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View Full Version : low-end uke manufacturer or wholesale importer?



maestrosities
09-24-2008, 11:19 AM
Hi,

I'm trying to find a source of a large quantity of extremely cheap ukes. The group with which I play sometimes does a comic number where we recklessly endanger, and occasionally destroy, ukuleles. We'd love to find an inexpensive source from whom we can order ukes by the dozen. They don't need to be good ukes -- they don't even need to be playable -- they just need to look the part and hold together when thrown through the air. And cost very little.

Any suggestions?

Thanks.

-Dave

sukie
09-24-2008, 11:34 AM
:eek::eek::eek:

whatevsalex
09-24-2008, 12:48 PM
:eek: why would you do such a thing???? haha

well i have no idea what the brand name is... but in hawaii there are tons of cheap little ukuleles in most of the "tourist" shops. someone that lives there might be able to hook you up with the company's name

deach
09-24-2008, 01:18 PM
Sounds like a lot of fun! What about mahalos?

e10rice
09-24-2008, 07:54 PM
sacrificing ukes for what i guess is entertainment?:confused: well i guess the more fake toy ukes we destroy the better off everyone is cause some poor bastard wont be buying it thinking its the real deal. Destroy on :D

Kaneohe til the end
09-24-2008, 09:43 PM
recklessly endanger, and occasionally destroy, ukuleles.

thats terrible. you just pulled all of my hairs out one by one and raped my soul.

UkeNinja
09-25-2008, 12:24 AM
Remember folks, this is the chance you have all been waiting for: someone who volunteers to rid the world of those terrible monstrosities they disguise as a uke, but are in fact figure-8 shaped boxes with a protruding stick designed to irritate people to the deepest of their souls. I say praise the topic starter!

There must be cheaper stuff out there than Mahalos? Toy ukuleles, made in some obscure Chinese factory by 8-year olds who make a dollar fifty per week and work in 16 hour shifts. Poor kids... Still, there should be people importing those dreaded things.

On the other hand, I smell a "ukulele = funny" (the ukulele version of the F-bomb) tendency here... Didn't Rigk Sauer have a Youtube vid where he stamps on a uke and that becomes the beat of the song? Destruction is a pretty absolute thing :eek:

deach
09-25-2008, 12:31 AM
Didn't Jack from the UK use dynamite to get a good sound out of a Mahalo? Pretty awesome!

maestrosities
09-25-2008, 12:07 PM
We don't necessarily destroy the ukuleles, but we do subject them to more than typical wear-and-tear. We brought a suitcase full of the cheapest ukes we could find back from China the last time we gigged there, but those are starting to fall apart, and I don't think we'll be getting back there soon. Besides which, it turns out to be really difficult to find cheap ukes in China -- or any ukes at all. Apparently, they haven't caught on with the Chinese yet, so they're only made there for export.

If anyone has any ideas how I might be able to get a line on a ukelele factory there, or anyone who buys them in bulk and might be able to order an extra case for us, I'd really appreciate it. We're on a tight budget (isn't everyone?) but we'd love to get 2 or 3 dozen ukes, at something below $8 per.

If you want to know more about the group I play with, we're the Maestrosities: www.Maestrosities.com

Thanks.

NukeDOC
09-25-2008, 12:23 PM
LEOLANI HAWAII
OMI INTERNATIONAL INC.
PO BOX 2342
HONOLULU
HAWAII
96804

(808) 834-1130 Websight:www.leolanihawaii.com (http://www.leolanihawaii.com/)
Email:customerservice@leolanihawaii.com (customerservice@leolanihawaii.com)

this is the company that made my tourist-trap ukulele (they also make some pretty decent mid-range quality ukes too). i dont know how much it cost, but you might be able to get close to what your budget can afford.


art, though some say they have the power to critique it, is a subjective thing. kinda like how one man's trash is another man's treasure. so if they want to take a tourist trap ukulele that will statistically never be played correctly and destroy it to express themselves, then i dont see the wrong in it. those ukuleles are manufactured for one thing only. to make a buck. there is no real soul built into them like the ones that we all own. so im cool with it... unless its an exhibit that involves starving a living creature and calling it "art".

kriquit
09-24-2010, 05:46 PM
Thanks, this thread was helpful to me. I am also looking for ukes in bulk at an inexpensive price. I've been trying to start a uke club at my elementary school (I'm a teacher) and hoping to start an after school uke class as well. Our school is in the poorest area of California so our school has very little money and I will be purchasing the ukes out of my own pocket. I emailed the Leolani Hawaii company above, I hope they respond! (Crossed fingers!) In case they don't, if anyone has any other leads you think may be useful in my endeavor please let me know. Cheers!

darkwater
09-24-2010, 05:57 PM
If you just need something that looks like a ukulele and don't care about playability, try the Oriental Trading Company party favor ukes.
http://www.orientaltrading.com/ui/search/processRequest.do?Ntt=ukulele&x=27&y=11&requestURI=searchMain&Ntk=all&Ntx=mode%2Bmatchallpartial&N=0

kriquit
09-24-2010, 06:10 PM
If you just need something that looks like a ukulele and don't care about playability, try the Oriental Trading Company party favor ukes.
http://www.orientaltrading.com/ui/search/processRequest.do?Ntt=ukulele&x=27&y=11&requestURI=searchMain&Ntk=all&Ntx=mode%2Bmatchallpartial&N=0


I'm looking for something that really will play. Something an inexperienced student can learn on. I actually checked out that link. Those almost looked like they might be playable, but when I zoomed in it looks like the frets wont fret and the tuners won't tune, lol! Maybe I'll order one and see if they are even a possibility. Cheers and thanks for the link!

brunette_moment
09-24-2010, 06:12 PM
This is like a ukulele snuff movie. I feel a bit queasy. :-| I need to go tell my uke how special she is.

