Article Link: What is My Banjo Worth?

Every banjo is worth more in many ways than what it will probably sell for if you put it on the market. It may help you remember a cherished family member long gone. It may give a youngster a chance to learn skills and musical principles that will last a lifetime. That said, when you try to sell a banjo, especially a student or off-brand banjo, you run into a different sort of valuation – the apparent value to a stranger who doesn’t know and love the instrument like you do.

That’s why when folks ask me the value of a banjo they’ve inherited, I’m becoming increasingly hesitant to answer. Instead I’ve put all the things I automatically take into consideration into an article so they can hopefully figure it out for themselves.


About Paul

Paul Race has been writing and playing all kinds of music since the 1960s, though he tends to favor acoustic and traditional songs. He has created resources like,, and to help other musicians get a good start on their own journeys.


  1. Richard wallace

    Inherited a Gibson 4 string banjo, mastertone, granada, year 1926. Good condition and would like to sell or be appraised to sell. Any ideas?


    • Richard,

      Does the banjo have the resonator, shell, and tone ring intact? Some folks have been known to replace the neck on these with 5-string necks to make them into bluegrass banjos. Read our article here for more information.

      Your best bet is to WATCH (not bid on) similar banjos on eBay and see what they actually go for. You may notice the re-built ones with 5-string necks going for a little more, but don’t be discouraged. If you live in a major music market, Craigs’ list will work for you. Or find out if these a regional network or internet resource musicians near you are using.

      Another place to check is the Banjo Hangout Classifieds: You COULD log in and try to sell it there, but, again, I’d recommend looking at what other similar banjos are going for first. Plus if I was the webmeister, I wouldn’t be excited about guys just logging in to sell stuff and then never checking back. But that’s between you and him. 🙂

      Best of luck,


  2. Richard, since you posted me, I have answered the same question offline for several other folks. So many, in fact, that I went ahead and put the “standard” parts of my answers into a single article here:

    Best of luck!

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