Tire Kicker Guilt, Anyone?

Discussion in 'The Sound Hound Lounge' started by shark_bite, Feb 26, 2009.

  1. shark_bite

    shark_bite Member

    Messages:
    5,190
    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2008
    Location:
    outer space
    So this is something I've been mulling over for a bit... like any good TGP-er I get my share of GAS for stuff due to reading about it here or hearing certain sounds I'd like to recreate and then researching where they came from and how they were made. More than a few times that's led me to start looking for something I can buy to augment my collection, and before buying anything I like to try it first. Thanks to TGP and a pretty recent giant raise, a lot of that stuff lately has been high-end boutique or vintage gear, and fortunately for me there are a couple stores nearby that carry most of it between them. So... I've had my share of lazy Saturdays going down to try things out, and especially at the smaller stores, they're always super cool. They'll let me take a couple amps into the back room and flog away on them even. And usually I leave empty-handed (although admittedly one time that happened a few months ago I had every intention of dropping a huge load of money on a particular amp, but after playing it with my Tele I realized it wasn't the amp for me).

    At any rate, I guess my point is this - I feel bad for being the guy who hangs out at these places from time to time without ever spending more than a couple hundred bucks if anything at all when I go in, since I'm usually trying stuff out that I can find used for cheaper, which is invariably how I end up buying it. With vintage stuff it's a little easier to part with my cash at Willie's, but for everything else? TGP, ebay, and occasionally CL are just a much less expensive option. It'd be stupid not to save the money, but sometimes I wonder if they see me coming and think "oh great, this tire-kicking asshole again." Can anyone else here relate?
     
  2. atomicmassunit

    atomicmassunit Member

    Messages:
    1,701
    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2005
    Location:
    Louisiana
    It depends on how you act while you're in the store. If you're the 20 questions guy, getting all kinds of information for free and tying up commissioned salespeople from the customers who are buying, that's probably exactly what they think. However, if you aren't pushy and demanding and check things out without being a bother, most music stores are cool with you checking things out all you want. They want traffic through the door.
     
  3. shark_bite

    shark_bite Member

    Messages:
    5,190
    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2008
    Location:
    outer space
    Oh definitely I'm not that guy (I hope!). I ask for suggestions of things to try out, but if I end up using the salesguy's help much more than that I try to at least buy something on my list of things I need to get around buying "one of these days" - unfortunately one time there wasn't really anything on that list so I ended up with a pair of SD Antiquities and that's how my parts Tele project was born. Can't say I'm complaining though - that one's my favorite guitar.
     
  4. StompBoxBlues

    StompBoxBlues Member

    Messages:
    19,297
    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2005
    Location:
    under the stars
    I tend to buy the thing where I tried it even if I can get a better price on the net. I DO mention the net price and haggle to get as close as I can.
    I find with most stuff, (when you include shipping, and maybe even the inconvenience of 1) waiting for it to arrive and 2) not buying the ACTUAL item you tried...) the price difference isn't worth me risking such a nice convenience as a local music store.

    One music store in Oslo is bad at haggling, and prices are VERY high and I don't go there.

    But if it is an amp or guitar, I tend to want to try THAT particular one, and if I like it, take that particular one home. Plus I think though it is a cost of doing business for the store to help customers, I think they often get a raw deal from folks who go in knowing they are going to not buy, but instead go to the net.

    ON the other hand, music stores that have employees that can't answer basic questions about their own gear...there isn't much value there.

    I'm wondering when it will become normal for the few remaining music stores to charge for trying out some amps (maybe with the stipulation that if you buy it within so many days, that charge gets put towards purchase).

    I mean, not standard amps maybe, but think if a music store got the idea to charge for time with the amps that are boutique and not available to try?
     
  5. Telecaster62

    Telecaster62 Member

    Messages:
    3,486
    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2006
    Location:
    Lexington South Carolina
    I'm pretty lucky I guess. All the stores around here are Guitar Centerish and only carry off the shelf brands. I rarely venture into them and when I do it's just to say hi to the players that work there. On the down side there is really no chance to try specialized gear and I have to do a lot of research and depend on the internet for information. I did try a Vox AC30CC at a local store recently and liked it very much but that's about the only thing I've asked to check out in years.
     
  6. willhutch

    willhutch Supporting Member

    Messages:
    1,813
    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2006
    The guys in the stores understand. Before they started working in the store, many of those guys were the kids that hung out kicking tires. Also, many of these guys buy their gear from internet sources.

    Certainly, buying stuff is the best way to avoid wearing out your welcome. But, short of that, I'd say just try to avoid soaking up the store's resources.

    This includes, but is not limited to:
    Having the staff pull stuff off the wall, plug stuff in, answer questions.
    Playing loud - this drives staff nuts and interferes with paying customers.
    Crowding up the place when the store is busy.
    Messing up the store's signage.
    Dirtying up the guitars.
    Stealing from the "pick jar".

    It's one thing to not earn the store any money, it's another thing to cost them money.

    That said, a salesman friend comment that he felt "used" when a guy came in, auditioned an amp, then bought it off TGP the next day.
     

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice