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  1. #1
    Little Dreamer cjgolf2000's Avatar
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    Default Music Store Purchases

    I have bought a few things from local, independent music stores in the past (no guitar center in Canada) but I have always paid the price on the tag without any questions.

    Do you guys try for a better deal or just pay ticketed price?

    I am going to buy a Peavey Classic 30 which is in the $600 range here.

    Any advice would be appreciated.

    Thanks,

    Cory

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    It's $550 at Musicians Friend. Personally I don't know why you would ever pay more than that. You get free shipping and a no question 45 day return policy. Hell, if you don't like it after 40 days, they will even email you the return labels to print and paste on the box. I have dealt with them many a time and have returned quite a few items, never a problem.

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    Atomic Punk chefcraig's Avatar
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    It honestly depends upon where you are standing when you ask the question. For instance, if there is one store in town and the nearest competition is 50-60 miles away, the joint pretty much has you over a barrel. If there are several stores in town, you have some room to haggle.

    The popular choice as of late is the internet, yet for many not being able to see an item up close before purchase is a daunting and somewhat dubious endeavor, an opinion that I personally happen to share.

    Merely because an item is tagged with a certain price does not necessarily mean it must be sold for it. The thing may be simply gathering dust, and the salesperson may privately wish to get rid of it. There is absolutely nothing wrong with making a reasonable offer for a product, and as a consumer, one should be expected to do so. After all, it most certainly never hurts to ask if it can mean a savings.
    "The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore, all progress depends on the unreasonable man."
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    Just noticed that apparently they have changed their return policy on stringed instruments over $199, only ten days to return on that. They must have changed that in the last year or two. Just wouldn't want someone to get burned because I said 45 days on anything. Just make sure you read and understand the return policy.

  5. #5
    Little Dreamer cjgolf2000's Avatar
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    I am in Canada so if I order anything from the U.S., I will get charged duty at the border and the free shipping doesn't apply either. All of a sudden it's not so good of a deal....so much for free trade! I am about 2 hours from a Guitar Center in the U.S. but then I have to "sneak" it back across the border to avoid the extra charges. If I can strike a better deal than list here, I am way ahead.

    The question is how low do you go - 10% off? I hate buying cars for the same reason...why don't they just put their cheapest price on the tag and be done with it?

    Thanks again.

    Cory

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    I always ask, unless I'm buying something relatively cheap, if the price on the tag is the best they can do for me. The worst thing they can say is "yes" and I've gotten deals that way: if someone needs to make a sale or an item has been sitting in a store too long. I do that with just about any big ticket item I buy, musical or otherwise.
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    Quote Originally Posted by cjgolf2000 View Post
    I am in Canada so if I order anything from the U.S., I will get charged duty...
    Uh, huh-huh, he said,"duty".....
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  8. #8
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    the best rule of thumb is this: It never hurts to ask.

    As someone who has worked in music retail, and spent the better part of the last ten years in retail management, it never hurts to ask. In fact, sometimes, there's a list sitting in an office of gear that needs to move on and unless it does, my store doesn't get new merch. The problem is, often times the salesperson bringing up such heavily discounted opportunities sounds like "a salesguy" trying to pitch something and blowing smoke up your ass. So, just ask. "Hey, are there any crazy deals right now? I'm looking for an amp and I'd like to know if you have anything that you just have to move out." Dust collectors, special orders that were never picked up, discontinued items, hell, often times, if a sales guy is simply in a giving mood, you could get a helluva deal just being a nice guy and asking.

    When I was on the sales floor I made it a point to find somebody to give a bone-out cost-plus tax deal every week....just to make someone's day. Sometimes it would be a kid just starting out, other times a cute chick, other times a priest, didn't matter, just someone who caught my attention and I'd just bone out the deal. It made for good vibes and kept a nice energy in my world. That said, there were people who I'd look right in the face and say "sorry, can't do any better" just because they were fucking pricks. Salespeople catch a lot of shit because often times they are idiots. But I prided myself on being educated, polite and concerned with the best interests of my customers. To me it never made any sense to screw a customer to get a deal because by treating them right I'd have dozens of deals out of the one person. So if someone didn't respect me or didn't trust my suggestions or walked up like they DESERVED a price break, they got nothing from me. Then, I'd find someone who wasn't even going to ask for a discount and give them a stupid deal. I liked watching those guys, the ones who would never think of asking for a discount, get this crazy smile and walk out happy as can be because I saved them a few hundred bucks.

    So long story short, just strike up a rapport with the guys in the store. If you're a nice guy and you guys are getting along, they'll hook you up.

  9. #9
    Good Enough EJC's Avatar
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    We had a similar discussion about this awhile back pertaining to guitars though, I think.

    My take is this:

    At this point in my life, I'm willing to pay a little extra at the guitar store down the street for several reasons.

    There's nothing worse than getting that new guitar delivered that you waited all week for, and you open up the box, and the neck joint has a crack. Or the strings are off alignment ever so slightly with the neck, or one of a dozen other things that piss me off about a guitar. The return deal sounds good, but it is a pain in the ass, and usually takes a few weeks to get credited back to your card.

