Sometimes you’ve got to come up with some emergency cash and there aren’t many things that you might have to do it. Well, if you have a guitar, one of the things that you can do is either sell or pawn your guitar at the local pawn shop.
Of course, if you are thinking about doing this then one of the main questions that you might ask yourself is how much you will get for your guitar, or specifically, how much a local pawn shop will pay you for your guitar.
Unfortunately, this isn’t a really easy question to answer because of how many different types of guitars there are out there, what conditions yours is in, if it needs work, etc.
That having been said, most pawn shops will pay you more for your guitar then local guitar retail shops or big box stores. It’s just the nature of the business really.
You see, pawn shops buy and sell all sorts of goods – be it electronics or jewelry or yes, musical instruments.
By comparison, a speciality store like a specific guitar center of some sort has to make their entire business and profit off of buying guitars super cheap and selling them for as much as they possibly can.
But to a pawn shop, it’s just another item that they can buy for a great value and sell quickly at a very fair price. Because of that, they are more likely to pay you more for your guitar than a business that has to depend on each individual transaction to make their profit margin and sales goals – which mind you – is just another way of saying that you’re not going to get the best price.
How Pawn Shops Figure Out How Much They Pay
A pawn shop will likely pay you more for your guitar than other guitar or music specific retailers.
Most pawn shops aren’t going to have guitar experts on staff that know everything about every guitar manufacturer and model out there, and unlike TV there isn’t some “Expert” just waiting by their phone for your pawnbroker to call them up.
Because of that, pawn shops will most often depend on a live used goods marketplace like eBay to determine how much a particular used guitar in a certain condition will sell for.
They will use that estimated price to figure out how much they can afford to pay you for your guitar. Typically speaking, the price that they offer you will be 40-70% of the current eBay value depending on the condition of your guitar, or how comfortable they are handling that specific item.
Now, of course, there are some guitars that are so unique or rare that there may not be similar models selling on eBay – or any that have even sold recently on eBay.
In these scenarios the pawn broker will often rely on their experience with those types of instruments to partially determine value and – for the lack of a better turn – will “go with their gut.”
Before you get nervous about that, you have to remember that pawn shops see all kinds of merchandise come through their doors every day and have a ton of experience with things that you might not normally think they would – including rare or unique guitars.
In short, you can depend on your local pawn shop to give you a great price for your gently used guitar and will probably have an excellent experience. Even better, you’re going to get the fast cash you need to cover whatever has come up.
Mandy Dormain started working for Pawn Nerd in 2020. Mandy grew up in a small town in northern Tennessee. But moved to New York for university. Before joining Pawn Nerd, Mandy briefly worked as a freelance journalist for several radio stations. She covers politics and economy stories.