Looking to buy a cheap guitar? There are many places you can look for a cheap guitar. There’s no reason you need to pay retail when you want to purchase a guitar. Oder guitars are just as good as new guitars if you get the right one. People will buy a guitar but get tired of it and the instrument will sit in a closet and never be played. You can take advantage of these forgotten guitars and buy yourself a good quality guitar for a fraction of the cost of a retail instrument.  This article looks at several ways you could buy a cheap guitar and keep more of your money.

Buy a Cheap Guitar Through the Newspaper

The newspaper is still a great place to look for a quality instrument. Check the classifieds for guitars near your area so you don’t waste additional money on gasoline or bus fare going to look at the guitar. It’s recommended that you take someone with you just to be on the safe side but that’s up to you. Ask the person selling the guitar if you can try it out and look for anything that might indicate a scam or severely damaged guitar. Avoid any guitar that has a deep bow in the neck as this indicated that the neck is probably trashed. Play the guitar and listen for buzzing notes or notes that fret out as this is another indicator of a bad neck.  The body of the guitar won’t matter even if it’s full of dents and dings because this really doesn’t impact the sound of the guitar. Plug the guitar cable in if it’s an electric guitar and listen for cracks and pops which might indicate a bad jack. Play through the pickup selector switch so you don’t find out that the guitar has a bad pickup or needs electrical work.  Bargain with the seller and work out a price that works for the both of you. This is an easy way to buy a good cheap guitar because you have control over what you’re buying.

Closing Stores/Holidays

Rack of GuitarsCredit: Morguefile

Sometimes a music shop goes out of business and this can be an excellent time to buy a guitar. In fact you might get a brand new guitar for next to nothing if the retailer is desperate to dump their stock. You need to catch these types of bargains quickly because they won’t last long. Make sure you go early in the day so you can get first pick at the selection. Boxing Day and Black Friday events are other times when you can get very cheap guitars. This requires patience as the stores will be jammed packed with people


Another place you can buy a good cheap guitar is through online auction site such as eBay. This is a bit risky as the guitar needs to be shipped to you and the instrument could get damaged in transit. Some sellers will also markup their guitars for more than they are worth. Make sure you check the retail prices before you shop on eBay for your next guitar. Ask the seller for additional images or information on the guitar so you know exactly what you’re getting. Make sure you don’t get into a bidding war with someone because you might be tempted to pay extra for the guitar. You also need to factor in the cost of shipping which can be expensive for a package such as a guitar.

Online Scratch and Dent Sales

Many online guitar retailers will sell new guitars at rock bottom prices if they have any small flaws in the instrument. You can get brand name equipment this way for huge savings. Check all the online retailers such as Musicians friend for scratch and dent guitars. These instruments will go fast so don’t hesitate to buy one or it will be gone the next time you look. It’s a good idea to check daily and see if there’s something you might like.

Musician Forums

Sometimes you’ll run across other guitar players who are selling their guitars through a forum. You might be able to bargain with them or exchange the guitar for a piece of old gear you have that you don’t want any longer. You can find cheap guitars this way but you need to be at the right place at the right time.

Flea Markets/Garage Sales/Pawn

On occasion you can find good gear at flea market or garage sale. At these places you can bargain with the seller and work out a reasonable price. Be sure to go extra early to these events because if you wait all the good merchandise will be gone long before you get there. A pawn shop is also another place to llk for a good cheap guitar. If you have anything to trade with you can take it with you and see if you can get a guitar for a reduced rate. Just remember that the pawn shop is looking to make a profit on the guitar so you need to be careful when it comes to prices so you don’t pay more than what you want to spend.

Trade In

Another way to get a guitar for cheap is to take your current guitar to a music store and ask if they do trade-ins. Sometimes you can get a reduced price on a new guitar in this way. This is usually best with a smaller guitar shop and not a big chain store.  A chain store probably won’t care unless they can make a decent profit off of your instrument. If you have an older guitar that is in demand this might work. It can’t hurt to try this method. I traded in an older guitar this way and got a percentage off my newer guitar through a small guitar shop in my town.

You Can Buy a Cheap New or Used Guitar

There are many ways to buy cheap instruments. Look to your local newspapers and advertisement sin malls. Try a garage sale or local flea market. Visit your local music store or pawn shop and make trades if you have gear to barter with. Go online and make deals through online forums or bid for a guitar at an auction site such as eBay. Check online retailers for scratch and dent sales and find a cheap guitar there. Watch for store closeouts and other bargains during holidays such as Black Friday. You can buy a good cheap guitar it just takes some effort and searching on your part.