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  #1  
Old 09-11-2010, 10:32 PM
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Default Make it hard for their customers, the customers will avoid the stores.

Is there a way to completely avoid the sales person at the music store? It is a rare event to find someone working at a music store that is not a pain in the neck. I find the stores have a lot of stock, yet there is no variation. The sales staff would try to sell me what they have and not what I am asking for.

I went to a guitar center asking for a snare head. Of course they did not have it. I know these heads are hard to find. So I tried to compromise and asked for a single ply, coated, no dot or ringed head and no Remo. The sales man kept telling me that the ones he had were better than a single ply coated head that I compromised to and was asking for. Right before I left the store, the sales person offered to order the head for me online.

How many people do you know of, that do not know how to order online? There may be a very small percentage of people that have trouble using the internet now in the US. Many years ago, when it was difficult to do mail order businesses, before the internet, it made a lot of sense to ask the customer if they wanted the store to order for them. Now it is just crazy to go to a store just to have them order online for you at a higher price than you would pay if you do it yourself because they do not want to stock a variety.

I went back to the store but this time I was asking for a metronome. When I used my debit card I had to give my email and physical address. When I pulled out cash to avoid the email and physical address, I was still asked to provide my email and physical address. The manager had to give the guitar center sales person the equivalent of an act of congress to release me from providing all my personal data.

When I arrived at home, I ordered the exact head I wanted and the metronome online from a different company.

As a drummer, you can purchase a lot of things again that have worn out like sticks and heads that do not need to be touched because you know the products.

The only advantage I can see of being in the store is that you can touch the product you want to purchase. I find I can get a much better price online, I find I have a better selection on line, and I find it a faster process to transact business online as well.

The stores have to realize that if they make it hard for their customers, the customers will avoid the stores.
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Last edited by evolving_machine; 09-12-2010 at 12:55 AM.
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Old 09-11-2010, 10:35 PM
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Default Re: Make it hard for their customers, the customers will avoid the stores.

I completely agree with you, this sort of thing can be a real pain. I'm fortunate enough to be near a couple great drum shops though, so I usually have no problem finding anything I need, and by now I know most of the employees pretty well.
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Old 09-11-2010, 10:59 PM
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Default Re: Make it hard for their customers, the customers will avoid the stores.

the physical address i don't mind, just means more catalogs for me to look threw. the email i always tell them i don't have one and don't use the internet.

but yeah i agree the only time i go to a store is if i want something right now, sometimes i get it, sometimes i still have to order it online. if i can wait for a week i won't even bother going to the store anymore. plus most of the sales people are completely incompetent and have absolutely no clue what their talking about and have never used what their selling.
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Old 09-11-2010, 11:56 PM
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Default Re: Make it hard for their customers, the customers will avoid the stores.

I was looking at some snare drums, and was doing some rim shots. The salesman asked me what I was doing and how I was doing it. Not knowing rim shots and selling drums is like selling guitars and not knowing they can be used to play lead as well as chords. As I was leaving the store, I looked back in the direction of the drum department, and there was the same salesman trying to do rim-shots on the snare.

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Originally Posted by azrae1l View Post
plus most of the sales people are completely incompetent and have absolutely no clue what their talking about and have never used what their selling.
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Old 09-12-2010, 02:01 AM
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Default Re: Make it hard for their customers, the customers will avoid the stores.

Well, the problem with such stores is they all work on commission, for pennies on the dollar of items sold.

Thus anyone with any decent knowledge usually leaves for better pay in another field. And what's left is a revolving door of people who receive no training, just started last week, and won't be there next month.

And despite the apparent backwardness of it all, the formula has proven to be quite successful, as the chain has grown from a handful of stores to in the 100's.
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Old 09-12-2010, 03:20 AM
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Default Re: Make it hard for their customers, the customers will avoid the stores.

Well, speaking of my local Guitar Centers, I've gone to both of my local stores twice now and twice they didn't have what I needed. And they were very basic things, like 14" snare heads, or a complete set of the same type of heads for an entire kit. For a Guitar Center in SoCal, this is unheard of. You don't have a complete set of white coated Ambassadors for a 5-piece standard kit? Sorta' floored by that one.

