How to Save Money When Buying a Guitar

Table of Contents:

Buying a new guitar is one of the most joyful moments of life for musicians everywhere. There’s something about holding the guitar, admiring its woodworking and strumming that first chord that makes the cost worth every penny. But, the truth of the matter is, guitars can be expensive to buy — especially brand new ones. If you’ve recently seen some hefty price tags on guitars, then you may be wondering how to save money when buying one.

Everyone wants to get the pristine guitar of their dreams, but everyone also wants to save their money so they can pay their bills at the end of the month. Perhaps this is where the phrase “starving artist” comes from. There will always be tension between the guitar one wants and the guitar one can actually afford. But thankfully, there are plenty of ways you can get a great guitar at a price you can afford.

10 Ways to Save Money When Buying a Guitar

Saving money is a big deal for people whose hobby involves music. Musical gear can add up, whether you’re recording, playing live or simply practicing for your own enjoyment. And at the center of many musicians’ setups is their guitars, which can often be the most expensive part. With this in mind, here are 10 ways you can save your money when you’re in the market for a guitar.

1. Buy Used

One of the best tactics you can use to save money on your next guitar is to buy used. Musicians are constantly buying and selling gear, sometimes owning gear for brief periods of time before wanting to sell again. This leads to a vibrant market for used musical gear. And since guitars are so popular, you can be sure you can find a great used guitar at an even better price.

Compare this concept to the automotive industry. A new car loses a great deal of its value after its buyer drives it off the lot. This is why so many people buy used cars instead of new ones. Music gear retains its value considerably better than automobiles, but the concept still applies. You’re sure to find a lightly used guitar that looks as good as new at a more affordable price than the same guitar fresh out of the box from the manufacturer.

2. Use the Internet

The internet is a great tool for today’s musicians. Besides being a platform for musicians to share their music with the world, it also offers two other fantastic benefits:

  • Information
  • Online buying and selling

Thanks to the internet, you can research all types of guitars to find your favorite. Then, you can scour websites to see what the guitar is selling for new and used. You can then stack this information up against online listings to ensure you’re getting a fair and honest deal.

Contact Us

And this leads to the next point. A lot of buying and selling happens online, with people listing their guitars and other music gear for sale on various websites. With some patience and a discerning eye, you can find your next guitar online at a great price. Make sure you read reviews to ensure you’re buying from a trusted seller and that the hosting website is reputable, too.

3. Avoid No-No-No Plans

No-no-no plans refer to those advertisements that say things that entice you to make an unwise buying decision. Statements like “no money down,” “no interest for 6 months” and “no payments for 90 days” may seem great at first. Indeed, they are great benefits at face value. But companies offer them in the hopes that you’ll be unable to make your first payment so they can hit you with massive interest on your new guitar.

The truth is that life can take some unexpected turns. Employment and steady income are not always guaranteed, and if something unfortunate occurs, one could find making their first payment on the guitar difficult or impossible. Then, the money you’re spending on that guitar becomes a whole lot more. It’s best to avoid these tempting offers and play it safe to save money.

4. Visit Your Local Music Store

Shopping local has its perks. Besides getting to know the people behind the counter and receiving personalized customer service, you could find a great deal on a guitar. Maybe someone in your community sold their guitar to the shop, and now they have it on sale for a great price. Sometimes, local stores will offer better deals than the big box stores to compete and get more people in the door. Some shop owners have special connections that allow them to post low prices on their guitars.

Be sure to pay your local music store a visit. You may catch them at the right time and get a low price on your next guitar.

5. Buy Refurbished or Aesthetically Damaged

If you can see past light damage or scratches and you can save a lot of money on a used guitar. Plenty of guitars online, in-store and at pawn shops play perfectly fine — they just have some cosmetic issues. Characteristics like scratched paint and dented wood are visual and have no effect on the sound quality coming from the guitar. But these characteristics can slash the price of an otherwise expensive model.

If you don’t mind a little cosmetic wear and tear, then buying refurbished or lightly damaged guitars could be your way of getting a low price.

6. Let Your Social Circles Know You’re Looking

Sometimes the best way to find a guitar at a low price is to ask around. This is especially true if you have musician friends who keep their eyes peeled for great deals on a regular basis. Telling your friends either in-person or online that you’re looking for a guitar at a certain price point can help you locate one. With a little help from your friends, you could come across the perfect guitar at the perfect price.

7. Haggle or Ask for a Lower Price

It may feel awkward at first, but haggling is still an effective way to get a lower price on a guitar. Places like pawn shops are willing to offer lower prices to discerning customers. Make sure you know what you’re talking about, though, or you could end up losing some of your haggling power.

Contact Us

When buying from private sellers, have some confidence to ask for a lower price. Be willing to walk away if the seller is unwilling to work with you. Walking away could make the seller change their mind and meet you halfway to secure the sale. You have some power as the buyer, so be sure to use it wisely.

8. Wait for a Holiday Sale

The holidays are a great time to get a solid deal on your next guitar. During the holidays, stores want to clear out their old stock and will put last year’s guitars on sale to make room for newer models. Plus, stores want to meet their sales quotas, and any employees who make a commission will do what it takes to land a sale.

So, keep a lookout. That guitar you’ve had your eyes on for the last few months could be a bit more affordable when the holidays roll around.

