Your vintage Fender Stratocaster can be very valuable to a guitar collector, but how does one determine how much could it actually sell for? I'm a vintage guitar collector and dealer with over 15 years of experience helping families understand how we price 1950s and 1960s Stratocasters and sell for fair market value. If you've inherited a vintage collectible Strat, you may wish to get professional help with identification and valuation. I would be happy to assist you in finding the value of your vintage Stratocaster.

Fender Stratocasters made in the 1950s and 1960s can be worth between $10,000 and $200,000 depending on the year, color, condition, and features. If you're looking for professional help to determine the value of your Strat then use the form to send pictures and information:



These are the important steps I can help you with to find out how much a 50s and 60s Stratocaster is worth:

1. Date the guitar: Start with the serial number then check it against known styles and corresponding time periods.

2. Identify important features: These include the bridge style, finish color, logo style, peghead shape, etc. 

3. Evaluate the condition: A worn guitar is not necessarily less valuable than a clean one, but clean condition is generally good for value.

4. Inspect for originality: Replaced parts and modifications will affect a guitar player's interest in buying a Stratocaster. 

Click the "Value My Stratocaster" button above if you would like to send pictures of your Strat. There's no obligation to sell your guitar. I'm happy to share my expertise in 1950s and 1960s Stratocasters at no charge to the owners. 

You an also check out my article on how to date a Stratocaster.

Helpful Resources: Here are some helpful books and website you may wish to consult to find the value of a Stratocaster

FAQs: Here are some frequently asked questions about the value of a vintage Stratocaster

Stratocaster Collector: Learn more about John and his unique approach to guitar collecting for over a decade.

Sell a Fender: Contact John to chat about selling a vintage Stratocaster guitar here.

Fender guitar collector helps value vintage Fender Stratocasters

Pricing a Fender Stratocaster from the 1950s and 1960s is not as difficult as it was in the past before access to good information and precedent. Before I try to determine the value of a Fender Stratocaster, I'm very careful to identify exactly what year it was made, exactly what color, and exactly what's original and what's not. Fender guitar values vary wildly based on their age, color, configuration (vibrato of fixed bridge?), and originality. If you've inherited a Fender Stratocaster and aren't a guitar expert, you can get professional help with this part of the process here: Guitar Appraisal. I may also be interested in buying your Fender Stratocaster to collect for myself if it meets certain criteria.

Vintage Fender Stratocaster values for custom colorsHelpful Resources to determine Stratocaster values

Vintage guitar collectors use a few helpful resources to determine a fair price for vintage Fender guitars. One of those is the Vintage Guitar Price Guide for the current year. VG puts out a new version every year to help track pricing for virtually all vintage guitar makes, models, and time periods. Each listing gives a high and low estimate at retail for guitars in excellent condition. It does a nice job of separating value estimates for standard colors compared to common colors and even gives a ball park listing for rare colors in some cases. 

You can contact me for a professional opinion of value for Stratocasters made between 1954 and 1969: 



You can also looking for pricing help on the sold listings from Type in the make, model, year, and color of the guitar whose value you are researching and look at the price guide listings for the one which matches your Fender. A word of caution on selling value Fender guitars on Reverb: sales over $10,000 are not eligible for shipping insurance. This is where a dealer's selling infrastructure can be a significant benefit to a private seller. I can pay a fair price for the guitar with no fees and provide the professional packing, shipping, and insurance. Remember that the sold prices give are not the payout that the seller received. You can expect between 10% and 13% in selling fees to be subtracted from the payout. 

You can also contact me here for a fair valuation of your Stratocaster: Guitar Appraisal.

Vintage Fender Stratocaster pricing and value

FAQs about Stratocaster Values

Q: Can you check the value by serial number?
A: This approach fails to consider how the color, bridge style, condition, and originality affect the value of a Stratocaster. Fender Serial Numbers can be helpful in dating the guitar, but values for Stratocasters depend on so much more than simply the year it was made. Guitar collectors also factor in the color, condition, originality, and bridge style.

