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Thread: Ukulele Friend

  1. #1
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    Default Ukulele Friend

    Ukulele Friend in Hawaii is a great place to buy an unusually good ukulele. I received an email from him today, showing his beautiful inventory. Unfortunately, he's stopped listing the prices.

    I've bought a couple from him because I saw the uke, saw the price, and thought that was a good deal. Now, you have to call. Unless I was absolutely dying to have a particular uke, I wouldn't call. I'd think that would be a nuisance for him, too. And then I have to wonder, do the prices vary according to who's calling or what kind of mood he's in. : )

    EDIT: Okay, looking at more of the ukes, some of them do have prices.
    Last edited by Jerryc41; 06-21-2021 at 12:47 AM.
    Too many ukes, but I can't stop buying!
    https://www.catskillukulelegroup.com/

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
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    Default

    They also respond very quickly to emails. I haven't bought anything from them, but there have been a few that have caught my eye over the years, and they always have responded very quickly with details, answering any questions that I had, and sometimes filling me in on some further background on the ukulele.

    I doubt that they vary the price based on who is contacting them. They don't strike me as the type of people to do that. That said, I don't know if they negotiate on price at all, though. I never tried. The ukes I asked about were either too far out of my price range anyway, or there was some other reason that I wasn't going to buy it, (like a neck that wasn't going to work for my cranky fingers), so I just thanked them and moved on. There is one that I still wish had a slightly different neck so it could have worked for me. That one was in my price range at the time. Sigh. They were even nice enough to get a sound sample recorded, since there wasn't one there when I asked about it. I really wish that one could have worked out for me, but my fingers keep reminding me that they've been injured and are picky about ukulele necks.

    IIRC, they even responded quickly on a Sunday evening, when I didn't expect anyone to be tending to the business. So if you don't feel like calling, just send an email if something catches your eye.
    Last edited by Joyful Uke; 06-21-2021 at 05:30 AM.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
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    Shawn is a one person operation here in Hawaii he is very respected and has maybe more knowledge of vintage ukes than anyone i know...he has been doing business for many years now and has a nice showroom in Kaimuki..he loves the Ukulele and has many happy customers

    he does list prices on his ukes but the really nice ones i am sure speaking directly to him best way to get info from him if you are a serious buyer
    Last edited by hawaii 50; 06-21-2021 at 06:03 AM.
    Kanile'a K-2 Concert,Ko'Aloha Super Concert,Maui Music 1998 Koa Tenor,Compass Rose Koa Tenor,Graziano Koa Tenor,Kamaka HF3-S,Moore Bettah Milo/Sitka Spruce Tenor,DeVine mother of curl Koa/Engleman Spruce Tenor,Ko'olau Indo Rosewood/Sinker Redwood Tenor,Washburn Lyon and Healy 1936 Bell shaped soprano,Lfdm Bastogne Walnut/Carpathian Spruce Tenor,Rollo Scheurenbrand African Blackwood/Adirondack Spruce Tenor,Kimo Super Tenor all Koa,Beau Hannam Walnut/Carpathian Spruce Tenor

  4. #4
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    I recently bought a brand new I'iwi anniversary uke from Shawn. He is a great guy and really bends over backwards to make certain his customers are happy. I agree that I much prefer when a music dealer lists their prices. Usually when a instrument is listed as "Call for price", I instantly lose interest. I honestly can't think of a single reason a customer can benefit from a price not being listed.

    Originally Posted by ukemunga:
    "Best is a very personal thing. You gotta play it to love it. And you'll always think there's one better. And there is."

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2020
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    313

    Default

    a showroom in kaimuki?? I'm glad/sorry you mentioned that...

  6. #6
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    Jul 2014
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    Quote Originally Posted by bearbike137 View Post
    I recently bought a brand new I'iwi anniversary uke from Shawn. He is a great guy and really bends over backwards to make certain his customers are happy. I agree that I much prefer when a music dealer lists their prices. Usually when a instrument is listed as "Call for price", I instantly lose interest. I honestly can't think of a single reason a customer can benefit from a price not being listed.
    I think I've only seen high end ukuleles on the site, and the "special" (my word, not theirs) high end ukes, like the Moore Bettah listed, we all know are a high price. If you're genuinely interested, I think you'd contact them, and that would give them a chance to fill you in on more about the ukulele and answer any questions you might have.

    If you instantly lose interest if there isn't a price listed, maybe you weren't serious about the ukulele in the first place? Just a guess, or at least, just how it would be for me. If I'm interested, I can at least send an email with an inquiry. It only takes a couple minutes.

    Just my perspective on that.

