Does Guitar Center Buy Guitars? (Updated 2023) | Guitar Advise (2023)

Trade-in Used Gear

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Guitar Center is the world's largest musical instrument retailer offering wide variety of guitar gear from the most reputable brands in the industry. Click the button to get the latest deals on all of your music related needs

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Are you looking to sell your old guitar or other music equipment, but don’t know where to start?

Well, you’re in the right place!

Maybe you’re looking to upgrade to something new. Maybe you just never got around to learning the guitar. Or maybe you just need the extra cash.

Either way, when looking to sell your old guitar, your first inclination was probably to trade it in at Guitar Center.

The question you’re probably asking is, “Does Guitar Center Buy Guitars?”

Yes, Guitar Center does buy guitars and other musical equipment. They accept trade-ins of all used and vintage gear as long as it is 100% functional. Upon arrival, they inspect, appraise, and pay for your instrument on the same day.

So, in this article, we’ll be breaking down Guitar Center’s trade-in program and determine whether or not it is worth selling your used gear to them rather than selling it online.

Let’s get started!

Does Guitar Center Take Trade-Ins?

Yes, Guitar Center does take trade-ins for used and vintage guitars. They also accept trade-ins for other musical instruments and gear, such as bass guitars, drums, amplifiers, and more. You can read the full details here.

If you have a bunch of old gear that you need to get rid of, then Guitar Center can be a good option.

The major advantage to Guitar Center trade-ins is that the process is quick and convenient.

You’ll be in and out with money in your pocket within minutes without having to make an online listing, waiting for a buyer, or deal with shipping.

Here is what the Guitar Center trade-in process looks like:

  1. Take your gear to your nearest Guitar Center location (You do not need to make an appointment).
  2. Have your gear inspected and appraised by one of their specialists.
  3. Guitar Center will give you an offer based on the condition of your instrument. (You can often negotiate with them before coming to an agreement.)
  4. They’ll pay you right then and there. If the value is under $500, then they can give you cash. If it’s over $500, then they will write you a check.

How Much Does Guitar Center Pay for Used Guitars

When Guitar Center buys your guitar, expect them to give you 50 to 60 percent of the guitar’s market value.

This number can vary based on the guitar’s condition, historical sales data, and overall market demand and popularity.

When you take your guitar into Guitar Center, someone will inspect your instrument and give you an offer. Be sure to know the market value of your instrument for negotiation purposes and to make sure they aren’t low balling you.

For Vintage guitars, Guitar Center has dedicated experts with Vintage gear to help come to a fair valuation, however, it can be a bit tricky to get a good deal on it. Similar to a pawn shop, they’ll likely try to drop the price down as much as possible, since older instruments will likely be hard for them to resell. Do your research ahead of time and come prepared with a number in your head ahead of time.

Often times, Guitar Center does not give you any extra money for including a case, likely because they prefer new buyers to purchase a case. Be sure to ask them ahead of time. If they aren’t going to pay you extra for the case, then you might be better off just keeping it and selling it elsewhere if it’s an expensive hardshell case.

Read Also: Guitar Resale Value: The Complete Guide

Does Guitar Center Give You Cash for Trade-ins?

Yes, Guitar Center gives you cash for trade-ins up to $500. If the value of your guitar exceeds $500, then they will write you a check instead.

Sometimes, Guitar Center will also have limited time promotions, such as Trade-in Trade-Up, where they will give you up to $1,000 in cash for your used gear. They usually update this information on their website, but you can also call your local store ahead of time to see if the promotion is available. Depending on the local store, they might be willing to give you up to $1,000 if you ask them, even if there isn’t a formal promotion going on.

Overall, the process is very quick and convenient. If you’re in a situation where you need to get rid of your gear for cash quickly, then Guitar Center can be a good choice. Just keep in mind that you likely won’t get the best price from Guitar Center compared to selling it online via Reverb or eBay.

Does Guitar Center Take Trade-ins Online?

Unfortunately, Guitar Center does not accept trade-ins online because they require a physical inspection before buying your guitar or other gear.

You will need to physically go to your local Guitar Center store with all of your gear to get them inspected and to negotiate a price.

If you don’t have a Guitar Center location near you and were hoping to ship your instrument to them, then, unfortunately, you’re out of luck. You might want to try selling your guitar on Reverb or eBay instead.

Read Also: How to Sell a Guitar: The Complete Guide

Does Guitar Center Buy Broken Guitars?

