How Long Does It Take To Sell a Guitar?

If you’re new to selling your gear, you have a couple of options. 

You can try online or at guitar stores or even pawn shops, but you might be wondering, which way is fastest, but also safe?

Well, depending on where you go, you could sell your guitar immediately or it might take from a couple of weeks to a month. Usually going somewhere that you can sell it right away means you’ll sell it for way less than it’s worth though. 

We’ll be taking a look at some of the ways that people generally sell their equipment and how long each platform takes to produce results. 

We’ll also take a look at what contributes to selling your guitar faster while also maintaining its worth.

Fastest way of selling a guitar

Hands down, the fastest way to sell your guitar is to take it to a retail store that buys it in order to sell. There are many guitar stores that buy second-hand goods, Sam Ash and Rogue Music are two retailers that will generally buy equipment regardless of condition.

You can also sell your guitar at a pawn shop and as long as it’s in one piece, you’ll be able to get it sold. The problem with these stores is that you won’t sell your guitar for nearly the value that it’s worth.

While these stores will buy up equipment, they’re usually buying it at about half the value because they need to resell it for a profit. It may seem a little dirty that brick-and-mortar stores undersell musicians like that, but it’s a fair trade in my opinion.

You’re being guaranteed a sale on your guitar but they’re taking the risk of keeping something that may not sell for a long time. Usually, when you’re trying to sell your gear through online platforms, you take that “risk” and you might wait a long time before someone makes you an offer.

This is still the fastest way to sell your guitar though if you’re in a pinch.

How long does it take to sell a guitar online?

It can vary. There are a couple of factors that will affect how in demand your specific guitar might be and how quickly it will sell. Then again, you could have a rare collector’s item and still have it up on boards for months before getting any requests.

Selling online often takes longer than selling at a store, as in it doesn’t usually sell within the day. On average it can take anywhere from a few days to a few months to get an interest, but the key is in presentation. 

Whereas in a brick-and-mortar store, you’re likely to be able to sell your guitar with little effort – how much you’re paid out is largely dependent on the effort you put into making it look good- online requires a bit more work on your end.

If you want to even sell your guitar, you’ll need to take a couple of good pictures, including shots of any marks and scratches. You’ll need to list its make, model, and year bought, the condition it’s in, and highlight any potential flaws.

Not doing any of the above (or posting just one picture with a price) is a pretty quick way to make sure your guitar never gets sold. So be sure to put in the effort and it’ll only be a matter of time.

Online marketplaces to sell your guitar fast

Now, I’ve written another article covering the below marketplaces in greater detail and you can check it out here, but to give a quick recap. These are some well-known marketplaces you can try out.

  1. Reverb
  2. Craigslist
  3. eBay
  4. Facebook Marketplace
  5. The Music Zoo

Reverb is one of the best online marketplaces and also one of the safest. They have a dedicated support team and their platform provides user protection.

Craigslist is very popular and has been around longer than any other platform. It comes with downsides though: you won’t be getting offers from only musicians, and you have no proper user security.

eBay is about the same deal as Craiglist. You may encounter scammers and lowballers, but you do get a bit of security, unlike Craigslist.

Facebook Marketplace is lower on the list because it belongs there. You may have a great experience selling your guitar here. You may also lose your guitar to a scam.

The Music Zoo will buy up your gear and honestly, it doesn’t belong at number 5 on the list because it’s second only to Reverb. Even that is debatable. Go look into The Music Zoo.

Factors that could make your guitar sell faster

When it comes to selling your guitar, or any gear for that matter, transparency is key. People don’t like dishonesty and being the first to be open about exactly what you’re selling will help.

Some other factors that will affect how quickly your guitar sells:

  • Whether it’s a known brand like Ibanez, Fender, Gibson, Schecter, etc.
  • How detailed your description of your guitar is in your listing
  • Whether you took close-up photos of its components like the bridge saddle and tuners
  • How fair is your asking price
  • How rare your specific model might be

Some of the above reasons are pretty obvious, most buyers would prefer a Gibson or Fender strat over some copy make no-name guitar brand. 

As for having a detailed description, that goes beyond just listing some specs, but also condition and whether you’ve added modifications or have any faults on your guitar

Close-up shots help a lot with garnering trust from potential buyers. 

By having pictures of the components they’d be eyeballing during an inspection, you save them the effort and make them more likely to consider your guitar.

Having a fair asking price is also important, you can usually look up your guitar’s make, model, and release date online and you’ll get a pretty general idea of what it’s currently worth. 

This counts mainly for well-known brands, I’m not too certain how easily you’ll find pricing on something few people know about.

Lastly, we have Rarity, which can make your guitar extremely desirable to some. Some people just like to collect discontinued and rare guitars. 

What year it was made, the history around it, and its reputation will all count toward its desirability if you fit this category. 

What is a better deal selling online or to a store?

It depends on what you’re willing to put up with.

If you are focused on selling your guitar as quickly as possible and don’t care too much about how much you get for it, then a store is the best place to go. In this case, you’re more just trying to get it out of the way.

If you’d like to sell your guitar for close to the value of what you bought it for, then it’s more likely that you’ll want to sell it online.

The difference here is that it may take longer, but if you’re willing to wait a bit and put in some effort, then you’ll likely find someone willing to pay what you’re asking for.