Good Ukulele Dealers

Jerryc41

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The current discussion about a less-than-wonderful seller led me to think of dealers that I like. The list below is in no particular order, but I have had good experiences with all of them, and often repeat sales. I am not going to include "bad" dealers, but if you use the ones I listed below, I think you'll be happy with them. Some do setups, and some don't. Some offer free shipping, and some don't. Generally speaking, companies and individuals who make ukuleles are also very good, so I didn't list all the brands. As I said, the order doesn't mean anything. Buying from any of the sellers below should be a good experience.

Mim's Ukes
Thomann (Germany)
Southern Ukulele Store (England)
Ukulele Friend - Special (expensive)
Butler
Amazon
Elderly
Penny Lane
Bonanza
Cocobolo
Geartree
Antica Ukuleria (Italy)
Mercantino dell Ukulele (Italy)
Sweetwater
 

Patty

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The current discussion about a less-than-wonderful seller led me to think of dealers that I like. The list below is in no particular order, but I have had good experiences with all of them, and often repeat sales. I am not going to include "bad" dealers, but if you use the ones I listed below, I think you'll be happy with them. Some do setups, and some don't. Some offer free shipping, and some don't. Generally speaking, companies and individuals who make ukuleles are also very good, so I didn't list all the brands. As I said, the order doesn't mean anything. Buying from any of the sellers below should be a good experience.

Mim's Ukes
Thomann (Germany)
Southern Ukulele Store (England)
Ukulele Friend - Special (expensive)
Butler
Amazon
Elderly
Penny Lane
Bonanza
Cocobolo
Geartree
Antica Ukuleria (Italy)
Mercantino dell Ukulele (Italy)
Sweetwater
Add Aloha City ukes. Terrific service. Sold me my wonderful Pepe Romero signature (big bout) soprano. Thanks, Matt.
 

aaronkb

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I’d add Hawaii Music Supply/Theukulelesite. I’d also reconsider Amazon, they don’t do anything to check the instruments…. They’re not musicians, they’re a huge company that doesn’t care at all.
 

CPG

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I haven't bought from them myself, but https://www.gryphonstrings.com/s has a great repution.

Also, https://vintage-instruments.com/ in Philadelphia is a great store. They are a brick and morter store but in the past few years they got their online presence much more established. I don't think they do setups, but they are extremely knowledgable and get some great old instruments that they take the time to go over as to accuratly describe the good and bad. My uke teacher got their excellent 1920 Style 2 Martin there. It's a little more niche than the dedicated uke dealers, but it's a great place if you're into old instruments.
 

Veritas99

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In addition to those above, I would add Island Bazaar.

I bought a very nice 5-string Kanile’a from them and had a great experience. They immediately agreed to FaceTime so I could hear/see the uke I was interested in (and didn’t charge me). Then, once I ordered it through their website, their setup guy called me the next day to discuss how I wanted it setup and confirm my choice of pickup. It shipped out within a day of that call.

Based on personal experience, I always recommend:
The Ukulele Site
Mim’s
Uke Republic
Aloha City
Island Bazaar
Elderly Instruments
Southern Ukulele Store

I’m sure there are many others, but I’ve also heard nothing but good things about:
Gryphon
World of Ukes
The Uke Room
Penny Lane
 

Neil_O

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My top locations to buy ukuleles is 1. Ukulele Underground 2. Craigslist. I have only bought one brand new uke, and it was from a little Uke store in San Jose California, Ukulele Source.
 

emba

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I’ve only bought two uke online, and I bought them from Mim’s Ukes, so she is the only online retailer I can recommend from experience. I do recommend her, at basically every opportunity. Her customer service is top notch and that means a lot to me. She answers email and is clearly about more than selling the most expensive ukulele she can.

I don’t buy ukuleles often, I’m trying to keep the collection minimal, but if I were looking to upgrade she would be my first stop, and after that, other trusted ukulele stores recommended by members of this forum. That’s how I found Mim, so I’d trust the general consensus about other shops as well.
 

Patty

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Also, https://vintage-instruments.com/ in Philadelphia is a great store. They are a brick and morter store but in the past few years they got their online presence much more established. I don't think they do setups, but they are extremely knowledgable and get some great old instruments that they take the time to go over as to accuratly describe the good and bad. My uke teacher got their excellent 1920 Style 2 Martin there. It's a little more niche than the dedicated uke dealers, but it's a great place if you're into old instruments.
Oh gosh, they have a gorgeous Martin 5k, circa 1930.
 

BigJackBrass

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Eagle Music in Yorkshire is very good. A decent range of ukes and lots of banjos too. They’ve been excellent when setting up and sorting problems with one of my sopranos.

I can also add another personal endorsement for World of Ukes in Carlisle: in fact, an instrument arrived from them today! Matt really does go the extra mile to make sure that everything is right for the customer.
 

Arcy

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Maybe separate out by categories:
Specialist resellers (Mim, HMS, SUS, etc)
Luthiers & manufactures (Antika, Bonanza, Mainland, etc)
Warehouse stores: Sweetwater, Thomson, (Amazon, though I’d not include them in this list)

You’ll get very different experiences from each set here. I’d steer anybody who didn’t know what they were doing to the specialists and some of the specific manufacturers.

The warehouse stores won’t give a novice useful help and are best for people who already know what they’re doing. They warehouses also don’t need the marketing boost for people to find them - for the most part people who need this list are best served by being made aware of the non-warehouse options.
 

bbkobabe

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eBay and Craig's list for those of us who buy used (because we can't afford new...) :mad:
 

Kenn2018

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The best thing about Amazon is their return policy. Plan to have the instrument setup properly if you buy from them. With a few exceptions where the factory setups are okay.

I've heard great things about these:
Wood Vibrations in Las Vegas, NV
Funky Frets in Boyertown, PA
 

Dohle

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I was going to suggest that there's a sticky thread with a list of reputable uke shops but, to my surprise, there isn't. Maybe there should be...

I will always go to bat for World of Ukes. Best in the business, at least in Europe.

The list for uke store on Got a Ukulele is always a good place to start from: https://www.gotaukulele.com/p/ukulele-stores.html
 

Larry U

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Funky Frets in Boyertown, PA (near Philadelphia) is a reliable, reputable dealer. Family-run and knowledgeable. Mostly in-store/brick-and-mortar but they do have an online presence.