a Reverb selling gear story...


Well-known member
I realize once again Im not really good at business, even with decades of buying and selling gear.
I only do a few pieces a year...but..things keep changing so when I do sell it often seems to be a burn.

the short story ...
I bought a preamp for the 3rd time, great piece. Found a good price from MusicGoRound, $350 plus $25 shipping they listed. $375 total.

fast forward...the weeks gone by and found its bigger brother unit and bought it, so to sell this one!

Selling gear....
I had left Craigslist selling due to safety and it just being a dead site some time ago.
I tried Ebay but seemed to prefer Reverb. Reverb is more "gearhead only" and seemed to work really well...at first.
Over a few years Reverb has seemed to just be getting more and more expensive and fees and taxes. Also Shipping is
more and more expensive too.

So I thought I'd try Craiglist again, but its so dead, its like one low ball offer in 4 weeks, sooooo I posted the unit on Reverb.

I paid $355 Total. I lightly used it.
I learned from the past and put it up with $35 shipping.

Got an offer of $325 and accepted it. with $35 shipping. I thought "ok"...Im just trying to get my $375 back ...or close to it.

Went to FedEx and it cost $62 to ship...not $25 (as the previous seller listed shipping to me..they are a business , Im not)
Then after Reverb Fees, shipping and wont include waste of time.....
My net was $268.94.

Obviously I thought, duh! should have charged more. Should have used cheaper US post office shipping.

Just wondering what everyone else is using these days in 2021-2022? Good, Bad, Ugly...?
Whats the best way to sell Gear LOCALLY? avoid shipping fees and Reverb fees? Craigslist sucks....5 miles sucks imo....

$106.06 loss on the deal using Reverb and shipping Fed Ex w/ signature.


AKA Optimus Prime LEGO Vampire
My latest reverb story...I sold an extension speaker box. It had a sticker saying made in the UK or England. The guy that bought it took it apart and the speakers inside were made in china. I never took it apart, so I think that is how it was from the factory. I swapped nothing out.

Reverb gave him his money back and then again from Paypal. What a mess. I lose it on a Reverb help chat and lost my Perefered Seller status..

I never offer returns or refunds. Too much can go wrong. Know thy product, consumer.

If you use reverb to get the shipping label it is 25-35% less on some services.


Well-known member
My latest reverb story...I sold an extension speaker box. It had a sticker saying made in the UK or England. The guy that bought it took it apart and the speakers inside were made in china. I never took it apart, so I think that is how it was from the factory. I swapped nothing out.
It probably was assembled in the UK, from parts made in China. There's nothing especially out of the ordinary about that.


AKA Optimus Prime LEGO Vampire
When you get a Marshall cabinet with that Union Jack 'Made in' sticker, what % of parts need to be manufactured from the suggested country? Is Marshall aware of this? Itwasnt my fault. Oh man, Im getting pissed again..

The Celestions were made in China not UK, but supposedly were manufactured there in earlier units or something. The Box still had the sticker.

rob aylestone

Well-known member
You have to be really spot on with descriptions. If you used made in England as a selling tactic, then if the speaker was labelled made in China - you got it wrong, even if you didn't know. If anybody sells and makes a tiny mistake, buyers can and do claim refunds. In the UK, Bishopsound are good examples. The guy who owns the company was really well known when he ran Carlsbro, and now he has his speaker designs made in China. I think the story went that he sent them one of his own speaker designs and they backwards engineered it, and he thought the sound was 'his' - so he now sells his kit as the 'British Sound', but he is very careful how it's worded. The word 'made' or 'assembled' have to have context. So you can make a loudspeaker as a term for a loaded box, with imported drivers, and I think you can also import the cabinets and crossovers - so the 'made' is really 'assembled' - if he simply said British sound, made in England - then he'd probably have gone too far. As usual - only a court can decide - BUT - people like ebay and Reverb have your money and their rules are the ones that count.


Well-known member
If the original retailer can sell a new product with a "Made in UK" sticker and Chinese components, selling the same thing used with the same sticker on it is not misrepresenting it. I think the buyer played the system.


AKA Optimus Prime LEGO Vampire
I was supposed to say 'the country of origin was the UK'. Not 'Made in the UK'. My brain possesses no higher level of thinking to accommodate that reasoning.

So yeah, everything you sell needs to be completely dissembled and torn apart before selling. To verify ....


Well-known member
thanks lazer I never tried the Reverb Label 25-35% might be a business - discount?
I always figured it was another convenience charge and made my own at Fed Ex or UPS...sometimes US post office..

its weird if the used pricing gets too expensive, with me adding charges to cover everything....it seems if I was a buyer Id just get Brand New.

The buyer perspective,imo, I can grab a New, never touched, with return warranty and Free Shipping....then like Front End Audio they dont charge tax!
why would I buy used and pay Reverb/Ebay fees , and ever increasing charges and taxes and then get boned by the shipping costs...

maybe its just "change of times" Reverb was the sht , now its too expensive ...and I need a local shop or a local cash deal.
Craigslist is dead it seems, compared to the early days.

