Musicians and audiophiles have a new marketplace to buy and sell gear. Sweetwater, which was founded in 1979 and sells music instruments and audio gear, and announced its new Gear Exchange on Thursday.
And – if a seller chooses a Sweetwater gift card as the form of payment on the Gear Exchange – they’ll pay no fees through October 31, 2022.
Over the years, entrepreneurs have had a better chance of success competing with eBay and Amazon through niche marketplaces – for example, Etsy (handmade), StockX (sneakers), and Reverb (music, now owned by Etsy). Instead of trying to be everything for everyone, a niche marketplace can customize the experience for their shopper base.
Sweetwater said sellers can create their own customized storefront on the Gear Exchange, including setting a store address, outlining policies for returns, and adding a bio to let people learn more about them. “Sellers can create listings that include photos of the instruments and gear they no longer need or want,” it explained.
Sweetwater further explained:
“To maintain safety, Gear Exchange has implemented tight fraud prevention measures including requiring photos of the exact item listed. There will be badges available on the storefront pages showcasing how long Gear Exchange sellers have been verified Sweetwater customers. Additionally, there will be a full team of administrators monitoring the marketplace for any potential security risks.
“Shipping labels for sellers can be purchased directly through The Gear Exchange, utilizing Sweetwater’s great rates. The cost of the labels can be subtracted from the payout so sellers don’t have to pay shipping bills until they get paid.”
Gear Exchange transactions have a 2.5% processing fee and a 5% seller fee through PayPal Hyperwallet.
Sweetwater Gear Exchange may not become the Etsy of handmade or the StockX of music, but it could turn out to be part of a trend and one of a million cuts inflicted on more established marketplaces.