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BlackbirdMusic
05-28-2012, 11:03 AM
Hi!
We're a new music store that just opened May 15th, and we were hoping for some advice about what sorts of Ukes we should carry.
I don't know much about them, so your advice is much appreciated!
Thanks,
-Charlotte

Nickie
05-28-2012, 12:55 PM
Charlotte,
I own a Kala brand ukulele, and I don't think you could go wrong carrying the line. I'd make sure that all display ukes are kept properly tuned, and that someone in the store can set up the uke after it's sold.
Try here:

http://kalaukulele.com/index.htm

I'd display one of each size, at least.

Also, I think one of each color of Dolphin ukes would be cute:

http://tiny.cc/58i1ew

Good luck, let us know how it goes!

ChrisRCovington
05-28-2012, 01:15 PM
You can't go wrong with Martin and it would be really cool to see a few more Bruko dealers in the States ( I'm in love with my Bruko). You could also do well carrying a few K brands I'm sure.

veep
05-28-2012, 01:34 PM
Kala Ohana Mainland ukes .

CasanovaGuy
05-28-2012, 01:47 PM
I would say Kala is the best brand to carry. In my experience, all Kalas sound good and they have a lot of different (and unique) ukuleles. The prices also have a wide range, from amateur cheap to fhinxiwkxhoa expensive. Martins are good for uke collectors, and I assume that more people in the States will be interested in them compared to Hawaii. If you want high-end Hawaii ukes, go Kamaka, although that might be a little too pricey.

Overall, I say Kala.

hmgberg
05-28-2012, 02:24 PM
Kala, Ohana, Mainland are all popular ukuleles in $50.00-$350.00 price range. If you step up, consider Kamaka, Koaloha, Kanilea, Ko'olau, Martin, Collings. Martin makes some ukuleles in Mexico that retail starting at about $375.00.

Lideruke
05-28-2012, 03:50 PM
I don't know if the music store situation in Minneapolis is any different from Cleveland's, but with the rise in popularity of ukes, I would definitely recommend carrying some higher end ukes, like the K brands mentioned in hmgberg's post. The big box music stores don't carry higher end models, selling almost exclusively just entry level ukes. Music stores sell guitars with a wide range of prices, so ukes shouldn't be any different.

itsme
05-28-2012, 05:07 PM
I don't know if the music store situation in Minneapolis is any different from Cleveland's, but with the rise in popularity of ukes, I would definitely recommend carrying some higher end ukes, like the K brands mentioned in hmgberg's post. The big box music stores don't carry higher end models, selling almost exclusively just entry level ukes. Music stores sell guitars with a wide range of prices, so ukes shouldn't be any different.
I tend to disagree. Most of their uke business will come from entry to mid-range ukes. It'd be rather cost prohibitive for a new store to stock a full range of high-end ukes, especially when (as the OP admitted) they don't know much about them and obviously aren't specializing in them.

I might wander in to see what they have and try them out, but honestly, I think most people looking for a high-end uke these days will go online and search out reputable dealers with a better selection and the lowest price.

RawrGazzawrs
05-28-2012, 06:55 PM
Luna's ukulele line. Theyre a guitar company that does designs on most of their instruments (if not all...) and I think they're good entry level ukuleles if set up good. Plus they look very sexy.

Lori
05-28-2012, 08:09 PM
If I were opening a store, I would start with some Kala, Ohana, and Mainland. I would also get a few Fleas and Flukes. From what I heard at NAMM, retailers do well to offer uke groups to help build interest. Some stores have separate groups for children, teens, and adults. It turns the uke into a fun group activity in addition to it's appeal as good musical instrument.

Good Luck.

–Lori

bazmaz
05-28-2012, 10:50 PM
There are honestly so many.

You need to cater for all prices, but avoid the junk!

Beginner prices - Makala, NOT Mahalo!

Upper level beginners and intermediates - Kala, Ohana, Mainland, Bruko?

The something different range - Flea, Fluke, Eleuke

Then something from the top end - Kanilea, Koaloha. Kamaka if you can but I believe they are stringent with who is a dealer.

Might also want a banjolele or two in the mix!

Louis0815
05-29-2012, 05:13 AM
And don't forget to stock a variety of strings for all the different sizes and makes....

