Selling off gear

^^^^^^^
This. Check with Bentley’s to see if they’ll sell it on consignment for you. Then they hold it in their shop and do all the work for a percentage of the sale. You won’t get paid when you drop it off, but you will get paid eventually and without hassle. Or they may even offer you a fair price to just buy it off you. It never hurts to ask.

Although it's been a while, and their rates/fees have gone up, I love the idea of posting a fair price but allowing offers.
I never do that! If I list something at a fair price AND allow offers, it never gets sold at the fair price. Heck, I could list a brand new Gretsch USA Custom kit for a thousand bucks or best offer and all the internet cheapskates out there will try to bargain it down to $500 or less.

But what I will do is make sure whatever I’m selling is at or near the bottom price wise for that exact item on eBay/Reverb if I’m trying to sell it quickly, as long as that price is fair. And even though I won’t list “or best offer”, sometimes someone will contact me offering a lower price. If it seems reasonable, I may even accept it or negotiate with that person.
 
From here on out (unless I have a major change of heart), I'm only going to sell on consignment. There's nothing like someone seeing the gear you are selling in person. They need to be able to put their hands and eyes on it; this way, there's none of this, "You didn't tell me about this little ding right here" or whatever. Also on consignment, you don't have to worry about meet-ups, no shows, and inconvenience. "Wanna see my snare drum? Great! Drop by XYZ store between the hours of 9-5. They are there all day." This is worth giving the store a percentage.

I've had way too many people flake out on me on Marketplace and CL. FB is a great place to buy though because people are so happy whenever you show up and have cash in hand.

As an aside, if you are a buyer, and you are struggling with someone selling to you, call it off. There's ALWAYS something up if the seller is making it difficult for you to give them money. Run.
That's how I've sold stuff many moons ago, alas my local drum store closed 16 years ago.

I miss having a good ol' rummage through the second hand gear section.
 
I never do that! If I list something at a fair price AND allow offers, it never gets sold at the fair price. Heck, I could list a brand new Gretsch USA Custom kit for a thousand bucks or best offer and all the internet cheapskates out there will try to bargain it down to $500 or less.
Those peeps will always be there. I'm not bothered by them, and I love typing "nope."

I built a website for my long-gone local drum shop with a portal to their Reverb store front. They posted list prices, never got an inquiry, and they were upset with Reverb! Not for never selling anything, but for all the low-ball offers they received. They were not ready for the internet, and got out just in time (December, 2019).
 
Like most of you, I dislike selling. This consignment idea has got me really interested.

Does anyone know if Pro Drum in LA does consignment? I’ve got a large set of 70s 3-ply Ludwigs in mint-ish condition that I’m thinking of selling. Maybe that’s my best shot at getting a decent price for them, without all the hassle.
 
Yeah you'll get hit immediately with CL and FB scammers. They're easy to spot. Offering more than you asked, and an agent to pick them up. Sometimes want to buy as a gift for family member or friend. Anything really, other than can you tell me more about condition and details, etc.

I'll routinely offer a seller 20-50% more than their asking price on CL or FB. Doesn't always work as they must not believe I'm on the up and up.
Offered a CL seller $1500 on a 1940's Radio King cloud badge kit (2024) they had listed for only $1000. Told them it was too little....and I might pay closer to $2000 if the kit had no shell issues....and period Zildjian cymbals. They ended up selling it for $1200 but did use my $1500 offer as "leverage" to get the $1200. The kit was worth closer to $3000 after the buyer posted photos of it on FB.....it included a 40's WMP throne and a set of trans stamp cymbals (not described in the listing). It's not always a scam when you offer a seller "more." You have to do something to separate yourself from the pool of eager buyers looking to buy at a low asking price because the seller doesn't know the value of what they have.

I've bought a number of good kits and cymbals like this. I've had some sellers call me back 2-9 months later after they had time to assess their situation. One such seller was listing their 1967 child hood kit on CL in 2019 for $100. They got inundated with messages. I told them I'd pay $600 min. as there was a nice, virgin 18" bronze mist metallic, super classic bass drum in the group + acrolite + 2 Zildjian A's + 2 molested 1940's Radio King mounted toms. No one else offered much over the $100. It took 2 months for the call back....but I got the group of orphan drums.

