View Full Version : Sourcing Wholesale Ukes For Import

07-09-2009, 10:07 PM
So for the last 5 years I have made it my lifes work to save as much money as I can and pester the banks enough to have enough money to open a shop 100% dedicated to things Ukulele so somewhere to buy, play and enjoy the ukulele. Well the day has finally come the bank now thinks it is viable and they have given me a small buisiness start up loan to open my own shop in Auckland, New Zealand. The only problem is sourcing the ukuleles to sell. I have sourced the instructional books, DVD's etc but have had no luck with the actual uke! It is driving me crazy! So I turn to you guys, do you know of any manufacturers or distributors that would export ukes, cases, strings etc to NZ?

If so let me know so I can get my dream off the ground, I really don't want to have to give the money back when I'm so close!

07-10-2009, 03:39 AM
This thread might do a little better over in Uke Talk. I'll go ahead and move it there.

07-10-2009, 12:21 PM
Congratulations on your new endeavor.

I sent you a pm.

07-10-2009, 02:35 PM
good luck dude, i'm in cambridge, and locally my music store (hamilton),
carries kala and veelah ukes, so they at least are sourceable, also i think you can get fleas and flukes in auckland somewhere, so those too must be available. also on trademe there is a kala supplier out of hamilton, and a eleuke suppler out of auckland.

of course you must sell Kapona ukes if at all possible.

best of luck and let us know when you open up.

p.s. all i can find strings wise is martin and aquila's so any other variations would getting some custom.


07-10-2009, 02:44 PM
I hope you have lots of success. In Ukulele Player Magazine we have lists of Internet Resources and there is a big kiwi ukulele website. You might want to check it out and contact them when you are up and running. I am sure that they'd give you a warm welcome.

07-11-2009, 01:05 AM
sup man.. havnt seen u around in agesss!! i got no helpful things to say..

but supparZZZ

07-12-2009, 12:36 AM
well... in NZ so far we have mainly kala, makala, and mahalo as our readily available options.

Veelah is a no-name (asian?) uke brand that is also readily available here, apparently the distribution channels are godawful but the instruments are surprisingly good. I'm seriously considering one in the 3-hundy bracket. Local distributor is two-tix, give that a google, and good luck :)

Lanikai and Fender have a fledgling foothold here - you can get them via Alistair's music in Wellington. As an aside: Last time I visited Alistair's he mentioned that the trusty Makala dolphin bridge ukes would be no longer made out of wood, but plastic... so assuming that makes the entry Makalas absolutely terrible, your entry level uke will likely have to be the mahalos.

There is also 'Carlos' brand ukes which are apparently locally made. Straight from the factory they're pretty bad, so Alistair adjusts and restrings these in his spare time and they scrub up into something half decent.

Two-tix has rebranded entry level veelahs, so that's yet another option for the entry level.

The other company I can think of that has a (very small) presence here is Martin. 500 bucks up to nearly 10 grand. I'd expect that to be on a order-per-punter basis though.

And of course we have Beltona's, which are made right here in godzone :)

So, that's what we've currently got. Reach out to the other K's, Mainland, Fleas/Flukes (which really need to be imported in bulk to become remotely sensible to buy here) etc and you'll be onto something. If you want to see how it's done here in Wellys, you'll be wanting to fly down (grabaseat?) to visit Alistair's Music and then a bus ride to Petone to visit Pete's Acoustic Guitars.

And don't forget to approach some local luthiers, and also check out what's across the ditch (e.g. jupiter creek)