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First Time Reverb Seller


NighthawkChris
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Hi guys, Reverb virgin here - well a virgin in the sense that I have never used this hosting site to SELL a guitar... I just wonder if there are any pointers to follow here. Basically, what I am looking for is not advice how to list to get a sale or anything like that. Rather, I am interested in knowing what I might want to do if say I get someone who buys it, when should I ship, etc. Sort of a rundown of what it is like to be a guy who gets a Reverb sale. Typically in the past, I sold things with craigslist and such - local ads - or turned into a local guitar store for a hit on the value I could have received if I did this myself; I never have taken part in the shipping business before with a guitar and I just want to make sure I make a FAIR sale and ship it carefully. I don't want to worry about the person receiving this with issues, returns, damages, etc. I most certainly don't want to get ripped off... So what should I be looking out for here and what would one recommend to do this right? I suppose more questions may come up in the course of this discussion, but I would GREATLY appreciate any advice or share experiences with me before I have to do something. Thanks in advance and best regards!

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I have had a better record lately, selling through Reverb, and I have no empirical evidence to say whether a higher rate of actual sales happen there or not, but I feel there's more of a window shopper group on Ebay. No complaint really, about either one. They both take 3.5% off the top as well as the fee for whatever pay service is used.

 

Shipping is a breeze if you have a guitar box and packing material. Fedex and UPS are up in the $80 range to ground ship a box, but it's important to cut your box down to less than 48" tall and under 8" deep. I'm happy with the USPS, but I'm way out in the sticks so using a little rural PO is easy. If you're selling a full size dread or jumbo you may not be able to get it down that small. Pull the end pin or place soft foam on either side of it if your case doesn't have a notch cut out. If the case puts pressure on the top don't pack so that there's extra downward pressure on the bridge. I often pull the bridge pins and use blue painters tape to hold the ball ends in the hole. In winter I remind the buyer to let the guitar acclimate in it's case overnight in case they're dopey about that important little detail. Of course, slack tune the strings significantly, but leave a little tension. I also pack just enough behind the peghead to barely support it from behind but not lift it off the case's neck support bracket. A little loose is better than a little tight. In the bottom of the box, try and use soft foam, but crumpled paper or foam peanuts work. I only mess with vintage acoustics, which require the most delicate treatment. Solid bod electrics are much more forgiving, obviously.

 

I don't offer returns in my Reverb 'shop' unless something really goes wrong, but a lot of discussion and Q & A before the sale clears up a lot of 'ifs'. For a new seller, you might wait longer for the money to be released, but usually they start the payment process when they get a track no. Like Ebay, they're pretty good working out disputes

 

I never would have been able to shop nor afford the great guitars I have known and owned without buying on these two sites. As long as you ask the hard questions about condition, and have a sense of the going market rate, you should be able to just about break even. I look at it as having a vintage showroom come to me so I can play different guitars and pass on the ones I'm not keeping. In a way, it's brought me back to life, so I'm grateful.

 

Oh yeah...Reverb sells boxes. https://reverb.com/i...fits-most-sizes

Edited by jedzep
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I always ship within one business day of receiving payment. I make it easier on myself by taking all the photos I need of the item, then I pack it in it’s shipping box so it’s ready to go as soon as someone buys (I label the shipping boxes so I know what’s inside)

 

Once the item is packed you will know the final dimensions and weight, so you can upload accurate shipping information (which buyers want to see). Ship ASAP after you receive payment

 

I’ve made thousands of dollars on eBay this year, never had luck selling on reverb

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Yes as others have said, be sure you pack it well and know the weight and dimensions so you can print your own label through their site. It is way cheaper to print your own label than to go to the UPS store or similar facility. Also when you are putting in your dimensions on the shipping options before you print the label, make sure you click the drop down box and choose ground shipping. The first option will be overnight and it would probably want to charge you like 400.00 bucks. So just take your time and good luck.

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I can't help you with experience selling on Reverb but my question is: "Whatcha sellin'?"

 

I was thinking of selling one of my Nighthawks.

 

Generally speaking to the thread, I was reading up on scams that people pull and I just don't trust anyone out there after researching the issue a bit more. If I know what I can do to protect myself and not have to deal with a bunch of red tape that's what I'd like to know. I would pay extra for myself to insure that I have "insurance" of some type, but I don't know if that is even possible really. Like having signature required may be a prerequisite? Would provide more documentation of the transfer possibly? I would pay shipping insurance I suppose, but how much would this help out if there is something wrong in transit? The way I look at it, I'd be dealing with 3 entities with Reverb - and similar if I chose to go eBay. I'd be dealing with Reverb, PayPal, and a shipping company (UPS, USPS, etc.). Having to sort out this mess God forbid I run into issues sounds like I'd rather be kicked in the junk thinking about getting my guitar lifted or whatever happens to it given an issue arises.

 

I'm sure I've made my point here, so packing, getting a label, etc. no problem. Just worried about scammers and what I can do to protect myself the best way possible so the guitar gets where it should and I get paid - all in due fairness of course (firm believer in what's fair is fair).

 

Anyhow, thanks for the responses. I'll take what has been posted in regard to make sure this is as seamless as possible. Thanks everyone!

