So if you were to start...

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by Ptolemy, Jul 26, 2009.

  1. Ptolemy


    Jan 2, 2009
    ... A Music shop, what brands would you carry?

    Once I am done with my degree i'm going to put the plans in motion for my music shop. I plan on a sam ash like store as in I will also be selling band/orchestra stuff. I need some recomendations on what brands I just get into the store, what would you guys like to see in a local shop?

    Not going to get into DJ equipment right now or accesories. Band and orchestra stuff will be thought of later as well.

    Guitar (5-10)

    Bass (5-10)

    Acoustic (5-7)

    Drums (4-6)

    Keyboards (4-6)

    Bass Amp/Cab etc (5-10)
    -Mesa (Maybe)
    -Eden (Maybe)

    Guitar Amp/Cab (5-10)

    This was typed up fast so I probably missed a lot or put some stupid stuff in there, will come back and edit it later.
  2. JTE

    JTE Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 12, 2008
    Central Illinois, USA
    Um, it'll really depend on what franchises are available to your area. And, what kind of clientele are you seeking- you gotta define what your vision is pretty clearly to have any hope of even thinking of being able to stay in business, let alone be "successful". And, it really doesn't matter much what good, what matters is what people THINK is good and hence will sell.

    But for me I'd go with:

    Fender if you can get 'em. You'll be able to sell Strats and Jazz basses all day long without lifting a finger. That's good because you'll have to work to sell other stuff. I'd avoid Gibson like the plague. Their franchise agreements are just about impossible. That's because they require huge purchases, and they've now started demanding a percentage of your stock (like 40%) be their product. The last local Gibson dealer was told that to re-up, each of the stores' (they were a five-store chain) sales level had to be the same as the whole chain's previous year total. And this was a well established long-time dealer in an established market which wasn't going to support a five-fold increase.

    So, for basses a good mix would be Fender (et. al), Lakland, Schecter or Ibanez, Warwick, and maybe Ken Smith.

    Electric Guitars- Fender, G&L (but then you'd have to have G&L basses, which ain't a bad thing- so drop the Warwick or the Ken Smith), Schecter or Ibanez, and Hamer.

    Acoustic Guitars- Guild because they're the best sounding ones, Taylors because people buy them even though they sound terrible, Martin because they can be awesome and they make a wide range of quality stuff that's pretty easy to sell, Yamaha because they still make the best lower level guitars, and Walden because they're also excellent lower range guitars. Or maybe the whole Goodin/Seagul/etc. company too. Larivee are also excellent, but you'd have to work harder to sell them.

    Keys and drums I don't know anything about any more except that DW seems to be a company that makes great drums which are also well respected, and a good company with which to do business.

    Amps- Now, if you have Fender, you're going to have to carry Fender guitar and bass amps. The guitar amps aren't a problem but their track record with commercial success in bass amps is less stellar. I'm still a huge fan of Eden, and there ain't enough Eden dealers in the world- but I'd be careful given the struggles they seem to periodically have with QC and customer service. I personally don't care at all for Ampeg nor SWR, but they're popular brands (assuming the LOUD hasn't totally ruined Ampeg's market place). Marshall? Maybe. MESA? Only if your area has enough clients who'll pop for the expensive stuff. And if they do you might want to sniff out the more "botique" brands like Epifani, Bergantino, and the guitar amp company doing the clones of the Matchless amps.

    Now then, over all of this I'd fight for a Peavey franchise. They make good stuff in all areas, and it's one company that really understand the fragile world of the local music store (because Hartley Peavey's dad owned a music store for decades). That's critical (see my comments regarding Gibson up above) in the long run. It ain't the hippest stuff happening, and it's got some undeserved bad reputations (and some deserved, but then every company's got some of that too), but it's a great line of stuff for a local full-service store to have.

  3. Ptolemy


    Jan 2, 2009
    Thanks a bunch for the reply. I do need to study the demographics some more, but in Cincinnati there is not many aroudn the downtown accept for a SamAsh and a GC about 10-14 miles away. Dident know that it was so hard to get a Gibson aggreement. Ill update my priginal post with your suggestions.
  4. ggunn


    Aug 30, 2006
    Austin, TX
    That's a matter of opinion, of course.
  5. Munjibunga

    Munjibunga Retired Member

    May 6, 2000
    San Diego (when not at Groom Lake)
    Independent Contractor to Bass San Diego
    They sure have a lot of people fooled. It seems like every acoustic guitar I see on stage (on TV, too) is a Taylor. I have a hunch your opinion will be held by a small minority.
  6. Rocktron, a division of GHS. Makes decent amps and effects. Good low-mid budget stuff in the way of amps.

    Drums- you seem to have left out pearl.

    Keys- look at kurzweil.
  7. bassanddrums


    Nov 28, 2008
    Drums you might want to look into Pork Pie, I think they're getting more popular.
  8. Ptolemy


    Jan 2, 2009
    Don't know how I forgot Pearl :confused: I knew my brain was fuzzy this morning :rolleyes:

    And thanks, ill take a look into Rocktron!
  9. tplyons


    Apr 6, 2003
    Madison, NJ
    If you say you're trying to get into band/orchestral instruments, definitely look at Yamaha, Jupiter, and Selmer. They all do great instruments from entry level up.

