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Icelander53
04-30-2014, 12:39 PM
I've been in the process of searching out and buying my next Uke and I had an interesting phone experience with an online company today. I hope it's appropriate to share this here because I don't consider it very positive. But I'd want to know about it if it was your experience.

And I'm not going to draw any final conclusions. You can draw your own.


I was looking for a particular Moku uke youtube sound sample because I was already planning on buying from a dealer I consider reputable.

I came across an add for this particular Moku at a substantial discount from "New England Music Store". $90 rebate from them on the already discounted price. They claimed to do a set up. So I called. I got ahold of someone and explained that I would like a low action and would like two strap pins installed and of course would pay for that. I was told basically that there is just one action on a uke in the set up. He didn't seem to know the difference between high action and low even though he claimed to be a guitar player. He also informed me that they could not install pins even though they state the set up is being done by a luthier.

Then he told me he didn't know if what I wanted was in stock and would have to get back to me. I mentioned several other ukes and was told the same thing. He didn't know what was in or out of stock.

I asked about the rebate and mentioned that I might do business with them as long as I felt they could really do a proper set up, but I usually use Elderly or HMS. He told me right out that they were ripping people off on the prices of these instruments and there was no need to charge such high markups and due to complaints by Elderly they had to offer an in store rebate rather than mark down the actual price of the uke.

After all that he told me the uke I wanted was not in stock and would be out for several months. :nana:

Anyway I went back to where I was looking and bought one for the regular discount price that they all are selling them for. Unfortunately Elderly doesn't carry that model as they are offering 10% off right now on Moku.

Anyway draw your own conclusions and maybe you'll want to take a chance with them. As for me...:stop: I was left with some doubt about what I was being told. That does not mean I know anything for sure but I do a lot of online buying and I did not get good gut feel on this one.

And Mods. If this is considered inappropriate to post here please remove it.

Ukejenny
04-30-2014, 01:26 PM
Wow, lots of red flags. I wonder if you got the one person who works there and knows nothing about what he is doing.

DaveY
04-30-2014, 01:43 PM
http://forum.ukuleleunderground.com/showthread.php?66857-New-England-Music-Store

Icelander53
04-30-2014, 03:49 PM
http://forum.ukuleleunderground.com/showthread.php?66857-New-England-Music-Store

Well I see this has come up before. After reading the discussion I'm not much closer to drawing any firm conclusions. However I don't think I'm buying from them based on my phone conversations with whomever was on the other end of the line. I'd rather pay the difference at this point in my life and save myself the worry about what might happen. This is not to say that things could not go very well. It's just that there are some red flags and IMO they do themselves a grave disservice when they diss other suppliers.

haole
04-30-2014, 04:01 PM
Cue about a half-dozen brand new members to talk about their positive experiences with this store in 3...2...1...

OldePhart
04-30-2014, 04:56 PM
Cue about a half-dozen brand new members to talk about their positive experiences with this store in 3...2...1...

A-yup. Seen it before, we'll see it again.

Trust your instincts...anybody can have a bad day, but true pros like HMS and the other favorite dealers around here suck it up and provide professional service even then.

You wouldn't believe how many "retailers" have popped up on the internet who are nothing but drop shipping "front ends" for merchandise they never handle or see. This is true of just about every category of merchandise you can imagine. It's one thing to operate a small business out of your home and have actual merchandise stacked in every available closet (I suspect a couple of our favorite vendors got their start that way). It's another matter entirely to pretend you are a business when you are nothing but a payment processor.

John

kwall
04-30-2014, 05:33 PM
I think there is the old say ``you get what you pay for ``

Icelander53
05-01-2014, 01:55 AM
Well I think that saying is often dead wrong. And in this case could be also. There seems to be some very satisfied customers but they are obviously doing something wrong. I try to stay balanced in these things and here's my hit after thinking about it. It's likely someone there can do a basic lookover of the uke to check for obvious problems. But they very likely may not be able to do a full set up proper and they are not a luthier. They make up for this with a substantial discount which is nothing to sneeze at. Getting $90 off of a $517 purchase is a very deep discount imo. I can get a set up if needed for about $20-30 in town here depending on what is needed.

IMO this company's problems stem from how they present themselves when you personally interface with them. They diss the competition which is a huge NO NO and a complete turn off. Then they make skills claims on setup that is likely not the truth. They need to clean up their act in this regard. Had they done so with me I'd be buying from them. However this community seems to (and rightly so imo) take a dim view of these actions.

