Selling Audio Equipment Online

So you found an old amplifier from college in the attic? Or maybe it’s time to part ways with a well-loved component so you can get something better? Selling high-end audio equipment online is a little more involved than making a Facebook post and having it sold later that day (By the way, your Aunt Carol commented “$2,000 FOR A POWER CABLE???”). You want to get your audio equipment online in front of other hobbyists who appreciate the craftsmanship and potential of what your component can do for their system.

That’s why Audiogon was started 20 years ago. To foster a community of like-minded, diverse-opinionated audiophiles all over the world, and create a marketplace where they could buy and sell their high-end audio equipment online in their dogged pursuit of The Ultimate System.


Audiogon was built for audiophiles by audiophiles. Since 1998, we’ve carved out a corner of the Internet where enthusiasts can go to discuss, show off, buy, and sell high-end audio equipment online.

It’s tempting to sell your audio equipment on a place like eBay because… well, it’s eBay. But how many people are on the site to look for a ZYX UNIverse Premium turntable cartridge? How many even know what that is? A very small fraction of a very small fraction.

Every visitor to Audiogon loves high-end audio. We’re not talking about a a few thousand people. With 6 Million pageviews and 223K+ unique users a month, we can guarantee your listing will be getting in front of people on the hunt for what you’re selling. Price it right with our Audio Bluebook, and you may even convert window shopper who can’t pass up a deal.




With two different listing options, we give you control over how you list, whether that’s paying a higher insertion fee upfront with no transaction fee (Premium/Pay Now) or a low insertion fee with a small transaction fee when sold (Basic/Pay Later), we offer the flexibility to low transaction fees and  Old-timers lament about “the days of the $2 listing.” However, even as we’ve adjusted for inflation over 20 years, our fees are still the most competitive among any relevant marketplaces.

For instance, our transaction fees are only 3.5% for Pay Later listings while others’ are 10%. Plus, our transaction fees are calculated based on the price the item sells for. While others’ transaction fees are based on the item sell price and shipping costs. A 60-lb mono block that costs $150 to ship would be an extra $15 taken out of your wallet elsewhere. In our humble opinion, that’s ludicrous.


The average listing price on Audiogon is $1,500. Let’s compare.

Sell Audio Equipment Online - Audiogon vs eBay

eBay data verified with their Fee Calculator

The difference is obvious. You could list five items on Audiogon for the same cost as selling one item on eBay. And that’s not just for equipment. If you were wanting to sell vinyl music online, we’re still the most competitive in that category, as well.

Site Update: Improved Search & Layout

We are excited to release one of our largest site updates today. At the beginning of the year, we began brainstorming and compiling feedback from users to make a concerted effort to improve the site’s usability and user experience. Our latest update features several overt and subtle changes to make browsing the site and finding products easier.


Listings have been text-based since we launched the site in 1998 (View That Version Here). To improve the browsing experience across devices, we have updated the site so that all listings have thumbnails.
New Layout

These changes do not affect the New Today/Yesterday page.


Users still have a choice between the new Grid View and the Classic List View. Simply choose your view using the Layout Button locate next to the Sort By options on any Browse of Search Page.

Screen Shot 2018-07-06 at 11.13.47 AM.png

Improved Search

With thousands of daily active listings and variances in product stylizations by sellers, it was sometimes difficult to find a specific product.

Search has been improved for better matching for model variants (MK.II/MK2, MC-275/MC275, etc), plurals, and misspellings. And, instead of returning all results for listings that somewhat match, results pages are now divided into Top Results and Similar Results. Both of these sections are still beholden to your Sort By preferences and filters. As you scroll down in results, there will now be a floating header that retains your search phrase.

Search Results Page.png

In addition to making it easier to find listings, site search now integrates a suggestion drop-down to help navigate to our new Product Pages and Brand Pages.

Product Pages

Clicking on an entry in the drop-down will take you to its respective product page, which consolidates all listings.

Wilson Audio Suggestion Drop-Down.png

Our database changes earlier this year now make it possible to Follow A Product, which will alert you in-app and through e-mail when a new listing of that item appears on the site. You’ll never miss that grail component you want again. These pages will be expanded as we complete our Bluebook overhaul.

