Pawning or Selling a Bass Guitar?

February 03, 2020 - Equipment and Tools

35 percent of people have a few hundred dollars in their savings account, while 34 percent have nothing at all.

That means that if there’s a financial crisis, a lot of people are going to be looking hard for fast ways to raise money. Old musical instruments can be a good way to do that.

You’ve rummaged through your storage closet and found an old bass guitar that looks to be in decent shape. Should you pawn it or sell it, and how?

Keep reading to find out all you need to know about how to pawn or sell used musical instruments.

The Value of Your Bass Guitar

It’s going to be tempting to walk into the nearest pawn shop and hand over your guitar in exchange for quick cash. If you need fast cash, that’s a viable option, but it’s not always the best one.

Here’s why: Not every pawn shop employee is going to know how much used musical instruments are worth. Some will, of course, and others who don’t will take a little time to do some research, but there’s no guarantee you’ll walk into a pawn shop that knows its stuff.

On the other hand, not many people have time to go to a music shop and get their instrument appraised. The best middle ground might be taking your bass to two or three different pawn shops, ideally ones that sell musical instruments.

If you have time to do that you can make sure you’re getting a decent return for your bass guitar. A little comparison shopping now can save you a lot of grief later. You can even list an item online and watch the offers roll in.

Pawning Versus Selling

The words “pawn” and “sell” are often used interchangeably, but there are some key differences that you need to know before you take your bass guitar into a pawn shop.

If you sell an item, it’s not yours anymore. It belongs to the person who paid you for it. That’s easy to understand, right?

Pawning an item, however, is a bit more complicated. Let’s say you pawn your bass guitar. In this case, the bass guitar is collateral that you give the pawn shop.

In return for that collateral, the pawn shop gives you a certain amount of cash. It won’t be the full value of the item. If you can repay that loan within a certain time frame, then you get your item back.

If you can’t, then the item belongs to the pawn shop.

How much money are we talking here? The average pawn shop loan stood at around $150 in 2016. It may not seem like a lot, but that can be the difference between making rent or getting evicted.

A Better Pawn Shop Experience

You’ve decided to sell your bass guitar, but are you’re still feeling a little uncertain about the whole process?

Luckily, you don’t have to go it alone. We want to demystify the pawn shop process.

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.

More Articles


Avatar for Sarah Smith

Sarah Smith

December 4, 2018, 9:50 PM

My cousin needs just $125 more to pay rent and no one in the family has funds that he can borrow. He would really appreciate your information that he can pawn off his guitar for cash and still be able to get it back if he pays the loan in time. Growing up, he always had a guitar with him, so being able to pawn it instead of outright sell it will be really helpful for him.

Comments are now disabled