Reverb increasing seller fees

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by BunchyMutt, Jul 14, 2020.

  1. BunchyMutt


    Jul 3, 2014
    Just got an email that starts off with

    “To Our Community,

    I’m writing to share upcoming changes that will enable us to significantly grow our marketplace so that we can help you reach even more buyers all over the world. Beginning on August 4, 2020, we are increasing our selling fee for the first time ever⁠— from 3.5 % to 5%.”

    The new income is ostensibly going to increase the number of buyers by:

    • Investing over 30% more in marketing initiatives—including SEO, online video advertising, and other digital advertising—to get your inventory in front of more buyers from around the world.
    • Expanding by more than 25% the capacity of our global customer support team focused on assisting you and your buyers as we grow.
    • Increasing by more than 40% the capacity of our product team focused on creating and enhancing seller tools and services to increase the visibility of your shop and inventory.

    • Thoughts?
    tekhedd likes this.
  2. beaglesandbass

    beaglesandbass Think first, then post? Staff Member Supporting Member

    Aug 14, 2001
    Philly Suburbs
    Bound to happen soon or later. ebay charges more. Reverb has some headroom to increase more whenever they want and still charge less than ebay.
  3. Lammchop93

    Lammchop93 Supporting Member

    Feb 4, 2007
    Louisville, KY
    that's probably the nail in the coffin for me selling on there.
  4. Initially I was not feeling really good about it. But I also spiraled out of control assuming that this was step one and that the increase of reverb payment fees was coming next. (Which if that does happen, I guess I'd need a new platform? ) Basically, to me, this does take away the "Offer" button. Usually if someone takes the time, I'll drop $5-10 and they're usually happy. Now on a $100-$150 pedal, that wiggle room gets eaten.

    But now that I've had some time to think about it, it's really only about a $2-4 increase to reach the widest audience. But again accepting an offer might really take a chunk out.

    In conclusion: I think it will be worse for the small time monthly pedal sellers like me and probably drive prices up to cover the cost.

    Edit: the more I think about this the less it sits well. I have been getting emails telling me that the "Pedal Market" has increased. That feels like artificially increasing the "value" (Yes I fully understand things are worth what people pay for them etc etc....but the power of suggestion is a powerful thing.) But then after prices are steadily going up, to swoop in and take a bigger chunk, during a pandemic, feels pretty icky to me. Especially that last bit.
    Last edited: Jul 14, 2020
  5. Frodolicious


    May 29, 2018
    Omaha, NE
    Translation: we want to make more money, and you the seller will pay for it
  6. I gave it up when shipping costs went through the roof. That, and I had a bad experience with a buyer.
    9c1ny, R&B, RedBadger and 5 others like this.
  7. Lammchop93

    Lammchop93 Supporting Member

    Feb 4, 2007
    Louisville, KY
    I knew this was going to happen with Etsy took over.

    charging state taxes makes buyers offer less, and now these fees make sellers want more. No one wins.
    9c1ny, shodan, MCF and 10 others like this.
  8. two fingers

    two fingers Opinionated blowhard. But not mad about it. Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2005
    Eastern NC USA
    Profit isn't a bad word. I love profit. All of my favorite companies, products, and services turn a profit. Congrats to them! I get to continue buying Merrill Vapor Gloves because Merrill turns a profit. I get to start construction on my hangout/pool house/inlaws quarters next month because my contractor gets to stay in business because he makes a profit. Several of my favorite bars and restaurants have permanently closed recently because they couldn't make a profit.

    Reverb is not, and should not be, a charity. Congrats to them for turning their passion into a zillion dollars. I wish for all of you to be able to wake up every day and do something you love for lots of money.

    If you enjoy selling music gear to strangers 1,000 miles away, or buying music gear from strangers 1,000 miles away on Reverb, you have two choices.

    1) Pay the slightly higher fee and continue enjoying their service.

    2) Start you own platform and run it at a loss. (I don't see dozens of new platforms popping up every day to assist buyers and sellers of music gear for zero dollars.)

