• TGP is giving away a Strat, Tele, and Jazzmaster. Click Here for full details.
    Click Here to upgrade your account and enter today!

Should we be buying guitars from mom and pop stores now?

Gillespie1983

Member
Messages
2,375
Mom and Pop stores in my 2 county area of 300,000 do not stock Fender, Gibson, Marshall, Vox, etc. Those lines are carried by the local Guitar Center. But I try to buy my supplies from "Mom and Pop" when I can, and even the GC employees are good people, too.
 

whatizitman

Member
Messages
879
Just a thought... Every year when Small Business Saturday comes around we make it a day of fun xmas shopping from local stores. All of the stores and merchandise we pick up is unique, oftentimes to our city and region. It's fun and feels good to be part of and give back to the community. But we've also found lots of cool gifts.

Our favorite haunts are vintage pawnshops, niche/local maker gift shops, grocer coops, and used bookstore/cafes. I've found an old tube amp and vintage mic to repair, buried under pawnshop rubble. For dirt cheap. That was an awesome xmas for yours truly.

Our local music store typically get none of our business on SBS, as it has nothing unique or desirable that I can't get from an online retailer. That's the sad reality. The store does do lessons, which we have used in the past. Much of that dough goes to the instructors. I look at is a nice service the store provides, for both students and teachers. That's probably what has been keeping them afloat. But even that is sometimes inconvenient, as the store closes before the lesson rooms close down, and right about the time I get home from work, making it tough to schedule and pay. It is what it is.
 

jacklickson

Member
Messages
565
Up until page 11 this was a great thread. Then, as it seems to happen more and more lately, the thread gets derailed, and always because of the same reason, or better, the same member.

Quo usque tandem abutere, Xxxxx Xxxxx, patientia nostra? Quam diu etiam furor iste tuus nos eludet?
Vir autem stultus non animadverto est ad Circum
 

KevWind

Member
Messages
544
In answer to to OP as many have said is, Yes whenever possible, and should have been doing it all along.

The Reality is however not simple, is multifaceted, and uncertain. The crushing affect if big chain and now online purchase has wrought havoc in virtually all speciality markets.
Plus as some have noted and is the case in my location the one local store 47 miles away has a couple (3-4) of Court guitars and a couple used and thats it. Only time will tell if speciality individual brick and mortar guitar shops survive. I hope so
 

talonmm

Member
Messages
543
Can you get what I want in stock this week? Will you give me 15-20% off MAP? Do you offer free home delivery?

And even if you can answer yes to all of these, if I have to take time out of my workday to stop at your store or call during business hours to ask you this, I'm likely not going to.

Not trying to be a jerk. But this is what you're up against. What extra service could you possibly provide that would make me want to come to your store for purchase, instead of off MF website, late in the evening, from the comfort of my couch?
I totally see and respect your side of the argument. Sometimes trying out a guitar or amp in person is worth it (especially if the shop is near by.) I have received merchandise damaged by both Fed-Ex and UPS, and many times something just was not a good fit which I could have realized had I purchased it locally. Pros and Cons to both sides of this!
 

DiPa

Constant GAS
Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
14,051
Mom & Pop stores are a business and they need to be creative to keep it going, can’t just expect the buyer to be loyal or have pity. Think of ways to bring the customers in the door, bring in some local icons to hang out or play, customers will come, offer food, offer giveaways, find something to bring your customers in the doors.
Having said all this and given we are in a new norm period, I don’t see them surviving.
 

chrisjnyc

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
6,304
I'm REALLY confused. I thought Umanov's legendary store was closed, for good.
Check the about page...

While we have closed the retail side of the store, our "Best in New York" guitar restoration and repair department remains open, by appointment, serving New Yorkers and musicians from all over the world in the same location that the store had been in for the last thirty-five years.
 

whatizitman

Member
Messages
879
I totally see and respect your side of the argument. Sometimes trying out a guitar or amp in person is worth it (especially if the shop is near by.) I have received merchandise damaged by both Fed-Ex and UPS, and many times something just was not a good fit which I could have realized had I purchased it locally. Pros and Cons to both sides of this!
Yes there are. My point is not to $hi+ on local music retailers. Far from it. Just to point out the realities of the new economy, warts and all.

