Guide to Selling Your Used Audio Equipment in 2024

If you have sold gear online before, you know it can be as frustrating as it is intimidating. As you refresh your screen every 5 minutes, hoping to see a sale come through, a million thoughts race through your head. Is my listing good? Are people even seeing this? Did I price the item too high?

Even if all those are perfect, you get over-the-top questions that no one will know the answer to or questions that are not even about the product. Not to mention the lowball offers that come through that are just a spit in the face to you and your gear.

We want everyone to have a good experience selling their used audiophile equipment. Whether you are doing it on your own or selling directly to TMR, we can eliminate all the hassles and fears.

This is a step-by-step manual for you, the brave soul navigating online used marketplaces. Treat it as your ultimate guide on how and where to sell audio equipment online, and hopefully you can have a smooth and rewarding experience.

We will cover all the important things to keep in mind as you are getting ready to sell your gear and also some important pitfalls to avoid, including:

  1. Making sure you gather all the necessary information for a good listing
  2. How to test and make sure your gear is in good working order
  3. How to decide the right price that serves your goal
  4. How to market your gear with attractive photos and descriptions to get the most eyes on your item
  5. Navigating different online marketplaces and how to create your listings
  6. How to avoid shipping damage and package your item the right way
  7. Dealing with potential customers and post order support

Pour yourself a coffee, find a comfy chair, and turn on your system with some good reading music. Let's dive into it!

Step 1: Gathering Information

Gathering information to sell your audio gear

To make pricing and listing your gear much easier, you’ll want to make sure you have all the necessary information ahead of time. Since it’s your gear, nobody knows more about it than you, but you still want to make sure that you have the full picture to gain trust from potential buyers and avoid conflicts.

Before you can list your gear, you’ll want to know:

  • The version you have, if applicable (Mk. II, Signature Edition, Standard, etc.)
  • Any upgrades or options your equipment has
  • What accessories do you have, and which ones are missing.
  • The finish (official name from the manufacturer when possible)
  • Any repairs or service history

If you’re the only owner, you’ll probably know all of this already. If you’re the second owner, it’s a good idea to double check and make sure you have all of this information. It’s possible your equipment is a different version you weren’t aware of or has an upgrade you thought was standard.

Know your version

You already know the manufacturer and the model of the item you're selling, but make sure that you know the exact variant of that model if you don’t already. Many products have different versions with slight differences that are easy to miss.

You may have the “MkII” of a model, for example, or your gear may have a difference compared to earlier productions of that same model. Sometimes a name will have the word “reference” tacked on for good measure, other times, the word “reference” can mean it’s an upgraded version worth twice as much as the standard.

Most manufacturers will make these variations easily visible either in the model badge on the front of the unit or have it printed somewhere on the back panel. Other times, you may need to do some research online and compare your unit with other variations of that model for any visible differences or certain features that may be exclusive to the Mk II or the “Signature Edition,” for example.

You probably already have this information, but it is good to double check if you’re unsure. It can be worth it to do research, understand the difference between different versions either way, and include that information in your listing.

A simple “This is ‘x’ version that does / does not have the ‘x’ feature” can help you avoid problems down the road. If your buyer is expecting a certain version with certain functionality that your unit does not have, and you either did not have that information or did not make it readily available to your buyer, it can lead to chargebacks or returns.

Look for upgrades and options

Make sure you also know all of the options that are available for your model, if applicable, and what your unit does and does not have.

Some common upgrades to check for are:

  • Phono Stages / DACs on integrated amps and preamps. If your integration is modular, make sure you know what comes standard and what features are upgrades
  • Volume Control / Remotes for DACs
  • Upgraded internals - capacitors, wiring, etc.
  • Premium Finishes
  • Cartridges on turntables
  • Power supply upgrades

Most of these upgrades are readily visible and easy to identify. Other times, your unit may have upgraded caps or internal wiring that isn’t so obvious. If you are the original owner, you probably already know, but if you are the second or third owner, it’s possible that your unit could have upgrades that you’re unaware of. As in identifying the exact model you have, it’s worth doing some research to see what upgrades or options were available for your unit, and what yours has or doesn’t have.

This also goes for certain accessories that maybe you didn’t realize were optional or that you didn’t know you were missing. Sometimes remotes are an optional upgrade, while for certain products like preamplifiers, they usually come standard. Most of the time, external power supplies are an optional upgrade, but in some cases, they can come standard. The cartridge on your turntable could have been standard and factory-fitted, or it could be an upgraded one that adds value.

Make sure you know what upgrades your equipment has to make your listing more attractive and to make sure you get the full value when selling.

