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So you have one or more broken guitar pedals, or maybe a whole bunch of them, and you don’t know what to do with them. Perhaps you don’t want to go through the trouble of trying to repair them yourself, and you don’t want to dish out the money to have them repaired at a guitar shop or other place.
Eventually, all music equipment will wear down or break. Some pieces of equipment are certainly worth the time, effort, and money to invest in getting them repaired. Others, not so much. Perhaps more than other equipment, broken guitar pedals seem to fall into this later group.
While some guitar pedals can be pretty expensive, they are not typically (although sometimes they are) in the range of what you spend on guitars or amplifiers, so it makes parting with broken guitar pedals easier to justify than some of the bigger ticket items in your music gear collection.
Maybe you want to try to get at least a little bit of money for them, or at the very least get rid of them in a responsible way. So, who buys broken guitar pedals?
Unfortunately, to my knowledge, no companies explicitly buy broken guitar pedals. However, used gear websites like Reverb and eBay are good options for selling broken pedals. While these websites don’t exclusively cater to broken guitar pedals, they are some of the best places to sell them.
Below, I will explain how to prepare your pedals for sale, a couple of places where you might have some luck selling broken guitar pedals, and, if that fails, where you can get rid of them responsibly.
Preparing Your Pedals For Sale
The pedal(s) are broken, so why would you need to bother with preparing it for sale? Well, the bottom line is that the better condition the pedal is in, the more money you can likely get for them.
There is a continuum of how damaged or broken a pedal is. Of course, we are dealing with broken pedals, but that doesn’t necessarily mean it is broken into dozens of pieces. In many cases, the electronics are broken, not the physical aspects of the pedals, such as the knobs or switches. However, even if these physical components are broken, the more presentable the pedal, the better chance of selling them.
To make your broken pedals presentable for sale, you should clean them. Maintaining a regular cleaning practice will help to prevent them from breaking in the first place, but once broken, a clean and presentable broken pedal will likely increase the chances of selling them.
Cleaning the dust, grime, and any sticky residue from Velcro or the rubber backing and feet will help make the pedal presentable in the pictures you will list when selling.
If you have the original box, especially if it is in good condition, it can potentially also increase the resale value even though the pedal is broken.
Also, depending on the type or rarity of your broken pedals, you can get decent money for them. I have seen some vintage broken 80s BOSS pedals selling for over $150 on Reverb. However, these are somewhat rare instances, and you shouldn’t expect to get that type of money.
Lastly, it is important to honestly list and describe everything that is wrong with the pedal. If there is physical damage, it is a good idea to take pictures of the damage so that the potential buyers are fully aware of everything wrong with the pedal.
Where To Sell Broken Guitar Pedals
Unfortunately, the options for selling broken guitar pedals are very limited. As far as I know, there are no companies dedicated to buying or that commonly buy broken guitar pedals. Places like Guitar Center won’t buy non-functioning gear, including broken guitar pedals, but they will likely be able to repair them.
Perhaps a local luthier or small music shop in your area purchases broken guitar pedals, but there are no such places in my area.
The good news is that there are a couple of alternatives to stores like Guitar Center, where you can still sell your broken guitar pedals.
Reverb is my go-to site when I am looking to purchase used gear. In my opinion, there is no better option for used gear around. While places like Sweeter, Guitar Center, and others offer used gear, the selection is typically not as large as on Reverb. Reverb also has many new gear options from music retailers as well.
While I have yet to sell anything on Reverb, I have purchased guitars and pedals from them and have had a great experience. Reverb offers buyer and seller protection, ensuring that your personal information is well-protected and that you have the best experience possible.
Reverb is an excellent place to attempt to sell your broken guitar pedals, as there is a market for that type of equipment. However, the market does seem to be fairly small, with typically few listings of broken pedals. This can be a good and bad thing depending on your situation, with few listings meaning your broken pedals are likely to be viewed by anyone interested in that type of equipment. However, on the flip side, this could indicate a lack of demand for broken pedals, in which case your listings might take a long time to sell.
Reverb allows potential buyers of your broken pedals to search specifically for this type of equipment by using the “non-functioning” filter.
The next option for broken guitar pedals is eBay. eBay has been the go-to site for selling used gear for decades, including music equipment. While you do have the option to offer prices below what is asked on Reverb, eBay provides the ability to bid on items, which is great for buyers but not always great for sellers.
A lot of the music equipment on eBay is often cross-listed on Reverb, so there is likely to be a crossover market; so, in your best interest as a seller, it is not a bad idea to list your broken pedals on both sites.
It does seem that eBay has a larger selection of broken pedals for sale than Reverb, so as a seller, there might be a larger market on eBay compared to Reverb. Another benefit of eBay is that you will reach a wider audience than just musicians you will likely encounter on Reverb.
As on Reverb, there is a category where you can list broken pedals under the listing of “parts only.”
What If You Can’t Sell Them?
If you aren’t having much luck selling your broken pedals, or perhaps you just don’t want to deal with the hassle of selling them, what are your options?
Your first instinct might be to toss them in the trash, but I would plead with you not to do so. Instead, you should dispose of your broken pedals via recycling or donating them at the proper locations designed to take used or broken electronics.
As this article by Sweetwater states, there are many heavy metals in many music components, and if you simply throw them away, they can contaminate groundwater.
Suppose you are unsure about how to go about properly getting rid of your broken pedals. In that case, you can start by visiting the EPA website or contacting your local landfill, music store, or electronics store and they should be able to point you in the right direction to safely and responsibly get rid of your broken guitar pedals.
There you have it! You now have a better idea of what to do with your broken guitar pedals. Although there aren’t many options regarding buying and selling them, places like Reverb and eBay offer ways to sell them.
If you don’t want to sell your broken guitar pedals, you should recycle them or donate them to the proper locations.
I hope you found this article helpful, and until next time stay creative and keep on playing!
Hi everyone! I have been involved with music most of my life, beginning in grade school with the trumpet. I am a largely self-taught multi-instrumentalist (drums, guitar, bass, and starting the piano and violin). I currently play drums in two bands and write and produce many genres of music in my home recording studio. I am also an avid guitar and drum collector.