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Thread: What Kala did...

  1. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by jer View Post
    Thanks for taking the time to chime in, MIM... a lot of good thoughts there.
    And if anyone is going to be pissed, it would be me! I have had my fair share of calling my Kala salesman and saying "WHAT THE HECK?!" But usually there is a reasonable explanation. Once I was upset they were violating their own MAP... turns out... it was only that item and someone had put it into the system wrong. But I did get a little joy at telling them they were in violation of MAP and not vice versa. (BTW... I am only in MAP violation when they update the prices and I don't realize. I am a super big rule follower. But double-standards tick me off. So I called all sorts of indignant. My poor salesman.) Now... if Walmart starts violating MAP... then they will get the Mim call again! But this does not upset me. If someone wants to take the risk and order from Walmart... that is on them.
    www.mimsukes.com... facebook... twitter... Youtube: For Fun... Youtube: Business...
    You're an awesome maniac! -Mark Stay weird, Mim. -RichM
    ...perhaps your quality expectation looks different from me. -PK

  2. #22
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    Jul 2018
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    693

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kenn2018 View Post
    Wait 'til Kala starts getting squeezed to cut their wholesale prices to Walmart.

    Getting your product into Walmart stores can be a dream that turns into a nightmare.
    Kala can always say no. It's a cost benefit analysis. Are the added sales worth the lower profit per. Large retailers often add a lot of conditions, such as specific shipping requirements, (# per pallet, etc.),
    which already adds to the cost of sales. If the profit is good enough and Walmart pays its bills, it can be less of a nightmare than a small retailer who doesn't pay because of financial troubles, or not.

  3. #23
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    Jul 2014
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mim View Post
    If someone wants to take the risk and order from Walmart... that is on them.
    I suspect that a large number of people buying their first ukulele don't know better, though. I hope that they will somehow find out before buying that they need to buy from someone like you, who will get the ukulele set up well and make it a playable instrument that they can enjoy.

    I bought my 1st ukulele, a Kala, from Guitar Center or Sam Ash. (Don't remember which.) A friend had been encouraging me to try ukulele, so I bought one. It was not set up at all, intonation was horrible, strings height was way too high, and it was a miserable first experience with ukulele. I hated it. I stuck it away in a closet, and then finally gave it away, to someone who also hated playing it.

    I thought that I was done with ukulele after that experience, but because I had a friend who was enjoying ukulele so much, (long distance, so I didn't get to try his), I finally tried again, this time with a ukulele that was well set up, and good quality. Oh, my, I fell in love with ukulele.

    If that poorly set up ukulele had been my only exposure to ukulele, I'd be telling the world that ukuleles are horrible, instead of the enthusiasm that I now have for ukuleles. I know that Walmart isn't the only place that people will likely be getting a poorly set up ukulele, (mine came from elsewhere), but I hate that there isn't a way to make sure that people get a decently set up ukulele to try for their first experience, so they realize what a difference that makes.

    Nothing I can do about that, but I'm glad that I had a friend who got me to try again in spite of the bad first attempt, anyway.

    And thanks to Mim and all who make sure that people get a well set up ukulele.

  4. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Counter View Post
    From the Kala's I have played and the Walmarts I have visited I would say it is a match made in heaven.
    I think it's a disservice to denigrate all of Kala products from your few samples. Kala makes some very fine ukes, Mim recommended one to me years ago and it's my go to gig uke. I'm in the Walmart is just another Amazon camp, I buy from all of them, eBay, Etsy, Reverb, and even AliExpress in China (many times I can only find products there that are not available in the States).


    This is Michael Kohan in Los Angeles, Beverly West near the Beverly Center
    9 tenor cutaway ukes, 6 acoustic bass ukes, 12 solid body bass ukes, 14 mini electric bass guitars (Total: 41)

    • Donate to The Ukulele Kids Club, they provide ukuleles to children in hospital music therapy programs. www.theukc.org
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  5. #25
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    Mar 2014
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    Get on ebay, everybody and their brother is selling ukuleles for the same price. Pick you brand. Sure beginners don't know any better. We were all beginners at one time. I have enough trouble taking care of my own ukulele needs without worrying that everyone else is getting the right ukulele from the right person.
    I don't want to live in a world that is linear.

    I just want everyone to understand that I am not a ukulele expert, even though it may look at times like I'm pretending to be.

    https://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_n...tective+Agency

  6. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by Joyful Uke View Post

    Nothing I can do about that, but I'm glad that I had a friend who got me to try again in spite of the bad first attempt, anyway.

    And thanks to Mim and all who make sure that people get a well set up ukulele.
    Tis why I spend so much time with the beginner models. Someone once told me it was "not worth it" to set up cheaper ukuleles. But it is. Maybe not monetarily, but I am the type of person who needs a fulfilling value to their work. And when I hear that my well set up beginner ukuleles helped someone feel successful and become a music maker for the first time... it just make it all worth it.