Included accessories

You should also take inventory of what standard accessories are included with your unit. Remotes are always important, but manuals, hardware, spare fuses, adapters, wireless antennas, power cables, etc. should all be documented as well.

Some units have several pieces and accessories that were originally included. In many cases, the manufacturer's product page has a “what’s in the box” section near specifications, so you can see everything that was originally included. This can sometimes be found in the user manual as well.

Factory packaging is a huge factor if you plan on shipping your gear, aside from affecting its value. This is important to determine up front, as some items can be too difficult or expensive to ship without the factory packaging. In these cases, you may need to change your pricing and listing strategies for local sales.

If it’s something that can be packed and shipped without the original box, the costs of packing and shipping supplies can be an unwelcome surprise down the road. Some items may need to be professionally packed, which can further add to your shipping costs. Make sure that you check for not only the box but all packaging (foam inserts, tweeter guards, stylus protectors, etc.).

If possible, it can be better to source replacements ahead of time for any missing packaging or accessories. An item with everything included as from the factory is usually more attractive than one missing the original box or remote.

Repairs, modifications, and service history

Another factor, especially with older and vintage gear, is repair and service history. At the very least, it is important to disclose any repairs or modifications to potential buyers.

In some cases, this can also add value to your gear. Vintage units are a great example, as a simple “Re-capped and given a clean bill of health by George Meyer AV in 2019” can give your buyers a lot more confidence, especially if you have service documentation.

Modifications can affect value as well. It is best if any modifications were performed by a trusted, known source, with documentation and notes about the exact changes that were made. If you made any modifications, this is still important to note for transparency. If possible, include detailed photos of any changes or mods that are installed.

Hours of use are also helpful to include if you have a good estimate, and for any units with tubes and for turntables / cartridges, this is especially important.

Identifying exactly what you have is crucial to every step that follows. All of the factors above can dramatically affect the value. You may find that your item can be listed for more than you initially thought, or you may need to lower your price accordingly for any missing accessories or options.

In either case, having all of this information will make pricing your item much easier, give your buyer more confidence in your listing, and help you avoid any post-sale issues. This step, especially if you’re not the original owner, can be a pain. Many older products have little to no information available for research, and others can have different versions that are virtually indistinguishable.

If you are still unsure about any information regarding your gear, our expert appraisal and technician teams can always take care of this for you. When you sell stereo equipment with The Music Room, you can sell with confidence knowing that we’ll fully inspect and certify your equipment before it goes up for sale, making sure all of these details are sorted out so you can get the maximum value for your used stereo equipment.

Learn more about selling with The Music Room here.

Step 2: Inspect and Test Your Gear

Inspect and test your gear before selling it

Once you are confident that you know exactly what you have, you’ll want to inspect it. Make sure everything is fully functional, and note any cosmetic blemishes. Functional issues and cosmetic damage that were not shown in the listing are some of the most common reasons for returns, so this is a crucial step to get right.

Here are some of the most important things to check for to avoid returns for your item being “not as described”:

  • Finding and taking inventory of any cosmetic damage
  • Accurately and objectively rating the cosmetic condition of your gear based on your findings
  • Fully testing the functionality of your equipment
  • Notating any functional issues or quirks (Scratchy volume pot, loose binding posts, etc.)

In this section, we’ll break down how to rate your gear cosmetically, and some of the most important things to look for when testing functionality.

Clean and inspect for any blemishes

Before you inspect your equipment, it’s best to thoroughly clean it. Not only will your buyer expect a dust and smudge-free unit, but this will also help you accurately grade the cosmetic condition.

As you’re checking cosmetics, make sure to take notes on any blemishes, no matter how small. You’ll need to photograph any damage once it’s time to list your gear. Transparency and accuracy in the cosmetic rating are important for buyer confidence and to avoid any chargebacks or returns for your item being “not as described” down the road.

Some of the most important things to check for are:

  • Scratches, scuffs, and nicks
  • Dents or warped surfaces
  • Oxidation, discoloration, or sun damage
  • Peeling or fading lettering
  • Indentations in drivers or dust caps
  • Dead pixels or dimness in a display (depending on severity, this can be considered a functional issue instead)
  • Peeling or damaged wood veneer
  • Fraying in cable jacketing
  • Tears, rips, or punctures in speaker grills
  • Stripped or missing screws

Make sure to check any and all surfaces of your equipment, including the rear and bottom surfaces. If your unit is older, it may be a good idea to find some stock photos of the model in perfect condition to compare for any fading or discoloration.

