Support your local music store!

Pocket-full-of-gold

Platinum Member
I've heard of people going into a local shop, trying out the gear and then buying that same gear online to save five bucks. To me, that's just total douche.
For a mere 5 or 10 bucks, I tend to agree. But for many of us outside of the US, we're not talking 5 or 10 bucks....at least it's the case where I live.

Couple of examples in the last few years:

24" Giant Beat ride = A$900 from my local store. Online = A$450 delivered to my door.
14x6.5 Ludwig Hammered Bronze snare = A$1,100 from the same store. Online = $550 to my door.

I could go on, but it's just more of the same.

What would you guys do? To me that level of saving is a no brainer and as much as I'd love to throw the money at the store that's sorted me out for over 25 years.....I just can't afford to do so. Only an idiot would IMHO.

Loyalty is an admirable trait.....but what good is my loyalty when it puts me in the poorhouse?
 
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sticks4drums

Guest
For a mere 5 or 10 bucks, I tend to agree. But for many of us outside of the US, we're not talking 5 or 10 bucks....at least it's the case where I live.

Couple of examples in the last few years:

24" Giant Beat ride = A$900 from my local store. Online = A$450 delivered to my door.
14x6.5 Ludwig Hammered Bronze snare = A41,100 from the same store. Online = $550 to my door.

I could go on, but it's just more of the same.

What would YOU do? To me it's a no brainer and as much as I'd love to throw the money at the store that's sorted me out for over 25 years.....I just can't afford to do so. Only an idiot would IMHO.

Loyalty is an admirable trait.....but what good is my loyalty when it puts me in the poorhouse?
Why are things so expensive in Australia, and how do these stores stay in business?
 

HipshotPercussion

Senior Member
My 'local music store" has let me down several times where as Guitar Center and On-Line stores have always came through in the clutch for me!
I've tried numerous times to buy locally, but my local music store not only can't compete pricewise with web stores/eBay regarding items it has in stock (including heads, sticks, hardware), it has consistently been unable to get me even the most basic gear (clamps, pedals, etc.) after I've ordered it from them.

I just can't rationalize paying almost double and waiting a month or more for something I could get delivered in 4 or 5 days from Musicians Friend.
 

Pocket-full-of-gold

Platinum Member
Why are things so expensive in Australia, and how do these stores stay in business?
Several factors contribute that are unavoidable:
1. Shipping costs (we're a hell of a long way from anywhere).
2. Import duties and taxes are amongst the highest in the world. (this is a BIG factor according to many of our retailers)
3. Smaller market means less wiggle room for the retailer to move as the "bulk orders" are a lot smaller than larger countries.

There's little doubt that for the most part these costs must be passed on to the consumer or the retailers will sell for a loss, but that aside, given that our dollar has been hovering around parity with the Greenback for some time now, it still doesn't add up.

Too many Aussie stores are relying on business models of yesteryear and they're starting to pay for it now. We've recently seen two major book store chains go to the wall due to the inability to compete with online prices. It's sad to see because if they continue at this rate there'll be little left.......but when they are that far out of line with prices that are so easily available elsewhere, somethings gotta give. I honestly wish there was a better solution than by-passing them in favour of a much better deal online, but at this stage there just isn't.
 
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sticks4drums

Guest
Several factors contribute that are unavoidable:
1. Shipping costs (we're a hell of a long way from anywhere).
2. Import duties and taxes are amongst the highest in the world. (this is a BIG factor according to many of our retailers)
3. Smaller market means less wiggle room for the retailer to move as the "bulk orders" are a lot smaller than larger countries.

There's little doubt that for the most part these costs must be passed on to the consumer or the retailers will sell for a loss, but that aside, given that our dollar has been hovering around parity with the Greenback for some time now, it still doesn't add up.

Too many Aussie stores are relying on business models of yesteryear and they're starting to pay for it now. We've recently seen two major book store chains go to the wall due to the inability to compete with online prices. It's sad to see because if they continue at this rate there'll be little left.......but when they are that far out of line with prices that are so easily available elsewhere, somethings gotta give. I honestly wish there was a better solution than by-passing them in favour of a much better deal online, but at this stage there just isn't.
Thanks buddy. Seems like none of your local stores will survive for very long. At least Canadian stores are trying to stay close to American prices. They kind of have to since we are neighbors.
 

