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A question about suppliers

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by rojo412, Feb 17, 2003.


  1. rojo412

    rojo412 MARK IT ZERO! Supporting Member

    Feb 26, 2000
    Cleveland, OH.
    I started this year contacting companies that I was interested in and getting accounts with them. I had some success as well as some failure, which brings me to this question:

    What do you do if a company you'd like to use won't have you?

    Examples:
    I contacted Seymour Duncan and they won't sell to you unless you have a storefront. Well, that's just great, but what do you do if you wish to use them in your designs? What does Dan Lakin or Matt Pulcinella do? PLEASE don't tell me that they pay retail.
    I contacted EMG and they are strict about their policies regarding resale. They allow you to install their product and sell it, but you can't sell it without installing it or they will sue you. You can't sell over the net or they will sue you. What's their bag?

    How do you pros get the companies you want? Are there middlemen to go through that sell to luthiers/small shops? If so, who? Where can I find distributors? Also, if you know of other ways to go about getting stuff, please let me know. If there's one thing I hate... it's retail!
     
  2. FBB Custom

    FBB Custom TalkBass Pro Commercial User

    Jan 26, 2002
    Maryland
    Owner: FBB Bass Works
    Some companies have different rates for different customers. EMG will sell you pickups at their "luthier" price tag, but if they do, they don't want you to compete with their retailers because as an OEM/luthier you may be getting better pricing. They have to protect their retail customers. If you want to get EMG at the luthier's pricing, then put them in your basses and don't retail the pickups and you won't have any problems.

    I don't know about Seymour Duncan. I approached them a couple years ago and they had a luthier's program.

    I have had other companies tell me the same thing about strings or gig bags. When they do, I tell them that I'll take the luthuier/OEM rate and if I decide to sell their stuff retail, then I'll switch over to their retail pricing structure. It's always been quite painless.
     
  3. rojo412

    rojo412 MARK IT ZERO! Supporting Member

    Feb 26, 2000
    Cleveland, OH.
    I asked SD about getting their products, they said I needed a storefront. I asked if I could get them as a luthier, they gave me no response. Dimarzio also said the same thing, need a store.

    I used to work at GC and they had catalogs from distribution companies, like Davitt and Hanser. I could swear that some carried pickups. Are there distribution companies that carry stuff like that? Allparts carries a few of the Bart pickups and Moses necks, so I figure that someone else does something similar.

    As for EMG, I was planning (at the start, may change now) to experiment with various ideas. I was going to find what worked best, then sell whatever I didn't use. EMG makes it sound like I am stuck with what I get (as well as a 4 week backorder?).
     
  4. dhuffguitars

    dhuffguitars Luthier/Bass Wanker depending on your opinion

    Sep 18, 2001
    SPOKANE WA
    I recently talked to SD, as a luthier they wanted a 1500.00 initial order then I can order in the future what I need when I needed it...

    Emg, you could sell the pickups as used, or keep them for maybe a future project.
     
  5. FBB Custom

    FBB Custom TalkBass Pro Commercial User

    Jan 26, 2002
    Maryland
    Owner: FBB Bass Works
    Right, I forgot about the SD minimum order. That can be pretty steep.

    I guess I've gotten lucky that nobody has really asked me for EMG or Seymour Duncan. EMG used to have a yearly commitment, but they've gotten much more reasonable.