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View Full Version : Am I the only one for mom and pop type music shops?



ukulelelearner
07-18-2012, 04:43 AM
Recently, I've been ordering everything through my local mom and pop music store. It's a great business and the people are super nice and don't for anything on you. I feel like I've been a bother because I keep contacting them for certain things wondering if they would order it in for me, e.g. my lanikai soprano banjolele. I would much rather order through them than through places like Sam Ash/Guitar Center (more corporate places). I was just wondering if anyone else did the same thing.

Freeda
07-18-2012, 04:56 AM
I honestly don't know of any in my town. We have a national chain, and a state wide chain. And a musical consignment shop.

sim4lin
07-18-2012, 04:58 AM
Unfortunately there is no place near me. :(
C. A. House is very good but it's an hour drive. Not worth it for the few pennys I spend on music every month.

Bill Mc
07-18-2012, 05:27 AM
I had a wonderful store in my neighborhood at one time called Zapfs Music Store. I purchased many items there and took musical lessons there as well. I remember the ukuleles, zithers, accordians in their store window as a kid. They are gone now after a fifty year run and the neighborhood being what it is nobody in their right mind would open a shop in the location. So I shop on line.

PoiDog
07-18-2012, 05:37 AM
Local music stores are my first choice always. Luckily for me, I can name at least four off the top of my head that, between them, will have anything I could ever want.

But that's because I'm one of the lucky ones. Many folks don't have music shops near them that even know what an 'ukulele is, much less carry them, and if they do stock ukes, the most they'll have are some Dolphins and a Kala or Lanikai. If you need strings or a case, you may be completely out of luck.

Ordering through your local shop is a nice way to use them for something, but when it comes to the higher end ukes, that may not be a very wise way to go. For that, it may be a better option to contact HMS or Uke Republic, or Uke Puapua, or one of the other vendors that are active on this forum. The reason is that they're likely far more knowledgable about the different makes out there than your local shop, and are more likely to help you get the right uke for you.

There are way more options that GC/SA out there, and I honestly wouldn't use them no matter what the circumstance.

janeray1940
07-18-2012, 05:40 AM
Like myself, you are fortunate that the Wal-Marts of the musical instrument world haven't forced your local shop to close. Please, please keep on doing whatever you can to support them!

I refuse to support the chain music stores for the same reason that I refuse to shop in the big-box stores - I find it very upsetting that no matter what U.S. city I am in, the landscape is nearly always the same between the airport and the city center: Wal-Mart, Costco, and Westfield shopping malls with the same collection of chain stores, movie theaters, and franchise restaurants in them. It saddens me that these places have forced the mom-and-pops out of business.

Apologies for the rant but I'm a huge believer in voting with one's dollar. Spend it where you believe in what is taking place. If you believe in Wal-Mart's business practices, by all means spend it there; if you don't - enough said.

hoosierhiver
07-18-2012, 05:44 AM
Good for you, everytime you buy something you are deciding what kind of world you want to live in.

SailingUke
07-18-2012, 05:52 AM
In today's world service is sometimes overlooked.
Some customers don't appreciate the individual attention a small store can give.
I have also been in many small stores (music and non-music) where service is NOT included.
If I am going to shop where I don't get the individual attention I want, I either go to a big box store or shop online.
Many consumers today are driven totally by price, while price is important so is getting a good product that someone stands behind.

vanflynn
07-18-2012, 06:29 AM
I bought my Lanikai Monkey Pod from a family owned music store with limited success. The price was the same as anywhere else but even though they had a dozen different models and sizes they really didn't know ukuleles. The first one that came in had some cracks in wood knots on the side. It should never have left the factory. I had to be fairly insistant before I could get them to call their Lanikai distrubutor. I also had to tell them to adjust the action which was high.

I guess what I am saying is that I am glad I used them but it can be frustrating dealing with someone trying to sell a product that they are not familiar with. This is true for any store, no matter the size.

PoiDog
07-18-2012, 06:31 AM
Like myself, you are fortunate that the Wal-Marts of the musical instrument world haven't forced your local shop to close. Please, please keep on doing whatever you can to support them!

I refuse to support the chain music stores for the same reason that I refuse to shop in the big-box stores - I find it very upsetting that no matter what U.S. city I am in, the landscape is nearly always the same between the airport and the city center: Wal-Mart, Costco, and Westfield shopping malls with the same collection of chain stores, movie theaters, and franchise restaurants in them. It saddens me that these places have forced the mom-and-pops out of business.

