Looking for a good used guitar? You can find great deals with used guitars, or you can end up with a really bad instrument.
Here’s where to look
When you’re looking for a used instrument, do not buy one sight unseen from ebay or other Internet auctions, unless they have a money-back guarantee. You can’t tell by a picture if the instrument is good.
The safest solution is to actually see it before you buy it. Here are some places you can use to find used guitar..
- Craigslist.org, You can find used items for sale in your local area.
- Garage Sales. These are often listed in your local paper or you may see signs in your area advertising Yard Sales or Garage Sales.
- Flea Markets. Flea markets with used items can be a good source for finding used guitars.
- Music Stores. Local music stores may carried used guitars. You should also check to see what sales are available. Sometimes you can get an instrument during a steep sale.
- Salvation Army. Thrift stores, like Salvation Army, may have used guitars. You can always call first.
- Ask Friends. You can mention to people that you’re in the market for a used guitar. You never know who may have an instrument they may have in storage. You might try mentioning it on Facebook, Twitter, or another Social Media platform.
- Amazon.com. My personal preference is to see the guitar first, but Amazon is a website that does offer a money-back guarantee. If you don’t like it you can return it. They do have used guitars, but I’ve noticed the price of used instruments is often higher than the new ones.
Here’s what to look for
Here are some items that you should look at before buying any used guitars.
- Are their major cracks in the wood? I wouldn’t purchase a guitar with major cracks.
- Check the neck of the guitar for warping. You can look down the side of the neck, like a billiard stick to see if there are warps.
- Take a business card to see if you can slide it under the bridge. That’s where the strings attach to the body of the instrument. They can pop off and expect to pay at least $50 to get them repaired.
- Check the guitar bracing. You can tap the instrument and if there’s a lot of rattling inside, the bracing may need to be repaired. It’s hundreds of dollars to repair bad bracing.
- Check the heel of the instrument. Those can pull away from a guitar too. The heel is located on the back of the guitar and helps to hold the neck and body together. Most manufacturers assemble the guitar bodies separately from the necks. Then they are glued together later.
- Do you like the sound of the instrument? Is it easy to play?
- Try playing each note up the fretboard on every string. If there’s a buzz, find it now before it drives you crazy latter.
If you have a friend that knows about guitars, take them with you. You want to get an instrument that not only sounds good, but one that will last for many years.
Visiting guitar shops is helpful. It will expose you to many guitars. They often have specials and some even sell used instruments too.
PS. Here are a few inexpensive new guitars that are good Student Level Guitars.