4 Reasons Why You Should Trade In at Guitar Center

If you’re considering selling your guitar, you have a lot of options. 

One of those options is to head over to Guitar Center and take advantage of their trading program to sell your gear. This has its benefits and drawbacks like anything else.

The benefits are what we’ll focus on in this post, namely:

  1. Immediate cash payment
  2. You can trade in for another guitar 
  3. Up to a thousand dollars or store credit
  4. A reliable buyer

Obviously, there are reasons not to trade in at Guitar Center, but we’ll cover that in another post. 

The focus of today’s post is what benefits there are to trading your guitar in at this well-known Brick-and-mortar outlet.

1. Immediate Cash Payment 

One of the benefits of making a trade-in at Guitar Center is that you can get cash for a trade-in at almost any store, except for two. One in Greensboro, NC, and one in Rockville, MD. The rest should be able to give you cash upfront if they have enough in store.

The benefit of this is that if you’re in a hurry to get cash in hand, you’re likely to be able to trade in your guitar for it. 

The condition is that you’re trading in a functional guitar and you’re not expecting to get full price for it.

2. Trade in for another guitar 

Another reason why you might trade in your guitar at Guitar Center is that they’re willing to let you trade up for another guitar by using the value of your current guitar as store credit. 

The benefit to this is that if you are looking to upgrade and you have a decent guitar, you’ll be able to get a better guitar without paying full price if you’re willing to part with your previous one.

There is also no limit to how much credit you can get for your guitar if it’s valuable enough. If you wanted, you could possibly trade in something one-of-a-kind and buy a whole band kit.

You’re also not just limited to trading in your guitar, GC will trade in pretty much any musical equipment as long as it’s functioning and in good condition.

  • Guitars
  • Drumkits
  • Keyboards
  • Sound equipment

And the list goes on, there are some things they won’t take in as a trade and while the below list is a long-seeming list, the list of things they will trade is much more so. 

There are things they won’t trade– anything that could have excessive wear or that they don’t sell themselves:

  • Acoustic Pianos
  • Any sort of copyrighted material
  • Computers
  • Random consumer electronics
  • Tape recorders
  • Switching systems
  • Custom-built cables
  • Wireless Units
  • Used Strings
  • Guitar Parts
  • Drum heads
  • Drum sticks
  • Low-end drum hardware
  • Upright basses (cello)
  • Really big mixing boards
  • Orchestral instruments

So aside from just your guitar, there’s a lot you could trade in for a new one.

3. Up to a thousand dollars or store Credit 

As far as trading in goes, if you’re looking for cold, hard cash, there is a limit to how much you can get. 

Bear in mind that you’ll rarely reach the limit of Guitar Center’s cash offer because while they take in second-hand gear, it’s often at 50-60% of the market value price.

This is simply because they need to make a profit and in between buying your gear, fixing up any faults, and the cost of running their business, they don’t make a whole lot of profit. 

In this case, the benefit is the immediacy of it, but if you’re willing to wait, you’re better off selling on places like Reverb.com.

If you’d rather trade up your guitar, you’ll still get about the same value, but at the very least, you won’t have to concern yourself about whether you’ll reach a value cap

If your guitar is worth $1200 you’ll get that in credit for the guitar you want to trade your used one in for.

4. A reliable buyer

The final benefit is security. 

When selling things online, you can often run the risk of being scammed. 

I’ve actually written a few articles on the risks and benefits of selling online to different platforms, but the core is that no matter where you sell, there’s often little security.

People are commonly scammed through online platforms by fake buyers, and they’ve even found a workaround for some of the security measures implemented by these platforms. Luckily, with Guitar Center, none of that is a problem.

Guitar Center has been around since 1959 and has long been established as a reputable guitar store, buying and selling without seeking to defraud people. 

Because of their long-standing reputation, you can rest assured that they are not trying to scam you.

More than anything, selling your gear in a physical, brick-and-mortar store is as secure and assured as it gets since you’re seeing the exchange physically. 

With online trades and sales, you can still be misled by fake PayPal accounts or scam messages to say the money was sent to you. 

What are the alternatives?

You can still do trades through other platforms, there are plenty of other retailers that allow for trading and you can even use Craigslist or eBay as a posting board to request guitar trades from independent musicians. 

This comes with the benefit that you can say exactly what you’re looking to trade, but with the drawback of waiting. 

You also run the risk of being scammed. In that case, it’s best to only trade with guitarists that are at least close enough to trade with in person.

You could try:

  • eBay
  • Craigslist
  • Reverb
  • Sweetwater
  • Sam Ash
  • Musician’s Friend
  • zZounds

And many more, but they all come with their relative benefits and drawbacks. 

But it’s up to you to decide which one to go with. Hopefully, this has left you a little more well-informed.