Apologies for the rant but I'm a huge believer in voting with one's dollar. Spend it where you believe in what is taking place. If you believe in Wal-Mart's business practices, by all means spend it there; if you don't - enough said.

Absolutely agree with everything you said, and the sentiment that was unsaid behind all of this.

I can still remember when West LA had a very local and unique charm about it, and when you could tell which neighborhood you were in (Marina del Rey, Playa del Rey, Culver City, Santa Monica, Venice, Mar Vista, Palms, etc) just by the shops and small eateries. Now? Heck, I couldn't tell you if I was even still in California. Sure, some areas still have a bit of local flavor (like the Sawtelle neighborhood), but even they are dropping off. Other than a couple of remaining nurserires and Asahi Ramen, even Sawtelle is getting absorbed. It's sad.

ukulelelearner
07-18-2012, 06:39 AM
It's interesting to see everyone's ideas. Thanks! I have been so fortunate that at my local music store they carry very good ukuleles. There is a 'ukulele guy' there that can set them up and he'll order anything you want. He also gets people started and convinces them to join a local ukulele group! One day I want to eventually open my own music store (I'm a music ed and music therapy major). I want to create a music store that can offer so many great things and have a staff that knows about every instrument!

PhilUSAFRet
07-18-2012, 06:45 AM
I sympathise with Mom and Pop music shops, but the simple truth is that perhaps most of them know nothing about ukes, couldn't set one up if their life depended on it, and only sell cheap laminates which may or may not be set up properly. As helpful and friendly as they may be, you have to decide whether you want to do a "good deed" or get a decent, properly set up uke. If they have one you want that fits that description, and you try it out and love it.....I say go for it!

Doc_J
07-18-2012, 06:55 AM
Likewise, support the ukulele builders/luthiers and shops who have contributed much to this community, and build fabulous ukes.

Lideruke
07-18-2012, 07:14 AM
It's interesting to see everyone's ideas. Thanks! I have been so fortunate that at my local music store they carry very good ukuleles. There is a 'ukulele guy' there that can set them up and he'll order anything you want. He also gets people started and convinces them to join a local ukulele group! One day I want to eventually open my own music store (I'm a music ed and music therapy major). I want to create a music store that can offer so many great things and have a staff that knows about every instrument!

Seems as though you and I go to the same local music store! :)
Motter's is great! Terrific customer service I've never gotten from Sam Ash or Guitar Center which are just up the street. Local music stores are great.

ksiegel
07-18-2012, 07:32 AM
I try to order/buy from the local shops, either here, or in California when I'm visiting.

Bought my Fluke and Firefly directly from MagicFluke - but they're only a 90 minute drive from me. The Sceptre came from Ukulele Source in San Jose. the Kala through MusicGuyMike, the Cordoba and one of the Epiphones through a local shop, while the other Epi I bought from PedalFreak's shop. I won the Ohana, bought the Stella at a pawn shop over 30 years ago, I bought the Waverly Street used from another UU member, the Republic direct from them, and the harmony was a gift from my Father-in-law (the uke that started it all.)

I think the only big box store I've ever been in was a single Guitar Center, and I purchased nothing from them.

It is difficult buying ukes from the local stores, however. Of the three I know of, many pros buy ukes from one of them, but I've never been able to have a conversation there - they are always too busy to talk to me. One never called me back about a RipTide uke, despite 4 phone calls and two visits, and the one I usually go to stocks mostly Makala and some Kala, but their high end peaks at about $300. I've tried to explain that I consider that a low-to-medium priced uke, but they don't stock anything else ("...because our customers don't want to pay that much money for a ukulele").



-Kurt

luluwrites
07-18-2012, 07:40 AM
I'm with you, sister.


Like myself, you are fortunate that the Wal-Marts of the musical instrument world haven't forced your local shop to close. Please, please keep on doing whatever you can to support them!

I refuse to support the chain music stores for the same reason that I refuse to shop in the big-box stores - I find it very upsetting that no matter what U.S. city I am in, the landscape is nearly always the same between the airport and the city center: Wal-Mart, Costco, and Westfield shopping malls with the same collection of chain stores, movie theaters, and franchise restaurants in them. It saddens me that these places have forced the mom-and-pops out of business.

