Questions about Selling Used Music Gear


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'lo all...

Apologies if this is posted in the wrong place... but I'm sure our friendly moderators will fix that particular issue, if there is one :)

A (currently) hypothetical question... but is likely to become a RealThing(tm) eventually...

..and although I'm keen to hear from anyone, I'd be particularly interested to know what our members who are NOT in Australia might have to say...

I am likely looking to sell a (musical) keyboard... or sound module... or hardware sequencer... or other piece of 'musical tech'. The gear is in perfect condition, having been regularly maintained by professional technicians over its lifetime, so all the original functions still work as they did when the unit was brand new.

The unit has only had home use, where there was no smoking, no animals and no adverse environment (not super hot, super cold nor super humid). I only have a light touch, so there's minimal wear 'cosmetically', with hardly any surface scratches on keys, knobs, panels, displays, etc.. and when not in use, the gear was stored in a road case or in a plastic gig bag (that could 'breathe' but still prevent any grit from entering the gear, as often happens with knitted/woven covers/bags).

The perennial question comes: How much would you expect to pay/receive for such a piece of gear? That is, if it was $1000 retail when new, would you expect to get $500? $100? 37 cents?

Of course, this is a meaningless question.. so let's qualify it some... What if:-
  • ...I bought it new from a dealer... OR I bought it used from someone who treated it well (or poorly) for a few months?

  • ...it was a 'Professional grade' instrument OR if it was an over-grown 'toy' that was bought at a department store?

  • ...it was a 'name brand' (eg Roland, Yamaha, Korg, etc) OR a 'noname brand'... OR if it was a 'name brand' not known for musical instruments (like Sanyo or General Electric)?

  • ...it was 30+ years old OR 5 years old or less?

  • ...I was trying to sell it it a 'peak demand' time (Christmas, high school graduation) OR at a 'non-special' time of the year?

  • ...the gear has become VERY fashionable and is 'natively' in high demand for a specific group of users? (something like a Roland Jupiter 8 is often listed [and selling(!)] for 10-times its original retail price)..?

  • ...it had been modified to add to its functionality (making it more useful to most people) OR it had been modified to take away from its functionality (for most people)... but for ME, it had made it more useful?

  • ...it had been modified in a 'failed way', so the modification didn't work but the rest of the functionality remained the same OR would it be better to remove the non-working modification...?

More comments to follow once some folks have (hopefully) volunteered their thoughts...

Thanks a heap.


-ozboomer
 
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You can only get what someone is willing to pay for it.

Used gear markets vary considerably worldwide ie Craigs list seems to do OK in north America yet is almost unheard of here in the UK. Social Media may also work then there is eBay with their extortionate fees coupled with iffy postage if you buy it from them. Talking of postage that can be expensive but all risks insurance is a must have. I tried to sell my Gibson guitar but it in its very substantial case weighted 30kg and few companies would take it on and the one that would had a £120 charge.

Look at what you have locally and join as many forums as you can related to the kit in question as many have a Classified section.

Take a look at Craigslist, Reverb and eBay in the USA to see if your specific kit is listed and what price it has on it.

As for the run up to the festive season you will probably find that Mon and Dad want something fairly cheap for their offspring to see if they will stick at it, this is the main market at this time.

If you have old collectable kit that could be potentially worth a lot then a specialist auction house is the way to go

Good luck
 

happyrat1

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Like the man says, it's worth whatever you can get for it.

Here's a site that I've occasionally found helpful.


Rule of thumb: For gear that's less than 5 years old expect to lose about a third.

For gear that's 5 to 15 years old, expect to lose about half or more.

For anything older than 15 years a lot depends on the exact make and model and whether or not it's in good shape or needs to be/has been restored.

After 15-20 years electrolytic caps tend to start leaking and drying out.

If you live near a major metropolis then Craigslist or some local Buy & Sell app is a good way to go.

