How To Buy Used Gear Without Getting Ripped Off

Last Updated on March 21st, 2019 at 10:23 am

buy used gear

Nothing beats the feeling of discovering a great deal on a piece of gear you have wanted forever.

Buy used gear locally is one of the greatest methods to save money on tools purchases.

However, it could be a nightmare when you aren’t prepared.

Here’s everything you should know to buy used gear without getting ripped off.

1. Know what you want

Once you purchase something used there is no salesperson to explain the functions or tell you how to use it.

You must ensure you know what you need—down to the last detail. Meaning looking into anything that may be an issue on a used unit.

Does the seller not have a power supply? Be sure it is possible to replace it. It’s simple if all you need is an easy 9v, but in some cases, extra exotic energy supplies could be harder to come by.

Is it compatible with the rest of your setup? Be sure you do not accidentally purchase a legacy version that does not work with your rig.

To get everything right you will have to look up some details for the gear you are considering.

However, you should not have any trouble discovering everything you should know online.

You would be surprised how many old manuals and spec sheets people have uploaded to the internet over the years.

Use these resources to ensure there are no surprises once you purchase used.

2. Estimate the value

I will let you in on a secret: used gear is only value what somebody is prepared to pay for it.

You will need to have a common idea of the worth to make an offer on an item.

Check out completed listings on eBay or the Reverb Price Guide to judge the worth of a piece of gear on the used market.

The middle part of that range needs to be in the ballpark. You could generally subtract 10-15% from the price you see in online marketplaces for the convenience of money and carry local sale.

Anything below that range is a deal, anything above is worth making an offer, but be careful.

Making an offer that’s far below market value is called “low-balling.” Low-ballers are inconsiderate and do not contribute positively to the second-hand gear group.

Make informed gives that you are ready to follow through on.

3. Be savvy

Use your street smarts in terms of buying gear used. If a deal seems too good to be true, it probably is.

If the listing looks sloppy or incomplete, it may be a sign that the seller might not be simple to cope with. Sometimes the gear is just not worth having an interaction that does not go well.



However, it isn’t always intentional.

Even if they do not mean to, sellers could sometimes misrepresent their items or provide the wrong idea.

Stay in tune with the vibe of the exchange. It is pretty simple to tell if things will go well.

On the other hand, make an effort to be a great buyer. If somebody is refusing to sell for a price that you think about reasonable, do not push the issue.

Any gear—no matter how—rare will always show up again later on the used market.

That is why buying used gear is all about being patient. It’s worth the wait!

4. Plug it in.

Any piece of gear could fail. Buying something used only to realize it does not work when you get it home is crushing experience.

Don’t let it occur to you. Plug it in to be sure that it at least powers on. Run some signal through it when you could.

Be polite and friendly while you are interacting with the seller. Somebody’s letting you—a total stranger—come into their home/jamspace/studio to check their gear.


Plus, in most cases, you will just be meeting another person from the music community, so you may have more in common than you’d think.

However, do not be afraid to ask questions. There is nothing wrong with wanting to make the most informed buy you possibly could. You may want to ask something like:

  • Are you the original owner?
  • Has it been modded and repaired?
  • Why exactly are you selling it?

A spot test and a quick Q&A with the seller could give you enough info to walk out of a sale feeling confident. That’s priceless!

Buy Used Gear is New to You

Buying used needs to be one of the first methods you consider increasing your gear collection.

It’s more personal and cheaper and than buying new one from a store.

Buy used gear could have its own challenges, however, the feeling of getting something you have lusted after for months on a great deal is well worth the effort.

Now that you know how to buy used gear like a seasoned veteran, go check out your local online classifieds and discover something that’s new to you!

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