Product Pages.png

Brand Pages

We previously introduced brand pages, but with this update they have been completely redesigned. Much like Product Pages, Brand Pages will be expanded as we compete our Bluebook improvements—eventually featuring top products and category shopping.



Listing Upgrades

With our shift to thumbnails, the listing add-ons get a slight tweak with our new Thumb Carousel replacing the obsolete standard Thumbnail upgrade. This option not only gives your listing a full-size thumbnail but also allows users to swipe through all listing photos.

Our listing upgrade page is now a live preview—showing you exactly what your listing will look like on the site.


If you experience any site issues do not hesitate to contact support so that we can correct it. And, as always, thank you for using Audiogon.

Quick Re-List

Quick Re-list is a new feature that makes it easier to… well, re-list. This is a feature our users have requested for a while, and we’re excited to finally release it.

Audiogon - Quick Relist

With one click, your item will be duplicated and appear in your cart. By default, the re-listed item will retain all information and upgrades associated with the original listing, though you can edit what you need to—if need be—before making it live.

Simply navigate to your account’s Selling Dashboard.  Any listing located on the Selling, Sold or Expired tabs will have the ability to be Quick Re-listed under the Actions button.

Advanced Selling Guide


We created Audiogon as a place for Audiophiles to come together and exchange both products and ideas. People have been buying and selling high-end audio equipment on Audiogon for over 20 years, and we’ve learned a lot during that time.

This is our in-depth guide for selling high-end audio equipment that outlines our suggested path to success, as well as insights our users have shared with us directly or across various forum posts over the years.

Advanced Selling Guide Topics

Next: Listing Content

Seller’s Checklist

As you get ready to list an item, or are going through the process, give yourself the best chance for success by following this checklist.

Alternatively, if you want to read about more in-depth strategies, features and tips. We also have our Advanced Selling Guide.


  1. Listing Content
  2. Photos
  3. Pricing and Offers
  4. Shipping
  5. Post-Listing & Re-Listing

Listing Content


The title is what will drive users to click on your listing, and is created from supplying the brand and model of your item, but you are able to add distinguishing, relevant information at the end.

Relevant Details To Include In Listing Title

  • Free Shipping
  • Item Condition
    • Demo Unit
    • Factory Re-Certified
  • One-Owner
  • Limited Edition
  • Colorway/Wood Finish
  • Tweaks/Upgrades


Use the official Audiogon Grading Scale for consistent grading compared to other users.

  • New: Unopened Factory shipment
  • 10/10: Mint – Essentially never used, factory fresh appearance!
  • 9/10: Excellent – Perfect physical condition, light use.
  • 8/10: Very Good – Perfect front face, 1 minor flaw on top or side is acceptable.
  • 7/10: Good – 1 or 2 minor scratches, looks used but well maintained.
  • 6/10: Fair – 3 to 4 minor scratches, or 1 major scratch, appears used.
  • 5/10: Average – Multiple scratches, including some on the front face.
  • 4/10: Mediocre – Rough physical condition, but all funtions work perfectly.
  • 3/10: Poor – Rather beat up, but all funtions work, maybe a knob is missing.
  • 2/10: Very Poor – Beat up, bent knobs or switch levers, some functional problems
  • 1/10: Shot – For parts use only


Shoppers want to know all about your item. Make it easy for them to get excited. Our users adore details so don’t sell your equipment short by not listing all of its features and benefits—no matter how minute or obscure.

Relevant Details To Include In Description

  • Brand Information
    • Copy details from company’s website
  • Item Information
    • Features
    • Benefits
    • Upgrades
  • Other Details
    • Year Manufactured
    • Owner History
    • Tweaks
    • Unique Characteristics
    • Visible Defects
  • What The Item Comes With
    • Does It Come In Pairs?
    • Includes Any Accessories?
    • Will it require any accessories?
  • Shipping Considerations
    • Restrictions
    • How Item Will Be Packed
      • Original Boxes
      • Require Crates
    • Shipping Costs and Insurance
    • Who Pays For What
  • Complexity of Sale
    • Basic Listings Restrict Contact Info
    • Use Premium Listings To Allow Buyer Contact Off-Site


Pictures are the most important aspect of your listing; people want to see what they are buying.