If you are out in the boonies then you have to consider Reverb.com or Ebay and factor in the price of shipping, packaging and insurance.

Shipping something like an old Rhodes or Wurlitzer can be a nightmare.

Here's a thread on that topic.


Anyway, search Ebay for completed auctions to see how much an item sold for to get an idea.

Gary
 
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Rayblewit

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No comment:)
.
.

Actually . .
Be honest when selling second hand. Don't hide any anomalies. The buyer would most likely want to physically test drive. Probably at your home.
Expect honesty from a second hand seller too if you are buying. Ask a million questions and try out every feature.

I have experienced both buy and sell of keyboards. The honesty aspect works every time.

You get what you pay for.

R
 
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happyrat1

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No comment:)
.
.

Actually . .
Be honest when selling second hand. Don't hide any anomalies. The buyer would most likely want to physically test drive. Probably at your home.
Expect honesty from a second hand seller too if you are buying. Ask a million questions and try out every feature.

I have experienced both buy and sell of keyboards. The honesty aspect works every time.

You get what you pay for.

R


+1! :)
 

happyrat1

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BTW, since covid a LOT of musicians are selling off their gear to pay rent these days.

If you're looking to make some purchases and resell at a profit, then you ain't nothing but a lousy pawnbroker friend.

Visit a few pawnshops and see the endless parade of shattered dreams. :p

I find this idea morally repugnant but a guy's gotta eat. :p

Even cockroaches serve a necessary purpose in a healthy ecosystem. :D :D :D

Gary ;)
 
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Whenever I want to know what to expect an item to sell for I look up similar items on ebay and check the "Sold" listings to see what others actually sold for because the asking price can be deceiving.
 
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Whenever I want to know what to expect an item to sell for I look up similar items on ebay and check the "Sold" listings to see what others actually sold for because the asking price can be deceiving.
That's a very good point. All too many people search eBay's listing and pick the highest asking price and then add 20% on theirs. As someone that has a business selling second-hand goods all be it antique items I can't tell you how many people I get calling or emailing me with stuff that is worth 10% at best of what they are asking or wanting and then when you politely try to explain the difference between an actual sold price and an asking price they think you are lying and call you all names under the sun!
 

happyrat1

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My policy on craigslist and other local listings is to ask 10-30% above my bottom price, then wait it out for a week or two and introduce a series of price drops to bring out the bottom feeders.

It's never taken me more than a month to sell my gear and if it's a hot item it will often sell within a day or two.

But you don't have to deal with escrows, paypal, shipment failures and other disasters when you deal locally.

I'm fortunate in that I live smack in the middle of a huge market for used instruments.

My experience has been once the customer is ready to buy he will gladly pay the asking price.

Sometimes though, you can wait a month or more for the right customer to see your ad.

My policy is try before you buy, cash only and all sales are final.

Here's the local listings at this moment. Almost 3000 guitars alone.

Almost 2000 Synths and Pianos as well.

Category:
These listings change daily and if you are patient enough every possible instrument you can think of will appear in them. ;)




Gary ;)
 
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I was going to digest a lot of the useful commentary and then write something ... but I'll just do a 'brain dump' right now instead, I think...

Many thanks for everyone's thoughts... I've done a lot of these things in my explorations.. and some are new.. so it was a worthwhile exercise to ask the question, I think... hopefully, for a lot of other folks, as well as myself...

The thing that bugs me locally is that I understand that as soon as I buy anything new, it's resale value immediately comes down to 1/3rd of what I paid for it (that's just the wholesale pricing...but with GST only 'new' here (it started in 2000) some people are still a bit 'weird' with how they think about pricing.. and are still working out 'what they're prepared to pay' for something...

I'll scout out a few shops, to see what prices are placed on used items.. and while it varies with the item (for example, a guitar pedal will be different to a keyboard, different to a guitar, etc)... I often find the same pedal (to quote a 'class' of item) as I'm thinking about selling.

