I recently went in to my music store and got an amp. (If you know about 5150's check out that thread).

When I was there and making a purchase I thought about how I would have acted with guitar center or something like it. I would have tried to haggle price and get free straps/cables/picks/etc as well as getting that price marked down. I didn't do where I went but it made me wonder if I should have.

Is it okay to try and haggle with smaller music stores or is that poor form?

I get that they have overhead to pay and they aren't a large chain but is it wrong to assme they would be flexible with their prices?
I haggle everywhere I can.

Poor form....Pfagh!

There's a local mom n' pop just a few miles from my house, or I can go to one of two Guitar Centers about 20 miles away. If I go to the local store you can be sure I haggle, especially since their prices are significantly higher than GC. I've actually had better luck there than at major chains, since they WANT to make the sale, and the chains don't care nearly as much.
“Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge.”
Charles Darwin
I always thought it was more effective to haggle at local shops, prices at chains are often set in stone.
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Ah very good point. Charlie__flynn, you've out smarted me


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Always haggle. I'm tired of music shops giving me the 'I can't compete with the online prices' line. As much as I hate to say this, the logical response is 'then why are you in business.'
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Last edited by tubetime86 at Jan 10, 2012,
Chains are not set in stone. I actually used to work the door for the GC in Ft. Worth. Its a little different when you're on the 'make a living' end of GC (the guitar sales guys would all hang by the door and vent). Lowest price that could walk was between 5 and 15% over cost, because that's what GC HAS to make on stuff to break even and possibly turn profit. Everything else up to sale listing is commission.

Guys who work in guitar/amp and pro audio sales don't come down much because in a good week they may only sell a few cheep guitars and one or two good amps. Just don't try to kill their commission and they're likely to try to make a deal.

Don't try to haggle with the accessories guys unless you're looking at something used. Pedals sale prices are just over cost. Those guys make almost no commission off of any one thing and have like $1 wiggle room. That being said, they sell crap all day so that $1 adds up.

Remember, this is GC. I'm not talking mom & pop's place. I would think that local places would be more likely to get you a better deal even though everything is usually listed higher than at a chain.
Last edited by bpdeem at Jan 10, 2012,
So how do you go about haggling without sounding like a cheapskate?
Quote by zilant
So how do you go about haggling without sounding like a cheapskate?

You don't.

Their job is to try and part from you as much money as possible whilst giving you as little as possible in return.

Your job is just the opposite.

It's generally been a good haggle if both sides feel they got some of the shaft, some of the gravy.
“Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge.”
Charles Darwin
I have always gotten better deals with local stores vs. big name stores. In 2004 I bought my PRS CE22 new for $1425 they wanted $1800, and Sam Ash wanted $1900 for used ones. I told the guy what I paid for mine and he told me that he couldn't even get that good of a deal from Sam Ash and he is an employee! So now I very rarely go to any big store unless it is a nessesity while on the road.
2002 PRS CE22
2013 G&L ASAT Deluxe
2009 Epiphone G-400 (SH-4)
Marshall JCM2000 DSL100
Krank 1980 Jr 20watt
Krank Rev 4x12 (eminence V12)
GFS Greenie/Digitech Bad Monkey
Morley Bad Horsie 2
MXR Smart Gate