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Price haggling

Discussion in 'Off Topic [BG]' started by Matthew Bryson, Feb 17, 2004.

  1. Matthew Bryson

    Matthew Bryson Guest

    Jul 30, 2001
    reposted (I put in misc, but realized not really music related, so I'm trying OT)

    Okay, if I walked onto a car lot and looked at a used car, liked it, asked the salesmen "how much?" and then without any further negotion paid exactly what he had asked - well, I'd be a fool. But if I went into the grocery store and asked "how much for the laundry soap" and was told that it was just over five dollars, well I'd be a jerk to offer them $4.50 for it. I've seen pricing at music store vary, and I'm sure their policies do to. I used to buy strings at a shop that asked an outragous price - but if you tell them that you are a student, you get two for the price of one. My buddy is always getting "deals" from the owner of his local music shop. I'm wondering - If I see something that I want, like a used bass head, at a place like Bass Northwest is it normal / reasonable to "make an offer" or do they expect to get the marked price. I really just don't know how it normally works.
  2. DigMe


    Aug 10, 2002
    Waco, TX
    Every music store is different but I don't think it's unreasonable to try and haggle in any music store as it's pretty normal to be able to do that. Even if you're in no-haggle type store they will usually just tell you that it's their best price or that they don't haggle.

    brad cook
  3. When I bought my Stingray new, about two years ago, the store's price tag said $1,259. When I told the clerk that I wanted it, I asked if he could do something about the price - he thought for a moment, and said, "How about $1,140?" I said O.K.

    So I saved $119 just by asking.

    This Stingray was in immaculate condition (still is) so, there was no haggling over dings and dents.

    Now, I have my eye on a Peavey Cirrus 5 walnut. Played it yesterday -What a gorgeous instrument all around! The tag says $1,479. I don't want to go over a grand, but I really don't think they'll come down that much. I would have taken it home yesterday, but I wanted to think about it for a few days, and also see what my pals at TB have to say. :)

    So, you can save bucks right off the bat. I guess it depends on how hungry the store is, and how much they can see you lusting after that particular piece of gear.

    Mike ;)


    Jun 1, 2003
    Orlando, FL
    i got 20 bucks off my last pair of tennis shoes...

    me: "im looking for a size 13 in black or blue"
    salesman: "the only one i have in a 13 is this pair" (70 dollars was on pricetag)
    me: "eh, thats kind of expensive, i was looking at spending about 50..."
    salesman: "well, i can give them to you for 45 before taxes"
    me: "you got a deal"

  5. MJ5150

    MJ5150 Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Apr 12, 2001
    Olympia, WA
    I always found it beneficial to buy a couple other things in the store on previous visits, setting up for a big purchase. That way when I come in to spend the big bucks, they are more willing to make a deal with me.

    If you know where you want to buy your piece of gear, go in a few times before and buy some strings, a pedal, or something like that. Kick some tires, and get to know a couple of the sales people.

  6. talk money...

    Like,if I ever goto buy something from my local Guitar shop,Ima come in there with the amount of money I think is fair. Walk in there,take out your wallet...say you want xxx and say you only have $xxx
  7. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member In Memoriam

    I agree that any decent shop should negotiate or haggle with you.

    So - I would try a few basses out and then start to talk to the staff - I like this bass because of 'xxxx'....but I'm not sure about the price - is that the cash price - can you throw in any extras - free strap, string sets - anything else you need.

    So, on my last bass - they said £1249 and I got it to 1100 + a couple of sets of strings and a comfort strapp, with very little effort on my part and the people at the store didn't seem put out either - they seemed happy that I had bought the bass with a deal that suited me - I think if I had tried harder I could have got more off - but I had limited time and wanted to take the bass home!! ;)
  8. Petebass


    Dec 22, 2002
    QLD Australia
    Can I just add that I don't think it's right to haggle if the item is already on sale.

    Actually I did a gig with a drummer (Adam) on the weekend who owns a music store. He doesn't leave any room for haggling in his prices because none of the other stores in the area do and it would make him look like a ripp-off merchant to those browsing. So when people ask for a better price and he hasn't got any room to move, he raises it by $100.

    Customer - "But that's not a better price?"
    Adam - "Yes it is. I'm much better off if you pay an extra $100".