Icelander53
05-01-2014, 05:16 AM
And on a bright note I'd like to recommend http://fanguitarandukulele.com/gear/shop-ukuleles.html

The guy I talked to there (John) really was great and said he used to be a store manager at HMS. He carries a limited line but I was really impressed by his choices. They do full set ups and are really responsive to questions even though he knew I likely wasn't going to buy from him at this time.

kwall
05-01-2014, 06:08 AM
id go with them, when reading about new england too many flags go up, i agree the price is nice and you can get setup elsewhere. But with the flags you never know what might come in the mail (sorry if im stepping on toes, just my trusting nature). I agree 90 is a big jump, but I would rather support someone who is nice and not deceitful (the whole luthier thing kind of bugs me don't lie).

Is this new store better priced?

Icelander53
05-01-2014, 06:14 AM
No they have the usual prices. But here's something I've found to be true often. If you ask for something off the price often you will get something off. I've done that many times successfully.

And as to the deeper discount that NEM is offering that is something some folk on a budget might find worth it. I wouldn't fault them for that choice.

Yukon Cornelius
05-01-2014, 07:42 AM
I've been in the process of searching out and buying my next Uke and I had an interesting phone experience with an online company today. I hope it's appropriate to share this here because I don't consider it very positive. But I'd want to know about it if it was your experience.

And I'm not going to draw any final conclusions. You can draw your own.


I was looking for a particular Moku uke youtube sound sample because I was already planning on buying from a dealer I consider reputable.

I came across an add for this particular Moku at a substantial discount from "New England Music Store". $90 rebate from them on the already discounted price. They claimed to do a set up. So I called. I got ahold of someone and explained that I would like a low action and would like two strap pins installed and of course would pay for that. I was told basically that there is just one action on a uke in the set up. He didn't seem to know the difference between high action and low even though he claimed to be a guitar player. He also informed me that they could not install pins even though they state the set up is being done by a luthier.

Then he told me he didn't know if what I wanted was in stock and would have to get back to me. I mentioned several other ukes and was told the same thing. He didn't know what was in or out of stock.

I asked about the rebate and mentioned that I might do business with them as long as I felt they could really do a proper set up, but I usually use Elderly or HMS. He told me right out that they were ripping people off on the prices of these instruments and there was no need to charge such high markups and due to complaints by Elderly they had to offer an in store rebate rather than mark down the actual price of the uke.

After all that he told me the uke I wanted was not in stock and would be out for several months. :nana:

Anyway I went back to where I was looking and bought one for the regular discount price that they all are selling them for. Unfortunately Elderly doesn't carry that model as they are offering 10% off right now on Moku.

Anyway draw your own conclusions and maybe you'll want to take a chance with them. As for me...:stop: I was left with some doubt about what I was being told. That does not mean I know anything for sure but I do a lot of online buying and I did not get good gut feel on this one.

And Mods. If this is considered inappropriate to post here please remove it.

Awhile back there was a thread about this company. The reviews were mixed (but mostly not positive). I believe there were issues with undercutting other dealers. I personally wouldn't buy from them. I pretty much only buy from two dealers (3 if you count KoAloha) or used.

dickadcock
05-01-2014, 08:25 AM
... But here's something I've found to be true often. If you ask for something off the price often you will get something off. I've done that many times successfully....


I think they are having problems partly because they don't like the MAP, the minimum advertised price agreement amongst manufacturers & retailers. This helps to protect the little guy from being driven out of business just because of volume sales. (Google MAP) They can charge whatever they want, but people won't avoid the smaller dealers because of cut-throat ads.

And there are small dealers and some dealing to be done. I got my last uke at a shop about 20x20 feet in size. (Collar City Guitars, Troy, NY) At a great price. Another, bigger, but locally owned, looked up the Gretsch guitalele for me when I expressed an interest, & noted they no longer had one on display. He said I could have one in 4 days. $139. Online price is usually 169. Online price is pretty consistently the MAP, unless there are goods and/or services thrown in. And usually worth it, IMHO.

Icelander53
05-01-2014, 09:53 AM
I certainly don't mind them offering a discount. I do mind it when I think I'm being lied to and I do mind it when a seller feels the need to bad mouth the competition.

Ukejenny
05-01-2014, 11:42 AM
I certainly don't mind them offering a discount. I do mind it when I think I'm being lied to and I do mind it when a seller feels the need to bad mouth the competition.

Very telling about the professionalism of any business.