How to sell VST Plugins
As a producer, it's not unusual to rack up a large collection of VST instruments and effects over the years. It's very easy to be tempted by those Black Friday sales and impulsively splash out on plugins that end up not being used. We've all done it right?
To slim down your increasingly bloated VST library it makes sense to sell any VSTs that you aren't regularly using, and bag yourself some extra cash in the process.
So how exactly do you go about selling VST plugins? Well, in this article I've set about describing the various limitations on selling your plugins, where to sell them online, and how to make sure you're not ripped off in the process.
Can I sell my VST Plugins?
Whether you can sell your VST instrument or effect plugins depends primarily on your VST licence agreement. Some VST developers are happy for you to resell, others aren't or charge a fee to transfer the license. In addition, whether you can resell a VST product license may depend upon the territory or country you reside in.
The EU for example, ruled back in 2012 that it is illegal for companies to deny the resale of used software licenses. This means that if you are an EU resident then in theory you should not be prevented from reselling your VST license.
I've never tried to go down the route of quoting this ruling at a VST developer, however I'd be interested to hear from anyone who has, and whether they have successfully persuaded them to allow the plugin to be resold.
In the table below I've compiled the major VST plugin developers along with their license transfer policies. Note that although I'll try to keep this resource as up to date as possible, please always double check with the vendor before attempting to resell.
If you do notice any omissions or inaccuracies in this list, then I'd really appreciate it if you would drop me an email or leave a comment.
VST Plugin Developer License Transfer Policies
Where to sell VST Plugins
VST Plugins are mainly resold on forums such as KVR Audio. Additionally, you can buy and sell second-hand VST instruments and effects on marketplaces such as Craigslist and eBay.
The hilariously named Knobcloud website is another option. Advertised as the "first dedicated marketplace for audio software licenses", knobcloud is a relatively new website aimed specifically at buying and selling used VST licenses. Personally I've never used it, but I know plenty of producers who have done so without issues.
Ok, so you've decided to sell your unwanted plugins. How do you go about selling them safely to ensure you don't get ripped off?
Well, take a look at my step-by-step guide below for selling VSTs. I've used the KVR forum as an example, but the steps are relevant to whichever marketplace you choose to sell in.
How to sell VST Plugins: A step-by-step guide
First of all, decide what VST plugins you would like to sell.
Then either contact the vendor or read their license agreement to determine what their transfer policy is and whether they charge a fee.
Next, add a post to the KVR Audio marketplace (or wherever), listing all your available plugins along with the pricing for each product.
When you are contacted by a potential buyer, check their forum profile and post history. Are they an active member of the community for example, or have they only recently signed-up?
If you are satisfied that they are legit, negotiate a price until you are both happy to proceed with the sale.
Provide the buyer with your payment details. Make sure you use a service that offers you a level of protection such as PayPal. However, if you're using PayPal, make sure that you don't waive your protection by using the "Gift" option.
Next wait for the money to be transferred into your account. Confirm to the buyer that you have received the funds and mark the items as Sold in your listing.
Ask the buyer for any details you may need to complete the transfer (name, email address etc).
Contact the VST developer if required to transfer the license to the buyer's name.
Confirm with the buyer that he is happy with his/her purchase.
Provide and request feedback from your buyer.
Enjoy your extra cash!
I hope you found this article useful. If you have any advice on buying or selling VST plugins, then please leave a comment in section below.
If you're fed-up with paying for plugins, then check out this article where I list the best FREE VST plugins available today.
Have a great day.