    As far as guitars and basses go, where are you located? What does your local competition have? And how do you expect to compete with the lower prices of the internet? Not being a Debbie Downer, just looking to make sure that this is well thought out.

    How do you intend to add value to your products? Service? Knowledge? Something that more than us gearheads would value?
  10. Ptolemy


    Jan 2, 2009
    As to the band and orchestra, I was also thinking about adding Blessing and Conn in there, not to sure about woodwinds though.

    I live in the west side of Cincinnati Ohio. Local competition would be a Guitar Center and a Sam Ash about 15 miles to the north. A Guitar Center about 15-17 miles to the south, and a few local shops dotted around.

    We all know what Guitar Center carries but heres some to name a few

    -Fender, squier, gibson, epiphone, schecter, ibanez, laguna, ocean, pearl, gretsch, pearl, ludwig, korg, roland, yamaha etc.

    Sam Ash

    -Fender, ibanez, lakland, spector, warrior, warwick, gibson, yamaha, pearl, dw, korg, roland etc.

    The locals pretty much carry Fender, Ibanez, and Yamaha as well as things like Johnson and the like

    In terms of how to beat the competition. We all know how terrible most of the GC employees are when it comes to knowledge and even customer service. As some of you may know Cincinnati is home to UC's College Conservatory of Music (CCM). I have many contacts over there and from talking around I know plenty of people that would be willing to have a job at a local music store.

    All employees would be screened for their knowledge of their desired work area as well as general music knowledge and past experience etc. I would also have required generalized training to bone them up on whatever they were lacking, and also on product knowledge and the like.

    I also want to place a strong emphasis on teaching and music in our schools. My first branch is going to be quite large, and will have several dedicated rooms for teaching that would already be equipped to teach. As well as that I am also going have a small studio at which bands may rent out to record some of their music.

    A big thing for me is also getting out to local schools and getting the kids more involved with music. I know when I was a kid first time I saw a real bassist play I was hooked, not enough kids get the oppourtunity to hear and talk to band members about their instrument and the like.

    This is very sprawled out and I know it's confusing to read. I'm still jotting down all my ideas and running them past people, so I will post more when i'm a little more oganized.
  11. Do it with good service, provide good repairs and price matching. Being able to provide reliable guitar, amp, and woodwind/orch repairs can be a great way to draw in customers and keep them coming in. Lessons are another great way to draw in new customers. Having rental PA/backline equipment available doesn't hurt either. JTE had some really good advice with what brands to carry. Including the part about avoiding Gibson, and I agree that Fenders always sell but Fender hasn't been to fun to deal with lately either. Good luck man! :cool:

    ...and for the record, I agree with the Taylor comment. :ninja:
  12. JTE

    JTE Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 12, 2008
    Central Illinois, USA
    OK, Taylor's don't always sound terrible. But I've never played a Taylor that sounded great, and I've been around them since they first came out. That ubiquitiouis Fishman/Taylor plunking kind of sound grates on my ears, but it's apparently what a LOT of artists and sound people think an acoustic guitar is supposed to sound like. As if Stephen Stills, Jackson Browne, Pete Townshend, Neil Young, and Norman Blake never exisited...

    But anyway, that's the stuff you deal with running a music store- I'd have people tell me after trying them out side-by-side and listening to their friends play two guitars side-by-side, that the Guild clearly sounded and felt better than the Gibson. But, they'd buy the Gibson Dove anyway, for more money, just because it said "Gibson" on the headstock. Taylors are popular in large part due to the very easy playability they have, especially compared to the way Martins are shipped. And from what I've seen, most of the Taylor demographics locally (that is, folks who aren't at an endorsement level) are people who either don't really have much acoustic guitar experience or people for whom ease of playing is more important than sound.

    I hope I'm not bashing Taylors, they have a great niche and appeal to a lot of people. And if I had a store I'd probably want to be a Taylor dealer, as they're an easy sale- the whole point I meant in my first post.

    Here's the deal- Fender dealers don't have to work hard to make a sale because people come in wanting a Strat, Tele, Jazz Bass or a P. All the sales droid has to do is get them to the one the store can make money from. Similarly with people coming in cold for a good acoustic. They see Taylors and Martins all the time (and they've heard that grating piezo sound so much that they think that's what is SHOULD sound like), so they see a Taylor or a Martin and the job of selling the guitar is half-done. And the Taylor is easier to play, and they have that thin sound even unamplified so the customer has what they want without the store having to do much work.

  13. stflbn


    May 10, 2007
    If you're trying to start out as big as your list of Brands suggests, I think your first thought should be regarding where you're going to get the financing for your initial purchase of products to stock your store with and to carry you through a couple rotations of purchases until hopefully a steady money flow starts coming in.

  14. Ptolemy


    Jan 2, 2009
    No I wont be starting with all those brands, will slowly be bringing them up a couple at a time as my marketing gets bigger and we get more people through the store. Will have to buy enough for 3 or 4 rotations though I assume