Looking for used Fender guitars? Good choice! Fender guitars are some of the most iconic guitars in music history. What would the music world look like without the venerable Stratocaster and Telecaster? The Stratocaster is considered the most widely copied guitar model in history, and for good reason - its versatility, classic styling, and easy capacity for modification have made it an undeniable part of music history. And where would country music be without the venerable Telecaster?
For brand name guitars, the Stratocaster and Telecaster are also fairly affordable, especially considering that there are “boutique” versions of these instruments that will run into the thousands. Even though new versions of these instruments are affordable, buying used is a great way to save even more money.
Not that Gibson, PRS, or other guitars aren’t durable, but Fender guitars have a well-earned reputation for being real workhouses, and my own experience bears this out. My favorite guitar in the world is a Telecaster, but let’s face it - it’s a hunk of wood with a guitar neck bolted on. Pretty tough! Strats as well seem to excel at taking abuse. For that reason, buying a used Strat or Tele doesn’t involve a great deal of risk. When you play one, it is what it is, and buying used can help you save several hundred dollars.
As with any used guitar, there are several places for you to find your next used Fender. If you want to buy locally, websites like Craigslist are a great place to find used gear, though the quality can vary widely. Still, you can find some really good deals through Craigslist. Just be patient (and safe). Of course, eBay is traditionally a top site for finding used guitars online. Just make sure you check out the seller's feedback and reputation as well as their return policies and the like. Another site, run by Chicago Music Exchange, is Reverb.com and is starting to give eBay a run for their money, since it is geared for musicians specifically.
Buying a used guitar isn't as complicated (or scary) as buying a used car or other complex machine. I mean, guitars are cool, but aren't super complex, which makes buying a used instrument a fairly safe thing, assuming you know what to look for.
When trying out a used guitar, make sure you check all of the controls (if applicable) such as volume, tone, and any toggle switches. Make sure there aren't any scratchy sounds or volume loss (such things are easily fixed, so if you do find an issue with electronics, use it as a negotiating point, not as an excuse not to buy the instrument). Don't be afraid to negotiate regardless, but don't be a jerk either. If you're buying a guitar off, say, Craigslist, and the seller says their price is firm, respect that.
eBay can be a great place to find used Fender guitars (see below), but the same rules apply here as they do with other items you might buy on eBay. Check the seller's feedback, return policy, and offsite reputation, if applicable.
Finally, do check out your local music store, which probably has some used gear (and likely some used Fenders) for sale that they've taken on commission or part of a trade in. You can try out a used Fender guitar (or other brand) with little pressure and make sure it's the guitar you really want.