Cymbal Pricing on Amazon

GiveMeYourSmallestSticks!

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Just writing to see if anyone can offer any insight. My only experience has been with Amazon.ca, but I've been finding that certain cymbals fluctuate wildly in price. I play Zildjians exclusively, and while some remain consistent in price, others seem to fluctuate by the day. I don't mind, as checking at the right time has yielded great deals for me. I purchased a beautiful 22" K ride for over $100 off the usual retail price, and just ordered a 20" Crash of Doom for 57% off the retail price! Since making that purchase and securing that price, they're back up to their normal retail price.

Both cymbals were brand new, and shipped and sold directly from Amazon rather than a third party seller. This wasn't the case with the ride, but the Crash of Doom was the only 1 left in stock. Could they deliberately reduce the prices to clear out stock before reordering and raising prices again? Does this happen on Amazon in other countries? Anyone else have any stories of sweet scores they've made on Amazon?
 

Hop

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You're experiencing yet another way that Amazon is killing traditional retail.

In order to manage/control the market Amazon needed a method to find out exactly how traditional retailers are completing sales and what the products sell for. Amazon could get what would be considered coarse sales data through manufacturers association data - which of course is lagging data and too late to help Amazon in a real useful fashion. So, they came up with the idea of the Amazon Marketplace. Here they allow other retailers into the Amazon portal to market their goods. On the surface it looks like a great idea for consumers as it appears there is more competition happening on the platform. But what is really happening is the real-time exchange of sales data from all of the traditional retailers streaming into Amazon databases/software. Of the many things that Amazon can do with the data is to do instant price adjusting on an "Amazon" variant or sold product, totally undercutting the traditional retailer who may have stepped-up and boldly made a discount price available (on their thin margins)... if the Amazon software senses movement on a 'particular' product, it immediately adjusts the price on the Amazon item and promotes it in the Marketplace list. Amazon will undercut traditional retailers, sacrificing some profit, in order to gain market share that ultimately drives traditional retailers out of business and scuttle any real competition (actually burn it to the ground). Just remember that it took Amazon almost five years to finally Amazon turn a profit (4th-quarter of 2001: $0.01 per share, on revenues of more than $1 billion. The idea was to take that market share, grow the idea of internet shopping, then finally become profitable.

My unsolicited advice is to support traditional retail establishments. Nothing wrong with getting a price in mind from the interwebz, then having your local retailer compete to earn your business, but the competition should be fair.

Quite honestly I don't know why a single traditional retailer would be on Amazon knowing what their platform does with sales data (unless they don't know) and the resulting consequences. Using Amazon will continue to undercut/undermine traditional retailers to the point there is only one place left to shop.
 

GiveMeYourSmallestSticks!

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You're experiencing yet another way that Amazon is killing traditional retail.

In order to manage/control the market Amazon needed a method to find out exactly how traditional retailers are completing sales and what the products sell for. Amazon could get what would be considered coarse sales data through manufacturers association data - which of course is lagging data and too late to help Amazon in a real useful fashion. So, they came up with the idea of the Amazon Marketplace. Here they allow other retailers into the Amazon portal to market their goods. On the surface it looks like a great idea for consumers as it appears there is more competition happening on the platform. But what is really happening is the real-time exchange of sales data from all of the traditional retailers streaming into Amazon databases/software. Of the many things that Amazon can do with the data is to do instant price adjusting on an "Amazon" variant or sold product, totally undercutting the traditional retailer who may have stepped-up and boldly made a discount price available (on their thin margins)... if the Amazon software senses movement on a 'particular' product, it immediately adjusts the price on the Amazon item and promotes it in the Marketplace list. Amazon will undercut traditional retailers, sacrificing some profit, in order to gain market share that ultimately drives traditional retailers out of business and scuttle any real competition (actually burn it to the ground). Just remember that it took Amazon almost five years to finally Amazon turn a profit (4th-quarter of 2001: $0.01 per share, on revenues of more than $1 billion. The idea was to take that market share, grow the idea of internet shopping, then finally become profitable.

