100% complete. A later soft shell case is included. This Viking is in great shape with minor nicks + dings and other minor cosmetic wear including some blemishes in the finish on the top of the headstock. The treble side of the nut has a small additional notch near the high E ... more
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Fender American Standard Precision Bass Guitar 1983 E3 Vintage USA P-Bass & Case

Fender American Standard Precision Bass Guitar 1983 E3 Vintage USA P-Bass & Case

Hamtramck, Michigan, 482**, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

$2000

Vintage Fender 1983 4 String American Standard Precision Bass Guitar
Genuine Made in USA American Right Handed Fender Precision Bass Guitar; Serial Number: E316441 (E3 denotes 1983 Model Year)
Right handed bass guitar with "BadAss Bass II" bridge, Brown Sunburst body with Maple Fretboard.
Used in great condition with normal surface wear for age, no chips or cracks on body. No damage to frets, plays perfectly with excellent tone
Fender brand hard cover soft lined flight case ... more
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Rare Vintage 1960s G. L. Stiles electric guitar USA dual p / u

Rare Vintage 1960's G. L. Stiles electric guitar USA dual p / u

Lubbock, Texas, 794**, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

$2100

Rare Vintage 1960's G. L. Stiles electric guitar USA==Check out the excellent Michael Wright article in Vintage Guitars on these rare instruments! -- this model is illustrated in the article==Mr. Stiles built most of the hardware for his guitars, particularly the pickups and bridges -- this innovative bridge features a spring-loaded cover that doubles as a palm mute (see pics, cover is missing foam strip inside, cover not currently installed) -- and carved his own bodies and necks==Dual pickups ... more
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Find more vintage guitars for sale at vintageguitarsforsale.co

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Ray Bell Comment left 3rd November 2014 17:05:03 reply
Hi I have an old acoustic Guitar, I am trying to find out if it has any value. It is in need of a little attention. The information I have is . The Michigan company, I believe around 1930s Parlour, arch top acoustic guitar. Inside label is B & S.l. SOLE. Made in the USA.

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