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Shopping in a "Real" Drum Shop

theedrummist

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I live about 3 hours away from MDS, so I too only visit occasionally.

All of my experiences there have been pretty positive, and I've often spent an hour or so in the shop, sometimes chatting with other customers, "shop talk", etc.

I'm hoping your experience doesn't put you off completely from all drum shops.

A friend of mine, Jason Hatcher, used to work for MDS, and I can guarantee that if he had been
there that day, you'd be sharing a story of what a great experience you had.

If you're ever in St. Louis, go to Fred Pierce Drum Studio.
It's crammed full of drum goodies, and if my buddy Daryl is there, he'd be glad to help you.

Keep Rockin!

- Jamie (theedrummist)
 

cobaltspike

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I used to go to Donn Bennetts Drum Studios in Bellevue Washington and from the very start he was a great guy. The first time in I bought a double pedal and he took me to one of his lesson rooms and let me set it up and play it. He has retired and the guy that took over named Rudy was also great to deal with and he ended up moving and opening his own shop called Rudy's. I did however have a situation at a hardware store about 30+ years ago where the first time in my whole family was being followed around like we were going to steal something. My wife worked grocery retail and I worked automotive retail and we were really put off by that. Since then it has been no problem. I almost forgot, there was a place in the early 80's in North City [just north of Seattle] called The Drum Key and they always had a cool positive vibe. It might have helped that I was making shells back then and they were intrigued.
 

Quai34

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Yeah, MDS has a vibe as a shop you enter when you KNOW what you're looking for (E.g. "HI, I flew here because I want to try 4 weights of your 18" [X] cymbals to decide which one I want to walk out with." or "I can't decide between these 3 snares. Can you grab them for me so I can A/B them. Thanks." It sounds like you sorta had an idea that you wanted to walk out with "something" but weren't focused or assertive enough for the sales person and I don't think they know how to handle customers who visit as a "destination shop, though it sounds like they could have reached out a bit more to guide you.
It's the job of the sale people to assert you and to discover what you need...There is a lot of people who are a bit ashamed at asking and expect to be guided...ADAPT to each customer...do not tell him "he should have..." The sales rep should have...He's paid for that!!!
 

Jeremy Bender

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I can certainly understand a shop needing to maintain an atmosphere of professionalism by not allowing it to become a drop off play place for kids to kill time in like Guitar Center's drum department seems to be at times.
On the other hand a drum shop needs to give a prospective customer time to try out an instument or piece of hardware to help make a sale. Nothing drives me more crazy than everyone in the place having their nose buried in a computer screen ignoring a customer.

The employee needs to be trained to be motivated to educate the customer as well as move inventory.
 

Quai34

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I can certainly understand a shop needing to maintain an atmosphere of professionalism by not allowing it to become a drop off play place for kids to kill time in like Guitar Center's drum department seems to be at times.
On the other hand a drum shop needs to give a prospective customer time to try out an instument or piece of hardware to help make a sale. Nothing drives me more crazy than everyone in the place having their nose buried in a computer screen ignoring a customer.

The employee needs to be trained to be motivated to educate the customer as well as move inventory.
yes, you said it TRY OUT!!! That's the keys in any non essentials commodities...Even in groceries, when you shop in market place in Europe, you try all the fruits and basic products to decided if you like it or not, so...You try olives, fruits etc...ham, charcuteries, cheeses...
 

Azoth

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It's the job of the sale people to assert you and to discover what you need...There is a lot of people who are a bit ashamed at asking and expect to be guided...ADAPT to each customer...do not tell him "he should have..." The sales rep should have...He's paid for that!!!
You're not wrong. Just not all shops hire the best and the brightest as far as customer service goes (insert drummer joke here).
 

trynberg

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Despite living in a major and wealthy population center, the SF Bay Area has very few independent music stores left. The last time I bought a brand new kit was in 2015 and I visited the few independent stores left -- calling ahead, dressing decently, and up front notifying them of my budget and that I was a serious buyer. At Gelb, they had no drum kits setup and no ability to do so (they had several kits vertically stacked). Despite not being all that busy (and having called ahead), I basically got no support and literally ended up sitting on the floor and tuning up a set of Pearl Reference toms so I could hit them with one stick while holding them with the other hand.

Despite wanting to support a local place, I then went to Guitar Center and got amazing service, including them setting up three kits in my price range (even grabbing hi-hats and bass drum pedals) and letting me play all three. Guess where I bought the kit.

I can't believe anyone would defend how MDS treated the OP...I understand business is business, but there's no excuse for making a paying customer feel unwelcome.
 

Azoth

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Despite living in a major and wealthy population center, the SF Bay Area has very few independent music stores left. The last time I bought a brand new kit was in 2015 and I visited the few independent stores left -- calling ahead, dressing decently, and up front notifying them of my budget and that I was a serious buyer. At Gelb, they had no drum kits setup and no ability to do so (they had several kits vertically stacked). Despite not being all that busy (and having called ahead), I basically got no support and literally ended up sitting on the floor and tuning up a set of Pearl Reference toms so I could hit them with one stick while holding them with the other hand.

Despite wanting to support a local place, I then went to Guitar Center and got amazing service, including them setting up three kits in my price range (even grabbing hi-hats and bass drum pedals) and letting me play all three. Guess where I bought the kit.

I can't believe anyone would defend how MDS treated the OP...I understand business is business, but there's no excuse for making a paying customer feel unwelcome.
I used to frequently shop at Gelb when I lived a couple miles from them. Never had an issue with service, other than when they were slammed. They would often say "if you're interested in any of these kits, let me know and I'll have our drum guy set it up."

