What I Learned by Selling my Guitar
It was love at first sight and a nervous swipe of my debit card to make the $1400 Gibson Explorer mine. It was the biggest purchase I had ever made. I felt so much joy and accomplishment, just walking out of the store that day — Sun on my face and my new guitar in my hand. I was on top of the world, and I could envision myself on stage, the lights in my eyes, and the crowd wildly chanting “JARED! JARED! JARED!” My dreams of being a world-renowned Rockstar were finally going to come true!
Fast forward to the present where it turns out I was more of a weekend Rockstar (who wants to deal with all the fame and drugs anyway) and ten years after that magical day, I now own a business and live a completely different dream: that of an entrepreneur. Having insufficient time to dedicate to chasing rock-legend status, I decided to sell my precious explorer. I was thinking that I would take it to a consignment shop, and in a few days someone walking by with the same dream of killing it on stage would immediately hand over a grand and a half… WRONG!
So, this brings me to the purpose of writing this post on a business website, and what I learned from selling my guitar. The hardest thing that I learned is that even if you love something, and have amazing and precious memories of it, does not affect the monetary worth of that item. That guitar may have meant the world to me, but in reality, my dreams were worth about $800 cash, with a large percentage my guitar’s value going to the old guy with the coffee breath behind the counter.
After finding out what it was going to cost me, I signed the consignment paperwork and handed over my explorer, which was placed in a guitar stand along with a handful of other forgotten soldiers. A month went by, and that’s when I decided that despite their best efforts, the store clerk wasn’t going to be able to sell my item quickly – and I didn’t think I was going to be satisfied at the end anyway. I picked up my guitar feeling a bit defeated.
A few days went by and I decided to try selling the explorer online privately. I posted it on a couple of the most popular “sell your stuff” sites like Kijiji, Craigslist, and Facebook. Within three days I met with this dude who was just as excited as I was the first time I held the explorer. With a smile on his face, the buyer handed over $900, it was done. It took a bit more leg work on my end, I had to deal with the few “lowerballers” and “guys that want to trade you for an Ibanez” but in the end, it was worth it.
The interaction with the buyer was great, he told me he played in a garage band and the explorer was a dream guitar for him, as it had been for me. He and I both walked away feeling great about the transaction.
What’s the moral of the story you ask? Don’t buy extravagantly expensive guitars!!! Just kidding, the real moral is to make your own opportunity. As easy as it is to drop off your guitar and let someone else take care of the sale, the truth is you’ll do a better job of it yourself, and end up with more money in the end. Ultimately, no one cares as much about your wallet as you do. So, I hope you take my advice, and let this empower you the next time you make a deal.