You can contact me for a professional opinion of value for Stratocasters made between 1954 and 1969: 



Q: How much does a refinish affect the value of my vintage Stratocaster?

A: A refinished vintage Stratocaster is usually assumed to be worth about half of a comparable example with original finish. The quality of the refinish and color can also effect how much a player or collector is willing to pay for it. 

Q: Should I restore my vintage Stratocaster before selling it?
A: No. Fender guitar collectors have their own way of fixing problems and bringing the guitar back to the state that the manufacturer intended it. You will not likely achieve a higher price but replacing more parts.

Q: Should I sell my vintage Stratocaster on Reverb or eBay?
A: Insuring guitars for shipment becomes very difficult for private sellers for sales over $10,000. Reverb's fine print states that sales over $10,000 are not eligible for any amount of insurance. No carrier offers insurance for musical instruments older than 1980 for more than $5,000 (check the fine print!).

I offer fair prices paid for 50s and 60s Stratocasters with no shipping liability: Sell a Fender. 

From Reverb's Safe Shipping information page:

"Neither Safe Shipping nor Reverb Shipping Labels are available for items with a sale price of $10,000 or more."

"For international shipments, Safe Shipping is unavailable for orders exceeding $2,500."

 From FedEx's Terms of Service:

"Shipments (packages or freight) containing all or part of the following items are limited to a maximum declared value of US$1,000:  ...

...12. Guitars and other musical instruments that are more than 20 years old, and customized or personalized musical instruments."

From UPS's terms of service:

"When a Shipper declares a value in excess of $100, it does not receive any form of insurance. Shippers desiring cargo insurance, all risk insurance, or another form of insurance should purchase such insurance from a third party."

About the Stratocaster Collector

I began collecting old Fender guitars and amplifiers as a Sophomore in college in 2009. I began with a Fender Duo Sonic made in 1964, then a 1965 Jazzmaster, then a vintage Jaguar, but my interests eventually veered towards the finest Fender model of them all: The Stratocaster. Since then, I've travelled all over the US and even internationally to find and purchase the vintage Stratocasters I've always dreamed of. 

If you've inherited a Stratocaster from the 1950s or 1960s and are looking for help with identification, value, or a possible buyer then you can contact me here: Sell a Fender

Old Fender Stratocaster collector helps with value and pricing
John Shults


Something is only worth what someone is willing to pay for it. Vintage nuts pay thousands of dollars
For old guitars . But from my perspective they are making far better guitars today then they ever did back on the 50’s. There isn’t that much as far as electronics go involved in an electric guitar anyway
As nd wood is wood. The necks are made to much better tolerances then in the old days.

— Bob


I’m looking for some help, and your site here might be just the ticket

I have a chance to buy a Fender Stratocaster from my cousin and aunt. It was my uncle’s- (deceased). I doubt he played it more than just a few times, and it’s been sitting in a closet probably for decades. By the serial number- (MN8284022)- I believe it was made in Mexico in 1998. I’ve seen pics of it, and it seems to look like it’s in good shape, but I haven’t put my hands on it yet. It has a Fender “25-something” amp with it- (I’ve seen lots of this one on Ebay for ~$50-100. It has some rust or something on the (black) metal grille on the front of the amp. I’m sure it has a nice case along with.

I have several acoustic guitars- (including a Fender!)- but never owned an electric guitar. Only played around on one 4-5 times in my life.

I kind-of want it— but “kind-of don’t want it” also.

Do you have ANY idea what it may be worth? I certainly don’t want to be disrespectful with a “too low” offer- (they are family)- but don’t want to overpay either.

Help!!!! Thank you for ANY info you can throw my way!


— mark

Looking to sell?

Do you have a similar guitar you would like to sell, or get appraised?
I would love to take a look! Please contact me today!