But in this economy, I try to support the local stores because all those people live in my community, and the more people working, the better for the local economy.

Of course, you could look at the music stores and figure they only employ maybe .0001 percent of our local population, and if the Guitar Center closed its doors in my town it would just be a drop in the bucket, but I have to give them a try. I know Pro Drum in Hollywood will have what I need, but they're 34 miles away. I don't mind visiting those guys but it's a chunk out of my day to go into Hollywood.

And in sales, it's been documented that you don't need to be a player to sell instruments. The customer isn't there to get a lesson from you, they want you to supply them with what they want. Sometimes it's better to not how to play so the customer can feel a little superior so he'll make a purchase. I knew a gentleman who sold pianos all his life and made a career out of it (I know - acoustic pianos!). The man could only play a few easy Mozart piano pieces, but it was enough for the customer to hear it, and since it wasn't incredibly hard, the customer saw a glimmer of hope that they too, could learn how to play piano. His approach sold alot of pianos! As did Ringo and Charlie Watts - two guys who gave hope to the world that they could buy drums, learn how to play, and become rock stars!

My GC's seem to be slipping and in this economy that could be bad. But I'll give them the first chance when I need it right now. I'm not afraid to buy things on line.
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Old 09-12-2010, 03:26 AM
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Default Re: Make it hard for their customers, the customers will avoid the stores.

Yes, there is a way - ignore it. I will tell them straightforward, if I need your assistance I will let you know but for now on I'm looking around.....Thanks!

It's typical on sales-men, their objective is to sell. If they can sell their souls to the devil, they will! just to dispatch a product with a lack of client-relationship approach/touch.

By the way, good thread.

Quote:
Originally Posted by evolving_machine View Post

Is there a way to completely avoid the sales person at the music store?

The stores have to realize that if they make it hard for their customers, the customers will avoid the stores.
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Old 09-12-2010, 08:20 AM
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Default Re: Make it hard for their customers, the customers will avoid the stores.

I try to purchase from the local stores in my town because they are mom and pop type places not a national chain like GC. So if it costs me 5 bucks more I think its worth it. That being said I usually only talk to the owners because I can try to get them to lower the price on some stuff.
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Old 09-12-2010, 08:27 AM
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Default Re: Make it hard for their customers, the customers will avoid the stores.

Unfortunately with both Guitar Center and Sam Ash, they don't stock very much of anything. I say unfortunately, because it would actually be very easy to do so. Anytime I see open wall space behind the counter, and often there's a lot of it, I know there are parts and other items that aren't carried there. Seriously, good luck getting a whole set of rods for that used snare you just bought... or wires you like... or a butt plate. Good luck also putting together a set of cymbals. GC carries so few Zildjian items (for example) that you'd be lucky to find more than one ride cymbal in a given size. Yet, the cymbal walls have a lot of space to add more cymbals.

Granted, lately, finances have kept some stores from being well-stocked, but GC and SA have always been weak on selection. The salespeople's jobs there have been equally difficult as result, and of course they try to sell what's on hand. If there was a better selection, their job and the customer experience would both be smoother.

With all due respect to local stores with good drum departments, dedicated drum shops are almost always going to have the best selection and service. And because the shops are usually manned by the owner and sometimes their family as employees, the knowledge and dedication to service will also be better, not to mention that they'll be there month after month, year after year, and good relationships with people behind the counter really pay off.

And thanks to online competition, the small shops began offering really great prices (which they weren't always doing until recently,) so the idea that their prices are high is old school.

Bermuda
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Old 09-12-2010, 02:40 PM
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Default Re: Make it hard for their customers, the customers will avoid the stores.

Bermuda,
You bring up some very interesting points. I think you hit on the reasons why they do what they do. Most likely the large chain stores will get large discounts when they purchase in bulk. Then they just squeeze the customers into that mold of buying what they have.

When I was growing up, a thousand years ago, all I knew of what existed in drum equipment was what the stores had. Now with the miracle of the internet, I can find things that I only dreamed about before.

Word of mouth does not travel as fast as the internet. In the days before Internet (BI), the greatest new product would have to go through those large chains like Sam Ash to get the customers to see it. Now a new product can catch on very quickly through many tools available on the internet.

