Used Gear and Trade-Ins
So, here at Gollihur Music, we don’t usually do trade-ins. There are several reasons for this policy:
- Mainly, in order to be worth the trouble and the cost, I'm basically compelled by the realities of running a business to "rip you off" on the value of items you want to trade in. Simply, I need to be able to resell the gear at a profit, in order to justify the costs involved with handling, merchandising, and selling it. And offering a (sometimes offensively small) percentage of its value makes me feel positively slimy. We're friends, but I still need to keep the lights on here at the shop.
- Also, there are concerns with a trade-in customer misrepresenting the condition; they send the item, only for me to realize that their assessment was... optimistic. So now we have an argument about what constitutes “mint” or “like new” or “in excellent condition.” Regardless of whether the disparity was intentional or not, we now have a conflict - and there are real shipping and other costs to resolve that conflict. And yes, I could have a policy in place that "if there is a disagreement about the trade-in value, costs to return the item to you are your responsibility." But if we have to go down that road, you're already ticked off about it, and now I've lost a customer.
- Likewise, re-selling those "used" items we take in on trade can be problematic, too - for all of the same reasons just mentioned.
- Not insignificantly, listings on our site for single, one-time items (what used items usually are) take time and effort to create, and we often just don't have the man-hours to spend - especially considering the level of detail we put into product listings.
Most of these issues are not a problem in a bricks and mortar store (except, maybe the feeling slimy about the low trade-in value of your stuff) because the majority of the transaction happens in person, real-time, with no shipping back and forth. But that's not what we do here.
So what can you do, since we don't do trades?
There are quite a few popular online marketplaces for conveniently selling used items. Sometimes there are transaction or processing fees involved. Some specialize in musical gear, like TalkBass and Reverb. Obviously, eBay has been around a long time for just this sort of thing - but it's easy to get lost in the shuffle there, and their costs are getting kind of high. Others, like Craigslist, allow free listings (and local transactions without shipping issues) and can be useful.
Ultimately, we empathize with your need to occasionally liquidate certain gear in order to fund new gear. We've all done it ourselves (although, on a personal note, I regret almost everything I've ever traded in - but at the time, it was a financial necessity.) I'm sorry that we can't do it for you here, and I hope you understand why!
Note that the references/mentions of marketplaces above does not constitute endorsement or recommendation by Gollihur Music. It is your responsibility to verify and investigate providers and services.