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If you owned a music store....

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by Stinsok, Dec 30, 2004.

  1. Stinsok

    Stinsok Supporting Member

    Dec 16, 2002
    Central Alabama
    What would you do differently from everyone else?

    What would your policy be on letting people try out instruments? (Would you let every kid wank off on your stuff?)

    What would your policy be on returns just because they didn't like it after all?

    I have never, ever been in a music store that allows drummers to try out drums (only cymbals.) What would your policy be? edit- I have seen electric kits available for customers to try, but not traditional wood shell kits.
  2. canopener


    Sep 15, 2003
    Isle of Lucy
    One of the local music stores here allows drummers to beat the skins for $10 for an hour. I believe they had a similar policy for guitars and basses, at least under previous ownership. I would imagine choices of instruments for these would be limited.
  3. i'd have more than just fender and peavey gear...
    yes...considering i do that a lot as well, i'd be a hypocrite to not allow others to wank as well!

    i'd allow it

    i like the way one of my local guitar stores does it, he has a main showroom for all the instruments, but he has small rooms off to the side where people can try out instruments...each room isn't completly sound proof, but it is a lot more quiet than if they just played the drums (or anything else) in the main showroom.
  4. spyingcracker


    May 27, 2004
    Well, if they've got an amp blasting, and they suck, I'd politely ask them to turn down. ;)
  5. If i owned a music store, i would never ask someone to turn down a 'tube' amp. IMO, tube amps are defined at approx post 4 mark.

    The store i visit, is owned by a drummer half of which is filled with drums, and the other half is pretty much guitars and amps, Ive gotten to know the owner and he lets me sit in his office and try out gear so im not disturbed by anyone else, otherwise he also lets me go into the store room and see what they have in stock.

    Something else i noticed about the way he does business with me is that, I dont spend alot of money there, ive bought one bass and one amp from them, but i send ALOT of customers theyre way, and just say hey tell 'em gaz sent ya.
  6. Coutts_is_god

    Coutts_is_god Guest

    Dec 29, 2003
    Windsor, Ont, Canada
    I would stock the place with more blue grass instruments. I would teach young loud kids how you shouldn't be vary loud in MY store. I would have tuners placed everywhere so people can tune things right and stools everywhere.

    and in the breakroom a big screen tv.
  7. DigMe


    Aug 10, 2002
    Waco, TX
    I guess bassturtle and Stubi19 don't get to answer since they actually do own music stores. :p

    brad cook
  8. Gard


    Mar 31, 2000
    WInter Garden, FL
    Hey, I'm in management at one, can I answer????



  9. Corbis

    Corbis Guest

    Feb 19, 2003
    Wamego KS
    There's a music store around here my Drummer loves. The guy lets you play any kit and its mostly drum stuff with tons of deals. Not much on guitars and basses though. I have gone in a couple of times and its really laid back and you feel like you can play and do whatever and no one is judging you.
  10. MJ5150

    MJ5150 Terrific Twister

    Apr 12, 2001
    Olympia, WA
    I think I would keep a separate room for the really spendy gear. People with the money to buy in that room are free to try out. Anyone that comes in and asks "what's on sale?" would be directed to the mid priced basses.

    Returns are rough. I think I would just spend more time with customers before they walked out with a piece of gear. I would want to make sure in my mind they were getting what they wanted. I know, sometimes the customer doesn't know either, but I would do my best to take some time to find out. I definitely wouldn't sell something really expensive to someone unless they came in asking for it. If a dude walks in and asks me for a specific Sadowsky, I got no problem selling it to him. Another dude walks in and wants to know what bass is good for rock, I'm going to need to spend some time with the guy before I let him hand over his cash.

    I think I would suck at owning a store since I would rather make friends than money.

  11. Dude, if you're ever in California, check out Zone Music (http://www.zonemusic.com). They have so much good gear, and you can try anything out. When I'm there, I usually start in the bass section and play all the basses, and then I move over to the guitar section and check out those. Next, I migrate over to the drums and play on those for a while, and finally I end up in the keyboard section. Now that is one awesome store. When you walk in, you're just hit by the incredible musician juju that emanates.
  12. in order to beat GC i'd have aN "ADULT" section.... you know, solo vids, instructionals, porn..... i can't wait to buy strings AND Hustler on the same trip.... that's sick... :D

    i can almost GUARANTEE no returns with a badass porn section....

    customer - "i broke my G string"

    employee - "you need to speak to someone in accessories"
  13. Mike Money

    Mike Money Banned

    Mar 18, 2003
    Bakersfield California
    Avatar Speakers Endorsing Hooligan
    Drums would be in a sound-proofed drum room... wank away. I'd have a seperate cash register in there, so that whenever there is someone in there, we can have an employee to monitor in case someone breaks something. (Firm 'you break it, you buy it' policy)

    I'd try to be 10% cheaper than other local stores, depending items...

    My building will be seperate from others, amps can and will be cranked... within reason. I will not tolerate some kid hammering away at 7 for half an hour... 15 minutes with a tube amp blaring is plenty to get an idea of its sound...

    Returns- Digital photos of all parts on the instrument, we test it to make sure it works perfectly... if someone tries to bring it back cause it was sold blemished, we show them pics, and they walk out unhappy... if it breaks, we will fix it at no charge, or give them a full refund, and replace for 25% off.
  14. What would you do differently from everyone else?

    Carry more than just Peavey, Fender and Ibanez. Have a decent selection of low, mid, and high-end basses to suit everyone's money needs. Also there would be a soundproofed room with a couple amps for people to try stuff out on and also a seperate soundproofed room for drummers who wish to try some stuff out.