Best Practices for Taking Photos

  • Take multiple pictures from different angles
    • Four photos minimum (front, both sides and back)
    • More is better: Audiogon’s max is 16 photos
  • Take additional photos of accessories
    • Anything included with the item when it ships should be photographed
      • Original Box
      • Remote
      • Warranty Information
      • Any Product/Company Sales Brochures
  • Take additional photos of special features
  • Unique Features (speaker spikes/cones)
  • Close-Ups of Terminals/Inputs
  • Original Box
  • Remote

Buyers appreciate being able to see everything they are getting.

Photo Staging

We’ve touted the importance of quantity, but would be remiss if we didn’t touch on quality.

  • Take equipment to a well-lit staging area with a solid background for pictures
    • If moving equipment isn’t feasible, clear area around product to avoid clutter and mess
  • Use indirect lamps or overhead lights
    • Avoid using flash
  • Fill the frame with the product
  • Use a tripod to reduce chance of blur


  • Inspect your equipment carefully prior to selling
  • Be up-front about any blemishes
    • Document them with pictures no matter how minor they may be
    • Makes buyer fully informed
    • Reduces chance of a dispute

Pricing and Offers

You can have the most perfectly framed and lighted images and the most detailed listing, but ultimately your item still needs to be priced correctly to sell.

  • Asking price determines insertion fee
  • Be realistic
  • Use our Audio Bluebook to determine a recommended real market value
  • Determine whether you want to allow offers
    • Try to respond to all offers
    • You can automatically reject low-ball offers in account settings


Shipping Best Practices

  • Enter Shipping Dimensions
    • Although this is optional, we suggest entering details
    • Allows buyers to obtain accurate shipping quotes
    • Easier for local buyers to determine if pickup is viable
  • Choose Your Carrier
    • We suggest selecting all three major carriers to give buyers more options


No traction after two weeks of being live?

  • Listing Upgrades
    • Thumbnail
    • Bold
    • Featured Listing
  • Boost Your Listing
  • Lower Price
    • Research pricing and make sure it’s in-line with market value

If Your Item Sells

  • Get in touch with the buyer to communicate about logistics and delivery date
  • Print shipping labels directly from Audiogon
  • Pack up your equipment carefully
  • Leave, and solicit, feedback for your transaction

If Your Item Doesn’t Sell

  • Evaluate why
    • Change, or add more, pictures
    • Research pricing
    • Shipping Options
      • Buyers are wary of overcharging (flat rate)
      • If you haven’t, define shipping dimensions and carriers so users can get cost estimates
  • Re-List


Structured Product Data

A few weeks ago, we changed the way you begin a listing. Instead of typing in the brand and model directly, these fields are now populated drop-downs that return results as you type.

There has been mixed feedback on the switch. For some, it saved them a few keystrokes. While others, whose product was not yet in our database, it added a few keystrokes, as they needed to click the links below the fields to create the brand or model first.

Listing Page - Add Model

Further adding to the confusion was the fact that we didn’t do an adequate job educating our users on the new process. We want to correct that now.

We’ve heard a lot of “It wasn’t broken. Why change it?”

The answer is: Structured Data!

We know. That sounds boring—and since no one will probably make it this far in the blog post after reading the words “Structured Data” I can be honest and admit I fell asleep twice while writing and proofreading—but it actually provides for an exciting future.

Simply put, Structured Data are things like brand names, UPCs, Manufacture Product Numbers. Titillated yet? No? Well, check this out: Structured Data allows Audiogon to connect more buyers to your product. Do we have your attention now?

We want to outline what this change means both for Audiogon and for our users. We’ve separated it into two parts: The Boring Stuff and The Exciting Stuff. Strap on that seat belt, baby. You’re in for a wild ride.

The Boring Stuff


Validating the brand and model allows us to avoid misspellings and mis-formattings. We now know that all listings of a particular item are for that exact item, avoiding confusions with special editions (SE) or other model variants.