Shipping issues aside, most large online retailers have 45 day no-ask return. That's hard to compete with.

While I agree it's best to try something out before buying, I also can see it from the small retailer's POV. It can be really nice for them to special order something they don't have, essentially allowing the customer to try out first (maybe). But it's also a lot to ask the store as they are taking on the extra risk of possible return and inability to resell at new cost. As much as I harp on poor customer skills, I don't feel its right to ask a small company to do this. And even if they are willing to take on this risk, I don't feel right exploiting that and risking making a bad relationship with a local retailer. All this added on to the extra inconvenience of actually finding time to visit a store during business hours, and it ain't worth it to me. I can avoid the drama and wait, and just order it online with a 45 day no-ask return.

End result being, if a store doesn't normally stock an item I want or use, I'm going somewhere else to get it. Period. End of story. As much as I want to give small businesses a fighting chance, I don't believe special ordering through them is the best way to do that.
 
Messages
358
I would love to show at my local mom a pop store. Unfortunately they only carry Squire starter packs these days.
I've run into this too.

There is a fairly modest market for $1500 new guitars. Vanishingly small for $5000 guitars. So M&P shops stock what moves, the $299 starter packs. That then ties up floor space and inventory dollars in cheap gear, reducing the amount that can be invested in carrying upmarket guitars and amps, driving away those of us who's like something a little nicer. It's a vicious cycle.

It isn't even new, and it isn't limited to guitars. Thirty years ago when I was getting into synths the M&P locations would feature a wall of cheap Yamaha FM preset keyboards and (at best) a few actual synthesizers, mostly used/consignment offerings priced laughably higher than the going market rate.
 

Maggot

Member
Messages
1,435
I'm as guilty as anyone, because they were located a few blocks from my house, so I'd go there all the time. But GC moved into my town, drove every single electric guitar store out of business (one acoustic-only shop survived), and then left. Now there are no stores in my town of 200,000+ people.
 

burner

Member
Messages
3,289
After seeing all these NGD threads, should we be buying gear from the mom and pop stores to keep them from going under. Sure they might not have every model, color or free shipping... but it might help them stay afloat

Someone needs to buy this cool LP DC from Matt Umanov:

https://www.umanovguitars.com/category/just-in/les-paul-studio-double-cut-plus/
Why buy from mom & pop "NOW"?
I mean, why all of a sudden??

I think we should have ALWAYS bought from mom & pop stores whenever possible...

Granted, I've seen my share of utterly ridiculous m&p stores/prices, as have most all of us, BUT...there are some decent ones out there, and I like to support them.

Unfortunately this is not the case in every area...not a lot you can do about that, but if you DO live in an area with a decent m&p or two, imo, you should certainly give em a shot!

I'm not just gonna line up to get price-raped of course, but building a relationship with the local place can prove advantageous in many situations that are more important (to me) than squeezing every last drop out of a penny.

I'm very fortunate to have at least one or two really good local shops in my area and I'm grateful for they have all dried up o er the years.
We also have a GC yanno but I just haven't encountered very many situations where it proved advantageous to shop there.
 
Last edited:

Schweezly

Member
Messages
665
I’m all for mom and pop shops, to an extent. We obviously have great small shops in the Chicagoland area, who carry great brands (I’ve done business for years at Music Gallery and get my setups there.)

but I’ll be honest, GC’s in our area can be great too. And it hard to argue with a brand new LP Classic for $1,400 on blowout, or a new Traditional Pro for $1,199 on blowout. Or finding EBMM guitars new for 40% off sticker. The deals go on and on, and get better when my GC card comes into play

I’ll support small shops when I can, but only because they’re good and it’s worth it.
 

HolyGuacamole

Member
Messages
254
Paying higher prices just because they are local has always seemed lopsided for what we have around here.