Apologies for the rant but I'm a huge believer in voting with one's dollar. Spend it where you believe in what is taking place. If you believe in Wal-Mart's business practices, by all means spend it there; if you don't - enough said.

janeray1940
07-18-2012, 07:50 AM
I can still remember when West LA had a very local and unique charm about it, and when you could tell which neighborhood you were in (Marina del Rey, Playa del Rey, Culver City, Santa Monica, Venice, Mar Vista, Palms, etc) just by the shops and small eateries. Now? Heck, I couldn't tell you if I was even still in California. Sure, some areas still have a bit of local flavor (like the Sawtelle neighborhood), but even they are dropping off. Other than a couple of remaining nurserires and Asahi Ramen, even Sawtelle is getting absorbed. It's sad.

I remember those days too, all too well. I'm constantly amazed that the area on Pico (by the shop where I spend all my time and money!) hasn't "gentrified."

haole
07-18-2012, 07:56 AM
I much prefer shopping locally over buying from big box stores. It's frustrating when a reputable mom-and-pop store gets crushed by a faceless chain that can afford to sell a pack of strings for 50 less. Especially when a truly terrible independent store (the kind that's been run by the same nasty people for 40 years, never updates its selection, and overprices worthless old junk instruments manages to survive.

In general, though, most independent stores will order you something strange if they don't have it in stock, while the chains just carry the stuff that's been proven to sell. And I've had success talking some small stores into carrying more quality ukes and string brands.

Certain things just can't be found anywhere around here, though, so that's when I'll check Hawaii Music Supply, Mim's, Uke Republic, Bounty, and all the other places run by good folks that know their ukes and go the extra mile. Heck, even if I can find it at the chain store down the street, I'm still more likely to buy it online from a dealer that cares.

PoiDog
07-18-2012, 08:04 AM
I remember those days too, all too well. I'm constantly amazed that the area on Pico (by the shop where I spend all my time and money!) hasn't "gentrified." YET

I had to correct that for you :) After all, you do remember the Alligator Lounge, right? It was a cool place and I saw several shows there (including Stan Ridgway, which was AWESOME!). Now, I couldn't even tell you what sort of hipster place it is. Maybe one of those designer martini bars or something.

Sigh.

OldePhart
07-18-2012, 08:10 AM
I prefer supporting small business when I can...and when they deserve it. They don't always deserve it.

The closest music shop is about three miles away. They don't have a great selection of anything of interest to me (they're mostly a piano store) but I still used to throw them my business whenever I could even though their prices were a bit higher than the internet or the GC about 9 miles away. I'll probably never go back after my last visit, though. I was there to buy a USB audio interface and some cables (200-300 dollars) and I needed the cables that night (I was on my way to rehearsal, in fact).

Their pro-audio room where all that stuff is was closed and locked with the lights off. I asked if somebody could help me and they said the pro-audio guy had stepped next door (only thing next door is a grocery store) for a minute and would be right back. After a couple of minutes I said, "I know exactly what I want, can't somebody just open the door?" "He'll be right back," was the reply. Now, it's not like they were busy - there was myself and one other customer in the store and at least four employees just standing around.

I cooled my heals for a few minutes but it was obvious they were lying - who closes and locks a room and turns the lights off and moves a cardboard display in front of the door because they are stepping next door for a few minutes?

Anyway, I left and drove to the GC (I despise GC stores) where I got exactly what I wanted for probably $50 to $80 less than I would have spent at the local place. After rehearsal I emailed their corporate office (they're a small local outfit with three locations in the metroplex) and thanked them for having such poor customer service that it forced me to go to GC and save money. I got a reply a few days later - no apology or explanation just a defense of their prices.

In contrast, the small town where I lived until about six years ago had a great locally-owned shop that rivaled a GC for selection and price while offering great service and a knowledgeable staff. Most of my guitars were purchased there. In fact, I still occassionally make the 100-mile round trip to go out there just to hit that store.

John

MisterRios
07-18-2012, 08:24 AM
I'm lucky in that we have a local shop that specializes in ukes. There is another well-regarded guitar shop that has over 100 ukes in stock, but I don't like going in there because there is a big sign that says not to touch the ukes.

At my local uke shop (It's called Leleland by the way, and he has an awesome selection) I've been in there often enough, and the owner comes to our meet-ups occasionally, that I can chat with him and then he'll go back to whatever he's doing and will let me try the ukes. If one is out of tune, he'll come over and tune it. I've actually only bought one uke there for myself, but I brought a friend in, who bought a uke, bag and accessories, and also bought a uke for a friend.

