Guitar Center vs. the internet

willisgreene

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Ag---hey man, head on over to Rockin Robin on S.Shepherd @ Alabama...59 @ S.shepherd, one block up. Bart owns the place and has been there about 25 years or so. You'll get treated right and a good deal. Take in competitors ads and he will match them. I was just in there yesterday looking at basses and had a good time just hanging out. Unreal how many vintage snares he has in there along with PA's, guitars, basses, and surfboards! Get on in there!
Yeah I know those guys. I might check them out this weekend. It would be nice to buy from a DFO member. :occasion5:
Jeff Shoup has Evans heads for ya :icon_smile:
 

Thwack

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Steve Weiss has good prices on heads. They sell on the internet but it's a real store.
If you're in a rush and must use GC, I think they'll price match anything you find on the net.
 

BenWolf

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You can order from GC but once you place an order, it's possible that half of that order will be backordered. Secondly, GC is of the devil :lol:
That happend to me this week. Ordering some hardware because they sent me $30 off for a $200 purchase. And after I ordered they sent me an email saying it was back ordered. I should've known better because last time I ordered from them they sent me a head from "musicians friend" that had a cut in it.

Local shops have all but died and gone in my city. This is a timely thread for me.
 

AyotteBill

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I agree about GC. I will avoid them if I can. Ag, you probably know about HPC, but Rocking Robin used to have a pretty good drum section. I haven't been there for a while so I don't know how they are now. Mostly, I'll go see Mike or do business with Humble Music out here by me, it would be a little drive for you though. Part owner of the place is a drummer, he plays with the Fab 5, if you've heard of them. Lots of classic kits in the back of the store. Rod used to have a very large collection, but I digress.
 

homeby5

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As a uh...hmmm "local" business owner, I would love to have a boatload of customers like many here :love6: But, whats wrong with growth?. Where is the line from "Mom and Pop" to "Evil Empire"? Two, three, four.....it's got to be five stores :???: Here's my little story...

About three yrs ago,I lost a load of business at our one and only haul out marina because a bigger marine service company came in from another county and undercut me. Now, I always showed up on time, respected my customers and performed my services above par. But I also paid my employees twice, thats right, TWICE than what others paid. I would pay a new mechanic $35 an hour when the going rate was $18. I started as a blue collar worker in the shipyards and I refused to treat people like slaves. But in the end, it all came down to money. As a result, my main employee lost probably 20hrs a week and it sucked. But, and it's a big "but", I don't blame anyone except me. Loyalty is earned, not expected. It was my responsibility to compete. It wouldn't be honest or beneficial to myself or others to blame it on the larger more succesful company that took my work. That "larger" company started small and grew in size to cover three counties. That's the reward of success. It also wasn't the fault of the competing large or the customers fault. It's my belief that it isn't the customers responsibility to come in, hat in hand and try to talk me down on my rates or retail prices. Many, many people don't feel comfortable trying to negotiate. They want a fair deal offered to them up front. In reality, I should have kept my ear to the pavement and not assumed that my track record was good enough to carry me without ever adjusting my business model. Like it or not, most of the time it does come down to money. And that's true of most all sectors.

I have two local owned music stores within 35 miles of me. I give them business when they deserve it. I was in today. Yeah, it was nice recognizing a face, but after about five minutes, our conversation was rudely cut off literally mid sentence when another customer walked in the store. So, to me, loyalty is a non issue. They are going to have to keep working and competing to keep me coming back. I shouldn't have to bring in advertisements and beg them to lower the prices for me to get a fair shake. They can check the internet prices and adjust before they open in the morning. Also, I have never been fortunate to have a small music store that stock many items. OTOH, I can always sit down and find anything within 10min on the net and have it ordered five more minutes later.

All I'm getting at is that these small guys are more often than not, small for a reason. Many are not forward thinkers and do not adjust thier business models to keep up. I mean, are we seriously expected to not take advantage of the internet, which is one of the most fascinating and beneficial business tools to come around in decades if not centuries? Not me. Now, I will factor in service in my bottom line, but I will refuse to let guilt have a say when IMO, more often than not, the business owner did not take the appropriate actions to keep my business.

BTW, I also can appreciate the retail end. Half of my profits were (and are) generated from new parts. So I get the stress in competing. It may not be apples to apples, but it's close.

