If you’ve decided to shop for a vintage guitar on eBay, whether you are looking for an acoustic guitar or an electric guitar, there are some things that you will want to keep in mind as you consider auction listings. Here’s what you need to know before you bid.
Vintage Guitars should be in original condition
If the future value of a vintage guitar is important to you, then one of the things you will need to be concerned about before you buy one is whether or not it is in original condition. When it comes to antiques and vintage items that people collect, any sort of repair or refinishing to the collectible — whether that is a guitar from the 1920s or 17th century Colonial furniture — damages its value. Collectors value guitars in good original condition. So you want to look for a vintage guitar that has not had any significant repairs and one that has definitely not been refinished. And the better the original condition the more valuable the guitar is going to be.
Is the guitar free of major issues?
You want to make sure there are plenty of photos in the auction so you can really scrutinize the guitar to the best of your ability, since you won’t be able to hold it in your hands before making a decision about purchasing it. One area in particular you want to pay close concern to is the neck of the guitar. The guitar’s neck is prone to bowing in older instruments or it may have a bad angle in its bridge and could need resetting.
As for wear, you are naturally going to see some wear on any vintage guitar unless it’s been kept under lock and key for years and never played. Wear is fine. It gives your instrument character and shows that it has had a life as a played instrument. Abuse is not fine. You want to buy a guitar from someone who has taken care of it so look for major scratches, cracks and warping in the wood.
Never bid on anything until you are certain that you have an accurate description of what is being sold and terms of the deal. If there is information missing, contact the seller before you bid. If you want to clarify terms like shipping or returns, then contact the seller before you bid.
Also, be sure to take a look at the seller’s feedback ratings. An occasional negative rating of a high volume seller is not unusual since some people are never happy, so you can probably ignore a negative here and there, but if there are more than a few, I would look for another seller. For someone who doesn’t have a long term selling history on eBay, I wouldn’t consider anyone with less than 99% TO 100% positive feedback.
Vintage guitars frequently sell for hundreds of dollars on eBay so it really makes sense to take your time and do your homework before clicking the bid now button.