Is reverb a vital place to sell instruments or is eBay still king?

Discussion in 'Bad Dog Cafe' started by diverse379, Feb 12, 2020.

  1. moosie

    moosie Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    I still list on The Gear Page, concurrently with my Reverb listings. Lots of sales there, all good. Tons of pedals, plus at least a half-dozen $2k guitar sales. I've also purchased expensive guitars there, again, no problems.

    Nothing against TDPRI - this is my hang-out place - but I've never had a single nibble on my listings here, and finally I just stopped bothering.

    TGP probably isn't a good place for newbie sellers. They're a fairly sophisticated bunch, at least as it relates to gear, and can have little patience with the inexperienced, IMO. The upside to that is they know the drill, and can be very efficient and reliable to work with.
     
  2. 53Strat

    53Strat TDPRI Member

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    You guys don't realize how lucky you are in the USA.

    I just looked up the current selling fees on ebay here in Oz and the thieves still want 10.6% of the total sale price + freight.

    Reverb is not an attractive option here so we are left with Gumtree owned by ebay anyhow as I understand. Any day they'll whack the fees on that as well. :(
     
  3. moosie

    moosie Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    Well, to be accurate, we pay something like 3.5% to Reverb, for the listing. Then there's the financial transaction. Whether you use Reverb's own transaction processor, or Paypal, it's another 2.5% (roughly).

    Shipping fees aren't really part of it, since they're usually passed on to the buyer in one form or another. Reverb has negotiated some excellent rates with the carriers. I think I usually charge around $45 to ship a guitar, and that covers my cost anywhere in the US. Doesn't necessarily cover buying a box, so I may factor that in, if I don't already have one. (We have an attic full...)

    While pedals often advertise with free shipping, I think most people realize it's only about $8, and that it's added to the cost. But it's an attractive, if not expected, listing method for smaller sales. On the other hand, buyers seem to accept paying for shipping on amps and guitars. I try to just barely cover my costs, so as to keep the number reasonable. I don't need to make money for driving to the post office...


    There's another fee, a very insidious one. The 'Bump'. Advertising. Prominent listing placement, better than everyone else not using the feature.

    Reverb used to charge a few cents per time that your item would appear in the prominent spot. You'd have the choice of buying a few thousand bump presentations at a time. Might add $5 to the fees on a pedal sale. Or less, because you paid by bumps shown, not bumps purchased. If the item sold quick, you'd not use many bumps. Well, someone figured out that this was the reverse of what it might be. Now they only offer bumping based on a sliding fee, which is a percentage of the sale price. From 0-4%, zero being no bumping at all. If your item sells the very first time it's shown in the prominent spot, or before it's even been bumped one time, you still pay the full percentage amount. 4% on a $3500 archtop? No longer pennies, no sir. You can choose not to use it, but the more people that do, the more you'd better (and the less benefit you get from doing so, ironically). The math on that results in one real winner only, and that's Reverb, but it is what it is.


    I've watched Reverb from the beginning, when it was all CME listings (their sister company). These businesses with so-called 'network effect' are hard to get going, especially against an entrenched incumbent like eBay was at the time. Like eBay or not, it's where everyone listed, because it's where everyone shopped, because... it's circular... And when the tide turns for a new company, the result is exponential growth, and the complete control of the market, which suddenly makes us hope the new dictator is benign... That's why I said "good luck" when someone mentioned Amazon getting into the space. It'll be difficult even for them. And Reverb's got something none of the others do: they're all guitar players. They understand how difficult it is to shop for gear online, and to ship fragile guitars in mid-winter, etc etc. eBay doesn't begin to understand any of that, and Amazon won't, either. It's not worth their while to try.

    Still, gotta keep eyes open with Reverb, as much as we want to like them. Like most for-profit companies, they'd prefer that eventually we just send them all our money. They just need to keep giving us additional reasons not to resist. I'm all for profitable companies, but I'd prefer to own them, not pay them. And Etsy is a public company... :cool:
     
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  4. Gardo

    Gardo Tele-Meister

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    I've been buying from reverb and buying and selling with CL. Can't remember the last time I even looked at ebay
     
  5. Charlie Bernstein

    Charlie Bernstein Poster Extraordinaire

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    I like Reverb a lot more than Ebay. Easy communication with buyers and sellers, safe transactions, more responsive customer service, and no Paypal nose in my business.
     
  6. Charlie Bernstein

    Charlie Bernstein Poster Extraordinaire

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    Yikes! No way! They charge a lot less than that. Meanwhile, the only guitar store around here that will sell on consignment charges 25%.
     
  7. Charlie Bernstein

    Charlie Bernstein Poster Extraordinaire

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    I've gotten (and given) great deals on Reverb, Mandolin Cafe, and Craig's. Resohangout is another good one for bargains, if you're into resonators.
     
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  8. Charlie Bernstein

    Charlie Bernstein Poster Extraordinaire

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    Shouldn't be hard. I recently sold about seven items in less than three months, and got fair prices for everything.
     
  9. Rumblur

    Rumblur Tele-Meister

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    of course it does. Suckers buy new. If you're going to buy new you should always buy from GC or Sweetwater so you can send it back without penalty.
     
  10. Dave W

    Dave W Friend of Leo's

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    That has absolutely nothing to do with the issue of collecting sales tax. It's a matter of state laws. Reverb and eBay have no choice but to comply.

    If I buy a used guitar from a local store, I pay state sales tax. The retailer can't refuse to collect sales tax on a used guitar just because tax was collected when it was sold new. Why? Because state law says they have to collect it on every sale new or used.

    The same now applies to online sales being shipped to most states. If Reverb and eBay refuse to collect it, they will be forbidden to ship to those states and possibly be sued and fined to boot. They're not "getting away with" anything. They have to.
     
  11. FenderGuy53

    FenderGuy53 Poster Extraordinaire

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    I stopped using EvilBay years ago, primarily because of their usury fees (+/- 13%) and posting policies, but also because of the lurking scammers.

    OTOH, I found Reverb to be quite the opposite. Reverb has very reasonable fees (+/- 3.5%), liberal posting policies, very fair and effective customer support, and their users, for the most part, are decent folks.

    When it comes to new OR used music gear, Reverb is my "go to" retailer.
     
  12. Geo

    Geo Friend of Leo's

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    Buyer wise here 50/50 between the two.
     
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