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View Full Version : Try in local store but buy online, do you usually do that?



Jo3x
08-11-2018, 07:34 PM
My wife sometimes does this kind of thing when she wants to shop dress. I never do that as I always feel kind of guilty about that. That's not fair to local store.

Today I went to a local store. They have a Kamaka pineapple that I couldn't help to try. I was sure I wouldn't buy it because some online dealers have higher reputation in my mind. I ended up buying a set of Martin fluorocarbon strings which I don't actually need to clear out that guilty feelings.

So, do you usually do this sort of thing?

kohanmike
08-11-2018, 08:39 PM
Lately I've found that the stores I frequent have cut down their product choices so I end up ordering online, which just happened to me today when i went the hardware store to buy a drawer guide roller. If an item is expensive enough, I'll buy online to save the high California/Los Angeles tax. No guilt at all in either case.

8 tenor cutaway ukes, 3 acoustic bass ukes, 8 solid body bass ukes, 7 mini electric bass guitars

• Donate to The Ukulele Kids Club, they provide ukuleles to children's hospital music therapy programs. http://www.theukc.org
• Member The CC Strummers: https://www.youtube.com/user/CCStrummers/videos (https://www.youtube.com/user/CCStrummers/videos)

Croaky Keith
08-11-2018, 09:58 PM
There's a massive lack of shops around where I live now, so I don't get the chance to do that kind of thing, but I did use to ask if my local bike shop would match prices, which he often did to get the sale. Regarding musical instruments, there is one shop about 3 miles away that sells very expensive guitars, so all my purchases have had to have been online.

DPO
08-11-2018, 10:39 PM
Never done that, and never would. Unconscionable!

jimavery
08-11-2018, 11:20 PM
Absolutely not! I'm fortunate to still have two music shops in the town where I work, and I'd like at least one of them to stay in business! A couple of times they've got us out of a hole when we needed something urgently (yes even an electro-acoustic ukulele when one of ours was trodden on) for a gig the next day.

DownUpDave
08-11-2018, 11:41 PM
We have two music stores in the Toronto area that carry a decent selection of higher end ukes, if they carried what I wanted I would buy from them but they don't. I have bought all my other musicial equipment from them, amps, cables, microphones, music stand etc. The only reason I buy online is if it is not available locally.

Get to know the people in the local stores and they will go out of there way to help you. There still is something to be said for dealing face to face and that person going above and beyond to help you

Graham Greenbag
08-12-2018, 12:07 AM
My wife sometimes does this kind of thing when she wants to shop dress. I never do that as I always feel kind of guilty about that. That's not fair to local store.

Today I went to a local store. They have a Kamaka pineapple that I couldn't help to try. I was sure I wouldn't buy it because some online dealers have higher reputation in my mind. I ended up buying a set of Martin fluorocarbon strings which I don't actually need to clear out that guilty feelings.

So, do you usually do this sort of thing?

I tend to buy a lot of stuff on-line in preference to visiting and then buying in store. The idea of trying on in-store with the objective of buying on-line is, to my way of thinking, a form of theft as you have used the shop keepers stock, time and premises with no intent of recompense to him/her for that. Of course these things or decisions are not simply black and white but I generally try to be fair to both myself and the shopkeeper - some shopkeepers don’t act fairly to their customers but that’s a different discussion. Browsing in shops is different (from the above) in that if I do see something that I later decide to buy then it could be fairly bought from anyone offering both a good price and service - in such a case there was no intent to freeload and in exchange for my browsing the the shop has had ‘first chance’ to sell me something. Similarly in store price checking can be fair though there is a good counter argument concerning the unhealthy dominance of some on-line retailers.

As for taxes I very strongly feel that it is important for everyone to pay what is due. A large on-line retailer operating here in the U.K. doesn’t pay appropriate corporate taxes and I would shut them tomorrow for that action - which I class as tax evasion. As individuals a little tax avoidance here and there is normal but at the end of the day we all want to live in civilised societies and so it’s wrong not to contribute properly to their upkeep, and doubly wrong if you’re comparatively well off ‘cause (compared to those struggling along) it’s relatively pain free. Possibly strange comments from someone who’s typically right of centre in their political beliefs.

kvehe
08-12-2018, 12:39 AM
No, I don't do that, for reasons already stated. Plus (putting all conscience-related things aside!) I am such a bad player that I don't want anyone to hear me. :)

SoloRule
08-12-2018, 12:43 AM
We have two music stores in the Toronto area that carry a decent selection of higher end ukes, if they carried what I wanted I would buy from them but they don't. I have bought all my other musicial equipment from them, amps, cables, microphones, music stand etc. The only reason I buy online is if it is not available locally.

