Need Band Booster Cash? Set up a Shop on!

Mike Lawson • • September 8, 2017

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There’s nothing quite like watching a child bond with their grandparents over a 1959 Selmer sax, passing your trumpet down to a new player, or watching one of your students nail a solo on a freshly-purchased flute.

The tools used to create music at home, in the classroom, and on the football field vary as widely as the personalities of those who play them, but they all have one thing in common: they tell a story. Unfortunately for band directors, parents of band students, band booster board members, and more, these stories aren’t without their trials and tribulations. Instrument prices aren’t insignificant, repair costs are often extensive, and instruments are not always locally available.  

Each year, students come and go in your band programs. And with them, countless instruments are purchased that get left behind if a student drops out of your program, or steps up to a new instrument, graduates and leaves for college, or otherwise out into their new young adult world. 

One unique way that band booster programs can utilize Reverb is by taking advantage of the abandoned gear that no doubt exists in closets and attics across town. Encourage your band boosters to solicit instrument donations from the local community, then arrange to gather the unused instruments from their home and ask them drop them off at your school. From there, the band boosters can put the gear up for sale online and turn old gear and instruments into funding to pay for band trips, new uniforms, or even new instruments. Selling quality and cost-efficient instruments online by your booster program is easy and can be done in just a few steps. 

Reverb is the online marketplace for buying, selling, and learning about new, used, and vintage music gear. Since 2013, Reverb has grown into a thriving online marketplace that connects millions of people around the world to the instruments and the inspiration needed to make music. With low fees that put more money in sellers’ pockets and keep prices low for buyers, daily content — in the form of demos, how-to’s, artist interviews, and more — along with a customer engagement team comprised solely of musicians, 

Reverb aims to be the easiest and most affordable destination online for buying and selling music gear. For seasoned band directors, band booster programs, and more, that means a few things. First, abandoned instruments can be posted to the website and put in front of millions of musicians in a matter of seconds. On the flip side, you can browse thousands of new and used band and orchestra listings, make offers, and snag deals. Here are a few ideas for how the band and orchestra community can benefit from the world’s most popular music gear website. 

Reverb for Band Directors, Boosters, and School Districts 

The most obvious way that band directors and school districts can utilize Reverb is by simply visiting the site. Many local and regional retailers maintain their own Reverb shops, so you can look for the right instrument not only from those you may already be doing business with, but also discover some bargains from other schools, individuals, who knows, maybe even a former band student. 

Reverb lets you set up alerts to notify you when instruments you’re searching for become available or drop in price. You can sell your old gear for cash that can be put towards new gear. You can even offload broken instruments on Reverb. Have a baritone that will cost hundreds to repair? Simply sell it on Reverb, noting that it is in “poor” or even “non-functioning” condition. It could become someone’s next repair project. 

Reverb for Band Parents 

When your student decides to join band, there are several ways you can get instruments into their hands. Some parents are lucky enough to talk their son or daughter into playing Uncle Joe’s old sax or their older sister’s flute. They may also be able to obtain gear from your school district. You may also have a tried and true relationship with a local band and orchestra retailer. The value of a local shop can never be understated. In fact, you may find your trusted local dealer has a Reverb Shop where you can see their inventory online. These are all great options for putting instruments into your students’ hands. 

For parents and players who are new to purchasing B&O instruments, this process can definitely seem intimidating. Fortunately, Reverb’s protection plan backs up purchases and the all-musician customer engagement team is always just a call, chat, or email away if you have a question or issue. While there are certainly legitimate concerns associated with buying used instruments online, there are several strategies to help you snag an affordable instrument in perfect working condition on Reverb: 

Look for local/regional retailers on Reverb – You may find your local store online, allowing you to comparison shop price, shipping, and address support concerns. 

Get expert advice – Once you’ve narrowed down your choices, ask a local music teacher or an experienced musician for advice. All you have to do is show them the listing(s) you’re considering on the Reverb app. Reverb’s customer engagement team can also give you advice based on your needs, budget, and more. 

Ask questions – On Reverb, it’s easy to communicate with sellers before you make a purchase and, in fact, many sellers are experts who would be more than happy to provide input. Inquire about the history of the gear, details about the seller’s return policy, and more. 

Negotiate the price – When you’re looking at an instrument on Reverb, you’ll often see a button marked “make an offer.” If this button is available, that means the seller is willing to work with you on the price. This is another great opportunity to ask questions about the instrument. With the constantly growing community of B&O buyers and sellers on Reverb, finding the right gear at a fair price has never been easier. This is largely due to Reverb’s low fees — just 3.5 percent is taken from the seller when an item sells. That means more money in seller’s pockets and lower prices for buyers. If you do the math, you can find a trumpet, French horn, violin, or tuba at a cost that is more than half of that of an instrument rental. If your student decides that they are ready to graduate to a nicer horn, simply create a listing and sell their old gear to fund the new purchase. 

Setting Up a Band Booster Reverb Shop 

When you create an online account on Reverb to sell, you can name it after your “band program” as a store, including a description of who you are and what brings you to the site. Managing a Reverb shop linked to your retail store is easy to do. In addition to the tools and services Reverb offers all users, sellers benefit from Reverb sites. Reverb sites enables sellers to easily create their own website — synced to their Reverb. com shop and powered by the marketplace’s technology — in a matter of minutes. 

Neal McFarland is a customer engagement specialist at 


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