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High end instrument stores

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by Drop1, Jul 4, 2019.


  1. Drop1

    Drop1

    Mar 28, 2019
    $25k in used bills is less than 2 inches thick or it's all hundreds. If its smaller bills all bets are off.
    Im looking into every store front mentioned in the thread. I get time to travel for leisure maybe once every few years so in also looking at what else is in the area. May turn it into a little mini vacation. I've never been to Disney so that place in Florida is looking real nice to me.
     
    LBS-bass, BurningSkies and TolerancEJ like this.
  2. Drop1

    Drop1

    Mar 28, 2019
    I'd love to, BUT...
    Half million in inventory, insurance, lease, employees and taxes in a market that has already proven to be unsustainable in the area. Not a wise business move. Would need a really strong online presence and lots of manufactors dictate minimum market pricing to maintain brand respectability which means I wouldn't be able to charge less and there would be no good reason for anyone to buy from me over any other online retailer.
    Now once I retire in about 10 years I may consider something down these lines on my own personal property if I can get it zoned and be able to work there myself. I could see that. Right now theres no way I could pull it off.
     
    TolerancEJ likes this.
  3. Eilif

    Eilif Holding it down in K-Town. Supporting Member

    Oct 1, 2001
    Chicago
    That's true, Reverb is a good example of of being able to buy straight from a builder or small shop.

    However, it doesn't get around the issue of trying out an instrument at a small shop and then going and buying it somewhere else to save a few bucks.

    Indeed. I don't know the economic entanglements of the places I purchase from but 2 of my last 3 keeper basses were from local builders and I've got a 4th nother being built. The third was bought straight from a builder in another state though that was inevitable as no one does what Wendler does and he doesn't have any outlets.

    The positive aspects of buying local is magnified when it's built locally and you are interacting with the builder, but in both cases you have a tangible point-of-contact for any sort of service, maintenance, etc and that has got to be worth more than a small percentage of savings.

    I realize this doesn't cover all situations and I'm sure for many folks the instrument they really want is only online but I think there is real value in buying local when possible, especially when it supports specialty dealers and small shops.
     
    TolerancEJ likes this.
  4. I think you forgot to include offering a 20% discount to TalkBass members. Haha :D:laugh:
     
  5. Skip Chucker

    Skip Chucker

    Dec 9, 2018
    Eastern NC
    I would have never gotten into Roscoe basses if it were not for a place called Alpha Music in Virginia Beach. They still seem to have some stuff, but back then they had a good amount (one would say: a plethora) of high end gear.
     
  6. Eilif

    Eilif Holding it down in K-Town. Supporting Member

    Oct 1, 2001
    Chicago
    This is wise.
    Note that Bass Club Chicago is only open for "regular" hours Friday and Saturday, with the rest being by appointment. I don't know the situation, whether it's a mail-order-mostly business, or he has another full time gig or this is a retirement business. Regardless, I think it's an indication of the difficulty of the market and in running such a shop that it's only regularly open 2 days a week.
     
  7. I remember The Perfect Bass. I bought my favorite Fender Jazz from them back in 2008.
     
  8. mikewalker

    mikewalker Supporting Member

    Jul 30, 2017
    Canada, Eh!

    And before there was reverb, there was GBASE... :)
     
    TolerancEJ likes this.
  9. I remember Gbase. I like the search function of Reverb much better.
     
  10. I see you're not that far from the Roscoe factory (closer than me anyway!). I managed to get a second Roscoe from a local TBer, a nice fretless with a diamondwood fingerboard. They are both keepers!
     
    Skip Chucker and TolerancEJ like this.
  11. Skip Chucker

    Skip Chucker

    Dec 9, 2018
    Eastern NC
    It's an easy weekend trip for me. A long day trip, but totally worth it! Keith and Company are awesome. I highly recommend getting to meet them in person and seeing their operation. Raw materials come in the back, and a world class instrument goes out the front.
     
  12. Do they have instruments you can try out?
     
  13. Not yet

    Not yet

    Mar 26, 2012
    It’s mind boggling the inventory bass Club Chicago has on hand

    Just got a stellar Alleva from Mark and highly recommend if you getting on a plane

    Bass San Diego was a favorite too when lived there
     
    TolerancEJ likes this.
  14. groooooove

    groooooove Supporting Member

    Dec 17, 2008
    Long Island, NY
    I went in looking to try something high end, and yes spoke with larry for a minute.

