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What to Know about Selling Guitars in Chicago

Posted on April 3rd, 2018 by JoeG

Starting in the late 1960’s and early 1970’s, selling guitars in Chicago became a trendy market of its own. Since then, it has become a solid pastime, hobby, business and a passion to find that “holy grail” for countless people worldwide. Guitars are considered “vintage” if they’re from the 1970’s or older, but there’s no strict set of rules when it comes to this topic, as some younger people born in the 1980’s feel that era represents nostalgic vintage for them.


It’s not necessarily how old a guitar is, it’s how rare one is. Like a 1949 Gibson L-5 may only be worth $1600.00 but a newer 1961 L-5 will be worth $8,000.00 and up and more. Guitars are made up with many parts, so having a guitar with all the original parts determines it’s value & collectability; if your guitar may have replacement parts that didn’t come on the original guitar when it was originally manufactured it can affect the value from 10% to 40%. Things like the tuning keys or machine heads, nuts, knobs are less of a detriment, but if the original electronics, the pickups, wiring, electronic parts and the original finish have been changed, it can decrease the guitar’s value tremendously. If your end goal is to sell your guitar in Chicago, it is better to have a completely original stock instrument, so try to avoid replacing parts, even if you’re doing so to make the instrument play better, or sound different by adding switches to make the guitars electronics sound different. For a player that is not concerned about originality or re-sale value then it’s fine to do whatever you want to your guitar, but the facts are, the more original condition and parts your guitar has, the more money it’s worth.


Original Finish on your guitar is also an important factor in determining the price. You’ll often see guitars labeled “refinished” or “refin,” meaning that at some point, it was repainted. Even the highest quality refinishes can decrease a guitar’s value by 50 percent or more. Other issues like cracks, repaired splits and cracks, replaced electronic and other modifications ( called “Mods”) decrease value and structural integrity ( breaks even repaired breaks) can cause serious value decrease. The overall sound quality and play-ability are other things to keep in mind when it comes to used guitars. If it doesn’t feel and play to your preference and has an uncomfortable action that cannot be adjusted by a qualified repair person it may have other issues like a broken truss rod. If you’re looking to sell your guitar, banjo, mandolin, ukulele or another music instrument, visit Chicago Gold Gallery where we have seasoned experienced professional musicians & collectors on staff to pay you top dollar for your guitars and musical instruments.

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Customer Testimonial

Had a Great Experience

"I drove all the way from the south side just to sell my silver to Chicago Gold Gallery because of the knowledge and professionalism I received on the phone. They gave me top dollar for my silver and were so fast and friendly. I definitely recommend this business!"

Date: 10/27/2017 • 5 / 5 stars ★★★★★

Can't say enough about this place.

This is the most welcoming, non-pretentious place to do business! I was researching where to sell sterling silver I had and ended up choosing here based on the other great reviews. They walked me through the whole process and answered my questions. I got a great price for my items & will go there again.

Date: 09/17/2018 • 5 / 5 stars ★★★★★

Love this place!

Chrissy & Joe are all super friendly and easy to work with. I trust them and they will do whatever they can to help you including giving you advice on what you have or what you should look for. I won't ever go anywhere else and I've recommended it to several friends.

Date: 08/02/2015 • 5 / 5 stars ★★★★★

I would do business with them again

I had a large collection of silver coins sitting in my safe deposit box for 15+ years. Chrissy was so friendly and helpful she even gave me advice about coins I didn't know. She was more than happy to help me for over an hour in between taking care of other customers. They really did give me top dollar for my coins. Whether you are new or a pro with coins, I can highly recommend you take them here!

Date: 02/22/2020 • 5 / 5 stars ★★★★★

Don't Hesitate to call...

I find that Joe at Chicago Gold Gallery consistently offers and pays more for my coins than coin dealers in Chicagoland. He's very nice and easy to deal with. Don't hesitate to call him and preferably visit him.

Date: 12/04/2015 • 5 / 5 stars ★★★★★

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