#1
I bought a '13 strat brand new from a local shop last summer for $1100. I've never really been in love with the guitar and recently inquired about trading it in straight up for a '11 strat they've had hanging on the wall since 2011. I brought the guitar in for inspection, and they told me they'd only be able to give me $600 towards the 2011 because of cosmetic damage. So that would be my guitar, + about $400 + tax for essentially the same guitar.

Looking over my guitar, there are a few scratches, but nothing too egregious. There aren't any heavy dings and none of the paint is missing. I feel like I'm being hosed, and I was pretty disappointed considering I've been going to this shop for years and thought they would give me at least a fair deal. Am I being unreasonable here? is -$500 off of a year old instrument because of it being used + minor cosmetic damages the norm?

I can't take pictures at the moment, but the scratches in question are incredibly insignificant. They don't stand out unless you really look the body over. There's no wear or damage anywhere else on the guitar at all, no paint chipping, nothing.

And for what it's worth, I wanted to trade straight up for the 2011 because for whatever reason, it plays and sounds far better than mine, despite numerous set ups. It's stock and everything. The reason I didn't buy that guitar initially and decided to order my own through the store was because the 2011 is finished in a disgusting honeyburst. Mine is black. And I'm left-handed, so I couldn't try more models.
Last edited by RyanMW2010 at Oct 30, 2014,
#2
It might sound like a steep depreciation, but remember, they're a business. They have to make a profit after putting the thing in inventory...and the longer it sits in the store unsold, the more money it costs them.

So I'd be surprised if they paid more than 40-50% of your original purchase price unless you had something really special and/or in high demand.

The story may well be different if you made a private deal directly with another guitar player.
#3
Setting your gear to a local shop isn't a good idea. As Danny has said, they lowball the crap out of anyone who is willing to sell to them, because they need to make money off it. Only sell to a local shop if you're desperate to sell the guitar and listing the guitar on ebay/craigslist hasn't worked.
#4
When a shop is buying/trading, any blemish regardless of how insignificant, can devalue the instrument. They're not unlike cars...sometimes simply taking the thing out of the shop takes 50% off the resale value.

That same shop selling an instrument has to account for (re-)stocking costs, inventory, and still turning a profit after selling the instrument at a discount (assuming they do...some less scrupulous outfits have tried to pass off used instruments as new/mint at full cost. Avoid these.)

Frankly, $600 is pretty fair for a $1100 piece, even if it was pristine. That's a little over half, and considering they'll probably sell it for around $800-850, about par for just about any shop. I know it sucks for you as the buyer that a year has shaved $500 off the value, but that's the retail biz I'm afraid.

Some shops sometimes do offer more for dedicated customers, or may offer other incentives (throwing in extra strings/cables/etc. with the new ax.) But that's largely dependent on the salesperson and/or management of that particular shop.
#5
I'm surprised they even offered you $600. I would try to sell on Craiglist or somewhere similar myself for $750-$800.

This is why you should always try before you buy if you can. It's a gamble to buy something off the internet and now you're gonna eat a good chunk of change.
#6
Quote by adambauman31
I'm surprised they even offered you $600. I would try to sell on Craiglist or somewhere similar myself for $750-$800.

This is why you should always try before you buy if you can. It's a gamble to buy something off the internet and now you're gonna eat a good chunk of change.


Would that I could. Lefty . Trust me, I'm kicking myself for not leaving with the ugly honeyburst 2011 strat. It's odd how different it is from my 2013 model. It's a good 2-3 lbs lighter, far more resonant, better playing, etc. The specs are all apparently the same aside from the pickups, which really leads me to wonder what could account for the difference.
#7
Never trade a guitar in or sell to a shop unless you're fully prepared for the hosing you'll get.