Lori
09-24-2010, 06:55 PM
How about turning it into a project? Grizzly kits are an option for the schoolchildren anyway.
http://grizzly.com/products/H3125
If you want a fast and easy choice, the Makala Dolphins are great and around $40 each. Great little ukes that the players won't be frustrated by. Maybe you could get a group discount from a store.

–Lori

kenikas
09-25-2010, 06:01 AM
In the google ads box on the UU home page there has been an ad for "New Ukuleles in 4 Colors $10.99 ea." I don't know if they are playable (they look like the cheesy tourist type) but it's a wholesale company that will apparently sell case lots. Sorry I can't seem to find it now but I think it was TMS-wholesale.com.

mm stan
09-25-2010, 07:41 AM
Thanks, this thread was helpful to me. I am also looking for ukes in bulk at an inexpensive price. I've been trying to start a uke club at my elementary school (I'm a teacher) and hoping to start an after school uke class as well. Our school is in the poorest area of California so our school has very little money and I will be purchasing the ukes out of my own pocket. I emailed the Leolani Hawaii company above, I hope they respond! (Crossed fingers!) In case they don't, if anyone has any other leads you think may be useful in my endeavor please let me know. Cheers!
Aloha Kriquit,
Musician's friend has the Rogue line, soprano for $24.99 and Baritones for$29.00 and they sound decent and one is my daily player...good for kids, not to be nuked....
I hope this helps....Happy Strummings....MM Stan...

kriquit
09-25-2010, 03:22 PM
Lori, MM stan, and kenikas thanks so much for your help :) those kits look like a lot of fun. The kids would love those! If I fundraise maybe we could afford them. I think that is my favorite choice, but I'm looking into your other ideas too. The dolphins are really too expensive even if I fundraise, but the Rogue line sounds like it may be promising. Kenikas, I checked the hompage, but now it's a soda machine (drats!), but I'm going to check out the site now. If it works, then you MUSt have a photographic memory or something to remember a google ads site! I REALLY appreciate your help. I'm about head off to a night time swap meet we have here in Indio. I've seen some kind of cheap looking ukes there in the past so tonight I'm going to bring my tuner and then try some out. Maybe I'll get lucky. Thanks all.

kriquit
09-25-2010, 03:35 PM
In the google ads box on the UU home page there has been an ad for "New Ukuleles in 4 Colors $10.99 ea." I don't know if they are playable (they look like the cheesy tourist type) but it's a wholesale company that will apparently sell case lots. Sorry I can't seem to find it now but I think it was TMS-wholesale.com.
Hi! You were right about the website! Unfortunately, the shipping is almost as much as the uke and they don't offer case lots on that item. They also say that the item is intended as a toy so I'm not sure that would work out for my needs. Thank you so much for your lead, I am sooooo appreciative. Let me know if you find any other leads.

Cheers!

kenikas
09-25-2010, 07:35 PM
Hi Kriquit, another place you may check in to is Kaman Music www.kamanmusic.com they are the distributor for Hilo ukes and they appear to have a new buget line called "Diamond Head". Don't know how good they are, but I have an old Hilo Baritone and my grandson had a Hilo soprano and they are playable. Kaman is the distributor of Ovation and Takamine guitars and the Applause ukes so they do have some good instruments. You may try contacting them and see if they or some of their dealers do educational discounts. I also remember someone here on the forums ( Revwill I think) buying a bunch of Dolphins for his church uke group at a discount from one of the online dealers, try sending him a PM and/or doing a search of older posts about the Dolphin. I hope this helps. Oh and I definetly don't have a photographic (or even very good!) memory, I had made myself a note about that site so I could look in to it later.

mm stan
09-26-2010, 08:35 AM
Hi Kriquit, another place you may check in to is Kaman Music www.kamanmusic.com they are the distributor for Hilo ukes and they appear to have a new buget line called "Diamond Head". Don't know how good they are, but I have an old Hilo Baritone and my grandson had a Hilo soprano and they are playable. Kaman is the distributor of Ovation and Takamine guitars and the Applause ukes so they do have some good instruments. You may try contacting them and see if they or some of their dealers do educational discounts. I also remember someone here on the forums ( Revwill I think) buying a bunch of Dolphins for his church uke group at a discount from one of the online dealers, try sending him a PM and/or doing a search of older posts about the Dolphin. I hope this helps. Oh and I definetly don't have a photographic (or even very good!) memory, I had made myself a note about that site so I could look in to it later.
I have a couple hilo soprano's and a couple rogue soprano's and the Hilo ukes does not even compare to the rogues soprano in sound and tone....for sure..MY 2 cents worth of nothing...Stan
and price too!!

Ukulele Dave
09-26-2010, 10:08 AM
sacrificing ukes for what i guess is entertainment?:confused: well i guess the more fake toy ukes we destroy the better off everyone is cause some poor bastard wont be buying it thinking its the real deal. Destroy on :D

Actually quite the opposite(think supply and demand) - all you'd be doing is helping those companies stay in business and produce even more product. I dislike those falsely advertised souvenir ukes as well, you can't even tune em!