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reverb.com versus gearsluts classified versus ebay
Old 26th May 2017
  #1
Lives for gear
 
ponzi's Avatar
reverb.com versus gearsluts classified versus ebay

What is the thinking here on the best place to buy and sell gear? I don't think I am the first one to notice that some folks selling on reverb have unrealistic price aspirations. This is what I am seeing and thinking now--I am interested on what other folks experience is:

Gearslutz--I have purchased two items here, items priced reasonably and arrived in mint condition. I do notice a lot of items in gearslutz are links to reverb or ebay. Does GS charge the seller for completed sales?

Reverb--I have set up a 'store' there and had a couple of items for sale, but nothing moved yet. I recall one item where the price was $1,000 for a small 19 inch used device with $100 shipping within us--my estimate for actual fedex shipping of this would be $25. This can be purchased for $1,100 new at sweetwater with free shipping. Dude???

Not seeing much action on my sale items on reverb, got a lowball offer on one, and reverb has a nice 'block lowball' option you can set to block offers less than 65% of asking price.

Reverb is not an exclusive sale--you can sell elsewhere and cancel the reverb advertisement no cost. Are there enough people on reverb for an auction there to work?

I think reverb ends up taking 6%, but maybe paypal gets another 3%--not sure.

Ebay--old faithful for me. I like the idea of an auction when I want to be done with a sale in a week and I feel like I got a fair price for it. There have been times I got way less than I hoped--sometimes, but I don't see that as a big problem.

This is where I have my 100+ positive feedback--on gs and reverb, I am a noob. I think ebay takes a rapacious 10% of the sale price, and I read a comment they charge a percent of the shipping fee as well.

Can you sell an item outside of ebay and cancel the ebay ad? Yes, if there are no bids--I just did that. Once the auction is engaged, I think its bad form to cancel the ad--and I agree and have no problem with that. Once the game is afoot, its unsportsmanlike to cancel the auction.

So, kind of my biggest question is whether reverb is worth messing around with or if its some sort of museum of equipment. Does ebay have way more pro audio purchasers looking at stuff than reverb? Does ebay get better prices, even though it takes a bigger cut off the top? Thanks.

PS: I use craigslist as well--especially for large or heavy items where the shipping would be 50% of the sale price. Thing is, the prices have to get pretty low to move, hence ebay. I will usually put any item on craigslist first and move to ebay if no action after a week. I need to remember that ebay takes 10% when selling locally though...
Old 26th May 2017
  #2
Lives for gear
 

I use reverb a lot, and have sold the majority of my gear there. Gear just sit too long on GS, unless it's a killer deal people (myself included) will look elsewhere for a steal rather than whats the going rate, ime. On reverb however, there are so many people looking, and it's all only music related gear so you know your audience, plus as you mentioned there are a lot of foolish people shooting too high in hopes of being haggled down to the going rate (que lowballers); so listing things at a very attractive and reasonable offer sells easily. I listed a synth yesterday morning -- everyone else is selling their used units for a ridiculous 10% less than new, mine was 25% off, and I sold it by 8pm.

eBay is fine but that's where I go to get deals, reverb is where you get your money back, GS....idk I see people asking for absurdly high prices on gear here too, yet no buyers protection (other than what PayPal will provide). I bought my synth on eBay new at 25% off, and sold it for the same price on reverb because it was still the lowest priced model, haha. Gotta love it. I paid my rent for 3 months buying and selling gear when I quite my job 2 years ago, the gear trade is nuts these days.
Old 26th May 2017
  #3
Lives for gear
 
tedtan's Avatar
 

eBay just dropped their fee on music gear to 3.5% to compete with Reverb, who also charges 3.5%. Both charge the fee on shipping as well as the item so people can't simply sell a $1,000 item for $1 and charge $999 for shipping in order to avoid paying the fee.

Historically eBay has had more traffic than Reverb, but Reverb has had more listings lately due to eBay's almost 10% fee (which, as noted above, has been reduced to 3.5% as of approximately a week ago).

Now that both are charging equal fees, it will be interesting to see if people start listing m ore items on eBay to take advantage of the better traffic it gets.
Old 26th May 2017
  #4
Gear Maniac
 
zero64's Avatar
 

In my experience Craigslist is king. I can meet the person, check the item out before I buy it and of course there are no shipping charges. And, with most items I can resell them later on Craigslist for about the same price.

Reverb -- I've looked, but the prices are always too high. I'll buy new or wait for for it to pop up on Craigslist.