 

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Stay within the Reverb/Ebay parameters and you'll be well protected. Paypal steps in right away if the problem is clearly scammy and refunds your money, then goes after the a'hole. You may be over worrying, and surely wouldn't like any of the waiting for resolution of an issue, so maybe internet guitar trading is not for you.

Edited by jedzep
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Stay within the Reverb/Ebay parameters and you'll be well protected. Paypal steps in right away if the problem is clearly scammy and refunds your money, then goes after the a'hole. You may be over worrying, and surely wouldn't like any of the waiting for resolution of an issue, so maybe internet guitar trading is not for you.

 

Yeah, I was kind of thinking the same thing... I am not a dealer, and I was thinking of just getting a guitar out that I don't spend a lot of time with these days. It's in good shape and all that - great guitar - but I am a bit apprehensive about it. Either way, thanks for the response!

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....I was thinking of just getting a guitar out that I don't spend a lot of time with these days. It's in good shape and all that - great guitar....

 

That's what I've done - sold off guitars that weren't getting played enough. I just checked - I've unloaded 11 guitars through reverb over the last few years. Only one buyer was kind of a jerk and returned the guitar, which was in excellent condition, received as described, but he just didn't like the tone. msp_cursing.gif I got the guitar back, in fine condition, and reverb actually stepped in and paid the guy's return shipping since he was crying about it, so nothing lost, nothing gained on that one. All the other sales went fine.

 

One thing I'm not a big fan of with reverb is: if you allow reverb to take credit card payments (as an alternative to paypal), then reverb requires some return policy. I forget how this works exactly, but considering my above-described experience, I much prefer the policy allowing returns only if the guitar is received and it's not as described. So you have to describe it well and fairly, pointing out any nicks, etc.

 

I always get shipping insurance, but have never needed to make a claim. It's fairly inexpensive.

 

Best of luck with your reverb "store"! msp_smile.gif

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  • 2 weeks later...

I started selling on Reverb about 2 1/2 years ago after not having much luck with eBay. I sold one guitar on eBay but that was it. I've sold over $40K worth of guitars, amps and pro audio gear, mostly high end stuff on Reverb. I've never had a single return and have a 5 star seller rating. My advice is to take too many pictures showing lots of detail and choose the pics that look the best. I use 2 camera lights hitting the target from different angles to get rid of the shadows and glare. A nice professional background for the pics is also important. I usually put the guitar on a stand in front of a nice vintage amp stack to give it the feel of a studio setting. A detailed, honest description is also important. If there is a chip or ding, make sure you have a pic of it and describe it so there are no surprises when the customer opens the box. I always vacuum, clean and Armor-All the cases. It only takes a few minutes and shows the customer that you care. If there is any case candy or COA make sure there are pics of these. I price my items 15-20% higher than I would like to get. Buyers nearly always try to talk you down a bit. Plus Reverb has periodic sales you can join that give a 15% discount and the buyer cannot make a lower offer than the sale price. Reverb emails all their customers notifying them of sales so traffic picks up. I use $100 as a shipping price for guitars. This is based on the cost to ship from the east coast to the west coast. If the buyer questions it I will give them the actual cost to ship to them but this rarely happens. I use Reverb checkout for payment. They handle all the credit card and PayPal stuff. Once you become a preferred seller. You get paid the same day you supply the tracking#.

Reverb has tutorials on proper packing techniques for both guitars and amps. Most of it is pretty basic. I always loosen the tuning pegs a couple of turns to reduce neck tension and bubble wrap the headstock just enough to prevent it from moving in the case. Then I bubble wrap the case and slide it into the box with foam protection at each end of the box. Reverb does sell boxes but I get mine from Uline. They are cheaper but you have to buy 6 at a time. I always send the buyer a message letting him know that I reduced the string tension and if it's going to a cold area in winter I advise them to let the case slowly come to room temp before opening. FEDEX Ground is my choice for shipping guitars since they treat their packages much better than UPS or USPS. Most importantly I require a signature upon delivery which adds $5-$7 to the shipping cost. This prevents the items from being left on a porch in the cold or worse, getting stolen. And it gives proof of delivery.

I knew next to nothing about selling and shipping guitars when I got into this and now it has turned into a nice little side business.

Edited by JO'C
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I've been selling on Reverb for over four years now. The only tips I can give you are:

 


  1.  
  2. Start a little high with your price and choose "Accept Offers" in your sale
  3. If you don't have a PayPal account by now, get one. You will need it
  4. Ship your items two business days following your buyer's payment hitting your PayPal account (i.e. Buyer pays on Tuesday, ship on Thursday) Reverb awards quick responses to messages and quick shipping.

 

I have not any any issues as a seller or a buyer on Reverb, save for two instances:

 

One person gave me a 4-star rating (when I deserved a 5-star rating) because the box arrived a little beat-up (not my fault—UPS's fault). He loved the guitar, though! Ridiculous. One other guy made a fuss over a headstock finish imperfection —which none of us detected until he received it and scrutinized it. My pics showed the guitar very clearly and honestly. But as a conscientious seller, who values his reputation on Reverb, I gave a him a small refund.

 

Have fun!

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