Again, nothing against small guys because I am one. But my goal, and if I may, the goal of most small business owners is to grow both literally and fiscally. I'll give 'em thier due props also :occasion5:
 

b/o 402

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Drums on Sale, which was mentioned favorably earlier as an online retailer with lots of Ludwig accessories, is in fact a small local Mom & Pop in the sleepy nowhere burg of Hagerstown, MD.

The owners are smart enough to have put together a competitive online retail store. That's forward thinking! They're not close enough for me to stop by for grins, or to just pick up a pair of sticks, but if there's an unusual head I want they almost always have it in stock.

I'm fortunate to live near several other excellent Mom & Pops. They price competitively and get the majority of my business.
 

komodobob

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Ya know, I'm no different than anyone else. I like to save money as much as the next guy. But after reading some of these posts I've come to the realization that many of you have no idea how good you have it to be so close to a GC, Sam Ash or any other BIG BOX retailer for that matter. For me, the nearest "real" drum shop is 1 1/2 hours away going north to Rochester, N.Y., with a GC about 5 to 10 minutes closer than that in either direction. I'll gladly drive to Rochester or Binghamton to shop in these stores. My wife and I will sometimes make a day of it on a Sat. or Sun. We have lunch, I get to go to Cadence Drum shop and GC and we then hit one of the malls.

I have no local shops in which I can do business. At least none that carry any gear or accessories of significants to me. I have ordered online or through the Interstate catalog, but have more than once received the wrong item. Not that I won't order online again, but I have avoided it lately. And besides, I'm the kind of guy that likes to put my hands on things that I'm buying.

For me it's as much if not more about the experience of walking into a real store as it is about saving some doe ra me.
 

Tophatjohnny

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Usually a big fan of GC, but as they have succeeded at runing a ton of Ma & Pa music shops to the curb, the loss they have taken to do so (and it's been a huge hit) somehow needs to be recaptured throughout the HUGE chain. The prices are on the rise within the company, and buyer beware.

As I am pretty much for the best price for the musician, and customer service has really never been that important to me, as I know the goods I am buying and don't beat my gear into the ground...ever, so we all know Guitar Center has poor (to say the least) customer service, it's the price we shop. Well, Geartree.com is pounding GC in the ground and beating them at their own game. Even if you think you have a friend at GC with the "Hook Up" say goodbye to that "Hook Up" as upper MGT has put the word out that no more "bro deals" will be accepted at any level. GC thrives on the closet rock stars that of 90% of their customer base have never played a gig, nor will they play a gig. Quite the circus, but we all know that hobby stores are fun, just beware that there's a great amount of hobby stores online that will save you $ and deliver the stuff right to your door, depending on the amount of your purchase. So to one of my old stomping ground stores "Guitar Center" seems like you are getting the pounding into the groung these days!!IMHO :occasion5:
 

vintagemore2000

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Usually a big fan of GC, but as they have succeeded at runing a ton of Ma & Pa music shops to the curb, the loss they have taken to do so (and it's been a huge hit) somehow needs to be recaptured throughout the HUGE chain. The prices are on the rise within the company, and buyer beware.

As I am pretty much for the best price for the musician, and customer service has really never been that important to me, as I know the goods I am buying and don't beat my gear into the ground...ever, so we all know Guitar Center has poor (to say the least) customer service, it's the price we shop. Well, Geartree.com is pounding GC in the ground and beating them at their own game. Even if you think you have a friend at GC with the "Hook Up" say goodbye to that "Hook Up" as upper MGT has put the word out that no more "bro deals" will be accepted at any level. GC thrives on the closet rock stars that of 90% of their customer base have never played a gig, nor will they play a gig. Quite the circus, but we all know that hobby stores are fun, just beware that there's a great amount of hobby stores online that will save you $ and deliver the stuff right to your door, depending on the amount of your purchase. So to one of my old stomping ground stores "Guitar Center" seems like you are getting the pounding into the groung these days!!IMHO :occasion5:
I couldn't of said it any better! my mail order house of choice is Musician Friend,they are fast delivery and generally have what I need in stock, but as my bud Johnny stated I don't need any hand holding, I know the product and need and won't it cheap as possible.
 

gregnoiz

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I would love to love my local music store. It's fairly near by and has been in business here since I was a kid. But the fact is everytime I go there the guy rushes me through like he's got somebody waitin' to by a grand piano. I was there to buy tension rods on two occasions recently and both times he gave me the wrong size. Their price on heads is generaly pretty high but for a boxed set of Ambassador snare heads (both sides) it was approximately the same price as online. By the way, Amazon actually stocks a few drum heads. I just bought an Evan's 20" EQ3 batter from them for $16. The cheapest I found it anywhere else was around $40.
 

