Hey everyone.

And so my journey continues...

Well, I've been fond of Fender Stratocasters for a very long time; even before I even considered learning to play guitar.

Currently, I have a weak Toys R Us "Power Play" Jr. Electric Guitar and a decent Crate GX 30M amp. Needless to say, the guitar has got to go (I'm 18!!!)

Having got that off my chest, I need to know what I some pricing on MIM and MIA Fender Strats.

I'll definitely be buying one used (best bang-for-your-buck), most likely from a pawn shop or an individual seller (I know, I'm cheap).

Looking on Craigslist, MIM's go for $200 to $300, while MIA's seem to be all over the place.

This is not a debate on MIM vs. MIA (seems like that's a matter of personal preference, based on my research) but rather what should I be paying.

Last thing, how can I tell a MIM from a MIA? (remember, I'll be dealing with private sellers, not a guitar store) I know MIM's say "Made In Mexico" on the neck, but I'm not sure about MIA's.

Is there any way to tell via any number's on the guitar?

Also, if you feel like leaving me any advice about buying a guitar, feel free to do so.

This Website <http://www.guitardaterproject.org/> Will tell you details of a guitar from it's serial no. (This link courtesy of another UG'er whom I can;t recall at the this time).
A used MIA Strat could go anywere from $600 - $1000.00 CDN depending on condition.
I've recently seen new MIM's for $750.00 and used would be maybe half that price or slightly more. (they don't hold their value as much as an MIA).

If you can afford it get an MIA as it'll last forever and won't lose any more value as time goes by.
Moving on.....