    Not as much to be wrong with an amp, but it could have problems as well.

    I just prefer to play the exact guitar that I'm buying, because they can differ so much from one to the next. Go to guitar center and grab 3 or 4 Mexi-srats, and the nut, neck pocket, how the screws are drilled, etc. can differ on every one of them.

    I'm aware none of this has to do with your question...

    As long as the price on the tag is about what I can get it for online (within 10%), I'll buy it at the local store. It's usually going to be a little extra, but i enjoy knowing that the money I spend is going into my local economy, and putting food on the table for someone who lives in my town. That's just me.

    We all want a "deal", but shit, everybody has to make a living... Chances are, the guy that owns the local music store, barely holding on against Guitar Center and the internet giants needs that extra $30 for a combo amp more than I do.

    That said, it goes both ways... We had a local store that was owned by a grouchy old man. I called and told him I had a Mexican strat, a Randall 212 combo amp that I wanted to trade in. Both were in mint condition. So he tells me to bring them up... All I wanted was $100 on each piece to bring a $700 wolfgang special down to $500 + tax. The guitar had been there for about 2 years, so I figured it was a done deal. After looking at my gear, he says he'll give me $50 for both pieces, and take the Wolfgang down to $650!!!
    I was real polite, and just said no thank you, and packed up my gear... Then on the way out he starts berrating me about "You can thank the internet and Guitar Center for that! You don't want to do business with me, don't bother coming back..." I'm not one to beat an old man's ass, so I just let it go... I was just mad that I ever spent money at his store.

    He went out of business a few months later... Normally I would have felt bad, but because of how he spoke to me, I didn't care...



    ~Peace
    Last edited by EJC; 02.21.08 at 10:02 AM.
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  10. #10
    Good Enough vanzefflin's Avatar
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    Well said EJC. One of the few that truly gets it. Do any of you have any good experiences with independent retailers? Not just on music gear. Anything? Appliances, furniture, etc.. Are any of your friends or family small business owners?

    I truly feel for the consumer in instances where they get bad info., service, price, etc.. There are however, a really large number of indies that know what their particular industry has to offer, and cares enough to keep up with technological advances, and service the sale after the sale. You can tell who they are by simple observation. Years in business being the most telling.

    You sure as hell don't get expert knowledgeable advice from a salesperson at Musicians Friend. It's the same person that called your house a week before, or a week later, trying to sell you a cell phone or some other worthless piece of trash. Most of them don't even know what the product is that they are selling you. I've got numerous horror stories from customers. A lot of whom have become loyal customers, and friends.

    I can tell you from my own perspective, that it is getting a lot harder to justify brick and mortar retail. I really don't know why I am replying to this thread, other than it hits close to home. Actually, that and the dying quivers of passion for an artform that is quickly becoming extinct. Selling is an action. The good guys stick, the bad usually find another occupation. Obviously some not quick enough to keep from tainting a few well intentioned folks experiences. However, if you are over the age of 2, you have experienced a few rougher moments I'm certain. I've had people tell me about how happy they are to be out of retail so they don't have to lie or deceive anymore. I've never had to practice those habits to close a deal. I could go on soapboxing for a helluva lot longer but, I've beat this horse so long, and so many times that it makes feel a little queazy.

    For those of you who have had bad experiences with the local guys. Let me apologize for them. For those of you that make your purchases outside of your area just because you saved a few bucks on an item that wasn't un-reasonably priced at your local retailer (Generally the same guy that comes in with his GC purchase to get it tweaked, and really just wanting to brag and to be reassured of how great of a deal he got. You know who you are.). I hope you break down on the side of the road in the middle of the night, in the middle of nowhere, and the only person that passes you for days on end, is that guy you felt so compelled to fuck over in the first place. He'll probably stop on the first pass and help you out though........ If he is truly a good salesman.
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    I personally don't go to MF looking for any kind of so called *expert* advice at all. I research the product I am considering for purchase quite throughly on my own, something I would hope all consumers would do.

    I support my local economy in many ways. My wife and I at present are fighting the opening of a giant superstore in our community. We realize it will put many of the smaller local stores out of business that we have been patronizing for years, and we would hate to see them come to that fate.

    That being said, I thank God for places like Guitar Center. I remember the days in my youth where the only choice was the local guitar shop, where from the moment you walked in you were greeted with high pressure salesmen who always seemed to have a *buy something or get the hell out attitude*. Oh, and every guitar on the rack had a sign on it saying DONT TOUCH!! Not to mention every guitar over a hundred bucks was in glass under lock and key. Now the youth of today are lucky enough to be able to walk into a GC and pickup a Les Paul or a PRS and truly see what it is like to hold a quality instrument. What could possibly be wrong with that?

    I understand how some folks might be apprehensive about ordering on the internet....they want to hold, play the instrument they are going to purchase. I merely stated I have had much luck with MF, and yes, I have had to return some items....how would that work at a local store? The local store repairs it? Return it to the manufacturer for repairs...talk about time consuming and being without your instrument for quite some time. With MF/GC I can take it back, say I don't want it, it's defective....boom end of story, refunded and done.