I like what you are saying about pricing problems being “Old School.” I can still compare the prices and find some better options on the internet and save about 20% larger ticket items. Perhaps your local GCs have better deals than mine do. That is the power of the internet. It makes us all aware of other options out there.

But, don’t you think that the chain stores are still stocking their shelves and offering selections like it was still 1985, where the stores also controlled what new products you were able to see?

Where I am I have GC stores and a few other chains, and even then the nearest is 25 miles. But, I have not seen too many empty shelves on any of these stores. I just see duplicates of the same product on all the shelves. Perhaps, your stores are in the process of stocking up for the holiday events to come.

I do feel sorry for the people who work for these stores and I do not wish to project any malice to them. They are for the most part musicians who can not find work and this is a job sort of in the music field. One lady I was talking to just graduated college and received a masters in performing arts in music. It is sad that the job at GC is all they can find and selling on commission is a tough thing to do.

I was having trouble finding rides at the GC stores too. I found that when I took a chance and bought some good old Zildjians from the 60’s and 50’s on Ebay I was very satisfied.
Ebay is also a good source, as you most likely know, for parts of drums as well.

Thanks for the response,

Evolving machine
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Last edited by evolving_machine; 09-12-2010 at 03:52 PM.
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  #11  
Old 09-12-2010, 07:23 PM
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Default Re: Make it hard for their customers, the customers will avoid the stores.

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Originally Posted by evolving_machine View Post
But, don’t you think that the chain stores are still stocking their shelves and offering selections like it was still 1985, where the stores also controlled what new products you were able to see?
Absolutely, and that's the problem!

But consider also that there are many more brands and products available now than there were 25 years ago. Sure there were djembes, but not the plethora of styles and sources that we see now. Same for tambourines, cowbells, drumheads, specialty cymbals, percussive noisemakes from at least 3 major manufacturers, pedals, etc. Add to that the expansion of Pearl, Yamaha, Tama and DW as drummakers, the introduction of brands like Mapex, OCDP and ddrum, the rebirth of Ludwig, and several new retail-based custom brands like GMS, Spaun, Pork Pie, and SJC.

No, a chain store can't really carry everything, but as the selection increases, the stores have managed to stay the same, which in effect means they're going backwards.

There was a time when I could find a lot of stuff at Guitar Center. I bought kits there, heads, sticks, parts, hardware, etc because they carried a larger percentage of what was available. Now they represent only a small portion in their stores, and their business has declined accordingly (and I'm not talking about the current economic slide which made things even worse.)

Buying Musician's Friend was a smart idea, as there's a fairly wide range of products available through them and no doubt helped overall sales. But not everything should be purchased online. How does one know what a pedal feels like, or how a cymbal sounds or plays, or what a new size stick feels like, without hearing and touching it in person?

And that's where I have a problem with the box stores: they had the capablity to stock a wide variety and selection of product... but didn't. With the economy today, it's a tall order to ask them to change, but what was the excuse 5, 10, or 20 years ago?

I can sort of forgive independent drum shops for not having a lot of stuff, although they make for a better shopping experience than the box stores. But what was the excuse for the corporate giant Guitar Center during their heyday?

Bermuda
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Old 09-12-2010, 08:39 PM
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Default Re: Make it hard for their customers, the customers will avoid the stores.

GC and SA are no different, business wise, as Costco or Sam's club. evolving machine hit the nail on the head in that they do buy in bulk and then say; "Here you are public"! We US citizens buy it because they "have it". Especially newbies into music.

I have purchased amplifiers and PA systems online without touching them and have always done well. I would never buy a drum or cymbal that way. I will get sticks and heads online....that's safe.

Regarding salespeople.....you will meet good ones and not so good...err....bad ones. Don't let them bother you or they have won. Just say "I will come and get you when you are needed". They want your address to send promo fliers etc... I actually like that because who knows what deal is coming down and I may need it.