Another time the orig owner of a '65 Gretsch RB WMP progressive jazz kit posted on FB for $600 got a zillion messages to buy it. I sent them my message stating "why are you selling a $2000 kit for $600?" They called me back after a month (2020) to ask me more questions on their kit. I could have have bought the kit for around $1600 but instead helped them get the best offer they could for it. Kit was near mint with a superb Supraphronic, some Zildjian 50's A's, and mint '65 Ludwig hardware. They ended up getting $1750 for it.....which was more than Maxwell's offered to buy it outright....and they didn't want to drag the kit to NY City either for consignment. Money wasn't the object....just getting a fair deal was. The seller was well off. I still kick myself for not buying it......but knew I would have problems playing it with the low rail position for the 12" tom.

And there are numerous professional dealers out there who have 3rd parties pick up and package kits for them....or have you bring it down to the
nearest shipper that they use (ie Kinko's for example) where they will pay you cash upon drop off. I've seen that done a number of times. It's not always a scam attempt.

I've had no issues selling drums, gear, and cymbals fairly quickly on Reverb. If your price is very fair and properly described, it will sell. No doubt full kits are a logistics problem. But single drums, snares, stands, and cymbals are pretty simple. And the Reverb shipping rates are still pretty reasonable imo if you ship through them. I didn't think their shipping rates were an issue before 2020, and certainly don't think that now. My asking prices on Reverb always allow me some room to accept lower offers. And I'm fine with rejecting offers that are below my bottom line. One think is for sure. The item will eventually sell for what it's worth....might take months or even 1-2 yrs. The only thing slowing down the process is usually an overly optimistic asking price.
 
Last edited:
I have a couple of drum sets and a lot of cymbals that I need to sell. I’ve read about the horrors of Craigslist and Facebook Marketplace. I really don’t want to deal with that. Is selling online really as bad as some say? My other option is to go to Bentleys Drum Shop and just take whatever they offer me for everything. I won’t get as much money as I would selling everything myself, but it’s less hassle. I know some of you guys like buying and selling, but I don’t like the selling part. I also don’t want to have to pack and ship stuff, especially a drum set. How do you guys sell your stuff. Are there enough Sacramento/Bay Area drummers on here to put up a local only pickup in the classified section? How do you guys sell stuff?
EBay was fired years ago. I have sold two kits on Reverb over the last year. Both were priced to move and went well (they were also pro/flagship level kits). It can be a hassle, but with the right amount of effort it is doable.

Take very good pictures of your kit(s), inside and outside of shells (including any badges with serial numbers so people can research if need be).

Order shipping boxes online and have them delivered. Double box the drums so they are not damaged. Once packaged up in boxes, then measure and weigh the boxes, and list their dimensions on the ad. I always list 'local pickup only' with the box dimensions and weight so the buyer can either send me shipping labels or pick it up. UPS, FedEx will both allow you to schedule a pickup. Schedule the pickup day for one of the three days a week I work from home and away they go. My last kit the guy lived 30 minutes from me and came and picked them all up.
 
From here on out (unless I have a major change of heart), I'm only going to sell on consignment. There's nothing like someone seeing the gear you are selling in person. They need to be able to put their hands and eyes on it; this way, there's none of this, "You didn't tell me about this little ding right here" or whatever. Also on consignment, you don't have to worry about meet-ups, no shows, and inconvenience. "Wanna see my snare drum? Great! Drop by XYZ store between the hours of 9-5. They are there all day." This is worth giving the store a percentage.

I've had way too many people flake out on me on Marketplace and CL. FB is a great place to buy though because people are so happy whenever you show up and have cash in hand.

As an aside, if you are a buyer, and you are struggling with someone selling to you, call it off. There's ALWAYS something up if the seller is making it difficult for you to give them money. Run.

Consignment sounds like a very good compromise option between selling on FB or selling it to a dealer.
What is a fair store percentage?
 
I've sold tons of equipment through craigslist without any problem. As previously mentioned, quality pictures are vital. To cut down on scammers, I always emphasize in capital letters, local pick up only.
 