    They're certainly not the only ones to not list prices on all their items for sale.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Joyful Uke View Post
    I think I've only seen high end ukuleles on the site, and the "special" (my word, not theirs) high end ukes, like the Moore Bettah listed, we all know are a high price. If you're genuinely interested, I think you'd contact them, and that would give them a chance to fill you in on more about the ukulele and answer any questions you might have.

    If you instantly lose interest if there isn't a price listed, maybe you weren't serious about the ukulele in the first place? Just a guess, or at least, just how it would be for me. If I'm interested, I can at least send an email with an inquiry. It only takes a couple minutes.

    Just my perspective on that.

    They're certainly not the only ones to not list prices on all their items for sale.
    i agree with you call for price is to weed out folks who just want to talk about the uke...if you look at the site only the super high end hard to get ukes are listed call for price,i get it

    what is that saying if you have to ask the price you probably can not afford it...lol

    Shawn carries high end ukes for folks who understand what he is selling IMO
    Kanile'a K-2 Concert,Ko'Aloha Super Concert,Maui Music 1998 Koa Tenor,Compass Rose Koa Tenor,Graziano Koa Tenor,Kamaka HF3-S,Moore Bettah Milo/Sitka Spruce Tenor,DeVine mother of curl Koa/Engleman Spruce Tenor,Ko'olau Indo Rosewood/Sinker Redwood Tenor,Washburn Lyon and Healy 1936 Bell shaped soprano,Lfdm Bastogne Walnut/Carpathian Spruce Tenor,Rollo Scheurenbrand African Blackwood/Adirondack Spruce Tenor,Kimo Super Tenor all Koa,Beau Hannam Walnut/Carpathian Spruce Tenor

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2018
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    PNW
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    Default

    I get the sense this isn’t the kind of place most people pop in to try out a handful of ukes on a whim. An international destination for sure. Probably not as explicit as other places but…

    “Visit By Scheduled Appointment Only.
    Visit the Ukulele Friend Showroom by scheduled appointment to learn of some of Hawaii's most iconic and treasured historical ukuleles and purchase select vintage and custom ukuleles from 21st century ... ” https://ukulelefriend.com/ukulele-friend-address/

    It’s essentially the Guitar Salon International of Ukes… or the protocol for visiting could be more similar to a fine violin dealer, or art/antiquities dealer…. GSI’s “visit us” page messaging:

    Visit the GSI Showroom

    If you’re in the Los Angeles area and would like to come in to view and try out any of the guitars we have in stock, you’re more than welcome – we’d love to meet you. If you do so, we ask that you simply let us know beforehand – the best way is by contacting us by phone or email.

    Why does a guitar store need appointments? Well, we don’t have a walk-in storefront – many visitors are surprised to find out that the GSI offices don’t share the typical layout of their neighborhood music shop! This is mainly because we’ve found that our guests are better able to focus on the instruments they’re looking at if they’re able to relax in the showroom by themselves and aren’t competing for ‘sound space’ with others playing guitars in the background. The caliber of instruments we sell isn’t well-suited to a raucous ‘megastore’ environment, and having a proper way to evaluate instruments is critical.

    That said, if you simply can’t check in with us first, we’re not going to turn you away at the door if we can help it. We’ll do our best to accommodate you.

    See you soon!

    *Showroom hours are: Mon.-Fri. 9am-5pm

    https://www.guitarsalon.com/blog/vis...-gsi-showroom/

    Quote Originally Posted by badhabits View Post
    a showroom in kaimuki?? I'm glad/sorry you mentioned that...
    keeping an eye out for a very special pre-owned concert....

  9. #9
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    Dec 2010
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    Default

    One would think that with a club around here that boasts over 3,000 meetup members, the largest in Florida, has 4 annual festivals, two open mics a month, and a jam session every week, that a nice ukulele store could be supported. Not so. The only decent one, a tiny store, went out of business during COVID.
    Still, there is one luthier here who does pretty well, LoPrinzi Guitars and Ukuleles. Local club members get a nice discount there.
    Last edited by Nickie; 06-21-2021 at 02:33 PM.
    "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. #10
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    Jun 2018
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    As the old saying goes: "If you need to ask the price you can't afford it."

    Maybe not that true about ukuleles compared to other instruments. But true enough.

    Shawn has upon occasion put two or three instruments on sale. But it's rare. I bought a maple Aaron Oya tenor from Shawn. It was one of his least expensive ukes, yet Shawn answered my many questions and gave me his honest impressions about its sound and condition. A truly nice guy.

    His collection of antique instruments is remarkable, and his knowledge of the history of ukuleles is equally amazing.
    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.

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