Buying a guitar from Musicianfriends vs Sweetwater

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by Fowleri, Feb 11, 2020.

  1. tarheelalum

    tarheelalum Member

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    MF all day, everyday before I ever buy anything from Sweetwater again. I consistently get at least 15% off and once or twice a year I'll get a 20% off coupon from them. And when I call them they will give me that discount on anything I want. Every "sales Engineer" I've ever had has never given me on dime off anything. But they would always call me every couple of months and bother me. The only time I'll ever buy anything from sweetwater is if I cannot find it anywhere else. And then I do it online so I don't have to speak to any of them. Luckily I've found an app that blocks sweet water's number so my phone will not even ring if they call me now.
     
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  2. tarheelalum

    tarheelalum Member

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    Call them on the phone and they will give you the 15% right away. That website never gives the discounts right. Or if you don't want too call, use that little pop up text thing they have on the website.
     
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  3. Bassopotamus

    Bassopotamus Member

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    Yeah, it’s pretty much the 0% finance or a discount but pretty much never both
     
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  4. Hugh_s

    Hugh_s Member

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    I have had good luck with all the retailers mentioned here. In fact, I generally have had no bad experiences with anyone except Verizon, who sent me an empty box that was supposed to have my wife’s phone in it. THAT took weeks to get them to sort out.

    I try to buy used mostly, though.
     
  5. romo

    romo Supporting Member

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    I purchased one guitar from Sweetwater. It was a Rickenbacker and I was there in person at their showroom. I thought it was set up well. When I asked for a better price they gave me 15% off right away, no hassle. I buy lots of little things from them like strings, slides, picks, cables, etc. Ft. Wayne is about 90 miles from where I live and with their free shipping pretty much everything arrives in 2 days or less. I am also a Strymon fan and Sweetwater is my go to for their stuff. No discounts on it as usual and they actually have to charge for shipping but they get it to me cheaper and faster than if I had gone direct with Strymon.

    Everyone I have spoken to on the phone and in person has been friendly and knowledgable about their products. I visited with a friend on his birthday one year and they really went out of their way to make it an event. Even gave us a cake. Most of their prices are the same as GC/MF but some things are actually cheaper even without a discount. I don't answer much when they call but I guess it is a nice touch. I'd definitely buy another guitar from them, even if it cost a little more than the same model at MF. I The 55 point inspection might be a little over sold, but I do believe they look at every guitar. I have purchased several instruments from MF and I doubt they even open the box the guitar arrived in from the manufacturer.
     
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  6. pine

    pine Silver Supporting Member

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    I have had similarly great experiences with Humbucker Music and most recently The Music Zoo, the guitars came set up well, intonation was dead on accurate, and I know they at least looked at the guitar because their business card was in the case.
     
  7. sgguitarzz

    sgguitarzz Supporting Member

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    I have had good experiences with both MF and Sweetwater but my rep Israel at Sweetwater is great and always very helpful and accommodating. I give the nod in customer service to Sweetwater. OTOH that 55 point thing is a bunch of BS.
     
  8. COYS

    COYS Supporting Member

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    I go with MF. I don't need a salesman, and I've never had a situation where I could get a better price out of Sweetwater than MF.
     
  9. LoopyBullet

    LoopyBullet Supporting Member

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    I don’t think much of Sweetwater’s inspection process. The last HSS American Pro Strat I bought had the following issues:

    -A dent/scratch on the neck near the heel.
    -Couldn’t fit the term arm into the guitar...until I did...and then I couldn’t get it out. There was something misaligned in the bridge assembly.
    -Dent in the headstock.

    Sure, people pay more for relics. Sure, dings will eventually happen. However, all of these things were found by me within 10 minutes of opening the box with my <55-point inspection.

    Also, MF consistently offers me 15% off any day while SW does not. For expensive guitars, I’ll typically go with SW though because they have pictures. That’s about it.
     
  10. CaptNasty

    CaptNasty Member

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    I stopped buying from Sweetwater. Those damn follow up phone calls.

    They want to establish a personal relationship with you, makes it more likely that you will buy from them on your next purchase. I get what they are doing. I don’t need help from some stranger with my gear purchases and I don’t need anyone driving me to buy gear.

