The search for the perfect guitar can be a tedious yet ultimately rewarding experience.
The most fundamental form of this quest is a beginner stopping by one of several large retailers to purchase a starter kits.
For a more advanced player, it may not be as simple.
Every factor from the quality of parts to the way it makes the player feel can factor into the decision, making it more than possible to have to try several before finding the right one. When understanding the vintage and rare guitar world, this attention to detail becomes even more particular.
A vintage guitar is typically is about 30 years or older.
However, while it may be true that your guitar is old, there are several additional actors which can influence its vintage market value. This is true if you’re a lifetime private collector, or even someone who’s come across what you think may be a rare find and is looking to make a sale.
Before you ever put your guitar in the hands of the professionals there are easy details which can help you understand what vintage guitar prices depend on, what the potential market value is, and ultimately, how to ensure that your instrument is in the hands of the best appraisers.
How Vintage is My Guitar?
There are a few standard things you can check for before diving into the world of guitar appraisal and which are good factors to understand before getting it appraised:
- Condition – Let’s face it. Even a car less than a year old with severe damage won’t hold its market value, and it’s not much different for vintage guitars. After a certain point of damage, it doesn’t matter how old your guitar is. Its value will be greatly impacted
- Rarity/Demand – It’s economics 101 – supply and demand. A vintage guitar will hold a certain value in any case, but a guitar that’s missing piece of an enthusiast’s collection can influence how much you’ll get for it.
- Age – Examine the guitar for its brand, model number, and any other manufacturer details. You might be able to find it listed in Vintage Guitar Magazine and be greatly informed on its going price.
- Provenance Value – You don’t have to be an experienced appraiser to know that a guitar owned, used, or even signed by famous musicians will positively affect its price.
All of these can affect a vintages guitar’s prices. A guitar owned by world-famous musician could be priced at hundreds of thousands of dollars in the market. But it being in poor condition could drastically change that.
Getting into the specifics can become tricky especially if you’re trying to sell it online to private sellers.
Trusted vintage experts like Vintage Guitar Magazine and Normans Rare Guitars are resources for knowing what your guitar’s market value currently is and also in providing expert sources to appraise it.
Vintage Guitar Magazine
Vintage Guitar Magazine has been educating in the vintage guitar community since 1986. Since its beginning, it has principally been focused on rare vintage guitars, and throughout the years has added feature articles, review, interviews, and more.
In addition to the general magazine, VG publishes a yearly price guide. This publication covers more than 2,000 brands of vintage guitars, amps, basses, pedals, and more and is an industry leader in terms of vintage pricing guides.
Normans Rare Guitars
Normans Rare Guitars is a store in the San Fernando Valley, which for over 30 years, have been the authority on vintage guitars.
Normans is known worldwide for the purchasing, selling repairing and trading vintage guitars. It has a client base including well-known musicians and large brands like Gibson and Fender.
Their appraisal options range from a visual appraisal for condition and authenticity, to physically dissecting the guitar to examine every inch of it. No matter which option, Normans provides you with your guitar’s value and will be willing to purchase it in most cases.
Your Vintage Guitar
If you’ve got an old axe collecting dust in the garage or hanging on the wall, there are many resources at your disposal for not only understanding vintage guitar prices, but for ensuring that you securely and professionally receive what your guitar is worth.
Accessing this knowledge will cost you minutes, which is a much better expense than learning that you could have gotten thousands more for your rare instrument.