An Online Musical Haven

Lester and Craig Rodrigues’ venture, SellMyGear, started off with a purpose to foster a sense of community in the music industry

In 2021, seeking to find a solution that could bring the music industry together to help buy or sell second-hand/pre-owned instruments and music gear, SellMyGear was born. The platform was created by a passionate musician and the frontman of A26, one of the most recognised cover bands in the country – Lester Rodrigues and his son Craig.

Lester worked as a chef with the Taj Group of Hotels in Goa and later with the Marriott Group. Transitioning from hospitality to the music industry, he founded Goa’s leading band, Forefront, where he played for 17 years. Later, he launched A26, one of the most sought-after cover bands in India today.

Meanwhile, Craig has a Bachelors of Commerce degree in Financial Analytics from Christ University. Hailing from a family of musicians, he developed a passion for guitar and piano, performing in his school’s music band as a guitarist and vocalist. “The actual inspiration for the concept of SellMyGear hit us during the pandemic,” says Lester. The first thing which happened during the pandemic was that musicians, event companies and vendors of sound and light equipment lost their livelihood. There were no events, no public gatherings during that period. “So, a thought struck us. Why not create a platform where people could buy and sell their gear, because a lot of musicians wanted to sell their extra equipment just to bring in some more money during the time of duress, which affected so many livelihoods. Around then, support groups sprung up on Facebook and WhatsApp where musicians began selling their equipment. Each of those groups had some 256 or 500 odd members, but these groups were closed affairs. So, we decided to take the concept a step further and conceived SellMyGear as a nation-wide platform.”

The platform operates on a nation-wide scale, transcending state boundaries. This feature allows users to connect with potential buyers and sellers across the country for purchasing or selling available gear. It also boasts of an intricate search system that provides detailed information and enhances the user experience.

Lester explains that SellMyGear works on a simple advertisement-based format. “Those looking to sell their pre-owned music gear can list it on the website for free with information about the specifications, location and price. Through the details provided in the list, prospective buyers and sellers can establish direct communication to facilitate seamless transactions and ensure a personalised, trustworthy experience. The platform facilitates the sale of pre-loved musical instruments, sound and lighting gear. Our platform allows sellers to categorise their products based on their condition, providing buyers with important insights. We offer five categories, ranging from excellent to non-functioning. Each category has specific descriptions, like minor scratches for the ‘good’ category or brand-new items in the box for the ‘brand new’ category. We encourage buyers to personally review and assess the instruments before making a purchase, as the platform facilitates local interactions.”

There are various musical instruments listed on their website. They have the following categories such as midi controllers that include Arturia Minilab MKII 23 Midi Controller and among electric guitars there are Yamaha Electric Guitar (PAC012), Signature Series and Vault Les Paul style electric guitar without case. For drums and percussions, Roland KD- 9 Kick pad is featured and under acoustic drum kits we have Havana HV522 Drum Kit 5 piece Wine Red Color that are on display. Midi interfaces include Behringer euphoria umc22 along with Gator flight cases that are available for guitar protection. Synthesisers and modules include Dave Smith Sequential OB6. For effect pedals there is Boss ME 80 and under guitar amplifiers there are VOX Guitar Amp (Pathfinder 15R) and Boss ME-70 Guitar Effects Synthesize among keyboards, saxophone and violins, traditional, folk and wind instruments among others.

Among their sound equipment they offer studio Yamaha HS8 Powered Studio Monitor Speakers under monitors’ speakers and for condenser microphones, Wright WR-800 studio microphone. In the microphone accessories, Boss VE-5 Vocal Performer is on display. Groove production includes Kenwood KD-2055 Turntable and PA systems such as Vocal/instrument AMP-VoiceSolo FX150, other live sound accessories present EV everse 8 and Yamaha MGP 32 channel mixer is exhibited for
analogue mixers. In stage lighting, SellMyGear offers moving heads and scanners, city lights and sky trackers (sky lights).

Lester says that a dedicated website like SellMyGear is a game-changer. “Our platform is poised to centralise the scattered landscape of musical instruments, sound and stage light gear across India.” SellMyGear stands out, thanks to a streamlined experience it offers along with a user friendly platform. It has a nationwide marketplace, which gives your listings a broad exposure to potential buyers across India; one can list their gear for free in the initial months, and detailed categories with their robust sorting and filtering options. Lester and Craig have already started digitally marketing SellMyGear through social media platforms such as Instagram and Facebook. The next step would be to tie up with music schools and academies as well as getting top bands and artistes to promote their enterprise, starting with A26.

Regarding their future plans Lester mentions that currently they are extremely busy trying to reach out to the music community in India. “The good thing about the platform is that it is also designed for music schools, studios, event companies, children and their parents.

Tomorrow, if a child is interested in learning an instrument, a parent can decide whether to buy a brand new instrument or test the waters with a pre-used instrument. So it makes a lot of sense for buyers and sellers. The platform is a way to get the buyer and the seller to directly deal with each other. For now, there are no commissions involved.”

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