    But yes, I cringe at the thought of them getting their first uke from Walmart. But at the same time, Walmart is going to get the ukes for their shop from somewhere. Kala is not the worst option. But the beginner ones indeed often have quite painful nut issues. A buzz wont dissuade a beginner but high action can kill a person's musical journey before it even begins. As with your story!
    www.mimsukes.com... facebook... twitter... Youtube: For Fun... Youtube: Business...
    You're an awesome maniac! -Mark Stay weird, Mim. -RichM
    ...perhaps your quality expectation looks different from me. -PK

  7. #27
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    Feb 2018
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mim View Post
    Tis why I spend so much time with the beginner models. Someone once told me it was "not worth it" to set up cheaper ukuleles. But it is. Maybe not monetarily, but I am the type of person who needs a fulfilling value to their work. And when I hear that my well set up beginner ukuleles helped someone feel successful and become a music maker for the first time... it just make it all worth it.

    But yes, I cringe at the thought of them getting their first uke from Walmart. But at the same time, Walmart is going to get the ukes for their shop from somewhere. Kala is not the worst option. But the beginner ones indeed often have quite painful nut issues. A buzz wont dissuade a beginner but high action can kill a person's musical journey before it even begins. As with your story!
    You are very correct! I often find folks curious about ukes but not willing to spend more but I know if they are into music and land up liking the uke they get it is only a matter of time before UAS kicks in..
    I have recommended your site to many without any regret! Keep up the good work!

  8. #28
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    Two years ago, I was one of those beginners. I went to a ukulele club with a friend and really enjoyed myself. And decided I wanted to learn to play the ukulele. I wanted to buy a tenor uke before the next meeting, because the club only had one tenor loaner and I wanted to practice at home.

    I knew nothing about ukuleles other than they came in three sizes. I read a little about them. I checked online to see if the music stores in this area sold ukes. They did, but I wanted a little better quality than they offered. Then my wife suggested that I use my gift cards and buy one from Amazon. I was overwhelmed by the shear number of ukuleles listed there. And bought a Fender Nohea because it was a name I recognized, I liked the look, and it said it was "all Koa". Which I had read was the "best" wood for ukuleles. (It was all-Koa laminate.)

    I knew nothing about setups or action. But the Nohea sounded pretty good and held its tuning. But man, was it hard to play those first two frets. Especially barre chords.

    Then, I "discovered" Baz' gotaukulele.com website and I started to learn about what to look for in a ukulele. What a setup was. And the difference between solid Koa and all-Koa. I was told about a music store about an hour away that sold pretty good quality ukes. I bought an Ohana TK-50G, which the owner setup. (Though he didn't tell me it was actually a B-stock, Second.) What a revelation: it was much easier it was to play! Then I found out about Fluorocarbon strings. I put a set of Martin 600s on it, and wow! I loved the sound.

    I read about Mim and HMS and Uke Republic. And now, I won't buy a new ukulele without having it properly setup. It makes such a huge difference in the ease of play and enjoyment. Thanks Mim. You do make a difference.
    There is a subtle yet profound difference between the learning of something and the knowing of that thing.
    You can learn by reading, but you don’t begin to know until you begin to try to do.

    —Lou Churchill, Plane & Pilot Magazine

  9. #29
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    Thanks to all who helpfully chimed in here.

    It must be painfully clear that I do not understand capitalism at all. No matter. I still think Walmart and Amazon suck. No one has to agree with me.

    What is important is....

    I got my 3rd uke, a Kala, which I still have, from Mim. I could not play the 1st two I got, so away they went. I was too naive to be buying ukuleles without help from an honest, knowledgeable person like Mim.
    I have taught (or tried to teach) over 200 beginners in our library workshops in the last 3+ years. And every single one of them who was interested in buying a uke, I sent to Mim.

    And I'm not hatin' on Kala no more.
    "Those who bring sunshine and laughter to the lives of others cannot keep it from themselves".

    Music washes from the soul, the dust of everyday living.

  10. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nickie View Post
    Thanks to all who helpfully chimed in here.

    It must be painfully clear that I do not understand capitalism at all. No matter. I still think Walmart and Amazon suck. No one has to agree with me.

    What is important is....

    I got my 3rd uke, a Kala, which I still have, from Mim. I could not play the 1st two I got, so away they went. I was too naive to be buying ukuleles without help from an honest, knowledgeable person like Mim.
    I have taught (or tried to teach) over 200 beginners in our library workshops in the last 3+ years. And every single one of them who was interested in buying a uke, I sent to Mim.

    And I'm not hatin' on Kala no more.
    Haha, I don't see ya hatein' on Kala... more on the Walmart system. Cause it does suck. And I get it. And you hate to see ukulele get cheapened.
    You do so much for the ukulele community! And your local community! We appreciate you muchly!
    www.mimsukes.com... facebook... twitter... Youtube: For Fun... Youtube: Business...
    You're an awesome maniac! -Mark Stay weird, Mim. -RichM
    ...perhaps your quality expectation looks different from me. -PK

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