How to Pawn or Sell a Guitar

January 12, 2020 - Equipment and Tools

The guitar is known for its rich sound, affordability, portability, and popularity.

A guitar can cost between $50 to a million, depending on its make and rarity. Not all pawn shops are experts in guitars, but some are very familiar with them. Those shops are the likeliest to see the hidden value in your guitar, and to make you the best offer. In rare cases, guitars have incredible value because of their previous owner – maybe Prince, Jimi Hendrix, or my personal favorite, Slash. If you have a guitar you would like to pawn or sell, here are a couple tips on how to get the best offer for your guitar.


Before you present your guitar to the pawnbroker, make sure it works. If you have to restring the guitar, do it. Have it tuned so that when the pawnbroker hears how it plays, and he’ll be more inclined to give you a great offer. If you have any scratches or dents on your guitar, I would advise you to leave them be, unless it impairs the quality of sound the guitar produces.

Paper Work

It is really important to provide proof of where you originally bought your guitar from. Where you purchased your guitar could determine how much your pawnbroker will offer. If you got your guitar from Wal-Mart, then expect to get between $20-$30 for your guitar. Guitars from Wal-Mart are cheaply made and aren’t in huge demand. If you got your guitar from Guitar Center and it’s a Fender, Gibson, Paul Read Smith, or Yahama, you’re looking at an offer around 20-30% of its retail value. If your guitar is a popular name brand guitar or the was previously owned by a famous guitarist, then you’re looking at an offer price closer or exceeding retail value. Of course, that all depends on which famous guitarist it is, and if you can prove it. Bring the paperwork that provides the guitar’s history, its make, and where you got it from.


If you have any accessories you’re willing to part with or don’t need, like the guitar case, pick, stand, or tuning clamp, include them with your guitar. Adding accessories to your guitar can increase your offer. Pawn shops like items that come in a total package because they’re easier to sell.

If you follow all my instructions, you should be able to get a great offer price on your guitar. If you have any questions, please feel free to send us an email at We’re eager to help!

David Stiebel
David Stiebel

David Stiebel is one of the cofounders of PawnGuru. David was educated at MIT, where he studied Math. He subsequently worked at Bain as a data scientist before starting PawnGuru in 2015. He started PawnGuru to build a better tool for pawn shops and consumers to connect.

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Avatar for Ivy Baker

Ivy Baker

July 12, 2017, 12:16 AM

This is some really good information about buying or selling a guitar to a pawn shop. I liked that you talked about how you should bring paperwork to show you bought the guitar originally. It does seem like a good thing to know about if you are going to buy a guitar.

Avatar for Elsa Anderson

Elsa Anderson

July 7, 2018, 1:45 AM

It made sense when you said to ensure the quality of the sound of the guitar and make the right fixes to tune it in before presenting it to the pawnshop to sell it. In that way, you can show them that it is still up for use and will likely buy it to you at a good, fair price. No one wants to buy an instrument that is overly poor quality beyond repair, otherwise the performance of the next person who will be using it will be compromised. If I were to sell my Fender to a reputable pawnshop, I’ll make sure to restore its good condition just the way you said it.

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