I sold two Shure mics the other day on CL and it was sold for $180 and I got $180 cash and had a nice short talk to some HR dude, at a Starbucks.
GC offers crap money but no hassles.


Well-known member
I've been using FaceBook Marketplace for a few things lately and it's worked well. Unlike CL, you usually can find and see the prospective buyer from his FB page. Meetup for the sale usually at the local PD station where they have an area set aside for internet sales and it's monitored with a camera. I have a small battery powered PA amp to demo gear if needed.

I got burned on eBay one time with a sale. Sold a piece of working gear and seller stated it didn't work out of the box. He didn't wait for me to give him a shipping label for return and to get it back it cost me $40 with his shipping. Got it back it did not work and I could hear loose parts inside. Pulled it apart and it appeared tampered with and a screw bouncing around. I'm not sure if one of the circuit boards was swapped out. My thought was he had a bad piece of gear and got mine for the circuit board part. No way to prove it.

Anyone hit this on eBay yet.......



AKA Optimus Prime LEGO Vampire
Ebay was the worst.

I sold a fresh motherboard from the desktop. MSI socket A. Sold quick, listed cheap 80 bucks. The new one was needed because the CMOS needed to have a SSD boot from option. They guy that bought the old MSI board complained with in 48 hrs of arrival. Saying it didnt work. Files a claim, and within 24hrs ebay refunds his money. Never contacting me at all. The return arrives and all that is in the box is a flat PIECE OF WOOD! Ebay tells me that they cannot do anything about it. There was nothing to relist. He got the money and the item. Never used ebay again.


Well-known member
yeah Ebay is on my worst list too.
the Buyer wins, no matter what so they send back "good condition" gear and lie and complain and Ebay screws the seller.

Reverb at least was mainly musicians/recording gearheads.

CL ..I guess got dangerous and a lot of Apps 5mile, OfferUp.....maybe Facebook is the key.

Guitar Center, has been normally a low low ball offer on everything, though a few times it worked ok. They started buying up used stuff but I dont think its really a profitable business for them because they have a lot of junk that doesnt work and has problems but because , imo, the workers dont check anything out they take in crap-problem gear.
Due to the Return Policy, all the bad gear I took home I took right back. Some was so bad I didnt leave the store, asked for a refund right there.
I do like Selling to GC because its a business, not dangerous, they dont want their money back later...etc...

Ebays been the worst of all of it. ....these stories are worse than mine, but yeah the Returns were a joke.

Shipping is $5 extra to have Signature Required so people dont get your gear and say "I never got it".
Reverbs been the best too bad the whole deal is getting too expensive.

Maybe I can sell Reverb $300 preamp and charge $200 for fees,taxes, shipping, and return coverage..lol


Well-known member
There are scammers on every platform. Some people are just a**holes.

I wonder if part of the reason that used gear has gotten so expensive is that everyone is trying to recoup the 20-25% selling fees. I know of guitars that have gone up $300 in 6 months. Sorry, a $1600 guitar has not appreciated that much. People try to sell mics for as much used as you can buy new.

I don't buy off reverb, and when I buy off ebay, it usually a storefront or small items.
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Everyone used to bang on and on about how eBay was terrible and they always side with the buyer and, to be blunt, it was always bollocks.
They sided with evidence and reasonable arguments.

Sadly, though, it is now true. They changed their policies last year and will literally ignore irrefutable evidence of the seller being in the right.
They've made it clear that they're not in the business of arbitration and their solution is that if a seller offers free refunds then they have a protection scheme which can get them up to 50% off the refund they *have* to give.
That's your best case scenario if someone buys your heavy expensive thing, breaks it, and decides to return.

If you don't offer free returns you're on your own. You must refund in full regardless of circumstances, and you must return anyway, and you must eat the postage costs, which you were going to have to do anyway...
and if you don't do it voluntarily you'll get an account strike on top.

It makes selling larger or higher value items pretty much impossible.

Obviously if the buyer says "I changed my mind" then this doesn't apply but if they say "this doesn't work", you're screwed, whether true or not.


Well-known member
I just got a false-Buyer who didnt respond on REVERB for a KT2A. So I went to re-list it adding $25 more for shipping.

They have a TRANSPARENCY popup that states they charge 7.7% fees.
Shipping is what it is, Im guessing $40-$62 like my last preamp was $62 ISA One...

and then the Buyer pays Tax. So if I stuff the deal to cover my costs on this KT2A, I posted it $380, REVERB will take about $30....the shipping est $50....so I will get

and the Buyer is paying near Brand New price at $380 + Sales Tax%.

please dont even get me started if the "buyer" plays with it .......then decides theres no magic dust..... or takes the tubes and sends it back,..lol
Return Risk in Shipping$$ is why I stopped doing flea-bay....Reverb I have only had one complaint and mostly good people.

