Reverb Sees Huge Q4 Growth for Its Music Gear Marketplace

March 16, 2021
photo: reverb

Over the past year, people have found countless new ways to adapt to life indoors. Having fueled more than the global shift to remote work, stay-at-home orders during the pandemic also spurred an uptick in people taking up new hobbies, one of which being learning to play a new instrument. Such is evidenced by instrument marketplace Reverb seeing major sales growth at the end of last year.

Reverb’s e-commerce platform is built to buy and sell musical instruments, be they new, used or even vintage items. The company started out in 2013 when founder David Kalt, owner of guitar shop Chicago Music Exchange, grew frustrated with the process of buying and selling guitars on sites like eBay. This frustration inspired him to create an online marketplace tailored specifically to music shops and creators.

The company has seen growth from its very start, and that progress continued last year. After being acquired by Etsy in 2019, the company announced this week that it saw its gross merchandise sales increase 32 percent year-over-year in the fourth quarter of 2020. The company’s CEO David Mandelbrot attributes this growth to its dedicated team.

“We’re building and growing a two-sided marketplace that helps family owned businesses generate income, musicians of all levels create music, and more,” Mandelbrot told Built In via email. “Our team is passionate about the tools we’re creating, the marketing campaigns we’re launching, and the customers we’re interacting with because we get to see the positive impact of that work nearly every day.”

Over the holiday season, Reverb specifically saw significant growth in sales for devices used for playing music at home. Some of its recent big sellers include guitars, keyboards, microphones, audio interfaces and more, and users were also shopping for more new gear than usual.

“Reverb has long been known as a place to find used instruments, but last year we saw an increase in the amount of new gear being purchased on the site,” Mandelbrot said. “We want to see that continue, so we’re focused on helping our sellers more easily sell new music gear and improving the process for buying new music gear. We’re also focused on continuing to grow as a destination for all types of music makers, no matter what instrument or type of music they play.”

photo: reverb

Reverb hosts a community of sellers hundreds of thousands strong, and it’s made updates to its marketplace platform to better serve these musicians and businesses working to keep up with increased demand for their products. For instance, the company added its Combine & Save feature that enables vendors to offer free or discounted shipping to customers who purchase multiple items.

Going forward, Reverb plans to continue growing its platform as it pursues international expansion. It’s looking to invest in marketing as well as improve its recommendation feature for buyers.

Currently, the company is looking to hire new members to add to its headcount of 205. It has openings listed for roles on its teams in product and engineering, operations and marketing. After operating fully remotely for a year, Reverb is planning to expand its remote policies to offer its employees flexible options in addition to providing safe and collaborative workspaces, according to Mandelbrot.

“We’re building a rapidly expanding musical instrument marketplace that didn’t exist before. That means we are constantly identifying new opportunities and interesting challenges to solve at Reverb,” Laura Datzman, Reverb’s recruiting manager, said in a statement. “We’re looking for team members who are eager to use their skills and expertise to make a positive impact on our community and are excited about our mission to make the world more musical.”

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