    I recall them having a nice range of stuff - i remember seeing custom shop fenders as well as some other stuff, and then of course the foderas.

    i'm sure they fluctuate the inventory for all sorts of reasons.... so yeah... you are correct, it's just a sam ash after all.

    p.s. i've been meaning to check out some hartke gear since that day, because it's super cool to have a chance to walk in and chat with larry like that.. i also have always thought their gear was nice for what it was.
     
    theretheyare likes this.
  15. LBS-bass

    LBS-bass Supporting Member

    Nov 22, 2017
    California
    I was in retail instrument and audio sales when the internet stores were just beginning to spring up. Mid-late '90's. It was pretty clear that you could explain this to people all day long and they were going to buy online where they could get the best pricing, no matter what you did.

    With true boutique instruments, there's a one-of-a-kind vibe to the instrument that makes it a bit more likely a person will appreciate the one in their hands enough to not try to find a similar one elsewhere, but I learned that the average buyer will always go for the lowest price with little to no appreciation for what it takes to deliver the hands-on experience, and that's why so many privately owned stores are no longer in business.
     
    theretheyare likes this.
  16. Skip Chucker

    Skip Chucker

    Dec 9, 2018
    Eastern NC
    He doesn't really have a show room per se- it's more of an artist's lounge.

    But I'm sure he'd let you try out a few he's got there if you wanted to stop by and were interested in placing an order.
     
  17. cosmicevan

    cosmicevan bleep bloop Supporting Member

    Feb 1, 2003
    New York
    Not all that long ago I had a really nice handmade boutique bass that wasn't getting any use and I wanted to get a new guitar that I had checked out at a local sam ash (or maybe it was a guitar center? doesn't matter to the story). Figuring that my bass used would easily sell for double what this guitar would fetch new, I decided to see if I'd get offered an even swap or maybe even luck out and get something on top since I was looking to swap and not sell outright - and those situations usually work out better.

    I brought the bass, the guy opened up the case...a small crowd appeared to ooh and ah at the fancy guitar and the clerk went to the computer to hit the internet and learn about the bass. He must've tried one search term or went to one site to check for the bass since he only looked for a moment before coming back over to say "I don't want to make any offer for your instrument" - he then went on to tell me that although a gorgeous instrument that is clearly worth more than the guitar I wanted, that would surely spark a lot of interest in the store, he said it is the kind of instrument that he'd be celebrating birthdays for since his clientele would never pony up the money for the bass because it wasn't well known enough. He then went on to say if it was an Alembic or a more known name he'd consider it, but even those tend to just take up space and he isn't looking to just have cool stuff on the wall and he'd rather have what sells.

    That philosophy is well illustrated at all the guitar shops near me. Anything high end will always be used and will always be WAY out of reach requiring you to get a salesperson to help you get the instrument. Additionally, it is pretty sad to see that most stores have just one or two american made fenders and those are typically the closest thing you'll find to high-end. I guess the only people actually buying an instrument in a guitar store is someone looking to spend less than 1k.
     
    TolerancEJ likes this.
  18. I blow hot and cold on Chuck's. Order stuff through their website / over email, they'll be really helpful and knowledgeable. Walk in the front door...
    Worst time, I walked in and asked to see any 35" 5-strings they had. Sales person kept pulling short-scale 4-strings, even as I reiterated 35"/5 each time he handed me one. And I've never seen anything more expensive than about $3k on their wall. Some more expensive stuff upstairs if you know to ask for it, but they deny having anything not on the floor unless you can show them on their own website.
    Their band/orchestra sales (by appointment!) are pretty helpful, if you're going for something relatively normal, and my friends swear by their drums staff. But I've never had even an average in-store experience with them. Order by email only.
    What're the other good bass shops in the DC area?
     
  19. Funk Thumper

    Funk Thumper

    Jul 10, 2019
    Sadly, most of that stuff will be direct, not at a local retailer. They're too focused on Squier, Epiphone and Peavey. They can sell $4000 a day in that stuff and maybe sell only a few $4,000 basses in a year.

    I'd check with the specialists on the Coasts and maybe Nashville. Have a look at Pedulla (I own one. They're as good as they get). Most are $4000 - $7000 new, but greatly undervalued used. Michael Pedulla just retired and shut things down on May 31. Could see prices climb in coming months.

    Happy hunting!
     

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