If you can, also measure any scratches when applicable, to avoid any possibility for disagreements (i.e., “a 3 inch scratch on the top surface” is much better than “a small scratch on the top surface”).

Once you’ve completed this, you can determine the cosmetic rating to include on your listing.

Figure out the cosmetic rating

After your visual inspection, determine the cosmetic rating and note this for your listing. We recommend using Audiogon’s grading scale. This sets a standard that can be used on other marketplaces as well.

If you’ve spent any time in online used marketplaces, you’ve likely seen the word “mint” thrown around where it doesn’t apply. In most cases, your unit is likely to be somewhere in the 7/10–9/10 range. 10/10 or “mint” condition units on this scale must be less than a year old, so even if your item doesn’t have any blemishes, it would be a 9/10 due to age.

The scale breaks down each rating and makes it easier to grade your unit. Once you’ve identified any and all blemishes on your gear, it should be easy to grade your unit based on the number, severity, and location of any cosmetic issues. For your reference, you can find the Audiogon Grading Scale here.

Save any notes you have from your visual inspection, and you’ll have this ready to go once it’s time to write your description for your listings. Once you’re done here, you can move on to your listening and functionality tests.

Testing your unit for functionality

You will also need to fully test any and all features and functions that your unit has. This can be a different process depending on the type of item you’re selling.

Here are a few of the main things to test for below:

  • Test all inputs and outputs and confirm functionality from all channels.
  • Adjust volume, balance or other controls during playback listening for static, popping, etc
  • Perform a listening test, checking for any noise, distortion, imbalances, or other issues
  • For older equipment, check internals for any bulging capacitors
  • Check for any bad tubes, and replace as needed (if applicable)
  • For turntables, check the speed and inspect the tonearm and cartridge for proper alignment
  • For speakers, visually inspect all drivers - push woofers manually (and gently) and feel / listen for scraping or voice-coil issues; Look for indentations in dust caps or tweeter domes. Check all binding posts

This is far from a complete list of what to check for, but it should give you a good starting point. The basic idea is to check any and all functionalities and confirm they are fully in working condition.

Make sure to also perform a listening test and listen for any audible issues, such as distortion. For certain digital items, it is also a good idea to make sure that the firmware is updated and current, and to perform a factory reset if applicable.

Once you have completed your inspection and testing, you should have a full understanding of your unit, including any and all variations, upgrades, accessories, history, cosmetic condition, and functional condition.

While this may seem like a long process just to get to the point where you can list your item, having the most information possible is essential. You need to sell your gear with confidence, so any potential buyers can purchase it with confidence.

You can also choose to sell with The Music Room, and we’ll take care of this process for you. We have a whole team of product technicians who will fully clean, inspect, and test your used stereo equipment before putting it up for sale with our Certified Pre-Owned guarantee. If we find any issues, our repair team is here to fix them in most cases.

Want to see more about our rigorous testing and inspection process for audio gear? Check it out here.

Step 3: Finding the Best Price

Pricing can be tricky for new sellers, but research and an idea of strategy will make it much easier.


It’s a good idea to start by finding the current MSRP (or the last MSRP if the model was discontinued). While there is no cut-and-dry way to price your item based on the MSRP alone, it is a good reference point to start from. It is also a good idea to include it in your listing. As mentioned in the above sections, make sure you factor in any options, upgrades, or additional accessories for your MSRP.

Researching sales online

There are a few good resources to find other sales online for your item (comps), including all of the sites that you’re likely going to list these on. HiFi Shark is an excellent starting point, as you can view current and past listings from a variety of platforms, including Audiogon, US Audio Mart, Ebay, and The Music Room.

When looking at other sales, it is important to keep in mind that the asking price and the sale price are two very different things. You may find an active listing at $4000 for a certain item, but the only verified sales for the item are all around $2800, for example. The market value is going to be what people are willing to pay for it, and asking prices aren’t always in line with the actual value.

Audiogon and Ebay are great resources, as they show the actual sale price for the item, instead of just the asking price. It is also important to click into the actual product listings, as the list-view on HiFi Shark only shows the asking price, not the sale price or whether the item actually sold.

US Audio Mart can also be a great resource, but keep in mind that the price displayed on the listing is the asking price, not the actual sale price. The benefit of US Audio Mart is that it displays how long a listing was active for, which can give you an idea of how long it took that item to sell at a given asking price.

Again, keep in mind that the item may have sold for less. The time a listing was active can be another helpful reference point when used in conjunction with other data. If you have verified sale prices from another source, and a listing on US Audio Mart sold quickly at that same asking price, it may be an indicator that you can try pricing slightly above that price if you’re not in a rush. 

