Reverb.com is an online marketplace to buy and sell musical instruments and gear. At 2016 Summer NAMM, Brian Reardon of Monster Music shared how he used Reverb.com to generate more than $110,000 in 12 months—all brand-new business he wasn’t expecting. “It’s very efficient, intuitive and easy to use,” Reardon said of Reverb.com.
According to Reardon, Reverb reflects the reality of today’s tech-savvy marketplace, which demands that music retailers adjust what they do and create new channels and hybrid business opportunities. “I can simultaneously be rethinking my business without having to do a lot of different things,” Reardon said.
Here are Reardon’s five common-sense tips for achieving great results on Reverb.com.
1. Take great pictures of the actual gear. Selling often includes seduction. You want people to love what they’re buying, so take great pictures of the actual gear. Reardon works with a part-time photographer who’s also a DJ and shoots with a $500 camera. Reardon uses a lesson room for the backdrop, a table with a gray paper background and a basic set of photography lights—this setup doesn’t have to be expensive. Take a picture of the serial number. People want to know what they’re getting and what to expect when they open the box.
2. Get your listings seen—utilize the Reverb Bump feature. Reverb Bump gets your picture on the first page at the top. You set your budget, and bump costs are reasonable in comparison to the product you’re selling, according to Reardon. You only pay for the bumps you use, so if you sell an item quickly, you pay for the days your picture was seen. If it doesn’t sell, you don’t pay.
3. Participate in Reverb.com sales. Reverb promotes holiday and product-category sales, such as Memorial Day or effects pedal sales, respectively. You choose what to add to the sale. Go through your page on Reverb, and pick out what you want to include. “I’ll sell a lot of things in general just from participating in the sales,” Reardon said. Users will visit your page to see what else you might offer.
4. Price gear right. Reverb gives you tools to help inform your decisions, such as the Reverb.com price guide. Reardon also uses eBay’s completed sales listings in conjunction with Reverb’s price guide to find the price that works best for him. “You can really drive sales by intelligently taking a look at the information they give you,” he said.
5. Take care of your customers. Consider the following ideas for building a great Reverb reputation:
• Respond to questions immediately. Think of this as your store, where you answer questions right away. When someone takes time to ask you a question, they’re showing interest.
• Leave feedback immediately and personalize it. Reverb sends you a confirmation of item sold, payment approval and ready-to-ship notice. As soon as you receive that, leave feedback. “Thanks (customer name), and you’re welcome back to Monster Music any time.” Do it immediately, and it will be noticed, according to Reardon.
• Try to ship out all packages within 24 hours, and upload the tracking information immediately. Ship the package the same day, and defer other business tasks. Customers expect immediate gratification.
• Don’t fight with customers. Difficult customers are a cost of doing business. “When my customers are happy, I don’t need to fight with them.” Call customers if there’s a problem, and ask what you can do to make them happy.