And yes, dings and scratches definitely take the value of the guitar down, no matter how insignificant they may appear to you.
#8
The store will always have an advantage when they recognize your desire to have something NOW!! because they can use it to make a deal that benefits them more. You have to consider that they have the monthly overhead of the store and employees to pay every week and if that 2011 has been on the wall for a few years it has already lost them money so there is probably no rush to just make a trade for another guitar that will sell as used rather than new. I agree that if you are offered anything over 60% of your original price it's probably a fair deal (at least for them).
#9
Quote by RyanMW2010
Would that I could. Lefty . Trust me, I'm kicking myself for not leaving with the ugly honeyburst 2011 strat. It's odd how different it is from my 2013 model. It's a good 2-3 lbs lighter, far more resonant, better playing, etc. The specs are all apparently the same aside from the pickups, which really leads me to wonder what could account for the difference.


As you can see in my sig, I have two American Standard Telecasters, and I have to tell you that the differences between these are huge, despite being the same model. They were both bought the same day too. One is very light, the other really heavy. I wouldn't be surprised if I got the lightest and the heaviest Telecaster to come out of the factory...

I would like to stress that I don't think Fender makes many bad guitars in Corona, I have just found that they are very inconsistent concerning weight and overall feel. One isn't necessarily a worse guitar than the other, which I have found when I have let friends play them.
#10
Quote by HomerSGR
As you can see in my sig...

Ummm...no we can't.

Sigs got extinguished while you weren't looking.
#12
Thanks guys. I guess I'm somewhat ignorant in the way small businesses operate. I thought that my 2013 for the 2011 was a fair trade, but clearly, from their standpoint, it wasn't. I'll probably save up the $500 difference and go back and pick up the 2011, assuming it's still there, and have it painted or something. Aesthetics are pretty important to me, and the cherry burst or honey burst, or whatever it is, is one of the ugliest strat finishes i've ever seen, imo, and I'm a big big lover of strats in general.
#13
Quote by dannyalcatraz


Thanks Danny. I've been to most of these before, but I can never get enough lefty guitar browsing. However, I'd really prefer to play before I pay, given the loads of bad luck I've had with ordering guitars in the past. I'm about 250 miles from adirondack, so I think I'll take a trip up there one weekend when I have the $ ready and play their entire inventory
#14
I would sell the Strat and get the 750ish in cash. I would also not offer $1100 for an NOS Strat. In 2011 new price was $1100, while technically not used, it's not technically new either, it's a floor model. I wouldn't offer them anymore than 1000 max and I'd probably start at 900 cash. If they'd like to sell they'll sell for less than new list for stock that's been around for 3 years.
#15
Quote by RyanMW2010
Would that I could. Lefty . Trust me, I'm kicking myself for not leaving with the ugly honeyburst 2011 strat. It's odd how different it is from my 2013 model. It's a good 2-3 lbs lighter, far more resonant, better playing, etc. The specs are all apparently the same aside from the pickups, which really leads me to wonder what could account for the difference.


Your kicking yourself for not leaving with the ugly guitar? I know how it plays is the most important thing, but surely if you find it ugly would it not make more sense to find a nice playing instrument that you actually like the look of?
#16
Quote by RyanMW2010
Thanks Danny. I've been to most of these before, but I can never get enough lefty guitar browsing. However, I'd really prefer to play before I pay, given the loads of bad luck I've had with ordering guitars in the past. I'm about 250 miles from adirondack, so I think I'll take a trip up there one weekend when I have the $ ready and play their entire inventory

My experiences differ greatly from yours- no problems so far with ordering guitars sight unseen- but you might want to try to find a brand that has a reputation for consistency that also offers lefty axes. That way, you could order with greater confidence.

Reverend is a stickler for consistency, but typically only have a 2-3 lefty models in production at any one time.

Carvin is also known for consistent builds, and they also have a fairly generous return policy.

Tradition has a decent rep, and all models are available as lefties.

Godin and G&L are brands I would trust, but not all of their models are available in lefty, so you'd have to check their websites.
Last edited by dannyalcatraz at Oct 30, 2014,
#17
Quote by conanwarrior
Your kicking yourself for not leaving with the ugly guitar? I know how it plays is the most important thing, but surely if you find it ugly would it not make more sense to find a nice playing instrument that you actually like the look of?