The KT2A is a beautiful unit sounds great too, geez...I took the Reverb post down. Reverbs not working for me anymore? hmmm

What Are My Fees as a Reverb Preferred Seller?​

For all sales on the site, Reverb charges a selling fee of 5% of the total sale amount (including shipping) after your item has sold. The minimum fee is $0.50 and the maximum fee is $500. For example: if you sell a $15,000 guitar, instead of $750 (5%) we limit your transaction fee to only $500.
As a Reverb Preferred Seller, you will have the lowest payment processing fee available, at 2.5% plus $0.25 per transaction. Between the selling and processing fees, this means the total fees as a Preferred Seller are 7.5% + $.25 per transaction.
Both fees will be taken out of your total payout for the sale, along with the cost of any shipping labels you choose to purchase.



Musical Instruments & Gear > Guitars & Basses- FREE/NO INSERTION FEES and 3.5% FINAL FEE max $350

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Well-known member
I was a little miffed when I sold my old interface on Reverb earlier this year. The 5% fee is a new thing for me, and I wasn't expecting it. But as far as shipping, they make it pretty easy to get an idea of what it'll cost. Just tap in the dimensions and weight of the shipping box and they'll give you a pretty good idea of the shipping cost. When it comes time to ship it to the buyer, I've always just bought shipping from Reverb and it's way cheaper than if I tried to ship it myself via UPS/FedEx/USPS.

I always check the "as-is" box on the listing to let buyers know that unless I've somehow misrepresented the product, that I don't accept returns. I attach the max number of photos to each listing (which I think is 25), and I make sure that every square inch of the product is captured in the photos. I make it a whole event to set up lights and a contrasting backdrop/surface for the photos. I treat it like a photo shoot. Hopefully that doesn't leave much room for scammers or "renters" to play around.

So far I've had good luck selling on Reverb. I'm not a fan of the 5% fee that they added, but still it's been a good way to re-home some of my old gear over the last several years.


I never had a problem with Reverb, but the fees are such that unless you got a used piece of gear at a fantastic price, then (as mentioned), you end up competing with new equipment to make it worth your while. Still, I will try it if I have the right item and it's small enough that shipping won't eat me alive, and I can advertise with s/h included.

I'll use Craigslist, but mostly those nibbles never turn out, and the Reverb listing eventually sells. Still, I've sold items there in the past (mandolin, guitar amp, mirrorless camera, a couple mics) and had luck. The mix of goods there anymore is pretty much the low end, or some crazy priced stuff, and not much is priced sanely, anyway, so I rarely even give it a look. I'm probably not the only one, and that means the kind of folks I'd probably want to see my ad aren't browsing there, either.

If it's something big and heavy, and has any value and I just want to get rid of it, I'll turn to GC. You cannot possibly ship speakers, amps and even tube mics (IMO) unless they are really expensive items that can cover shipping. And, shipping has gone up a lot for everything/every shipper. I've actually found that including the local sales option in Reverb can work better than Craigslist. I sold a Tele that way. I saved shipping, and we got the F2F that made it more likely there couldn't be any misunderstandings.

I buy cheap stuff from China off eBay, and the odd, used, hard-to-find CD. That's it. Can't remember the last time I sold something there. (Opened my account there in '98.)

rob aylestone

Well-known member
Ebay uk now had US sellers galore now. Search for EV 20, 320 or Neumann and half the listings or more are from America! A 320 for $200 and i thought that could be useful to add to the other I have but shipping at $300 puts you off! I have bought collectors mics from Scandinavia successfully but shipping now is just madness. Here, with Covid, our Royal Mail is too risky because the postmen sign fir the hoods on delivery, and if they make a mistake, or, I suspect, the person who opens the door is dodgy, they are useless. The person says I didn’t get it. Royal Mail have a random sig, and they say delivered. Who too, or exactly which house they don’t even know. Proper insured and tracked isnt worth it for me on items less than two hundred quid, when it can sometimes be maybe 15% of the price. Ebay take around 14% so no real bargains


All you have is now
Wow I'm surprised no one here in the U.S. has mentioned Offerup...It fricking rocks and no fees...yet Definitely get the app for your phone. On your Computer you can search for items and message folks but can not list items from a browser. All photos and listings for sale must be done via the phone app. But definitely the best online personal buying and selling venue in the U.S. especially here in Cali. I've bought and sold gear, cars and a ton of small stuff. They recently started allowing people to ship items nationwide through the system and provide a 2 day guarantee that the item is as described. I just tried it for the first time yesterday trying to buy some auto parts but the guy sold the parts in between me researching how to do the transaction and the guarantee thing.

I like facebook market place and have done OK with it...sold a keyboard via that venue.

I rarely list anything on Ebay these days only if it is a weird unicorn thing ...the fees and lack of seller protection make it a last resort platform. I have no problem buying off of Ebay but selling stinks these days... My brother did a ton of sales on it in the early days, he'd garage / yard sale hunt on the weekends and sell on ebay exclusively he did really well until the fee torture started...

I have never bought or sold on reverb but have seen a ton of stuff for sale when googling...at least 50% of the time the item was already sold I just never felt safe considering buying through it.