From a buyer's perspective I would love to have a few different sizes available on display (a soprano fretboard sometimes is just that small bit too narrow)

mm stan
05-29-2012, 10:18 AM
Aloha Charlotte,
There are so many brands..it depends on what level of ukes you want to sell...and your stores budget....Check out the other top ukes stores sites..
Get some Hawaiian K brands, a few beginner budget ukes and and some mid level ones....for starters...

Nickie
05-29-2012, 11:20 AM
Yeah, Charlotte, a Uke Club is a great idea, but you'll be so busy in the shop. It takes a big commitment to run a uke club, get someone else to do it and be a sponsor. It might be a good idea to have an ukulele teacher around... our Sam Ash Music has two.

ukuloonie
05-29-2012, 11:25 AM
dont forget the islander in there too
low end price wise
great value sound wise
But most of the stuff already been mentioned I feel is pretty good advice.

SailingUke
05-29-2012, 12:56 PM
I would look around at what other shops are selling & stocking.
I would look for different lines, but hit the good retail price points.
I would build a shop and clientele from giving great service and promoting the ukulele community.
I would not want to get into price wars with other stores, it is hard enough to compete with online sales.
Kala & Lanaikai are nice brands, but almost everyone stocks them.

addicted2myuke
05-29-2012, 01:37 PM
I have a Kala Tenor that sounds phenominal, and a Mainland soprano. A little uke with a BIG sound. Ya can't go wrong with those two brands. Good luck with your new venture.

GinnyT11
05-29-2012, 01:50 PM
The violin and guitar shop near me (http://www.highstrungdurham.com/) is known as a uke center, mainly because they sponsor uke jams on the 1st and 3rd Monday evenings of each month. A staffer leads a general-strumming hour and a half with printouts of popular songs. Beginners can come in and borrow a Dolphin or Kala to play for the evening.
Each of these uke jams has 6 to 15 people looking at all the ukes on display, which range from Dolphin through Kala and Lanikai to one or two KoAlohas. They've recently added Ponos to the lineup. All the jammers begin to dream about having better ukes.

This store also sells used ukes on consignment. (They keep 20%, but their luthier has looked over each one, so they stand behind its value.) That extends the stock and adds to the mix of ukes on offer. I've sold five ukes there pretty quickly, thanks to the traffic from uke jams.

They have workshops of various types on Sunday afternoons, and the uke workshops fill up quickly.

jaywhy729
05-29-2012, 02:57 PM
Try to have the common ones like

Kala

Lanikai

Oscar Schmidt

Lideruke
05-29-2012, 05:01 PM
I tend to disagree. Most of their uke business will come from entry to mid-range ukes. It'd be rather cost prohibitive for a new store to stock a full range of high-end ukes, especially when (as the OP admitted) they don't know much about them and obviously aren't specializing in them.

I might wander in to see what they have and try them out, but honestly, I think most people looking for a high-end uke these days will go online and search out reputable dealers with a better selection and the lowest price.

I completely agree with you. But my point is simply to be inclusive of higher end ukes, as most music stores shy away from them entirely. Music stores often have higher end guitars along with entry and mid level ones. It would just be nice to see some of that with their stock of ukes as well, even if on a much smaller scale. And regarding ordering online, that's exactly what I did, but I really wish I didn't have to! I have to imagine just about every person who has ordered a uke online wishes he or she could have played it or one like it first.

Ethan
06-01-2012, 10:07 AM
Lots of good advice so far but the one that rang most true to my ears is to try not to compete directly with the millions of stores that sell Kalas and Lanikais. I would stock Mainland, Ohana or Makai, Pono, Islander, Big Island, and one of the K brands. I would stock

scothut
06-02-2012, 08:43 PM
Hi!
We're a new music store that just opened May 15th, and we were hoping for some advice about what sorts of Ukes we should carry.
I don't know much about them, so your advice is much appreciated!
Thanks,
-Charlotte

Hi Charlotte, well coming from a fellow dealer who's only in last 2 or 3 yrs had great success with ukuleles I would try to cover several price points. We currently carry Ohana, Eddy Finn, Moku, Eleuke, Riptide, Kamoa and KoAloha.These brands are not only somewhat unique but also cover every price point for us except the very low end which we choose to stay away from. My advice is search out lesser know brands that are difficult to find and have low competition from other dealers. Become an expert on those brands and you'll be the go to store for your customers.

Good luck,
Scott