Validating provides for consistency. We can now ensure that every Marantz CD-63 mkII is actually a Marantz CD-63 mkII, and not a CD63MKII or a CD-63MK2. We know our users would never commit such a folly, but every now and then there’s fallibility. Structured Data cuts down on those rare events.

We can begin to apply product IDs in our database to treat every product as its own unique entity, and group all of the same ones together for other purposes.

Increased Visibility

Have you heard about this thing called “The Internet”? It’s insane. Could be huge. Well, for us to get your item in front of more people, we have to bow to the whims of companies with strange names like Google and Bing.

To do that we need accurate product information, and the best way to get that is standardizing products so that we can attach data to them. We’ll be able to reach a much larger audience through organic and paid channels, connecting shoppers to your item quicker and increasing the opportunity for a sale.

McIntosh MCD500 - Organic

Structured Data allows your listings to be included in places like Google’s Knowledge Graph.

The Exciting Stuff

Builds Foundation

With structured data in place, we can begin to seamlessly reference and integrate brands and products across all of Audiogon’s properties: Virtual Systems, Bluebook and Forums.

The beginnings of this are present on our brand pages. We have big redesign plans that expand these pages beyond just existing listings as soon as the database supports it. Below is a rough sketch.

Brand Page Sketch - McIntosh - No Markups

The Future

This pivot to unified data sets us up to roll out improved functions and features, both big and small, in the future that will directly benefit you. Below are some examples of things we have on our roadmap.

Improved Watchlist
Our watchlist can now be more accurate.

More Precise Bluebook
Bluebook will be able to parse listings better and calculate an even more precise market value.

Category/Subcategory Matching
We store category and subcategory information in Bluebook. Eventually, you’ll select your brand and model to start a listing and then the category and subcategory will pre-populate on the Item Details page, saving you precious seconds (but also keeping things consistent across the site).

Product Data Vault
We already use Bluebook as a repository for basic product information, but we can begin fetching data from different services and attaching more robust data like features and specs to products. Those could be used for research and comparison purposes.

A practical application for this would be that product specs get automatically included in your listing, freeing you from having to supply that information by scouring the internet or transcribing the manual.

Oh, yeah, we can begin housing product manuals, as well.

Expanded Brand and Product Pages
Like the above mock-up, we will be able to link and pull information from all across the site and compile it. So, not just brand pages, but product pages for popular items. Compare pages for items shoppers regularly evaluate against each other. And more.

Universal Shopping Experience
Imagine a shopper is looking at Virtual Systems, and they fall in love with a turntable in someone’s set-up. The components are now clickable. As they scroll through, they click on the turntable link, which takes them to a page displaying all current listings of that product. You happen to have that item listed, and they buy it. You are now thousands of dollars richer. Wow! Thank you, Audiogon!

Better Search Engine/Advertising Performance
We touched on this previously, but this shift results in improved rankings on search engines and better performance on comparison shopping engines (Hifi Shark) and paid channels (Google Shopping).

Last month, we drove over 34,000 clicks to items on our site through Google Shopping. There is demand for the products you list on Audiogon, and we want to make sure that shoppers can easily find what they are looking for.

Improved Photo Viewer


We’ve been hard at work making improvements to deliver a better user experience. Some of those changes are felt, not seen—like tweaks on the backend to increase site speed. Others, like our new photo viewer, are very noticeable.

We’ve completely redesigned how you interact with photos on listings and Virtual Systems, regardless if you are on desktop or mobile. We’re extremely excited about this.

In addition to the new layout just looking nicer, we’ve added the following features:


We’ve mirrored the gestures you already inherently know from using touchscreen devices. Swipe between images. Spread/Pinch to zoom in and out. Drag to pan. Double tap to zoom.
Gestures are also supported on desktop, as well.

Increased Image Quality

We’ve reduced compression and upped image outputs to render higher-quality photos.
We’ll be increasing our file size upload limit in the near future, which will allow for even more stunning photos of your gear.

Improved Details

The combination of enhanced zoom and increased image quality means you can now focus in on the smallest detail, knob or badging. Verify a serial number. Review the extent of a blemish. Take inventory of all the terminals.




Head on over to listings, and swipe to your fingers’ content.