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Best Place to Sell a Vintage Electric Guitar?

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  • Best Place to Sell a Vintage Electric Guitar?

    I've done a bit of googling on this and haven't gotten a definitive answer.  I have a pre-CBS strat and want to get what I think it's worth, and not have to hassle with the bargain hunters.  Any suggestions?  Is Ebay still a good bet? 


  • #2

    get it appraised by someone qualified, like George Gruhn of Gruhn Guitars or Norman of Norman's Rare and Used...they can give a good idea of the market value...but they will charge you a fee.

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    • Millvale1
      Millvale1 commented
      Editing a comment

      Thanks for that...  I actually had it appraised for insurance purposes many years ago by Mandolin Bros.  I suppose with their records, and the fact that the instrument is as they saw it, they could give me an updated estimate.

      Nevertheless, I understand why someone might want a more recent look at it before buying.


    • noisebloom
      noisebloom commented
      Editing a comment

      daddymack wrote:

      get it appraised by someone qualified, like George Gruhn of Gruhn Guitars or Norman of Norman's Rare and Used...they can give a good idea of the market value...but they will charge you a fee.


      +1. Get a really good appraisal by a reputable shop with really solid documentation. Have them take it apart and document numbers, take lots of pictures and all that. That will set you in the direction toward a good resale value. Also, being that you are the original owner means a lot in its resale -- as you say, it means you know the guitar's exact post-sale history. (And if you can produce a receipt for its purchase, that's gravy, man!)

      But realistically, if I were you I'd sit on the guitar (not literally!). As said, the market right now is crapola, and it will be a while before it comes back. It will come back, eventually, it's just a matter of how long. IMO if you try to sell it now, you'll only find a buyer who'll be very happy to take it off your hands in a buyer's market, and he will sit on it for a number of years and sell it for a sweet profit down the road. So I'd make that additional profit mine, if I were you.


  • #3

    Millvale1 wrote:

    I've done a bit of googling on this and haven't gotten a definitive answer.  I have a pre-CBS strat and want to get what I think it's worth, and not have to hassle with the bargain hunters.  Any suggestions?  Is Ebay still a good bet? 


    i had my strat appraised by Gruhn.  it doesn't guarantee you'll get that price, but it does help limit the sheer number of deadbeats, tire-kickers, con artists and shady dealers who will try to convince you there are mods, repro parts, and other such things in attempts to get you to accept a much lower offer than the guitar might be worth presently.  

    simple fact though- the market is down a lot from a few years ago, and may never rebound to those levels.  so you really will need to be honest with yourself and set a realistic price based on what the current market will bear.  that, or just let it sit at some high price and hope a rich fool comes along to buy it from you.  not too many of those types around these days, i'm guessing (plenty of the latter; not so much the former).

    if you want to pm me with pics and details, i may be able to help find you a dealer/broker who might be able to find you a buyer.  

    eBay is a wretched place to try to sell vintage, IMO.  i would never buy a vintage guitar without being able to inspect it and have it gone over by a trusted tech first.  that rules out 99% of eBay auctions for me.

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    • BydoEmpire2
      BydoEmpire2 commented
      Editing a comment

      GreatDane wrote:

      Millvale1 wrote:

      I've done a bit of googling on this and haven't gotten a definitive answer.  I have a pre-CBS strat and want to get what I think it's worth, and not have to hassle with the bargain hunters.  Any suggestions?  Is Ebay still a good bet? 


      i had my strat appraised by Gruhn.  it doesn't guarantee you'll get that price, but it does help limit the sheer number of deadbeats, tire-kickers, con artists and shady dealers who will try to convince you there are mods, repro parts, and other such things in attempts to get you to accept a much lower offer than the guitar might be worth presently.  

      simple fact though- the market is down a lot from a few years ago, and may never rebound to those levels.  so you really will need to be honest with yourself and set a realistic price based on what the current market will bear.  that, or just let it sit at some high price and hope a rich fool comes along to buy it from you.  not too many of those types around these days, i'm guessing (plenty of the latter; not so much the former).

      if you want to pm me with pics and details, i may be able to help find you a dealer/broker who might be able to find you a buyer.  

      eBay is a wretched place to try to sell vintage, IMO.  i would never buy a vintage guitar without being able to inspect it and have it gone over by a trusted tech first.  that rules out 99% of eBay auctions for me.


      I agree 100% with everything said here.  Good advice.  You might have some luck at a guitar show, but you should have it appraised and have a pretty good idea of its value first.


  • #4

    What about a private auction full of high rollers?....I NEARLY had my hands on a pre-war Martin acoustic that someone was going to sell for a crazy low price (I waited 12 hrs , and it got sold grrrr) and all I could think about was sending it to one of those ritzy auction houses to go to the highest bidder, though I had no clue who , when or where 

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    • #5

      No one is getting their asking price these days, but then most sellers are asking too much in this down market. As with anything, your guitar's actual value is whatever you can get someone to pay you. 

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      • Millvale1
        Millvale1 commented
        Editing a comment

        Thanks for all the responses and advice.  It's a '64 Olympic White strat, all original except for new nut, a re-fret, and the neck re-sprayed 20 years ago.  I'm the original owner so, of course, know its exact history.  I notice OW strats are less common.


    • #6
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