My unsolicited advice is to support traditional retail establishments. Nothing wrong with getting a price in mind from the interwebz, then having your local retailer compete to earn your business, but the competition should be fair.

Quite honestly I don't know why a single traditional retailer would be on Amazon knowing what their platform does with sales data (unless they don't know) and the resulting consequences. Using Amazon will continue to undercut/undermine traditional retailers to the point there is only one place left to shop.
Thanks for the insight. To be honest, I've always been hesitant to buy any cymbals online given the subjectivities and variables inherent in cymbal making/choosing. I've given plenty (the majority) of my business to local brick and mortar drum shops, but found the couple of deals discussed above and was willing to take the chance based on the specific models (and honestly, prices) available. I wouldn't have been able to justify another cymbal purchase if it weren't for the ridiculous discount.

That being said, I certainly don't want Amazon to have a monopoly, or be my only eventual option for buying drum gear. Competition and a free market benefits the consumer, and my local drum shops certainly have a leg up in terms of expertise, service, buying, selling and trading options. The majority of my business will continue to be done locally and in person, but it's hard to pass up an occasional chance to snag an unbelievable deal on an expense that's frankly a pretty selfish indulgence for me. Still, I'll do it infrequently (these deals don't come up that often anyhow), and your post will remain in my head when I do.
 

D. B. Cooper

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There's a sticky in the "General" forum dedicated to this topic called Amazon Deals Thread.


There's been a lot of talk in there over the years as good cymbal deals come along. It's actually a pretty fun thread. I like it when I refresh the page and it has that thread in Bold. Kind of like a lottery, almost. It's rarely a cymbal that you want, but when it is, and you're one of the first to get there, you can really score.
 

Hop

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Thanks for the insight. To be honest, I've always been hesitant to buy any cymbals online given the subjectivities and variables inherent in cymbal making/choosing. I've given plenty (the majority) of my business to local brick and mortar drum shops, but found the couple of deals discussed above and was willing to take the chance based on the specific models (and honestly, prices) available. I wouldn't have been able to justify another cymbal purchase if it weren't for the ridiculous discount.

That being said, I certainly don't want Amazon to have a monopoly, or be my only eventual option for buying drum gear. Competition and a free market benefits the consumer, and my local drum shops certainly have a leg up in terms of expertise, service, buying, selling and trading options. The majority of my business will continue to be done locally and in person, but it's hard to pass up an occasional chance to snag an unbelievable deal on an expense that's frankly a pretty selfish indulgence for me. Still, I'll do it infrequently (these deals don't come up that often anyhow), and your post will remain in my head when I do.
I used to love the Amazon discount back in the day, especially in the mid/late-90's when I was buying a lot of photography art books (coffee table type). I would go to a nearby Hennessey & Ingalls in Santa Monica and pour over the titles of interest. Most of these types of books were sealed at other retailers, but Hennessey & Ingalls would have at least one open copy and a very wide photography selection, however they were usually at full retail prices. I recall that they weren't receptive to discounts/price match when I first went in there, so I'd record the ISBN, then I'd look for a discount on Amazon, which were pretty substantial and I did save a grip of money. I didn't feel like gambling on a blind purchase of any of these photobooks, but I didn't think about what I was doing/what impact I was having other than saving myself some money that day...

Funny thing is that I have well over $500 in Amazon award (from work) and gift certificates that I've had for years but have been reluctant to spend. I'm not 100% anti-Amazon, because choice and competition is good, but certainly don't care for some of their predatory practices.
 

GiveMeYourSmallestSticks!

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I used to love the Amazon discount back in the day, especially in the mid/late-90's when I was buying a lot of photography art books (coffee table type). I would go to a nearby Hennessey & Ingalls in Santa Monica and pour over the titles of interest. Most of these types of books were sealed at other retailers, but Hennessey & Ingalls would have at least one open copy and a very wide photography selection, however they were usually at full retail prices. I recall that they weren't receptive to discounts/price match when I first went in there, so I'd record the ISBN, then I'd look for a discount on Amazon, which were pretty substantial and I did save a grip of money. I didn't feel like gambling on a blind purchase of any of these photobooks, but I didn't think about what I was doing/what impact I was having other than saving myself some money that day...

