How much is my guitar worth? How can I value my guitar? These are very common questions. Before buying or selling a guitar, knowing its value is important. Guitar values can range from practically nothing, to an astronomical sum for the right guitar - and to an untrained eye, guitars at either end of the spectrum can look very similar. Once you have correctly identified your guitar, you can look up the specific model in a guitar value guide. But even when you have a ballpark value, selling the instrument at that price is more than just a formality. Have a look at our guide on selling vintage guitars online for some ideas on getting the best price for your vintage guitar.
The Official Vintage Guitar Magazine Price Guide continues to be the industry-leading reference for values on vintage and collectible guitars, basses, lap steels, mandolins, ukuleles, banjos, amps, and effects. The 2017 edition spans 624 pages and includes detailed information aswell as current pricing (in $US) on more than 2000 brands and more than 1,300 photos, plus a detailed look at the hows and whys of the collectible instrument market. This guide is the only such work to cover all this in one very affordable volume!
The price guides above give a good ballpark figure for many models - however these are very much the authors opinion - and naturally their opinion is based on their locality and experience with the instrument in question. An unusual guitar in the US might be commonplace in Japan, or Europe. Likewise, collectors of certain guitars are not equally spread around the world. Such factors have to be considered. There are other places to get vintage guitar valuations, and some of these may be more relevant, especially if you don't live in a major US city. Any notional value will relate to the price a dealer can sell it for. Having said this, the Vintage Guitar magazine guide is internationally recognised, and although it is intended to report prices it does have a hand in setting them to.
Vintage guitar collecting, like anything else is subject to fashion. If you already own an older edition of this book, you can not get a current price, simply by adjusting for inflation. Collectors who grew up in the 1950s often want different guitars to those that grew up in the 1980s. As demographics change, so do the guitars that people collect. Likewise the financial status of a country can massively impact values. Pre-2008 high end guitars truly had high end prices. If somebody paid $10000 for a vintage guitar in 2007, they may well struggle to get their money back today. True a 50s strat or Les Paul will always be valuable, but precisely how valuable will be subject to various factors. Vintage guitar values are NEVER absolute. Never.
Please note, This site gets a lot of valuation questions, and we will freely give our opinion if asked - however, we can only respond to requests made on the vintage guitar forum - please also post images of your instrument.
Need the value of your guitar? The Official Vintage Guitar Magazine Price Guide 2023 is out now