Some Advice Regarding Guitar Valuations

Sparkys Les Paul Copper Top

Hello guys and girls!

My Guitar Buddies is a wonderful web-resource for information sharing on the topic of guitars, basses, pedals, accessories, and nearly everything you could want to know about modern stringed instruments.

Our moderators and senior sages are volunteers with many years of guitar playing experience, and many of us actively gig in bands. Chances are, if you are experiencing a problem or have a question to ask, we have been in your shoes before, and we can nearly always help out!

We offer guitar valuations here at My Guitar Buddies, and those valuations are based upon information that we draw from the official Blue Books of guitar valuations (both electric and acoustic) published by Zachary R. Fjested. We also rely upon information that we draw from other internet sources, and from our own years of experience with guitars of all shapes and sizes.

Our valuations are meant to help you figure out what you should expect to receive from a prospective buyer, should you decide to sell your guitar. These valuations are also designed to help you determine whether somebody else is asking too much (or too little) for a guitar or bass that you are considering purchasing.

A few notes;

* If you buy a guitar via the internet, sight-unseen, you are rolling the dice.
It is always best to hold, play, stroke, caress, and otherwise peruse a guitar in person before you lay down your hard-earned cash for it!

* Our guitar valuations are not written, bona-fide guitar APPRAISALS.
Formal appraisals are provided in several large cities by expert, professional appraisers, and you will always pay a reasonable fee for that service. When you DO have your instrument formally appraised, you will have in your hands a written document that carries a lot of weight at auction and during the sale of a valuable, collectible instrument. (A 1959 Gibson Les Paul, for instance, or a 1954 Fender Stratocaster.)

When you post a query here on My Guitar Buddies regarding your guitar, it is important that you provide as much information as possible about the guitar, so that we may be best able to assist you.
This information includes, make, model (if known), color, features, serial number, and overall condition.

Here is an example of a bad guitar valuation query:
“How much is my guitar worth? It’s red, and it says, ‘Harmony’ on it?”
(This is a terrible query because the visitor doesn’t clarify whether the guitar is a solid-body electric guitar, or a wooden acoustic guitar. He or she also fails to provide any model information, features, serial number, or condition.)

Now, here is an example of a slightly BETTER guitar valuation query:
“How much is my El Toro electric guitar worth? It is black with a white pick-guard, it is shaped like a Fender Stratocaster, and it’s in pretty good shape, i.e.; no chips or big scratches.”
(Okay, now we are getting somewhere. We have a make, a general feature description, we know it is a solid-body electric, and we know the condition. We can probably provide a decent valuation based upon this information alone.)

THIS is an EXCELLENT guitar valuation query:
“How much is my guitar worth? It is an Ibanez Iceman IC100, and my dad bought it in the late 1970’s. It’s still in the original hard-shell case. The guitar is white with two chrome hum-buckers in it, and three knobs. The serial number is K781129. It is in practically-brand new condition, and there isn’t a scratch on it.”
(We have make, model, color, features, serial number, and overall condition!)

Special note: Photos can make all the difference.
Attaching jpg photographs of the guitar in question can really help a lot, and when the photos are clear and crisp, life can be wonderful.
Photos of the front and back of the headstock, and/or base of the neck (where we can read the serial numbers and clearly say the factory logos and stickers), WOW. That makes our day, and makes our job so much easier.

That’s all I have for now.
I’ll stand aside and allow kcbuck and the other fellows to chime in with comments and advice.

Good luck, and have a wonderful time buying or selling your guitar!

So... what do you think? Please leave me a comment.


  • Vale: Good advice and info Sparky!
  • Leen Fable: Hi Sparky
    I have an Epiphone les Paul, black with cream binding and and cream pickup surrounds with gibson on the truss rod cover and gold pots. The serial number is S00115240 It has a made in Korea sticker on the back of the headstock, Im guessing that it is from the Samick factory,but Im not sure how the numbers refer to the date.Can you help ? It is in quite good condition with a few dents and scratches but mostly on the back...any idea of approx value
    Do you still fly ?
    Leen Fable
  • Sparky2: Leen Fable,
    The guitar was made at the Samick factory in November of 2000.
    Value is $200 in the condition you describe.
    Sorry to be so long getting back to you.
    I have been traveling a LOT lately.
  • Moose: I think you covered all the bases and very descriptive information. I almost feel I have seen the guitar without looking at any photos!!!!!! Great job! I only have one regret and that being, I wish I’d read your post before I posted a question but it’ll be alright. Thanks for the info and the model example inquiry. Have a great evening and till next time later.

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