The straw that broke my Reverb Shop’s back

Messages
19
Anyone else feel that Reverb has really lost its luster?

I’ve done a lot of buying/selling on Reverb the last few years. >$100K in sales. I just buy (rent) all the high end stuff I’ve always wanted to try, use it for a few weeks/months, and then sell to try and break even and not lose my shirt.

Lately, I’ve been inundated with low ballers. I just bought a guitar that was listed as Excellent, but was barely scraping the bottom of Very Good. Seller refused to refund. Reverb agreed with the seller despite pointing out their condition statements and presenting a host of pictures of the damage.

Now I can’t wait to close my account. Guess I’ll be driving a couple hours to support the not so local brick and mortar shops. Sorry for the rant.
 

thefett

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
150
I feel your pain. I still sell regularly on Reverb, and do enjoy owning a guitar for a bit then moving it along at a fair price. However, the market just happens to dictate a much higher "fair" market price than in previous years. The amount of fees associated with Reverb sometimes cause the mark-up on the items, not to mention they are actually selling for higher prices. But that still does not prevent low ball offers for people just looking to flip them. To each their own though.
 

IanRubbish

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
585
Stopped selling there, and have not bought anything on Reverb for going on 4-5 months. I have only been using this forum and selling locally, and I have not really missed it. I stopped buying to rent though, I'm a little more measured now because it's not as easy to flip as Reverb. But between their fees, shipping cost and material prices going up, I don't feel it's worth it anymore.
 

chillybilly

Member
Messages
3,644
I'm not faulting dealers for getting involved with Reverb especially when lockdown prevents them from operating normally but dealers getting involved with Reverb has made Reverb less useful in some ways.

That may be counterintuitive if you say 'More product equals more variety and availability' but eBay went through the same thing and came out much worse for it. eBay is now a more disorganized, less trustworthy Amazon with dodgy and/or foreign sellers, a horrible interface online and in mobile apps, a horrid service & conflict resolution department. Deals are thin on the ground since there are so many fixed-price listings or the practical equivalent thereof.

Price elasticity of demand is delayed or denied when dealers can list Amp XYZ at $800 and leave it unchanged until it sells. And if it doesn't sell, so what? 12 dealers listing at $800 means that 6 individuals will say to themselves 'I'm not going to lowball myself so I'll list at or close to $800 as well.' The result: deal-seeking buyers don't really focus on individuals' listings since there's no incentive to do so - especially if dealers offer a better return policy, cheaper shipping, etc.

I'm not Jeff Bezos but I have intentionally gone 5-10% below the average price of all sellers on an item and fortunately most have sold quickly.

I'm sorry but there should be some identifier on a listing - R for retailer, P for private seller, a color code or some means of sorting/separating. Perhaps there is already but frankly the Reverb search syntax has always been a little too mysterious and cryptic. Ebay, for all its faults, offers a 'sort by distance from me' - perhaps the most useful filter in many cases especially when shipping of heavy/large items is taken into consideration.

I'm happy to look through dealer listings. I've bought from plenty of dealers. But I'd like the ability to assess the private market at a glance to help me gauge the dealer market and vice versa. Comingling the two prevents that and I get the sneaky feeling that it's intentional.
 
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dazco

Member
Messages
14,630
It's unbelievable lately. Not just reverb but everywhere. Seriously shocking compared to just a couple years ago. Seems all my life till the last couple years or thereabout the average typical used price on most gear was about 50% of new street price. Today a great deal is about 75-80% of street and when u see that it looks like a bargain even to that used to be a ridiculous price. What i don't get is why enough people are buying at those prices to enable this idiotic movement. If people just bought the rare deal thats fair we'd see prices drop like a rock eventually. But like cable TV, too many people just can't live w/o it and the prices are horrendous compared to what they would be if people voted with their wallets. I use an antenna by the way on principal alone. I absolutely do not buy used gear anymore unless its a fair price to my mind at least. I'd rather just buy new if possible since i'd be saving little to none used. In fact i have seen plenty of used gear listed for MORE than new, and that really drives home just how screwed up the used market is lately. And whats even crazier is people list stuff in CL at these ridiculous prices then when they don't sell they never lower the price and just keep it listed for many months to literally years. I think online selling is responsible in many ways because there are people who live in areas where it's not easy to buy via CL or brick and mortar. So they must pay those prices and that make other belive thats the norm even when listing in CL or other local classifieds even tho theres no shipping and fees to make up for.
 

Catatafish

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
491
I don't know, I see some of the same fantasies happening in the emporium. Guitar retails new for $2499, buyer buys it for that plus tax, then thinks they're giving you a great deal selling it for $1999. When in reality, I can call several dealers and buy the thing new for $1850 anyway, shipped, with warranty.

