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Guitar Center Trade In Program 2021

Whether you are selling a car, lawn mower or guitar, you will always make more by selling it yourself privately. The idea of doing this scares some people as interaction with “tire kickers” can be draining.

Normally when you decide to sell something like a guitar, you want to move it quickly. Cash in hand today is always better than weeks later. Maybe even longer!

So when you’re looking to move it quick, you can always do so with certain stores. Don’t expect even close to full market value, but you will get into that new piece of gear faster!

Can You Trade In At Guitar Center?

Guitar Center offers a program called Trade In/Trade Up. When you bring in a piece of gear to trade in, you will save 10% on the new item.

Now there are some limitations and some brands that are excluded. But with a little negotiating, you may work yourself into new gear and get a good deal at the same time.

As a larger retailer of musical instruments and equipment, they are  happy to make an offer on a trade in.

Not only will they make some money on your item when they resell it, but also on the gear you buy with the trade credit. It can be a great benefit for both parties.

Just make sure to be prepared to negotiate a bit when you go in. You will want to at least know what your item is worth beforehand.

How Much Does Guitar Center Pay For Used Gear?

While you may read online that Guitar Center pays you a certain amount or percentage, this is only partly true.

The piece of gear you bring in and its condition plays a large role in what you are going to get as an offer.

If you bring in an item that is in rough shape but they feel they can still sell it, the offer you get will probably be quite low.

This is because they will not get a great resale amount on it either.

But as a general rule of thumb, if your item is in decent shape and they feel they can sell it, you can probably expect to see between 40 – 60% of its current value.

This is the used value and not a percentage of what it might cost brand new.

Is it Worth Selling to Guitar Center?

There are a lot of factors that determine whether selling to Guitar Center may be worth it or not to you. There are many people who do and are fine with the deal, then there are people who refuse it and walk out.

It also depends on whether you are trading it for something else or are just looking for cash. These two scenarios look very different in terms of the value you receive when the deal is done.

How much do they differ? Let’s pretend your instrument is worth $500 to Guitar Center. In one case you want to trade it in and upgrade to an instrument worth $1000. In the other, you simply want cash.

OfferTrade Up DiscountProfit
$500Cash Sale - 0%$500
$50010%$600

So as you see, with a trade up deal for another instrument, you would end up walking out with more for your used gear. This would also mean that you have to make a purchase however.

While for a straight up cash sale, you get what they offer for it with no extra incentives.

So when is it worth selling to Guitar Center? We will leave that for you to decide.

guitar center trade in

How Does Guitar Center Determine Trade in Value?

Guitar Center will generally offer 50 – 60% of fair market value for gear when you trade in or sell to them. But how do they determine the fair market value?

They have been in business for a long time. Over the course of that time, they have collected data and gained experience with used instruments and music gear.

If it’s vintage, they normally have someone in the store that can help make fair wholesale market offers.

Guitar Center also uses Ebay, Reverb and other online resources to determine what fair market value is on used gear. 

But because prices change quickly, going online can also help with current values.

Now, not all gear will be online which can complicate a valuation.

But they are normally able to get very close even if they have to average the equipment against the cost of new..

Just remember, it is always best to know what your gear is worth before you go in for an estimate. So do your own homework as well!

This way there are less surprises.

Does Guitar Center Buy Used Gear For Cash?

If you are looking to get rid of gear for cash then you’re in luck! Guitar Center will normally buy gear and pay cash if they are interested in the piece and feel they can resell it.

The only downside is that you may only get 40 – 50% of what it’s worth if you’re just looking for cash. And that’s on the used price, not new.

But this can be very handy if you’re not concerned and just need an ultra fast sale. They will even pay up to $1000 cash. If it’s over that, then you can expect a cheque or Guitar Center prepaid Visa.

But it’s a same day payment if you’re not looking to replace it with another piece of gear or do some sort of trade.

How Can I Find Out How Much My Gear is Worth?

There are many ways to find out how much your guitar or other musical equipment is worth. You can start by searching the internet for similar or exact models that are for sale.

This will help you to determine what others feel they are worth and also see what condition those instruments are in.

Start with well known online websites like:

  • Forums
  • Reverb.com
  • Ebay
  • Facebook Groups

This will help you to get a good start comparing prices and condition gear is in being sold. You may also want to take the item to a few different music shops around you to get an average of what they feel it is worth as well.

It is easier than ever to get an idea of what you can expect.

Can you trade in at Guitar Center?

What Condition Does My Gear Need To Be In?

If the instrument is in very bad shape to the point where even you are concerned, you may want to rethink your strategy.

Guitar Center does have their limits and will not accept gear that is falling apart or missing pieces. They do need to try and resell this item, so ask yourself, would you buy it in the current condition?

According to Guitar Center, the gear must be 100% functional and have all its parts to be considered. If it has been highly modified this might also be an issue.

If in doubt, you can always bring it to them and see what they suggest.

They do have technicians who can make small adjustments if needed and the gear is something that can move quickly for them.

But when it comes to normal wear, cracks, dents and other cosmetic damage, this normally is not as issue as used gear does have its road wear.

How To Prepare Your Gear for an Estimate at Guitar Center.

In order to get an estimate on your gear at Guitar Center you need to bring in your item. They will not give you an estimate over the phone or via email, it must be brought into a location.

So you’re ready to do that but want to make sure your item is up to snuff? What should you do to prepare your gear?

Well lets pretend its a guitar, here are a few easy things you can do to get it ready!

  1. Clean it. Dirt and grime will only make it look worn out and worth less.
  2. Check for missing parts. Replace anything that is not there anymore.
  3. Tighten all jacks, knobs and screws etc
  4. Change your strings. Especially if they are rusty.

How Does Guitar Center Pay For Used Gear?

When you are simply looking to part with your gear and no trade in is required, Guitar Center will pay up to $1000 in cash.

Anything over a thousand and they will normally pay with a cheque or Guitar Center Visa prepaid card.

They will do this the same day if a deal can be made. Walk in with the gear and walk out with your money.

If you’re looking for a trade, you will be offered a trade credit or a straight up trade for new equipment.

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