    I had “turned off” phone calls in my profile, but the calls kept coming. Sometimes multiple per day.

    I got an email from the SW CEO asking for feedback so I told him “I understand some people probably like SWs sales tactics, I find it to be a bit much”. We had several emails back and forth then he asked me to correspond with his sales executive.

    Based on conversations with the sales exec, the calls finally stopped and they established a program for opt outs and started pushing that with their sales staff.

    As for the 55 point inspection, I never paid it any mind. I suspect it is an unskilled laborer going over the instrument. Would be somewhat like me doing a 55 point inspection on a new vehicle: I could follow a checklist, but wouldn’t know what I was doing.
     
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2020
  11. bobcs71

    bobcs71 Member

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    I like that Sweetwater offers pictures and weight of the actual guitar.
     
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  12. Grun

    Grun Member

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    I wish Sweetwater would stop showing pictures of guitars they don't have in stock on their website. Although I have purchased from both. Another thing about Sweetwater, 'my' rep has yet to be available when I called despite the time of day. Kind of takes the salt out of that angle. All things being equal I tend to MF just to avoid the SW 'experience'.
    I have a feeling if I had all the money in the world, Sweetwater might be able to do a better job coddling me, but I'm not there yet. In that case, I would probably just hire a guy anyway.
    Funny thing, is MF seems to be gravitating towards the more annoying aspects of SW model. Just bought a guitar there, and received follow up.
    I usually check Zzounds too. Have gotten good deals there. I get the feeling they are part of MF.
     
  13. agquake

    agquake Supporting Member

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    You just have to have the right sales rep at either place. I always get outstanding deals at SW, and just got a very good deal at MF, plus 16% reward points.
     
  14. Wishing Wells

    Wishing Wells Member

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    I probably got assigned the worst sales rep that they have and he has literally driven me away from buying from them in the past. It's like if he isn't going to get full price commission then he doesn't want the sale. That worked out good for me because I ended up finding out about Wildwood which never would have happened had SW taken care of me in the first place.

    That pretty much set my buying preferences like this:
    Wildwood - 1st choice
    Musicians Friend/Guitar Center/Anywhere Else - next choice if Wildwood doesn't have it.
    SW - Only if it's a burst/transparent finish that you need to see a picture of first. If it's a solid color and I don't need to see the pictures then SW doesn't even get a consideration.
     
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  15. Jon C

    Jon C Silver Supporting Member

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    It’s simple to stop. Just ask. :idea:facepalm
     
  16. Robot B9

    Robot B9 Member

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    I shouldn’t have to be put in a position to ask them to stop. They shouldn’t be calling in the first place.
     
  17. TalismanRich

    TalismanRich Member

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    I've bought a bunch from both MF and SW. I've talked to my rep at Sweetwater when I've had 15% MF coupons and he matched the price. When I wanted to buy a case for my Guild S100, he pulled the case, checked fit with a Polara in stock, and sent me pics. A month or so later, I stopped in while I was in the area. Dontae came down to the sales floor, case in hand and pulled a guitar off the wall to make sure it would meet my expectations.

    I've bought several mics and other recording gear from them. Service is fast, and the follow up call is a quick "Just wanted to check to make sure everything arrived in good shape and you're happy with it. Let me know if you ever need anythng else". Quick and simple.

    If anything, MF fills my emails up faster than the spammers do. I get AT LEAST 3 a day to different email addresses. I get maybe 3 or 4 a week from SW.
     
  18. Jon C

    Jon C Silver Supporting Member

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    :facepalm And we shouldn’t have to listen to picayune complaints about things easily remedied. :idea
     
  19. Robot B9

    Robot B9 Member

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    The thread is called Musicians Friend vs Sweetwater. I’m just giving my opinion why I don’t care for Sweetwater. Sorry if that upsets you.
     
  20. Jon C

    Jon C Silver Supporting Member

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    not at all, everyone is entitled to overly sensitive idiosyncratic aspects in life. :YinYang


    In the time it took you to post just the replies to me, you could have had yourself put on the don’t call list (as I did, and have not been called) many times over. :idea
     
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