Kg_lee

Senior Member
I'd love to know where you guys shop then. I haven't seen anyone online or local that can touch their prices. And I've always been treated with respect when I've been in there...which has been regularly since I started playing 6 years ago.
I told you where I shop. Dales was nice to me for years until I took by business else where because I saved $250. I contacted several 5 star drum shops on the same kit and the prices ranged from $3200 to $1500... I'm still wondering how that was possible? anyway Rej approached me at Dales about the kit I had gotten a price on and I told him I got it elsewhere and he blew is stack. He also told a friend of mine about me price shopping. He even also told me to go buy my stuff somewhere else. Not a problem! I will inbox you on where to get deals and who to contact.
 

Midnite Zephyr

Platinum Member
My local drum shop closed its doors recently. They were open for 40 years. They now only exist in cyberspace....

http://www.myspace.com/westcoastdrumcenter

They say it's "the easiest form of shopping for the modern drummer...on the internet."

It seems to me that, yeah, the brick and mortar shops may be going away, but if they have any business savvy, they'll find a way to adjust and survive in this modern business climate.
 

azrae1l

Silver Member
i'm kinda curious, how is it that those stores can be only on the internet since kamen, mapex and most major distributors won't give you an account without a physical store front?
 

Mad About Drums

Pollyanna's Agent
Thanks buddy. Seems like none of your local stores will survive for very long. At least Canadian stores are trying to stay close to American prices. They kind of have to since we are neighbors.
It's funny, while reading this thread I can't help but to compare it with the big 60's event when the supermarket started to invade the planet, and seing all the small independant shops, the butcher shops, the vegetables shops, the groceries, dairy shops, etc. closing down, the supermarket prices were to tough to compete, and all you had to do is to go to one shop for your weekly shopping, as before it was many shops, only the baker shops seem to have avoid this phenomenal moveover.

It's becoming a bit similar, with all the online drums store, which are offering every wishes a drummer can have at a highly competive price, and only the really BIG town with millions of residents will have music store, left alone specialised drumstore.

It's a shame in a way, but we live in a consumer's world nowadays, and almost everything is considered as consumable items.

And I don't see it changing for many years to come. :)
 
Several factors contribute that are unavoidable:
1. Shipping costs (we're a hell of a long way from anywhere).
2. Import duties and taxes are amongst the highest in the world. (this is a BIG factor according to many of our retailers)
3. Smaller market means less wiggle room for the retailer to move as the "bulk orders" are a lot smaller than larger countries.

There's little doubt that for the most part these costs must be passed on to the consumer or the retailers will sell for a loss, but that aside, given that our dollar has been hovering around parity with the Greenback for some time now, it still doesn't add up.

Too many Aussie stores are relying on business models of yesteryear and they're starting to pay for it now. We've recently seen two major book store chains go to the wall due to the inability to compete with online prices. It's sad to see because if they continue at this rate there'll be little left.......but when they are that far out of line with prices that are so easily available elsewhere, somethings gotta give. I honestly wish there was a better solution than by-passing them in favour of a much better deal online, but at this stage there just isn't.
Hey Pocket. I'm normally keen on supporting local shops, but just out of curiosity where do you usually shop online?
 

Bad Tempered Clavier

Silver Member
I think you're lucky if you have a choice, many don't, including myself. I have a local general music shop, but they only stock budget drum gear [. . .] To get anything of quality I'm pretty much forced into buying online.
This is the biggest problem I have had since I started shopping for high-end gear. My local drum shop is only open for a couple of hours on 2 evenings Mon-Fri and a few hours on Saturday. He doesn't stock anything of a higher quality than the Mapex Horizon line [no offence to Mapex, but you know what I mean] and he clearly knows chuff all about drums.

