5 Most Common Reverb.com Scams

Reverb is generally considered one of the best websites to buy and sell gear online, simply because of how it caters so successfully to the musicians, it draws in. Reverb prides itself on safety and customer security, but it does still encounter some scamming issues.

The most common scams I could find on Reverb are:

  1. Fake Listings
  2. Selling broken or nonexistent items
  3. Refunds with no returns
  4. Price changes after confirming the transaction
  5. Trying to make the transaction a private affair

The fact is that Reverb just isn’t a very Scammer-friendly platform. The guys running Reverb genuinely care about customer safety and that’s also part of why they charge a selling fee; that helps them cover you. That’s not to say that you can’t fall prey to a scam.

Most common scams when selling guitars on Reverb.com

As someone looking to sell on Reverb, you would be within reason to have a light air of suspicion when dealing with people online. Luckily, users have profiles and track records that you can check against them.

This is a great resource that you as a guitar seller can and should use when dealing with other musicians on Reverb. A very clear indicator of a scammer is a profile that has no reviews or ratings and no history to it. They generally don’t put any effort into creating a real profile either.

That aside, let’s look at some scams you’ll face when selling:

Refunds with no returns

Reverb isn’t really a place where Scammers can pull a long-distance scam. On other platforms, like Craigslist, for example, scammers use long distances as a way to get you to do electronic transactions which are often the scam’s point.

Since Reverb has a selling fee that contributes to protecting its users, both buyers and sellers, scammers have used this method to get around it.

What may happen is that you’ll encounter a buyer who will pay you for your guitar and have you send it and the entire transaction will go well- right up until after delivery. Then you might get a dispute notice and a request for a refund. You may even get a tracking number to show that your guitar is on its way back.

Then you receive a parcel (or you don’t because Reverb just needs a tracking number for confirmation) and it doesn’t have your guitar. At this point, you’re likely not getting it back, but you can then use this evidence to handle the dispute with Reverb’s customer service team.

What usually happens is that they will have to refund the other user and pay you back the money you were supposed to receive. 

Price changes after confirming the transaction

This is pretty common on a lot of platforms, but how do you get scammed as a seller?

Generally, when prices are set and a transaction takes place on Reverb, it’s not really something buyers can haggle you for. They can however lay a dispute about how much the item costs.

At the end of the day, this is mainly a time-waster of a scam. Because you’re likely going to get paid anyway because in most cases Reverb tries to settle the dispute at their own cost.

You might not even deliver your guitar before this dispute comes, so you can just sell it to someone else and go on with your day. It’s just the inconvenience of it that I find so annoying.

Trying to make the transaction a private affair

This is where you really get robbed. Reverb has policies in place that protect its users from getting robbed, and so scammers often try to get you away from doing transactions through the platform.

In this case, they may argue that if you guys go off the platform, you won’t have to include that 10% selling fee. They might offer to pay that 10% cost directly to you, essentially offering to pay more into your pocket.

Simply put, you don’t have any reason to go off of Reverb’s platform if you value your security, and anyone trying to coax you off of it is usually doing so with ulterior motives.

Most common scams when buying guitars on Reverb.com

Fake Listings

This is usually the most common scam you’ll find on Reverb because it’s one of the few scams that can pass by unnoticed for a while. Luckily, Reverb’s site management team and admins spend a lot of time scanning their listings to find these fake ones and remove them.

The problem with these scams is the trouble they cause if someone buys into them and pays the scammer. In order for the scammer to get paid, all they need to do is provide a shipping number to confirm that an item is in transit to you. You may receive something… or nothing at all.

Once the scammer receives their payment, it becomes an issue between you and Reverb. Oftentimes, you won’t get the money returned and the best that Reverb’s team can do is give you reverb bucks, which is essentially the value of what you lost, given to your credit so that you can buy something else.

The best way to spot fake listings is to look up the item posted to see if the value is reasonable or too good to be true and then to also take a look at the seller’s profile.

Selling broken or nonexistent items

This is usually a scam you only come to know you’re a victim of after the delivery has been made. Luckily, you have up to 7 days to return your item and set up a dispute and make it known to Reverb’s team.

This one is probably the toughest scam to spot because the listing can seem pretty reasonable, but we come back to Reverb’s community user profiles. If you see a listing that you’re interested in, look at who’s posting it and what their reviews are. If they have a history of being a good seller, you’re good, otherwise, leave it alone.

Now I will say there’s one caveat to this. Sometimes there are new people posting stuff and it’s the real deal and they’re genuinely interested in selling something. These people will usually put effort into their profiles at least and at the very least, be willing to compromise in some way to prove their eligibility.

Price changes after confirming the transaction

Scammers usually don’t get away with this as easily on Reverb since the listing has to be confirmed and approved. There are more steps involved than just posting an ad like on Craigslist or Facebook Marketplace.

Some users will still list their items at a lower price than what they want to and then try to haggle people into paying a higher price.  

Trying to make the transaction a private affair

Scammers will often try to pull you off of platforms and into private deals to rob you of any security you might have. Because of the way Reverb’s payment portal works, there’s often some way that the con can go wrong for the scammer, so they try to get you to conduct the deal without that security.

If you contact a seller for a listing and they offer you a discount for private payment or anything in that vein, ignore them and cease any communication immediately. It might sound extreme, but it’s better to be on the safe side.

Does Reverb.com offer any kind of protection against scams?

In fact, Reverb is one of the few platforms that do. 

It’s well known that Reverb has a 9-10% sales fee when making a listing and while some may complain about it, it’s well earned. That sales fee is what pays the guys over at Reverb that are taking their time to moderate the listings.

“With Reverb Payments, you’re protected from any fake, faulty, or falsely advertised items.”

This is the statement Reverb makes for how they protect their users. The only condition to qualify is that you make your orders directly through Reverb’s website or mobile app. This keeps a record of both payment and shipping available in case a dispute does arise.

Lastly, you have 7 days after shipping delivery to bring up the dispute or 14 days in the case of non-delivery.

As far as the process goes, the first step is to try to resolve it with the seller, providing them with evidence of your issue, whether it’s the receipt of damaged goods or the wrong item. If you don’t hear back in two days, then you’re advised to contact Reverb Support.

How to prevent scams on Reverb.com?

The simplest way to avoid getting scammed is to do your due diligence with the people you conduct business with. If you’re buying, look into the seller’s reputation on the site and if you’re selling, check the buyer is legit.

Scammers generally don’t put in the effort past a point and you can also go so far as to reverse google search the images posted to make sure. When it comes to fake listings, they often steal from other listings on other sites.

Another way to prevent scams is to report scams you find. If you find a listing and upon going through it, find that it’s a fake listing, let the Reverb support team know. They may take a little while to take it down (usually takes about 1 to 2 days), but you’ll have made their job a little easier.

Finally, trust your gut. If someone seems fishy and is acting strange, no matter how great the deal seems, end it there.