The secrets to used guitar haggling!!


May 2, 2013
Hey guys,

I have been having soooo much fun on this forum!
Thanks for everyone's help answering all my questions!


I thought I would make a thread where everyone would post their secrets to getting a good deal buying a USED guitar. (I may make a thread for new ones too)

Please tell us all your secrets and tricks. (I don't mean deceitful tricks, just haggling tricks)

Also, post pictures of your used strats and tell us the deals you got on them.

I hope this will be fun,


Senior Stratmaster
Mar 8, 2012
Veracruz Mexico
I make an offer and stick with it, even of he doesn't accept it I don't offer more, there will be others or when he doesn't sell it he will come back to my offer and if he doesn't it wasn't for me.

Sent via Hedwig.


Senior Stratmaster
Apr 5, 2011
Sun City, Az.
Try to find out what the shop paid for it, they won't tell you outright, but you may figure it out by the asking price. The shop will make some amount of money, and thats fair, they have a payroll to pay. I like to point out flaws or condition of the guitar, they may know these, but will pretend not! I have even asked pawn shops to go into the back room and find me a deal, I have scored 3 times on that. Always act like you know guitars, they won't try to fool you, or over sell you! Good Luck! .....poppa


Senior Stratmaster
Feb 7, 2013
leicester UK
If I am after a specific model of guitar I always research the subject well before hand so that the sales person know I'm well informed about it's pro's and con's and I always have a warm up before I go to the store so that I sound as good as I can when I try it out. It makes them less inclined to try to give you any hard sell BS and more inclined to give you a discount. Usually works for me anyway.


Jun 11, 2006
Roseburg, OR
Get to know a used shop owner well. Tell him you tell all your friends how great him and his shop is. Buy and wear the t-shirts he's got with his shop name on it and let him see you wearing it when you stop by. And finally, do it all for real.

Be his friend, it will work out to your benefit.

Unless he's a jerk. Then you gotta' make him an offer and stick to it.


Apr 28, 2013
My number one secret ... patience.

Get to know...

2 of the most important things imo.

my advice is counterintuitive. know a good deal when you see one, and don't screw around. for example: i just bought a ac4tvh. it was advertised on kijiji for $100.
i know it's a good amp.
i know what it costs new. it was a sweet deal, so i didn't haggle with the guy at all. we fired it up, i played a few licks to verify it works, then i handed him his money. i shook his hand and said thank you. i felt that as cheap as he listed it, to ask for another discount would have been ungrateful, and insulting.

Tee H C

Senior Stratmaster
Jan 27, 2012
If you love it and want it bad, never let the owner know, act as if it's only 'just' suitable, and only 'just' making the grade. Never act desperate.


Sep 20, 2008
Sometimes it is sheer dumb luck. Most times its the knowledge of what you are looking at.

Dumb luck find:


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Jack FFR1846

Senior Stratmaster
May 4, 2011
Hopkinton, MA
I pretty much buy mim strats and the occational tele. I have a "buy" price. I'll offer that freely and so long as the neck is fine and it's nOt a squirecaster will just buy it. If the ad has my "buy" price to begin with, I'll ask if the seller can do better. If yes, I end up with a great deal. If no, that's fine too. I'm not afraid to send craigslisters what they consider a lowball and a full 50% of the tIme, they eventually accept my offer. Hey, a mim strat on sale is under $400. A stock used one is not worth $450 just because you changed the pickguard and include a strap and cord


Mar 17, 2013
Missouri USA
For me, I research what I'm buying to know what the market value is. Then I consider what it's worth to me. And sometimes it may be worth more to you than market value. Make your offer, and never come off of that offer! Example : I offer $200. Seller says $201… I walk away. Guitars, guns, motorcycles, cars… I get some great deals this way.


Strat-Talk Member
Jan 21, 2012
Rapid City SD
So, is that how you sell too, hard assed, no room to work?

I believe in being flexible.

When you are getting a heck of a deal anyway, why would you try to low-ball a person?


Senior Stratmaster
Oct 12, 2009
Memphis, TN
There is usually a difference if you're dealing with an individual seller or a store/shop. Do your research and understand what a guitar is worth if you sell it a week from now. A store is usually more difficult to deal with simply because they aren't in as big of a hurry to sell. They sell many other items and your interest in one guitar doesn't make them want to cut their profit just to sell to you. They'll leave it hanging on the wall until they get their price. An individual selling on Craigslist, eBay or other classified ads want to sell that one item quickly because they need money now. Your best leverage is with that individual seller. If you want a clean, unmodified MIM Strat selling on Craigslist for $300 know that it's worth about $250 if you sell it. Offer him $200 cash today and stick to it. A store may not be as willing to negotiate since they can afford to be patient and get a better price but it doesn't hurt to offer $200 and leave your phone number- you never know. Don't be swayed by the seller's personal story about how much they need the money for whatever. Just let it go in one ear and out the other. It's probably BS anyway. I tell the seller that my offer is all I have to spend at this time and I can't spend more. Be patient and be prepared to not get that particular guitar. Don't worry, Fender made many, many more that will be available if you're patient.


Dec 29, 2012
La Crosse, WI
lionsm13;1282373 When you are getting a heck of a deal anyway said:
x2...If I'm getting a fair price, I just pay it. Not going to remember over paying by $25 or $50 a year from now, but I would remember loosing a great guitar at a fair price to someone else because I wanted $25 off.


Most Honored Senior Member
Jun 3, 2009
Mobile Bay, Alabama
Let's include what not to say during haggling...

Any offer of 1/4 the street price for a current production guitar that looks like it just left the store (like new) will anger the seller, and it should! :mrgreen: I've been on the selling end with 'one of those' hagglers.


Most Honored Senior Member
Feb 16, 2012
My number one secret ... patience.

Sometimes you just have to be prepared to walk. If you HAVE to have it, you pay extra for that. If it is a one a kind type item, you won't have much room if the person selling knows what it is worth and the asking price is close.