Have a Gibson to Sell?

If you have an old guitar that you’d like to sell, I might be interested in buying from you. For me to be interested, it should say “Gibson” on the headstock (where the tuners are) and it should look something like the guitars below. I buy every guitar of this type that comes to me provided it was built between 1958 and 1965 and we can come to an agreement on the price. I will help you date it if you are unsure. Usually, I will make you an offer based on the book value minus my usual markup and overhead. If you have a price in mind, it should not be based on a bunch of prices of unsold guitars you found on Ebay or Reverb. If I’m paying cash for your guitar today, please understand that you might be able to sell it for more than I offer you but it will likely take you a long time to do so. These guitars rarely sell overnight. You are, essentially, making a choice. You can sell it today for a fair wholesale price or you can try to sell it yourself  at a retail price. I pay you immediately. If you sell it on Ebay and you don’t know what you have, you could be selling it for thousands less than it is worth. There are also a lot of scammers out there who will take your guitar and not pay you. On the other hand, you could get more than I offer and it could happen very quickly. I urge you to try if you’re willing to do the homework and brave the open market because you will get more for it at retail. I am, however, the sure thing. If you can see a model name, I buy ES-335, ES-345, ES-355 guitars from 1958-1965. I may buy later guitars. It doesn’t hurt (or cost anything) to ask. I don’t buy any guitars made after 1985. I also may buy Gibson Les Paul models, SG models, Firebirds and archtops from before 1965. I occasionally buy Fender Stratocasters, Telecasters and Jazzmasters. I buy Fender tweed covered amps built between 1955 and 1961. Finally, I can help you sell it for yourself. I will sell your guitar for you on this site and my Gbase site and on Reverb and take a percentage of the final price. Just email me a description and a couple of photos if you can to

If your guitar looks sort of like this and says Gibson, I want it. This is an ES-335.

This is an ES-345 with a Bigsby tremolo tailpiece. It is typically worth a bit less than a 335 unless it is finished in natural like this one. The Bigsby tailpiece takes 25% off the value as well. I want these, too.

If you have an old one that looks like this or like this with a gold finish, I’m interested in that as well. This is a Les Paul model.

If you have one that looks like this and is old, I might be interested as well. This was also called a Les Paul model between 1961 and 1963 but was later called an SG. If you have one made between 1961 and 1965, I’ll be buying that too.

This is a "reverse" Firebird. If you have one that looks kind of like this (it can be one two or three pickups), I'll be interested in buying it. These were only made from 1963-1964 with a few shipped in 1965. It has been reissued. I am not interested in the reissues.

This is a “reverse” Firebird. If you have one that looks kind of like this (it can be one two or three pickups), I’ll be interested in buying it. These were only made from 1963-1964 with a few shipped in 1965. It has been reissued. I am not interested in the reissues.

148 Responses to “Have a Gibson to Sell?”

  1. Don Jacaruso says:

    I have a Gibson 345 but not sure of the year. The serial # is 052229 Its hard to determine for sure what year that is from the gibson website. It has a headstock repair and in very good condition. Trying to find out what it might be worth.

  2. cgelber says:

    There are a lot of changes made to that guitar. A headstock repair cuts the value by 40-50%. The changed bridge, the added ( and incorrrectly positioned) stop tail, changed pickups all affect the value. It appears to be a 67. I would value it at perhaps $2000. Maybe less. Depends on how bad the break is and how well repaired it is.

  3. cgelber says:

    Email me at Include a photo.

  4. Jack van Pel says:


    I’ve a question about a Gibson ES 345 TD serial number 06104338. What do you think about the year?

    All the best, Jack.

  5. Gerard Mancini says:

    I have a friend’s ’63 es335. The headstock was cracked off and reattached and a couple of the tuners have been replaced, with one a bit bent. The trapeze tailpiece was swapped out for a stop tailpiece (original screw holes sill visible). The guitar plays and sounds like a million bucks. Do these type of inperfections greatly reduce the value?

  6. Gerard Mancini says:

    Thanks. I thought as much. The key for me, as a player, is that this guiter really delilvers. I run that through a “57 Fender Pro and it’s gold. This probably isn’t appropriate for this thread, but I respect your opinion. If I wanted to create a legacy for my son, would I be crazy to by a custom shop 335 new? Thanks for the feedback.

  7. cgelber says:

    Perfectly fine but if you buy, say, a 65, you get a 50 year head start and a guarantee that it will always be more valuable than that custom shop 335. An average 65 (big neck) is a few thousand more than a top of the line new custom shop 335.

  8. cgelber says:

    A 63 wouldn’t ever have had a trapeze, so it probably isn’t a 63. Trapeze started in 65. Broken headstock if well repaired takes about a 40% bite out of the value. The tuners make very little difference since you can always find vintage correct tuners. You cannot, however, unbreak a headstock.

  9. Bryan Boettcher says:

    How are you, I’m in a situation where i must sell my fathers 1967 Gibson es335. Its in great shape give it a 7 out of ten. It was a 12 string converter to 6, but still have original hardware for the 12. Ie tuners…please let me know if you are interested.

