What’s This Axe Worth? 3 Keys to Understanding Your Guitar’s Value
Curious about guitar values? You’re not alone, there are many factors that go into valuing any guitar. Be aware that just because some guide tells you your guitar is worth a certain amount doesn’t mean a buyer will pay that.
What is your guitar really worth? Whatever a buyer is willing to pay.
Guitar values are just like a house or a car: you may think it’s worth a certain amount, but if nobody’s buying than it’s obviously not worth that much!
Here are some key points to keep in mind:
1. Is the guitar all original?
2. How rare is the guitar?
3. Who’s buying it?
I’ll explain a bit more:
1. All Original?
Like old cars, guitars that have all the original parts and have not been modified are often worth more… sometimes more than a guide will tell you. Depending on the rareity of the guitar, sometimes this means 150% to 200% more than a guitar value guide says. However, if a guitar has been modified in any way it tends to decrease the value of the guitar, often significantly.
2. How Rare?
If the guitar was made in limited quantities, this obviously reduces the supply and increases the demand of your guitar. This also increases the price you can ask for the guitar. Extreme example? The original Gibson Explorers are said to number under 50, and to buy one of these originals today would cost several hundred thousand dollars.
3. Who’s buying?
Resellers want to get a quick return on their investment, so they will lowball you in hopes of selling the guitar quickly for a profit. These aren’t what you would call true Gibson enthusiasts. A real collector, on the other hand, may actually pay you more than the guitar is currently worth because they plan to hold on to it and let it appreciate in value.
TIP: Older vintage Gibsons can command a high price, often well above several thousand dollars. Just keep in mind that the type of buyer interested in an older/vintage Gibson will be very particular about the condition of the guitar.
1. You really have to watch out when calculating the value of your guitar. Do not trust a single source of information, or a single appraisal.
2. Please don’t expect an appraisal given over the Internet as 100% correct. That’s like a doctor diagnosing you over the phone. Use information you get online as one piece of the puzzle, not your single answer. Always get a second opinion.
Hopefully this article gives you some good ideas about Gibson guitar values.
For more information I recommend:
Blue book offers a subscription service that let’s you use their online database of guitar values. You can search all kinds of guitars and then pay a few dollars for the current blue book value.