It’s October in the vintage guitar world which means there’s a new price guide. You can pick one up for yourself here: 2019 Vintage Guitar Price Guide.

The Vintage Guitar Price Guide attempts to aggregate pricing data from guitar dealers to assign a value to different used and vintage guitars. It’s fun to look up your guitar in The Guide and see how what you paid years ago compares to what’s listed in the guide. It’s tempting to think that your guitar would be worth that price range, and it’s possible that it is, but remember that the value listed is for guitars in excellent condition with all original parts. It’s the price range that a professional dealer with a very expensive selling infrastructure might use.

We think the Price Guide is a useful tool but only another data point, not a rock solid price range that shouldn’t be questioned. A vintage guitar‘s value is based off of a function of supply and demand, not what a book says. Personally, I like using the guide to determine which guitars have a more or less favorable function of supply vs demand compared to other guitars.

One caveat with the guide is that very low production models may only have a few tracked sales in the almost two decades since tracking for The Guide began. Therefore, the value range is more of a reflection of what happened in the past and not a suggestion for what that guitar might be worth. I would recommend comparing those guitars to close alternatives along with the guide value. That might help get a little closer to what the real value might be. Or, you could reach out to a professional to help evaluate the guitar and find a buyer for it in that price range (might I suggest us?!)

We’ve been using The Guide as a data point for quite a few years now but I think I’ve lost a few years! I still had a good time looking through previous years and attempting to spot trends. Pick up a copy of the Vintage Guitar Price Guide 2019 for yourself here!

This article has 2 comments

  1. Stephen Robinson Reply

    How long does it take for a guitar to become “vintage”. For example, if I was going to invest in a couple guitars to hand down to my 2 sons when they’re ready, what would a good investment be?
    Thanks! Great website!

    • John Shults Reply

      Hey Stephen, great question! I like to use the term “vintage collectible” to describe the guitars I’m looking for and like to sell. The year cutoff is different for for different makes and models. For Gibson guitars, I consider the ones made in Kalamazoo, MI to be vintage collectible. Production in Kalamazoo tailed off in the late 1970s as more guitars were made in Nashville at the new plant. For Martin guitars, I consider all those made prior to the Brazilian Rosewood cutoff in 1969 to be vintage collectible. The waters are a little muddier for Fender guitars but I prefer the ones made before the serial numbers were applied to the headstock in 1977 or 1978.

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