Any event production specialist or venue operator has been there: we want to upgrade our live-audio inventory, but we might not have the money to afford a brand-new line array system or other top-of-the-line equipment. This could make it difficult to grow our business, accept larger or more professional gigs, fill up our venue or house of worship, or even enter the market in the first place.
But don’t worry! There are plenty of resources for professionals like us online. The Internet has connected buyers and sellers of production equipment like never before. Check out some options for finding great used audio gear below.
4. Audio Equipment Brokers
One of the most popular options for event-industry professionals is to call their favorite audio equipment broker. After all, these brokers constantly work with our industry and are always making deals. They can often connect you to someone selling the exact equipment you need.
However, brokers can often charge huge fees, making the deal more expensive on your end. Sometimes deals can take a month (or months!) to go through, and the broker is always going to be incentivized to do deals that make them more money, leaving you sometimes in the dust.
Although brokers can often connect you to what you need, they sometimes are not the most cost-effective (or friendly) method to find good deals on audio equipment.
eBay is by far the largest online marketplace out there. Nearly anyone can sign up and begin selling just about anything. For that reason, the selection of equipment is almost unbeatable. No wonder many industry professionals do a lot of shopping and selling there!
At the same time, buyers on eBay can sometimes get lost in the sea of products listed on the site. Plus, the platform doesn’t necessarily cater to our industry: freight shipping can get complex and frustrating, the categories are not specialized to the AV industry, and the administrative fees can get as high as 15%–which gets pushed onto you, the buyer.
eBay is great for finding a variety of products online, but it’s probably not the easiest or most affordable tool for buying production equipment.
Reverb is the obvious next choice for audio professionals. After all, Reverb is a marketplace platform with many of the perks of larger, more varied platforms like Ebay–except it’s focused directly on audio and music equipment. At only 5%, its administrative fees are also much lower than eBay.
However, Reverb also isn’t oriented towards larger shipments, such as freight shipments, and doesn’t allow bulk listings. Additionally, Reverb’s platform seems to focus more on consumer audio than professional live audio, video, lighting, and stage equipment. This creates problems for production specialists who are used to receiving package discounts, shipping large items by freight, or who want one source for all their production equipment. Plus, who wants to sort through MIDI keyboards, guitar pedals, and Spyder amplifiers in order to find the arrayable subwoofers they were looking for?
Gearsupply, although a newer platform than the ones mentioned previously, is one of the only online marketplaces designed specifically for events professionals, production companies, churches and other houses of worship, and venue managers. On Gearsupply, any of these professionals can buy and sell not only used high-end audio gear, but also lighting, video, and stage equipment as well.
Gearsupply offers buyers the best deals on all kinds of used production equipment. On the platform, buyers can negotiate prices and guarantee the lowest shipping cost by requesting product and shipping quotes from sellers. Additionally, the equipment on Gearsupply is sold by some of North America’s top production companies, so you know it’s been in good hands. Plus, since these sellers only pay a low fee of 5.9%, you can get access to all of their used gear for rock-bottom prices.