Get to know the people in the local stores and they will go out of there way to help you. There still is something to be said for dealing face to face and that person going above and beyond to help you


I second this
I just wish we ( Canadian ) have the luxury of buying quality uke at local shop!
For us, it is not even an option!

kkimura
08-12-2018, 12:52 AM
For what it's worth, with the exception of the S1 bought here on UU, all the ukuleles I've kept were auditioned and bought at "local" stores. (Some "local" stores thousands of miles away.) All of the ukuleles bought online ended up re-homed.

mmn
08-12-2018, 02:16 AM
I do this on occasion. If I try something local I'll tell them first I'm shopping for the best deal and ask them if they'll price match. If yes I proceed. If not I don't.

Jerryc41
08-12-2018, 02:55 AM
I would never do that, and that applies to anything. Now, when you say "local store," if you mean something like Walmart, that's different. I'd never waste the time of a small local store examining ukuleles and then buy it cheaper online. If they take the time to deal with me and answer my questions, I'd be willing to pay a bit more and buy from them. I wouldn't ask a small, privately-owned store to match online prices because that would eat into their profit. They charge more because they have to.

Being realistic, I doubt there is a music store within an hour's drive that would have a ukulele I would want to buy, so online is always my first and last choice. If I lived in Hawaii, I'm sure I'd be buying a lot more in person. : )

Rllink
08-12-2018, 03:50 AM
Being realistic, I doubt there is a music store within an hour's drive that would have a ukulele I would want to buy, so online is always my first and last choice. If I lived in Hawaii, I'm sure I'd be buying a lot more in person. : )I don't think Jerry and I are alone, there just aren't any music stores close to me that has a selection of ukuleles. But even if there were, I probably wouldn't go there unless I had a specific ukulele in mind. When I was looking for one I called around to a couple of music stores to see if they had the one that I wanted before I went, and none of them had it. I'm just not a shopper. But taking it a bit farther, I know that people go into stores and play every ukulele on the wall, then leave with no intention of buying one. They just go there to dink around. Isn't that just as bad as playing them and then buying it on line? I have three ukuleles and I'm not looking for another so I don't see any reason to go into stores looking at ukuleles and playing them when I know I'm not going to buy one. I just don't go "shopping" much in general. I think that I'm an odd duck in that way, but I've never been one to go out looking for something to buy.

Pirate Jim
08-12-2018, 04:03 AM
I support my local music shop and will and do pay higher prices there than I could get online. Music shops are definitely one of those "don't know what you've got until it's gone" things. My favourite online shops are all bricks and mortar places as well and they can't price match places like Amazon given overheads and paying their staff enough to actually live. If you like having them, support them!

That being said, there was a music shop near my work that I never bought anything in because the staff were clueless and dismissive. I went in there with some questions about one of their mandolins I was thinking of buying and they just started Googling the questions. I had to tell them I knew how to use Google, I was hoping for their expert or at least informed opinion. They just shrugged. Another time one of them spent 5 minutes (until I left) telling me you can just retune the g to a and vice versa on a uke to make it left handed. When I pointed out that would mean a tuning of GECA rather than GCEA he said "yeah, so?" They never got my money, they unsurprisingly went under a few years ago.

Xtradust
08-12-2018, 04:37 AM
If I know I’m buying somewhere else, I won’t test a Uke at someone’s shop. (Except maybe GC)

If I see something at a local shop and give it a whirl, I’ll ask the price and buy it or not.

But if we don’t make a deal, I don’t think it means I can’t look for one somewhere else.