Funny thing is that I have well over $500 in Amazon award (from work) and gift certificates that I've had for years but have been reluctant to spend. I'm not 100% anti-Amazon, because choice and competition is good, but certainly don't care for some of their predatory practices.
While we can agree about the threat Amazon poses to traditional retailers with their predatory practices, the solution is not always clear cut. In a not so veiled attempt to justify my deals, I would posit that snagging these deals is actually costing Amazon money, they're clearly taking a hit here. To assume that these deals are by necessity taking away from local business is not entirely correct either, as like I mentioned, I personally would not be able to afford a new cymbal purchase at all if not for the deep discount. So, in the case of these deals (for me), Amazon is not taking the business from local stores, and is losing money to provide me a great deal. I would suggest that buying full price off of Amazon when you could choose a local shop is the more harmful option both in supporting Amazon with profits, and neglecting your local drum store. If one really wanted to delude themselves, you could argue that in a way these deals are a way to stick it to Amazon and turn their predatory practices against them. At least that's what I'll tell myself....
 

Hop

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While we can agree about the threat Amazon poses to traditional retailers with their predatory practices, the solution is not always clear cut. In a not so veiled attempt to justify my deals, I would posit that snagging these deals is actually costing Amazon money, they're clearly taking a hit here. To assume that these deals are by necessity taking away from local business is not entirely correct either, as like I mentioned, I personally would not be able to afford a new cymbal purchase at all if not for the deep discount. So, in the case of these deals (for me), Amazon is not taking the business from local stores, and is losing money to provide me a great deal. I would suggest that buying full price off of Amazon when you could choose a local shop is the more harmful option both in supporting Amazon with profits, and neglecting your local drum store. If one really wanted to delude themselves, you could argue that in a way these deals are a way to stick it to Amazon and turn their predatory practices against them. At least that's what I'll tell myself....
I can agree with you on your post and reiterate that I'm not 100% anti-Amazon. I also think that another major benefit is the return policies of Amazon. Now I haven't purchased from them in long while but, if you got one of those cymbals on a great deal and didn't like it after trying it, you should be able to return within the 30-day limit. That is hard very hard to argue against especially when compared to a traditional retailer that may let you try a cymbal in the store but may not let you return if you try it at home to see if it fits in well with your kit.
 
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lrod1707

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Lots of people here have gotten great deals. I used to look every day and post on the "Amazon deals" thread what I would find. I picked up quite a few Istanbul Mehmet's, UFIP's & Soultones for good deals. Every now and then I would see some Sabian's come up as well. I think It's unexplainable why they do this!
 

lrod1707

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I can agree with you on your post and reiterate that I'm not 100% anti-Amazon. I also think that another major benefit is the return policies of Amazon. Now I haven't purchased from them in long while but, if you got one of those cymbals on a great deal and didn't like it after trying it, you should be able to return within the 30-day limit. That is hard very hard to argue against especially when compared to a traditional retailer that may let you try a cymbal in the store but may not let you return if you try it at home to see if it fits in well with your kit.
I totally agree with this. After buying over a dozen of those Amazon cymbals, I didn't like 2 of them and I returned them immediately for a no questions asked full refund. Plus they cover the shipping going back. Can't beat that!
 

lrod1707

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Most times it is because they have been sitting in inventory for a long time as nobody wants them.
Maybe a small few but not all. They would come into stock and they were gone right away. I think it's got more to do with the algorithm that Amazon uses for selling. When it's time to show Wall Street your numbers, you move merchandise even if you lose money. When you're as big as Amazon, you have the luxury of doing that. They do this not just with cymbals but with tons of other things that they sell.
 
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JazzDrumGuy

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I don't know about all of the above, but I've bought a few cymbals off Amazon for ridiculously cheap prices. 19" Soul tone vintage old school patina flat ride (made in Turkey), and a set of 15" Bosphorus masters hats. They are poorly packed but arrived in new undamaged condition. Sold the hats but still have the 19". I went back on a few days after getting the hats to get another set but the price bumped back up. There is no rhyme or reason IMO.....just a right place/right time situation.....
 


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