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Etsy Snatches Up Music-Gear Marketplace Reverb

Etsy Snatches Up Music Gear Marketplace Reverb

Etsy is acquiring music-gear marketplace Reverb for $275 million in cash. In announcing the news, Reverb founder and CEO David Kalt said Reverb would remain a standalone business, but with the added support of Etsy. “Your ability to buy, sell, learn, and connect on Reverb will not change. At the same time, we’ll have added resources to continue growing and improving the Reverb community.”

Greg Holden interviewed Kalt in 2015 for a profile of Reverb in EcommerceBytes Update, which provides a sense of what makes the marketplace different from others. Holden had written: “Kalt launched Reverb in January 2013 with the goal of creating a better resource for buyers and sellers, including himself: lower fees, more accurate listings, and lots of content to help musicians research products and brands.”

An Etsy spokesperson told EcommerceBytes, “Etsy’s had tremendous success in growing its own marketplace (including roughly doubling GMS growth, revenue growth, and profit margins) since Josh Silverman took over as CEO in 2017. So Etsy is well positioned to pull from its own playbook in order to lead Reverb in its next chapter.”

In Etsy’s announcement, Silverman pointed to what he called levers of growth, “such as improving search and discovery, making selling and buying easier, and building a global brand and user community.”

For hints as to what might come at Reverb, take a look at Silverman’s changes to Etsy: he has raised fees, pushed free shipping, and moved to an auto-renew listing model (which goes into effect on Thursday).

Advertising has become a focus of many peer marketplaces – it’s possible Silverman sees cross-platform ad opportunities that could boost revenue on both platforms.

And in 2018, Etsy moved to the cloud using Google technology. If Reverb is currently saddled with hosting its own servers, it could be one of the motivations for the sale.

Etsy said the transaction is expected to close in late third quarter or early fourth quarter of 2019, subject to Hart-Scott-Rodino review and other customary closing conditions.

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Ina Steiner
Ina Steiner
Ina Steiner is co-founder and Editor of EcommerceBytes and has been reporting on ecommerce since 1999. She's a widely cited authority on marketplace selling and is author of "Turn eBay Data Into Dollars" (McGraw-Hill 2006). Her blog was featured in the book, "Blogging Heroes" (Wiley 2008). Follow her on Twitter at @ecommercebytes and send news tips to ina@ecommercebytes.com.

8 thoughts on “Etsy Snatches Up Music-Gear Marketplace Reverb”

  1. Ya, I’m not seeing ANY evidence Etsy is on “the cloud”.
    Etsy falling apart.
    The “dashboard” is crap now.
    Another “finger in the eye”…..
    Stats don’t keep up with real time….
    Could Etsy really be a Scam ?
    Feels like it…..


  2. What a disappointment. Reverb is/was everything eBay wasn’t. The site always worked and they were doing a hell of a job bring traffic in. They are totally focused on the Music Industry. They had relationships with deals and manufacturers. After two years, 70% of my sales come from Reverb.

    From what I’ve read of ETSY, I’m looking at a major fee increase and eBay style management. Bad day in bedrock.

    1. Yes, I hear ya… I’ve been selling on Reverb since they opened and there is just not a better run venue on the internet. Maybe Etsy will just leave it alone. That would be nice. Who knows? Maybe Etsy will steal some of Reverb’s ideas and become better. You never know… 🙂

  3. Etsy previously acquired a small French site and it was soon closed down. I would not believe any assurances that the management of this corrupt organization gave me. If they said it was raining I would go to the window and look. Etsy itself is rotton to the core and prime to be snatched up by Google Amazon or Ebay.

  4. If you shop on Reverb with any frequency, look forward to Free Shipping on Chinese guitars.

  5. So I guess Etsy sellers had better watch their credit cards and bank accounts as this sale comes closer to completion since Etsy will need to pay for it somehow., I feel for all the Sellers on Reverb who were used to a great site to sell on as once again greed has taken over a good site. The owner saw a chance to pocket a quick $275 million for himself with the delusions that his business will still be a stand alone and I am sure with the delusions that he will still have the ability to run it. I can’t wait to see how quickly after the sale is completed that the fees increase dramatically and Etsy starts draining the company of every penny they can get their hands on. Bye Bye Revrb, another one bites the dust.

  6. Interesting for a company who has never respected, understood or supported their vintage shops, and a company that has zero knowledge of antiques or vintage. Their moderators are clueless and think that vintage is a style and not an era and period of time.

    Like someone said, get ready for Chinese crap that they’ll ship you for free – woohoo

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