How to Determine the Value of a Musical Instrument

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Determining the value of a musical instrument can rely on a few factors that include the demand for the product and its original list price. There are online tools that can help you determine a used instrument's value as well as ways to use current sales data to find the figure. With a little research and an offer from a music store, you can determine the fair market value of any instrument you wish to sell.

  • Log on to the miBluebook website. This website can provide you with data related to a musical instrument's worth. They compile data from eBay sales and estimate going prices for all different types of music instruments including amps, guitars, basses and percussion. They get the data on completed sales from eBay and allow you to see what a similar instrument to yours has recently sold for on that incredibly popular auction site.

  • Log on to the Orion Musical Instrument Blue Book website to find the value of a musical instrument. For a small fee, you can check the value of any instrument you wish including effects units and guitars. This is the book used by most music stores to determine sales prices for used equipment. Although they will always offer a much lower price, you can use the Orion Blue Book to figure how much any instrument is worth.

  • Check Internet classifieds such as Craigslist for the going rates of similar instruments. You can see what people are charging for similar instruments and make an accurate assessment of what you may be able to sell yours for on the open market. You can search for a particular instrument and see how many times they have re-listed the item and what price changes they have made. This method will allow you to see the demand for your instrument in your particular area.

  • Go to your local music store and attempt to sell the item you are interested in locating information about. Music stores need to make some profit, so their offer is a trade in value and only gives you an idea of what it is actually worth. If they know they can sell a guitar for about $500, they will usually only offer you one-half of that value. So, in turn, if they offer $500 for an instrument, it is most likely worth closer to $1000.

  • Find the current list price for the instrument if it is still in production. An instrument that is in great shape is usually worth about 45 percent of the original list price in great condition. Instruments that are missing parts or have extensive wear are often worth only about 25 percent of the list price. A vintage instrument is often worth many times the original list price, and you should consult a vintage collector for its value.

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