    What would your policy be on letting people try out instruments? (Would you let every kid wank off on your stuff?)

    What would your policy be on returns just because they didn't like it after all?

    I'd do what MJ would do and make sure when they walk out, they are like 99% sure they want the piece of equipment and will be happy with it. But if it came down to a return, I'd accept returns, but not after 30 days - I think that'd be enough time for them to figure out if they want to keep it or not.

    I have never, ever been in a music store that allows drummers to try out drums (only cymbals.) What would your policy be? edit- I have seen electric kits available for customers to try, but not traditional wood shell kits.

    Answered on second question.
  15. I would have only a handful of "salesmen" in the strings department. None would be under the age of 25 (if the EEOC lets me get away with it) and this would not be their first job. Each of these people would be handpicked to hold at least 2 of these skills:

    Play the instrument you are selling (bass, guitar, etc.)
    Play a second instrument unrelated to your main instrument
    Read standard notation music
    Have demonstrable technical skills in one or more of these disciplines:

    - Electronics
    - Guitar setup
    - Bass setup
    - Luthiery or instrument building
    - Instrument repair (woodwind, horn, percussion)
    - Acoustic engineering
    Be a working musician
    Have a degree in one of these disciplines:
    - Music Technology
    - Composition
    - Performance (any instrument other than voice)
    - Music Education
    - Business Management

    In addition, each member of my sales staff would be required to complete a weekly curriculum study of industry specific subjects and will be required to pass simple tests on the subjects - also weekly. This is just a longwinded way of saying there will be a newsletter to read on Monday thru the week and a quiz on it's contents on Friday.

    My sales staff would be drilled on the importance of well adjusted and cared for instruments in a store that promotes free handling of the merchandise. If a salesman has no experience with doing rudimentary adjustments, they will be trained to spot problems and solve them on the spot.

    Each sales associate will have at least some leeway in the negotiation of deals. They won't have to go running to a manager just to check if we can throw in a cable with the Modulus. Their main concern will be customer satisfaction - and satisfaction will be considered a different animal than "customer happiness". The former is gained by service while the latter usually is only the result from freebies.

    Sound like an expensive undertaking? Yup, it would be. But a well trained, competent and concerned sales staff will do more to raise your bottom line than ANY splashy flyer, 2 for 1 sale, or megamart pricing on the Squier line. And I wouldn't be an invisible owner/manager either. I would be out front, meeting and greeting every single customer (eventually) and actually speaking to them as if they were, well, human and worthy of my time. I know this technique works because I used it to great effect when I was a manager in another type of business. It took awhile but the customers finally got used to the idea of the guy that actually could do something about it asking them if he could do something about it!

    Oh yeah, I've got a million ideas. BTW, I might be looking for a career change in the near future - any takers? :D
  16. IvanMike

    IvanMike Player Characters fear me... Supporting Member

    Nov 10, 2002
    Middletown CT, USA
    ok ham - let's go into biz
  17. Oh, at Zone Music, they also let you take an instrument (or amp, or whatever) home for a week to try it out to see if you like it or not. Now that is cool!
  18. IvanMike

    IvanMike Player Characters fear me... Supporting Member

    Nov 10, 2002
    Middletown CT, USA
    i think mj5150 and hambone have some great ideas. Of course a "loud room" is a must, esp when comparing volumes of different heads or cranking up a guitar tube amp to hit the "sweet spot/brown sound". Continuing education for the staff like ham suggested is a top notch idea. The biggies like sam ash train people to be salesmen, and many sales organizations continue education for their members. Training on product knowledge, etc would be a great idea. Nothing turns me off like a dumb look in a music store. "Wood? hmmmmmmm, this bass is made of tree wood dude. Are you looking to buy today?"
  19. Benjamin Strange

    Benjamin Strange Commercial User

    Dec 25, 2002
    New Orleans, LA
    Owner / Tech: Strange Guitarworks
    I work in a music store, and have done this kind of thing for close to ten years. Let me tell you this: it's alot harder than it looks. Remember, you're trying to work with musicians catering to musicians; these kind of people aren't usually the standard for uprightness and normalcy.

    If you have enough money to open a music store, you don't need to open a music store. Dig?
  20. Easy to turn large fortunes into small ones...I get it.

    My ideas aren't based on any empirical management principles - just common sense. I've also seen what happens when you assume that the person hired as a sales associate is motivated to learn anything I've been in a company for the last 5 years that has suffered mightily from a poorly educated sales force. Our sales quite literally could have been 30% higher at anytime.

    I would only envision my store as being large enough to include the hobbyist player but smart enough to cater to the pro. A hybrid model for sure. I've only seen one like this in my time and that was the old M & S Music in Mobile AL back in the 70's. It would require 2 tiers of sales staff. The floor sales for most walk-in consumer stuff and the secondary staff for the pro that needs extra attention with some privacy.

    As we've been posting back and forth, I've thought some more about this and I think all of my sales associates would have an hourly base wage. Then, a commission program would be put in place over that. Commissions would be earned by the department and it's staff and dispursed at intervals like every month. Pretty radical huh? Here's how it all comes together - The associate would receive regular performance reviews and merit raises. These would be done religiously every 6 months. Commission points will be completely regulated by job performance. An associate could gain or lose points depending on his job review. The system is designed to take the emphasis off of simply turning the transaction and place the emphasis back on the pride of the store and the product we offer. The associate has the peace of mind of an hourly wage guaranteed. They also enjoy the benefit of a commission check each month. But chronic failure to maintain quality relationships with the clients or allowing the experience for the customer to be anything less than memorable will cost you enough to make it uncomfortable to really slack off. I would look for professionals - nothing more, nothing less.