Osprey
08-12-2018, 05:01 AM
Our local music store has been very supportive of our Ukulele Group. We meet at the store every Sat morning. They provide a store employee to lead the group. I try to buy as much as I can from them. I have reached a point in my ukulele journey where the ukuleles I want are beyond what they carry in stock. They will special order them, and I have ordered a few things through them. I would never try one of their ukuleles and then order online. It wouldn’t seem fair. Besides they give the uke club members a 15% discount and that and no shipping charge generally beats any savings for buying online.

hollisdwyer
08-12-2018, 05:01 AM
We have two music stores in the Toronto area that carry a decent selection of higher end ukes, if they carried what I wanted I would buy from them but they don't. I have bought all my other musicial equipment from them, amps, cables, microphones, music stand etc. The only reason I buy online is if it is not available locally.

Get to know the people in the local stores and they will go out of there way to help you. There still is something to be said for dealing face to face and that person going above and beyond to help you

My experience in Perth Australia pretty much mirrors what Dave said above. I try to support local stores because I want to see them stay in business. There used to be 800 music stores in Australia (note: for a population of only 25 million). Now there are less then 200.

Jerryc41
08-12-2018, 05:02 AM
...I was thinking of buying and they just started Googling the questions. I had to tell them I knew how to use Google, I was hoping for their expert or at least informed opinion. They just shrugged. Another time one of them spent 5 minutes (until I left) telling me you can just retune the g to a and vice versa on a uke to make it left handed. When I pointed out that would mean a tuning of GECA rather than GCEA he said "yeah, so?" They never got my money, they unsurprisingly went under a few years ago.

Lots of stores hire people but give them no training at all. Sometimes, the training would take longer than the clerks keep working there - fast turn-over.

Jerryc41
08-12-2018, 05:04 AM
If I see something at a local shop and give it a whirl, I’ll ask the price and buy it or not.

I hate stores with unpriced items.

Cornfield
08-12-2018, 05:06 AM
I think that a real quality, luthier built, instrument will sound different from one to the next. Every example may sound wonderful but there will be differences, sometimes subtle. Trying out one and buying online will yield very different results.

It could be that mas produced instruments are another ball of wax. As always, objects in mirror are closer than they appear.

Down Up Dick
08-12-2018, 05:19 AM
I bought all my ukes at stores, and I take them in for repairs, etc. I like to shop, and it’s fun to try them and pick one out to buy. They all sound, more or less, the same to me, so I mostly go for looks and size that I want.

On the other hand, all my banjos and my mandolin come from the internet. Banjos vary so much that it’s difficult to find one that’s exactly what one wants at the right price.

I buy all the other stuff like stands and straps and music books (when they have what I want) at stores. :old:

hendulele
08-12-2018, 05:44 AM
I would feel bad about auditioning a uke at a local store with the intent of finding a better deal, but YMMV.

There are two acoustic instrument retailers nearby and I’ve found them useful for repairs and accessories (but not strings; lousy string selection). Both also carry mostly generic ukes.

There’s a great uke dealer about two hours from here. If I’m not going there for a class or performance, I’m always prepared to come home with a new instrument.

Everything else I’ve bought from the marketplace, at auction, or from Mim.

Papa Tom
08-12-2018, 06:35 AM
I don't buy a lot of ukulele stuff anymore, so I will apply this question to my purchase of bicycle parts and accessories.

Trying to shop locally to support brick-and-mortar retail gets harder and harder, especially when it comes to bicycle dealers. Recently, I visited my local bike shop to price a chain and it was $31 plus tax. I had already seen that exact chain online for $10.99. Chains are something I like to stock up on, so I had to decide whether to plunk down $90+ tax for three of them, or $33 with no tax and free shipping for the same three. As much as I wanted to support the local guy, the numbers just didn't make sense, especially for a working class guy like me shopping in a store that caters mostly to the very wealthy people who live around me.

These days, I am very torn about purchasing things online. Just as bicycle accessories are often much, much cheaper online, so are the audio tools I purchase for my sound system and studio. I want the shops to be there so I have someone to bounce ideas off and someone to repair my bikes or my mics when I need them, but I simply can't afford to. That said, with nothing personal against your wife (I suspect MY wife does the same), I find it a little bit offensive to waste a storekeeper's time asking questions and getting my greasy hands all over his or her stock and then buying the same item from a stranger online.

Joyful Uke
08-12-2018, 06:59 AM
No, I don't do that, for reasons already stated. Plus (putting all conscience-related things aside!) I am such a bad player that I don't want anyone to hear me. :)

I don't like to play in front of others, so that would keep me from giving a ukulele a good test run at a store. But there aren't any stores even somewhat near by that carry anything more than a couple lowest end Kalas, & the workers at the store know nothing about ukuleles, so I buy over the internet & hope for the best.

