Well, if you’re gonna flip guitars (buy guitars to resell), first thing ya gotta do is get some guitars to flip! (Yes, I know I’m a genius!) LOL!
Guitar Flipping: Buying
You may have multiple reasons for wanting to flip guitars, like learning how to setup or repair. But if your a guitar flipper, the bottom line is that you’re buying to resell at a profit. You must never lose sight of that goal.
I’ve bought thousands of guitars and made many mistakes, but I don’t think I ever actually lost money guitar flipping – broke even sometimes, but 99% of the time I made a nice profit and still gave the buyer a great deal. That should be your goal – everybody wins – seller, buyer and you.
For this to happen, part of what the seller “wins” is not having to wait weeks or months to convert his guitar into cash. The “interest” he pays for quicker cash, is likely less money than he originally had asked for. Another “win” for the seller might be unloading a guitar that has problems – maybe problems he wasn’t even aware of before you pointed them out.
Type of Used Guitar to Buy
Looking at our “Mind Map” of Guitar Flipping at the top of this page, it seems we should begin by deciding what kind of guitar we should be looking for. Sure, it’s fun just to browse the guitar sale listings and follow up on whatever guitars catch our eye, but we really should “Begin with the end in mind.” as Stephen Covey would say.
By the way, I highly recommend Covey’s great book, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. I consider this to be the most important book I’ve ever read, and I’m a big reader!
Since our end goal is to sell the guitars we buy, and especially since you’re just starting off and may have limited funds, you want to buy guitars that will sell quickly.
As with clothing, styles change with the times, but some styles are timeless, and therefore safer for your earliest purchases –
Timeless Guitar Styles
I’m not even considering acoustic guitars at this stage. Why not? They take more expensive tools to repair, are more fragile and require working craftsman skills that not everyone can easily acquire. Oh yeah, and they’re bigger and take up more space. If you’re working from home, that may be a big issue.
On the other hand, electric guitars are far more straight-forward, easier to work on, require less storage space and you can get started with a smaller investment in tools and equipment.
Going top to bottom, left to right, I’ve ordered these guitar styles by popularity. You’ve noticed that I haven’t listed bass guitars, eh? It’s not that they don’t sell well nor that they’re difficult to work on. It’s just that my experience has been that they aren’t quite as popular as any of the four styles I’ve listed above, but a close runner-up to semi-hollows. Also, I’d prefer to address bass guitars in their own category. (i.e.: Later).
So your safest bet is to concentrate on Strats, LP’s and Teles in the beginning. They’re more popular than other styles and they’re easier to work on than semi-hollows. Don’t pass up a great deal on a 4-string bass guitar, just don’t let them be more than 10%-15% of your inventory at first.
Best-Selling Price Range for Guitar Flipping
While you’re learning the trade, you want to spread your risk and not invest too much in any single guitar. The good news is that cheap guitars sell well! Even better news, is that cheap guitars bring you customers that you can “up-sell” to a slightly better model either right away, or months down the road.
So, yeah – you gotta have at least a couple of $99* gutiars. Those will make the phone ring! Starting off, if I were buying ten guitars, I’d aim for two I could sell at $99; three guitars for $120 to $170 a couple in the $200 range and a couple of nice guitars between $300 to $500. (* these are all 2021 dollars in case you need to take inflation into account.)
If your budget is modest, you’ll do fine starting off with just the cheaper guitars. When I started back up in 2016, I used $1500 I got from selling one of my outboard motors. My current sixty guitar inventory is valued at several times that amount. My guitar sales have financed tools, equipment, covered household expenses and many cool toys! 🙂 Your investment will also grow rapidly, even if you start small, so long as you reinvest in your business and your inventory until you have the tools and inventory you need.
You’re generally not going to be paying the “asking prices” you see in guitar ads. We’ll get deeper into that in our “Negotiating” and “Final Offer” sections (see the mind map above).
Continue reading “Best Guitars to Flip”