Is Reverb Safe? Here’s The Truth

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If you’re involved in the musical community whether a concert pianist or a classic rock bass player, then you’ve probably heard of Reverb. Reverb is the largest online marketplace that was designed for folks to buy and sell new and used vintage music gear.

If you’ve ever considered purchasing or selling on Reverb, then you’re probably curious about its reputability. Within this article we’ll delve into many details about Reverb, to hopefully bring all musicians, merchants, and enthusiasts using this platform some peace of mind.

Reverb Background Info

Reverb was originally founded and formed in 2013 by David Kalt, a former recording engineer turned tech-entrepreneur. He originally came up with the idea after purchasing a Chicago music store, the Chicago Music Exchange. He had become increasingly frustrated whilst attempting to buy and sell guitars online.

He wanted to make an accessible, easy-to-use website, for anyone involved in the music community. Since 2013, Reverb has seen continual success for themselves and their clientele. Reverb has become the leading marketplace for anyone involved in the music industry from the largest retailers, to personal collectors.

In 2019, Reverb even became an Etsy-owned subsidiary, while still continuing on as a regular stand-alone company. With all of Reverb’s success, the company has even chosen to give back to the music community. Their mission is to continue to make the world a better place, by spreading the love and joy associated with music to everyone in need.

In 2018, Reverb Gives’ was created, and since, a portion of every sale on Reverb’s website goes directly to it. These portions of sales go towards providing youth in need with music education, all across the world. Reverb has reached cities and countries all over the world, from across the US to Ireland and even Armenia.

These children are provided with all of the instruments and music they require.

Is Reverb a Safe Place to Buy/Sell?

Is Reverb a Safe Place to Buy/Sell?
Is Reverb a Safe Place to Buy/Sell?

Due to the fact that Reverb has a very large reputation to uphold, they take your financial and personal security very seriously. Selling on their website or app will guarantee you safety through their Reverb Protection. Here’s how you qualify:

  1. Complete your sale through Reverb’s website or their app. in order to qualify for Reverb Protection.
  2. Ensure the records of your payment and shipping are available within the Reverb platform.
  3. Any disputes that you may come across must be reiterated to Reverb within 7 days of your shipment being delivered.

Reverb Protection goes through the sometimes lengthy process, of helping you to deal with whatever issue you’re having with a shipment.

First, they’ll require you to get into contact with the seller and give them proper documentation (including photos, videos, an explanation, etc) of the problem. If you do not hear back within two days, this is when Reverb’s customer service personally steps in. Reverb will also require you to provide them with proper documentation of the issue.

Reverb will then get in contact with the seller, in order to reach a resolution (in accordance with their policies). If no resolution can be reached. Reverb will walk you through your next steps. If the payment was made through PayPal, they can help walk you through PayPal’s dispute process.

If the payment was made through the Reverb Payments system, then Reverb may issue you a refund, as long as no other form of resolution is available. Another form of protection that Reverb offers is through Reverb Payments similar to PayPal.

Reverb Payments allows you to safely make and accept payments from popular payment methods, directly into your bank account. It even allows those wishing to sell through Reverb the opportunity to offer buyers financing options. It doesn’t cost sellers anything to opt into Reverb Payments, and the fee structure is very straightforward, even for new users.

Reverb Payment fees are also up to 25% less than PayPal’s. You can feel secure knowing that Reverbs systems are both encrypted, and set up with around-the-clock fraud prevention. This is coupled with the fact that all payments made through Reverb Payments, automatically qualify for Reverb Protection.

Expert Tip: Reverb even has other additional ways of protecting its sellers. One way they accomplish this is through their Selling Guide. The Reverb Selling Guide was designed to aid sellers in getting the best financial compensation for their beloved gear. The Selling Guide is packed full of helpful tips for new and experienced sellers.

They also include a past prices’ guide, so you can compare with older sales of similar products to your own. Reverb wants to ensure that none of their sellers feel they are being “ripped off”, so this information is all easily accessible.

With all of the various ways that Reverb protects both its buyers and its sellers, it’s clear to see why they have the reputation they do and such a large population of devoted clients.

Reverb Client Reviews

Here are some various examples of reviews of Reverb, all from the website Trust Pilot. You can even note responses from the Reverb customer service teams on certain reviews with slight dilemmas.

Darren Whitham, AU (Oct 24, 2021)

As a buyer, I rate reverb highly!

As a buyer, I rate reverb highly! I love the fact you can deal directly with the seller & be able to make an offer. I live in AUS & bought vintage guitars, pedals & all sorts of gear from all over the world USA, Canada, the UK, Russia, Germany, France, Serbia, Netherlands, no drama. It’s the place to buy new & vintage gear in my opinion.

Keith Shannon, US (Nov 12, 2020)

The cost of doing business on Reverb is making it less and less attractive.
The notion that two private parties have to pay sales tax on used items is just wrong.
If a retailer is selling anything that’s different.

Reply from Reverb (Nov 13, 2020)

Hi Keith.

Apologies for any ambiguity here. Per the change in federal precedent, if an item is shipped to a Marketplace Facilitator state, we will calculate, collect, and remit this tax on the seller’s behalf to this state.

To learn more about the new sales tax rules and Reverb orders, you can head here:

Best, Reverb

Paul Mcllrov, LV (Oct 21, 2021)

Reverb makes it so easy to do business. I have purchased three guitars and it went very smoothly. They work under the K.I.S.S principle “Keep It Simple Stupid”. Where other sites make life difficult and time-consuming with links of redirections and confirmations and
additional charges.