Audiogon Bluebook

Audiogon has another great resource in their Audiogon Bluebook. This has recently been expanded to include a ton of helpful information, including production years, retail price, and a pricing graph with sale prices, along with the cosmetic condition of the unit for that sale.

This data is all compiled from Audiogon listings and sales. If a certain model has been sold many times on the platform, it will usually have great data available. Some models may have little data or may not be in the bluebook at all if they haven’t been sold on Audiogon.

For items with good data, however, Audiogon Bluebook can tell you the average sale price, private party sale averages, trade-in averages, average time from listing to sale, total sales, sold rate, and even recommended listing prices and purchasing ranges for buyers.

When used for a model that has good data, this is a great resource. Make sure to keep in mind that these are based on averages and that you’ll need to adjust your pricing based on all of the variables mentioned in sections 1 and 2. 

Pricing without good data or comps

Pricing can become a little more difficult when you’re selling something that is more rare, and there are little or no comps or other listings to start from. In these cases, you’ll likely need to rely a little more on MSRP as a starting point.

With gear like this, it can also be helpful to try and read through reviews, forums, and social media to see what the general demand and thoughts about this product are. Pricing here can be more of an educated guess, and you’ll want to keep an eye on your listing and adjust as necessary. You may need to be a bit more patient as you find the right buyer. 

Value changes

It is also important to remember that, as with any market, value can change quickly with used HiFi equipment. This is why you’ll want to look at listings that are currently active, the price they’re listed at, how long they’ve been listed for, and how many of the same items are listed. If there are 10 other listings for the same product, all in similar condition, you will need to price yours more competitively.

Current sales and promotions, new versions being released, new reviews, and like factors can all quickly shift the market value of your item. For example, if a new version of your product has just been announced or released, the used market will likely see an influx of listings for the older model from people who are looking to upgrade to the newer version.

This is important to know, as you’ll need to keep that in mind as you’re determining your price. If the model you’re selling is on sale, and someone can buy it new for close to what the used market value has been up to that point, that is another consideration.

Another great resource is  The Music Room. We have a database of over 500k previous product appraisals and sales data, with numbers on original asking price vs. sale price, days from listing to sale, previous offers, and more. Our appraisal team leverages our own database and compares it to data from all of the sources mentioned in this section, so we can help you find an accurate and current market value.

Want to see what your gear is worth? Fill out our quick and easy form to get your quote within 1 to 2 business days. 

Get a free quote within 1-2 business days here.


Once you have a good idea of the general market value, you’ll want to determine your pricing strategy. Depending on how fast you want to sell and if you can ship, you may want to go above or below the average market value.

Sell it fast, or sell it for more

If you’re looking for a quick sale, you’ll want to price it more attractively and trade a little bit of value for a fast turnaround. If it’s a highly in-demand item or something that’s not sold on the used market very often, you can likely get a quick sale without dropping the price much, if at all. If there are a handful of the same model for sale already, you may need to drop the pricing a bit more for a fast transaction.

For the maximum sale price, you can try listing above market value. You’ll need to be patient, though, as it will probably take longer to find the right buyer. You’ll also need to be careful not to list too high, or you may turn buyers off. As time goes on, you might want to slowly and incrementally decrease your asking price to find a buyer. 

Shipping vs. Selling Locally

Another factor here is if you’re able to ship or if you need to stick with selling locally. It is almost always best to ship in the original factory packaging that was designed for your unit, but most gear can be packed and shipped safely if you take care to pack it properly.

For more details on this, see the shipping section below, but most regularly shaped amplifiers, preamps, DACs, CD players, bookshelf speakers, etc. that aren’t super heavy can be packed and shipped without the original packaging.

If anything is super bulky, heavy, oversized, irregularly shaped, or particularly fragile, shipping may be more difficult or may not be an option. This most commonly applies to floorstanding speakers (which can be difficult to find large enough shipping boxes for and are usually heavy and / or oversized) and turntables (which are very difficult to ship without the factory packaging due to fragility).

If you are not able to ship, there’s a good chance that you may need to lower your asking price. It never hurts to try and list as normal, but you will have a much smaller pool of potential buyers, so you may have to price it more attractively or be patient to find the right buyer.

With all of your research in hand and your strategy laid out, you can pick the asking price that you’d like to start at. If you’re not in a rush, it never hurts to start at the higher end and adjust down as needed. You can always lower the price, but you can’t raise the price after the fact if you end up pricing too low and selling quickly before you realize your mistake.

