#1
Hi everyone,

Just wondering if there could be some form of open discussion around going into shops and buying music products - how people feel in these environments? Do you tend to buy online now? This is for my final year degree project.

There is a very short 2 minute survey that would be really insightful for me if people would be willing to spare me a minute or so, please: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/HX9KGKR

Thanks!
#2
Everything I use was bought online. Picks, 2 guitars, amp, audio interface, cables. Price point trumped being able to take it home with me along with the fact that nothing near me carried the models I wanted.

Last thing I bought in a shop was a bass and practice amp that went unused after a few months.
#3
i am going to ramble for a bit...

local stores around here absolutely suck. the ones that are successful are the student farms (as i call them), they sell shitty guitars, that they hardly ever go through, and make money from the nine lesson rooms that seem to be full at all times. one store (i kind of got to know the owner) said after five years of business he still had some of the guitars on the wall that he opened with. they are matched in pricing on their more expensive guitars (still shit), but they don't stock anything decent. one shop near me, they are kind enough to offer a professional discount, so that helps a bit, BUT the price for a pack of strings is still double what i can find online. i can buy online, not pay tax, and get free shipping and not have to go anywhere. i wanted straplocks, and they were like $10 higher than on MF. absolutely fucking ridiculous. also, they don't stock pedals. not even shitty ones.

one thing that really sucks is that we had two decent shops around, but they closed. they had a decent selection (mainly used), and a decent range of products. they were still high on pricing for accessories, but their used gear was priced competitively. they didn't draw in the 10 year old taylor swift wannabees, for lessons on god awful singing, so they couldn't stay open.

the one thing i like to buy in store are slides, i can feel the weight, find the right size, etc. that is hard to do online.

other than that everything i buy is online. most of what i buy is used (and i am a reverb dot com wh0re), and i snipe at the MF stupid deals of the day. thats about it.

/drunken rant.
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#4
Good guitar shops are usually cheaper with hardware than online at least, plus it's easy to talk 'em down even lower or get them to throw in a dozen guitar picks for no reason, used shit is always cheaper no matter what, most gear devalues HARD as soon as you own it.
#5
Done

I buy from my two local shops because they're actually really good places to buy from. The new owner of one of them has transformed it from a slightly below average, boring shop into a really nice place, and he's a really cool guy, lets you play/try out most of the guitars and is really helpful, not to mention he stocks a lot of really nice guitars. The second one isn't as good for instruments (except ukuleles) but has an excellent selection of accessories for instruments, alright pedal selection (not stellar by any means, but alright) and a really good amp selection, I tend to get my instruments from one and other stuff from the other. Strings and picks are all online.

Both have pretty average keyboard selections though.
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#6
Thank you so much everyone! I've got 23 so far from a few sources, really great answers (one's i were looking for ). Thank's also for the text replies below, much love.
#7
Local stores very rarely have what I want unless they're stores that stock hundreds of guitars. Most of the gear I own has been discontinued, so going Ebay used is my only option.

Cost is another significant factor. Shopping online is generally cheaper as there's less middle men to have to pay.

There's just not enough higher quality guitars on their shelves. The stores need to sell tons of cheap crap to stay afloat because that's all the vast majority of their customers (who will learn to play Wonderwall and quit after 12 months) are willing to afford.

The only advantage a brick and mortar store has is trying gear before buying it. But then I'll simply leave the store and buy the same piece of gear on Amazon for less lol. It sounds like a dickish thing to do, but it makes the most financial sense. I don't buy gear to be charitable.
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Last edited by T00DEEPBLUE at Oct 21, 2015,
#8
I buy most higher-end products on line. But cables, picks, strings, etc I buy at a physical store. It's just easier that way and the price difference between online accessories like strings and physical store prices are not enough to matter. Often physical stores will not have a higher-end item in stock, but they can order it.

Being employed at a music store, though, I can easily compare prices for special ordering an item through the store to what I can get online. For instance, I recently bought a Mooer Yellow Comp online. In retrospect, I could have gotten it easier, quicker, and possibly cheaper through the physical store I work at. You just have to do some research, if doing the research for a lower price is worth it to you.

Often physical stores are not held too strictly to mark-up margins. Online stores will often not budge, at least with new items. Physical stores, especially if you know/buy from them often, can give you the item at less of a markup than what is online. Sometimes that reduced markup is worth the research, sometimes not.

As far as being comfortable, I probably know more than the sales reps at other stores like Guitar Center, so I am very comfortable. But as far as mom-and-pop stores who might have to do the research with you, it can get very uncomfortable when getting an item is more issue than it is worth. If you know exactly what you need and a physical store does not have it/is confused about it, just go online. If you are in-the-know, physical stores can be a god-send. Their shipping times between ordering and getting the item is often a few days. At least in my experience. c:
Last edited by Will Lane at Oct 21, 2015,
#9
I buy online except for emergencies where I need to get picks or strings in a hurry. If there's no rush, I'll buy those things online too. The only local store around here is a Guitar Center and it sucks. The employees are ignorant and apathetic and it really shows. Even if the employees were fantastic, the all they ever have are Fender Strats, Gibson LPs, and used Line6 amps. You can't beat the selection of online stores (zZounds, Amazon, Guitar Center's website, etc)!
#10
I want a company that spends it's time making certain that they can provide their actual customers excellent customer service and a competitive price and less time mucking about on websites asking people who most likely aren't and won't be their customers what they want...
“Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge.”
Charles Darwin
#12
Quote by trashedlostfdup at #33646129
i am going to ramble for a bit...

