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What to Look for When Buying a Used Guitar

Updated on April 10, 2009

What to Look For When Buying a Used Guitar

Buying a used guitar online or in a store is a great way to save money on a guitar. There are thousands of used guitars for sale every single day. However, used is used, and there could be something wrong with the guitar you are thinking about buying. Here is list of things to look for when purchasing a used guitar.

Play the Guitar if You Can

Guitars are all about feel and tone. Make sure that the guitar feels right to YOU when you play it, not if it feels right to someone else. If you don’t have the option of playing the guitar before you pay for it, go to Guitar Center and play a new one to see if you like it well enough to purchase it.

Look Carefully at the Neck

With Gibson, Epiphone, Gretsch, all acoustics and other guitars with similar headstocks, be sure to look closely at where the headstock meets the neck. It is very common for these guitars to break right here. The seller has probably fixed it, but I wouldn’t take any chances. There will still be an obvious spot where the neck was cracked in half. If the neck is or ever was broken right here, the guitar will never be quite the same. While going over the neck of the guitar, look closely at the frets. Notice if the frets have a lot of wear on them or if they are discolored. If they are this means they will have to be replaced for best performance.

Test the Electronics

If it is an electric guitar you are considering, and have a chance to play it before buying it, plug it into an amp first and see if the electronics works. See if the pickups, tone and volume controls, input jack, etc are all in working condition. Yes, this can be replaced, but it isn’t cheap if you want quality electronics. If they don’t work, ask the seller to subtract the cost of brand new electronics out of the total.

Do Some Research

Don’t buy a guitar that is 5 years old that is the same price as a new one. Make sure the seller is offering a reasonable price for the guitar. If they aren’t, ask them to lower the price and give them a reason why they should lower the price. The price can also be unusually low. If there is a guitar for sale at $200 that normally cost $1,000, there is a possibility that something is wrong with it. Make sure it has all of the criteria listed above and it is actually the guitar advertised.

Used guitars can be found at Guitar Center or other music stores. Online, check out eBay, Craigslist, and Amazon.

So buy a used guitar either online or in a store is a great idea if you are tight on cash. Just make sure the guitar you are going to buy is worth the price you are going to pay for it.

Thanks,

Parker

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    • profile image

      Lisa 

      3 years ago

      Ryan:Ryan first of all I am entitled to my own views just as you are. beaurifulgatbage was a big turn off for masses of fans including myself.I update this site in my own time, I do not make any profit from this site or my discography site yet they both cost me money to run as does the forum, why on earth would I continue to pay for something I don't enjoy doing anymore? I stuck with Garbage through a period when they release in my eyes one of the worse albums I own that being beaurifulgatbage. Yes there are some very good tracks on there (cup of coffee is one of the bands best tracks, musically and lyrically) but as an album IMO it came at the wrong time with the wrong tracks. The commitment mind you which I have to this band is still far greater than the powers that be at the record companies it would seem. This site still gets far more updates than the official site ever does. However rather than having my head stuck in the sand like some fans seem to I am more than happy to say if I don't like something.As for you spouting a load of crap about me being immature over the subject I think it's about time you think about the commitment a site that get's on average 100,000 hits a month takes to run and if the person isn't into it then why would they continue. If you didn't enjoy your job you would change company I'm sure. The way I see it is all you are worried about is one of the most supportive Garbage websites online today not being around anymore.

    • parkerk393 profile imageAUTHOR

      parkerk393 

      9 years ago from Arlington, Texas

      Thanks

    • profile image

      Guitar Guy 

      9 years ago

      Nice collection of guitars.

    • parkerk393 profile imageAUTHOR

      parkerk393 

      9 years ago from Arlington, Texas

      Thanks! Happy Easter to you too!

    • Raven King profile image

      Raven King 

      9 years ago from Cabin Fever

      Cool. Happy Easter!!!

    • parkerk393 profile imageAUTHOR

      parkerk393 

      9 years ago from Arlington, Texas

      Well, those aren't my guitars in the pictures, but if I'm not on HubPages I'm playing my guitars :)

      Thanks!

    • Raven King profile image

      Raven King 

      9 years ago from Cabin Fever

      Those are gorgeous guitars. How often do you play them?

    • johnb0127 profile image

      johnb0127 

      9 years ago from TX

      Not only help me, but save me some dough too!

    • parkerk393 profile imageAUTHOR

      parkerk393 

      9 years ago from Arlington, Texas

      I'm glad I could help you!

    • johnb0127 profile image

      johnb0127 

      9 years ago from TX

      Thanks for the awesome tips - I will definitely consider when I buy my next guitar!

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