View Full Version : Post NAMM - good time to buy?

02-08-2013, 08:58 PM
After reading the NAMM threads, it seems like there might be more delicious ukulele temptation hitting the shops soon.

Being new to ukulele, I don't know how things work out after NAMM (heck, I don't even know what NAMM stands for/means). What I'm wondering is whether this will lead to big reductions on existing stock as sellers make room for the new stuff. When does the new stuff hit the US shops?

Is it better to buy now, wait a little, or wait for the new products? (Okay, I admit: My name is Katz and I am a ukeaholic. I have all sorts of wish lists, and am twitching to hit the 'buy' button, but I have to be sensible. )


02-09-2013, 12:46 AM
I thought NAMM meant Never Ask My Mum, but there you go.

I'm not sure if there's ever a better time to buy a uke, I'm not aware of big discounts. What is it that you're after?

02-09-2013, 02:29 AM
Every time I read "NAMM" on this forum, first thing I have to think of is this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WiQmQhA-OrM#t=71s

02-09-2013, 02:59 AM
I'm just guessing, but I believe NAMM is the tradeshow for musical instruments and equipment. Companies large and small set up booths to display thier goods to retail store owners. This allows them to show off new products as well as meet new distibutors, or just meet the guy who has been spending money with you all year face to face.

I haven't been to NAMM, but I go to the CHAMPS, MAGIC and the ASD tradeshows in Veags and they are a blast. I have met many celebrities, and have quite the time. Sadly, they are not for the general public. There really is nothing to buy, some vendors do have limited stock, but it has been my expierience that most don't. Freebies are always around though, ie, stickers, hats, shirts, etc..this kind of stuff is everywhere.

I don't know if HMS and the like stores do lower prices around time, but after tradeshows we always drop prices to make room for the new stuff coming. It usually takes a few months though, most of the retailers at the shows only have enough stock for display and the bulk of thier inventory is still in production. Usually we see the new stuff for the year arriving in April or a little later.

I have no idea if this helps or was relevent...just tryin to shed some light on the mystery of the NAMM shows.

02-09-2013, 03:08 AM
North America Music Manufacturers, just a guess. I would think that as new lines come out, the old ones would sell for a discount, unless the old ones are better. think Martin.

02-09-2013, 04:34 AM

Surf the link to find out more about NAMM.

Sadly, over the past five years I have not really noticed it made any difference to what is available in Australia, but I assume some Australian retailers might order some stock there which will eventually make it into Australian shops.
There has been a lot of posts here about it which made it look a bit exciting, but reality is that the product only becomes available to punters if a retailer orders it and sells it in a market you know can access and many Australian retailers seem reluctant to stock anything that might not sell in two days or less. Luckily a Kamaka is still a Kamaka, Martin is still a Martin, a Maton is still a Maton and a Cole Clarke is still a Cole Clarke etc.

A lot of newer compaines show up at trade shows and are trying to compete with the big names (like Martin, etc)..Some have products that are exceptional and will move their brand forward, but at the end of the day we are only there to buy what we think people will buy from us, and we have to stand behind what we sell.
Many new products I have seen at tradeshows never make it into stores because the manufacture drops them before it ever happens. You can make an order, and then in two months you get a call about how the factory has been moved, or the products didn't pass QC, or (insert lame excuse here). It can be a headache..so I think this is why you will always have the big names, Kamaka, Martin, available year after year. If these guys tell you they are going to have something, they will have it and its a name everyone trusts to be quality, even if it is a newer product.

Also some companies have minimum order amounts. This can be anywhere from $100 USD to over $10k. It would be ideal to order one or two ukes from each new company and try them out and see how they sell, but this isn't cost effective for them and we have to meet a minimum amount to place an order. This is why when you go to many websites they only sell through distibutors. They don't want to ship out one uke at a time, for them to make money they move bulk. I find it difficult to spend a great deal of money with a company that has only been in business for a short time, so the majority of my funds go right to the old trusted companies and those products.

There is always room for new products and companies though, but in reality, if 100 new ukes come out this year, 60 of those will be terrible, 20 will never happen in production, and the rest is what we will see in retail stores.

Sometimes the lack of the newer products in your favorite stores isn't the stores being stubborn and not listening to what the public wants, but many times, they have seen where these products come from, what they really cost, how they are made, and have decided that their customers deserve better...
This has been my expierience anyway, not with ukes and music instuments, but I go to tradeshows that cover everything else, jewelry, clothing, shoes, art, etc..its all done the same.

02-09-2013, 05:37 AM
We have a joke in the industry that NAMM stands for: Not Available, Maybe March(or May).

But NAMM stands for National Association of Music Merchants.

02-09-2013, 11:35 AM
We have a joke in the industry that NAMM stands for: Not Available, Maybe March(or May).

But NAMM stands for National Association of Music Merchants.

LOL..Yeah that sounds about right!

02-09-2013, 12:33 PM
We have a joke in the industry that NAMM stands for: Not Available, Maybe March(or May).

But NAMM stands for National Association of Music Merchants.

Ahhh, thank you for that.

Tattoobabaloo, thanks for your perspective, it all makes sense. I was just wondering whether there is ever a 'right' time to buy a ukulele.

02-09-2013, 01:31 PM
...I was just wondering whether there is ever a 'right' time to buy a ukulele.

Anytime is the right time, silly. ;)

I'm a good UAS enabler.

02-09-2013, 01:40 PM
National Association of Music Merchants. North American manufacturers, please, you could fit them in one banquet room.