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Gibson's New Internet Policy For Dealers

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by The Golden Boy, Aug 20, 2004.

  1. In the past, you would have a picture of the guitar you were interested in posted on the dealer's website. Now the dealers can't do that. Does that seem like a not quite bright advertising strategy? I've bought 3 high end guitars (+$2,000) in the past 6 years or so, solely on the strength of pictures on the dealer's webpage. If those pictures had not been there, I wouldn't have bought those guitars.
  2. Eyescream


    Feb 4, 2004
    Knoxville, TN
    They can still email pictures to you if you ask.
  3. Point is that it makes the sale difficult, for the shopper and for the seller. What's easier, hitting 6 or 7 websites of your favorite stores, checking out the pics or sending emails to those 6 or 7 stores asking for pics? Seeing a beautiful guitar can create a "need." Seeing= GAS. Only people that will be thinking "I want a new Les Paul" are going to contact the dealers, instead of a person saying "I'd like a new guitar."

    It doesn't really affect price point shoppers who say "I want a Les Paul," it affects people who say "I want that Les Paul."
  4. Slater

    Slater Leave that thing alone. Supporting Member

    Apr 17, 2000
    The Great Lakes State
    Aren't these the same people that started MusicYo? :rollno:

    This new policy may help the Mom & Pop music stores a little, but IMO, it's just going to make it easier for the superstores like GC to gouge an uninformed shopper for an already over priced instrument.

    What's Musician's Friend going to do with all of their GMI products?...
  5. DigMe


    Aug 10, 2002
    Waco, TX
    Yeah..that sucks because someone who doesn't know all that much cannot go to the internet to see if they are getting a good deal from GC or whoever else. Doesn't seem like a good idea from a marketing standpoint either.

    brad cook
  6. Imagine you're in a store in Podunk, Idaho. Mr. and Mrs. Jones have a music store, and when the internet came they were able to advertise well and sell guitars all over the world at a comptetive price with friendly, knowlegable and prompt service, and they do well. Suddenly, they can't advertise their price or show the really cool guitars they've got in stock. Now from going nationwide, they're strictly reliant on repeat customers, word of mouth or local sales. Local sales wouldn't mean a lot because the local population is small and you can't do guitar shows because:

    Big Gibson sellers like Wildwood, Dave's Guitars, Vintageworld are basically "Mom and Pop" stores, but they owe much of their success (and you can surmise the success of the Historic line) to the advertising on the internet.

    I'm not looking for another guitar, but looking at this makes me want another one!

  7. keb


    Mar 30, 2004


    By the way, as of this post, Musician's Friend and American Musical Supply still offer Gibson products for sale in a friendly "point-and-click shopping cart level."
  8. Josh Ryan

    Josh Ryan - that dog won't hunt, Monsignor. Supporting Member

    Mar 24, 2001
    Someone needs a firing.
  9. Brad Barker

    Brad Barker

    Apr 13, 2001
    berkeley, ca
    yeah, i read about this last night on guitargeek.

    hopefully this policy will be changed shortly. especially after gibson notices a significant drop in sales...
  10. Gibson is biting off Mesa's internet policy. But Mesa never sold online in the first place.
  11. Christopher


    Apr 28, 2000
    New York, NY
    Seems like a pretty boneheaded business decision to me. One assured way of maintaining consistently high retail prices and margins is to allow market leaders like MF, AMS/Zzounds, GC etc. to set their usual 25-33% "discount off list price" for all to see. Almost invariably, everyone else follows suit with the same or slightly lower "discount." By contrast, a failure to advertise prices can result in deep discounting, especially on top-dollar items that don't move very quicky, with or without discounting. I don't think the new policy will lead to gouging so much as the opposite.

    Granted, with the price advertising ban in effect, seller X no longer "loses" when a customer brings in an ad from company Y with a slightly lower price -- but they never did to begin with. The equilibrium for a market where prices are readily visible and "we will not be undersold" guarantees in are effect is for everyone to set roughly the same Gibson-approved price.

  12. Slater

    Slater Leave that thing alone. Supporting Member

    Apr 17, 2000
    The Great Lakes State
    Notice I said "may" help the "Mom & Pop" stores. If "Mom & Pop" are already selling on the internet, then this policy would probably crush them (unless they're also a Fender dealer ;) )
  13. WillPlay4Food

    WillPlay4Food Now With More Metal! Staff Member Supporting Member

    Apr 9, 2002
    Orbiting HQ
    It wasn't mentioned in the letter above, but Gibson is pushing merchants who sell their OAI (other acoustic instruments) line to sell exclusively Gibson, or stop selling Gibson. This relates to Mandolins, dobros and other non-guitar instruments.

    It looks like Music123, MF and 2 other internet shops will be allowed to continue selling Gibson on the net. Every other shop will be prohibited from doing so.

    Sounds like Gibson doesn't want people to see or buy their products anymore. I know if I had a music shop and they started telling me what I could and couldn't sell, I'd stop selling their stuff and see if the state attorney general would consider this move anti-competitive / in violation of anti-trust laws.
  14. The no internet advertising is stupid. The "only certain stores can have internet advertising" smacks of evil of some sort.

    The more I read that the more perplexed I get. You can't advertise Gibson instruments in your catalogs or flyers.
  15. fastplant


    Sep 26, 2002
    Super lame, who is it hurting?
  16. First, it hurts every dealer that does not get to advertise on the internet.

    Second, it hurts the consumer that doesn't get to readily pick the guitar of choice.

    It also hurts the consumer when you cannot advertise your price on the internet, or in catalogs or flyers:


    MAJOR METAL The Beagle Father Staff Member Supporting Member

    Wow , Gibson only makes 2 models of basses now.
  18. Nino Valenti

    Nino Valenti Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 2, 2001
    Staten Island NYC
    Builder: Valenti Basses
    They're doing this becasue the big chains like Sam Ash & GC are forcing it. They buy TONS of guitars for stores all over the country & internet & if they pull out, Gibson will be losing A LOT of $$$$$. Gibson's accountant's don't care about the smaller shops.

    MAJOR METAL The Beagle Father Staff Member Supporting Member

    Thats sad, those smaller shops are what made gibson what they are today.