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Best Sites To Buy and Sell Used Music Gear

Online music instrument sales are trending in early 2020 due to current events with COVID-19. Music gives us the perfect opportunity to tune out reality for just a little while. It’s also a great time to sharpen up on your music skills.

Try It: Reverb.com has one of the most trusted and vibrant communities for selling music equipment online. Sign Up Here.

Maybe you have an old keyboard lying around that you haven’t touched in years, or you’ve been itching to learn how to use FL Studio to lay down some beats.

While some may be looking to rekindle their love for playing an instrument, others may be looking to make a quick buck off of one they have no more use for. So, what’s the best way to go about buying or gear? There’s plenty of websites where you can buy or sell used music gear, so let’s see what works best for you.

The Key Attributes to a Legitimate Buying and Selling Site

Trust Is A Key Factor

If you are looking to spend a nice chunk of change on an instrument, wouldn’t you want to look at a real image of what you’re buying? Be mindful when coming across general stock images, especially for used products. Often, the item will be sold cheaper than usual, and you may see that specific item appears in more than one listing, especially on eBay.

You should look for real, authentic photographs of what you’re purchasing, and the same goes if you’re selling. Not only will you draw more interest in the product you’re selling, but it also provides a additional layer of confidence for the customer, by knowing exactly what they’re getting.

Pricing and Fee Considerations

If you feel like you’ve just struck gold on a deal that seems too good to be true, well buyer beware. One way to avoid a potential scam is to contact the seller and message them if given the option.

Don’t be too quick to make the purchase, because there could be a reason the item is being sold for as cheap as it is, and it could very well be in the fine print. Also, prepare yourself for an additional shipping cost, depending on the item you’re sending out.

For example, if you’re looking to ship a guitar, expect to pay anywhere between $85-$100, minimum. Other items, like guitar strings, would ship for much less. Some websites allow for local pickup, so turn to somewhere like Facebook Marketplace or Craigslist if you’re looking to avoid shipping fees. 

Process of Buying and Selling

Buying 

Bidding: Websites will use an auction-style where those who are interested in a certain product, they will have to be the highest bidder in the end to win. There will be a date and time when the bidding ends. Be careful, as it’s common that people will place bids at the very last second to win the auction.

Buying outright online: You can purchase the item outright when it says add to cart or buy it now. You’ll still have to pay for shipping (in most cases), but the product is officially yours to buy.

Local pickup/cash: As you’ll see below, some sites offer local pickup, which means you can meet the seller directly to purchase the item. If you want to personally verify authenticity, this option will work well when it comes to buying used gear.

Some websites keep it simple to view a seller’s information. eBay, for example, has the seller’s rating, amount of items sold, types of payment accepted, and more — all presented for the buyer in one spot.

Selling

Most websites will charge you to sell your instrument. Reverb is a favorable website to sell gear,  and they only charge you 3.5 percent on all transactions.

For the most part, you won’t be able to walk away without paying some sort of fee, whether a shipping or transaction fee, unless you can sell the item on a site such as Craigslist or Facebook Marketplace. These sites giving you the option to meet up with the buyer in person. If all else fails, you’ll have to bite the bullet on shipping and transaction fees.

The Best Sites to Buy Gear

1. Reverb

If you’re looking for a website that makes it easy and provides the best deals without having to search all day and night for them, Reverb is your best bet. They have a handful of different sections, such as deals and steals, price drops, newest listings, and more. Reverb has a massive collection of electric, bass, and acoustic guitars. They also have a variety of microphones, keyboards, folk instruments such as ukuleles, mandolins, and banjos, plus music software.

How Does Pricing Work?

Reverb allows you to message the seller, see how many items they have sold, and where they are located. When it comes to making purchases, you don’t have to bid on the item, you can buy it on the spot. A nice feature that Reverb includes is giving you the option to make an offer to the seller. For example, you can find the Akai Professional MPK Mini MKII keyboard controller, which we listed as our best for the price midi, for $108 used, and you’re given the option to make an offer. What could be better! 

Should You Trust Them?

Totally. Reverb is basically eBay for instruments and more. With the option to make offers and have your purchase shipped within 72 hours, Reverb is highly recommended for finding a great product and a great deal.

2. Sweetwater

What’s great about Sweetwater is that they have a local listing section, where you can put in your zip code, and different local listings will show up on the page, allowing you to go to the seller directly for purchase.

Sweetwater Used Gear Marketplace

How Does Pricing Work? 

In most cases, you won’t automatically purchase the item you’re looking for. After you find a product you’re interested in, you have to contact the seller, which sends an email to the seller. After they have reviewed your email, you can deal with payment and delivery options. Sweetwater is not involved in any payments or disputes between the buyer and seller. 

Should You Trust Them?

Yes, but with caution. If you’re looking to buy on Sweetwater, it’s advised that you utilize the local listing function. That way, you can meet in person and see the product up close and personal before you make your decision. Otherwise, you will have to deal with purchasing your product fully online or over the phone with the seller.

3. Music Go Round

Contrary to the other stores listed so far, Music Go Round is a national chain, and their locations are owned independently. They sell only used items, so don’t expect any new products from their website. The good news is that they test every item in-store when it’s brought in for inspection, as well as before it’s sent to their new owner in the mail.

How Does Pricing Work?

