Are we living in a "Buyer's market?"


Platinum Member
Well...I think you can't paint the entire new/used drum market with one brush. I think certain for certain things, yes it's a buyers market. For others - it's sellers market or somewhere in between.

Used low end is flooded with gear, - so is the mid line, depending on where you are. But classic, vintage and high end are still a solid sellers' market. Vintage Japanese drums are seeing strong demand across the board - even MIJ stencil kits are sought after. Demand for Vintage American drums has never been higher.

I am constantly hearing that NEW sales are down in the big box stores, and many cite that as a global downturn in drum sales - but what about the abundance of used and consigned gear now available, and more accessible than ever before? Not just eBay and Reverb but all the local classifieds and Facebook marketplace, etc etc. It's never been easier to unload used gear, especially if you are reasonable with your asking prices.


Well-known member
The quality of manufacturing, particularly mid range, is so good these days with little scope for huge innovation so perhaps people are holding onto their drums and cymbals for longer. Also with so much information, tutorials, demos and video available online, people are just better informed than they were 5, 10, 15 years ago, especially when it comes to tuning and how to make drums sound good, so less willing to part with their money so easily.


That doesn't work for everything, unfortunately. Buyers often want to try things out, and neutral locations aren't always conducive to this. For instance, I have been trying to sell a bass head (as in, an amplifier, not Remo) for a while which is a challenge because I don't want people coming over to my house to try it out (I have no cab anyway). But, from the buyer's perspective it's obviously sketchy since they have no way then to tell if it sounds good or even works, outside of my word. So my options are to: 1. open up my home to strangers 2. sell "as-is" at a reduced price as if the amp were broken 3. offer a return policy which can cause another set of issues.

Me, when I buy something from CL I never expect to be able to try the thing out. Not everybody lives in a Guitar Center, especially in the city. And the point of CL is to get good deals, in which case you have to expect some sort of issues and be OK with it.
This is where Facebook Marketplace is useful. People in my city seem to be more comfortable posting their instruments through that forum versus CL given the number of postings on each. I can see why, considering you can vet the person interested in your item. My partner is a well-connected musician in my area, and I use her account to do deals. There’s only at most a few degrees of separation between most musicians posting their items, making the vetting process even easier if you feel uncomfortable or need to know whether or not someone is trustworthy.