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Used Audio Equipment Buying Guide – How to Buy Used Audio Equipment

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If you’ve worked in the AV and events production industry for a while, you might have noticed the cost of some of the equipment we use—especially when it’s brand new. Professional AV systems can range from anywhere between a few thousand to several hundred thousand dollars easily and, especially when you’re starting out in the industry, that kind of money is not easy to come across.

For that reason, many smaller production companies (and more recently, even bigger ones!) need to look for other options to shop for audio, video, lighting, and stage equipment. Whether you’re just starting to build your production business or want to expand your tried-and-true setup to get more gigs, shopping for pre-owned equipment instead of brand-new items might be a more economical choice. To find out why, keep reading below!

Used AV Equipment Vs New – Which Is Better?

Let’s cut to the chase: when many people see the word “used,” they often think of “in poor shape.” But in the AV industry, like it is often in the car or heavy machinery industry, that’s not necessarily the case. If fact, oftentimes, you can find used equipment in almost perfect condition—for sometimes upwards of 20 to 50% off.

What causes such a large discount? Well, larger production companies absolutely prefer to have the latest and best technology at their disposal. But when a new speaker model is released, they often decide to sell off their older equipment at a major discount. This 2nd hand gear is professionally handled and managed, making it often aesthetically and functionally in near-perfect condition.

These large production companies can sell their pre-owned equipment at a discount because the value of the equipment depreciates immediately after it’s bought. Just like when you drive a new car off the lot of a car dealership, brand-new AV rigs can lose thousands of dollars in value as soon as they’re purchased.

For that reason, if you purchase used professional sound equipment, you can dodge the depreciation—which is substantial—and save tons of money in your gear shopping.

Of course, when you buy new equipment, you do get a few perks. For example, many manufacturers offer warranties on their equipment for a number of years, something that’s not always passed on once the equipment is resold. Additionally, when you buy new gear, you can guarantee that everything works perfectly and that it has absolutely zero signs of wear.

Recently, too, manufacturers have started offering refurbished equipment as an option from their stores. Refurbished equipment generally is a bit cheaper than new equipment, and you are likely to receive similar guarantees and warranties. However, it still doesn’t beat the deals you can get by shopping pre-owned.

With that being said, only you can decide if paying 20 to 50% more for your pro audio equipment is worth the benefits of buying new or refurbished. In the minds of many industry experts, the answer is no—used audio gear is generally safe, reliable, and gives you the best bang for your buck.

What To Look for When Buying Used AV Gear

Although shopping for pre-owned audio and video equipment can offer you great deals and discounts, you will have to do a bit more research during the shopping process—especially if you’re planning to buy the equipment through platforms or websites that are not targeted to our industry.

Once you find the equipment you’re looking for, you should ask the seller for the following things if possible: pictures of the product(s), a list of anything wrong or broken with the equipment, where or how the equipment was used, and (for amplifiers, projectors etc.) the equipment’s hour count.

Depending on the equipment, you may even request if you can test the equipment on-site at the seller’s facility. This makes the most sense for large orders that are worth over $10,000. However, if the information provided to you is sufficient for you, you can always purchase the equipment and, if a problem arises, talk with the seller about it later.

To be the most sure of your used pro sound gear purchase, you should make sure you’re shopping on a reliable website. Shopping on Facebook groups and by word-of-mouth, for example, can get you in trouble—there’s nothing stopping sellers from simply walking away with your money. Ebay is slightly better because at least you have some security and guarantee through the platform—however, keep in mind that Ebay is not targeted towards the production industry, and dealing with them on matters of freight shipping, high-value equipment, and other topics pertaining to this equipment can oftentimes be very difficult.

We would recommend that you shop on a site that not only wants to protect its buyers and sellers, but that is also an expert in the production industry. You can find that all with Gearsupply.

Gearsupply’s expert team understands every aspect of buying and selling AV equipment, including transportation, logistics, secure payment processing, tax exemption, and other legalities, so we can take care of that for you. Plus, with our Gearpromise guarantee, customer service is our top priority, and we do everything possible to guarantee that our buyers and sellers have an excellent experience on our site. Plus, our array of pro audio gear, DJ gear, lighting, video, and stage equipment is quite incredible—check it out!

Because of our expertise and experience in the AV industry, buyer and seller protection, and affordable cost, Gearsupply is the easiest, most streamlined, and most cost-effective way to buy pre-owned AV gear.

Start shopping for professional live sound, lighting, video, and stage equipment today!

2 thoughts on “Used Audio Equipment Buying Guide – How to Buy Used Audio Equipment

  1. Babacar says:

    Do u hav truckloads

    1. Andrea Dielman says:

      Yes, we can sell in truckloads! Please get in contact with a Gearsupply seller to learn more.

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