Reverb.com is widely known as one of the best platforms for buying and selling gear on the internet.
With low fees, safe and easy processes, and great customer service, they have obliterated the competition. But what is their competition you ask?
I’ve listed them in the order of recommendation here:
- Facebook Marketplace
- The Gear Page
It’s important to keep in mind that this is mainly my opinion and some users may have varying experiences on each site that might contrast with my own.
That being said, Reverb.com is still one of the best and while the competitors may have their upsides, few of them compare.
7 best alternatives to Reverb.com
Sweetwater is the biggest online musical instrument retailer in the US with millions of customers using their services a year.
Most customers are also generally satisfied with their purchases and services.
Whether you’re looking to buy or sell, Sweetwater has it all covered and they don’t even charge you fees to sell your used gear.
Another great benefit is their customer service after the sale if you’re buying. They have a whole section dedicated to caring for your instrument and providing free tech support.
Overall, their customer service is second-to-none, but what are their drawbacks?
Some people have mentioned having bad experiences when buying from Sweetwater, where mistakes are involved.
They received something damaged, but the company was reluctant to exchange or right the issue. So that’s one thing to consider as a buyer.
- Excellent customer service
- Free selling platform that chargers zero sales fee
- Good post-sale service
- Widely trusted
- Allegedly unwilling to assist when mistakes have been made
- Their good customer service is in some ways a ploy to build a relationship and get you to buy
The Gear Page
The Gear Page is more of an online forum for buying and selling gear, a lot like Reddit, except it’s dedicated solely to guitar.
There is a downside to it though, and it’s much the same as any community-led forum and that is that things can sometimes get nasty and petty real quickly.
It’s very much a double-edged sword in that you get to deal directly with buyers and sellers, but there’s also not much in the way of customer security since it’s private dealings.
You can at least make it public to the community if someone sells you a bad deal, but it’s unlikely you will get your money back.
- Dedicated music gear forum
- Large community
- Public forum
- No middle-men
- No real customer security
- Risk of being scammed
- The forum seems prone to opinionatedness and petty behavior
Reddit as an online forum has its ups and downs. It’s especially not the place to go if you’re looking for political discussions, but as a musician and guitar owner, it might be a great place for you to find someone wanting to buy from you.
The nice thing about Reddit is that it’s a community-focused website and you’re dealing with real people on the other end.
There are a couple of great forums for whether you’re buying or selling gear and if you have a bad experience, you can immediately let other users know about it, which gives a level of accountability to everyone to behave themselves.
r/Gear4Sale is a forum with over 24K members from all around and is one of a few great resources.
There are drawbacks to buying and selling on Reddit though, as there is no customer security. If your deal goes wrong, they can’t be held accountable, so you’ll need to be careful from your end.
- No middle man
- No sales fees
- Able to leave reviews about buyers and sellers
- No user safety
- Might find yourself at odds with a forum Mod
- May be at risk of scams
- May face user abuse
Facebook Marketplace has become a great resource for those looking to sell their used items.
The only thing you need in order to sell is an active user account, which is a great convenience as far as I’m concerned.
Facebook also doesn’t charge sales fees and you get to keep the money; the only drawback is finding a suitable buyer.
Facebook also doesn’t handle shipping, so that’s between you and the person purchasing, or you would have to meet up.
People are often concerned about the meeting-up part, but you can always arrange to meet at a public place to hand over the item upon sale. Don’t go to a stranger’s house to deliver.
- No sales fees
- Convenient to use
- Open to all
- Possible safety issue
- Possible privacy issues
- You might get hassled by lowballers
OfferUp acts as somewhat of a competitor to craigslist. What it has over Craigslist is its mobile support, but it’s limited by the fact that it’s mainly focused on local sales between users.
In other words, you can sell without charges on OfferUp as long as your buyer is nearby and doesn’t require shipping.
If you do want to sell long-distance, there is a shipping fee of 12.9% of the total value of your sale.
For that reason, I find it a little more limiting than the other platforms and would recommend reverb or Craigslist instead.
- Mobile friendly
- Has no sales fees for local sales
- Sales fees for international sales
- Less well-known than some of the other platforms
- Isn’t solely dedicated to musicians like other platforms
eBay is another longstanding eCommerce site. It’s widely used, offers a level of security to users, is PayPal compatible and it even has a lower sales fee in the music category.