Ebay -- I've used it for non-music stuff many times, never any serious problems. I've looked at mics there, but the shipping charges usually kill the deal.
Old 26th May 2017
  #5
Lives for gear
 
mike vee's Avatar
eBay is the fastest but a scummy, slime-ball company

Reverb is second fastest and actually good people - I like it a lot now and have stopped using eBay - however, you tend to get lower prices on Reverb for some reason - good for buyers BAD for sellers, a little too much competition, IMO

Craigslist mostly sucks, slow, so many weird emails, low ballers like crazy
Old 26th May 2017
  #6
Lives for gear
 
ponzi's Avatar
Some good insights. Ok, just put my manley core on reverb. I note they also charge a 2.7% payment processing fee. I put the item with a one day return period. Are there many folks who abuse this--just audition gear and return it? I don't want to go thru the hassle of selling it more than once, and who eats the shipping costs on those one day returns--I will read up on that on reverb.

I know I have been asking the questions, but I will share some wisdom from over a decade of selling on ebay: The guy who asks the stupidest questions never wins the auction, so don't spend a lot of time trying to sooth/sell a hand-wringer. I was selling a preamp and the title of the ad said "Audio Research SP-14 with phono input". So, dude sends an email and asks if it has a phono input--WTF???? ... He didn't win the auction.
Old 26th May 2017
  #7
Lives for gear
 
mamm7215's Avatar
I haven't bought on Reverb, but I use Craigslist, Amazon, Ebay and GS in about that order. I used to use Ebay a lot but it's gotten, I don't know, just less desirable for me to use. I usually know exactly what I'm looking for with respect to music gear so I'm not too worried about where it comes from. I've bought one thing off a GS'er and it was a great transaction. I'd do more but I usually hold out for Craigslist. Anything I may want usually comes up at some point...
Old 26th May 2017
  #8
Glad to hear Ebay has lowered their rate, I never was notified. 10% was a sure fire way of losing your shirt on every sale. On the other hand, I seem to get more traffic there and sales than GS or Reverb. Reverb relies on "make an offer" which is great for buyers but can be a pain to manage. You have to set your price high so that the buyer feels like he/she are getting a deal. Not a fan of bartering. Never had any luck trading or selling anything here but lots of folks have.
Old 26th May 2017
  #9
Lives for gear
 
ponzi's Avatar
One last question: Is it worth buying and using 'bumps' on reverb? I have a notion that the person who is going to pony up for a 'xxx' audio device is going to do a search on reverb and compare prices, not buy it on impulse because it happens to be on the front page.
Old 26th May 2017
  #10
Lives for gear
 

I use the bump feature if there are a number of listings featuring the same product. Because I myself will do searched for 500 series "X" or something similar, and sometimes you see 4 used models of the same product at about the same price, so I the first one I come across that has reasonable shipping and a make an offer button is the one I watch, so it can be useful in that first-come-first-found way
Old 13th December 2017
  #11
Lives for gear
 

A few questions for you pros - I have tried the main companies but usually just as a buyer. For Craigslist, if I sell something actually valuable like a guitar costing hundreds, how do you typically take payment? Cold, hard cash only? No way would I want someone coming over to my place.

I am aware there are scammers out there and probably a ton of people with buyer's remorse once they realize their dream instrument is just so-so compared to the others they already have. If I sell some axes, I want to rest easy at night knowing my new money is safe and sound. Who gives the most reasonable time for returns/disputes that don't drag on forever or come out of the blue decades later?
Old 14th December 2017
  #12
Gear Guru
 
monkeyxx's Avatar
eBay is the quickest and easiest for me. Huge visibility, pretty good turn over. The fees are outrageous and that does kill a lot of the joy. As well I keep losing money on shipping, lately. There seems to be no easy way to accurately calculate shipping cost, or at least I haven't figured one out.

Gearslutz classifieds are great for pro audio gear. If I had bought/sold my API 3124+, for example, on eBay, I would have been paying hundreds of dollars in fees. So it's nice to do some stuff here, sometimes. That feeling of not getting fee-grifted by eBay just feels so sweet when you do a transaction here.

I hate Craigslist. People are always haggling me down in a rude way at the last moment, it's disgusting, feels like getting robbed. I avoid craigslist. I've just encountered too many scumbags. I'd usually rather try to sell it to Guitar Center or something if I'm going to stoop that low. Craigslist is my last resort.

