We’re the first to acknowledge that, due to the cost of investing money in the trade until it’s sold and assuming other risks, such as market changes etc., trades usually will not yield the highest return for your instruments. On the other hand trading guitars has its advantages:
Furthermore, we are good at appraising guitars and make every attempt to determine fair trade values. We use online resources like Reverb and the ‘Official Vintage Guitar Price Guide’ and price lists from most builders that we have collected over the past 40 years. To do a good appraisal we need to see the guitar or have access to high quality pictures and a precise description of any deviation in the condition when compared to a new guitar. To help you assess the condition of the guitar we use the guitar grading system developed by Zachary R. Fjestad from the Blue Book of Guitar Values. Below the various grading conditions are listed:
New 100%: All new with all factory materials, including warranty card, owner’s manual, case, and other items that were originally included by the manufacturer. On currently manufactured instruments, the 100% value refers to an instrument not previously sold at retail. Even if a new instrument has been played only once and traded in a week later, it no longer qualifies at 100%.
Mint – 98%: Only very slightly used and/or played very little – may have minor “case” wear or very light dings on the exterior finish only, without finish cracking, very close to new condition, also refers to a currently manufactured instrument that has been previously sold at retail, even though it might be unplayed. On vintage and used instruments, this is as good as it can get. May have light finish scratches – otherwise as new. Also, should have original case.
Excellent Plus (Exc.+) 95%: Very little observable finish wear and possibly fine scratches, perhaps some light plating deterioration on metal parts, may have slight neck wear. No major dents, dings, or other problems.
Excellent (Exc.) 90%: Light exterior finish wear with a few minor dings, no paint chips down to the wood, light oxidation on metal parts, normal nicks and scratches, light observable neck wear in most cases. No major problems or issues.
Very Good Plus (V.G.+) 80%: More exterior finish wear (20% of the original finish is gone) that may include minor chips that extend down to the wood, body wear, but nothing real serious, nice shape overall, with mostly honest player wear. Any repairs, alterations, or modifications should be listed separately on 80%-20% condition factors.
Very Good (V.G.) 70%: More extensive and visible exterior finish wear/deterioration that could include some major gouges, nicks, and scratches, visible player arm wear, and/or fret deterioration. Sometimes, handling and stage wear (gouges and chipping around the outside of the body) contribute more to this condition factor than playing wear (neck, fretboard, frets, and top wear). Should include original case on recent mfg.
Good 60%: Noticeable wear on most areas – normally this consists of some major belt buckle wear and finish deterioration, may include cracking, possible repairs, or alterations. When this condition factor is encountered, normally an instrument should have all logos intact, original pickups, minor headstock damage, and perhaps a few non-serious alterations, with or without original case.
Fair 40%: Finish and/or colors are still discernible, some parts possibly missing/replaced/repaired, could be either refinished or repaired, structurally sound, though frequently encountered with non-factory alterations and other problems. Must be playable.
Poor 20%: Ending a life sentence of hard labor, must still be playable, most of the licks have left, family members should be notified immediately, normally not worthy unless the ad also mentions first year “Burst and original owner”. May have to double as kindling if in a tight spot on a cold night.
Vintage Guitars: when trading Vintage guitars we focus on all original, high quality instruments. As a reference for pricing we use The Official Vintage Guitar Price Guide.
Our focus is on developing and maintaining long term relationships with our customers, not on one single transaction. If you are considering a trade towards one of our instruments, please call us at +31(0)611 477 420.