(Kb)

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There's no substitute for being able to touch and try a lot of drum gear for sure... But it's 2011, and with the internet, free long distance, and FedEx the local shop experience doesn't have to be limited to what's within driving distance.

For years when I lived in the middle of nowhere, I ordered from Midwest Percussion, and at least felt like I was dealing with knowledgeable people I could get on the phone with, ask questions of, return stuff to, etc. At the time, I remember thinking their Zildjian-specific return policy (because who wants to buy cymbals online) was really ballsy/generous... Even if I'd never buy a cymbal I couldn't hear.

More recently, I worked at a "mom and pop" with a web presence (but no web sales other than eBay), and we had "regular" customers from all over the country, buying stuff from sticks to kits - occasionally requiring a memory-jog, but that happens with walk-ins too!

I can say with first hand knowledge that if you call a smaller store (the Five Star shops being a blanket example) with Interstate's prices, it's very unlikely they won't match them... No need to be sneaky, just say, this is where I'm from, this is what I want to buy, this is how much so and so has them listed for, and I want to buy it from you. A simple yes or no, and you're good!

And at the same time, you are supporting that store, and cultivating a relationship with a human being that can help you in the future, not just hitting the "order" button.

I can understand speed and convenience, but sometimes that can be a matter of communication too.
 

Tophatjohnny

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Usually a big fan of GC, but as they have succeeded at runing a ton of Ma & Pa music shops to the curb, the loss they have taken to do so (and it's been a huge hit) somehow needs to be recaptured throughout the HUGE chain. The prices are on the rise within the company, and buyer beware.

As I am pretty much for the best price for the musician, and customer service has really never been that important to me, as I know the goods I am buying and don't beat my gear into the ground...ever, so we all know Guitar Center has poor (to say the least) customer service, it's the price we shop. Well, Geartree.com is pounding GC in the ground and beating them at their own game. Even if you think you have a friend at GC with the "Hook Up" say goodbye to that "Hook Up" as upper MGT has put the word out that no more "bro deals" will be accepted at any level. GC thrives on the closet rock stars that of 90% of their customer base have never played a gig, nor will they play a gig. Quite the circus, but we all know that hobby stores are fun, just beware that there's a great amount of hobby stores online that will save you $ and deliver the stuff right to your door, depending on the amount of your purchase. So to one of my old stomping ground stores "Guitar Center" seems like you are getting the pounding into the groung these days!!IMHO :occasion5:
I couldn't of said it any better! my mail order house of choice is Musician Friend,they are fast delivery and generally have what I need in stock, but as my bud Johnny stated I don't need any hand holding, I know the product and need and want it cheap as possible.
Thanks Mark, but you may as well call GC as they're one in the same as musiciansfoe....I mean friend :occasion5:
 

vintagemore2000

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Usually a big fan of GC, but as they have succeeded at runing a ton of Ma & Pa music shops to the curb, the loss they have taken to do so (and it's been a huge hit) somehow needs to be recaptured throughout the HUGE chain. The prices are on the rise within the company, and buyer beware.

As I am pretty much for the best price for the musician, and customer service has really never been that important to me, as I know the goods I am buying and don't beat my gear into the ground...ever, so we all know Guitar Center has poor (to say the least) customer service, it's the price we shop. Well, Geartree.com is pounding GC in the ground and beating them at their own game. Even if you think you have a friend at GC with the "Hook Up" say goodbye to that "Hook Up" as upper MGT has put the word out that no more "bro deals" will be accepted at any level. GC thrives on the closet rock stars that of 90% of their customer base have never played a gig, nor will they play a gig. Quite the circus, but we all know that hobby stores are fun, just beware that there's a great amount of hobby stores online that will save you $ and deliver the stuff right to your door, depending on the amount of your purchase. So to one of my old stomping ground stores "Guitar Center" seems like you are getting the pounding into the groung these days!!IMHO :occasion5:
I couldn't of said it any better! my mail order house of choice is Musician Friend,they are fast delivery and generally have what I need in stock, but as my bud Johnny stated I don't need any hand holding, I know the product and need and won't it cheap as possible.
Thanks Mark, but you may as well call GC as their one in the same as musiciansfoe....I mean friend :occasion5:
I've dealt with Mf for so long I get discount coupons very often from them, plus other swag, that I don't get from GC,but your right they are reflections of one another!
 