The other reputable uke shops in Germany are all run by people on the German forum, and I have supported one of them. He even called after I put in my order to confirm my zip code. I had put it in wrong.

janeray1940
07-18-2012, 08:32 AM
I had to correct that for you :) After all, you do remember the Alligator Lounge, right? It was a cool place and I saw several shows there (including Stan Ridgway, which was AWESOME!). Now, I couldn't even tell you what sort of hipster place it is. Maybe one of those designer martini bars or something.

Sigh.

Stan is great, his shows are always awesome. I was just reminded of the Alligator Lounge for the first time in forever the other night, actually! The memory, it's a bit foggy at times :)

Perhaps a bit too much of a derail from the original post, for which I apologize, but... I'm very worried about the former location of the Joker bar (http://www.yelp.com/biz/the-joker-santa-monica) at present. I think its existence helped keep real estate values down (well, as much as possible anyway), and now that it's up for lease, I fear it will become another hipster bar. My longtime dream has been to take it over as a very low-key, everyone-welcome, no doorman, no designer martinis ukulele bar; all I need is a silent partner...

janeray1940
07-18-2012, 08:34 AM
I don't like going in there because there is a big sign that says not to touch the ukes.


Wow, that is quite a deterrent. Sounds to me like they don't really want to stay in business for long!

mds725
07-18-2012, 08:47 AM
We're really lucky here in the Bay Area. In San Francisco, there's Aloha Warehouse, a non-music-specific shop that has a great selection of ukuleles (as well as other Hawaiian products) and is run by a really nice guy who is also a UU member. On the peninsula, there's Gryphon Stringed Instruments in Palo Alto, which has more guitars than ukuleles (it also has banjoes and mandolins), but sells a lot of higher end ukuleles (including Compass Roses sometimes) and has a very knowledgeable staff. Further south is Ukulele Source in San Jose, a truly mom-and-pop shop owned by Smiley and his wife, that has probably the biggest selection of ukes at all price points in the Bay Area. In the East Bay, there's another truly mom-and-pop shop, Music Works in El Cerrito, which has a large variety of low-priced and mid-priced ukes and recently began selling Kamakas. There are also a number of local music shops that are not as ukulele-centric, like Haight Ashbury Music, Guitar Solo and Sunset Music in San Francisco. I agree with Mike -- every time you buy something you're amking a statement about the kind of worldyou want to live in. I love being in an area with so many local shops that employ knowledgeable people who love the instruments they sell.

Sporin
07-18-2012, 10:48 AM
We don't have any of the national music store chains around here so that's all there is. A couple of small places (mostly guitar focused with limited Uke selections) and then online.

MisterRios
07-18-2012, 10:54 AM
Wow, that is quite a deterrent. Sounds to me like they don't really want to stay in business for long!

Well, that's only in the Guitar Shop. If that's the way they're going to treat their uke customers, I won't be buying a uke there (let alone a guitar). But I guess most people go in there to get a guitar anyways. The store is called Berlin Guitars, or something like that.

ksiegel
07-18-2012, 11:02 AM
And don't forget Sylvan Music in Santa Cruz, which also carries Compass Rose, and The Starving Musician (Three Locations) that has some decent medium range ukes, and Guitar Showcase in Los Gatos/San Jose/Campbell (can't recall which one) that has a decent selection of mid-range (and was the first place I'd seen/tried a U-Bass). Across the parking lot, they sell used instruments and consignment instruments, and often have ukes there as well.

I can't speak for the set ups at Starving Musician or Guitar Showcase, but both encourage you to play anything on display, answer questions freely, and aren't ashamed to say "I don't know".

While I was at Sylvan Music, I was discussing the 5-string rosewood Compass Rose with one of the employees, and two of Rick's luthiers came strolling in, and answered a lot of my questions. Pretty cool encounter!


