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Thread: Music store etiquette

  1. #21
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
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    Nashville, Tn
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    My rule of thumb is to not touch if I don't intend on buying.

    In Nashville we have some amazing guitar stores. With stores like Gruhn, Corner Music, Artisan Guitars, Cotton Music and a few others we have a ton of quality high end stores. They will set you up with a private room to try out instruments, you get the all star treatment. You can really sit down and get a feel for the instrument without being drowned out by a 16 year old cranking an amp to 12.
    Makala Dolphin
    1950s Martin Style O
    Kinnard Walnut Tenor

  2. #22
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    Jul 2011
    Location
    Chicago
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    When you find an Ukulele Petting Zoo that is run as a not-for-profit charity, then go ahead and play all day and never buy anything. Also tell me about it so I can go and play, too. Meanwhile, stores in the real world need you to pony up some money now and then. Saving a few bucks buying a uke online will be small comfort when your local stores go out of business. You pay a little more for the opportunity to play before you buy. Seems like a fair deal to me.

  3. #23
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    Nov 2009
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    Quote Originally Posted by OldePhart View Post
    The bottom line - if you want your local music store to be around a while, patronize them, and that means buying more than strings.
    Yes. This!!!

    In an unrelated recent thread, another member advised me not to buy from my local shop because of their markup. I'm well aware of their markup - everything is always priced at full MSRP unless on sale, and the sale prices are usually comparable to the everyday online prices for Amazon/Musician's Friend - but generally if the local shop has what I want, I'll buy from them anyway. The shop has been there my whole lifetime (plus a couple more years!) and I'd like to see it stay that way, so even when I know I can get something elsewhere for less, I'd rather keep my dollars local. Not to mention that the shop will stand by the products they sell - I'm not sure that the Big Boxes would do the same.
    Last edited by janeray1940; 12-18-2013 at 06:03 PM.

  4. #24

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    Wow. Tons of responses. I appreciate the feedback. I think you are all reinforcing what I was already feeling. At first I didn't even think twice about picking up ukes a trying them out. With many other products (take the Apple store for instance) we are trained to go in and play with the merchandise and then go buy it online (showrooming). Obviously things are quite different for a mom and pops ukulele store. It took awhile until I finally started thinking 'maybe the store owners don't appreciate this'. Maybe I am just a little slow or too self absorbed to realize how other people felt about it. Or perhaps the ukes themselves were too irresistible to think about anything else. In any case, I don't play them any more. And I do appreciate the responses. Happy holidays.

  5. #25

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    Fun to read the responses.

    Myself, the times I go into a music store usually mean I'm looking to see if they have any weird or unusual guitars. I have no problem whatever playing the store's guitars---I figure that the time will come when somebody's brought in something fantastic that I just have to have, and that's it, it gets bought.

    But I don't go in, in order to strum new stuff. . . unless I know they're carrying what I'm looking for. I guess I'm more into old acoustic guitars.

    You know, I got into ukes because there's a nice music store that I was stopping by to check their situation, didn't see anything but was in a rare "buy" mode and I got talked (half-talked; I'm also responsible) into buying a cheap Mahalo. So it goes.

    The idea of using the local store to check out something before ordering on-line doesn't fly well with me: I respect the practical differences between instruments too much; I've seen how models vary, and since I buy an instrument for life, the extra $50 or $100 doesn't matter all that much, since I know exactly what I'm getting and I'm happy getting it.
    ----------------------------------
    Mainland mahogany soprano
    Kala KA-SC
    Kala La Salle tenor



    the Dominican Order: to praise, to bless, to preach

  6. #26
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Aurora, IL US
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    Quote Originally Posted by dphansti View Post
    Wow. Tons of responses. I appreciate the feedback. I think you are all reinforcing what I was already feeling. At first I didn't even think twice about picking up ukes a trying them out. With many other products (take the Apple store for instance) we are trained to go in and play with the merchandise and then go buy it online (showrooming). Obviously things are quite different for a mom and pops ukulele store. It took awhile until I finally started thinking 'maybe the store owners don't appreciate this'. Maybe I am just a little slow or too self absorbed to realize how other people felt about it. Or perhaps the ukes themselves were too irresistible to think about anything else. In any case, I don't play them any more. And I do appreciate the responses. Happy holidays.
    I think the general feedback has been, "Go to your local music store, try their ukes and buy from them". The idea is to not use the dealer for "show rooming" but as your actual resource. As Captain America said, a few extra bucks on a uke really doesn't amount to much over time. There are so many areas of my life where I can save money but I WANT to support my local music store.

    My local camera store chain "Ritz Camera" has closed. Now there are a lot fewer choices available locally. Same thing with my local hobby shop. I would hate to see the music stores go that route.
    Last edited by Cornfield; 12-19-2013 at 04:46 AM.

  7. #27
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    May 2010
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    Near Cincinnati, OH
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    Well I read this thread yesterday and then today I found myself with 20-30 minutes to kill between two appointments and a Sam Ash store in between. Stopped in. I had no intention of buying anything, but of my 13 ukes three were impulse buys, one a used baritone from that very store. So if I never go in unless I have an intent to buy then Sam will never sell me anything.

    Anyway I played a Kala uke for about 15 minutes, very carefully, while the salesman ignored me and sold a woman a guitar (probably for 3x the cost of the $175 Kala). I left the store with one uke that was in tune, because I had tuned the Kala. So I think I did them a good deed, and I might have bought it. I didn't but still. I did not go home and order that exact uke off the internet. That seems like cheating.

    I was in a music store in Germany and the sales guy noticed that I was tuning a uke before I played it. He handed me an electronic tuner and said, "Tune any uke you like." So I tuned all of his ukes - they all needed it.
    Last edited by Pondoro; 12-19-2013 at 10:30 AM.

  8. #28
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    Nov 2009
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pondoro View Post
    So if I never go in unless I have an intent to buy then Sam will never sell me anything.
    The issue here is not going in to browse and leaving empty-handed - I think many music stores (as well as other stores) know that if they allow browsers to spend time with their wares, impulse buys will happen. But that's a whole other thing than going in to a local shop try the merchandise, and not buying it there but instead buying it from a cheaper retailer. Like you said - cheating! Not fair!

  9. #29
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    Nov 2010
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    DFW, TX, USA
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pondoro View Post
    So I tuned all of his ukes - they all needed it.
    BWAA-HAAAA - don't they always!

    I bought a Kala pocket uke in Sam Ash in Manhattan when I was up there a few years ago (last time I go on a business trip for a week without something to play in the hotel). Anyway, it was behind the counter and the sales guy actually grabbed a tuner and tuned it before he handed to me. Of course, he tuned it to GCEA so the strings were floppy loose and the intonation was terrible - but, hey, he was tryin'!

    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!

  10. #30
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    May 2010
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    Near Cincinnati, OH
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    That is funny John, the uke I played today was a Kala Pocket Uke. I tuned it by ear to whatever sounded good. So it is not in any standard tuning. But the next person who plays it will be able to make it play, if he or she arrives in time. So I did help. I think if I worked within walking distance of a music store I would volunteer to go in and tune them all three times per week. For free. It is so frustrating to walk into a store and find all the ukes untuned.

    I was a bit irritated that the Kala has a nicer action than my homemade mini uke. I need to go back and adjust now.

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