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How to Sell Your Guitar on eBay

By Edited Nov 13, 2013 1 1

Want to know how to sell your guitar on eBay? Selling your guitar through an online auction site such as eBay can bring you some extra income. Online auction sites offer the tools you need to get your guitar seen my millions of people around the world and increase the chance that you’ll sell it to an interested party. If you have tried the newspaper or other means to sell your guitar, then online auction can offer you another opportunity to final sell that guitar that’s sitting in the closet.

Before You Sell

Before you sell the instrument you should open up an eBay account if you don’t already have one. It’s a good idea to make sure you have some feedback before you sell. You can get feedback by buying a few small items off of the site. While you can still sell without feedback, having some can make you seem like you’re a more trusted seller on the site. Another site you’ll need to join is PayPal where you can send and receive money and deposit the earnings from your guitar sale into your bank account or spend it for something online. Once you have an eBay account and a PayPal account you are ready to sell your guitar online through eBay.

What Guitars Will Sell

Don’t go onto eBay expecting to sell that cheap one hundred dollar acoustic guitar you bought from a department store. You won’t have much success selling a cheap instrument through eBay. What you want to sell is brand name gear to increase your success of a sale. If you have a brand that isn’t well known or a cheaper guitar you may make a sale by offering a package deal such as a guitar stand, distortion pedal, small amplifier, or other gear you don’t want along with the guitar.  In general through it will be tough to sell a cheap guitar on eBay that has a low dollar value unless you’re a big retail chain who can make the guitar down to next to nothing.

Auction Format

For a guitar you’ll probably want to go with the basic auction format but don’t list your guitar for a low price because it may sell for a low price. Not everyone is going to want to. For a guitar I would start the price at the bare minimum you want for the guitar. A low price could start a bidding war on your guitar or it could mean your guitar will sell low; it’s not really worth the risk. Other auction formats include buy it now for a quick sale or you can include a best offer where people will make an offer on the guitar and you can accept the best one. The choice is up to you as to which format you think is best for your instrument.

The eBay Advertisement

It’s very important when selling a big ticket item such as a guitar to make the description of the instrument as accurate as possible.  If you know the year the guitar was made you should mention this in the auction, especially if the guitar is a vintage or other highly sought after brand name guitar. Make note of any imperfection or blemishes on the guitar and list these in the auction. You want to be as accurate as possible so people understand just what they are getting by purchasing your guitar. If the guitar has a big ding on the back for example, then list this in your auction. List any recent work your guitar has had such as new frets or pickups as well.  People will want to know if the guitar is completely vintage or not for an older instrument.

Auction Images for Your Guitar

The images you supply in your eBay advertisement should be as clear as possible. You’ll want to take several snapshots of your guitar with a good digital camera and list more than one in the auction. Take a picture of the neck, body, the case, and any other important features.  Good solid images will increase the chance you make a sale. Don’t go for a simple generic picture of your guitar; get the detail in your images so people can see what they are buying from you. The images can be even more important than your basic description so take the time to do them right.

Shipping the Guitar

After the sale send the buyer an invoice and wait for payment. Now comes the hard part because you need to find a box for the guitar. You should check local music store and ask if they have any large guitar shipping boxes. This is the best place to get a quality box for your guitar. You can also check department stores and ask if they have any large boxes to give to you. If you can’t find a box you’ll need to make your own out of cardboard or buy a large shipping box.  Make sure your box is packed well and use packing peanuts or bubble wrap around the instrument. Another tip is to detune the guitar completely so the strings are slack against the fretboard. This will eliminate the neck tension on the guitar and help avoid a neck warp during transport. If the guitar goes from a warm climate into a cold climate the neck can receive damage in some cases so it’s best to be safe and detune the guitar completely before shipping it anywhere. For an electric guitar with a bolt-on neck you can even take the neck off but make sure this is ok from your buyer first and have a professional do it if you’re not sure how to proceed.


Make sure you have adequate insurance on the guitar from your shipping carrier and that you can track the guitar with a tracking number.  Before shipping the guitar ask the buyer to take pictures of the guitar and box if it arrives in a damaged condition. You can use these pictures in any claims against the postal service for the damaged goods. It’s also not a good idea to spend the money you made on the sale unless you can cover it with other income.  You should wait until the sale and shipping is complete so you know that everything arrived safely.

You Can Sell Your Guitar Through eBay

If you follow these points you can sell your guitar through eBay. There is some risk involved with selling a guitar through eBay but you can make some money on your guitar too so you need to weight those risks. There are other ways you can sell your guitar and make money but eBay is an easy option. Make sure you describe the guitar well and have several decent pictures of the instrument. Wrap the instrument well prior to shipment and make sure you have adequate insurance on it. You can sell a guitar through eBay and make a profit in the process.



Feb 13, 2012 10:06pm
I have a 1980's Ibenez Roadstar II in my basement that I have considered selling, but my kids want me to keep it! If i ever do decide to sell, your guide will be one I look for as a resource.
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