As far as Reverb goes, you just have to have the discipline on a used guitar, to ask the seller for tons of detailed pictures. The Les Paul I bought, I even asked the guy to call me so we could have a little chat to help me confirm he wasn't a whack job.

Then there's the manufacturing drought. Local dealers keep telling me they just can't get inventory right now, that factories are not pumping them out like they used to. So that certainly should drive up prices, but we've also got higher unemployment, so it's these weird forces fighting each other.

More and more I'm gravitating towards my local three mom and pop shops for anything used for sure. There's so much that can go wrong buying used over the internet using any of these platforms.
 

Benz2112

Memba?
Gold Supporting Member
Messages
5,380
Reverb is fine, albeit pricy. I prefer the Emporium by a lot, but it is a considerably smaller audience overall. With having the big net of Reverb, you have tire kickers, scammers, people in over their head with how to negotiate. I had a really nice Reverb sale recently. The guy messages me, and wants to do a local deal. He tries to convince me to do a deal off Reverb, I tell him I don't want my account flagged, he abides. Ok, I think this person is pulling my chain hard, anyway, he offers to drive to my town to pickup the guitar, now I think he is going to murder me. He pays over reverb, we pick a location, the guy shows up early, he winds up just being really inexperienced with buying gear outside of CL. The guy saved me aggravation with shipping, good deal. Reverb sucks a little more than it use to, but it is still the 800lbs Gorilla.
 

Grun

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
2,072
Sales tax is what broke Reverb for me. The Emporiums can be hit or miss. I had some good deals and some whether through oversight or intentionally certain seller details were omitted. Be careful. Bottom line is I am now much more wary on the Emporium. The Gearpage is not a brotherhood. With less policing and lower visibility there is more opportunity for sleaze. And yeah some of the pricing is off the wall in both places.
 

Noise Under The Floor

Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
11,422
Yep. Reverb has been pretty abysmal lately. The last two things I bought there had condition issues that weren’t disclosed nor photographed, or in one case photographed in such a way that it hid the issue. Both sellers used the “That wasn’t there when I shipped it” routine. Paint chips and dings are not “excellent” condition criteria.
On the selling end of things, it’s been nothing but lowballing. Not average negotiating, but total bottom feeder mentality.

I have to say though, our own emporium has been rather disappointing as well. Theres two “negotiation“ tactics that seem to be very popular here: Just sending a curt message of “What’s the least you will take for this?” or the more common one, “I have $(significantly less) in my Pay Pal account right now. I’ll pay right now if you sell it to me for that much.” Its almost like there is some manual some TGP “buyers” are taking the same notes from. If I had a dime for every time I got those approaches I wouldn’t need to sell any gear.
 
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Noise Under The Floor

Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
11,422
Sales tax is what broke Reverb for me. The Emporiums can be hit or miss. I had some good deals and some whether through oversight or intentionally certain seller details were omitted. Be careful. Bottom line is I am now much more wary on the Emporium. The Gearpage is not a brotherhood. With less policing and lower visibility there is more opportunity for sleaze. And yeah some of the pricing is off the wall in both places.
Yep. When it comes to money, no one is your friend. Ive been totally screwed around by a few seemingly otherwise upstanding fellow TGPers, both buying and selling. You’re dealing with musicians or fickle indecisive GAS sufferers = high flake and ahole ratio.
 

Jwblanton

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
151
Closed the account several months ago. Pricing of fees was the main reason. Its silly for me to feel like this but I think they're taking advantage of an imbalance we have. Like the OP, I was ok with the 10% tax on trying out cool expensive used gear but the nearly 25% tax isn't worth it anymore for anything costing more than $100.
The healthy thing to do (IMO) is be more selective and buy less but the market isn't helping ;-). Reverb being the only main trading site besides forums and their steadily increasing fees was distasteful. So, I responded by leaving the site.
 

mikesch

Double Platinum Member
Messages
627
I've seen less of what I want show up on Reverb for a while and prices seem to be higher overall, but the market is going to be what the market is going to be. The emporium has always been good, but it's been a bit dry for the sorts of things I've been looking for recently (or I've just bought everything that I've always wanted so what's left is slim pickins')

One thing that's worked well for me with Reverb recently is using it as a bit of a showroom, particularly if there's a real store behind the reverb shop. I've been able to get some 25-30% discounts on things that are not usually discounted at all just by contacting the shop directly and seeing if they're running any specials. I don't really negotiate, either their offer works for me or it doesn't. I've given them plenty of money in commissions over the years so I don't really mind doing this and I still buy through them if I don't know the actual person behind the shop.
 




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