Support your local music store!

alparrott

Platinum Member
I live in the smack-dab middle of Washington State, and my metro area has two small local music stores (Seattle is about three hours away and there's all the Guitar Centers you could want, as well as that 5-Star Shop MikeM was talking about). My two local stores are night and day from each other in terms of quality, customer satisfaction, and price structure.

The one I frequent is a Pearl, Gibraltar, Ziljian, Sabian, and (just recently added) Yamaha dealer. The staff there is fun, knowledgeable (most are musicians themselves), and always willing to match price, order in an item, or help with a selection. They have a decent selection of sticks, heads, and parts on the floor, and can order in items fairly quickly. (They ordered an LP Everything Rack and a clamp-on Trap Table for me and got it within two weeks.) They also offer lessons in their back rooms and generally contribute positively in many ways other than sales to the local music community.

The other one is a joke. The selection of drum items aside from drumsticks is poor. They are Tama, Zildjian and Gibraltar dealers, but they only stock a very small amount of items on the floor. Their customer service is of the "say hello and go back to sleep" variety. The drumsets they have set up are either used and beaten up, or assembled incorrectly. The prices tagged are MSRP and they offer "discounts" that maybe bring the price down to 150-200% of street value. I went in there yesterday for no good reason and saw a pair of New Beat 14" hats priced at $552. The sign on the display said "All cymbals 25% off". That still leaves the set at $414. I just Googled average price for those hats at $330.

It's no wonder that the "good" shop is frequented by all sorts of musicians, from the gigging semi-pros like me to schoolkids out to get their first musical instrument. I only go elsewhere if I want something that they do not sell (such as my DW pedals). In fact, they started carrying Yamaha Drums in part because of my suggestion that they do so. The other shop... well, I'm not sure who frequents it. I've never seen any serious musicians in there.

I don't often see the need to go to GC or any other shop over in Seattle. I do stop in the 5-star shop every now and again, because it's like a candy store, and I don't have any experiences like Mike talks about where I was told not to play; in fact, the owner himself (for whom the shop is named) invited me to side-by-side two sets to demonstrate the difference a KickPort makes (still not sold, however). But, I do agree, prices are weird there. I won a Facebook promo for 50% off a purchase of drumheads. When they rang up my order, at 50% off it was more than what Interstate Music would have charged at full price. What the...? Thanks, but no thanks, sorry.

If you're in a market like mine, I guess the way you choose to run the business will determine if you succeed or fail. However, I can totally see how the big box music stores might be forcing the little stores out of business in a larger market, especially if they don't take their survival seriously. As for me, I'm very happy with my local store and will continue to go there for as long as they continue doing business the way they are now.
 

Drumolator

Platinum Member
I support the "local" drum shop whenever I can. It is a little over an hour drive away (Scott's Drum Center in Lafayette, LA). I am going there tomorrow to buy some new hi-hat cymbals. Peace and goodwill.
 

dmacc_2

Well-known 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...
Very true about walking into a store (or lack of opportunities to do so) and check things out. For me, I've had to learn how to deal with this for many, many, years.

If all I wanted to buy was DW or Mapex I'd be all set. Not that there's anything wrong with either because they are both stellar. Just not my bag. Cymbal selections locally are far worse than drums.

Forums, reviews, recordings, etc.. along with a leap of faith play a huge role now for me.
 

Pocket-full-of-gold

Platinum Member
Hey Pocket. I'm normally keen on supporting local shops, but just out of curiosity where do you usually shop online?
There's all sorts of little online operations on Aussie ebay mate (especially for cymbals). No idea how they are able to deal at the prices they are (I actually started a thread on it sometime ago but it seems no-one else had a clue either.....it didn't get much feedback). But it sure beats paying retail. Most of them are based here too so shipping costs/time are kept to a minimum. Be patient enough and there's some good deals to be had on new gear.
 

simmsdn

Silver Member
My favorite GC line (got it today when trying to buy some heads)..."we don't have that in stock, but we can order it for you."

a few minutes later..."our distribution warehouse is back ordered."

a few minutes later..."how about this man, you can walk out with the 13" now, come back next week and pick up the 16" and the 18" in two weeks."

I said no thanks, walked out, came home and went online to trusty Columbus Percussion who will probably have all of my heads here on Tuesday.

At least the CG dudes didn't try to sell me something I didn't ask for (like Remo).
 

dmacc_2

Well-known member
My favorite GC line (got it today when trying to buy some heads)..."we don't have that in stock, but we can order it for you."

a few minutes later..."our distribution warehouse is back ordered."

a few minutes later..."how about this man, you can walk out with the 13" now, come back next week and pick up the 16" and the 18" in two weeks."

I said no thanks, walked out, came home and went online to trusty Columbus Percussion who will probably have all of my heads here on Tuesday.

At least the CG dudes didn't try to sell me something I didn't ask for (like Remo).
It's a fair representation of my experience the couple/few times I went in there as well...
 
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