local stores around here absolutely suck. the ones that are successful are the student farms (as i call them), they sell shitty guitars, that they hardly ever go through, and make money from the nine lesson rooms that seem to be full at all times. one store (i kind of got to know the owner) said after five years of business he still had some of the guitars on the wall that he opened with. they are matched in pricing on their more expensive guitars (still shit), but they don't stock anything decent. one shop near me, they are kind enough to offer a professional discount, so that helps a bit, BUT the price for a pack of strings is still double what i can find online. i can buy online, not pay tax, and get free shipping and not have to go anywhere. i wanted straplocks, and they were like $10 higher than on MF. absolutely fucking ridiculous. also, they don't stock pedals. not even shitty ones.

one thing that really sucks is that we had two decent shops around, but they closed. they had a decent selection (mainly used), and a decent range of products. they were still high on pricing for accessories, but their used gear was priced competitively. they didn't draw in the 10 year old taylor swift wannabees, for lessons on god awful singing, so they couldn't stay open.

the one thing i like to buy in store are slides, i can feel the weight, find the right size, etc. that is hard to do online.

other than that everything i buy is online. most of what i buy is used (and i am a reverb dot com wh0re), and i snipe at the MF stupid deals of the day. thats about it.

/drunken rant.


Yea I know how it is, there's one music store left around here and they don't sell shit. Even a guitar center would be nice tbh. The last two guitars I've bought I got in stores, but neither are actually music stores.
#14
Quote by Guitar0player
When I go to music shops I feel like a kid in a toy store.


Penniless and hoping the adults you're with will buy you something?
“Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge.”
Charles Darwin
#15
I'm done with guitar shops. The small shops here just want to sell acoustic guitars. Guitar Center stores are half empty and just want you to buy a cheap guitar and a Marshall MG. I'm sticking with online shopping.
#16
We've got two shops in Las Cruces that carry guitars. One is a ratty dusty shithole that has an eccentric guy who apparently dislikes dealing with the people who come through his door. Plus, to be honest, 90% of the stuff he sells is trash. It's embarrassing really, I've seen better guitar "shops" in flea markets.

The other is constantly "undergoing construction". It's a disorganized mess, but they do have a nice acoustic room. This store doesn't sell Taylors, oddly, but it carried a couple composite guitar models (a Rainsong, which I loved, and a Composite Acoustics Cargo, which I loved more and bought), which oddly I've NEVER seen in any GuitarCenter. Very very lovely people though. Wonderful to deal with, gave me a great deal on the cargo by matching the best offer I found online (saved me about $300).

I just like a guitar store to be low key, no pressure. I like friendly, knowledgeable staff. I like the store to be clean and organized, but a little "mess" is alright as long as the love for guitars is there.

Even though it's more like WalMart than a small music shop I actually like GuitarCenter a great deal....I love being able to pick up one of their wide variety of guitars and start picking, plus they seem to be pretty low pressure. The GC guys gave me a great deal on a case a couple months ago ($50 for hardcase, SNARK tuner, and a nice strap) and allowed me to exchange a guitar I bought the day before. I've never had problems with GC.
Last edited by TobusRex at Oct 21, 2015,
#17
Quote by Arby911
Penniless and hoping the adults you're with will buy you something?


#18
Quote by Arby911
Penniless and hoping the adults you're with will buy you something?


Definitely. Or at least a discount.

Also, well played.
Purple string dampener scrunchy.
Last edited by Guitar0player at Oct 21, 2015,
#19
Quote by Arby911
I want a company that spends it's time making certain that they can provide their actual customers excellent customer service and a competitive price and less time mucking about on websites asking people who most likely aren't and won't be their customers what they want...

i'm actually a student, if that was a dig
#20
Quote by trashedlostfdup
i am going to ramble for a bit...

local stores around here absolutely suck. the ones that are successful are the student farms (as i call them), they sell shitty guitars, that they hardly ever go through, and make money from the nine lesson rooms that seem to be full at all times. one store (i kind of got to know the owner) said after five years of business he still had some of the guitars on the wall that he opened with. they are matched in pricing on their more expensive guitars (still shit), but they don't stock anything decent. one shop near me, they are kind enough to offer a professional discount, so that helps a bit, BUT the price for a pack of strings is still double what i can find online. i can buy online, not pay tax, and get free shipping and not have to go anywhere. i wanted straplocks, and they were like $10 higher than on MF. absolutely fucking ridiculous. also, they don't stock pedals. not even shitty ones.

one thing that really sucks is that we had two decent shops around, but they closed. they had a decent selection (mainly used), and a decent range of products. they were still high on pricing for accessories, but their used gear was priced competitively. they didn't draw in the 10 year old taylor swift wannabees, for lessons on god awful singing, so they couldn't stay open.

the one thing i like to buy in store are slides, i can feel the weight, find the right size, etc. that is hard to do online.

other than that everything i buy is online. most of what i buy is used (and i am a reverb dot com wh0re), and i snipe at the MF stupid deals of the day. thats about it.

/drunken rant.


There is a lot of hobbies where the stores are like that. There is one of 2 really good gun shops within 100 miles of me. The rest are big box type stores who want MSRP on everything. There used to be a good shop 20 mins from the house. They had a lot of used stock at decent prices and a variety of new stock. They made a killing when they 1st opened up and for about a year. Then the 4 guys all quit their day jobs and started trying to make a living out of the shop. They didn't put anything back into the store and pretty much became what Guitar Center is around here...1 or 2 demo models and crap on the wall.

So it's a common trend in brick and mortar stores that they have less and less stock and the whole "We can order it for you!". Which you can get it cheaper online so it really pushes out the "real" stores who can't make a profit selling stuff on line.