I do try to support local stores in general, but can't do that with ukuleles.

UkingViking
08-12-2018, 07:12 AM
There would have to be a very significant price difference before that practice would even be tempting.

The price difference should both cover the shipping and make up for the fact that I can't play the Ukulele right away, and make up for that I don't get the exact specimen I tested. The places I would buy from online are probably not that cheap, and If they were, probably not that reputable.

Anyway, I don't do that. And the shops nearby dont have my dream ukes. But I tried walking in and trying a bunch of ukuleles, knowing that it was unlikely that I would buy any, and they buying some picks and a slide I have never used, just to feel better about playing their ukuleles.

I didnt intend to find the same model cheaper online, just wanted to try different sizes and woods.

UkerDanno
08-12-2018, 07:34 AM
I guess I'm the bad boy...

I sample stuff all the time at stores, then shop online for a bargain. I'm picky and It's hard to find items locally when you're looking for something specific. Plus, I'm cheap...always looking for the best price. If I can find what I want at a store, I'll definitely buy it, if it's just a little more than online.

casualmusic
08-12-2018, 08:00 AM
I appreciate having local music stores and I give them all our music business big and small (in the last two years 2 ukes, 2 banjo ukes, banjo, guitars, amps, keyboard, etc). Pre sale and after sales service is excellent.

I like the 30 days free return which was useful for guitars that did not work out.

The folks at Tapestry, Long McQuade, Tom Lee, 12th Fret are happy to bring in items from suppliers and their prices are good. So far have not needed to go online.

I also appreciate and support music teachers, song circle leaders and contra dance musicians.


.

70sSanO
08-12-2018, 08:13 AM
The only time I tried a uke in a store and bought online was one on consignment and the luthier told me where to go to try it out. It technically wasn't store stock and was also available on eBay and Craigslist, which is how I stumbled across it. I still felt awkward playing the ukulele at the store knowing I was going to call the luthier back after I walked out and buy it directly from him. There was a $1000 difference from the consignment price and what the builder would sell it for. I'm guessing there was an amount the store could reduce the price and they were getting 25%, or more, so the net to the builder was probably going to be about the same.

John

captain-janeway
08-12-2018, 09:30 AM
If I could find what I wanted all the time, I'd buy local. Quite honestly, a lot of times there's not that much difference in price on mass-produced ukes, at least in my area.

I'm also figuring that even if it costs a bit more, it works out about the same if I buy an online uke that I find I don't like and have to pay for shipment back.

Jo3x
08-12-2018, 06:35 PM
Thank you all for your replying! I'm glad to see most of you have the same feeling as mine.

The store I visited yesterday is like, tiny. But to my surprise there are about 4 or 5 people working in the store in the weekend, and two of them are seniors. It's hard to image what'll happen to them if the store ran out of business.

When I said "I was sure I wouldn't buy it because some online dealers have higher reputation in my mind". I didn't mean price-wise. I actually rejected a big discount offered by Mim to support her one-lady business when I bought my uke from her. What I meant was, some online dealers have better understanding and experiences on ukes, and provide more reputable services like set-up.

Kenn2018
08-18-2018, 07:30 PM
The biggest problem with trying something out at a brick-and-mortar store and then buy the item online for less is that the brick-and-mortar stores will eventually go out of business.

I bought my first tenor ukulele, a Fender Nohea, from Amazon. I had a gift card and knew next to nothing about ukuleles. Big mistake.
My second was a Ohana TK-50GS. I bought it on sale at the local music store, 48 miles away. He answered a lot of questions and setup the Ohana. I took the Fender in later and he set that up as well. Turned out the Ohana was B-stock. The sale price was no bargain.
All of the rest have been bought online. Some new, some used. All but two of these I have been very happy with. Though I did have to return two, one was damaged & replaced, and one I received a refund minus a restocking fee.

If they have an item I am interested in, and the cost isn't too much more, then I will buy local to support the store.

Unfortunately, most of the higher end ukuleles are not carried by the small stores nearby. They can special order from most of the better mass-producers, but you never know what they will receive. And in my experience, the mfgs. do not send their better pieces to the small shops that order one or two a year. The better stuff goes to the larger online retailers that move a lot of units.