  10. cgelber says:

    It wouldn’t be a guitar I would buy. I generally buy 335’s from 65 or earlier. I might have been interested if it was still a 12 string. You’ll do better selling it on the open market. A well done conversion shouldn’t be too hard to sell.

  11. cgelber says:

    That would be a 2004 using Gibsons current system of numbering. They did some weird stuff with serials in the 70’s so if it looks much older then I would need to see a photo.

  12. Deb says:

    I have a Gibson 1968– 355 for sale…2 owners……mint condition…..Has original case also………Please contact me ASAP…Thanks

  13. Bill Dodkin says:

    I have a 1965 cherry 335 that I have owned since new. It’s in good condition for the year, although it seldom comes out of it’s case these days.
    I may be interested in selling if the price is right. Contact me if you are making a serious offer.
    Bill D

  14. Anthony says:

    Hi, Am looking at buying a ’63 335. It’s being discussed on TGP and someone recommended I contact you as a good indicator of what it’s worth?
    I can supply pics…
    Main issues. It’s in player condition, bridge pick up is non original, has two toggle holes that were filled, and has an access hole put into the back (done professionally) I believe all mods were done in the early 70’s
    Obviously the mods decrease the value… Interested in what you think it would be worth

  15. Ronald Verdugo says:

    I have a near mint 1967 ES 335 for sale. Thin neck. All original with no mods but one. The first owner sent it back to Gibson to have them apply a stinger to the back of the headstock. No repairs made just the stinger painted and I have the original paperwork for the work. The finish shows checking as to be expected but there are no cracks, scratches, etc. Sunburst finish and non gibson but period correct case included. Photos upon request.

  16. okguitars says:

    Send me an email at Include a photo of the front, back, headstock (front and back). Thank you.
    I don’t buy many post 64 335’s but sometimes I do.

  17. Tommo says:

    Is this a Genuine 89 335,plays great sound lovely but people keep saying its not real as it doesnt have made in USA stamped in back of Headstock just the serial number and a corresponding label inside the body

  18. okguitars says:

    I’m good but not that good. The phrase “people keep saying” has come to mean “nobody is saying this but I am” You can thank our president for that. Send me some photos. I can tell you only that the label looks right. I would guess that nobody would bother counterfeiting/faking an 89.

  19. marty hough says:

    hi, I have a 1958 ES-355 that I am looking to sell. I do know its one of only 10 355’s made in 1958, but I don’t know which one of the 10 it is. the serial number is A28416. my dad bought it 1958 brand new from the sales rep andy nelson. and he played it on the road for lorretta lyne, dottie west and various opry road shows. I have some photos and articles of him & this guitar doing these opry road shows. I will send some pics with this. my home number is 419-422-6326 as im not too good with a computer, ha ha! thanks,

    marty hough

  20. marty hough says:

    here are some pics as I didn’t seem to get them in the 1st time…….

  21. marty hough says:

    damn I hate computers! totally the wrong pic!!!

  22. marty hough says:

    a full on pic, maybe…..

  23. mike says:

    charlie, i’m toying with trading this. looking for a wide 335/

  24. okguitars says:

    Email sent

  25. dan b says:

    for sale: 1959 es355 Gibson with original case

  26. okguitars says:

    Great guitars. Sadly, there are some unfortunate modifications. Slightly misplaced stop tail (low), Nashville bridge. Even with the mods, it’s probably a great player.

  27. Randy says:

    Hi, I was hoping to sell my 335, but I see you’re only interested in 65 or older. I have a 1978 ES-335 CRS in black, all original in very good shape. CRS is country rock stereo, so it’s a bastardized version, or maybe not even the same thing. I read that only 350 were made. Any thoughts on this guitar as far as value, rarity, desirability, etc…? I would assume you’re a busy person answering all of these messages but I’d love to get any insight from you. Thanks so much, you are doing a great thing here!

  28. okguitars says:

    A black 78 CRS would probably not be too hard to sell. They aren’t terribly valuable but its of folks like black guitars (like me). Send me some photos-I can’t evaluate anything without a photo of the front, the back and the headstock front and back.

  29. Dallas says:

    This 1967 es335 has a stop tail conversion and tuners replaced.
    Otherwise it is original and in great shape.
    I’m thinking about selling it as I am a strat player and it’s just hanging on the wall…
    Any ideas an a ballpark price?
    Would it be a good idea to put period correct tuners and a trap/bigsby with the custom plug on before I tried to sell it?
    Thanks 🙂

  30. okguitars says:

    You should be able to sell it as is. Most folks prefer the stop tail to the trapeze and whoever did the conversion is only off by maybe a quarter inch (too low). The knobs are also changed. You could swap the tuners back but the loss of value from Grovers is permanent since the shaft holes were enlarged. I’d just leave them. Not sure that bridge is right either. Hard to tell in a small photo. I can’t really assess the value from a single small photo.