    All that being said, I have found dealing with the TalkBass community to be a fun, rewarding experience. Please note that TalkBass is not like Reverb. They aren't set up to handle disputes. I got burned once here. But, overall, my experience has been great.
  9. Lammchop93

    Lammchop93 Supporting Member

    Feb 4, 2007
    Louisville, KY

    but their timing could not be any worse. Raising fees in a time where musicians across the world aren’t playing shows generating income, this is just a slap in the face.
    Stingray5, BrentB, Metaluna and 15 others like this.
  10. magnaton


    Dec 12, 2013
    Just came here to post this. Wowzers!

    They obv have the right to do whatever they want but it's a big enough jump and baseline number now where I begin to question its affect on the marketplace efficiency and sustainability as a platform. Not to mention they're collecting fees from both sides of the transaction.

    Any online marketplace has a resting issue with off-platform deals but this will likely only increase that, which which could perpetuate a further increase in fees -> death spiral. Didn't find the justification particularly compelling/ creative either. They could do something like marginal seller fees similar to eBay so higher ticket items are disproportionally affected from a dollar amount...

    Love(d) the platform but feeling like this could damage the community that they've spent years building
  11. beaglesandbass

    beaglesandbass Think first, then post? Staff Member Supporting Member

    Aug 14, 2001
    Philly Suburbs
    I get that it sucks for sellers, but I really don’t think it’s that much of an increase. If you got a 1.5% raise at work, I don’t think you’d consider that a big raise.

    It’s an extra $15 for a $1000 sale. Still cheaper than ebay.
  12. I closed my account with Reverb, eBay and PayPal. I will only sell locally now. The fees are getting to high and there are other processing fees that Reverb hits you with after the sale is made so you will pay more than 5%. Not to mention the outrageous shipping fees. :meh:
  13. mikecd1


    Mar 3, 2009
    New England
    Ebay seller fee is still at 3.5% for musical instruments as of this morning. Reverb seems to be opening up more and more to international sales although I prefer not to sell internationally. I've done it a couple of times here on talkbass with satisfactory results after getting to know the buyer a little bit, but that doesn't seem possible on Reverb.
  14. bdplaid

    bdplaid Supporting Member

    Aug 31, 2007
    They went political and have to cover the money they will donate to whatever causes they deem worthy. I won't use them because of it.
    punchdrunk, R&B, 808P123 and 5 others like this.
  15. Gorn

    Gorn Supporting Member

    Dec 15, 2011
    Queens, NY
    This doesn't seem like that big a deal.
  16. gorneyg

    gorneyg Supporting Member

    Jun 7, 2012
    New Jersey
    I thought Ebay was charging 3.5% on musical instruments to compete with Reverb? Sorry...did that change?
    The cost will likely continue to be passed on to buyers by sellers. A seller trying to sell a $3000 'instrument' 20% less than the original selling price is taking a $600 hit down to $2400. Now you pay $120 to Reverb plus the PayPal (if that's the method you use). And this, as someone already mentioned, doesn't include what it cost to ship and insure the item.
    _jaxon5 and ChipDougl4s like this.
  17. rodv66

    rodv66 Supporting Member

    Jul 4, 2016
    With the jump in shipping costs, rather just sell locally. This sucks for people who make a living off reverb and it's just going to pass cost to the buyer
  18. db59

    db59 Supporting Member

    Apr 16, 2015
    Apologies for posting after you
  19. thetragichero


    Jan 4, 2019
    guessing you've never priced out shipping a heavy item (say an amp) through ups/usps/fedex directly vs through reverb
  20. Corevalay

    Corevalay Supporting Member

    Sep 10, 2009
    New Jersey
    Personally, I find it very disappointing. The entire benefit of using a site like Reverb is becoming obsolete. Between high shipping, higher seller fee's, and charging tax, the only "bonus" is that you can find instruments at your fingertips.

    The good 'ol days of finding great deals online are becoming slimmer and slimmer as sellers, and buyers, are being charged more and more.

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