"Barely played" used guitars

Discussion in 'Bad Dog Cafe' started by Marc Morfei, May 17, 2021.

  1. Marc Morfei

    Marc Morfei Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

    Age:
    56
    Posts:
    2,678
    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2018
    Location:
    Wilmington, DE
    Just an idle random question...

    I always follow used listings on various sites, usually more for curiosity then serious interest. For some reason I am suspicious of ads for guitars that are a couple years old but are "like new, barely played, still has plastic on the pick guard!" (And there are surprisingly a lot of ads like that.) Why was it never played? Is there something wrong with it? Why did the owner not like it?

    I feel better about a guitar that shows wear and tear. That means it has been played a lot, which means someone liked it enough to play it a lot. Any setup tweaks it needed have probably already been made. Do those unplayed guitars just need proper setups, which the original owner maybe didn't think to get?

    So, am I on target to feel this way? Way off base? Just curious what everyone thinks.
     
  2. uriah1

    uriah1 Telefied Gold Supporter

    Posts:
    24,193
    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2011
    Location:
    Around
    Lazy with cash to burn or didnt want to admit he does not like it.
    SOmetimes it takes awhile.
     
  3. Killing Floor

    Killing Floor Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    2,628
    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2021
    Location:
    Austin, TX
    I know a lot of people buy guitars and give up pretty early. Probably the majority of buyers don’t stick with it.
     
  4. Chester P Squier

    Chester P Squier Tele-Holic

    Age:
    72
    Posts:
    688
    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2021
    Location:
    Covington, LA
    Hey, not everybody is musically inclined.
     
    Wildcard_35 and hnryclay like this.
  5. blowtorch

    blowtorch Telefied Ad Free Member

    Posts:
    38,073
    Joined:
    May 2, 2003
    Location:
    Wisco
    I'm certainly not.

    Any facility I've gained on any instrument has been through blood sweat and tears, not natural inclination. Sheer determination and being too dumb to give it up
    The cool thing is, after a good long time, you about can't help being able to somewhat fake it
     
  6. bgmacaw

    bgmacaw Poster Extraordinaire

    Posts:
    6,557
    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2006
    Location:
    Near Athens GA USA
    I've run across these kinds of guitars from time to time while going to garage/estate sales and auctions. They've usually been stowed away in closets, or worse, for years because the owner played them about a week and then gave up playing. They're typically lower end Squiers, Epiphones or the like and usually are in dire need of new strings and a setup. Sometimes they've suffered environmental damage from being stored in a damp basement or a cold/hot storage building.

    They can be really good fixer-uppers or complete basket cases. I've been at about 60% good, 20% in need of serious repair and 20% not feasible to repair, on the ones I've bought.
     
    Unionjack515 and aging_rocker like this.
  7. DjimiWrey

    DjimiWrey Tele-Holic

    Age:
    66
    Posts:
    524
    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2020
    Location:
    austin
    i'm with you on that, blowtorch
    i laugh when people say "you're talented" lol
    uh uh, baby.... talent would've had an easy great career
    i'm just really REALLY stubborn enough to make the guitar do what i want it to.... it's work
    luckily for some of us it's the kind of work we like
     
    jackal, OmegaWoods, 3fngrs and 2 others like this.
  8. nojazzhere

    nojazzhere Doctor of Teleocity

    Age:
    69
    Posts:
    14,728
    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2017
    Location:
    Foat Wuth, Texas
    I agree that a good number of guitars are purchased, the owners "try" to learn, get discouraged, and then put them away in a closet. But there's also the "marketing" aspect by the seller. Many potential buyers are turned off by the "used" thing. Along with this, many ads will say, "Used only at home.....never on a stage"....as if using a guitar, amp or pedal at home is less wearing than public performance. Not every guitar that's played looks "relic'd".....but too many amateurs like the idea of a "virginal-looking" guitar.
     
    KATT and Wildcard_35 like this.
  9. Fretting out

    Fretting out Poster Extraordinaire

    Age:
    29
    Posts:
    8,493
    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2019
    Location:
    Land of Mary
    Like this!
    A “USED” 2014 model I bought in 2017-18

    248FA8A9-C3AD-4398-B0F8-85FA506490D7.jpeg 24AF0F81-7F72-42B9-9DBD-89263F9F9D1F.jpeg

    Still has the sticker over the spring hole, absolutely nothing wrong with it

    I feel the same way as the o.p most the time
     
    OmegaWoods, Sax-son and Blue Bill like this.
  10. 39martind18

    39martind18 Friend of Leo's

    Age:
    70
    Posts:
    2,605
    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2012
    Location:
    Spring TX
    Guitars that don't "stick" in my stable are those that do not live up to my expectations, either playing-wise or tuning wise. While I am able to do a decent setup on my guitars, including intonation, if they play in tune but do not stay in tune after a reasonable number of attempts to rectify the situation, I will move on without much angst. A good example is a D'Angelico Premier SS I got in a trade. It was a great looking instrument, had fine action, played in tune, but would not stay in tune through a whole song, so I didn't bond with it. I eventually traded it for what became my partscaster Tele, which I really love. I did trade for a D'Angelico Excel SS, which is a serious upgrade from the Premier. It is all I really wanted when I got the Premier, so getting a used guitar from me is usually a sign it didn't live up to expectations.
     