The pedal would have cost me maybe $250-$300 (for a BBD Boss DM-2 or DM-3) back in the mid1980s... so, my expectation for an offer would maybe start at $50-$80. The fact that it's nearly 40 years old (but is almost unused) would bring it down to maybe $30... something more than 1/10th of what I paid. The fact that such gear is now 'fashionable' puts the amount I would expect back up to maybe the previous $80 or so... and I know the amount you'll actually get can vary wildly if there's been a flurry and 10 of the same pedal have sold in the last month, you could easily argue to NOT list your item now (as people are all 'shopped out') ... and j ust as easily argue that you should 'strike while the iron is hot'... but it's all just dumb luck, really..

Anyway... You'll see some items in eBay right now (and Reverb.com, for that matter), where the asking price can be anywhere between $200-$600+ (AUD) for such items... (the 200% variation is ridiculous for a start)... and the prices attained when actually sold are all often around the $200 mark... which would still be more than double what I would expect to get from someone who bought it from me and was going to on-sell it... giving them a rough margin of ~$120 less the 'costs'... so not quite double for them.

...yet when I go to a local used gear shop... or a second hand dealer... or some such place, I get offered $5 for the pedal.... and then they'll put it on their shelves for $150-$200 (some places are even going to $300, if they ever sell them at that point, I don't know).

Fair enough, there's time and effort for me (or them) to 'manage the sale' of the pedal... but really... 40 times seems a bit exploitative... (ACCC-level, even) ... particularly when some folks are giving up their music gear 'coz they can't pay the rent.. feed the children.. all of those sorts of 'critical' things...

Erk....


--ozboomer
 
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Market is skewed at the moment on the used gear sites and Gary’s comments are very true here in the UK as well.

Take a new Behringer Deepmind, they are listed as in stock in many Music Stores where a 6 is in the range £400-£450

I have been watching eBay for a second hand Behringer Deepmind but prices for a buyer are stupid.

There is a 6 listed at £800 + £100 postage and many others are for sale well in excess of the original purchase price.

Good luck
 
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I have sold LOTS of gear over the years and mostly on the bay because I'm leery about having buyers at my home to pickup items (lighter, smaller items I always ship). Of the hundreds of items I've bought and sold I've had relatively few issues. Most of the times I set my price low and let the potential buyers bid up the item to the final selling price. Most times I get at least what I expect and only rarely get less. When I ship I always get substantially more money since I'm selling to a much larger group of people.
 
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Market is skewed at the moment on the used gear sites and Gary’s comments are very true here in the UK as well.

Take a new Behringer Deepmind, they are listed as in stock in many Music Stores where a 6 is in the range £400-£450

I have been watching eBay for a second hand Behringer Deepmind but prices for a buyer are stupid.

There is a 6 listed at £800 + £100 postage and many others are for sale well in excess of the original purchase price.

Good luck

A good reason for this is due to the supply chain. Many people are purposely buying out items that are good sellers. When the big outlets are out of stock they then place their product up for a higher price. When the big outlets eventually get more stock in then you are left with that discrepancy in price. Either that or someone has a used item and sees that it is high in demand and tries to sell for a profit.

This seems to be a trend and why some companies limited the quantity you are able to buy of a certain item.
 

happyrat1

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Canada's had 13% GST for decades.

Consider it a total writeoff when selling used.

Same applies to any shipping costs you may have incurred.

All you have to work with is MSRP when you bought it.

Gary ;)
 
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happyrat1

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It all boils down to what they are willing to pay for it. You never enter a negotiation with a crystal ball, but it's basically a fishing trip.

You drop your hook and wait for nibbles. :p

Gary ;)
 
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happyrat1

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BTW, friday nights are usually when the latest deals get posted.

Take a look at what's been posted in the last 12 hours on Kijiji Keyboards. :eek:


Gary ;)
 

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