guitar blue book

The Comprehensive Guide to the Guitar Blue Book: A Must-Have for Guitar Enthusiasts

When it comes to determining the value of a guitar, whether it’s for buying, selling, or insurance purposes, a guitar blue book serves as an indispensable tool. Just as the Kelley Blue Book serves as a go-to resource for automobile valuations, the guitar blue book plays a similar role in the music world, offering an extensive guide to help musicians, whether new or experienced, determine the fair market value of guitars.

What is a Guitar Blue Book?

A guitar blue book is a compiled resource that offers information regarding the value, pricing, and specifications of guitars. With both online and print versions available, these blue books provide a comprehensive pricing guide for both acoustic guitars and electric guitars.

They serve as a benchmark for buyers, sellers, and appraisers alike, ensuring that everyone can obtain a realistic and fair market estimate for a given instrument.

Do Guitar Blue Books Provide Evaluations for Other Instruments?

You don’t just have to get your beloved acoustic guitar valued. Many blue book publications and online resources will also provide information and appraisals for other instruments as well. So, if you’d like your other music gear evaluated too, check out their website and see exactly what they do.

Why Use a Guitar Blue Book?

  1. Fair Market Value: When buying or selling, you want to ensure you’re getting a fair deal. A guitar blue book provides you with up-to-date guitar values based on current market trends, giving you an accurate ballpark figure, whether you’re looking for a new or used price.
  2. Authentication and Specifics: Determining the instrument’s authenticity can be crucial, especially with a rare or vintage guitar. The detailed specifications found in blue book database can aid in this process.
  3. Insurance: If you ever need to insure your guitar or file a claim, having a guitar appraisal from a trusted source can simplify the process.
  4. Knowledge: Even if you’re not looking to buy or sell, understanding the worth of your collection can be satisfying for any guitar enthusiast.
guitar blue book

Online Guitar Blue Books

While there are printed versions available, online blue books have become increasingly popular, primarily due to their ease of access and frequent updates.

Orion Blue Book


Orion Blue Book covers a range of products, from guitars to cameras, tools, and even car stereos. With over 35 years of experience in the valuation industry, it’s no surprise that this resource is often considered the industry standard.

Recently, the Orion Blue Book has merged with “UsedPrice” to offer enhanced searching tools. This collaboration ensures a more advanced and fast online searching system. To use their services, simply select a category and enter the model number of the product. If you’re unsure of the model, you can easily browse by manufacturer and product type.

For a single blue book value, they charge $3.99. However, if you’re someone who regularly needs valuations for various products, their blue book packages start at $24.99. This is a great cost-effective option.

guitar blue book

Blue Book of Guitar Values


The Blue Book of Guitar Values streamlines the process of guitar appraisals into four simple steps. Boasting the biggest database of guitars and amplifiers, it’s often hailed as the most trusted source for guitar values.

The process is straightforward. All you have to do is fill out a form, and they’ll provide you with a detailed written guitar appraisal. Navigation is user-friendly, making it easy for both beginners and experts to find a pair price, whether they’re looking for acoustic guitars or something else entirely.

They offer subscriptions at $6.95 monthly or $69.96 yearly. Subscribers gain access to a comprehensive guitar pricing guide covering acoustic and electric guitars, amplifiers, mandolins, and even personal collections.

guitar blue book

Gruhn Guitars


As one of the inaugural stores dedicated to vintage and used fretted instrument sales, this company has etched its name in history. Gruhn Guitars is a name synonymous with vintage and used fretted instruments. Established by George Gruhn in 1970, this institution has roots tracing back to 1963 when George began his journey in the world of instruments.

George Gruhn’s expertise in vintage guitars, mandolins, and banjos has garnered him global recognition, making the establishment a go-to for vintage instrument appraisals. Their detailed online appraisal process requires users to upload instrument photos, serial numbers, and descriptions, ensuring a thorough evaluation.

For this comprehensive service, a nominal fee of $75 is charged. Post-appraisal, users receive a copy via email and the original through USPS. Notably, for extensive collections requiring an examination of more than ten photos, a higher fee might apply. Additionally, the convenience of in-store appraisals during business hours is an added benefit for those who live near the physical guitar store.

Reverb Price Guide


Reverb Price Guide is a unique online platform, distinguishing itself from traditional models. A digital-age guitar price guide, this dynamic platform uses real-time data to assist users in determining the market values for their musical instruments. By leveraging recent sales data, Reverb ensures that users always stay updated with current market trends, providing them the confidence to make informed decisions.

Reverb believes in fair dealings for both buyers and sellers, which is why they offer transparent pricing. The platform’s vast database boasts over 240,000 products, cataloging the millions of gear pieces transacted on their platform. This meticulous cataloging allows Reverb to evaluate specific product conditions with precision.

Moreover, this invaluable service is offered free of charge, emphasizing Reverb’s commitment to providing easy access to vital information.

guitar blue book

Tips for Using Price Guides

Navigating the intricate world of price guides can be challenging, especially for beginners. Whether you’re exploring blue books, antique guides, or any other specialized pricing resource, understanding how to effectively use these tools is essential. Here are some invaluable tips to help you make the most of price guides:

  1. Understand the Scope: Not all price guides are comprehensive. Before relying on one, check out what it covers. For example, one resource might focus more on electric guitars than on acoustic ones.
  2. Check the Edition: Like any publication, price guides get updated. Always use the most recent edition to get current market values. This is especially important for volatile markets where prices can change rapidly.
  3. Consider Condition: Most price guides will provide a range of varying prices based on the condition of the item. Ensure you honestly and accurately assess the condition of your item for a realistic valuation.
  4. Beware of Emotional Value: Personal attachments can inflate perceived value. Understand that price guides are objective, focusing on market value rather than sentimental worth. So don’t be disappointed if your favorite vintage guitar doesn’t fetch a high price.
  5. Use Multiple Sources: No single guide is definitive. Cross-referencing values from multiple sources provides a more holistic understanding of an item’s worth, ensuring you get a fair price.
  6. Keep an Eye on Market Trends: Some guides, like the Reverb Price Guide for guitars, offer insights into market trends. Watching these trends can help you anticipate price increases or decreases.
  7. Remember, Rarity Doesn’t Always Mean Value: Just because something is rare doesn’t necessarily mean it’s valuable. Demand plays a crucial role in determining value. A vintage guitar that no one wants will not have a high market value.
  8. Be Cautious of Online Listings: While online platforms can provide a snapshot of current asking prices, they don’t always reflect final sale prices or fair market value.
  9. Seek Expert Advice: If you’re unsure, consult an expert or professional appraiser in the field. They can offer insights that might not be apparent from a pricing guide alone. Don’t self-appraise.
  10. Contextualize Historical Sales: If using price guides that leverage historical sales data, like Reverb, understand the broader context. Factors like celebrity ownership or historical significance can inflate prices and might not apply to standard items.

Conclusion: Finding the Best Guitar Blue Book Online

Whether you’re a budding guitarist, a seasoned professional, or just someone who loves collecting, you might want to know the value of your instrument. With a plethora of resources, you’re equipped with reliable tools to navigate the vast world of guitar values. Always ensure that you keep your guitars in good shape, as condition plays a significant role in determining their value.

For anyone deeply passionate about guitars, having access to a comprehensive blue book is not just a luxury; it’s a necessity.