Acoustic Guitar Auctions
Vintage, Collectible, Contemporary

FAQs about Buying at Auction

Buying a guitar at auction is an exciting process. We can't wait to help you find your next guitar!
Whether you are new to auctions or you are a seasoned bidder, please read these terms of sale carefully to understand our processes and avoid surprises.

What is a Reserve Price?
Most lots in each auction are offered for sale subject to a reserve. The reserve is a confidential minimum price agreed upon by Acoustic Guitar Auctions and the consigner, below which the lot will not be sold. Although the exact amount of the reserve is confidential, in no case will it be greater than the estimated price. When the reserve has been reached or exceeded, we post an indication of “Reserve Price Met” on the lot’s description in the online catalog.

In what condition are the instruments in an auction?
Each lot is offered and sold in its “as is” condition, as shown in our published descriptions, photographs, and videography. We make every effort to point out defects, missing parts, and/or desirable repairs or adjustments to each lot in our published descriptions, but we are not responsible for correcting such defects, supplying missing parts, or making repairs or adjustments. We also describe the general condition of each lot using the following terms. Buyers are responsible for assessing the value of each lot using the information we provide.

  • Mint: Never played.
  • Brand New: Played, but with no visible blemishes.
  • Excellent: Played, with minor blemishes or imperfections.
  • Very Good: Played, with some noticeable imperfections, minor repairs, and/or replacement parts.
  • Good: Played, with major repairs and/or significant replacement parts.
  • Fair: Needs repair to be fully playable.
  • Poor: Needs major restoration to be fully playable.

How can I trust what you say about the instruments if I haven’t seen them?
As a guarantee of the accuracy of our published descriptions, Acoustic Guitar Auctions will refund, within a period of one year, the hammer price and buyer’s premium of any lot that is discovered not to be by the maker specified in our published descriptions.

What is a Buyer’s Premium?
We add a premium to the final bid price for each lot. This premium is equal to twenty per cent (20%) of the hammer price (highest bid) up to and including fifty thousand dollars ($50,000), plus ten per cent (10%) of any amount exceeding fifty thousand dollars ($50,000). For example, if your bid of $5,000 on an instrument is the highest bid, you will be charged $6,000: The sum of your $5,000 bid plus a premium of $1,000 (20% of $5,000).

Will I pay sales tax on my purchases?
If you take possession of your purchase in California or have your purchase shipped to an address in California, your purchase is subject to sales tax of 9.25%.

Do I pay for having my purchase delivered to me?
We will charge you for shipping at the cost incurred by us plus an insurance premium of 1% of the hammer price. Most instruments offered in our sales include a case and are shipped in the case. Any instrument sold without a case will include the proviso “offered without case” in its published description. For such instruments, you may request that we purchase a case on your behalf before shipping and we will include the case price in your invoice.

What forms of payment do you accept and when is payment due?
Payment must be made within seven (7) days of receiving our invoice. Payment is accepted in any of the following: cash, check, cashier’s check, wire transfer, and credit card. Personal checks must clear before purchased lots will be released. We apply a service fee of 3% to all credit card transactions. Any items remaining unpaid 15 days after the sale may incur a late payment fee of 1% of the total purchase price of each unpaid item.

What if I have more questions you haven’t answered here?
Please email

Keep in Touch

Stay informed about our auction calendar and noteworthy instruments coming up for sale. Plus, tips and advice about the auction process!

close up of bodies and soundholes of three acoustic guitars from alvarez, martin, and a vintage classical guitar


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body of an acoustic guitar side by side a guitar headstock from luthier Jewitt


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david lusterman with a red collings guitar


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