The last time I was there I was looking for LP cowbells and blocks: no joy. Roc 'n' Soc thrones? Forget it: he couldn't even order them in. I asked if he had Remo Coated Emperors. Those he could order in - it would take about a week (i.e. 5 working days) and would cost me about 20% more than pretty much any online retailer. I even said I would be prepared to wait longer for the heads if he could at least match the price I was quoted online. He politely declined. I don't owe this guy a living.

From a drum manufacturers perspective, especially if you produce quality gear, a lack of specialist drum stores is a big issue. Your gear needs to be offered in an environment that's conducive to supporting your product & offering it in an appropriate way. Such stores are few & far between.
I've often thought that the manufacturers (especially the bigger ones) should have showrooms at their regional offices. So if you wanted to try out any piece in the Pearl/Yamaha/Tama/Paiste etc range you could go to one place and they'd have everything they currently produce set up in the showroom and all of it available for you to try out. Then if you wanted to buy you could just order it from the "local" dealer and not be worried about whether they had it in stock for you to have a look at or not.

When I was last shopping for a high-end kit I was very interested in the Yamaha 9000/recording custom and I couldn't find anywhere that had one I could try before buying. Seeing as I had already played someone else's 9000 and loved it I figured it wouldn't be too much of a punt to buy one on spec from my local dealer so this is what I chose to do. Luckily I was more than satisfied with the result but there was no way I could have played my kit without buying it. Unfortunately my relationship with that dealer turned sour when he ordered in the wrong snare stand that was of a lower quality than the one I had already paid for and then made me wait over 2 months for the right one before I decided to tell him to go jump and got my money back. It goes without saying that I could have bought exactly what I wanted for less money online and probably had it delivered within 48 hours.

As it happens I live not far from Yamaha UK and I have a much better relationship with their in-house drum engineers than the numpty dealer who sold me the gear in the first place. There are a couple of bigger shops that I could drive an hour or 2 to get to just to see if I happen to like this piece over that but I don't see the point any more - especially when most of these shops don't seem to appreciate the effort.

I made a 60 mile round trip just to try out pedals in a large shop that is in the middle of nowhere in North London. This was the only place that even had the selection of pedals I wanted to try. All credit to the staff - they were very helpful and I had the opportunity of thoroughly testing half a dozen models on a (very nice) full kit. It was because of their extra help that I bought a pedal from them even though they were charging about 20% more than an online competitor, but they were open to a little haggling [this mark up was true of everything - even sticks].

Not six months later the pedal developed a fault and I was forced to make the same journey to take the pedal back to the dealer as the manufacturer (Tama) wouldn't deal directly with me. Although the dealer acknowledged that the pedal was under warranty etc - rather than just give me a new pedal they insisted on repairing the old one which they couldn't do there and then; so the choice I was given was to either go back for a 3rd time to pick the damn thing up or to have it posted back to me at my expense. Needless to say, having paid them to post my repaired pedal to me, I won't bother going back.
 

blastbeatkeeper

Senior Member
I dont know if theres anyone from the Albany NY area, but the local shop that I go up here is awesome. Built and run by working musicians for working musicians. Parkway Music is the name of it, and Im not afraid to put it out there. There is a local GC around here, and Ill occasionally stop primarily out of convenience, but they usually NEVER have what I am looking for. Parkway always does, whether it be sticks, skins, even moongel. (you think Im kidding...last time I was at GC they were out of moongel...) I could get on a huge rant about GC, but I wont. From what I have read, there are varied opinions, and Im just offering mine up for it to be picked apart ;-)
 

tard

Gold Member
I have a feeling that eventually as the majority of smaller stores disappear you will also see the middle man distributers start to disappear as well as some of the larger chain stores now deal directly with the manufactures and do the warehousing themselves instead of getting their stuff from a distributer which allows them to sell at reduced prices. I also believe with the ever expanding online sales market you may see more manufactures start selling online direct to the consumer like Carvin has done for many years now. That being said and although we the consumer may save some money in the long run it will be much harder to touch, feel and taste the products. We will have to rely on pictures, sound files and the reviews of other musicians to make our decisions on what products suit our need the best. The only other solution I could see would be for the manufactures to put on smaller shows similar to NAMM but in more places and more often to allow the consumer to get hands on so they could make make informed decisions on their purchases which would also eliminate the store salesman from shoving products at you based on his profit margin instead of the actual features you want and need. I am sure most of us have seen this in the past when stores have changed their product lines and now the products they swore were the top of the line are now the worst junk they ever sold and the new stuff that they tried to talk you out of a couple years back is now their preferred line. Anyway, we will just have to wait and see what happens and adapt to whatever changes come along in the future.
 