I buy accessories local. Music stand. Case. Humidifiers, stc. Yet even there, they don't carry the strings I am partial to.

I don't know the solution to the problem.

kerneltime
08-18-2018, 11:20 PM
No.. not prudent.. I do buy online but only if the local uke store does not carry it..
I got a martin from my local store (gryphon strings) and it cracked within a year (sounds bette now..) but I was glad I could walk in and they repaired it under warranty (As they are a Martin repair shop).
Unfortunately a lot of the ukes I want are not available at their store..
Also, if it was not for them I would have never discovered my Waldman Cello Banjo!

kerneltime
08-18-2018, 11:23 PM
No.. not prudent.. I do buy online but only if the local uke store does not carry it..
I got a martin from my local store (gryphon strings) and it cracked within a year (sounds bette now..) but I was glad I could walk in and they repaired it under warranty (As they are a Martin repair shop).
Unfortunately a lot of the ukes I want are not available at their store..
Also, if it was not for them I would have never discovered my Waldman Cello Banjo!

Also.. if you try a solid wood instrument in a store, it will not sound the same if you buy another piece online.. if you like the tone of an instrument.. then buy THAT piece (internet is full of regret stories of people not buying an instrument that called out to them).

johnnysmash
08-19-2018, 12:14 AM
I do not have much choice. I live in Thailand and most shops do not speak English. Same with music teachers. And as to be expected, they do not carry all of the items one might want. A good example, I have been looking in music shops in Bangkok since September 2017 for a Tenor Guitar. You would not believe the responces I have gotten. They are sure that I am talking about a Tenor Ukulele. I have not yet been able to change their minds. Not even when providing specs. I plan to show them mine if I ever order one which I am presently thinking about. Then when I order on line, Amazon has very high shipping rates and the Thai Customs will wake you up fast. All in all when I really want something I must order from them and end up paying almost double the original costs. Might be the same if I deal with a factory in another country. Customs is still customs and shipping is exensive. They recently, last year I think, started a company called Lazada. An incountry mail order business. However, so far I have not found what I am looking for and searching is hard.. Their understanding of English is as poor as my understanding of Thai. This is probably the only real problem I have had since I retired abroad years ago, however, it is a pain. I still plan soon to suffer and buy a Tenor Guitar with nylon strings.

westcoastuke
11-15-2018, 05:48 PM
I appreciate having local music stores and I give them all our music business big and small (in the last two years 2 ukes, 2 banjo ukes, banjo, guitars, amps, keyboard, etc). Pre sale and after sales service is excellent.

I like the 30 days free return which was useful for guitars that did not work out.

The folks at Tapestry, Long McQuade, Tom Lee, 12th Fret are happy to bring in items from suppliers and their prices are good. So far have not needed to go online.

I also appreciate and support music teachers, song circle leaders and contra dance musicians.


.
Thanks for the support! Us local small business' need the support from our community to let us know what they are after so you don't need to go online. I will always listen to my customer base to make sure I always have on hand what our customers are looking for.

If people continue to go into brick n' mortar stores to try out instruments, leave and purchase elsewhere online, you won't have the option to do that for much longer. The retail music industry is changing. Retail is slowing down due to that reason and without an online presence, the mom and pop shops that don't have web sales won't be around for much longer. Especially in Canada.

Michael
Tapestry Music

AndrewKuker
11-15-2018, 11:07 PM
I’ve bought so much personal gear in my life, from local and online. There’s a whole hierarchy to these mostly unconscious choices and it’s fluid to the situation. We all have reasons and most of them are reasonable.

From the other side, I consider anyone that comes in strums a uke and buys some strings a supporting customer. Anything else is just cynical. That’s no way to live. Business evolves. Figure it out and hope for the best like the rest of us. Like Ospreys local store. There’s reasons why he’s loyal. They set things up. They compete. They offer something more to the community there. Some effort and luck and thank people for their accessory purchases along the way. $6>$0. OP didn’t even need. That’s good people either way to me.

Swamp Yankee
11-16-2018, 12:53 AM
most online stores don't pay the taxes our communities need to maintain the roads we drive on to visit the local stores... so, no - I would not try something in a brick and mortar store only to buy it online. And yes, I have willingly paid more on items to support local businesses.