-Kurt



We're really lucky here in the Bay Area. In San Francisco, there's Aloha Warehouse, a non-music-specific shop that has a great selection of ukuleles (as well as other Hawaiian products) and is run by a really nice guy who is also a UU member. On the peninsula, there's Gryphon Stringed Instruments in Palo Alto, which has more guitars than ukuleles (it also has banjoes and mandolins), but sells a lot of higher end ukuleles (including Compass Roses sometimes) and has a very knowledgeable staff. Further south is Ukulele Source in San Jose, a truly mom-and-pop shop owned by Smiley and his wife, that has probably the biggest selection of ukes at all price points in the Bay Area. In the East Bay, there's another truly mom-and-pop shop, Music Works in El Cerrito, which has a large variety of low-priced and mid-priced ukes and recently began selling Kamakas. There are also a number of local music shops that are not as ukulele-centric, like Haight Ashbury Music, Guitar Solo and Sunset Music in San Francisco. I agree with Mike -- every time you buy something you're amking a statement about the kind of worldyou want to live in. I love being in an area with so many local shops that employ knowledgeable people who love the instruments they sell.

ukulelelearner
07-18-2012, 02:30 PM
Hello again! I love Motter's, I would go there every day if I could. I used to got to Arrowhead out in Mentor but that was kind of far to travel for a pack of strings and has very small uke selection.

Uke Republic
07-18-2012, 03:05 PM
I'm happy so many do choose to support Mom and Pop (2 kids and 4 parrots) Shops :) Dealing with smaller stores usually gets you better service and more control over your experience. Although it would be cool I won't put a mega ukulele mart on every corner.

surfink
07-18-2012, 04:00 PM
I too want to support the Mom and pop or Local stores, but charging me $10.95 plus tax for a set of strings I can get online for $5.95...it is hard to keep going back..

Nickie
07-18-2012, 09:14 PM
I honestly don't know of any M&P music stores here who handle ukuleles, but if I did, and they were honest, I'd swing from Sam Ash toward them!

TCK
07-18-2012, 09:54 PM
Was walking through a shopping center the other day in San Jose California with my wife and mother in law...had all the regulars and out of the corner of my eye I spied a tiny little music store. I figured I would go for it, even though the music stores where I live totally harsh my buzz...full of slacker type guitar players who hate the uke, but oh we'll. I am greeted immediately by a friendly face and the smell of fresh paint...and asked what I would like to play.
Turns out the fellow just opened the store-hawked all the remnants of GAS to do so, and live a dream with his wife. Lovely folks who let me play every uke they had, sat and talked about music, and really seemed to love what they are doing.
I wish my local was like this, but it is more like "hey, check out this Metallica solo". I could give a rats ass about Metallica so I took this young fella's card and will be ordering ukes from him in the fall when my students realize they gotta play. So nice to find something like this.
Made me realize I could also care less if I spent more here. Great place for sure.

ksiegel
07-19-2012, 05:24 AM
Was walking through a shopping center the other day in San Jose California with my wife and mother in law...had all the regulars and out of the corner of my eye I spied a tiny little music store. I figured I would go for it, even though the music stores where I live totally harsh my buzz...full of slacker type guitar players who hate the uke, but oh we'll. I am greeted immediately by a friendly face and the smell of fresh paint...and asked what I would like to play.
Turns out the fellow just opened the store-hawked all the remnants of GAS to do so, and live a dream with his wife. Lovely folks who let me play every uke they had, sat and talked about music, and really seemed to love what they are doing.
I wish my local was like this, but it is more like "hey, check out this Metallica solo". I could give a rats ass about Metallica so I took this young fella's card and will be ordering ukes from him in the fall when my students realize they gotta play. So nice to find something like this.
Made me realize I could also care less if I spent more here. Great place for sure.

Dave, where in San Jose?

I have looked at the ukes at Music City in San Jose - Nice folks, took part in one of Jim D'Ville's Play By Ear seminars there - the typical low to high-medium range ukes, but they know their stock, encourage you to play them, have plenty of uke-specific books and music, and the first time I was there handed me a Snark tuner to make sure that I was getting the ukes I played in tune.

Didn't buy a uke, but I bought that Snark!

It is also here my wife got her clarinet, 35 years ago or so. Same family owns it.


-Kurt

PoiDog
07-19-2012, 05:38 AM
I too want to support the Mom and pop or Local stores, but charging me $10.95 plus tax for a set of strings I can get online for $5.95...it is hard to keep going back..

And with shipping charges that $5.95 set of strings just cost you close to $10. Unless you buy like five sets of strings, the amount you save isn't really all that much. And, if you're going to buy like 5 packs of strings at once, your local mom & pop shop will likely be willing to give you a cut in price as well, if you ask them.

Look, I understand what you mean, but that sort of rationalization sometimes just isn't valid. Really, unless the local shop doesn't have what you need/want, the advantages to going to them greatly outweighs the break in price you may get from other places.

