- Looking to do some spring cleaning and salvage some coin to spend on fresh gear?
- We compare 4 platforms: eBay, Reverb.com, Facebook, and Craigslist
- We provide pros and cons of each, and let you know our favorite platform for selling music equipment.
Buying new music gear is easy – maybe a little too easy, as those of us with rooms full of guitars, amps and drum kits know. What’s hard is finding the right place to sell all that old equipment you have piling up. A lot of people tend to pick an online platform to sell their gear and stick with it, without ever wondering if they could be getting a better deal somewhere else.
This post is going to help stop you from making that classic mistake.
We’ll walk you through three of the most popular online platforms for selling music equipment, and then tell you why one of them beats out all the others.
eBay vs. Reverb.com vs Facebook vs Craigslist
eBay, Reverb.com, Facebook and Craigslist are four of the most popular platforms to buy and sell used music gear online.
Chances are you’ve heard of all of these, but you might not be 100% sure which is the best platform in terms of ease of use, safety and getting the best price.
There are definitely pros and cons to using all of them, but one of them is a clear winner – we’ll tell you why.
Selling Music Equipment On eBay
You have obviously heard of eBay before – they are one of the oldest online buying and selling platforms out there, and one of the most widely trusted. There’s nothing wrong with selling your music equipment on eBay. It’s perfectly safe and easy to use, and chances are you’ll get rid of your gear within a day or two. That said, we do think you could probably get a better deal with other platforms.
If you haven’t used eBay before, here’s how it works: you list your item for however long you think it will take to sell – up to ten days, and if it doesn’t sell within the given time you can relist.
There are three different types of listings you can post. The first is a normal auction, where you set the starting price and buyers can bid from there.
Then there is a “reserve price” style auction, which essentially lets you set a maximum bid instead of a minimum (so if the reserve price is not met, the item won’t sell).
Lastly, if you don’t want to deal with the headache of auctioning, you can just sell your item at a set price.
Benefits Of Selling Your Music Equipment On eBay?
The great thing about eBay is that it is safe.
You won’t get scammed out of an item due to strictly enforced seller protections, and the auction-style listings may even get you a way better price on your item than what you would get with a set-price-style listing. They offer a comprehensive guide full of tips for helping you get the best price, which is great for a less experienced seller.
You can reach a massive audience
Because it is so established and trusted everywhere, you are likely to reach a bigger audience with eBay than some other sights. That means a better chance of finding someone who is interested in your equipment at the price you want for it. We also love that you have so many options with eBay – you choose how long you want to post your listing and how you want to sell it, so the process can be long and involve a lot of haggling or short and sweet, whatever works best for you.
Downsides Of Selling Your Music Equipment On eBay?
Ridiculously high fees
A major setback to using eBay to sell your music equipment is the fees.
They charge a selling fee, which means a certain percentage of what you make off your equipment, you will lose to the website. They also charge for using certain special features of the site, and it costs to post listings if you have topped more than fifty listings for the month.
There is a learning curve…
The other problem is that it takes a little knowhow to get the best deal out of eBay. Even though they offer advice on the best way to post your listing, it isn’t always clear whether you should use an auction-style listing or not, how you should set your starting price, how much to expect it to sell for, etc.
Final Verdict On eBay
Again, there is nothing wrong with using eBay to sell your music equipment. It’s safe, established and fairly quick. But we do think you’re better off with other platforms, mostly because of the fees eBay charges and the complications that come with listing.
Selling Music Equipment On Reverb.com
Like we mentioned earlier, Reverb.com is an online platform that focuses just on buying and selling music equipment. It’s organized, easy to use, and reaches a wide audience of buyers who are specifically interested in music equipment.
It doesn’t matter what you have to sell, so long as it is related to music in some way. Instruments, tuners, amps, synthesizers – whatever it is, you’ll find a market for it on Reverb. There is a small seller’s fee, which helps to guarantee the security of the sale, but there is no listing fee, and listings never expire – you can keep the listing up until you have found the right buyer. They also make shipping to the buyer easier by giving you a discount bulk shipping label.
