Do Fender Guitars Hold Their Value? [Explained]

Fender is one of the most influential and recognized brands in the guitar landscape. Since their inception, guitar legends and players have sworn by their instruments. These guitars vary greatly in price points as well as quality. So, do Fender guitars hold their value?

Fender guitars that are made in America and are well cared for tend to hold their value well. Fender guitars that are from the Custom Shop, vintage, or part of a discontinued artist series line typically increase in value. The acoustic guitars and inexpensive electrics decrease in value over time.

Continue reading to find out which Fender guitars hold their value, which go up in value, and which you can expect to see decrease in value.

Do Fender guitars hold their value?

Do Fender Guitars Hold Their Value?

Yes, certain models and types of Fender guitars hold their value. American made Fender guitars are expected to retain a large portion of their value, within 80-100%. Mexican made Fenders and Squiers do not hold their value and will decrease over time.

For the Fender guitars that hold their value and are still currently being manufactured, there will be altering opinions and cases of a guitar selling at the original sale price and below the original sale price. It is purely happenstance for guitars still in production.

An American Fender is typically higher quality and justifies a higher resale price, either close to or at the original sale price. A high-quality guitar last years without faltering or depreciating. Fender makes high quality guitars that do not lose quality. In fact, if the guitar is owned and played for a while, it may fetch a higher resale price. The pickups become mellower, and the neck worn in. These are two things that vintage guitar collectors love in an older guitar and are willing to pay a little extra for it.

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If you mod or change the guitar favorably, it especially holds it value. Like remodeling a home, putting in better components like pickups will allow you to sell the guitar higher than what you may have paid for it or at least it’s same price.

For a new line, sales often skyrocket, leading to stock outs. When a stock out happens, those that got the guitar will typically list it on Reverb for a profit. Let this not be confused for the topic we are discussing today. Stock out sales are people taking advantage of the situation and is not as much an indication on a brands resale value.

Which Fender Guitars Hold Their Value?

Fender guitars that typically hold their value are the $1000+ American made Fender guitars. These guitars do not decrease in value significantly, if at all. As mentioned above, it is not always a sure thing. Many guitarists prefer to buy new than used, especially if it is the same price. Although, many guitarists prefer a guitar to feel worn in as opposed to fresh and will happily pay the sale price despite being a used guitar.

For Fender American guitars in production, there is a 67% chance you can sell it at same price you bought it for and a 95% chance you can sell it within $150 of the original price. This data is based on analysis of the Fender American Stratocaster II on Reverb vs. Sweetwater.

Which Fender Guitars Increase in Value?

A guitar increasing in value is the sign of more than a quality playing guitar, there must be more. The guitar needs to be one of a kind or part of a discontinued line that is highly sought after. Simply, the demand must be greater than the supply.

For Fender, there are three main types of guitars that increase in value. The three types are Fender Custom Shop Guitars, Vintage, and Artist Series Guitars.

If a Fender guitar becomes rare or considered an ‘antique’ then it’s value will increase.

1. Fender Custom Shop Guitars

Fender Custom Shop guitars are expensive right out of the gate for the purchaser. Although, over time, their value tends to increase. Depending on which master builder created the guitar, Custom Shop guitars tend to increase 10% in price over 10-15 years when in good condition.

The reason is because they are expertly made and one of a kind. Not many know how much you paid for the guitar, although being a custom shop guitar, you can expect to re-sell the guitar for more money than you paid for it.

2. Fender Vintage Guitars

The next bucket is Vintage Fender Guitars. Vintage guitar collectors are constantly after guitars that their idols played. This is especially the case if the pickups are original as well. Because fewer and fewer are in the marketplace, their price is sky rocketing, especially in recent years.

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Buying a vintage guitar is almost a guarantee that you can resell it years later for more than you paid. Specifically, 1950’s original Stratocasters are highly sought after by blues guitarists. Hendrix and SRV primarily played this year of strat.

3. Discontinued Artist Series Guitars

Artist series guitars tend to sell fast at their inception. Over time, as marketing buzz starts to wear off, sales become steady. For an artist series guitar that is still currently being produced, it will not retain its value. For a discontinued artist series guitar, it is the complete opposite.

Let’s use John Mayer’s signature Stratocaster as an example. The guitar had a sale price of $1600 as shown below before it was discontinued in 2014.

Fender Guitar Increase in Value

Once the model was discontinued, buyers ran to Guitar Center, Sweetwater, and local shops to get their hands on it because they knew the price would jump. They were right.

The price of this Fender guitar has now almost doubled in resale value and will likely only increase as time goes on. On Reverb, most of the listings are for $3,000, as shown below.

What guitars increase in value

This is not a unique situation with only John Mayer’s signature Stratocaster. Resale values of discontinued artists series guitars is common. Although, it is not guaranteed, so do not purchase an artist series guitar for the sole purpose of reselling later.

Which Fender Guitars Decrease in Value?

Fender guitars that decrease in value are their acoustic line of guitars. When comparing the original sale price to used guitar listings on Reverb, almost none of the listings had been purchased at the same price as the original sale price.

Fender acoustic guitars are not known for being of the highest quality. For many, this is their first guitar. I am not saying that ALL Fender acoustic guitars are bad, I am saying that there are much better acoustic guitars in the market that are higher quality and around a similar price-point (Yamaha).

With that being said, Fender acoustic guitars will decrease in value the moment you play your first chord, designating it as a used guitar. The re-sale market for Fender acoustics simply is not there as many experienced guitarists realize that these guitars are not vintage(able).

Let’s take a look at the Fender CD-60S. The price of a new Fender CD-60S is $230. If you search that same model on Reverb, you will notice that the prices that sellers have listed is well below that mark, as seen below. In many listings of this guitar, there are price drops as well, showing that they have been listed for a while and have been unable to sell.

This is not just a random Fender acoustic guitar; this is one of their namesake acoustics. If this guitar does not at least hold its value, then it can be implied that most Fender acoustic guitars will not as well.

With all this being said, do not look for a guitar based on its resale value. Instead, choose a guitar that feels right for you regardless of how much you believe you can sell it for later.

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