As far as MDS goes, we've only heard from the OP, and to be honest, I was still a bit confused by what really happened, other than how the shop employee "made" the OP feel, OP was flabbergasted that high-end gear actually costs quite a bit, or that MDS didn't roll out the red carpet for them or give a discount on a case. IMO, OP's post paints more of a picture of them (sorry) than MDS. I've had great experiences with them, as have some of my drumming peers. Also, MDS isn't Guitar Center (thank god) and no one should expect them to be.
 

KCJazz

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I used to frequently shop at Gelb when I lived a couple miles from them. Never had an issue with service, other than when they were slammed. They would often say "if you're interested in any of these kits, let me know and I'll have our drum guy set it up."

As far as MDS goes, we've only heard from the OP, and to be honest, I was still a bit confused by what really happened, other than how the shop employee "made" the OP feel, OP was flabbergasted that high-end gear actually costs quite a bit, or that MDS didn't roll out the red carpet for them or give a discount on a case. IMO, OP's post paints more of a picture of them (sorry) than MDS. I've had great experiences with them, as have some of my drumming peers. Also, MDS isn't Guitar Center (thank god) and no one should expect them to be.
Not disputing your assertions, but old-timers like me remember the slogan: "The customer is always right."
 

Quai34

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Not disputing your assertions, but old-timers like me remember the slogan: "The customer is always right."
Yes exactly, the only one time when is not right is when he put your staff or your other customersat risks, then and inky then, you kick him out.... Well you don't even do,it, you call he police to do it for you.
 

Azoth

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Not disputing your assertions, but old-timers like me remember the slogan: "The customer is always right."
I’m no spring chicken either but, I always remembered “This ain’t burger king. You can’t always have it your way.” Of course I’m the “leave me alone. I’ll find you when I need you.” type of customer. : )
 

EDL

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Some customers think that stores are there for their entertainment...and are just there for their fun.
This perhaps was true..esp in the past..
But today..rent etc is expensive and time is money...and those employees could be doing something else to actually make money for the store..rather than entertaining tire kickers.
Ya see..when you go into a retail store..and are taking up the time and energy of employees w/o buying..you are actually hurting the store financially..because they are payin for your fun.
Sure the employees are paid a salary or by the hour..and some are paid by the sale too.. all whether you are there or not..
But... too many tire kickers and wasted time..and the store goes out of business.
But then there is the customers pov..
Treat me right..and I'll buy something..whether now or later..maybe..and help your business out
As in..
I could just buy online..and reduce my expenses..
What to do..lol..
 

drumgrrrl

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I live about 3 hours away from MDS, so I too only visit occasionally.

All of my experiences there have been pretty positive, and I've often spent an hour or so in the shop, sometimes chatting with other customers, "shop talk", etc.

I'm hoping your experience doesn't put you off completely from all drum shops.

A friend of mine, Jason Hatcher, used to work for MDS, and I can guarantee that if he had been
there that day, you'd be sharing a story of what a great experience you had.

If you're ever in St. Louis, go to Fred Pierce Drum Studio.
It's crammed full of drum goodies, and if my buddy Daryl is there, he'd be glad to help you.

Keep Rockin!

- Jamie (theedrummist)
I second Fred Pierce Drum Studio. Dave Burns is also great to work with there.

And check out Tommy’s Drum Shop in Austin!
 

JBludwig

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But I wasn't there to tinker. I wasn't even given the chance to try out a +$400 bass drum pedal on an actual bass drum sitting in an actual thrown. If I wanted to buy a bass pedal without trying it, I could do that online.

I went to the store with three primary objectives:

1. Try out bass drum pedals that aren't stocked in my local stores and potentially purchase one if I found one I liked.

2. Listen to Istanbul Agop and Xsist cymbals which no store around me stocks. I did not have to play them.myself, I'd actually prefer the store associate to play them so I could hear it better. I DO NOT GO TO MUSIC STORES TO TINKER, OR SHOW OFF CHOPS. I can't say that enough.

3. Check out the lightweight Yamaha hardware and new Rogers hardware. I wanted to try the Yamaha hi hat stand with cymbals because I read the tension is not adjustable. I wanted to see if it was tolerable as is. If all the items I was interested in purchasing, the Crosstown pack plus another cymbal stand was going to be my most likely purchase. I asked about shipping (since I flew into Memphis). The sales associate was not offering shipping. If I order online from MDS, don't they ship? It really surprised me.

I just happened to see the Oriollo snare and wanted to hear it. I even asked the associate if he would play it so I could hear it. I NEVER TINKER OR SHOW OFF CHOPS IN A MUSIC STORE. I loved the sound of the snare. I sat behind it for an entire 60 seconds or so in a room alone withe the associate. The door was closed. No one else in the store was bothered. There were dozens of snares I would have loved to have heard. I only asked to hear one. One drum. I never struck another drumming that store. I wanted to think about it so I moved on to cymbals.

I still don't see what I did wrong. I bought the Perfect Balance pedal (untested) and was prepared to buy the hardware pack. I'll do all my shopping online going forward. Good grief, I had no idea how horrible it is for stores to have to deal with customers.
I’ve browsed around GC for a good hour many times. Sometimes I just buy a pair of sticks. But isn’t that what showrooms are for? Looking, trying, listening? I’ve never worked in sales before. But I can see how it would get annoying having people just browsing and banging on equipment all day. But then you get that customer that comes in and buys the brand new $6000 kit right off the show room floor!

You should have made both of your days and splurged and bought Everything on your list. He would’ve treated you like Gold…
 
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