In addition to our expert appraisers, our sales team is here to help you strategize and find your best asking price based on the market value.

If you’re looking to sell it fast, in most cases we’ll make you a generous cash offer and send you a prepaid shipping label. Ship your gear to us and get paid as soon as we’ve inspected it. 

If you’re looking to sell it for more and get the maximum value, you can sell with The Music room. With our consignment program, you get to leverage all of our assets with personalized service every step of the way.

Selling your gear can be a process. That is why The Music Room takes all the complications and hard work out of the equation. Sell your gear with us and take advantage of our entire team, including technicians, photographers, marketing, and sales. We take care of everything for you, from fielding offers to finding the right buyer for your gear. Once your item sells, you get paid, and our support team takes care of any post-sale issues and provides support.

Step 4: Marketing Your Gear

taking photos of used audio speakers

This stage is the culmination of everything you’ve done so far. The photos and description should work together to tell your potential buyers the same story, both detailing what you’re selling, the condition, and any other relevant details.

The key is to be transparent and accurate while making sure that your listing and gear are attractive enough to stand out in any online marketplace. In this section, we’ll cover how to get pro-level photos of your gear that will drive buyers into your listing.

Photographing Your Gear

This area of selling your gear online cannot be understated. Photos are the heart and soul of your listing and will do most of the heavy lifting for you when selling it. In less than a second, a potential customer can clearly see what you are selling, the condition it is in, and other visual details of your item.

Photos will make or break your sale so it is important not to ignore this step or do it haphazardly. The good news is that you don’t need fancy camera equipment or studio style backdrops. All you need is your smartphone camera.

So let's continue on and go over how to take marketable photos that will not only make people stop scrolling and look at your listing but also click it, love it, and buy it.

Creating a setting

A setting is the background of a photo and sometimes can enhance your and make them 1000x better. If you are selling a TV, for example, your setting might include your TV stand, decor, the wall behind it, and, of course, your TV. If you are selling a watch, the setting might be the watch on top of a magazine on your nightstand. Hopefully that paints the picture (no pun intended) of what a setting might be.

For your gear, however, your setting might just be the item you are selling, where it is already located inside your system. If it is unplugged, you can get more creative and perhaps make your setting on top of your wood kitchen table and have that be an accent color against your item.

Bottom line, the better your setting, the better your photo will look. And in a sea of terrible photos, your listing will stand out like an oasis in a desert. The trick is to make sure your item is the focal point and not your setting. It should help enhance your gear, not be the subject (to where people might think you are selling the TV stand, for example).

Lighting the set

The next step to taking really attractive photos is making sure your item is lit properly. You can create this effect very easily with some natural lighting by opening a window and having the sunlight be your main light source. Feel free to also try to just get a household lamp and position it around your item (make sure it is out of your shot) and see what kind of lighting effects you can create.

The most important part of lighting is to make sure it illuminates your item without being too much. While you don’t want your photo to be too dark, you also want to make sure the lighting is not so intense that it causes bad reflections and ruins the image.

If you really want to step up your photography game, you can get some super cheap lighting gear from Amazon and create some really stunning photos at home.

Getting all the angles

The next thing you want to do is get multiple photos of your item from different angles, including closeups. At the very least, you will want to make sure you get the front and back of the unit. The back is sometimes the first thing audiophiles will look at, as the back panel will tell you what features / functionalities the unit has.

Getting multiple angles also helps in other ways too. It lets customers get as close as possible to seeing it in real life as they can, and it gives you the opportunity to show any blemishes or scratches. The last thing you want is a return because you did not show any blemishes in the images.

Here is our list of suggested shots to take:

  • Front
  • Angle shots
  • Side profile
  • Back panel
  • Close-up detail of damages or defects
  • Close-ups of cool features you want to highlight

Lastly, if there are any accessories that come with the unit, it would be a good idea to capture a photo of your item and accessories in the frame. When selling an amp that has a remote for example, make sure to capture an image with both of them in it.

Feel free to replicate the shots we take with each piece of pre-owned gear that we sell.

Accuracy is crucial

Accuracy cannot be understated. If your photos don’t accurately represent your item, you risk returning it. Whether your photo makes the unit look a different color or you didn't show blemishes, they all can lead to “not as described” returns.

Cosmetic blemishes should also be clearly and thoroughly documented. What may be a “small scratch” to you may not be so small to someone else; having solid photos that show the scale, location, and severity of any blemishes helps to bridge this gap.

In essence, your photos should be telling the same story that the description in your listing does, just in a different medium. Any information that you have in your description that can be captured visually helps to build confidence. Any discrepancies between your description and your photos are going to create doubt and questions. With that in mind, you also don’t need to go overboard, but capture as much information in a reasonable amount of quality photos as you can.

