Pretty much any guitarist or bassist has done it: tried to flog their spare guitar or bass online via sites like Gumtree, Facebook or eBay. Sometimes, things just don’t go fast enough, or no one is really interested in your goods. All of this can change! Here, Guestblogger, Dean van der Knaap lends a helping hand with these tips and tricks to help you sell off your second-hand guitar.

Zo verkoop je je tweedehands gitaar het snelst

The Most Common Advertising Errors

I’ll often be scrolling through some second-hand site or other online marketplace and see terrible ads that, unfortunately, just don’t land because of really bad photos or a terrible write-up. Here’s a list summing up the top three second-hand ad errors:

  • An unclear title. A good example is a heading like ‘Used but nice guitar’ or ‘Beautiful guitar’, which don’t say anything about the make or model – something that buyers understandably find pretty important.
  • Little to no description. The description is a really important factor when it comes to selling anything.
  • Bad, blurry photos. Bad photos don’t just give buyers a bad impression of the instrument you’re trying to sell, but don’t exactly leave your ‘audience’ wanting to know more.

Read on to get some tips and tricks to make your adverts pop!

An Attention-grabbing Title

We’ll start with one of the most crucial bits: the title. As I’ve already mentioned, most self-respecting buyers will want to know the make and model of a guitar straight away. Including these kinds of details in the title also makes you look like a reliable seller: someone who actually knows what they’re selling. Including the make and model in the title also increases the chances of someone actually being able to find your advert, since most buyers will actively search for the model that they’re looking for. But how do you write an attention-grabbing title that’s clear and best describes your guitar?

  • For a start, what’s the make of your guitar? Most of the time, the make (Fender, Ibanez, Squier, and so on) will be clearly stamped across the headstock or body. The name of the specific model is often on the headstock or body as well. E.g. ‘Squier Affinity MBK’. Both of these details are essential when it comes to writing your title.
  • A couple of examples of titles that spice things up a bit are: ‘Shred-worthy Ibanez GRG’ or ‘Fat Squier Affinity’. Also, if your guitar has a really long model name, it might be best to shorten it a bit and include the full model name in the description.
  • Of course, you’re free to go nuts with your own ideas!

Don’t Skimp on the Description

The description is also going to have a big say in whether or not your guitar is going to sell. You’re highly unlikely to buy that new laptop if the description reads something like ‘Laptop for daily use!’ It’s far more likely that you want to know things like the kind of processor and how much memory it has. Unsurprisingly, anyone shopping for a guitar also wants to know about the specifications. While beginner guitarists might not care so much, the more experienced guitarist looking for a specific axe will certainly want to know the details. By adding some specifications to your description, your ad will also be easier to find since a lot of guitar buyers will often use specific search terms to find what they’re looking for, like a certain kind of bridge.

Important specifications to list:

  • The full name of the model you’re selling
  • The condition of the guitar
  • The year the guitar was produced (and maybe whether or not you have the warrant card)
  • The reason you’re selling the guitar
  • Whether buyers can opt for delivery or if they need to come and pick it up
  • Can buyers come over and try out the guitar before they buy?
  • Maybe it’s worth including a link to a site that lists the full specifications of the model, including details like the wood and hardware. More and more sellers are doing this.

The Photos… Can You Really Sell Your Guitar at a Glance?

The photos are the bit where most sellers fall short. They’re often horrible, blurry shots with bad lighting where you get a great view of someone’s bedroom and a terrible view of the guitar. These kinds of photos make it painfully obvious that they’ve just been taken without any care or thought. This is a shame for your guitar, since you’re not representing it well and there’s no chance that it’s going to pop out among the thousands of other guitars that were posted that day. Try to be a bit creative with your photos. While there are no specific rules when it comes to taking shots of your guitar, here are some tips and tricks that might help:

  • I personally prefer natural lighting in photos. This might be in your living room near a window or even outside in the garden or on the balcony.
  • The more photos you take from different angles, the better. By taking a photo from a more slanted angle, like the first photo below, you create a little depth and realism. This only makes your guitar more appealing.
  • If you want to take some photos outside then make sure that the temperature difference between indoors and outdoors isn’t too big. This is bad for the wood of your guitar.
  • It’s also smart that you set your guitar up somewhere stable or on something (say, a guitar stand) where it’s not in danger of falling over and getting scratched up or dented unnecessarily,
  • Does your guitar already have a couple of deep scratches, chips, dents or other war-wounds? Then be honest and take some clear close-ups of any damage. When your seller comes to check out the guitar, they’ll find out anyway, so you might as well let them know well before they make the trip.

Here are a few examples of how you can position and photograph your guitar indoors as well as outdoors:

As you can see, I’ve put the guitar on a stand, so it’s not lying on the floor or leaning against a wall, where it can easily slip and fall over:

Zo verkoop je je tweedehands gitaar het snelst

This model also really shines when sitting outside in the sun:

Zo verkoop je je tweedehands gitaar het snelst

Below, you can see a few little nicks and dents. I make sure that these are really clear, so the buyer knows exactly what they’re getting:

Zo verkoop je je tweedehands gitaar het snelst

Sealing the Deal

Congratulations! Your much-loved but no longer needed shredder is on the edge of being sold. Now, it’s time to seal the deal.

  • Personally, whether I’m buying or selling, I find it important to treat each other politely and to communicate clearly. When a buyer comes over to check out the guitar, make sure to speak clearly. If you’re sending a message about how the guitar can be packed up and delivered, write a really clear message. These are simple details but they’re worth mentioning.
  • When you’ve come to an agreement and then suddenly get a higher offer from someone else, what you do next is entirely up to you. Just make the situation really clear for the original buyer, otherwise they might think you’re taking them for a ride.

To Finish…

Here are all of the tips summed up in a neat list:

  • Think up a clear, attention-grabbing title (including the make and model)
  • Write a description that includes all of the essential information
  • Take a few photos indoors or outdoors and make sure that the lighting is good and that your photos are sharp and clear
  • Make a clear agreement with your buyer about the price and the delivery or pick-up
  • Celebrate the sale of your guitar by buying a new one! (You might want to check your bank account first)

Thanks for reading! If you have any more tips and tricks for selling your guitar, let us know in the comments below!

See also…

» Repair the Electronics of Your Electric Guitar Yourself? Really?!
» Set Up Your Electric Guitar
» What’s the Difference Between a Cheap and Expensive Electric Guitar?
» How Much Does the Wood of a Guitar Fretboard Matter?

» All Guitars & Accessories
» All Bass Guitars & Accessories

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