bermuda

Drummerworld Pro Drummer - Administrator
Staff member
Too many Aussie stores are relying on business models of yesteryear and they're starting to pay for it now.
As an outsider looking in, I was quite thrilled that there were (at least) 3 cool drum shops in Melbourne metro! Compare that to Los Angeles metro where there are only 2 drum shops, and one was about to close this month.

I'm not saying your shops have good prices, but they're apparently surviving, at least as of March when I was last there. Just missed the Grand Prix BTW...

Bermuda
 

samdrum

Senior Member
I was just looking at it on line. Who ever makes them, also makes DW's. I have a DW round top, and the base is identical to the threaded Roc n Soc.
Sticks, if you like the Roc n' Soc Seat you can just get the seat top for say $65 and it will fit your DW base. I was going to buy a Roc n' Soc spindle throne to replace an old Tama round throne I had....I realized that my spindle was the same size that fit the Roc n' Soc seat. So instead of paying $150 for a full throne I bought the Roc n' Soc seat and it fit perfectly on my old Tama. The Tama seat was trashed but the base and spindle were perfectly useable. Now I have the comfort of the Roc n' Soc seat and spent 1/2 of the money.
 
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sticks4drums

Guest
Sticks, if you like the Roc n' Soc Seat you can just get the seat top for say $65 and it will fit your DW base. I was going to buy a Roc n' Soc spindle throne to replace an old Tama round throne I had....I realized that my spindle was the same size that fit the Roc n' Soc seat. So instead of paying $150 for a full throne I bought the Roc n' Soc seat and it fit perfectly on my old Tama. The Tama seat was trashed but the base and spindle were perfectly useable. Now I have the comfort of the Roc n' Soc seat and spent 1/2 of the money.
Very good info buddy. Thanks for that!
 
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DSCRAPRE

Guest
My only experience with a local was when I was first getting into drumming. The guys at Schmitt Music in Racine tried selling me Zildjian Pitch Blacks by telling me that they are "Zildjians, what the professionals use". Fortunately I was just looking at the time. I'll never go back.
 

simmsdn

Silver Member
I'd love to know where you guys shop then. I haven't seen anyone online or local that can touch their prices. And I've always been treated with respect when I've been in there...which has been regularly since I started playing 6 years ago.
Columbus Percussion, Amazon, or Craigslist.
 

dmacc_2

Well-known member
I wish I could give 100% of my business to my local shop.

Unfortunately, the local drum shop does not carry the brands of drums or cymbals I use. I do get my sticks & heads there though I don't make any apologies for not buying the large gear there nor do they make any to me in not carrying the brands I prefer.

I really don't like walking into and supporting our local big box store music chain for anything. I just do not like the environment there personally. I find the staff less than knowledgeable and in most cases they don't carry what I want anyways to matter.

That being said, if it's something I really want to have, I always try buying from the several small stores who do have a web presence and the gear I'm after. The service is top notch and best of all, I don't have to leave my house to get it.
 

cornelius

Silver Member
I used to go to the local drum shops, instead of the bigger stores. But I've been in NYC long enough to have seen all of the great drum shops fade away. Today is the last day that Drummer's World will be open so my only choice left is Sam Ash or GTR CTR!

I guess it's true that the only way to survive is with a strong online presence. Online can be convenient and cheap, but I'll really miss being able to walk into a store and play different instruments (Drummer's World was great for that - they always had obscure stuff, so it was great to discover new things), and hang with players who happened to stop by (from the big names, to local guys)...

When you shop online, you have to somehow know exactly what you want. With the drums shops, I always got great advice, whether it be for gear, playing, tuning - whatever. These guys were all players with lots of experience, and were happy to share. Now we're relying on these forums, which frankly, can be a little scary...
 
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