Buying direct vs. buying through a store

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by Gasp100, Feb 1, 2008.


  1. Gasp100

    Gasp100 Supporting Member

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    What is the advantage (if there is any) of buying an amp through a store vs. buying it directly from the manufacturer? Many of the amps I'm looking at (mostly booteek I guess) offer the option of buying direct through them with no middlemen. Unfortunately I don't have a go to shop for actually getting to play most of these gems, so I rely on clippage and good information gleaned from people who own the amps in question.
    Can the store offer the same amp at a lower price than directly from the manufacturer? Is it just the sales from people actually walking in and trying the amps locally where the stores make the sales? Like I said, any attempted purchase will most assuredly have to be done online. I also want to "do good" by the manufacturer (more money in the makers pocket seems good to me).
    I'm just wondering (and trying to crunch some numbers...):worried
     
  2. digital jams

    digital jams Member

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    I would perfer if buying brand new to have it done direct if possible, if not I have several store owners that I trust 100% with doing that type of sight un-seen deal.
     
  3. justonwo

    justonwo Supporting Member

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    Generally, if you buy through a store, the price is going to be higher. That stands to reason, of course. Everyone has to get their share of the profits. The builder will have his markup and then you get another markup from the store.

    The store is providing a useful service, however. Not only do you get to play the amp in person, but you have a local store that can take care of any problems for you. If it's a good store, you also get the knowledge and help of the sales people and even the ability to compare the amp to other models.

    Only you can decide if those services are worth the extra money. In my case, I generally get my information here, so I find that I'm well-informed enough without the help of a salesperson. I can also work on my own amps, so the ability to get help from the store is not such a big deal to me. So buying direct is ideal in my case because it helps keep the price down.
     
  4. P90Nut

    P90Nut Member

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    The cost will usually be the same regardless if you purchase retail or direct. What happens is the manufacturer will sell to the retail store at a wholesale price, this allows the retailer to make a profit. The manufacturer agrees not to sell in that retailes agreed upon territory. If the end user does not live in an established retailers' territory, the manufacturer may agree to sell direct. He should not sell it for less than his distributors do. This is called protecting your retail distributors. He does not wish to step on those retail clients. If he does, he may gain a poor reputation.

    Mark
     
  5. StompBoxBlues

    StompBoxBlues Member

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    Which sometimes really bites. Here in Norway there is a distributor that has some of the best (at least the ones I want most) equipment, and they are hell to deal with. Non-responsive, unhelpful, EVEN no info on the specialty products on their web site, they don't even answer the phone half the time, and it takes weeks to get prices with a simple email query.

    I have talked to others and it is definitely not just me experiencing this. I have sent email to some of the manufacturers letting them know, and get no responses. It really bites.
     
  6. djinn1973

    djinn1973 Member

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    I have found the opposite to be the case. After having done a fair amount of business with a store, or building a relationship with one or more of a stores owners I have received things either well below retail or even at cost.
     
  7. FFTT

    FFTT Member

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    If you're buying mass production, Big Logo amps, you can get great deals at your big box retailers.

    However, when you prefer the quality and attention to detail of the smaller
    individual craftsmen, in many cases the only way to order is direct.

    I personally like knowing that the person who designed the amp either
    built it with his own two hands or was directly overseeing the build.

    As long as the builder's asking price is within reason, I have no problem
    paying him for his effort.
     
  8. FFTT

    FFTT Member

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    If you're buying mass production, Big Logo amps, you can get great deals at your big box retailers.

    However, when you prefer the quality and attention to detail of the smaller
    individual craftsmen, in many cases the only way to order is direct.

    I personally like knowing that the person who designed the amp either
    built it with his own two hands or was directly overseeing the build process.

    As long as the builder's asking price is within reason, I have no problem
    paying him for his effort.
     
  9. Gasp100

    Gasp100 Supporting Member

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    I'm going new and I'm going direct. I'm strapping myself a wee bit, but I believe it's going to be worth it and just knowing that the guy I've been corresponding with is going to be building the amp himself FOR ME is really, really cool. I don't really have any mods to the original design (I'm easy to please I guess) so it should work out fine.
    :RoCkIn
     
  10. FFTT

    FFTT Member

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    I think you're really going to love the Gries 5

    When you hear how responsive a good Class A amp works with your guitar knob settings and how the attack affects your tone, you'll be glad you
    made the extra effort.
     
  11. larc

    larc Member

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    One advantage in purchasing from a dealer's shop is you get to hear the amp before forking over your cash.

    I never assume amps of the same model sound alike. I compared exact models side-by-side several times and heard slight differences each time. One amp could offer more rawness, crunch, low end and seem better suited for rhythm. Another amp might sound smoother, have sweeter harmonics, more midrange, offer better singing sustain that enhances soloing, etc.

    Whenever possible, I always try to play before I pay...at least that way I'll know if a certain piece of gear speaks to me or not.
     
  12. bosstone

    bosstone Member

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    If you have a good dealer, you should always support your local economy. Ever notice how many of your old Ma and Pa stores are gone? Where are they working now? Are they on your state's welfare roll? Without them can you try out the stuff get quick help or a quick set of strings etc? Wouldn't you want your community to support your business if you were honest and professional? If your stores aren't honest and professional, by all means, go direct.
     
  13. FFTT

    FFTT Member

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    Unfortunately most small mom and pop stores can not afford to floorplan
    and entire line-up of many fine hand wired amps.
    In general, most only stock beginner to prosumer products, so while
    many of us still drop in for some special needs, we need to go to the mom and pop small builders directly for higher end product.
     
  14. littlejohn

    littlejohn Member

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    I'd support the locals, but none of them stock anything I want...and, well...

    Local Veneman Music, gone, stocked Dr Z and Top Hat, Matchless in the old days, etc...GC took them over, Mars came and went, now we have nothing. Online is the only way to go for the DC area at this point for me, and all the stores have this thing where they check you out when you leave like you're some type of criminal or something, not like that in the old days with Zaravellas Music, great shop, also gone. Chuck Levin's, won't go into that, but times have changed.

    I've deleted the rest of this for well, whatever reson.
     

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