Buying And Selling Instruments On Craigslist

Posted on August 29, 2010

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Hello and thank you for choosing Billy’s World Airlines.  Please remain seated with your safety belt fastened and your tray tables in their upright position.  We are now ready for take off.

Welcome to my first blog here at Guitar Video Channel.  As I’m sitting here thinking about what to write, I find myself sidetracked clicking on my local Craigslist to view the Musical Instruments classifieds.  I thought I’d share some quick tips on this popular way to buy, sell and trade guitars, basses, drums, keyboards, heck I even saw a trombone on today’s postings.

Why Craigslist?

Craigslist is free to post, view and respond to the For Sale sections.  The site gets about 50 million hits a month.  (That’s for everything, not just your gently used Squier Strat that you received as a birthday gift 2 years ago)  With the economy in its current state and local music shops only willing to shell out approx. 40% of what they can sell the item for used, Craigslist cuts out the middle man completely.  (Sorry Ebay/Paypal, you guys got greedy!)

Buying Tips

The early bird gets the worm.  You never know who is going to post what and for how much.  So you could miss out on that ’59 Les Paul for $100 if you aren’t careful.  However, read the ad carefully and ask as many questions as needed to be sure of the condition of the instrument, making sure it works, as well as knowing exactly what you’re getting.

A quick Google search will help you decide if the item is worth it through reviews (Harmony Central is great for this) as well as Ebay search results to see what a fair price is (Ebay I guess you aren’t all evil)

Selling Tips

A picture is worth a thousand words right?  (Do you wish I just posted a picture instead of writing this blog?)   There is no better way to explain the condition, brand or model info of your instrument than with a picture.

Research your item.  The more information you know about the item, the more comfortable someone will be about purchasing the item.

Pricing: As I said before a quick Google or Ebay search should give you a ballpark figure of the going used rate of your item.  Interested parties may try to haggle a bit, it’s your decision if you honor that or price your item firm.

Scams: Since Craigslist is free and mostly anonymous, it is easy for scam artists to send you an email as genuine as our long lost oil tycoon uncle who left us $30 mil. and all we have to do is send some honest stranger our banking info.  To remedy this, I have my email sent to a junk email account and never ship anything or accept any other payment than cash.  I don’t give out a cell phone number until I’m certain it is an actual interested buyer vs. someone just trying to abuse my contact info.

Overall

Overall, there are never any guarantees, warranties or returns with Craigslist.  Make sure you are 100% happy with the transaction before agreeing to it.  There is never a contract so you are always welcome to walk away or call off a deal.  You never know who you are dealing with, so be safe and plan to meet in a mutually agreed upon meeting place with people around.

The End.

Currently Listening to: O, Yeah! Ultimate Aerosmith Hits.

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