The fact of the matter is guitar remains one of the most popular and most accessible instruments on the planet.
It has found its way into just about every genre of music. And even as electronic music steadily continues to gain popularity, guitar-centric music finds a new audience somewhere else.
And talented guitar players have found many ways to adapt the instrument to modern music and recording techniques.
And perhaps best of all, there are so many guitars out there that it’s easy to buy one for yourself and learn the instrument from scratch.
If you’re a beginner, there’s no reason to spend more than $100 on a guitar of decent quality that will serve you well for years to come if properly maintained.
And while it may be best to visit a real music store to hear how different guitars sound, feel, and look up-close, you just can’t beat the convenience of online shopping.
So what’s the best place to buy a guitar online? Well, it depends on your budget and the kind of guitar you’re looking for.
To help narrow it down, we’ve broken down some of the most popular sites for selling instruments, and guitars in particular.
Regardless of which site you use, it’s important to pay attention to the small details, especially when buying a used guitar. Sellers don’t always give enough information and you could end up with a warped guitar neck or electronic components that simply don’t work.
If the guitar isn’t really for you and you’d like to explore some other hobbies, check out this helpful guide.
Reverb has actually only been around for a few years, and in that time it has quickly become one of the easiest resell sites to navigate and use, either as a buyer or a seller.
Just head to the website and search for the guitar you want. From there, you can narrow the search based on your budget, brands, and specific models.
Sellers are also required to provide an accurate description of the condition of the instrument.
And if there’s a listing that doesn’t provide all the information you’d like, then you can very easily message the seller.
You can also make offers directly to the seller to help save a few bucks and beat other buyers to the punch.
And this certainly isn’t the most important factor when buying a guitar, but the site actually looks very nice, unlike a few of the other outlets we’ve listed here.
It doesn’t feel like a holdover of a design scheme from 2003, and this makes using the site that much more enjoyable.
Guitar Center remains one of the largest instrument retailers in the country. And for many people who live in fairly small cities and towns, it’s often the only big-box music store around.
And that’s both a positive and a negative. If you’re looking to buy a brand new guitar, then Guitar Center and Sam Ash are some of your best options.
The plus side of Guitar Center’s online presence is that it also features a number of used instruments.
The downside is that the used inventory is specific to each store, meaning you might have to pay a bit more for shipping.
Stores also only tend to buy instruments from customers if they’re really something special, meaning they can charge through the nose for them.
Still, Guitar Center’s website will give you a good idea of what contemporary guitars are being produced these days, and how much they tend to cost.
Sam Ash certainly doesn’t have the same wide reach as Guitar Center when it comes to physical store locations, but they make up for it with helpful service and a decent stock of used instruments, more or less all the time.
Their website is unfortunately pretty ugly, and once again, you’re not going to be able to find all that many used instruments.
Their focus is still, and will always be, selling brand new instruments to people who can afford to have many instruments in their collection.
But Sam Ash does offer efficient shipping and a great selection that’s slightly more curated than that of Guitar Center.
Sweetwater, to the best of our knowledge, doesn’t have any physical retail locations. Their specialty is online retail, and it shows.
The site is easy to use, and the brand is also able to boast some of the best customer service in the industry.
Even after making a purchase, you’re likely to receive an email from an actual human being who wants to know whether you’re satisfied with your purchase.
And when it comes to a big purchase like a guitar, that’s exactly the level of care and attention that you really want.
If you’re having trouble deciding on a specific guitar to buy, you can open up a chat window on their site and ask some questions about quality, features, and comparable models.
Sweetwater also offers some flexible payment options, including a 3-month plan that doesn’t add any interest to the transaction. You just have to make your payments on time.
In terms of selection, Sweetwater also focuses on brand new instruments, but what they do have spans dozens of different brands, including a few models that are no longer available in many big-box stores.
Depending on who you ask, eBay is sort of a last or first resort when it comes to buying a guitar.
Most of us have used the site before, and it’s much easier to be a buyer than a seller. The only real hiccup is the experience of trying to win a bidding war.
And when it comes to guitars, there is often a lot of competition to snag deals before they’re gone.
However, eBay doesn’t specialize in musical instruments. This isn’t necessarily a negative factor, but it does mean that you have to stay on your toes when choosing a specific guitar to try and buy.
Messaging sellers before making a purchase is inconvenient, and sellers tend to not answer very quickly.
But if you already have a specific model in mind and it’s a mass-produced guitar, then eBay can be a great way to find a seller who’s ready to sell one off for a little less than the normal asking price.