Benefits Of Selling Your Music Equipment On Reverb.com
It’s a 100% dedicated marketplace for musicians
Easily the best thing about Reverb.com is that it is just for musicians and music lovers. You won’t end up selling to someone who doesn’t know what they are looking for or doesn’t understand the value of what you are selling. You are also more likely to find an interested buyer – the platform reaches the whole nation, and your listing won’t expire until it sells.
Reverb.com has outstanding buyer protection
To top it off, Reverb.com is safe and secure. You are not going to get scammed or ripped off, and you don’t need to have a stranger come to your home to complete the sale.
Negatives Of Selling Your Music Equipment On Reverb.com
It’s a newer platform
If there is any downside to using Reverb to sell your music gear, it’s that it is a smaller, relatively new platform. You may be comfortable with something you have already used.
However, Reverb is growing every day, and it’s not hard to figure out how to use it. You have a good chance of finding your buyer even though the market is slightly smaller than Ebay or Craigslist’s.
Final Verdict On Reverb.com
If you haven’t guessed it yet, Reverb.com is our favorite online platform for buying and selling music gear. Fees are super low, it is totally safe, and you will have access to thousands of like-minded musicians who are going to be interested in what you’re selling.
There’s not much to dislike about using Reverb. Whatever you need to sell, we recommend doing it here.
Selling Music Equipment On Craigslist
Another well-established online platform, Craigslist is super popular with musicians trying to sell their gear. Every major city (or county / metropolitan area) has its own Craigslist site, so you will be selling locally, and have a pretty good idea of what your potential buyers are looking for.
There are no fees to post a listing on Craigslist, and there are no seller’s fees, either. You can keep relisting your post for as long as you need to find the right buyer, at no cost.
The drawback of all of this, though, is that it isn’t the most secure site. Negotiations and pickup are all determined between you and the buyer online – you never really know who you might be dealing with, and there is some risk of getting ripped off.
Benefits Of Selling Your Music Equipment On Craigslist?
It’s completely free
If you have ever sold anything on Craigslist, you already know: it’s easy, and it’s free. There are no complicated steps to posting a listing, you just list your item (preferably with some pictures), set your price and wait for a buyer to contact you.
It’s also locally concentrated, which is great because you more or less know what kind of people you are selling to. You should have a decent idea of what the equipment you are selling would generally go for in your area, so you know how to price it.
Downsides Of Selling Your Music Equipment On Craigslist?
Not the safest
Honestly, Craigslist can get sketchy. You have to be careful to avoid scammers and make sure you ask for payment upfront. Delivering the item is usually done in person, which can be a little nerve-wracking on its own.
Audience size is good, but not the greatest…
We also aren’t crazy about being limited to a certain amount of people with Craigslist. The local listing does help you to know your audience, but it also means you are reaching a smaller audience, so your chances of finding the perfect buyer are a little lower.
Final Verdict On Craigslist
A lot of musicians choose Craigslist to sell their old equipment. In most cases, you will have a successful sale and get it done quickly. That said, there is some risk of meeting a scammer, and there is some risk of not selling your item at all, because the buyer group is just too small.
Because it’s free, it’s worth a shot to try selling your old equipment on Craigslist. But we still think you’ll be better off with another platform.
Selling Music Equipment On Facebook
Facebook is the social media juggernaut that you probably already have on your computer and mobile device. The good news is that you can put Facebook to work for you and help you sell your your musical equipment with very little effort.
Essentially, there are two different ways you can effectively use Facebook to sell your music equipment: Facebook Marketplace or, my personal favorite — Facebook groups.
Marketplace works a lot like Craigslist and that you set up a public listing that can be seen on your newsfeed and on the Marketplace in general. You get to enter your own title and description for the item or items and can add photos so that your potential buyer can see the condition of your equipment with their own eyes before they buy. Then you just list the item in the appropriate category and wait for the offers to roll in.
You can use Facebook groups of musicians in your local area, or even beyond if you’re willing to take care of shipping, to post that you’re selling musical equipment as well. This can be particularly effective if you have a lot of fellow musicians in your local area, since it takes a lot of the guesswork out of buying something online from an unknown face far away. Very often, these groups are niched down quite well (you can find groups specifically for Eurorack buy/sell, Guitar buy/sell, Synthesizer buy/sell etc). To find groups in your area, try inputting search strings like ‘<instrument> buy sell <your area>‘ and see what comes up.