I have bought one single thing from Reverb.com, a great deal, and have attempted to sell nothing. I don't know why it's just not terribly appealing to me.
Old 14th December 2017
  #13
Lives for gear
 
Dysanfel's Avatar
Ebay charged me the full 10% on the sale of a synth. Are you guys sure they are matching?
Old 14th December 2017
  #14
Gear Guru
 
monkeyxx's Avatar
They have never given me any breaks...
Old 14th December 2017
  #15
Lives for gear
 
wildplum's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by tedtan View Post
eBay just dropped their fee on music gear to 3.5% to compete with Reverb, who also charges 3.5%. Both charge the fee on shipping as well as the item so people can't simply sell a $1,000 item for $1 and charge $999 for shipping in order to avoid paying the fee.
Perhaps the 3.5% was a limited time, special offer? I just (Dec. 14, 2017) checked the Ebay fee calculator and the fee it reported for "musical instruments and gear" (as well as pro audio) was 10%.
Old 14th December 2017
  #16
Lives for gear
 
Dysanfel's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by wildplum View Post
Perhaps the 3.5% was a limited time, special offer? I just (Dec. 14, 2017) checked the Ebay fee calculator and the fee it reported for "musical instruments and gear" (as well as pro audio) was 10%.
Just my luck.
Old 15th December 2017
  #17
Lives for gear
 

I find items on Reverb are priced higher than other places for some reason.
I'm also a fan of Craigslist but more recently, I've been using Facebook gear specific groups. I find it's like CL but with a heavy filter for BS and more of a community feel.
I highly recommend looking into FB recording gear sale/trade groups in your area.
Old 15th December 2017
  #18
Ive not had issues with Reverb but it is wise to spend the $5 and have it "signature required".
If you ship something and the party says they didnt receive it you are screwed. A thing thugs do is follow UPS and FedEx trucks around and run to the doorway and snatch the packages. Most cops and others wont bother with small $$ items and good luck getting any interest in your recording gear loss.

CL is cool for low dollar items and meeting in Guitar Centers parking lot or the Police parking lot. But it can be hot stuff or broken ...no refund so it has to be super dirt cheap. Never have people to the house.

Ebay, Fleabay it was what it is but after having sketchy folk a few times I dont do much ebay. I suppose Reverb could be the same its just a smaller crowd/site.
the online deal is about the same for all of them really as far as shipping and little fee's.

Im just a once-in-awhile seller...maybe 2 to 3 pieces a year. I do like the "Signature Required" thing though, peace of mind.
Old 15th December 2017
  #19
UGP
Gear Nut
 

I scored many deals on vintage gear on Reverb a few years back. Nowadays there are too many flippers on that site influencing pricing trends and ultimately sending prices through the roof.

Last edited by UGP; 16th December 2017 at 08:30 AM..
Old 15th December 2017
  #20
Lives for gear
 
sdelsolray's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by wildplum View Post
Perhaps the 3.5% was a limited time, special offer? I just (Dec. 14, 2017) checked the Ebay fee calculator and the fee it reported for "musical instruments and gear" (as well as pro audio) was 10%.
The 3.5% "final value fee" on eBay is for guitars and basses within the musical instrument category. It does not cover pro audio equipment.
Old 15th December 2017
  #21
The bulk of the items I have sold in the past 2-3 years have been through Reverb. I really like it for its convenience, messaging, and easy way to print shipping labels.

Next most productive for me is eBay, still the old standard, but I try to avoid it if possible, too many dicey individuals. I tend to use this for less common items as the reach is greater.

Gearslutz, I prefer this forum for finding items I might want to buy as it tends to have more higher end stuff, compared to Reverb.

However I have had less and less luck selling from Gearslutz compared to Reverb, even for higher end gear. Most of the time I don't get any kind of interest from GS like I did maybe 3-5 years ago. Not sure why that is.
Old 15th December 2017
  #22
Lives for gear
 
tedtan's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by wildplum View Post
Perhaps the 3.5% was a limited time, special offer? I just (Dec. 14, 2017) checked the Ebay fee calculator and the fee it reported for "musical instruments and gear" (as well as pro audio) was 10%.
They must have.

I just looked and it appears that the 3.5% fee is only on guitars and basses at this point. Everything else looks like it is back to 10%.
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Old 16th December 2017
  #23
Gear Maniac
 

As someone who's used eBay and reverb excessively, I'd pick reverb any day of the week.

Reverb is all about music, so you are already advertising to the right crowd. Reverb also has a great system in place for buyers to message you, and I find that reverb buyers are much easier to work with.

I've sold over $18,000 worth on reverb alone this year in part to liquidating someone's gear collection for them, and it's been a breeze.

Reverb bump is worth the money, and the price depends on your asking price of the item in question. I've had a few auctions without bump, and a few with bump on, on pretty similar items to gauge how the bump feature actually works, and it was night and day. The bump stuff sold very quickly (some items within 2 hours of posting) vs the non bump gear which sat for 4-6 weeks.