    It works!
  9. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member In Memoriam

    I would ask for a lower price!! ;)
  10. Tsal


    Jan 28, 2000
    Finland, EU
    I personally set my goals around 20% off the price tag for a new item. Of course sometimes I settle to -15%, sometimes to -10%, but there's always some air in the prices.
  11. P. Aaron

    P. Aaron Supporting Member

    If I want something...alot. I just buy it. I know folks that'll travel many miles to save $10.00. How much is your time worth?

    There are certain overpriced items that I'll just say "no way" to. It all depends doesn't it?

    Some are born to haggle.
  12. Tsal


    Jan 28, 2000
    Finland, EU
    Of course that's possible if you have a regular job. For us college students, that $20 you fight to squeeze off from the price might be the thing deciding if we eat macaroni and cheese next two weeks or plain macaroni ;)
  13. You should really pay how much you think the stuff is worth. And if it seems outrageous, and really want something, haggle.

    Or if you are like me and are a couple bucks short of full price, haggle ;)
  14. me, the only place around me now that has good stuffs is a Guitar Center 30 miles away :( i doubt i can haggle with them, to big of a company >.<
  15. jazzbo


    Aug 25, 2000
    San Francisco, CA
    I haggle at a lot of places. Department stores are pretty easy to haggle at.

    Recently I've purchased a new cell phone, a couple weeks before a new MiniDisc player/recorder, and some CDs. I haggled with all of it and got a much better deal each time.

    The cell phone was $45.00 after rebate and blah blah blah, haggled it down to $30.00 plus a car battery charger and a headset.

    The MiniDisc was $279.00 and I got it for $199.00 plus a pack of AA batterries.

    The CDs came to $50.00 but I got it down to $42.00.

    I've even haggled taxi fares. It's fun.
  16. MJ5150

    MJ5150 Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Apr 12, 2001
    Olympia, WA
    No way bro......GC will work with you on price. Just don't offer them $500 on a brand new Warwick, or anything stupid like that.

    What I have found to work for me is to have the salesguy throw in a couple extras with a purchase. Something like some strings, a strap, or an inexpensive pedal. Those are the things I end up having to buy later that get me. When I go in to make a big purchase, I usually have enough money to buy that item, but after the fact I have no cash for stuff like strings.

  17. Last evening after work was my first time ever in any Guitar Center. I went to check out what they had at the new GC that just opened up recently on 14th St. between 5th & 6th Avenues.

    I did save money at Sam Ash by asking, but the Stingrays at GC were all clearly marked - $1,160! What if I hadn't asked? :(

    I know a lot of people here have not had the nicest things to say about GC, and Sam Ash is basically my local music shop, but this made me think twice about Sam. All the basses are accessible at Sam, many of the basses at GC were at high altitude; you needed a ladder, and therefore a salesman.

    This blew my mind.

    One good point: I saw my first two Bongos in real life, a 4 and a 5. And yes, they do look much better in real life. I didn't play any, because they were up too high. Lots of Warwicks too.

    Oh, and in their vintage room, a shoreline gold 1966 Jazz bass - very good shape for $15,000! That's fifteen thousand!
    Another '66 Jazz for $4,500. A '65 P-bass - Red/rosewood for $3899.

    Then there were a bunch of old Gibson Jazz boxes going for between $6,000 to $10,000.

    An eye-opening experience.


    I posted this here because I didn't want to start another thread just for this.
  18. MJ5150

    MJ5150 Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Apr 12, 2001
    Olympia, WA
    They have a vintage room at GC??

    Man, I must not look rich enough to be directed that way when I walk in. :(

    Maybe they have a secret password to the vintage room? Is it "Fidelio"?

  19. I guess that reply means that some/most GCs do not have a vintage room.

    It's not a closed-off room, just a section that has a lot of vintage stuff in it. You must say, "Fidelio," to get into the room with the acoustic guitars though. :D

  20. dmaki


    Apr 29, 2000
    I haggled a guy at GC down from $1300+tax to $1100 out-the-door for a new Stingray 4 about three years ago. A week later I had the balls to return it :D

    If you really want a deal, bring cash. If something's priced at $1300 and you have $1000 cash in your pocket, they will salivate. Hell, you could probably get them to throw in a case or some strings on the deal

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