I scored several great deals through the 7 years that I managed the little store I worked at. We were an Ibanez and a Washburn dealer, which led to one of the better "bargains"
A guy came in with an '88 77FP that he had purchased brand new from the store back in '88. This was about '94 or so. He decided that he didn't really like the FP anymore and wanted to trade it in for a Washburn Nuno model. At the time, we had both a padauk N4 and a couple of the natural N2s. After playing both, he decided that he loved the N2. He ASKED if I'd do a straight across trade. I could barely conceal my giggles of joy
Of course, I then purchased the guitar from the store for our cost of the N2 plus a generous 10%. I went home with a minty '88 JEM77FP for a grand total of $346.
Probably the best deal that I ran across was a regular customer who had outfitted his church with a nice SoundTech pro soundsystem, etc. He had come in one day and wanted to trade a guitar that he'd had forever for a Takamine cutaway classical. He said that his dad had bought him the guitar as a 17th birthday present back in '65 and that he'd literally only played the guitar in church, etc. I was skeptical, but he was a great customer so I said "bring it in".
The next day he showed up with a Gibson case that looked brand new. Inside was a pristine cherry red 1964 Gibson ES-330 with a Bigsby trem. I was stunned! The Takamine he wanted had a retail price of around $1200, and he said that he really couldn't afford to add much on top of the trade-in. I asked how much he could do, and he said that he had $250 budgeted. So, being the nice guy that I am, I told him that $200 and his guitar would be enough to get the Takamine.
Again, I purchased the Gibson from the store for the cost of the Takamine, which was just over $550. I've still got the ES-330, though it does stay in it's case most of the time. The thing is a total time capsule guitar- looks brand new to this day, aside from some yellowing of the binding and the usual finish checking