Jerryc41
11-16-2018, 12:59 AM
I spend a lot of time on a photo forum (uglyhedgehog), and that question often comes up. I'll either shop locally, or I'll shop online. I won't waste the store's time looking at a product and then buy it online.

I don't have any stores within driving distance that would have ukuleles I would want to buy, anyway. Now, Hawaii is a different situation entirely!

olphart
11-16-2018, 02:30 AM
A local shop, not music, but similar problem, scuba also being a niche market. He would rant and rave about online buyers, and then finally, stopped fighting the trend and got on the bandwagon creating an online presence, offering prices that matched or beat other shops. Now his business has taken off to the point that he is building a new larger shop with a training pool.

All that being said, my approach was if I saw an item online that I wanted, I went to him with the deal asking if he could come close. More than once he said to get the deal and on at least one occasion he was able to beat the price. If he was even close, the buy went to him.
For higher end items like drysuits, I went to him, partly because they required proper fitting.

player
11-16-2018, 02:49 AM
I stumbled on my uke in a shop, liked and had it, as an individual. If it ever breaks think I will go to a shop again and have another around $100 good sounding and nice-looking uke, and have it right there.

Captain America
11-16-2018, 03:03 AM
I'm suspicious about music instruments and tennis racquets. They can differ among the same models. So if there was a uke in a store I liked, it would be there---and that particular one---that I would buy.

Yes, there is a bit of a moral stickiness here, but not a very substantial thing. You're not buying it from the person, but from the business entity.

Down Up Dick
11-16-2018, 03:04 AM
I wonder how many of the old timers had one ukulele, learned how to play it well (solo and accompaniment), and carried it around in a paper bag.

I agree with some of the others that we will sorely miss shopping in stores when they are gone. :old:

Rllink
11-16-2018, 03:21 AM
A local shop, not music, but similar problem, scuba also being a niche market. He would rant and rave about online buyers, and then finally, stopped fighting the trend and got on the bandwagon creating an online presence, offering prices that matched or beat other shops. Now his business has taken off to the point that he is building a new larger shop with a training pool.

All that being said, my approach was if I saw an item online that I wanted, I went to him with the deal asking if he could come close. More than once he said to get the deal and on at least one occasion he was able to beat the price. If he was even close, the buy went to him.
For higher end items like drysuits, I went to him, partly because they required proper fitting.Same story, actually a story of two stores, both sporting goods stores. One of them fought the online stores and lost. Everything they sold at retail and it took a month to get a special order because they would wait until they had a pile to stuff to order before they put it in. The other sporting good store started selling at competitive prices, special orders took three days. I would just as soon buy things locally, but they have to at least try to be competitive. But then on the other end, I am buying more and more of my stuff from Sweetwater. Not ukes, but everything else. It appears that Sweetwater has assigned a person to me, Ian. However I order from them, Ian ends up involved with the sale. He calls me up sometimes to see how things are going with my purchases. Sometimes I email questions to Ian and he will call me back and talk to me instead of just sending an email back. I have never met him face to face, but I know him. He is my go to guy when I'm looking for something. He is a person, someone that I can bounce my ideas off of who knows what is out there and what other people are doing. The best of both worlds, on line convenience with a personal touch. I appreciate the local stores, but the times they are a changing. They have to adjust, or they fail. Those who adjust thrive. Look at Elderly.

Down Up Dick
11-16-2018, 03:44 AM
The music store where I shop often matches or betters internet prices when they can. They also knock a percentage off of almost everything I buy.

I’ve bought a lotta stuff there, and since I can examine it and handle it, I’ve been mostly happy with everything that I’ve bought. They take trade-ins too.

Thank God I’m lucky to have an interesting and helpful place to shop. :old:

Joyful Uke
11-16-2018, 05:42 AM
The music store where I shop often matches or betters internet prices when they can. They also knock a percentage off of almost everything I buy.
I’ve bought a lotta stuff there, and since I can examine it and handle it, I’ve been mostly happy with everything that I’ve bought. They take trade-ins too.


Internet businesses might also take trade-ins. I know that Elderly does, though you have to ship it to them, of course, if you're doing internet based business with them. They give you an estimate of the value of the instrument first, based on your description and photos, so you have an idea of what the trade-in will be worth. Obviously, if they find a problem, the value will change once they have the instrument, but my experience with them has been good.