The Safe Way to Sell Expensive Gear

The Safe Way to Sell Expensive Gear

Specialized Marketplaces vs DIY

Navigating the world of selling high-ticket sound, lighting, staging and video gear can be a daunting endeavor. There's always that lingering question of whether to go the solo route or rely on a specialized marketplace like GearSource to sell your gear. Decisions, decisions! But worry not, my fellow GearHeads, as I am here to shed some light on this matter. Just like my Papa used to say, "Knowledge is power, a power best used to sell that console, line array system, or video wall at the right price." (ok… he didn’t say it exactly like that…)

Specialized Marketplaces: Safety in Numbers

Specialized marketplaces like GearSource have risen to prominence in recent years, and for good reason. These platforms offer a sense of safety and reassurance, as they cater specifically to enthusiasts in niche markets, such as production companies or even audiophiles, trading card collectors and watch collectors.

One of the most significant advantages of utilizing these marketplaces is the built-in buyer and seller protection measures available. This creates a safety net for you and your precious gear, virtually eliminating scams and counterfeits. An interesting fact to showcase the importance of safety measures: according to a recent report by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), fraudulent trade in counterfeit items accounts for nearly 2.5% of global imports. 

Moreover, specialized marketplaces generally have a dedicated team to authenticate items before the transaction. This extra layer of protection takes the onus off you to prove the authenticity of what you're selling, undoubtedly saving a lot of time, effort, and potential headaches. 

Finally, expanding your reach to global markets is a powerful selling tool, and to do that on your own can be very dangerous and costly. Not to mention, you probably don’t have international shipping knowledge, and that alone can be a monstrous task to figure out.

Going Solo: The Bold and the Brave

Of course, there's the option to sell your gear independently through platforms like eBay, Craigslist, or even on social media sites. While this may give you more control over the sale process, it's crucial to be aware of the risks involved. "Ah, I've been there and done that," I remember selling my first DSLR camera through an online ad only to encounter a swarm of sketchy responses from potential "buyers." I can’t imagine trying to do the same, but on a $100,000 sale, and to another country! 
Another significant risk when selling items independently is the lack of a guarantee for a safe transaction. Many deals are often built on trust between the buyer and seller. Unfortunately, bad actors can take advantage of this and leave you empty-handed or, worse, with a counterfeit item or fraudulent payment.  

In addition, the chances of gear being returned are higher when you sell independently, as there are no transaction mediators to iron out the kinks in disputes. It's essential to prepare yourself for unexpected complications, and potentially invest in robust protections, like escrow services, when selling your gear.


I guess it all boils down to your level of comfort and determination when it comes to selling expensive gear. For a relatively stress-free and secure experience, specialized marketplaces are an excellent choice for so many reasons. On the other hand, if you're willing to take the significant risk and put the effort and sweat to get a few extra percentage points for your prized possessions, going at it solo may work out, but be diligent and very careful. Happy selling!


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