Consignment sounds like a very good compromise option between selling on FB or selling it to a dealer.
What is a fair store percentage?
Depends on the store. I usually tell the store what I want for them and to mark it up as much as they want to.
 
I've bought and sold on both FBM and CL. It's not hard, but requires a bit of work for both the buyer and seller. Buyers have a budget, are looking for a genuine deal, are skimming through the listings trying to weed out the crap and want to see what they are buying before committing. For selling, I'd offer this advice:

- Lots of pictures generate interest. Take more pictures than you can post (10 or so may be the upper limit) then select and post those that best "tell your story" or would seem most relevant if you were the buyer. Offer to send more photos if requested - only interested buyers will request more.

- Use lots of verbiage in your listing - as much as allowed. This, again, will appeal to interested buyers more than scammers, so the time isn't wasted. Bullet points seem to help when listing features, damage or abnormal wear: they work well for folks who are skimming posts, but you'll still need a solid write up. Leave out anything that might irritate you if you were buying. Tell the buyer why you are selling, how long you'll leave the post up, payment methods and what range/area you are willing to drive for a meet up. These help your post look legitimate - scammer posts typically "look" skeptical.

- Calculate your honest-to-goodness lowest selling price, then mark it up 10%. This allows for "hagglers" and gives you room to discount the price at the point of sale for a deserving buyer, e.g., a nice kid or genuine folks who are courteous and are ready to purchase. Interested buyers are attracted when your price is realistic and a 10% mark-up won't inflate your price out of range for most folks.

- Have fun!

Best of luck!
 
A Ludwig Keystone X set, a Mapex Saturn Tour set, a Yamaha Birch Custom snare, some hardware and 34 various cymbals are at Bentley’s Drum shop. I actually got more money than I was expecting. I really need to sell two more sets, but I really like all the ones I have left.
 
A Ludwig Keystone X set, a Mapex Saturn Tour set, a Yamaha Birch Custom snare, some hardware and 34 various cymbals are at Bentley’s Drum shop. I actually got more money than I was expecting. I really need to sell two more sets, but I really like all the ones I have left.

The music store near my house says they will pay 50% of the price that they expect to sell. Right or wrong that is their policy.
Now, I do not know how they come up with a reasonable "expected price to sell".

I once got a reasonable quote from Bentley's drum shop but it was for a brand new snare not any used item.
 
A Ludwig Keystone X set, a Mapex Saturn Tour set, a Yamaha Birch Custom snare, some hardware and 34 various cymbals are at Bentley’s Drum shop. I actually got more money than I was expecting. I really need to sell two more sets, but I really like all the ones I have left.
Wow! Congratulations! That certainly must be a good feeling downsizing that much. Give it some time and you''ll prolly be ready to sell more. (y)
 
The music store near my house says they will pay 50% of the price that they expect to sell. Right or wrong that is their policy.
Now, I do not know how they come up with a reasonable "expected price to sell".

I once got a reasonable quote from Bentley's drum shop but it was for a brand new snare not any used item.

That's usually the markup. That's why when you sell, say, a baseball card to a dealer you'll only get half the value, but sell to a collector and you'll get true $value. The dealer or retailer needs to make a profit, and a 50% profit is minimal. On new inventory the items may be "keyed" or marked up 2x or 3x or more.

Do your own research before going to a retailer. Search Reverb and eBay. That's what retail music stores do. If the average sold price of that used snare drum you want to sell them is $500, expect the store to offer you $150-$200. They may go up to $250 if you show them your research. They'll low ball you otherwise. They're in business to make money. As much money as possible. That's the way it works. If you want to get as much money as possible, too, then you need to become the retailer via FB CL Reverb eBay and other outlets, and then you can sell for full value. Of course with Reverb and eBay you'll have overhead (fees/ etc.) just like a retail store that will eat into your margins just like a retail store.
 
On new inventory the items may be "keyed" or marked up 2x or 3x or more.
I've spent a lot of time in music instrument retail. Markup on new instruments is typically less than 2x- the guideline is typically double wholesale, then -20%. Accessories are typically left at 2x or slightly more.

...Unless something has changed in the last 20 years. 😁
 
Back
Top