Writing your title and description

It’s helpful to have a set title and description written beforehand that you can copy and paste into each of your listings on different platforms. Use clear, concise language that provides the important details without going overboard. Make sure your description tells the same story as your photos do. Think of any potential questions your buyers might have, and try to answer them in your description as well.

Details, details, and details.

Be sure to include any and all relevant details, such as the full manufacturer and model information: version, upgrades and modifications, cosmetic condition and detailed description of any blemishes, included accessories, age, number of owners, service history, functional notes, tobacco exposure, serial number, voltage, MSRP, etc.

It is also helpful to include any important specs if you have room, along with a brief description of the product itself. If you want to include any personal aspects about your gear, such as any history you have with it or reasons why you’re selling it, that can help potential buyers connect with your listing as well.

You want your title to help your listing show up in search results and provide any important information that will help attract buyers. If you spell the manufacturer or model wrong, you’re likely to not appear in a search.

Making sure that you have the model formatted correctly is important as well (i.e., VK-80 vs. VK80), as this can cause search issues on some platforms. Make sure to format it as the manufacturer does to make sure you show up in search results.

If your unit has any upgrades or options—anything that increases value—this is important to include in the title as well. This will not only make it more attractive but will also help buyers understand your asking price before clicking into your listing. If your unit has an upgrade and is priced higher than other listings, if it’s not apparent why it’s priced higher, you can lose potential buyers.

Create an accurate title

You want your title to help your listing show up in search results and provide any important information that will help attract buyers. If you spell the manufacturer or model wrong, you’re likely to not appear in a search.

Making sure that you have the model formatted correctly is important as well (i.e., VK-80 vs. VK80), as this can cause search issues on some platforms. Make sure to format it as the manufacturer does to make sure you show up in search results.

Of course, you can skip all of this and let us take care of it for you when you sell your gear to The Music Room. Our team of professional photographers will make sure your gear looks as attractive as possible. Each picture is taken in a controlled lighting area with high end camera equipment to make the most accurate and detailed images possible.

If you still need some inspiration, check out our Fresh Arrivals page. We add 30+ new listings every day, so you can get an idea of what your photos, descriptions, titles, and overall listings should look like.

Learn more about our photography process here.

Step 5: How to List Your Gear

Putting your used audio equipment up for sale online

If you’ve done everything thoroughly up to this point, creating the actual listing should be easy. By now, you should have any and all the information you need, confidence in the gear you’re selling, and attractive photos that will match the story in your description.

Choosing your platform

Audiogon, US Audio Mart, and Ebay are all great online marketplaces to put up your used audio equipment for sale. Reverb can be another option as well. It is mostly used for instruments and live audio gear but has a growing percentage of high end stereo equipment for sale.

Keep in mind that these are all marketplaces, and the work of selling your gear will rely solely on you. However, if you do have the bandwidth to monitor and keep up with potential buyers across multiple platforms, it never hurts to list on all of these. If you’re limited to local sales only, you can still use the above platforms, but you may have better luck with Facebook Marketplace and Craigslist.

Without going into any specifics on the listing process for each platform, they’re all fairly similar. Create an account if you don’t have one already, create a new listing, fill out as much information as you can, upload and order your photos, etc. Be sure to include any of the relevant information from the above sections in your description. The more complete and detailed your listing is, the more credible it will be.

Monitor your listings, answer questions, and field offers

Keep a close eye on your listings, and be ready to answer any questions and field offers from potential buyers. If you were thorough in your listing, it’s likely that any potential questions will already be answered. By being responsive and supportive with prospective buyers, you will also be more trustworthy and provide a better experience. If you plan on selling anything else in the future, building strong ratings on these platforms is essential to your credibility as a seller.

Listing with TMR

Of course, you do have the option of selling your gear to TMR, where there is zero work from you and we do all the heavy lifting. Our expert sales team will answer questions, field offers, and help the right buyer find your gear. Plus, TMR is the most trusted source to buy, sell, and trade your used stereo equipment. Every item is tested, cleaned, and TMR Certified. Complete with professional photographs and dedicated customer support, your item will get exposure to millions of audiophiles who trust TMR for the very best in pre-owned audio.

Learn more about selling with TMR here.

Step 6: How to Ship Your Gear

how to package high end audio equipment

Once you have a buyer, it’s time to ship! If you have purchased any used audio equipment online or anything from a seller on a site such as eBay, it’s likely that you’ve had a bad experience with something that was damaged in shipping. This is a key aspect of selling online that can cause major issues for you and your buyers alike.

