1. Please take 30 seconds to register your free account to remove most ads, post topics, make friends, earn reward points at our store, and more!  
    TalkBass.com has been uniting the low end since 1998.  Join us! :)

Be Honest - Online Retailer or Local...

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by blipndub, Jan 14, 2005.

  1. Online Retailer

  2. Local Music Shop

  3. I avoid both

Multiple votes are allowed.
  1. I"m gonna come down onthe side of Online Retailer. In my heart I want to support local shops, but selection, price, and service just don't add up. I'm tired of feeling like a dumba#$ when I need a set of strings.
  2. Sundogue


    Apr 26, 2001
    Wausau, WI
    I try to support my local music shop whenever I can. I get good deals, great service, knowledgable staff and most importantly, someone who's willing to work with you on a deal...and if you've dealt with them long enough you know they are honest.

    I do buy some things online and there is nothing wrong with that, but when something breaks down, I'd rather take it to my local shop to fix, rather than sending it in.

    Besides, local shops have to compete with online retailers and if you don't support them dollar-wise, even for small things, maybe they don't stay in business...then where do you go?

    I like the idea that if I need something in a hurry, whether it's to replace broken strings, tubes, speakers...whatever, I can run down to my local shop and they'll take care of me (even after hours if need be). Sometimes I can get loaners for free as well. If I see something I like, I can take it home and try it out...for free.

    How are you gonna get that kind of treatment online?

  3. rkatapt


    Jun 7, 2004
    Dallas, Texas
    To me it's whomever has the best deal on what I need doesn't matter where I get it. You know a lot of the times I've asked the B&M store if they'll price match an online retailer and they have.
  4. James Hart

    James Hart

    Feb 1, 2002
    Endorsing Artist: see profile
    I support small specialty shops that know my instrument.... fortunately the internet has brought them within easy access.

    All the local shops here are more 'out to make a buck' and 'out of touch with the current state of the industry'.
  5. wyliee


    Jul 6, 2003
    South Hill, WA
    Perhaps we should refine the definition of local shop. There are national chain stores and independent stores local to me.

    I avoid the chain stores when at all possible. Pro audio/studio gear I buy online with dealers that specialize in those markets. Guitar and bass purchases are almost entirely local unless what I need simply isn't available.

    Over the years I've built relationships with most of the local, independent, retailers. I'd suggest you go in to your local store at an off-peak time and just ask questions. Most of the store owners I've met are cool people that care about their products and clients. There are exceptions and you learn who to avoid and who will take care of you in a pinch.
  6. Right, GC Sam Ashe are not a "local shop" because they are national chains. So lets call local the independent music store in your community.

    And, it should be noted that online retailer does not mean corporate monster either, most of my online purchases are from small independent companies and not the major music sites, although i will use these too occasionaly.
  7. I buy just about everything I can online. Groceries and low $$ items still come from the brick and mortar stores. Also, products with variation (basses for instance) will not be bought online.
  8. Don W

    Don W

    Jan 30, 2004
    East Bay, CA.
    I buy just about all of my music gear online now. There are only a couple music shops in my area and they rarely have what I want or when they do they charge insane amounts of money for it.
  9. Sundogue


    Apr 26, 2001
    Wausau, WI
    By local, I'm talking about the small independent music shops that are owned by musicians, that care about other musicians. BIG difference between them and big mega stores for sure!

    Also, despite the fact that I might be able to get something cheaper online, by supporting my local music shop with my purchases (even small purchases), I'm helping him stay in business. It doesn't do me any good in the long run if I save a few bucks buying online, and then my local shop goes under.

    And I think it makes a big difference if your local music shop is a real pleasure to do business with and you are on a first name basis with the owner/staff. They usually do whatever they can to help support your musical endeavor as a way of saying thanks for supporting them. Kind of like watching out for each other.

    I can understand why someone would not want to do business with a music shop that was hard to deal with, or made it unpleasant to do business with them. I went to a shop for 20 years and I always got along great with the manager. However, the past few years, it was like a different place. I felt out of touch with the staff.

    I now go to a place where I know the manager. He's a super guy...real down to earth. Don't get me wrong. He's a business man and he has to make money, but he's a pleasure to do business with and he'd do anything to help a guy out. That's why I give him my business. He deserves it. He's earned my respect and trust.
  10. James Hart

    James Hart

    Feb 1, 2002
    Endorsing Artist: see profile
    Exactly! The internet has made me *local* to some of the best 'small independent music shops' here in the USA. I'm a click away from Tenn, Ill, Fl, Cali, Or, etc.