  11. Willie Johnson

    Willie Johnson Tele-Afflicted

    Age:
    101
    Posts:
    1,045
    Joined:
    May 24, 2016
    Location:
    Chicagoland
    I got a Squier Standard Strat in cherry burst that was like that--marked used on the rack for $139, stickers still on it, and it's about 90% of the quality of my "nice" guitar, a 90's American Standard Strat. Who cares why it was unloved--more for me.
     
    Wildcard_35 likes this.
  12. Digital Larry

    Digital Larry Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    2,963
    Joined:
    May 30, 2017
    Location:
    Silicon Valley, CA
    Last one I got is perfectly fine, an ASAT Special Tribute. Few things against it that have nothing to do with it really.
    a) It is VERY bright, yeah OK I can turn down the knobs etc. but it hurts my ears with my developing hearing loss issues.
    b) Too many guitars! I'm currently thinking about unloading this one, my Squier Jazzmaster Deluxe, and my 1984/5 Guild Dreadnought (which DOES have some wear).
    c) Last one in, first one out.
    d) Last year I went a little koo-koo buying gear. Now I realize I don't need or use all this stuff and am kinda thinking about trimming it down to keep things simpler.
     
  13. stepvan

    stepvan Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

    Posts:
    1,126
    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2018
    Location:
    out there somewhere
    As others have said the good ones stay and the not so good guitars eventually move on to greener pastures
     
  14. Telenator

    Telenator Doctor of Teleocity Vendor Member

    Posts:
    14,101
    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2005
    Location:
    Vermont
    Manufacturers have enjoyed "record sales" over the past two years.
    It stands to reason that there will be "record availability of like-new used guitars" for the next few years.
     
  15. String Tree

    String Tree Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

    Posts:
    16,537
    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2010
    Location:
    Up North
    I bought my first Strat like that.
    Some guy bought it New, never played it, decided to sell it six months later on consignment at a store that was a block from where I work.
    They had it on the sales floor for about 20 minutes when in came I.

    I played it, it was in perfect condition as the store owner had fine tunes the set up.
    I bought it.
    Nice little Squier Strat, white with Rosewood neck, $149.
    Came with the original cardboard box from Fender.
    Gigged with it that weekend.
     
  16. Cam

    Cam Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    2,108
    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2003
    Location:
    Canada, somewhere in former Oilville
    I always laugh silently when I see the ones advertised as “barley used”. There are a lot finger slurring beer drinking sellers out there evidently.
    I read something out there in the past. The author stated words there about “I'm amazed at the popularity of the guitar as the initial learning curve is so painful and awkward on the hands and fingers. It is a difficult instrument when you are first learning it.”
     
    Last edited: May 17, 2021
    Greggorios likes this.
  17. P Thought

    P Thought Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

    Posts:
    11,860
    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2009
    Location:
    Plundertown (Gasville) OR
    I tried several times to sell my first guitar within the first few months after I bought it; I'd decided I would never learn to play it. I think I paid $250 for it new, and when I'd tried advertising it (in the classifieds) as low as $100, I decided that for any less money I might as well keep it.

    Then I decided I might as well play it.

    I think my ad said NEARLY NEW Takamine. . . .
     
  18. Controller

    Controller Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

    Posts:
    4,506
    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2010
    Location:
    Montana
    I bought a "used" Squier Jaguar bass online from GC. It had obviously not been played or set up. A great bass for little money. The used gear I've bought from GC has been seriously undergraded. Always a pleasant surprise!

    IMG_20180706_161324878.jpg
     
    Chuckster and Obsessed like this.
  19. SixStringSlinger

    SixStringSlinger Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    4,390
    Joined:
    May 21, 2006
    Location:
    Space
    Someone here has a signature line about spending years fighting for every note, only for people to (unknowingly, I'm sure) brush it off as "talent".

    At this point I certainly have an ability/facility with the instrument, but absolutely none of it came naturally, aside from wanting to do something cool.
     
    blowtorch likes this.
  20. Obsessed

    Obsessed Telefied Silver Supporter

    Posts:
    27,454
    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2012
    Location:
    Montana
    I personally know two people who buy mid to high end guitars and sell them off with very little play time on them. Both will leave the plastic on the pickguards until they know it is a keeper (at least for a little while:rolleyes:). Very difficult for me to watch the bath they take on reselling (both of them can afford this crazy behavior), but I know that people out there are getting one heck of a deal once in awhile.

    My second thought is after last year, there should be lots of these ... deals.
     
    Happy Enchilada and P Thought like this.
IMPORTANT: Treat everyone here with respect, no matter how difficult!
No sex, drug, political, religion or hate discussion permitted here.