Many people underestimate the level of rough handling that a standard package goes through between the time you drop it off and the time it gets delivered. While this is partially just the way that the shipping systems and sorting facilities work, accidents and careless handling can happen as well. It is not unlikely that at some point in transit, your expensive amplifier or speakers will take a 3 foot fall off a conveyor belt or the back of a truck.

While the shipping carrier has a responsibility to handle your package appropriately and with care, it is also the shipper’s responsibility to understand what the package will go through during normal handling and pack the item appropriately.

If you have the original factory packaging, you need to make sure that you’re using it correctly. If you’re packing something on your own, you need to make sure that your gear will survive any rough handling it will go through.

In either case, any shipping damage will fall on you as the shipper and seller. Even if you pack it 100% correctly, the buyer can return the damaged gear and leave it to you to fight over insurance claims with the carrier.

In this section, we’ll help you make sure that your gear is packed properly and that you’re prepared for any insurance claims if it comes to the worst case scenario.

Shipping with factory packaging

If you have the original packaging, it is vital that your unit is packed exactly as it arrived from the factory. Make sure that the box is still in good condition and that you have all the inserts and any other shipping materials that were originally included.

If you haven’t packed your unit for shipping in the past, there are usually a few resources to help with this process, depending on the model you have. Brands like McIntosh include packing diagrams in the user manuals for the vast majority of their products, which are invaluable as McIntosh units are notoriously tricky to pack correctly.

If a packing diagram is not available, many manuals will have written packing or unpacking instructions instead. If you can find one online, unboxing videos can also be a good resource if the video is thorough and shows the entire unpacking process.

Shipping without factory packaging

If you do not have the original packaging, preparing for shipment will take some extra time and care. For most components, you should be able to create sturdy packaging. On the other hand, shipping can become difficult or unrealistic for a lot of used speakers and certain large or heavy components.

Gathering materials

For any smaller to medium sized equipment that is regularly shaped, such as amps, DACs, and CD players, it should be much easier to find an appropriately sized heavy-duty shipping box and the correct packing materials. Good shipping boxes can be purchased from most shippers, such as FedEx and UPS. FedEx has a packing and shipping supply page on their website, where you can see standard box sizes available at almost any full-service FedEx Office location.

We recommend using sheets of rigid insulation foam for the packing material, which can be found at most hardware stores and cut down to fit your unit and the box. Here’s an example of the type of foam we recommend.

You’ll also want plastic wrap to use on your equipment before packing, to protect the finish. Bubble wrap can be useful for accessories such as remotes, power cables, etc. to protect them and help keep them secure inside the box.

Packing process

The key steps for packing are to find a box that will give you roughly 4-6 inches of extra space in each dimension, wrap your unit in plastic to protect the finish, and then use rigid foam to fill the extra space on all sides of the unit.

Make sure to leave or create space in the foam for any knobs, handles, binding posts, or anything else that sticks out from the unit and could be impacted during transit. Your unit should be fully secure after packing, with zero movement inside the box. Any accessories, such as remotes and power cables, should be fully secured inside the box or packed separately.

While this is far from a comprehensive guide to packing Hi-Fi gear, the above section outlines a few best practices that can help you get started.

There are numerous exceptions and items that require special care and attention to detail when packing. Anything with external tubes, anything that is large or heavy, and anything that is particularly fragile or oddly shaped can be difficult to pack correctly or completely impractical to try and ship without the original packaging. Bowers and Wilkins speakers that have top-mounted tweeters are a great example of this. In these cases, you’ll likely need to try and order original packaging from the manufacturer, or stick to a local sale.

Take a look at how we package our gear. 

Custom packing services

For some smaller and lighter items, packing services available through FedEx or UPS can be a decent option, but this varies based on location. A growing number of locations have instapak (expanding foam) machines, which can be a great option for units that aren’t super heavy or large.

If you choose to go this route, it is strongly recommended that you call around to find somewhere with an instapak machine, or at least somewhere that is able to pack with rigid foam. A lot of locations only have bubble wrap and packing paper, which are not recommended for most stereo equipment except for extremely light items like cables.

When you sell with The Music Room, we’ll take care of the shipping both from you to us and to the buyer with our TMR Pack and Ship Guarantee. We have a team of logistics experts who are here to help guide you through getting your gear to us.

From packing your gear, creating custom packaging, finding packing services, ordering factory packaging, arranging freight shipments and custom crating when needed, and providing prepaid and insured labels and scheduling pickups, we’ll make it as smooth as possible.

