5 Reasons Your Reverb Listings Might Not Be Selling and What to Do About It

The time that elapses between listing a piece of gear on Reverb and when that piece of gear sells is, on average, three weeks. This period of time can fluctuate based on what you're selling, but if you have gear in your shop that has been listed for more than two months, there's likely an issue or two that you might be able to address.

Below, we've outlined a few of the most common reasons that listings on Reverb aren't selling and have provided some strategies for addressing them.

Inconsistent Publishing

Why it can negatively impact sales:

It can be tempting to try listing just a few of your items at random on Reverb, especially if you're a bigger shop with a brick and mortar location and lots of inventory. But every piece of gear you have available to sell is an opportunity to make that sale on Reverb, and not listing that gear can mean that you're missing out on a lot of traffic that your shop would have otherwise gotten.

What you can do about it:

Before moving on to any other tactics, the most foundational step is to make sure you’ve published listings for everything you have to sell. More listings in your Reverb shop means a broader audience and more opportunities for a sale. Make sure that you’re listing inventory as it comes in, so that you can connect with as many buyers as possible. But remember: Don’t end and re-list the same item multiple times; this will hurt your listing’s traffic, not help it.

A lot of the most successful large shops on Reverb assign one of their employees to manage their Reverb shop, with a dedicated time block carved out each day for listing gear. If you have the personnel, this is a great way to make sure your Reverb shop stays full, diversified, and consistent.

Low-Quality Photos and Descriptions

Why it can negatively impact sales:

For an online marketplace especially, listing photos and item descriptions are of the utmost importance. This is the closest that your potential buyers are going to be able to get to the experience of holding this piece of gear in their hands and trying it out. If your listing only features a few grainy photos taken at poor angles with vague item descriptions, buyers will be motivated to look elsewhere before trusting your shop.

Retrofret Vintage Guitars' Instagram

What you can do about it:

The good news here is that better photos and listing descriptions can be a super easy thing to fix. With how solid smartphone cameras are these days, it's simple to get high-quality photos even without a professional camera and equipment. Check out our guide to photographing gear for your Reverb listings to learn how.

Your listing descriptions should be complementary to your photos, filling in the details that they can't communicate, like how the gear sounds, its specs, and its history. If there are any blemishes or issues to address, the description is where you should do that. Transparency is key to a good sale—the more information you include, the more likely your buyer will be satisfied with exactly what they buy from you.

Not Accepting Returns

Why it can negatively impact sales:

As mentioned, buying online means that your listing description and photos are the closest that a potential buyer can get to hands-on experience with your gear. If your shop doesn't offer any kind of return policy, any potential buyers that are already on the fence about the purchase might be motivated to see if they can find that gear elsewhere.

What you can do about it:

Offer returns! Ensure that all of your listings, apart from explicitly and accurately describe Non-Functioning items, have some sort of return policy attached to them. We recommend offering a one-week window for used gear and a two-week window for brand-new gear.

Inappropriate Pricing

Why it can negatively impact sales:

Consumers these days are just as educated as sellers about the value of the gear they're looking for. It's very easy to identify when a piece of gear is being listed for more than it's worth, especially on Reverb, and if it's priced too high, it's not going to sell.

What you can do about it:

Evaluate your pricing strategy, and retool it to be more competitive. Check out our Reverb Price Guide to get real-time pricing data on the instruments you're selling and to get familiar with average online profit margins. Making sure that you enable offers on your listings as well, which can start price negotiations that can often lead to a sale both parties are happy with.

A Reverb Price Guide Price History Chart
Seasonality

Why it can negatively impact sales:

In the U.S., most sellers experience a slight lull during the summer months. People are going on vacation, spending more time outside, and aren't buying as much music gear as they do throughout the spring, fall, and winter. It can be difficult to grow your business during these times, but it's not impossible.

What you can do about it:

As aforementioned, making sure your shop is listing gear consistently helps keep your shop fresh, listings at the top of the Reverb pages, and gives you more opportunities to make a sale. It can also be advantageous to bump your listing aggressively during these slower periods, as that will help your listings get prime placement on the site.

Another great strategy is to participate in Reverb's site-wide sales. We put a lot of marketing muscle behind our hosted sales, and sellers who opt-in and participate in full tend to see up to 30% growth in order volume against a comparable period of time without participating. In addition to participating in our Reverb sales, you can also create your own seller sale, which can help breathe new life into a stagnant month. Promote the sale across your buyer network and social channels to get people interested.


If you’ve tried and exhausted all the above recommendations, let’s hop on a call and take a closer look. Reach out to sellerenagagement@reverb.com.

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