9. Save Up for a Good Guitar

Spending more to save money may seem like a contradiction, but it’s a true statement when buying a guitar. If you save money for a guitar of high quality, you can enjoy a solid instrument for years to come with minimal issues. On the flip side, buying a cheap guitar now could force you to pay for a lot more trips to your guitar repair person. Over time, you could end up spending more than you would have if you had saved up for the better, pricier guitar.

10. Buy a Guitar Bundle

Another good way to save money is to buy a guitar bundle. Bundles include the guitar as well as other accessories for a discounted price. Often, the added accessories are ones you’ll end up spending money on anyway. They can include things like a guitar strap, a case or a cable to plug into your amp. Some guitar bundles even include a small amp to practice on. If you can find a guitar bundle with items you know you need, then you could save some serious money.

Is It Worth Buying a Cheap Guitar?

Above, we mentioned that one way to save money over time is to save up for a more expensive, higher-quality guitar. Many musicians will agree that saving up for a better piece of gear is always worth it. You’ll have the guitar for years to come, and you can avoid constant repairs and tune-ups. Plus, you’ll enjoy the experience of playing the guitar more. Playing a high-quality guitar provides a noticeably better experience.

Contact Us

Buying a cheap guitar solves the issue of short-term budget flexibility. But in a few years, you could pay a whole lot more just to keep the guitar in playable condition. You may also discover that your preferences change over time, and you’ll want to get a better guitar to replace the cheap one you bought. It’s always wise to do your research first, find a great guitar and save up for it. It’s your money, after all — spend it on something you’ll be happy with.

How Much Should You Pay for a Good Guitar?

The short answer is as much as you can afford. The kind of guitar you want is completely up to you, and only you can know your exact price range and preferences. But, when choosing a good guitar, it’s important that you know what you’re getting regardless of the price. Here are two tips for knowing if you’re paying a good price for your next guitar:

  • Get help and advice from a trusted friend: If you’re testing out guitars in-store, bring a trusted friend along. They’ll be able to give you a second opinion so you can make a confident purchase. They can also play the guitar while you listen so you can get an unbiased opinion on how it sounds.
  • Trust your instincts: When it comes time to make a decision, you need to trust your instincts. After researching guitars and getting advice from trusted individuals, you can better know if the guitar you’re considering buying is the right one for you. You can also tell whether the buyer is giving you a good or bad deal.

By doing your research, trusting your instincts and getting the opinions of trusted friends, you can know if you’re paying the right price for a high-quality guitar.

Where Can You Get the Best Price for a Good Guitar?

The final step in the process is getting your guitar from the right place. Here are three places where you will have the best chance at finding a great price for a good guitar.

Online Retailers

Some online retailers specialize in used music gear like guitars. These sites are hubs for musicians around the world to post and sell their unwanted equipment. Click on the right link at the right time, and you can find yourself buying or bidding on an excellent guitar at a price you can afford. Plus, you can do your shopping from the comfort of your own home, which is an added bonus. Just be careful the sellers are being honest and posting real pictures of the guitars they’re selling.

Local Private Sellers

You can strike some of the best deals on a good guitar right in your neighborhood. People post guitars for sale on social media all the time, so be on the lookout for your next guitar on your social media channels. You can also make a post about your search for a used guitar. People may comment or send a direct message over the next few days with leads you could follow.

Pawn Shops

It’s always a good idea to see if pawn shops near you have any excellent musical gear for sale. Guitars are a common item for people to pawn off for immediate cash. That opens up the door for people like you to buy that guitar for a much better price than you’d get at a national music store chain.

Contact Us

Pawn shops are also a favorite place to get the best price for a good guitar because the associates are ready and willing to haggle on most of their items, which can include the guitars they have in stock. See if you can wiggle the price down to something even more affordable, and you can walk out of the pawn shop feeling great about your purchase.

Find High-Quality Guitars at The Vault Jewelry and Loan

When you’re in the market for a high-quality guitar at a great price, you can find one at The Vault Jewelry and Loan. Our in-store locations throughout Northeastern Virginia carry luxury items including some of the best musical gear at the best prices you can find anywhere. We pride ourselves on providing an excellent customer experience with our knowledgeable team. We look forward to sharing our expertise with you as you search for a good guitar to call your own.

Contact us online today for more information. We look forward to serving you!


Jamie F. - Pawn Shop Manager in Northern VA
Jamie Furman
Manager at The Vault Jewelry & Loan | Website | + posts

James (Jamie) F., is the manager of our Centerpointe Way location in Woodbridge, VA. With over 14 years in the pawn business, he is an expert in Diamonds, Gold, and Luxury Watches. He is fluent in Spanish and English and enjoys helping customers’ find the item they want at a great deal. Banks and Big Box stores have convinced many that new and expensive is the only way to buy. He aims to change that paradigm and provide exceptional service and quality products at a bargain price to every person who walks through our doors.

Leave a Response

Testimonials What Our Customers Are Saying

Ernie A.

Great store. I’ve been going there for years and they’ve always treated me good. Great products service!

Carola H

Great customer service and affordable prices. Super happy with my purchase

Mia I.

My husband picked up our engagement rings from here, best day of my life. thanks route 50 for the great selection. I was very pleased

Brad B.

The guys were really honest and straight with me. I went to other shops in the area such as jewelry exchange of tysons and got much much worse treatment. Other places you find either stuck-up trashy people, or extremely rude cut-throats. These guys were regular, nice, and fair; explaining the process to me and how buying/selling and pawning things work. I’d recommend them to a friend.

Michelle P.

Never disappointed. Excellent customer service, very friendly. Very clean store. Great selections.