There is one local shop here that has another store a couple hours away. They've obviously done well over the years with school band instruments, piano, live sound equipment, etc. but their guitar gear is always MSRP and their selection isn't great. It didn't take long before they just weren't a consideration anymore.
 

lcfparty35

Member
Messages
473
If that guitar OP linked was in the yellow finish they did for those, and I hadn't bought a guitar last week, we'd all be having a very different conversation right now. Man did I lust after those yellow DC LP when I was a kid.
 

lcfparty35

Member
Messages
473
There's a mom and pop in my local big city (a real guitar haven) with awesome merch but it's scuzzy hipster guys working there and these days, I look/dress like a square cause I grew up. If the owner is there, he's super nice and gives me recommendations on stuff and small talks with me and I usually walk out with something. If it's the guys who work for him, they act skeptical of my even being there and after they hear that I'm a so-so player (particularly with some kid staring at me with his arms crossed and a bemused look on his face, who clearly doesn't care if I buy the thing or not), I often walk out with my money and no little irritation, and don't go back for a while.

Truth be told, I've had both experiences at GC, too. For me it's about the service, big or small shop.

And my real point is: if you work in a guitar store and ever make the customer feel silly for playing nice gear because you wish you could afford it because you're totally a better player, which is a vibe I get often in shops, well, you should be working at McDonalds where your ego won't be an encumbrance. Am I sensitive? Sure. But I'm the customer and that's my prerogative. If you work at a shop, your prerogative is to sell me what I want.
 

talonmm

Member
Messages
543
I'm as guilty as anyone, because they were located a few blocks from my house, so I'd go there all the time. But GC moved into my town, drove every single electric guitar store out of business (one acoustic-only shop survived), and then left. Now there are no stores in my town of 200,000+ people.
That's amazing.... 200,000 people and no guitar store???
 

talonmm

Member
Messages
543
Yes there are. My point is not to $hi+ on local music retailers. Far from it. Just to point out the realities of the new economy, warts and all.

Shipping issues aside, most large online retailers have 45 day no-ask return. That's hard to compete with.

While I agree it's best to try something out before buying, I also can see it from the small retailer's POV. It can be really nice for them to special order something they don't have, essentially allowing the customer to try out first (maybe). But it's also a lot to ask the store as they are taking on the extra risk of possible return and inability to resell at new cost. As much as I harp on poor customer skills, I don't feel its right to ask a small company to do this. And even if they are willing to take on this risk, I don't feel right exploiting that and risking making a bad relationship with a local retailer. All this added on to the extra inconvenience of actually finding time to visit a store during business hours, and it ain't worth it to me. I can avoid the drama and wait, and just order it online with a 45 day no-ask return.

End result being, if a store doesn't normally stock an item I want or use, I'm going somewhere else to get it. Period. End of story. As much as I want to give small businesses a fighting chance, I don't believe special ordering through them is the best way to do that.
I agree with you - not cool to ask to retailer to special order a product and then return it. But, if I could try it there, in stock, I much rather do that and support the local retailer.
 

Will Chen

Member
Messages
6,304
The only way Mom & Pop stores are going to survive is to serve a niche need. Any small shop trying to compete selling Fenders and Gibsons vs GC is honestly just waiting to go under. I'll give you 2 solid examples which were doing well in North Texas (no idea what's happening now though)

Guitar Sanctuary only sells high end stuff AND owns a small theater which they have artists which appeal primarily to guitar players perform (and it also doubles as an event venue for wedding receptions).

Charley's Guitar Shop which has built a reputation as one of the best in the area for amp/guitar service/repair.
 

DiPa

Constant GAS
Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
14,051
The only way Mom & Pop stores are going to survive is to serve a niche need. Any small shop trying to compete selling Fenders and Gibsons vs GC is honestly just waiting to go under. I'll give you 2 solid examples which were doing well in North Texas (no idea what's happening now though)

Guitar Sanctuary only sells high end stuff AND owns a small theater which they have artists which appeal primarily to guitar players perform (and it also doubles as an event venue for wedding receptions).

Charley's Guitar Shop which has built a reputation as one of the best in the area for amp/guitar service/repair.
Yep, one of the local stores I used to go to lost their Guitar Tech, the guy was like way awesome, super talent, I used to go there to have my guitars worked on and of course I would then look at what they had for sale as I was there...after he left, I never went back.
 




Trending Topics

Top