Considering the products listed on the website are also sold in their stores, you run into the chance that an item is purchased in the store before it can be removed from the website. In this case, the customer making the purchase online will fully be refunded. You can also pick up the item in the store if it’s located close to home. Shipping costs range between $30-$200, but price may vary depending on your location. 

Should You Trust Them!

Absolutely! You can always contact the store and ask more questions in regards to the product you’re interested in purchasing.

4. Ebay

Home to millions of products, eBay is a great website to find used gear. After creating an account, you’re free to start shopping, but the majority of products on eBay use a bidding system to win the product you’re interested in. 

How Does Pricing Work?

The pricing of products will vary. In fact, some people will have an item set at an extremely low price, one that might have you take a double-take, but the listing ends in seven days. People do this to create a bidding war, and hopefully, get a pretty penny for what they were initially selling for next to nothing. Some products are offered with a Buy it Now option, meaning the product is yours, and there’s no need to bid on it.

Should You Trust Them?

Well… that’s your call. Ebay is definitely a trustworthy site, and there are plenty of legitimate vendors out there that have sold thousands of products and have great reviews. But, you get what you pay for. Make sure you’re making a purchase from someone with a good rating, at least a 95 percent or above, make sure they have sold plenty of items, and be sure to take a look at their most recent reviews from customers.

5. Musician’s Friend

There’s plenty to find when it comes to Musician’s Friend. With a variety of helpful categories like open box, refurbished, clearance and even the stupid deal of the day, you’re bound to find the product you’ve been looking for.

How Does Pricing Work?

Musician’s Friend offers price matching, which is something we’ve yet to see from a used music gear site. They will match any verified price from an authorized dealer up to 45 days after your purchase. They also have free shipping on the majority of their items, which is hard to find anywhere else.

Should You Trust Them?

Without a doubt. They offer a 2-year warranty on guitars and basses. They also give you up to 45 days to return your product if you aren’t happy with your purchase. 

6. Amazon

Amazon is a staple of society and you can find countless deals on their website. Third party companies have the ability to create profiles and sell products through Amazon, whether the product is brand new or used.

How Does Pricing Work?

Amazon cannot account for the policies of every vendor they have. That being said, Amazon helps you find the best deals possible with their different search modes.

Should You Trust Them

If there is one thing Amazon cares about, it is the customer. Whether you order through Amazon itself or a third party vendor, you have protection for timely delivery and protection for your items. Any and all issues must be brought to the initial seller first, but there is the A to Z Guarantee from Amazon that puts certain measures in place that can help you get a full refund.

Websites To Sell Used Music Gear

1. Reverb

What Can You Sell?

You can list as many items as you would like on Reverb, and their selling fee is a mere 3.5%. Reverb makes it easy to describe the product you’re selling, the condition it’s in, upload pictures of the product, etc.

You can negotiate shipping as a part of the offer process on Reverb, or, you can also list the item for local pickup. Reverb also includes a shipping guide on their website to help you ship certain items. This is extremely helpful if this is your first time selling.

Can You Trust Them?

Absolutely. Reverb is an excellent option for buying or selling, and they have one of the smallest selling fees around. 

2. The Music Zoo

What Can You Sell?

This site is geared towards selling guitars only. Unfortunately you won’t be able to sell anything else, so if you have a guitar to sell, this site is worthy of checking out. 

If you’re from the New York area, you’re lucky enough to go check out their Guitar Shop in Long Island, otherwise, any guitars you’re looking to sell can be done through their site.

 You can also trade in a guitar or consign one as well. After filling out some basic information in regards to the guitar you’re looking to sell, you’ll be well on your way towards making a sale.

Can You Trust Them?

Sure! The Music Zoo is a great place to buy or sell guitars. You have the physical store to contact if you have any questions, and they make it as simple as possible for you to make a sale.

3. Facebook Marketplace

What Can You Sell?

Virtually anything you want to get rid of. Facebook Marketplace is a great way to sell instruments locally. The process is rather simple for uploading your items you’re interested in selling. 

What’s great about Marketplace is you won’t have to pay any sort of fees, and you can meet up with the buyer in person. As long as you have a Facebook Profile, you’re free to sell as much as you please.

Can You Trust Them?

Sure, but still be careful. It’s advised to meet people in a public place. If you’re comfortable with them coming to your home that’s fine, but it’s up to you. If you place a listing up on Marketplace, you can expect to get some bites within just a few days.

4. Amazon

What Can You Sell?

Generally the only constraints on selling used items on Amazon is no used clothing or footwear. However, music equipment has no limit. If you are looking to create your own products, there are some limitations to what all can be sold through Amazon. But again, music equipment generally will not fall into the limitations that they have.

Can You Trust Them?

I totally believe you can trust Amazon as a seller. They do charge sellers but there are 2 sales options available. There is the Individual account where you pay Amazon for each individual sale you make through them. Then there is the Professional account where you pay Amazon a flat $39.99 per month. Don’t forget there is a “per item referral fee” that will vary by category. If you are not expecting to sell more than 40 items a month, the Individual account is probably the best choice for you.

What are you waiting for? Get to it!

By now you’ve got a variety of websites to choose from. You understand what it takes to purchase gear from a verified source. You should also have a better understanding of the process to ship an item that you’re looking to sell. If you’re still a little hesitant in making a purchase, reach out to the vendor or do some research on the project.

Take this time to learn how to play a new instrument, or make a little spending cash by getting rid of an old drum set collecting dust in the basement. There’s plenty of options, and it only takes a few minutes to get to work.

Join Reverb

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