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The Leading Journal of the Music Products Industry since 1890

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What's Selling On

A snapshot of the top-selling products of 2019 by category.

AS A MARKETPLACE for all things m.i., the Reverb site has a reach that far exceeds that of any individual retailer. With 1.5 million product listings at any given time, the site can count nearly 600,000 active buyers. The roster of 155,000 active sellers includes individuals looking to sell a few pieces of gear, the vast majority of conventional m.i. retailers, and boutique manufacturers that lack the scale to build out a retail distribution network. Given the sheer volume of business transacted, the Reverb site offers an interesting look into consumer preferences. The accompanying charts rank the top-selling products on Reverb in 2019 by product category. Although guitars are Reverb’s top dollar volume category, a “Top 10” ranking for that category is made impractical due to the extreme number of product variations. Taking into account the different finishes, hardware configurations, models, and countries of origins, the Reverb site lists roughly 1,000 distinct Fender Stratocasters. The same dynamic applies to popular Martin, Taylor, Ibanez, Gibson, and PRS models.

Dan Orkin, Reverb’s director of content, stated, “It’s important to note that these numbers and rankings only reflect sales on Reverb. While we think this is a largely accurate sample of the broader market, there are situations where the tastes and preferences of our users make our rankings different from what you might find across the entire industry.” He added, “The best-selling pedal list is very similar to last year, and across all categories, there are always some entrenched favorites that continue to sell well. This is magnified by the primacy of used inventory on Reverb. Our list tends to favor boutique things as well, like the Critter and Guitarie organelle.” Despite these useful caveats, the Reverb “Top 10” list provides a useful window into consumer preferences.

Last year Reverb was acquired by Etsy, a digital marketplace for craft-type products, for $275 million.

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