#1
So I stumbled across this today.... http://swtimes.com/business/fender-moves-sell-instruments-directly-musicians I think this kinda interesting I don't ever see myself buying a guitar completely blind but fenders are close enough that I wouldn't see much of a difference... Although it would be sweet if I could add custom paint jobs to them if it was offered. discuss
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#2
As an employee of a small locally owned music shop that's already having enough trouble staying alive with everybody buying everything online (and stocks tons of Fenders, as well), I don't like it at all. At least not if they sell things direct at the same "street price" that dealers do. There are other companies who do this, but they (at least some of them) charge full MSRP, specifically so that people are encouraged to go support a dealer, who'd be selling the same thing for less.
#3
If I were buying a Fender tomorrow, I'd probably buy from an online dealer in any case.
I'm picking up another Variax today through Guitar Denter, but as a special order (most GC's don't have them on the wall) that is arriving directly from GC's fulfillment center, as boxed from Line 6. I would never have purchased one off the wall at any dealer site.
Fender, Suhr, Anderson, etc., would all come from someplace like Wild West Guitars in Riverside, CA -- a unique brick and mortar dealer that actually has a lock on the door . You don't get in unless you knock and request entrance. It's not in a walk-in area, either; it's in a light industrial complex. They acknowledge that most of their business (perhaps 80-90%) is with online customers and very little with walk-in traffic, other than long-time customers or those who are "in the know" about where the locked door is located.
#4
Quote by the_bi99man
As an employee of a small locally owned music shop that's already having enough trouble staying alive with everybody buying everything online (and stocks tons of Fenders, as well), I don't like it at all. At least not if they sell things direct at the same "street price" that dealers do. There are other companies who do this, but they (at least some of them) charge full MSRP, specifically so that people are encouraged to go support a dealer, who'd be selling the same thing for less.



As a guy who really wants to support the mom and pop music store because I like having you around, I find it hard to do so. The two near me aren't really competitive on prices; have a crappy selection; only really caries Fenders, so if you are looking for something else, you are out of luck; never has basic things like picks and single strings in stock (Jazz 3s and .052 strings nothing really obscure); and their pedal and amp selections are dismal. I just quit going. GC and Sam Ash have everything I need and is just 20 minutes further away.

If you are threatened at a company selling direct, maybe you need to look at your business model and see how it fits the world in 2015.
#5
I'm not at all keen on studying business, but what advantages does buying direct have? Given that Gibson does this but sells at exactly the same price (sometimes higher, IIRC), I'm not sure why a person would buy it from Gibson. The only advantage I see is availability, but only in cases that Amazon and the other options run out when someone wants a specific finish.
#6
Quote by Jeffh40
As a guy who really wants to support the mom and pop music store because I like having you around, I find it hard to do so. The two near me aren't really competitive on prices; have a crappy selection; only really caries Fenders, so if you are looking for something else, you are out of luck; never has basic things like picks and single strings in stock (Jazz 3s and .052 strings nothing really obscure); and their pedal and amp selections are dismal. I just quit going. GC and Sam Ash have everything I need and is just 20 minutes further away.

If you are threatened at a company selling direct, maybe you need to look at your business model and see how it fits the world in 2015.


Sounds like your local shops just suck. That's too bad. This shit pisses me off because at my store, we are absolutely competitive on prices. In fact, there is not one single item in my store marked at even 1 penny more than it is at guitar center, or any online retailer. Checking those prices regularly and making sure we stay even (or sometimes even less) with them is part of my job. And these days, that's the way it is pretty much everywhere. Manufacturers' "MAP Price" (Minimum Advertised Price) is pretty much the standard. If anybody, at any store, anywhere, is asking more than that, it's because they haven't got with the times. Also, we have more guitars, from a wider variety of brands, than the guitar center across town. And we have the basic things, like picks and single strings, etc. always in stock.

