How to sell your guitar for the best price...

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In this guide I am going to provide some insight into how to get the best price and most interest for your guitar in an e-Bay auction.

I am going to break this guide into the various sections of your 'ad' on e-Bay and use a very basic and generic listing being a Fender Stratocaster; starting with:

Title:

Keep your title short and simple, describe the model i.e. 'Fender Stratocaster' the year i.e.'1978' and any other information such as 'Rare' or 'Limited run.' Don't add other things in such as 'LOOK!' and 'BUY IT!' these are off-putting to buyers and don't look very tactful or classy. So for example if you are selling a 1978 Fender Stratocaster that is very rare your title should look something like this '1978 Fender Stratocaster, Very Rare' or 'Fender Stratocaster, 1978, Rare'

Photograph:

Photo's are so important when selling an item, I mean there are hundreds of Fender Strat's on e-Bay and people tend to just zoom through the listings opening up whatever takes their eye so having a picture next to the title when people look through the listings is very important. Of course another important thing is having a few different shots of the item on your page. For selling a guitar these are the most ideallic angles; Front of the entire guitar [preferably in a guitar stand or upright], Back of entire guitar, Close-Up of Front of Body, Close up of Headstock, Dings [be sure to at least document the dings/dents/marks/scratches on your guitar and their severity - the buyer most know exactly what he/she is getting]
The best pictures are taken during the day, outside and out of the sun. Most people hate looking at photos of a guitar or other item taken in a very dark or dim room with nothing but a big fat spot of flash reflecting off it. Also, very important for guitars is make sure you wipe it down good or even better polish it all over (Fender guitar polish works a treat on all guitars) it can be very off-putting seeing a photo of a guitar with mucky handprints and grease all over it. A sense of cleanliness will help sell your guitar for the price you want.

Price:

Price is always a tricky one and perhaps the most vital thing in your listing, too high and no-body will bid, too low and you may not get the right price. So obviously you want to go somewhere in between. Usually people can see a rip-off - you mustn't forget also that the main reason people shop on e-Bay is to get a lower price for the item they want. Much of the time people don't know how much they paid for a guitar of what it is worth, and the very obvious solution is to look at similar listings and then evaluate your item, there may be features on it that would make it worth more like Seymour Duncan pickups or it may come with a hard case.
If you know what you paid for it, work your way down on condition of the guitar, so you had a Fender Strat you bought new for $780 two years ago but it had three small dings on the upper horn, you would value it down. Having said that don't charge people the price YOU paid for it because for that money they could go into a shop and buy it new, without the worry of postage, paypal e.t.c. If you paid $780 for it perhaps you could start bidding at $600, don't forget if it's a high demand item then there will be a lot of bids, and starting at a much lower price attracts many more bidders.

Item Description:

Your item description is a very important tool for marketing your item to people, I have seen one too many skimp on having a well written, informative description and then not getting the best bid. Of course having too much information and over-doing it is not wise either as it can be a turn-off for your potential buyers. Essentially, you want to lay it out like this:

TITLE/HEADER

Actual description of the item the buyer is bidding on.

Features, this is where you put all the specifications of the guitar like hardware, pickups, frets e.t.c. The buyer will usually make his/her decision based on this information so make sure you do a good job at being descriptive and informative. Also if it comes with it's original case, write this.

Bonuses, leave this until last, maybe you will throw in a packet of strings or perhaps it comes with some case candy.

Postage:

Never, ever, overcharge on postage, it will completely turn a buyer off your item. Get a quote from Australia Post on the exact price, not $10 or $20 more, the exact quoted price. Also if you are comfortable with courier companies or the buyer arranging his/her own method of transport state that. If you are comfortable with local pickup, state that too. >International: A great way of broadening your bidding network and potential buyers is to allow for international bidders - of course in this case Paypal or Credit Card is the way to go and you must be comfortable shipping overseas (to be honest I would only open it to the following countries; North America, Europe, UK, NZ.)

Payment Methods:

Keep your options open here, many buyers just limit themselves to pay-pal and this turns a lot of people away.  I find a great, informal way of paying is via. AusPost Money Order, and although some people think of it as 'snail payment' it's a sure-fire way of paying and doesn't tie in other details that may not be necessary to the transaction.

Bidders:

Finally, you are allowed to be selective of the people who bid for your guitar, after all it is YOUR item. I find many people are selective about Zero-Feedback or Negative-Feedback bidders, in the case of Zero-Feedback, alert such bidders to contact you before bidding and state their interest, this way you know whats happening, with Negative-Feedback bidders you really have to watch it, you could cancel them out but that is prejudice as the negative feedback may not be their fault or it could've been a complication...so get them to contact you and state their interest - if their negative feedback is not an issue to you (perhaps they left negative feedback to somebody who sold them a dodgy and then that person left a neg for them) then send them a message back stating you have no-problem with them bidding.

Of course you don't have to take this exact route, but take this information into account as it will help sell your item for the best price and get the most amount of people interested.

Cheers,

the_grooveman

 

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