Always read the rules for each group that you sign up for, though, because certain musical groups may have specific rules against buying or selling equipment on their groups.
Benefits Of Selling Your Musical Equipment On Facebook?
It’s super easy
The best thing about using Facebook to sell your musical equipment is that a lot of the infrastructure is already in place; all you have to do is post the item and specify the amount that you want for it. Facebook is also an easy way for you to spread the fact that you’re selling your musical equipment to your friend group or peer group without having to accomplish that with a separate task, like texting or phoning each peer individually.
Specific, targeted groups
As mentioned above, Facebook groups are tight communities of likeminded producers/musicians that are often separated by genre/instrument. This can be very beneficial to finding the right customer audience, as they are all in the same place. The groups are often very active as well.
What We Could Do Without
Marketplace isn’t super popular
However, Facebook probably doesn’t reach as many raw people as something like Craigslist, partially because Marketplace hasn’t been around as long. If Marketplace ever becomes more popular this might change, but right now using Facebook to sell your musical equipment is casting a more shallow net than many of the other online websites that you can take advantage of.
No buyer protection
Similarly to Craigslist, whether you get an honest purchaser is luck of the draw. However, with some basic ‘internet saviness’, you can take precautions to avoid this. For one, always try to meet the buyer in person, if possible. If posting, check their profile carefully, and assess whether they are a real profile. Do they have a profile photo? Do their friends look legit?
Facebook can be a great additional method to sell your musical equipment, but it’s best used in tandem with other efforts. If you only want to sell your equipment to people you know, it’s an even better option, particularly if you belong to the same Facebook groups.
Selling Music Equipment: Tips & Tricks
Before we let you go, we want to offer some advice on selling your music equipment. Remember, it’s easy to buy new gear, but getting the best price for your old gear takes a little more work. Here is a step-by-step guide to getting the most out of what you have to offer.
- Do some research: Don’t just get on Reverb.com or another site and pick a price. Ask around, search online, and find the selling prices for comparable items. If you set your price too high, your gear won’t sell, and if you set it too low you are only hurting yourself.
- Make it look good: Repair, clean and fix up your gear as much as you can. If something is broken, it is worth putting in the money to repair it to get a better price in the end (and avoid angry customers).
- Take good pictures: Be a salesperson! Set your gear up in good lighting, capture all angles, and offer a full perspective on what you are selling. The more a buyer can see of the item, the more likely they are to be interested. Good copywriting and images sell.
- Post and wait: Don’t go to a pawn shop or used music store. Post your listing on the platform of your choice (we suggest Reverb.com), with good pictures and an honest, detailed description. Then play the waiting game. Don’t jump at the very first offer you get – take as long as you need to find the right buyer who will give you the full price you want.
Places To Avoid Selling Music Equipment At (Unless You Really Have To)
Obviously, we like Reverb.com the best, but you won’t run into many problems using any of the three online platforms we just described to sell your music equipment.
There are some other methods for selling your old gear that we would strongly suggest you stay away from, unless you are desperate for some quick cash.
Don’t go to a pawn shop.
It may sound easy and quick – and it is – but it’s a sure-fire way to get the lowest price for your equipment. Pawn shops are set up to buy from sellers who need the quick cash, so they are definitely going to lowball you.
Stop using Guitar Center!
We also don’t recommend selling your old guitars to Guitar Center or similar music shop. Just like a pawn shop, their goal is to buy old equipment at the lowest possible price so that they can make the most money reselling it.
Selling is tougher than buying, but it doesn’t have to be too much of a headache as long as you know what you are doing. Be honest about what you are selling, paint it in a good light without lying, and offer a fair price based on what similar items are selling for.
With the right platform and a little know-how, you can sell your old music equipment and move on to what you really want – buying something new. If you ask us, our pick is Reverb.com. On top of all the features listed above, it’s also great being part of a growing community of likeminded musicians.
What have your experiences been like with selling music equipment online? Let us know in the comments!