We're still struggling, though, because people don't understand that prices are standardized like that. People look at an online store, see "Retail" and "Sale" prices, and assume that "Retail" is what they would pay at a brick and mortar store, without bothering to confirm that theory, because it gets along with the myth they already believe, that online stores are always cheaper. I know this is happening because I've had more customers than I could be bothered to count tell me exactly that. They buy a US Strat online because they think they got some super awesome special deal, then come into my store and are shocked to find that we have the same guitar at the same price, and there was nothing special about the price sweetwater gave them.

Then there's the people (who I absolutely hate, with a burning passion) who come into my store talking all high and mighty about how they want to support local business, but then refuse to buy anything unless I give them a further discount so it's not just competitive with GC, but significantly cheaper. I'm like, "oh really, you want to support local business, but having the exact same product, at the exact same price as the giant corporate competition isn't enough? I have to discount it to the point that my profit margin is basically nothing? You don't actually give a shit about supporting local business, you just think the small local shop will be easier to extort a discount from, since musician's friend doesn't haggle."

Anyway, honestly, my store's condition probably has just as much, if not more, to do with the dwindling music scene in this dying town. I'm just venting. Shit still bugs me, though. I'm like, "great. another way for people to think they're getting a sweet deal somewhere else, and not even bother checking here, because they just assume we can't compete".
Last edited by the_bi99man at Feb 2, 2015,
#7
I honestly don't see how mom & pop shops can compete in today's market period! Any small stores I've seen post prices that are unrealistic on everything from strings to guitars and amps.
Moving on.....
#8
Quote by KenG
I honestly don't see how mom & pop shops can compete in today's market period! Any small stores I've seen post prices that are unrealistic on everything from strings to guitars and amps.


I really wonder where people are still finding these local shops with astronomical prices. I work in a small locally owned shop, and we sell everything at the exact same price, to the penny (sometimes even less) as all of the online retailers and GC. It's MAP price. It's the standard of the industry these days. Do I just work for the only honest and decent shop around? Do other locally owned stores not abide by the MAP standard? If not, that's why THEY'RE dying, for sure.
#9
Quote by chrismendiola
I'm not at all keen on studying business, but what advantages does buying direct have? Given that Gibson does this but sells at exactly the same price (sometimes higher, IIRC), I'm not sure why a person would buy it from Gibson. The only advantage I see is availability, but only in cases that Amazon and the other options run out when someone wants a specific finish.


Gibson doesn’t really sell direct. Custom shop orders can be made directly, but only in quantities of twelve or more, so they’re effectively only an option for dealers who want to commission something special to sell.
#10
Not surprised. I first noticed it on the Dean website. I'm afraid it's the way of the future. More money for the manufacturer and less hassle for them dealing with hundreds/thousands of dealers and so on.

First the small local stores had to go and in the future, the big online shops will face uncertain future as well. The few online shops that may survive are those that offer 0% payment plans and the like, which by the way I'm still surprised that it's not more common a service.

From a customer perspective I wouldn't mind buying direct from the manufacturer. It could mean the guitar is "fresher" and has gone through less shippings and warehouse stays. It sure beats buying a guitar from some store where it's been hanging for who known how long and been manhandled by who knows how many people.
#11
There's only a few local stores near me. They all have some problems that make it hard to shop there. Most of them have been mentioned, so I'll spare the repeats.

The one thing that I've got to hand to them is they've got brands that GC doesn't carry. If I want to see Fender then I know where to go, but if I'm looking for something interesting then the local stores might be the place.
#12
I'm OK with this. There isn't a b&m retailer, including two Guitar Centers, within twenty miles of me that even carries Jazzmasters or Jaguars, and it's not like I'm in the middle of butt**** nowhere. I'm right outside Chicago, for ****s sake. My only choice is online retailers, already, for my next guitar. That or slug it out to Wrigleyville to go to CME.

