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Thread: Ouch! Burnt by first uke purchase!

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
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    Default Ouch! Burnt by first uke purchase!

    I suddenly got inspired to take up the ukulele and started researching brands, styles, etc. At one point I decided I would forgo my usual over-thinking of things, so I went to a local "Mom and Pop" music store to experience the ukes firsthand.

    Well, I got impulsive as always and bought something. I figured it was worth the extra $10-20 premium I might be paying to support a small, local business. So I paid $130 for my pineapple-shaped Lanikai LU-21P and went home to start learning.

    After a while my curiosity got the better of me (again, as it always does) and I went online. BIG mistake. Said instrument was available from Amazon for less than $60!! And from other smaller online merchants for about the same!

    Ugh.



    Now I feel torn; I feel good about supporting a local business, but am mad at myself for being impulsive and not doing a little more research. Honestly, if I'd done that I might have still bought from them, but I would have bought something that had a price more in-line with other retailers' prices, such as the Fleas they had for $250.

    Lesson learned.

  2. #2
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    Ahhhhh...live and learn!! Now you know for the next time, but always remember, you helped the little local guy and there is nothing really wrong with that!! Next time, shop online prices and go to the Mom & Pop tell them the online price and see if they will take a few dollars off. Also, that Mom & Pop store might have a much larger overhead than the online sellers and that will lead to higher prices.
    Kanile'a 6 String K-1, Kamaka HF-3, Makala Concert

    Thank God the Tiki Bar is open!!!!

  3. #3
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    Good for you for supporting local merchants, but, wow ... what a markup!

    Even the Flea price seems a bit ... um ... elevated.

    I guess this is a good example of just what sort of pressure local places have to deal with from online sales. It's a shame.
    My kids:
    [SIZE="1"][COLOR="#0000CD"]
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    None (for now), but soon!

    Please help Anabelle

  4. #4
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    Default

    I've done the same thing and with the same model actually. Locally I bought it for about 110 before taxes and then found another music store locally (that I didn't know existed since I don't play anything else) that had the kala version for about half.

  5. #5
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    If I'm going to spend serious money on a musical instrument, I like to try some out first. I did that when I recently bought myself my first decent quality uke and I'm glad I did because I found an instrument that I really liked. Now it may be that they are available cheaper on line, but you can't try out instruments on line so there is the dual benefit of supporting your local store and being able to choose the "right" instrument for you.

    Also beware with online sales, especially eBay, as shipping charges can often add considerably to the overall cost and the on line bargain may not seem quite so great once they are added in.

    Geoff
    Geoff Walker

    I have several ukuleles in various sizes and am not planning on getting any more...

    at least, not yet.

    I also play some blowy things and a squeezy thing

    Internet:
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  6. #6
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    Assuming that the mom and pop shop you purchased the uke from set the uke up properly, adjusting the nut and saddle as needed to ensure proper intonation and playability, and the $130 you spent included sales taxes, then the $130 you paid for that uke is less out of line than it seems, though still pretty much at the high end.

    Of course, not all locally owned business set up their instruments, and some I wouldn't trust to do so. Still, purchasing your first uke from some place like Amazon is not a good idea, at all. My first uke was a Lanikai LU21-C - a decent starter uke and one I purchased from Amazon.com after doing my research - but I've played and worked on guitars for years so when it came in with a high nut (not at all unexpected) I was able to take care of it easily. Anyone that doesn't have that ability though would be wise to avoid places like Amazon.com like the plague - especially for instruments at the lower end of the price range. There is more chance that you'll get a poorly intonated, not particularly easy-to-play, uke than a really good one.

    Online uke specialists like Mim and Uke Republic are another matter - they set their instruments up - so you get a good price and a playable instrument.

    John
    I'm not entirely convinced that it is possible to polish a turd. However, if one were to accomplish that feat one would still have a turd, and one all the more noticeable for being shiny.

    Check out my ukulele-themed "stuff" at http://www.cafepress.com/fivebyfiveukulele - proceeds go to a good cause...UAS treatment!

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by OldePhart View Post
    Assuming that the mom and pop shop you purchased the uke from set the uke up properly, adjusting the nut and saddle as needed to ensure proper intonation and playability, and the $130 you spent included sales taxes, then the $130 you paid for that uke is less out of line than it seems, though still pretty much at the high end.

    Of course, not all locally owned business set up their instruments, and some I wouldn't trust to do so. Still, purchasing your first uke from some place like Amazon is not a good idea, at all. My first uke was a Lanikai LU21-C - a decent starter uke and one I purchased from Amazon.com after doing my research - but I've played and worked on guitars for years so when it came in with a high nut (not at all unexpected) I was able to take care of it easily. Anyone that doesn't have that ability though would be wise to avoid places like Amazon.com like the plague - especially for instruments at the lower end of the price range. There is more chance that you'll get a poorly intonated, not particularly easy-to-play, uke than a really good one.

    Online uke specialists like Mim and Uke Republic are another matter - they set their instruments up - so you get a good price and a playable instrument.

    John

    Exactly correct!
    Thanks, Mike


    Ohana CK-50WG

  8. #8
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    I have done the same thing but I paid 400 for a uke I could have got for about 260. The worst part was I specifically asked if the uke was solid wood. I was told yes, the I later found out it was laminate. I was pretty upset about the whole situation. Live and learn though.

  9. #9
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    Jun 2011
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    Michigan
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    Don't feel bad, I am a little displeased with my first uke purchase as well.

    I bought a decent model at a decent price but I hadn't heard about the "setup" thing yet. I could have got one set up with decent strings for the same price. Oh well, now I know.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by dnewton2 View Post
    I have done the same thing but I paid 400 for a uke I could have got for about 260.

    wooh that hurts....

    but you've also been openly lied to, so you can blame the seller quite much, at least ...


    personally, i wanted something kinda fancy, to motivate me, so i got a flea
    but i wanted it mango, also concert, and also rosewood, so i had it custom made !

    luckily, it's an awesome instrument, but like PoiDog said, there are cheaper alternatives for sure especially for the price of the rosewood option .... maybe if i could go to a shop with it, and kalas, and ponos or whatever, i'd have chosen something else .. but one thing is sure, i would have written down some internet prices!
    everybody should do that ;D


    but hey, i don't know about you , but local businesses in my place, or even my whole country, when they have ukuleles, wich is kind of rare, they usually have the always ever same mahalo, stagg, and another brand i had never heard about, for the price of a really really good uke.... it's like they just don't care
    Last edited by nickie_66; 09-23-2011 at 02:17 PM.

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