You may have missed where I said that I was left-handed. Stores carry nearly no models in my price range. It's usually all entry level guitars. Chinese strat copies, Epi LP standards, a entry-level Ibanez, and maybe a mexi tele/strat if you're lucky. I've literally played maybe 5 different types of electric guitars in my life
#18
Quote by dannyalcatraz
My experiences differ greatly from yours- no problems so far with ordering guitars sight unseen- but you might want to try to find a brand that has a reputation for consistency that also offers lefty axes. That way, you could order with greater confidence.

Reverend is a stickler for consistency, but typically only have a 2-3 lefty models in production at any one time.

Carvin is also known for consistent builds, and they also have a fairly generous return policy.

Tradition has a decent rep, and all models are available as lefties.

Godin and G&L are brands I would trust, but not all of their models are available in lefty, so you'd have to check their websites.


I think mass produced left-handed guitars may just be made worse, on average. I've heard others complain about their tone/volume pots working as on/off switches. Mine aren't quite as insensitive, but close. There definitely isn't much change in volume/tone along the way. I haven't played many high level guitars, but I've played my fair share of really terrible models with electronic problems, playability issues, etc. It's rough out there for a lefty hahaha. That said, I do have an eye on Carvin, I just wish I could play a few before specing my own out.
#19
Quote by RyanMW2010
I think mass produced left-handed guitars may just be made worse, on average. I've heard others complain about their tone/volume pots working as on/off switches. Mine aren't quite as insensitive, but close. There definitely isn't much change in volume/tone along the way. I haven't played many high level guitars, but I've played my fair share of really terrible models with electronic problems, playability issues, etc. It's rough out there for a lefty hahaha. That said, I do have an eye on Carvin, I just wish I could play a few before specing my own out.



I fleft handed guitars use the same tapered pots as right handed that would explain poor performance. The posts need to be reverse taper to operate correctly. What's really starnge is the proportion of lefties has increased dramtically yet many industries still favor right hand designs.
#20
I missed the "lefty" part early on -- this is another reason why the shop's offering price is low; a left-handed guitar has a reduced audience.

Quote by KenG
What's really starnge is the proportion of lefties has increased dramtically yet many industries still favor right hand designs.


Probably flawed information. According to most studies (Chris McManus is an outlier), the actual proportion of lefties to righties remains fairly stable, but the number of people willing to identify themselves as left-handed is higher among young people than among older people, thus a perceived shift. Even then, the proportional change isn't "dramatic" enough to affect guitar sales, it seems, or more manufacturers would, indeed, have jumped on the bandwagon. And, of course, there are the number of folks who write and throw left-handed but who play guitar right-handed.

Carvin's agnostic on this; as a semi-custom manufacturer they'll build virtually anything in a lefty model. Agile's the same (leastways, in their semi-custom ordering) -- just check the box for left-handed. This is probably going to be true of most semi-custom builders (no issues ordering a lefty from Taylor or Suhr or even Trussart (though I haven't tried that last), but the product mix you'll see in stores will still be at least 90-10 in favor of right-handed guitars.
Last edited by dspellman at Oct 31, 2014,
#21
Quote by dspellman
Never trade a guitar in or sell to a shop unless you're fully prepared for the hosing you'll get.

And yes, dings and scratches definitely take the value of the guitar down, no matter how insignificant they may appear to you.


not always true but you have to be really observant. occasionally places like Guitar Center will get a guitar in that they aren't familiar with and they don't take the time to really research. in those cases a quick trade-in can pay off. granted this isn't an every day thing and you have to have patience but it does happen. also when trading for used gear the gap between good deal and getting hosed closes some.
#22
I agree that you should try to sell it privately. List it on eBay, if your in the states craigslist, in the UK there gumtree which is similar. ( I know there not the only countries in the world, just the only similar sites I'm familiar with).

You will get a lot more money, which is always a good thing!