Vetting that online seller is critical when you’re buying used production gear online. Skip it at your own peril.
Vetting Online Used Production Gear Sellers

A used production gear seller must be vetted. When you’re buying used production gear on Reverb, eBay, etc it is critical to remember you’re buying for a seller you do not know. You are not buying this item out of eBay’s stock. We all know this, but it’s an easy thing to forget. Skip vetting that seller at your own peril. If you’re still at the early stage of your search and need to find the perfect platform for your specific type of need and gear, you really should check out our breakdown of the Top 10 Platforms to buy used production gear on here.

Vetting a used production gear seller's photos. Cameras.

1. Photos

Every single image you see increases the odds that you’re getting a good piece of used production gear. Inspect every photo carefully to make sure the gear is what you’re expecting it to be.

  1. Defects/Scratches
    • Do you want this piece of used production gear to be blemish free? If this is going to be a piece visible to everyone, you may care more about scuffs. If this is a rack unit that no one will ever see, that ugly paint scratch you’re seeing isn’t a negative but rather a cost saving.
  2. Transparency
    • If they’ve only got a single photo, that’s a bad sign. If you can’t see a certain part of the production gear, that is also a bad sign. Make sure you check all of the angles and can see the full scope of the gear. If they have 8-12 photos, you’re odds of getting a great piece of gear have increased dramatically. The more photos they have, the more transparent the used production gear seller is being.
  3. Serial Number
    • If you can see the serial number, you can confirm nearly any question you have.

2. Read Every line of the Used Production Gear Seller’s Item Description

Assume nothing. Item description’s are not something you skip like a “I’ve read the terms and agreement” box. This description is a conversation the seller assumes you’ve already had with them. Here are some common things to check for:

  • 1. Power Supply
    • Never assume this is included. Make sure they say it is included. If they don’t specify this, reach out to them.
  • 2. Gear Quality
    • You should see something like “mint, excellent, very good, good, parts and repair” on the used production gear seller’s item description. This will tell you what condition they perceive the gear to be in.
  • 3. Problems
    • If the used production gear seller knows their are problems with the gear, they should say so here.
  • 4. Back story
    • If the gear has traveled and toured or been in doors the whole time, it should say so here. Knowing a piece of production gear’s backstory is critical to ensuring it still has life to give you.

3. Local Discount

If you can buy local, you can typically save on shipping. This is particularly helpful on larger items that can quickly become 100’s of dollars. For example, we are so close to Nashville that some of our customers have made a little vacation out of a production gear purchase by visiting the city and picking up the gear in person. This should be the case anywhere you pick up a piece of gear locally. Just check the person out before you meet them personally and meet in a public place. We have a guide to buying gear in person here.

Vetting a used production gear seller's shipping. A large ship.

4. Shipper Beware

Gear breaks in transit. Alot. With little nobs being hit and squished in the box and all kinds of small intricacies, you can get a piece of damaged used production gear delivered and suddenly you and the buyer are in a weird spot. We’ve been packing gear for years so we’ve seen it all and have adjusted accordingly. Reach out to see how they’ll ship your gear. You can see how we pack gear safely here

5. Ask why they are selling their used production gear

  • Responses you hope to hear: 
    1. I misunderstood what this was and bought the wrong thing. 
    2. I have to make some space at my place so I’m moving on from my old, used production gear. 
    3. I’m getting out of music. 
    4. A family member left this to me but I’m not musically inclined. 
  • If you hear any of that, you know their reason for selling is pure.

6. Ask About Modifications

Its easy to forget about a change they made to the gear a year ago. Ask if they did any modifying so you aren’t surprised down the road. You may find out that the used production gear seller has made an upgrade to the piece that you really like.

Vetting a used production gear seller's reviews. Smiley faces and a screaming face.

7. Check the Used Production Gear Seller’s Reviews

Its so obvious we sometimes forget but everyone has reviews. Check those out first to make sure they’ve delivered for people before. Check Google Reviews or their business Facebook page. If you see reviews that are recent, that is a great sign. If they have a negative review or two, its okay. There are mean buyers out there. Just make sure this used production gear seller has 95% positive reviews.

8. Check the Used Production Gear Seller’s Social Media

If you’ve checked all the boxes above but you’d still like to confirm once more they are legit, check out their social media. There was a time when an AT&T rep came to my door unannounced. Earlier that day, AT&T had sent someone else to work on my internet. This guy was different but he had an AT&T polo. I talked with him, gave him some info so he could access my AT&T account and he looked for discounts he could offer me.

Later that night, I started to worry he could have been a scammer phishing me. If anyone saw the AT&T car in front of my home and had their polo, they could scam me and I wouldn’t know the difference.

After looking him up on Facebook and LinkedIn, I saw he worked for AT&T on LinkedIn and we shared mutual friends on Facebook. Fhew. His identity confirmed, I went to sleep soundly.

Want to avoid all these potential pitfalls?

Join the Early Service to see our best gear 48 hours before the rest of the world. Buy from a singular seller you can trust. 

Our gear is tested, safely packed and guaranteed.

You won’t have to vet us as a used production gear seller. We’re the only one on our site so you know exactly who you are buying from.

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