Once it sells, our shipping team will do the same for your buyer to make sure it arrives in perfect condition. Learn more about our Pack and Ship Guarantee here.


In any case, you will want to make sure you get suitable insurance through your shipping carrier. While this is still vital to the shipping process, many people overestimate how much coverage they have through insurance. Loss claims are easier to prove and get paid out for, but damage claims can be much harder to be paid out for.

If there is no obvious evidence of shipper mishandling (usually correlating with damage to the box: crushed corners, punctures, rips and tears, etc.), claims will often be denied due to “insufficient packaging.”. If you didn’t pack your gear well enough, the shipper is not going to cover the damage, even if it’s fully insured.

For this reason, we recommend taking thorough photos of the condition of your unit prior to shipping (which you should already have from your listing), along with detailed photos of the unit inside the packaging, demonstrating that your packaging was sufficient. While this is by no means a guaranteed way to get your claim paid out, it can help in certain cases and is worth having these photos on hand.

For expensive items, you’ll also want to make sure that you have a signature requirement at delivery.

With some extra care in packing your gear, you are much more likely to avoid any shipping damage. This not only provides your customer with a better experience but also helps to protect you as a seller and provide credibility for any future buyers.

When selling with The Music Room, our Pack and Ship Guarantee takes all of the liability and stress off your shoulders. In the extremely rare event of a lost or damaged package, we are 100% responsible for any shipping claims or returns. Once your item sells, you get paid, and we take care of the rest.

Learn more about selling with The Music Room here.

Step 7: Disputes and Post-Sale Support

In most cases, once your buyer receives the gear, you’re all set! However, providing after sale support is crucial, both for the buyer’s experience and to build your credibility as a seller.

Answering questions about your gear if needed, providing guidance on the best way to set it up based on your experience, talking them through any small quirks, etc. goes a long way for the buyer.

If your item is not as described or damaged from shipping, you may be on the hook for a chargeback or return depending on the platform you sold through and payment method used (PayPal Goods and Services, for example, has strong buyer protections). While these are mitigated by carefully following all of the best practices above, these are still scenarios that you need to be prepared to face as a seller.

If you choose to sell your gear with The Music Room, we do offer you the choice to get paid via PayPal Friends and Family.

Even if your gear was as described and arrived safely, you may still run into disputes with the buyer or chargebacks if fraud is involved. In these cases, you’ll need to be responsive and cooperative during the dispute and do your best to reasonably resolve the issue with the buyer if possible.

It is always best to keep records of your correspondence with the buyer, shipping information such as the tracking number, and your photographs from listing and shipping on hand to help your case in any dispute.

When you sell with The Music Room, you won’t need to worry about any post-sale support. Everything after the sale, including returns, is on us. We assume responsibility for any returns, warranty claims, disputes, questions, or shipping damage. Our customers get lifetime tech support as well - even on your pre-owned products that you sell through us. This is just one more reason your potential buyer will be confident in purchasing your used stereo gear when you sell with TMR.

Collect your cash, and keep listening to great music! Learn more about our Certified Pre-Owned Warranty, satisfaction guarantee, return period, and post-sale support here.

how to sell used audio equipment

Selling Is Hard. We Make Easy.

Selling your gear online can be a difficult process to navigate for new sellers, especially if you’re unaware of the potential issues you may run into and how to avoid them. While selling is nuanced, and there are exceptions for each of these steps depending on the type of component, brand, or model, understanding the best practices ahead of time will help you sell confidently and find a buyer who can make their purchase confidently.

Do your research, and you’ll be able to create detailed, accurate, and transparent listings that will attract buyers. Test and inspect your gear to ensure it is as described, and your buyer won’t run into any surprise cosmetic damage or functional issues. Collect data and plan your pricing strategy to either minimize your listing to sale time or maximize your return on the sale. Take detailed, attractive photographs that provide transparency while telling the same story your description does.

Be responsive, kind, and helpful to any potential buyers. Ship using factory packaging when possible, or take extra care to pack your gear when factory packaging is not available. Document the entire process to help you with any insurance claims, chargebacks, or buyer disputes.

Of course, The Music Room is here to take care of all of this for you if you need help finding a new home for your gear. With over a decade of experience, thousands of sales and positive reviews, and specialized teams dedicated to each of the above steps, there is no better place to buy, sell, or trade your gear.

Feel 100% confident that you will receive top dollar for your gear while receiving personalized service every step of the way.

To learn more about selling with The Music Room, check out our programs or talk to one of our Hi-Fi Guides today.

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