  31. james a. brunner says:

    Thought that i had left a comment earlier. But I have a 59 335 in cherry sunburst finish. I am considering selling. In the mid 90’s I asked Rick Irvin the Gibson rep for the pacific NW. about it. He called Ward Abarnas at Gibson; who had been put in charge of production for epiphone by ted McCarty in 57 or 58. He said that he recalled a regional artist coming to the factory in 59 and asking for a special order cherry sunburst finish on a 335. He said that he took 3 blondes off the rack and had them painted. The artist took one and the remainder were sent out through the dealer network. He could not recall the artist’s name. Have you ever seen another one? Rick Nielson from cheap trick in the 80’s said that he had seen one before.It is sunburst on the back and sides as well. I noticed the Argentinian grey 345 which is the first photo of that finish I ‘ve ever seen on this site. I’ve also heard of a green sunburst 335. Don’t know if they exist though. hope to hear from you soon. Jim

  32. okguitars says:

    Email sent

  33. Ange says:

    I have a Gibson 335 Studio Cherry Red in original case.
    Sn 81366510
    I have had it for approx 25 years
    Previous owner had it for some years so not sure of exact age but the sn should help you for its age.


  34. okguitars says:

    Serial numbers are often misleading. The serial number system in place from the mid 70’s until 2005 used this key
    YDDDYPPP. YY is the production year
    DDD is the day of the year
    PPP is the plant designation and/or instrument rank.
    So, assuming your guitar was built during this period, it would be a 1986.

  35. Ron Evans says:


    Back in the ‘70’s I purchased a Gibson ES345 from a place called the Guitar Trader in New Jersey. The ad claimed it was a ‘59. Being unknowledgeable about vintage guitars I bought it for $1200 (I still have the receipt). It is a cherry so I doubt it is a ‘59. Furthermore, after I got around to checking out the guitar closely, the orange tag had been scraped out and there are no numbers on the neck. When I tried to get a refund, I did not receive a reply. My money was gone and so were they. I heard later they were busted for selling stolen guitars. However, I have always loved this guitar for its sound and playability, I don’t want to sell it and valuing it would only be for insurance purposes. Is there anyway to properly identify its year? It’s just a curiosity. It’s not stock, someone before me had put Gold Grovers on it and Speed Knobs. Any ideas?


    Ron Evans

  36. okguitars says:

    If it was a 59 to early 61, it would never have had a serial number on the headstock. There is, however, another number inside the guitar.
    It is called a factory order number (FON). That will tell you the year the guitar was built. It will not necessarily tell you what year it was shipped but it will get you close. I can interpret the FON for you if you can find it. The neck profile will also help you identify the year. Speed knobs were added as were the Grovers. neither were ever stock on a 345. Email me some photos and look for the FON and we’ll sort it out.

  37. don r jansen says:

    This is a 1980/81 Custom Shop “Prototype” serial#0011
    What do you think. Thx

  38. okguitars says:

    The question would be “why make a prototype three years into production?” Maybe it was a test run for the “Custom Shop”
    which started then.

  39. Joshua Breier says:

    Hi – I attached a pic of an old repair on my 355. This is a 1967 mono that I talked myself into cutting a hole into for coil split switch a long time ago. I took the switch out and had it filled about 15 years ago. I was told this was about as good as you could do without refinishing the guitar. I definitely don’t want to refinish the guitar but was wondering if you know anyone you think could get this looking like the plug isn’t there.


  40. okguitars says:

    The short answer is no. It is very hard to match the red and the grain. Your guy actually did a pretty good job with the red but was less successful with the grain. The edges always seem to come out darker. My personal player is a blonde 345 that has a couple of filled holes and they look about as good as yours (ad there was no red to match). It looks like you’ve done a few mods (stop tail, switch tip, knobs) so it won’t hurt the value to try again but I don’t think it will come out any better. There’s a good chance it will come out worse.

  41. Bill says:

    I have a couple of old 330s that are not being used much: a blond 59-60 and a SB 62. Assume you are not interested in a blond ES350, a blond ES300, and a late 30s L5. The only guitar I still lust for is a vintage stoptail SB 335 w a big or fairly big neck.

  42. okguitars says:

    Email me at and we can discuss. I don’t buy a lot of 330’s but a blonde is definitely on my radar. I have a real nice big neck 58 that would be reasonable with a trade of the blonde 330.

  43. Jamie says:

    My 1968 ES335 has a stamp in the f hole instead of the orange sticker and I was wondering if you have seen this before?

  44. okguitars says:

    I have seen it but only one other time but it wasn’t in a 68. It was later. Maybe they ran out of labels.

  45. boris says:

    Hi I have les poul custom 1980 and es335 made in usa lefrt with steve howe pick ups thank you

  46. okguitars says:

    Not for me but thanks. I don’t generally buy Les Pauls. Send a photo of the 335 and I’ll take a look. If it’s an 81-85, I might be interested.

  47. Joop Coolen says:

    Sorry i don t know your name. I Read Tour knowlege about Gibson es 335. I like tot buy one. Tot play with good sound. Ian Norwich man bijt van boring in money. What do you advies. And what l have tot spend. I like tot buy a es335 in your shop. Please help me
    Great. Joop. Sorry for bad englisch. Ian grom Holland

  48. okguitars says:

    You can email me at Let me know what you are looking for and a price range and I’ll see what I have and what I can find. I don’t usually have anything made later than 1969.

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