Reverb also has a print shipping label option which is always much cheaper then taking it to the post office, and offers seller protection and signature confirmation/tracking. This is a big plus.

Reverb also has the lowest fees I've found for an online retailer, cheaper than eBay and PayPal.

As far as dealing with sketchy people, I feel reverb had the least of this when I was selling high dollar gear. I always attached A TON of photos to exactly show what it was you were getting, and gave very detailed descriptions. I've only had one issue with a seller on reverb, and it was due to a banking error (his payment never cleared, and I got a hot headed email about it a week later wondering where his gear was), but it was easily sorted out.

Lastly, I've found that reverbs customer service is great as a company, especially once it gets to the point where a buyer is coming after a seller for some reason. They really do back their sellers 100%.
Old 16th December 2017
  #24
Gear Nut
 

+1 to everything John_Cunningham said.

Just want to add that you only pay for bumps used and only after the item sells.

Also, I've had buyers tell me my listings were showing up at the top of product searches on Google. I don't know if that's a Reverb thing, or a Google thing, but I've never had that happen selling on eBay.
Old 16th December 2017
  #25
Lives for gear
 

i hate ebay but nothing moves as fast as ebay. fact. argue all you want. i hate them too fees higher, but again... nothing moves as fast. again - fact.

i personally like gs the most because you get the best deals and if the person has a history here with a considerable amount of posts you can generally trust them but either way always go through paypal. gs is super slow though for some reason. shame. there's a kinship here and easier to speak to people.

reverb is iffy, good for some basic things like generic strats and marshall starter amps. more high end things move much slower.
Old 16th December 2017
  #26
Gear Nut
 

Surely, it depends on the item, but I've had gear shipped within hours of listing it on Reverb and had the payout in my bank account the next morning.
Old 17th December 2017
  #27
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by aste View Post
+1 to everything John_Cunningham said.

Just want to add that you only pay for bumps used and only after the item sells.

Also, I've had buyers tell me my listings were showing up at the top of product searches on Google. I don't know if that's a Reverb thing, or a Google thing, but I've never had that happen selling on eBay.
That's reverb. I used to love googling something I was selling and seeing it pop right up, first thing you see on the search page. That's more than eBay could ever do.

Quote:
Originally Posted by aramism View Post
i hate ebay but nothing moves as fast as ebay. fact. argue all you want. i hate them too fees higher, but again... nothing moves as fast. again - fact.

i personally like gs the most because you get the best deals and if the person has a history here with a considerable amount of posts you can generally trust them but either way always go through paypal. gs is super slow though for some reason. shame. there's a kinship here and easier to speak to people.

reverb is iffy, good for some basic things like generic strats and marshall starter amps. more high end things move much slower.
I disagree with this. EBay is the home of the tire kickers. Can't think of how many times I've had a sale complete and the buyer backed out.

Reverb is great with high end gear, also. My high end items moved quickly (eventide harmonizers, focusrite red pres, Amek/neve buss compressors, RCF touring subwoofers, etc etc)
Quote:
Originally Posted by aste View Post
Surely, it depends on the item, but I've had gear shipped within hours of listing it on Reverb and had the payout in my bank account the next morning.
This. I loved that. As a preferred seller, once your tracking number is scanned in at the post office/ups/FedEx etc, the funds are released into your account the next morning.
Old 28th December 2017
  #28
Lives for gear
 
BarcelonaMusic's Avatar
 

Craigslist on the super-cheap. If I`m just trying to get rid of something..for SOMETHING..right there. Or people are more willing to let go. I sold a freaking Neve Portico coupler with blank, which I never thought I`d sell(They`re selling this for $70 on Vintageking etc.). Dude Paypaled me the money to ship it to him. Sweet. $50 so I got like $40. I`d never use a Portico anyways. I`d build one before I spent $1700. It just held a Black Lion piece in place and covered the other 1/2. Black Lion and Portico use the same measurements.
Old 23rd January 2018
  #29
Here for the gear
 

Ebay did have pro audio at 3.5%, yes... I believe that was to compete with Reverb whom has clearly stole a lot of their business. That's the beautiful free market at play. I haven't personally sold on Reverb. I was just now checking out their fees, which I thought were a flat 3.5%.... Well surprise, surprise, they charge 2.7% or whatever it is as a "payment processing fee." Yikes... That's nearly double with that little extra fee tacked on there. still better than 10% at eBay. But a little disappointing, I guess.
Old 23rd January 2018
  #30
Gear Nut
 

That 10% at eBay doesn't include payment processing. It's just the final value fee. So, expect pay an extra 3%, for PayPal, plus whatever other little fees eBay charges you to list your stuff.
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