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How to afford guitars you can’t afford?


Suhr S-Classic, V60LP's, Soft V neck
Gold Supporting Member
I did it two times a week back when I was doing it. Has that changed?
I don't think the physiology of the body has changed so I would think that the plasma collection companies will still take you every two weeks, which gives your body enough time to replenish the white blood cells they take in 2 pints, which is what your plasma is.


Silver Supporting Member
Man sitting at the crossroads said all have to do is sign on the line


Here is my advice. If you want to afford guitars you can’t afford you have to go out and find those rare deals. Everyone talks about how deals don’t exist anymore. That’s not true I find so many deals that I pass some of them them along.

The key to finding deals is to be patient, but consistently looking. I check Craigslist, Facebook marketplace, and OfferUp about 3 or 4 times a day. I also used to frequent pawn shops during the weekend or I my commute home from work. Lately, I just search pawnshop inventory on their website. Beats driving in the heat and I can search specific brands without having to waste gas.

You and I shop for guitars and basses at the same exact pawnshops.

Here are my best $500 and under pawnshop & CL scores over the last few years:

'74 USA Fender Jazz Bass (pawnshop $59.95)

'88 Carvin DC127 (pawnshop $92.37)

'09 Fender Highway 1 Honey Blonde Tele (pawnshop $100)

'90 MIJ Fender '57RI Olympic White P-Bass (pawnshop $115)

'96 MIJ Sonic Blue Jagstang (pawnshop $120)

'78 USA Fender Black P-Bass ( pawnshop $180)

'78 USA Hamer Black Bound & Crowned Sunburst
(pawnshop $180)

'92 USA Hamer Black Chapparal ( pawnshop $190)

'94 USA Fender Sunburst Jazz V Plus (pawnshop $204)

'76 MIJ Electra Black X-310 (pawnshop $230)

'03 Taylor Jumbo Custom acoustic electric (pawnshop $270)

'03 MIJ Epiphone "Elite" Black LP Custom (pawnshop $277)

'05 Gibson Black LP Studio (pawnshop $286)

'65 Gibson LG-0 (pawnshop $277)

'89 USA Fender Pewter Jazz Bass ( pawnshop $315)

'90 Fender Pewter Strat Plus (pawnshop $325)

'07 Fender Surf Green '57RI AVRI Strat (pawnshop $400)

'78 USA Fender Natural P-Bass (pawnshop $400)

'75 Fender Mocha Strat ( CL trade / value of trade $500)


Silver Supporting Member
For those advocating the 0% interest route, I presume that is only offered if you agree the MSRP of the instrument? If you can get the plan after you have also done haggling the best price, that might actually be a good deal but having done the sums with car dealers, I rarely think 0% interest is quite what it seems.


Senior Member
I've bought and sold dozens of guitars over the past few years. I'm neither rich nor poor.

My foundation is to never buy anything that I can't at least resell at the price I'm paying. Takes some time to build up the knowledge but it's worth it when you need to stretch your dollars.

Here's some other stuff:

  • Buy used or off big sales. Some brands like Squier, Yamaha and Godin offer really good value at retail prices, but unfortunately the pandemic-driven increases are making even those guitars less affordable at full price.
    • Don't get baited by big percentage discounts. Some guitars aren't worth a fraction of their retail price. Doesn't happen too often with brand new guitars but sometimes brands like Gibson and Fender offer pricey limited runs that flop hard. Other brands like D'Angelico on the other hand seem to always be on "sale" so take their "discount" as the everyday retail.
  • Local classifieds tend to be your best value. It's a seller's markets right now so online marketplaces like eBay and Reverb are really crappy for value-hunting - most good deals online get snapped up very quickly (as such it's only viable if you're VERY knowledgeable) but they can stick around a bit longer locally. Don't buy anything you're not sure about - although outside of the vintage market it's not too common for scams to be ran.
  • Don't underestimate used guitars at stores. Guitar Center often has good deals, owing to the fact they pay like crap for used guitars but give out quick cash. YMMV with smaller stores but it's worth checking them out to see how they price and treat second-hand guitars.
  • It's worth learning how to do basic TLC because some guitars get sold cheap used because they're dirty, poorly setup, have dusty pots, etc. Also learn how to identify things like uneven frets, warped necks and the such so you don't buy guitars that need more work than you think.


I don't think the physiology of the body has changed so I would think that the plasma collection companies will still take you every two weeks, which gives your body enough time to replenish the white blood cells they take in 2 pints, which is what your plasma is.
Well, they took people twice a week at the place I went, and even paid more for going twice within a week.

Voodoo Bob

When it comes to guitars I rarely buy anything north of 1k because I am a working musician, and I am hard on my guitars. I play hard, and beat the crap out of them in the process. Plus I don't do much high profile stuff and a lot of the neighborhoods I play in have high crime rates.

I have 17 guitars varying in prices from a 125 dollar Tele copy to a 1200 Dollar shredder type guitar with active pups and a Floyd Rose. If I want a specific guitar to sound/play better or different I upgrade and modify. Over the years my guitar tech skills have gotten quite sharp and I can do anything I'd ever need, to any of my existing guitars. Pretty much the same with amps.

PA equipment is a different story. I financed a good 25k in PA and lights stuff all at once about 5 years ago and it's all paid off now.

Alex Ilić

Silver Supporting Member
Maybe is my perspective totally wrong but I'll give a shot. Depending on your patience, experience skills, financial part and couple of some others aspects it's like matter of time. For me was it a two decades evolution regarding my perspective to how good/bad I'm playing, and eventually it ended up in some kind award for waiting, struggling with getting better and so on. For me was PRS artist "the dream guitar". So, saving bucks here and there from gigs, selliing my other two guitars was at the end of the road to how to afford something i couldn't afford...


Except the guitar financing is free and at the end, you own the guitar. Even if you have the cash to buy it upfront, it's foolish to pass up 48 month 0% financing.
Unless you hate the finance company so much you just won't bother with them.

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