Selling used drums is something that all drummers go through at some point in their lives. It’s very common to buy gear, use it for a while, and then move onto better gear somewhere down the road. If we didn’t sell our drums, we’d all be sitting with piles of equipment in our practice rooms.
The tricky part about selling your used drums is deciding how much to sell them for. If you charge too low, you’ll be underselling your gear. If you charge too high, no one is likely to buy from you.
So, how do you find out how much your drums are worth? Read on to learn everything you need to know about pricing used drums!
Why the Second Hand Drum Market is Huge
Before we get onto the practical side of things, you should be aware that the second-hand drum market is massive. If you decide to sell your drum kit, you’re not going to have a problem finding a buyer.
While fresh and new gear is great, it’s often out of reach for many drummers. So, they look for used gear to save themselves from spending hectic amounts.
The great thing about drums is that they don’t wear out as much as other things do, meaning their value and quality stays relatively high over time. Some drummers out there are still playing on kits that were made in the 1940s.
Pro and experienced drummers will always be looking for good deals on used drums while beginner drummers will always be looking for the cheapest drum setup they can find to get started.
Tips for Pricing Your Used Drum Gear
Now that you have peace of mind knowing that you’ll undoubtedly be able to sell your gear, we can get into the nitty-gritty of pricing it. When I plan to sell my drum set, I go through a few checks to see exactly how much it’s worth and how much I can bargain on getting for it.
Know Exactly What You Have
The first check is to find out exactly what drum set you have. You need to be aware of what year it was made, what brand it’s from, and what tier it is in that brand’s product lineup. While this may seem obvious, you can easily miss a few things if you’re not a gear junky.
Knowing all of this will allow you to find out what the drum set costs when it’s purchased brand new. You’re not going to get away with selling it at the same price, so you’ll need to sell it for less.
However, you shouldn’t sell it for too much less than the original price if it’s not damaged in any way. A common thing to do is to drop the original price by 20%. You’ll need to check the condition of the drums first, though.
Check the Shells
The shells are the most important parts of your drums to check the quality of. The reason for this is that most components of a drum can be easily replaced. Whoever buys your drums can buy new lugs, bearing edges, hoops, and drum heads.
However, they won’t easily be able to fix a damaged drum shell. If the shell is warped or altered in any way, the sound of the drum would have been changed. Scratches on the drums won’t change the sound, but they don’t look too great.
You’ll see that a drum shell is warped if it doesn’t look perfectly cylindrical anymore. Many drum shells tend to warp over time, and you’ll be able to see how the wood doesn’t comfortably sit against the hardware anymore.
Another thing to look at is the bearing edges of your drums. If your bearing edges are still in top shape, the drum heads will sit very comfortably on the drums. They’ll be slightly off if the bearing edges have worn out at all. The smoother the bearing edges, the better. So, you could attempt a bit of sanding to get them smooth again.
Check the Hardware
Drum hardware tends to rust over time if you don’t take vigorous care of it. While no one wants to buy a rusty drum set, the hardware on the shells can be changed. So, you shouldn’t drop your price too low if there’s a bit of rust here and there.
You’ll be able to increase your price if you sell the drums along with cymbal stands. Most mid-tier and high-tier kits come as shell packs when they’re bought new, so you have to buy stands separately. Having stands with your used drums is a great way of enticing someone to buy them. You may also be able to increase your selling price.
Sell High-Quality Cymbals Separately
If you want to sell a full drum setup that includes drums, hardware, and cymbals, you should only do it if you have an entry-level set of cymbals.
The second-hand market for cymbals is just as big as it is for drums, and you may be able to score more money if you sell the cymbals separately from your set. This strategy will only work with top-tier cymbals, though. No one is going to be racing to buy a set of sheet cymbals such as Sabian B8s.
Ask a Music Store
If you’re really stuck, you could take your used drums to a music store to see how much they can sell for. People working in music stores are highly knowledgeable when it comes to gear, so they’ll be able to give you an estimated price.
They may ask you to buy it themselves, but you should only do that as a last resort. We’ll touch a bit more on that later.
Establish a Starting Price
Once you’ve done all your checks, you can finalize your starting price. If you reckon that your drums are in pristine shape, you should stick to the original 20% drop from the original price.
If your gear doesn’t pass a few of the checks, you’ll need to drop your price by a few percentages to ensure that people will still buy it.
A great tip for getting a good price on your used drum set is to add in a few extras. If you have some things lying around that you haven’t used in a while, you could add them to the package that you’re trying to sell.
A drum set that comes with a few drum bags will always seem like a better deal than one that doesn’t come with them.
Tips for Selling Used Drums
If you’re wondering where to sell drums, online is the best place to look. Using online second-hand markets such as Facebook Marketplace, eBay, or Craigslist will always be your best option.
The reason for this is that you get to set the price and then wait for potential buyers to approach you. While they may want to bargain, you have the power in that situation. It will be quite easy to wait it out for the buyer who is happy with the price you’re offering your used drums for.
The other reliable place to sell your used drums is at a music store. Most music stores have second-hand sections that you supply gear for. The problem with this option is that the music store establishes the final price, and they typically give you much less than you think your gear is worth.
There have been too many times where drummers have sold gear to a music store, only to see it being sold for double the price they let it go for. Selling your gear to a music store should be your last resort option or if you want to sell your drums very quickly.
If you’re wary of selling your used drums, you just need to sell one thing to get over that initial anxiety. Selling drum gear can actually be quite addicting. It’s the best way to sustain your flow of drum gear. You can sell one thing to buy something else that is better.
You just need to be very confident and knowledgeable about what you’re selling. If you’re not, you may end up selling it for way less than it’s worth. You should stick to your guns when someone is trying to negotiate with you at first.
Just remember that there will always be people looking to buy used drums, so don’t give your kit to the first person that makes an offer if it’s less than your asking price.