DrumBob

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Ya know, I'm no different than anyone else. I like to save money as much as the next guy. But after reading some of these posts I've come to the realization that many of you have no idea how good you have it to be so close to a GC, Sam Ash or any other BIG BOX retailer for that matter. For me, the nearest "real" drum shop is 1 1/2 hours away going north to Rochester, N.Y., with a GC about 5 to 10 minutes closer than that in either direction. I'll gladly drive to Rochester or Binghamton to shop in these stores. My wife and I will sometimes make a day of it on a Sat. or Sun. We have lunch, I get to go to Cadence Drum shop and GC and we then hit one of the malls.

I have no local shops in which I can do business. At least none that carry any gear or accessories of significants to me. I have ordered online or through the Interstate catalog, but have more than once received the wrong item. Not that I won't order online again, but I have avoided it lately. And besides, I'm the kind of guy that likes to put my hands on things that I'm buying.

For me it's as much if not more about the experience of walking into a real store as it is about saving some doe ra me.

Bob...There are plenty of independent online music stores and drum shops around the country you can order from besides going to the Great Satans of the music business. If you know what you need, why do you have to see it in person?
 

ScottGunshore

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I think homeby5 nailed it, and then b/o 402 followed up with a great example. Maybe my expectations are high, but I'm often underwhelmed with the service I get from a brick and mortar, big box or independent. Why pay to be underwhelmed... for drums, dinner, or anything?

I think it should be noted that a lot of people on this site are quick to say, "I'd never pay more than X for a snare" or something that indicates price drives much of the decision making. Many people are trolling for great deals here (me included), and many people would never buy a set made after 19xx.

My point is... don't get too high and mighty about where people buy their stuff, because you may not be as loyal to your local shop as you think you are. Drum head sales may make you feel good about supporting so-and-so, but a new drum set could equal 5 (10?) years of your trips for the accessories. Are YOU that loyal?

So, I purchased a set online from Fork's in 2009 (while I lived in Phoenix)... is that supporting a mom-and-pop, or internet skullduggery??? :blackeye:
 

Tophatjohnny

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Usually a big fan of GC, but as they have succeeded at runing a ton of Ma & Pa music shops to the curb, the loss they have taken to do so (and it's been a huge hit) somehow needs to be recaptured throughout the HUGE chain. The prices are on the rise within the company, and buyer beware.

As I am pretty much for the best price for the musician, and customer service has really never been that important to me, as I know the goods I am buying and don't beat my gear into the ground...ever, so we all know Guitar Center has poor (to say the least) customer service, it's the price we shop. Well, Geartree.com is pounding GC in the ground and beating them at their own game. Even if you think you have a friend at GC with the "Hook Up" say goodbye to that "Hook Up" as upper MGT has put the word out that no more "bro deals" will be accepted at any level. GC thrives on the closet rock stars that of 90% of their customer base have never played a gig, nor will they play a gig. Quite the circus, but we all know that hobby stores are fun, just beware that there's a great amount of hobby stores online that will save you $ and deliver the stuff right to your door, depending on the amount of your purchase. So to one of my old stomping ground stores "Guitar Center" seems like you are getting the pounding into the groung these days!!IMHO :occasion5:
I couldn't of said it any better! my mail order house of choice is Musician Friend,they are fast delivery and generally have what I need in stock, but as my bud Johnny stated I don't need any hand holding, I know the product and need and won't it cheap as possible.
Thanks Mark, but you may as well call GC as their one in the same as musiciansfoe....I mean friend :occasion5:
I've dealt with Mf for so long I get discount coupons very often from them, plus other swag, that I don't get from GC,but your right they are reflections of one another!
Yes, sister co's with ONE POCKET.......like Buddy Rich's father always said, "one pocket...Mine"!
 

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