Good Reasons to Buy Used Guitars
Buying your next guitar can be a tough decision. What kind do you get? What brand? Are you better to buy the cheap one now, only to buy a more expensive one later? Or save in the long run by getting the fancy one right away? Should you buy a new guitar? Or a used guitar?
Buying new has the advantage of picking the exact model you want, and knowing it will be backed by some level of warranty. Buying used can feel a little more daunting, but here are some reasons to take the plunge into the used market...
Here’s why I like to buy used guitars:
More value for the money.
This is one area that guitars are like cars. They decrease in value the second you drive them off the lot. On average when buying used, you’ll be getting just as good an instrument for nearly half the price. Or double the instrument you’d get brand new for the same price. Often, providing you are buying a well taken care of instrument, you’ll find it plays better, holds tune better, etc as this is an instrument that has already had it’s kinks worked out.
They’re more interesting.
I like used stuff in general. There’s something about picking something off the rack when it’s sitting there all lonesome like. And there’s something missing for me when I pick something off the rack out of a line-up of 20 others looking just the same as one another. From funky colours, to interesting shapes, to the natural and random wear & tear, or the scars an item has earned through the years all help give a guitar a soul, a personality, a story. New lacks history. New is shiny, but boring.
You can buy more guitars.
OK, so this point isn’t REEALLY different from my first point about value. If something costs less obviously you can buy more of it. But this is still important enough to earn it’s own point. You may be unsure of this new venture on which you are about to embark. It’s new, it’s scary, but trust me, you’ll love it - and you won’t be able to stop at just one. That’s why this article is about your “next” guitar, and not your “only” guitar. There will be more, so make it a little easier on yourself, and shop 2nd hand.
They don’t make guitars like they used to.
Or where they used to. One of my prized used guitars is a 1958 Harmony Stratotone. This was not a high end guitar - it was a Sears catalogue guitar. Made by hand in the USA. It’s a work of art and I love it. As an entry level guitar, it rivals the quality of most high end guitars put together today.
Guitar technology and guitar building, like anything is seeing improvements and advancements all the time, the it’s of course still worth paying attention to the new products coming out - but in my days of guitar collecting those random used finds have always been the acquisitions I’ve enjoyed the most. A world or treasure hunting awaits.