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9 Expert Tips for Buying A Used Electric Guitar

For music lovers, nothing quite compares to the joy of picking up a brand new electric guitar.

Buying A Used Electric Guitar

The reality for some, however, is that the sky high price tag on a new stringed beauty isn’t always a realistic option.

Luckily, there are a number of places, like our Edmonton-based pawn shop, where you can buy used electric guitars for a steal – sometimes for even less than half the regular retail price of a new guitar! 

Let’s dive right in to our top tips for buying a used electric guitar now.

1. Set a Budget

What are you willing, and able, to spend on your used electric guitar?

Like anything in life, different models and brands of guitar come at varying price points. 

By choosing a budget for your used electric guitar before you start shopping, you will be able to get a good idea of which models you may want to consider.

Did you know? An added benefit to buying a used electric guitar from a pawn shop is that it’s completely acceptable to negotiate when it comes to price!

2. Make Sure it Fits

Hands, arms and bodies come in all different shapes and sizes – just like guitars.

When buying a used guitar, always be sure to pick it up and try it out.

Wrap your hand around the neck – do your fingers reach the strings comfortably?

3. Choose a Body Style

Electric guitars come in a number of different body styles from solid body to semi-hollow, and hollow body.

If you’re considering buying a solid body style used electric guitar, choosing a body style within that category will be important. 

If you plan to play metal or hard rock, a super strat is a great option to consider.

More into the soulful swoon of folk and country? A telecaster guitar is most likely your best bet.

Each of the body styles produce slightly different types of sounds and it’s best to do some research in advance to decide which type of body will be best for you.

4. Check for Rust

Do a general once-over of the musical instrument; is there any visible rust?

Minor rusting on the frets or fretboards is no cause for alarm and can be remedied at a low cost, but other parts that been rusted may be cause for concern.

5. Check for Dents and Dings

Of course when buying a used musical instrument second hand, there will undoubtedly be some signs of wear and tear.

However, note if there are any chunks missing or significant dents or scratches on the guitar body and in particular, along the back of the neck.

Larger defects could mean that the guitar has been dropped, which could lead to the integrity of the instrument being seriously affected.

6. Check the Neck

Take a look down the neck of the guitar – it should look fairly straight.

A twisted guitar neck may be difficult to repair and it’s a safer bet to try your luck with a different guitar if you notice this.

7. Check the Frets

If you look at the neck of the guitar, you will notice small metal strips that run across the piece. These are the frets of the guitar.

When buying a used guitar, be sure to check that the frets aren’t damaged or dented in.

Visible divots or indentations in the neck of the guitar where the frets are could be a sign of excessive wear and may not be your best purchase option.

8. Check the Hardware

Try adjusting each of the dials including the tuner, and ensure that they are all working and aren’t noisy.

9. Check the Jack

Ideally, a used electric guitar in great condition would have a nice, tight jack that does not make any noise when tapped or bumped.

However; that’s not always the case.

Try plugging in to the jack, and give it a bit of a wiggle – the cord should stay in, and stay put.

Buying a used electric guitar can be a very rewarding experience, especially if you’re able to snag yourself a sweet deal.

Be sure to do your research beforehand, and give yourself enough time to try out a few different styles.

Come prepared to not only ask questions about our used guitars but most importantly, to have fun!

For more information on our current selection of used electric guitars, get in touch with us or come stop by today.

Nice clean store. Friendly helpful staff. I went to 2 other pawn shop before stopping in there, this place made the others look like junky garage sales.

- John Doe