I would hate to see the Mom-and-Pop stores run out of business by a manufacturer, but there's only like two independent guitar stores near me and the only one that even carries Fender isn't competitive on prices (I'm 99% sure that both of their business models revolve around providing lessons on site and selling gear at non-competitive prices to parents that don't know a Fender Jaguar from a Jaguar fender). So really, it's no skin off my balls.
Actually, I go by Dave, but there are already too many Daves on this forum.


Fender MIM Stratocaster
Fender Jaguar Bass
Epiphone EJ200 Super Jumbo
Fender Excelsior 13w
Acoustic B300HD (with matching 1x12 cab)
BOSS BD-2W
NYC Big Muff Pi
#13
Quote by kangaxxter
selling gear at non-competitive prices to parents that don't know a Fender Jaguar from a Jaguar fender).



Now that's funny and most likely is an accurate description of my local shop.
#14
There's a really good one I go to sometimes. And they absolutely will haggle a little on price (I try not to beat them up too much, my sales guy has always been more than helpful.) It's usually as simple as "Hey, I want this. Can you beat this price?" And the answer is usually "Easily." Saved me a pretty penny on a Les Paul (the last big ticket thing I got from them) and his comment was "I gotta order it in, but I'll have them pick you out one with a sweet top." And he was as good as his word. Unofrtunately, this place is an hour and a half drive away, so I generally don't go out there unless I have some sort of mission. I guess I'm an odd enough looking fellow that they (and the proprieter of the local eatery) recognize me despite sometimes going most of a year without being back out there.

A lot of stores can't swing the pricing thing. I think they're too close to just making their bills. The only thing they can do to differentiate is with the level of service provided and unfortunately, I think these days, most consumers don't appreciate that. They just expect the thing to come out of the box completely ready to go just like any other consumer widget they buy. It's too bad, but I think that's just the reality of today's market. The indy stores in my actual town are pretty lean on selection or overspecialized. Generally, their prices are just noncompetitive, they stink. I try to support them where I can on sundry items, but for an actual instrument like a guitar, they don't have anything I'm interested in (one does, but hoo boy, the prices are steep and they don't let anyone actually try them out), and special ordering it through them would carry a premium not a discount. I wish I could support them better but I just don't have pockets that deep, and I'm not a charity.

To the point of the original post, I had to order a couple parts for a Fender electric violin I bought. This was last year. I HAD to get the part through them, no one else could identify the parts and they were proprietary (The shoulder rest was the big one. A standard violin shoulder rest does not work right with it). Pricing was not awesome. Ship time was not awesome. (They shipped from Arizona or somewhere like that) but at least they knew what I was talking about and had one they could sell me. As stated above, the manufacturers will usually sell at list price, not street price. This is absolutely to protect the sales of their distributors (who have to buy the things from them anyway) and if the manufacturer has a traditional distribution chain, this would be the norm rather than the exception. To price at a point that is competitive with your own sales and distribution chain will seriously piss them off, sometimes leading to them not carrying your line of product anymore at all (seen it happen. ugly for the consumer trying to get local warranty support or purchase additional or replacement product).
#15
I guess this is limited to the US.

I admit to buying online. Thomann in Germany or UK stores like Guitarguitar are the places I buy from. The relationship with my local store was, regrettably, a frustrating one and they blew chance after chance - I got accused of dropping a guitar I had tried, the sold a guitar I had ordered to another customer despite having called me to let me know it was in, knowingly sold me a Fender with a finish defect (got it replaced). On top of that they sell strings and picks at 100-110% markup from Thomann, and were unable to do anything about it or get me the 10 set value packs rather than the singles. Oh, and I ordered a footswitch for my Peavey amp when I bought it 6 years ago. They still haven't called to let me know it is available.

I sincerely hope they and all like them go out of business.
"Your signature can not be longer than 250 characters."

How you know you have too many guitars...

Apparently once also known as PonyFan #834553.
Last edited by HomerSGR at Feb 3, 2015,
#16
Reading you guys' posts, I'm starting to think that I do actually work for the only locally owned store in the world that stays competitive with big box-store/online prices. Which just makes me even more pissed off about the business dying out. Sigh...