Another niche market hoping to fill a need


Musicians and audiophiles have a new market to buy and sell gear. Sweetwater, which was founded in 1979 and sells musical instruments and audio equipment, announced its new Gear Exchange on Thursday.

And – if a seller chooses a Sweetwater Gift Card as a payment method on Gear Exchange – they won’t pay any fees until October 31, 2022.

Over the years, entrepreneurs have had a better chance of success competing with eBay and Amazon through niche marketplaces – for example, Etsy (handmade), StockX (sneakers) and Reverb (music, now owned by Etsy) . Instead of trying to be everything to everyone, a niche market can personalize the experience for their customer base.

Sweetwater said sellers can create their own personalized storefront on Gear Exchange, including setting a store address, outlining return policies and adding a bio to let people know more about them. “Sellers can create listings that include photos of instruments and equipment they no longer need or want,” he explained.

Sweetwater further explained:

“To maintain security, Gear Exchange has strict fraud prevention measures in place, including requiring photos of the exact item listed. Badges will be available on storefront pages indicating how long sellers Gear Exchange are verified Sweetwater clients, and a full team of administrators will monitor the market for any potential security risks.

“Shipping labels for sellers can be purchased directly through The Gear Exchange, using Sweetwater’s great pricing. The cost of labels can be subtracted from payment so sellers don’t have to pay shipping bills until they are paid.

Gear Exchange transactions have a 2.5% processing fee and a 5% seller fee through PayPal Hyperwallet.

Sweetwater Gear Exchange may not become the Etsy of handmade or the StockX of music, but it could turn out to be part of a trend and one of the millions of cuts inflicted on more established markets.

You can find the Gear Exchange on the websiteand you can find the terms and conditions here (read carefully before diving).

Ina Steiner

Ina Steiner
Ina Steiner is the co-founder and editor of EcommerceBytes and has been reporting on e-commerce since 1999. She is a widely cited authority on marketplace selling and is the author of “Turn eBay Data Into Dollars” ( McGraw-Hill 2006). His blog was featured in the book “Blogging Heroes” (Wiley 2008). She is a member of the Online News Association (September 2005 – present) and Investigative Journalists and Editors (March 2006 – present). Follow her on Twitter at @ecommercebytes and send topical tips to [email protected] See disclosure at

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