That last part is good or bad depending on how you look at it. eBay also has user fees, but the music category is pretty low, at 3.5%. In short, it’s a great place to sell if you’re looking to sell music equipment.
Other categories have higher fees, but that’s not our focus today.
We’re more looking at its uses for a musician trying to sell gear, and for that purpose, it’s pretty good. I’d say its only drawback is that it’s not geared toward musos only like Reverb is.
However, because there is a specific category for music equipment, you can likely assume that anybody looking in that category would either be serious about buying or is at least considering it.
- Low sales fees
- Very Popular
- PayPal friendly
- Not only for musicians like Reverb
- Has sale fees
Craigslist has probably been around longer than any other platform on this list, founded in 1995, it’s widely used and widely known.
While it’s a very general platform, it’s also a great place to buy and sell music equipment. I’d say the greatest upside to craigslist is that it has no seller fees.
All the money you make from selling your gear goes straight to you.
It bears mentioning though that despite its convenience and relative safety, people do sometimes get scammed on this site and because it’s not only musicians looking at other musicians, you may get non-serious buyers trying to take chances with you.
Either way, Craigslist is one of the best sites to sell on.
- No seller fees
- Well known
- Generally trusted
- Wide audience
- Not just musicians, so prone to lowballing
- Risk of scams
Alternatives to Reverb.com to avoid
It would seem that some of the recommended sites are even worth avoiding depending on your tolerance for lack of security or sales fees.
There are some alternatives I’d recommend not using and that’s simply either due to their lack of reach (meaning you’ll have a hard time selling on them) or their specific market approach.
When it comes to buying, you can always try to buy gear at brick-and-mortar outlets like Guitar Center and Mars Music, but keep in mind that due to their overheads and expenses, everything is at a markup.
You’re essentially paying extra to get to hold your guitar in a big building for a sec before you decide to buy it.
While online pages don’t allow you that security, there are many where you can meet up with a seller and test out gear first.
Or if you’re selling, you can set up a reasonable sales agreement where both parties are protected, but it’s not always a guarantee.
The places I’d least recommend using are:
Mercari has two main drawbacks for me:
- High selling fees, ten percent of the total price of an item as well as a transaction fee based on the payment method.
- Not a very well-known or used site, meaning low traffic and slow sales turnaround
For both these reasons, it’s just not worth it to use Mercari in my opinion.
5Miles is a website with a focus on local sales. This is great, and they don’t charge you sales fees either, but it’s also a focus on local sales.
In other words, your reach is very limited with this website, and that’s even before mentioning that it’s almost unknown to anyone.
I didn’t even know 5Miles existed until I researched for this article.
Essentially, choosing to use this platform as your platform of choice for buying or selling means that you’re going to be limited in your options and you’re likely not going to find a seller.
It’s kind of like standing out in the desert and hoping someone will pass by with some gear for you.
Music Go Round
Music Go Round is not a bad store, but only if you’re looking to buy. It’s a retailer and while they may buy your gear up, they’ll buy it at a much lower price than what it’s worth.
It’s really only a place to go if you need money fast or you have gear that you really don’t care to keep. Otherwise, just avoid using this site to sell.
Tips for selling your gear online
Okay, so we’ve covered sprucing your guitar up and making her look pretty before taking her to be auctioned off and it’s covered in more detail here:[insert link]
But to recap it in short:
- Make sure your gear is clean when you sell it, that means no dust and no rust
- If you’re selling your guitar and you have the cash to invest in new strings or accessories, this will usually drive up the sales value
- Don’t be dishonest about any damages or blemishes on your gear
- Do some research about the median resale value of your given item before posting it, this will make people more likely to buy it at a fair price since you’re not overvaluing things
- If something has sentimental value worth more than selling it, maybe don’t sell it
In short, people might want to buy something second-hand to save money, but they want to feel like they bought something brand new.
So if it’s an amp, make sure it sounds good and that the knobs are all working, and if it’s a guitar, a bit of oiling and restringing will go a long way.
I hope this helped you figure out where you want to sell your stuff.
Hello there, my name is Ramiro and I’ve been playing guitar for almost 20 years. I’m obsessed with everything gear-related and I thought it might be worth sharing it. From guitars, pedals, amps, and synths to studio gear and production tips, I hope you find what I post here useful, and I’ll try my best to keep it entertaining also.