Sell, Trade & Consign

Selling Your Gear to TME

Do we buy instruments outright? Yes. Well, with a couple caveats. We're probably not the best home for that student-model saxophone or Casio keyboard, but we're always interested in high-quality acoustic & electric guitars, mandolins and banjos.

Does "high-quality" mean "expensive? No. This very website is the best barometer of things we'd be interested in purchasing. Whether it's a Taylor GS Mini or a 1930's Martin D-18, we'd love to hear about the instruments you'd like to sell.

How does the process work? If you have an instrument you'd like to sell, please contact us here and provide the following:

  • Your instrument's make & model (i.e. "Collings" and "OM1")
  • Serial number and/or year of production
  • A list of any repairs and/or modifications that may have been performed
  • Brief description of cosmetic condition (i.e. "Mint," "Very good," etc.)

We'll follow up with a request for photos if it's something that seems like we should have it in our collection!

Trade-Ins at TME

Do we take trades? Yes. We evaluate all trade offers on a case-by-case basis.

What exactly does that mean? There are some instruments towards which we'll likely choose not to accept trades. These include exceptionally rare and/or irreplaceable instruments, as well as certain consignments where we may be limited by the terms of our agreement with an instrument's owner.  

Got it. I'd like to propose a trade. What do I do? If you have an instrument you'd like to offer as either partial or even trade for something in our inventory, please contact us here and provide the following:

  • Your instrument's make & model (i.e. "Collings" and "OM1")
  • Serial number and/or year of production
  • A list of any repairs and/or modifications that may have been performed
  • Brief description of cosmetic condition (i.e. "Mint," "Very good," etc.)
  • Which instrument of ours you'd like to acquire

Things to bear in mind. While we’re always happy to consider a trade-in, please be aware of the following stipulations: 

  • Transactions involving a trade-in are considered final sales.
  • Instruments towards which we accept a trade-in will be sold at their advertised price, and are not subject to further discounting.
  • Any quoted trade-in value is subject to our in-hand inspection of your instrument: we reserve the right to modify a trade-in quote if an instrument is sent to us from afar with issues that weren't disclosed prior to shipment.  

Please remember that we're here to help. If the idea of trading an instrument long-distance towards something you're buying sight unseen makes you uncomfortable, you're not alone. We've been there too (perhaps a time too many)! Let's have a discussion about what you want, and see if it wouldn't make sense for us to send you what you're after first, with your trade coming to us upon receipt of your new gear. In this scenario, we'll ask for a credit card which we'll pre-authorize for the full retail value of whatever you're purchasing ~ that amount will be adjusted downward when we receive your trade, take its value into account, and capture the final charge.

Consignment at TME

Do you accept consignments? We sure do; and we've got more than fifty years of experience as a leading retailer of consigned fretted instruments -- whether they be hardly used or loved for decades.

When does consignment make sense? Typically, consignment makes the most sense when you've got an instrument you'd like to sell but you haven't got the time to do it. Consignment is also a compelling option for owners of exceptionally valuable instruments, such as luthier-grade rarities and blue-chip vintage pieces. A first-class marketing presentation like the one we'll give it can help maximize value; and letting us shoulder the burden of the deal alleviates all those transactional stress inducers. (Can I trust my buyer? How do I ship a guitar safely? Who pays to insure it?) We've got you covered.

What are the terms? The general parameters for consigning an instrument with us are:

  • TME's commission is 20% of an instrument's final retail value.
  • Consignment instruments should price above $2500.00 retail.
  • TME requires a 90-day window of exclusivity once an instrument is placed on consignment. Instruments retrieved before spending 90 days on the market will be subject to a $150.00 setup & listing fee. 
  • All applicable shipping charges and credit card processing fees will be deducted prior to consignment payout.  
  • If applicable, instruments requiring significant structural repairs must be serviced (and their repair charges paid for) prior to marketing. 
  • Consignees should expect payment within one month of a completed sale. 

I'm interested. What do I do? If you have an instrument you'd like to consign with us, please contact us here and provide the following:

  • Your instrument's make & model (i.e. "Collings" and "OM1")
  • Serial number and/or year of production
  • A list of any repairs and/or modifications that may have been performed
  • Brief description of cosmetic condition (i.e. "Mint," "Very good," etc.)

We'll make it easy. Assuming your instrument sounds like it'd be at home in our inventory, we'll reply with a blank consignment form for your perusal. If you need assistance coordinating a shipment, we'll be there to help. All you'll have left to do is wait for a check!