Reverb has designed it so you’re always dealing directly with a seller. The deal gets done you pay it arrives very quickly. Unlike other sites where they squeeze money out of both buyer and seller. Thank you, Reverb. My go-to site for buying guitars at least.

PM (Sep 15, 2021)

Ordered a Roland trigger only to find

Ordered a Roland trigger only to find out the seller was away and didn’t receive it. Ordered an I Rig HD been waiting for nearly 2 weeks with no correspondence. I wouldn’t recommend

Reply from Reverb (Sep 16, 2021)

Sincere apologies for the trouble experienced here. We have alerted our Management Team in regard to your order. A member of our team will be contacting you directly via email to assist further.

Kimbull McAndrew, CA (Jun 18, 2021)

I recently purchased a nearly new

I recently purchased a nearly new, expensive Yamaha guitar on the Reverb website. The seller was a music store and pawn shop in Gander Newfoundland, Canada. The guitar was listed as mint condition and looked good in the photos. When it arrived, it had several cracks in the bridge.

There were no signs of shipping damage to the shipping box or the hard case. The seller refused to allow a return and did not offer any compensation. Reverb then stepped in and quickly paid for a new bridge.

They are an excellent website to deal with and I recommend them highly.

Pros and Cons to Buying on Reverb

Pros to Buying

  • Easy to use search and sort’ functionality
  • Price comparisons for popular items
  • Sellers are generally music lovers, and very knowledgeable
  • Incredibly kind, trustworthy, and helpful customer service
  • Issues are always dealt with in an incredibly timely manner
  • User-friendly platform
  • Direct-sales concept
  • A great number of reputable brick and mortar stores and vendors sell on the site
  • All information for buyers is very easily accessible
  • A portion of a sale goes towards helping a child to learn a love of music (through Reverb Gives)
  • Secure and reliable payments/shipments through Reverb Payments, Protection, etc.
  • Very loyal/large customer base, making reviews/opinions highly accessible
  • Most negative reviews circulate around the seller, not Reverb itself or even its customer service

Cons to Buying

  • Some sellers are inflating their reviews/descriptions of items (overwhelming positive, dishonest)
  • Some sellers charge a higher price point (comparable to regular retail)
  • Some sellers aren’t the most forthcoming with the truth about what it is they’re selling (slight damages, no photos, etc)
  • Shipping times can vary and are generally determined entirely by the seller (how long it takes them to ship, what type of shipping they use, etc)
  • Occasionally shipping and import fees can be added to your bill (if your parcel is shipping Internationally, held up at customs, etc)

Buying on Reverb vs. Buying on Ebay

Buying on Reverb
Buying on Reverb

Both Reverb and eBay are online marketplaces that are easily accessible for someone to buy musical instruments, equipment, etc. So, which one is better or more worthwhile? The main difference between these two platforms is rather obvious, one is specifically geared towards the field of music, and the other is not.

That’s not to say that sellers on eBay aren’t knowledgeable but Reverb was literally made for music lovers to buy and sell. More often than not, the sellers on Reverb are incredibly experienced and knowledgeable about their products. Both platforms also have incredibly safe transaction/shipping records.

However, when comparatively speaking. Reverb’s overall customer service is much more highly rated. Ebay’s customer service can be regarded as difficult to deal with and impersonal. Often, this is known as a major drawback for people to want to sell and purchase through eBay.

Whereas Reverb’s customer service is the complete opposite. Upon doing some research, one can see that Reverb’s customer service is incredibly well thought of. With literally hundreds of reviews praising them, their reputation truly speaks for itself. Reverb and eBay both have their fees associated with selling on their platforms.

Here is a closer look at how Reverb defines the differences in their price point:

  • Unlimited Free Listings & Transparent Pricing
  • 5% Selling Fee
  • 2.7% + $0.25 Payment Processing Fee = 7.7%+ $0.25
  • Total Fees* (You keep 92.3% of your sale)

Further information on all associated fees with selling, as well as Reverb’s Preferred Sellers, is available and accessible all over Reverb’s website. Their fees are all incredibly transparent and straightforward.

Can You Get Scammed on Reverb?

As stated previously, when you pay through Reverb Payments you are automatically protected during your transactions. Reverb Payments protects you directly from any fake, faulty, damaged, or falsely advertised products.

Expert Tip: With Reverb Payments and Protection, it’s very highly unlikely that you would ever experience any form of scamming and if you do, you can rest assured that Reverb will deal with it.

If you receive any shipment and you find it isn’t what you originally paid for, then you should contact Reverb within 7 days of receiving your package.

You can put your trust in the fact that Reverb has your best interest at heart, and will do everything in their power to always find a resolution to any problem you may have.


In conclusion, Reverb is both an excellent buying, and selling platform for anyone within the music community. With both product protection and financial security being two of their fundamental services, it’s truly a great platform to use. Their customer service is so highly rated also is an amazing attribute to Reverb.

It’s clear that Reverb genuinely cares not only about their buyers and seller, but the music community as a whole. One can feel great knowing that they’re supporting a company, that in turn supports those less fortunate by providing musical opportunities and instruments.

With so many amazing attributes and their charitable services, Reverb is a trustworthy and amazing marketplace for those looking to buy or sell musical equipment of any variety!

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About Jayden Buckley

Hi, my name is Jayden and I am author/editor for PlayTheTunes. I remember the first time I hopped on the drums, I was hooked. Music has played an enormous part of my life, and I'm honored I get to share my experiences with you!