Selling my drum gear


Senior Member
Hi everyone,

Due primarily to worsening financial pressures, new baby on the way, less and less time to play, etc. it looks like I am going to have to sell my gear. To say this is depressing is a definite understatement but it is what it is.

I have several drum sets, about 15 cymbals or so, hardware, etc. For those of you who have ever had to sell gear, how did you go about it? Ebay/craiglist or bricks/mortar retailer? Did you sell any stuff individually or package it all together?

I imagine that you would make more $$ by selling stuff one by one but that could take ages.

Just trying to get a sense as to what makes sense.

Thanks for your help


Senior Member
Congrats on the baby, sorry about the finances. I did the same thing (sold my drums when we were expecting our first child) and finally got back into it 6 years later.

As far as selling, here are my experiences:

1. Guitar Center - scan to see what the same item you're thinking of selling is listed for on the GC site (used) and expect to receive no more than 65% of that (sometimes you can push a bit closer to 70%). If they don't have a similar used item for price comparison in their web inventory, then look to see what your item has been sold for on eBay and calculate accordingly.

2. eBay - lots of exposure but shipping can be a nightmare. You'll lose 10% of your final selling price to eBay fees and an additional 3% to Paypal. If you charge for shipping, they take a percentage of that. Transactions are secure.

3. Reverb - I had great luck with this site. They only charge 3.5% compared to eBay's 10%, but you don't get quite the exposure as with eBay. On the other hand, you know that people are specifically looking for musical instruments on Reverb, so they might be a more serious buyer. I had a $3000 drum set on eBay for a couple weeks with no luck but sold it in 9 hours on Reverb. Transactions are secure.

4. Brick & Mortar/Mom & Pop - If they are willing to buy it, expect 50% of what they can sell it for. Often, they'll consign the item rather than buying it and take 20-30% of the final sale price as a fee.

5. Craigslist - lots of scams, better for selling lower-priced items locally.

Also, it's best to list things separately than to lump them in as a package deal, especially with nicer drum sets. Folks who want to buy higher end drum sets likely have the "extras" you might throw in or package items that are a part of the deal, and they will negotiate with you based on the premise that you should lower the price because they don't need the items. You then get stuck trying to figure out how much you can reduce the core sale price when you separate the items without blowing up the sale or giving things away.

Good luck.


Gold Member
I've had pretty decent luck selling on Craigslist. Sometimes stuff takes a while to move but I've sold a lot of stuff on there with no problems. I try to meet in a public spot though to avoid any issues. That's a great way to sell kits and hardware since you don't have to worry about shipping. Ebay is really good for cymbals and individual drums but they aren't hard to ship and you get way more exposure. Trading in to a store is only good if you need the cash ASAP, they rip you off. Good luck with the new baby.

Matt Bo Eder

Good advice given. I've been using eBay mostly just because it's more secure that I'm willing to figure in the fees and the shipping. The Sam Ash near me will take gear, but you have to bring it to them for evaluation and then they figure what they'll pay from there.

Good luck!


Platinum Member
IMO, it really depends on the gear and the area in which you live.

If you live in a small town nowhere close to any sort of music scene whatsoever, you'll have better luck on Reverb and EvilBay.

If you live in a town within an hour of civilization, you'll probably have some pretty good luck on Craigslist.

If you go with CL, list everything separately, but offer discounts for multiple purchases.

Cheap gear sells good in a small town. Nicer gear tends to sell better if you are in a bigger town or city.


Senior Member
You could also post for sale on here in the classifieds section. Have the person pay you thru paypal, cash in person, etc and pay no selling fees. People do actually check that section once in awhile and can PM you if they are interested. You have a bunch of drummers here who are kinda gear obsessed. Surely you can move a few things that way.


Administrator - Mayor
Staff member
Agreed. Take decent photos of what you are selling. Post some reasonable prices and post them here in the Classified Section, just above this post, and see what happens. You never know. Posting your location will help as well.


Senior Member
thanks everyone for the replies so far. I live in Canada (near Toronto, Ontario) so already my options are limited. If I post on ebay though, with the cheap Canadian dollar, there may be deals to be had.

My thoughts were to use local listings for relatively inexpensive gear. But for the better quality stuff, to leverage ebay.

I think that confirming I have multiple items up and offering package deals is a good suggestion....


Administrator - Mayor
Staff member
Assuming you are like the rest of us, you will never quit playing, just taking a break. My break was 32 years. Maybe save one of your best kits, and a few cymbals if you can afford to. What you will make on it, and what it will cost to replace it in a few years, will be a big difference. Of course if the money is needed, sell away. Just don't forget the classifieds here.


Platinum Member
thanks everyone for the replies so far. I live in Canada (near Toronto, Ontario) so already my options are limited.
you are not far from a major centre, Craigslist, Kijiji work very well at the right price. Sell individually. But I would keep at least some fraction of your stuff in a closet (one fave snare, bass drum hats, ride) never know what the future brings.
Good luck...always liked your avatar.


Silver Member
Definitely keep one kit. How are you going to teach the kid to drum if you don't have a kit?
That was my first thought when I read the OP. If you have multiple kits and 15 cymbals, pick one kit to keep. Because you need the money, it might be best to sell the best stuff but keep something intermediate to low level. Also keep a ride, a set of hats, and one crash -- that way you can keep your hand in it without giving up drumming completely.


Senior Member
I took a 25-year break (career & kids) but boy am I glad I kept my 1977 Pearl fiberglass shell 6-piece kit that I bought new in high school!

Midnite Zephyr

Platinum Member
I have to sell my Slingerland 4 x 14 Buddy Rich style brass snare drum. I have it listed on C/L and Facebook, but I'm kinda hoping nobody wants to buy it or calls about it. It's collectible to me. I like having it in my collection even though it really serves no purpose to me. It is such a cool drum, I think.

Somebody has already inquired on it. Nobody even shows any interest in my Sabian Pro ride. That's the thing I really wanted to sell, but I'm having no luck. Yet I put up something I'd kinda rather keep, and it's instant hit.

Do you guys have this separation anxiety too?


Senior Member
I've been there. If you have multiple kits, I'd suggest trying to keep one (with cymbals) even if it's the smallest or cheapest, or the one you're most attached to. You never know when you'll be able to play again. Plus kids love drums. When mine were around 1 year old, I used to carry them while I practiced with slow, soft music, and they usually fell asleep by the third song.


Platinum Member

If you have larger sets, especially if tom sizes aren't as common, I'd recommend selling those pieces on eBay or Reberb. The 4 and 5pc kits seem to sell better than the same kit as a 6 or 7. Someone is usually looking for the less common sizes though, so you could do better that way, then CL the basic set.


I work in finance and see this situation alot. I had to sell my ninja 600 when my daughter was born.

My advice would be don't go too crazy selling, especially your favorite stuff. Only you know the exact situation you are in but I find often people fret a bit too much when the baby comes and end up buying some of their favorite stuff back at a higher cost sometime later anyway.

Just sell the stuff you are less fond of for now and see how it goes.

Good luck with everything.


Silver Member
See if your city or town has a gear sell/swap page for musicians on facebook. I sold a Tama b/b kit in a matter of hours that way.