February 15, 2018
Whether you're starting a new hobby or an experienced guitarist, you can save hundreds of dollars buying a used guitar. Mr. Deals buys and sells musical instruments and other equipment, especially used guitars! and here are 4 tips from our guitar specialist on what to look for in a used guitar.
The three basic categories are acoustic guitars, electric guitars, and plug-in acoustic guitars.
Which type is the best to start with? That's easy. The best type of guitar to get is the one that you're most excited to play. Learning a new skill is easiest when you're eager to do it. Buy if you're going to press us on the issue then electric guitars are physically easier to play. This is because they have lighter strings and smaller bodies.
Some common brands we carry include Yamaha, Ibanez, and Epiphone. We also have high-end guitar brands like Gibson and Taylor. These brands produce a range of guitars starting from only a few hundred dollars to upwards of thousands. At Mr. Deals you'll get a used guitar at only a fraction of the price!
We research every guitar that we buy to learn about the model, the age, and the average resale value. We don't usually deal with nameless or off-brand guitars but we do buy them occassionally if the price is right. These types of guitars are good, cheap options for parents to buy for their young children.
For this section, you'll need to know some guitar vocabulary. This image below will help.
This image shows the parts of a guitar on both an acoustic guitar and an electric guitar. The image source is freeguitarsource.com.
Sometimes guitars warp with age, which means constant de-tuning and lack of clear, crisp sound. Check the guitar's neck for any problems. The video below is a great guide.
Always examine a used guitar in detail to ensure there is no major damage. Slight cosmetic damage, such as scratches and chips in the lacquer will not affect playability. We do buy and sell used guitars with normal wear and tear.
Larger types of damage—rust, cracks, and mold—are can be signs of poor care. These are guitars that you want to avoid unless you have the skills or money to repair them.
Always inspect your prospective instrument from the bottom to the top. The body of the guitar should be ridged and free of those large types of damage. Glued parts, like the bridge and pick guard, need to be fixed in place and flush against the guitar.
Pay special attention to the point in which the body and neck meet, as this part of the guitar can be prone to cracking. Horizontal cracks are another common problem in regards to the neck. It is important to note that hairline cracks can and will grow larger/deeper over time.
When you reach the headstock, check the tuners and capstans to make sure they aren’t too loose. If a tuner is unable to hold its position, the string will not remain tuned. This is frustrating and can negatively affect playability.
As a final note, the condition of the strings are important to check but should not be a deterrent. You should replace your guitar strings after purchasing a used guitar. We clean the strings on the guitars we sell because they get dirty with use. Replacing guitar strings is the easiest and most common guitar maintenance.
Don’t forget to try before you buy. At Mr. Deals, we encourage you to try out our guitars. We even have seating and amps for you to connect to (and buy)! Playing a used guitar is one of the best ways to detect problems like buzzing or vibrations from loose parts. It's also the best way to figure out if you like the way the guitar feels to play it!
If you are playing a used electric guitar, gently wiggle the cord near the output jack to make sure the connection isn’t faulty. If there is a sound issue, request a different amp to make sure it isn’t coming from the guitar itself.
Take note of how comfortable the guitar is for you while you play it. Be sure that the neck is wide enough to accommodate your fingers, and that the shape of the body rests easily between your arm and leg. An uncomfortable guitar can lead to poor posture and bad playing habits.
Now that you know what to look for, the next step is to visit our pawn shop and check out our used guitar selection! We thoroughly inspect all our guitars when we buy them so you know you're getting a quality guitar at a great price. We also buy guitars if you're looking to sell your guitar or trade it in towards a new one.
We often have accessories such as cases, picks, strings, and straps available. If you're looking for a particular model or brand, feel free to give us a call. If you want to sell your guitar we would need to physically see it to make an offer so bring it on by the store!
Monday to Saturday: 10am to 7pm.