Well known brands and models will often have relatively predictable selling prices. Naturally there are no guarantees but if you buy a used instrument from a reputable dealer, chances are it will be a welcome return to that dealer as a trade-in or consignment.
Used instruments by makers who are unknown or no longer active will generally have fewer potential customers. Makers who have a strong local reputation may have good resale potential in their home town, but nowhere else. That’s the case with Gryphon guitars made by Richard and me in the early 70s. Anywhere outside our immediate area they’re practically impossible to sell. A friend bought one from a dealer in Oregon for $90.00 a few years ago because it was completely unknown there. Back here in town, it’s worth nearly ten times that amount.
So should you buy that instrument you fell in love with? Of course you should. But, it’s always a good idea to have any instrument, new or used, checked out by a reputable service person. If you have a good level of trust, that can be the person or shop selling the instrument.
I hope that resale value is not your reason to buy an instrument. These things are made for producing music! A good instrument is an investment in yourself. I expands your creativity! Playing music beats the hell out of watching TV, don’t you think?
In the deathless words of my old friend, Jon Lundberg, “If you like it, then buy it.”
Sometimes you just have to take responsibility for your decision that it’s the right thing for you. Later on, if it has a lower value, then you can still take pride in the fact that you got what you needed from it, and that at the time it was the right thing to do.
I’m writing this note on a computer that cost thousands and is now worth hundreds and it’s only a year old. Next year nobody will want it at all.
By Frank Ford