How to get the best deal on a guitar

Here are some guidelines for getting the best deal when buying a guitar.  They work here and a lot of other places.  I'm going to be letting you in on some industry secrets, so pay attention.


  1. Go to the shop to buy the guitar.  The convenience of buying online can cost you money.  When I don't have to pack up the guitar and ship it somewhere, I'm more motivated to sweeten the deal. This tip works at little shops like mine and at places like S@##twater, too.  They would rather not pay to ship stuff, either.
  2. Bring cash.  The majority of businesses you deal with, no matter what they sell, prefer to get paid in cash.  When you pay with a credit card, debit card, paypal, or the like; I have to pay fees to the companies that process your payment.  If you pay with cash, I don't have to pay those fees--and I'm more motivated to sweeten the deal.
  3. Be polite.  I used to think that everybody knows this, but I have learned that not everybody does.  When you're nice, I'm more motivated to sweeten the deal.
  4. Instead of bringing in an instrument to trade in, sell your instrument first and bring the cash instead (see number 2. on this list).  It's a common rule of thumb for music stores to offer half of what they think they could price your trade-in when they sell it.  It's not anybody's favorite part of the business, but it's something you need to be prepared for if you bring in anything to trade.  It's not meant to be insulting, but the way guitar shops make money is by selling things for more than what they paid for them.  The only exception to this rule is when you have something for trade that the shop owner really, really, really wants--but, in that case, you will probably still not get any more out of the trade that what you had gotten had you sold your item and brought in cash.


Those guidelines will give you your best chance of getting a deal on a guitar when dealing with any shop around.  Sometimes, a shop cannot offer better prices on a guitar than they are asking because the profit margin is so small already.  Sometimes, it's such a hot seller that the shop knows it will sell super-fast whether they give you a great deal or not (even then, rule  #3 may still get you a little bit of a discount just because you're pleasant to deal with).  No matter what happens with the deal, following these suggestions will make you a customer that any shop will be happy to see coming back next time.