    I am with Josh though, I do prefer a retailer to *be* a retailer... not a store room in the hall closet and a living room/ dining room/ show room.
  11. NJL


    Apr 12, 2002
    San Antonio
    for little things, local

    for big things, online - you can't go wrong with Gard, he knows his product
  12. Sundogue


    Apr 26, 2001
    Wausau, WI

    Well, now there is an example of an online store that you have gotten to know on a more personal level. You interact with Gard on somewhat of a personal level through this forum.

    I almost bought an Eden WT400 from him about a year ago...but I just didn't have the cash for it, though he was offering a killer deal that he was willing to stand behind.

    Funny thing is I'm getting one now from my local shop...for exactly the same reason. I'm getting it from a guy who is giving me a great deal and will stand behind it.

    BC and Gard are more like an online "local". Again, a big difference between that and say...a place like Musician's Friend (is that an oxymoron?).
  13. NJL


    Apr 12, 2002
    San Antonio
    also the great thing about gard or any other online/TB store:

    they are pubicly accountable to the members :D
  14. Sundogue


    Apr 26, 2001
    Wausau, WI
    That's part of what makes them "local", though they are online.

    Accountability plays a big part in it. Most, if not all, BIG online retailers really have no accountability. If they don't back up what they sell, there's a million other joe shmoes who will still buy from them, simply because of price alone.

    Whereas people on TB are accountable...at least to the others here (if they wanna stick around here anyway, right?).

    Same goes for a local music shop. They will be held accountable. If not, they go out of business.
  15. srxplayer


    May 19, 2004
    Highland, CA
    I will always try to support the local shops first but if they don't have what I need I will go to GC.

    If the local store can order it for me and I'm not in a hurry for it I will get it from them. I prefer to do this with new basses & guitars.

    I have used online stores for little things but I don't use them much for music gear.
  16. Kelly Lee

    Kelly Lee Yeah, I'm a guy! Supporting Member

    Feb 17, 2004
    Marana, AZ, USA
    I always hit my local place first. The guys there treat me with respect and great service. They normally have the stuff I need except the strings (Black Diamonds) for my BC. I always talk to the guys there if I'm looking for used equipment also. Even if they don't have it to sell they will try to hook me up. Did I mention they have really great service? :D

    For new stuff, if my local place doesn't have it, I check the online stores. If looking used, I check here at TB first and then off to Ebay.
  17. When I last looked online sales were in the lead but now things have come around the other way, interesting.

    I'm thinking of the many points raised about local and what that means. Buying something from a fellow TBer feels like a local deal to me, because of the accountability and the shared sense of community. I feel jus as supportive of small business by buying from someone's shop on line (basspartsresource, bestbassgear, etc) than I do walking into a business. I've had much better "personal" interaction with TBers than with guys at my local shop who act like it's an inconvience if I want something marginally unique. Sometimes I just want to say, hey, do you WANT my business or what?

    I find that I do go to the local shops if I need something immediatlly, and sometimes they have it (all my production guitars were bought in shops). But for parts, strings, amps, etc it's all online for me now. I have to admit I do love shopping in the comfort of my home and having stuff delivered a few days later, rather than driving all over the place looking for a split shaft pot.
  18. SteveC

    SteveC Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Nov 12, 2004
    North Dakota
    I try to support the local stores as much as I can - in all areas of life. Bass, bikes, clothes, etc. You need your local store. They will usually go the extra mile for you.

    Now on occasion, I need to go somewhere sles as I live in a small town and the selection and calibre isn't always what I need.

    Support your local stores!
  19. I try to support the local independent stores, but more and more I find that they either don't have what I'm looking for, or their price is just not competitive enough.

    My 10 yr old bought a complete drumset recently at GC for around $800. The local store's best deals were around $1000 for a similar kit. That's just too much of difference.

    I've been looking at power amps for pa lately and most of the locals are $50-$100 more than prices I find online or at GC.

    I don't mind paying a little more to an independent shop, but those examples are just too much of a difference. A few times, some of the locals have come close to matching an online price (w/ shipping) and I'll buy from them in those circumstances.
  20. Munjibunga

    Munjibunga Total Hyper-Elite Member Gold Supporting Member

    May 6, 2000
    San Diego (when not at Groom Lake)
    Independent Contractor to Bass San Diego
    Go into a local store and see if you can get a PLX 3402 for $820. Why am I going to pay $1,200 for the same amp? Better service? Better amp? I've found some good online sources that beat even GC by a huge margin. Online is the way to go.