Ranked: Which electric guitars hold their value the best?

We analyzed the used prices of the 40 best-selling electric guitars and compared them to new prices. Here we show you which electric guitars are losing the most and the least value on the used guitar market.

Which electric guitars retain the most value?

We have researched this question extensively. The 10 electric guitars listed above are the world's top sellers according to Reverb.com. In first place is the Fender Player Telecaster with an average depreciation of only 31%. It is closely followed by another Fender guitar, the Stratocaster Player Series, with only 1% more depreciation. As you can see, the Fender Player Series holds its value very well, even though these guitars are among the cheapest in the Fender family.

The next 3 places go to Gibson, Fender's eternal rival. The models in question are the legendary Les Paul '60 and '50 Editions and the Gibson SG, Angus Young's electric guitar.

These two brands are the most popular in the world, so it is not surprising that they are at the top of the list. Gibson guitars are more expensive than Fender guitars, so the loss in value is greater in absolute terms.

There are also 2 electric guitars from PRS in the top 10, the Silver Sky SE and the John Mayer Silver Sky. Both have higher depreciation (37% and 38%).

Surprisingly, the Fender American Professional II series is clearly behind the cheaper Fender models and behind the expensive Gibson models - the Telecaster loses an average of 38% of its value, the Stratocaster 39%. Overall, the Telecaster tends to hold its value a bit better than the Stratocaster of the same series, which is probably due to the greater availability of Stratocasters on the used market.

The last place in the top ten is taken by the ESP LTD Deluxe EC-1000, whose value drops by 40%. This is probably due to the fact that Reverb's data comes mainly from the US, where domestic brands have a better reputation than this Japanese brand. But at least it made it into the top sellers.

Average brand depreciation

It is also interesting to look at the average depreciation of the brands as a whole. To calculate this value, we have taken the depreciation of all the models in this list for each brand and calculated the average.

Brand Average depreciation
Gibson 32.42%
Squier 32.45%
Ibanez 33.86%
PRS 34.23%
Epiphone 34.28%
Fender 36.00%

Gibson is in first place with the lowest total depreciation of only 32.42%, which is surprising considering their high prices. Its biggest competitor, Fender, scores 36%, which is also not bad and is probably due to the larger availability on the used guitar market (on Reverb.com you can find 16,442 used Fender guitars, while at the time of writing there are only 8,924 Gibson guitars for sale). To be fair, Fender has 9 models among the top 40 sellers, while Gibson has only 6.

However, Fender's Squier subsidiary fared better with an average loss of 32.44% than Gibson's Epiphone subsidiary with 34.28%.

The other Fender brand, Jackson, would be far ahead with 31.57% - but only 2 models of this brand were analyzed, as only 2 are in the top 40. Therefore, the data is not very meaningful in this case and we have not included the brand in this table. The same goes for ESP.

The entire list

However, when looking at all 40 electric guitars, the Epiphone SG Classic Worn P-90 and the Jackson Rhoads J32T FSR come out on top with only a 24% loss in value. Both models are relatively inexpensive and hold their value, making them perfect choices for budget-conscious musicians.

Below you will find the complete table of 40 electric guitars with new price, average used price and average depreciation in relative and absolute figures. You can filter the table and search for any terms you like.

We selected the 40 most popular electric guitars in the world based on sales data from Reverb.com, Guitar Center, Sweetwater, and Thomann. The new prices come from Guitarcenter.com, Sweetwater.com and Thomann.de (Guitar Center/Sweetwater for USA, Thomann for EU/UK).

The average used prices are from Reverb.com. Reverb gives a price range for the used price of each instrument based on sales on the marketplace (but only for the US). This made it possible to calculate the price difference for the US market.

This percentage price difference was then applied to the new prices of Thomann Germany and Thomann UK to estimate the absolute value loss in these countries. As the US market is the largest, the percentage differences can be extrapolated to other countries.

Average brand depreciation was calculated using a simple average formula (all values added and divided by the number of models).

Here you can download the entire list for the USA or read it in a Google Spreasheet .

The lists for the EU and UK can be viewed or downloaded here.