appraisal

In my mind, appraisers have one of the toughest jobs, as they have to be extremely precise in their work. If they appraise too low, the owner can become offended; if they appraise too high, disappointment can set in when those values aren’t met


In my mind, appraisers have one of the toughest jobs, as they have to be extremely precise in their work. If they appraise too low, the owner can become offended; if they appraise too high, disappointment can set in when those values aren’t met.

The problem with evaluations is that they are entirely subjective – after all, who really decides what something is worth? If you remember the television show Full House, there was an episode where Danny Tanner has a yard sale to get rid of his clutter but he doesn’t sell anything because everything is so ridiculously overpriced. Deep down, Danny didn’t want to part with anything; therefore he priced things so high that nobody would bite.

My job is to price things accurately, but fairly at the same time. In these final two installments (one month’s space was not enough to properly cover all of this) of identifying, dating, and evaluating your guitar, I’m going to show you how to put a price on your gear and ultimately determine if it is trash or treasure.

The First Place to Start
If you’re looking to determine a price for a guitar or amp, you’ll want to begin with the Blue Books, of course! This is more than just a shameless plug – our books are extremely thorough and helpful. Our three current books – seperately covering acoustic guitars, electric guitars and amplifiers – each have over 2,200 pages, cover hundreds of popular and not-so-popular makes and manufacturers, and include pictures to help in identification.

Although the Blue Books are extremely comprehensive, not every guitar in the universe is included (if every guitar was in there, you’d kill about 15 trees just to print one copy!). If your guitar isn’t listed in our books or you don’t know what it is, that doesn’t mean it is not worth anything (refer to “Trash or Treasure” in the May and June issues). For instance, Brazilian rosewood was used on many acoustic instruments before most companies stopped using it in the late 1960s, and this wood is quite valuable. Regardless of the make or model, a guitar with this wood will command a premium.

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