I'm just saying ...

surfink
07-20-2012, 03:25 PM
Actually, if I bought three sets of the strings, they would be cheaper and free shipping...Check the vendors on ebay...

Harold O.
07-23-2012, 06:13 AM
My wood shop shares a wall with Guitar Merchant in Los Angeles. From the small store perspective, I can attest to the numbers of people who come in saying how good it is to have an alternative to [insert big music store name here] and the largely indifferent service found there.

Still, it's tough to be a small business. Smaller stores have less space, therefore less inventory and immediate choices. While the owner/operator can thus be more informed about what's in the store, if you want something specific you may have to order and wait for it. That doesn't sound so bad until you realize how much impulse buying goes on. I've walked out of stores in search of particular items that I figured I could find somewhere else.

Another thing to keep in mind is that [we] are still looking for the perfect one-stop solution. There is no one single answer. Sam Ash or Guitar Center is often the better choice for some items. At Guitar Merchant, for example, the ukulele options are limited. But justifying the buying and stocking two dozen ukuleles to accommodate the few people who come in looking for one is hard to do. Now if you want a well setup Fender bass/amp combo, you'd be hard pressed to find a better overall value.

Online purchases can save us some money and good service is out there. But a musical instrument is a personal item. Two ukuleles from the same assembly batch can have a different feel, grain pattern, and speak to you in different ways. I think you should play the one you are buying before you buy. Sometimes it doesn't make any difference, sometimes it does.

Everyone has a computer and the small store owner knows what the online price is for any given item. What folks get from the smaller store is personalized service. It's the only way they can compete. But purchase price alone does not dictate overall value.

janeray1940
07-23-2012, 06:37 AM
Important to note that "online" can be mom and pop, too. I'd put Elderly in that category, for example. And I buy my Worths from a UU member who sells on eBay.

vanflynn
07-23-2012, 06:46 AM
I guess I would consider Mim, Uke Republic, HMS, Mainland, etc as a mom and pop. As I posted earlier I tried locally but they didn't know their product. Us rural folk have limited access to decent local uke dealers. Since then I have bought from Mim and was delighted in the service and instrument. I was also happy to give her my money instead of a megacorp.

luluwrites
07-23-2012, 07:06 AM
I guess I would consider Mim, Uke Republic, HMS, Mainland, etc as a mom and pop. As I posted earlier I tried locally but they didn't know their product. Us rural folk have limited access to decent local uke dealers. Since then I have bought from Mim and was delighted in the service and instrument. I was also happy to give her my money instead of a megacorp.

Yes.
My priority list: Local indie, then non-local indie, then local chain, then online mega-corp. I try to avoid the last category entirely.

AndrewKuker
07-23-2012, 09:27 AM
Aren't we all mom and pops. Sam Ash just has more moms and pops. When my wife and I became a mom and pop (literally) I had been building and repairing ukes for 10 years . We wanted to afford Hawaii with a family so we started selling ukes at the swap meet on the weekends. It's been a dual effort ever since, and there's no easy way, no quick way to make it in business. Maybe you can buy a music store with your trust fund, but it's the day in and out that make a business great. The ones working the hardest to benefit their customers are the ones that will be able to keep doing that. 8 years into business and we work harder than ever. The instruments that we ship out go through a process that two experienced technicians work at more than full time, and then Mike and I step in to get caught up every week. Expertise is involved in this effort along with a higher level of care and concern than almost any store is interested in putting out. because it's not even profitable at times, it works for a bigger picture. Every week hundreds of affordable ukes are carefully setup like high end instruments and sent around the world. Ultimately our motive is to perpetuate the instrument, and give our unique gift. Sometimes you gotta embrace the world wide community available. It's not us and them. We are one human family. Use online resources that are superior to local ones. You probably didn't go to work today and try to have an ukulele conversation like we are having here.....

Loz
07-23-2012, 12:48 PM
Important to note that "online" can be mom and pop, too. I'd put Elderly in that category, for example. And I buy my Worths from a UU member who sells on eBay.

:agree: Most of the best sales interactions that I have had have actually been with online stores, namely HMS and Mim (with the exception of my Mya Moe which was directly with the luthier). I will always buy from the people/stores that have the best service, selection, and expertise regardless of where they're located, in person or online, in my town or a five hour time zone difference away. And I am willing to pay a little more when I have confidence in the people that I'm buying from (though thankfully the online shops have been competitively priced in my experience).