If you have a damaged guitar or other music equipment that you were hoping to sell for parts, then Guitar Center is not going to be a good fit here.

Unfortunately, Guitar Center does not buy broken guitars. Your gear needs to be 100% functional and have all its parts.

It does not necessarily need to be in pristine, or even good condition, as long as it’s functional.

However, when they are evaluating your guitar, the overall condition of the instrument is a major factor. If the guitar is in poor condition, then it’ll significantly reduce the price they’re willing to buy your guitar for.

If you have a broken guitar and want to sell away some of the parts, then you’re better off selling on eBay.

Is Selling Used Gear on Guitar Center Worth It?

Trade-in Used Gear

Guitar Center

Guitar Center is the world's largest musical instrument retailer offering wide variety of guitar gear from the most reputable brands in the industry. Click the button to get the latest deals on all of your music related needs

Shop Guitar Center

In general, selling your guitar at Guitar Center can be worth it depending on your specific situation and expectations.

Selling your guitar at Guitar Center is worth it if:

  • You want to sell your gear quickly. Trading in your gear at Guitar Center is super quick. You can just walk into your local store without an appointment, have your gear inspected, and get paid all on the same day within a matter of minutes.
  • You want to get paid in cash. Do you need the money now without having to deal with PayPal’s fees and processing times? Guitar Center pays you in cash up to $500. If your item exceeds $500, then they’ll write you a check.
  • You value convenience over price. If just want to get rid of your guitar as conveniently as possible and are willing to accept a lower rate, then selling at Guitar Center is a good option. You won’t need to worry about creating an online account on Reverb, taking pictures, creating a listing, waiting for a buyer, shipping the guitar out, or potentially dealing with upset customers who want to return. Just walk into Guitar Center with your guitar and leave with cash in your pocket.
  • Your guitar is inexpensive. If your guitar is only worth $200, then you might as well just sell it to Guitar Center for cash as opposed to selling it online on eBay or Reverb. When you factor in shipping costs as well as the additional work and time of setting up a listing and waiting for a buyer, it doesn’t really make sense to sell online unless the value of the guitar is high enough to make it worth your while.

Selling your guitar on Guitar Center is not worth it if:

  • You want the highest price for your guitar. When Guitar Center buys guitars, they’ll typically offer you 50 to 60 percent of the market value, which is the trade-off for being paid in cash immediately. If you’re willing to go through the process of selling your guitar online, you can likely get a higher price that is closer to market value or potentially even flip it.
  • You don’t want to leave your home. Unfortunately, Guitar Center does not buy guitars or accept trade-ins online. When selling to Guitar Center, they require that you visit one of their physical stores to get your guitar inspected and appraised.
  • You want to sell a broken guitar for parts. It’s pretty common for people to buy and sell non-functional gear for parts on the cheap for people who like to mod their guitars. Unfortunately, Guitar Center only buys guitars that are 100% functional, meaning you can’t trade-in a broken guitar for parts.

Tips for Trading in Your Gear at Guitar Center

If you’ve never experienced doing a trade-in at Guitar Center, then here are a couple of helpful tips that I wish I knew before trading in my first guitar.

Do Your Research Ahead of Time

Before stepping foot into Guitar Center, make sure you’ve done your research on your guitar.

Be sure to know the value of your instrument and come prepared with a number that you’re willing to negotiate for. It can be helpful to look at online listings of the same instrument on eBay and Reverb to see what they sold for.

This will help you get a better idea of the resale value of your guitar.

Think of it like walking into a pawn shop or car dealership. You’re going to need to negotiate and fight to get the best price for your guitar because the other party is going to keep on trying to drop the price as much as they can.

Clean Up Your Guitar

When you bring your instrument into Guitar Center, they will thoroughly inspect it and give you an offer based on the guitar’s condition.

The overall appearance of your guitar is key to getting the absolute best price possible.

Do whatever you can to clean up your guitar including dusting it off, polishing it, restringing it, and applying lemon oil to the fretboard

The more pristine your guitar looks, the better.


To wrap things up, Guitar Center does indeed buy guitars and other music equipment. Their trade-in program is actually quite good in terms of speed and convenience. If you’re someone who needs quick cash and doesn’t want to deal with guitar shipping costs or setting up an online profile, then definitely consider trading in at Guitar Center.

Trade-in Used Gear

Guitar Center

Guitar Center is the world's largest musical instrument retailer offering wide variety of guitar gear from the most reputable brands in the industry. Click the button to get the latest deals on all of your music related needs

Shop Guitar Center

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