    Oh, and BTW, I live in a strong union town, we build America's cars here, have for more than hundred years, but if somebody wants to buy a Toyota, I don't wish ill will, or harm to them. I personally don't understand why they wouldn't buy an American (local) product and support American (local) industry, but that is their choice, and I respect that. It's one of the great things about living in a free country.

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    Good Enough vanzefflin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Southpaw View Post


    I support my local economy in many ways. My wife and I at present are fighting the opening of a giant superstore in our community. We realize it will put many of the smaller local stores out of business that we have been patronizing for years, and we would hate to see them come to that fate.

    That being said, I thank God for places like Guitar Center.
    God didn't bring Guitar Center to town. The same mentality that you and your wife are so fervently battling did. It's amazing that these other locally owned and operated entities are so superior to independent music stores in your area.

    Quote Originally Posted by Southpaw View Post
    I remember the days in my youth where the only choice was the local guitar shop, where from the moment you walked in you were greeted with high pressure salesmen who always seemed to have a *buy something or get the hell out attitude*. Oh, and every guitar on the rack had a sign on it saying DONT TOUCH!! Not to mention every guitar over a hundred bucks was in glass under lock and key.
    I think I apologized for them in my previous post. I'm sorry the local store in your community was owned by some fuckwit. I haven't been in many of those. They don't seem to last long in these parts.

    Quote Originally Posted by Southpaw View Post
    Now the youth of today are lucky enough to be able to walk into a GC and pickup a Les Paul or a PRS and truly see what it is like to hold a quality instrument. What could possibly be wrong with that?
    Nothing wrong with them holding it, or even playing it. I've been in my share of GC's and MARS locations. These lucky rascals not only get to hold them, they are largely un-attended and beating the shit out of them. The problem with that? You are now buying a used instrument.

    Quote Originally Posted by Southpaw View Post
    I understand how some folks might be apprehensive about ordering on the internet....they want to hold, play the instrument they are going to purchase. I merely stated I have had much luck with MF, and yes, I have had to return some items....how would that work at a local store? The local store repairs it? Return it to the manufacturer for repairs...talk about time consuming and being without your instrument for quite some time. With MF/GC I can take it back, say I don't want it, it's defective....boom end of story, refunded and done.
    It depends on the stores policy. My store and the one I worked at for ten years prior, loaned our customer another one while theirs was in for repair. If it was a manufacturers defect, naturally we sent/send it back, and loaned/loan them one until there's was/is returned. Refunds happen from time to time. We really try to work with the customer. I'm glad your experiences are all rosie with these entities but, it's not been that way for a number of people. I'll wager we can find more than a few right here on this very site that have some bad experiences. Wal Mart used to have the no questions asked policy. Anyone tried to return a 31 day old item lately? Now, I will readily admit that most small stores are probably going to have a few questions. And justifiably so. If indeed the consumer has educated his/herself then wouldn't it be reasonable to assume that they knew what they were getting at the time of the purchase? Buyers remorse shouldn't merit my giving someones money back.

    Quote Originally Posted by Southpaw View Post
    Oh, and BTW, I live in a strong union town, we build America's cars here, have for more than hundred years, but if somebody wants to buy a Toyota, I don't wish ill will, or harm to them. I personally don't understand why they wouldn't buy an American (local) product and support American (local) industry, but that is their choice, and I respect that. It's one of the great things about living in a free country.

    Toyota is arguably as American as the American built autos. They are built right here in the states. They employ folks in 17 different states. No offense. Bad analogy.
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    Guitar Center is arguably just as local as your local *Guitar shop*. They employ many people from the local area, and they pay taxes in that community. They employ people in numerous states, and numerous communities. No offense. Bad argument.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Southpaw View Post
    Guitar Center is arguably just as local as your local *Guitar shop*. They employ many people from the local area, and they pay taxes in that community. They employ people in numerous states, and numerous communities. No offense. Bad argument.
    That was your comparison, Toyota vs. GM, Ford, Chrysler, not mine. Obviously, once they are in the area they are local. It's easy to tell by the familiar street names you drive on to get there. What the hell? I'll play along. They are not locally owned ( I own my store) anymore than the auto manufactures you wrote about previously. I believe they (auto manufacturers) are publicly traded. GC returned to the private sector last year. Why? Because they were so good at offering returns.............on investors money. BTW. What do you do for a living?
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    Good Enough EJC's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by vanzefflin View Post
    Toyota is arguably as American as the American built autos. They are built right here in the states. They employ folks in 17 different states. No offense. Bad analogy.
    Yeah, unless I'm mistaken, Toyota provides jobs to thousands of American workers, from the assembly line, to the dealerships.

    Not to get into a debate about cars, but after having to have transmissions re-built on my 1996 Ford Thunderbird, and my wife's 2001 Pontiac Grand Prix (both had less than 30k miles on them), I moved on to Nissan. And both my vehicles were built in Ohio.
    Last edited by EJC; 02.21.08 at 01:46 PM.
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