ON THE OTHER HAND.....my great local friends at "Resurrection Drums" in Hollywood, Florida--rezdrums.com (the only place I buy drum gear, period) forget to send me the promo emails for Pro Drummers coming to town for clinics. C'mon guys send me the info! It costs them money to bring the Pros into town and I want to spend my money to see them BUT I get no info....and I am on their email list.
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Old 09-12-2010, 09:20 PM
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Default Re: Make it hard for their customers, the customers will avoid the stores.

This also goes for online retailers. I purchased a cymbal from #ashville nstruments in Canada and received extremely poor customer service layered with lies. I won't be back. Buyer Beware!

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Old 09-12-2010, 09:26 PM
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Default Re: Make it hard for their customers, the customers will avoid the stores.

i'd really like to know where these good sales people are. we have 5 guitar centers within an hour drive of me and i've been to all of them for various reasons. last time i set foot in a guitar center i was talking to the sales guy in the drum dept. (supposed to be the drum tech/supervisor) asking him questions about various products. (this is where i expect them to know SOMETHING about what their selling and really have no desire to feel superior to them) so i ask "what do you carry as far as yamaha?" i get back a very puzzled "the motorcycle company? they don't make drums"

i should feel sorry for these people? i should spend my money locally with info like this? i used to spend a lot of money in guitar center, like 10 g's in one shot a lot of money. i knew the general and regional manager by name and had their home phone numbers. they opted to fire their knowledgeable higher payed people in favor of highschool kids who didn't play at all for minimal pay. i've had these kids try and rip me off, lie to me and in general just try and squeeze every penny out of me they could. seriously if the place was on fire, i'd go get marshmellows.....

our one dedicated drum shop tried to jack up the price on a kit i went to look at $1000 over LIST because i told him i was just learning and was looking for a good price on a decent kit. apparently that means i'm too dumb to have researched anything before i went into his shop. sorry have no sympathy for him either.

the other drum shop, not completely dedicated but mostly. i go into to buy new heads, he quotes me almost $350 for 13 heads. i tell him i can get the same heads off mf for a little over $200. he replies with "so?".... no lost love there either.

i have one music store, similar to guitar center in size and selection but it's a single store not a chain. i'll go there if i need something right now and can't wait, if they don't have it or i can wait a week i will gladly buy online. if that means i buy something i don't really like and end up reselling it a month or 2 later, so be it.

most of the local guys have been going down hill for years and i actually hope they go under, hopefully some new guys will come in and open shop with some half way decent sales staff and some customer friendly practices. until then i'll continue to take my chances buying blindly off the internet.
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Old 09-12-2010, 09:58 PM
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Default Re: Make it hard for their customers, the customers will avoid the stores.

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Originally Posted by azrae1l View Post
they opted to fire their knowledgeable higher payed people in favor of highschool kids who didn't play at all for minimal pay.
It's not always about the good guys getting fired, often they're promoted into regional positions or brought straight into corporate, or they move on because of lack of commisions or issues with company policies.

That's probably the biggest gripe I have with GC, is the turnover of employees, good and bad. I'd love to see the same faces in the store from month to month, simply so I don't have to explain that I'm not a dad looking for gear for my child (goes hand in hand with being asked "Oh, do you play drums?") People don't need to know who I am, or that I started shopping at GC 30+ years ago. It's because they don't know, that they need to handle customers more professionally But Guitar Center doesn't teach this, or much else, and the kids hired in aren't experienced enough to bring their own people skills to the job.

Once in a GREAT while there'll be a pro behind the counter who hangs in there for a few years. But it's becoming rarer, especially in the last 10-15 years. There's a guy at the local GC who's been the manager for a little over a year. Heck, that's a lifer for Guitar Center!

Bermuda
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Old 09-12-2010, 10:16 PM
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Default Re: Make it hard for their customers, the customers will avoid the stores.

I was in Sam Ash last week. A customer was asking if there was a stick that was longer than the Vic Firth or the Zildjian in a 7a.
All of the 7a sticks that the store had in stock were the same length.
The sales associate didn't know what to tell the customer.
I finally chimed in and I told him that the Vater Super Jazz sticks were about an inch longer.

It's not their fault, They just don't know.
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Old 09-12-2010, 10:31 PM
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Default Re: Make it hard for their customers, the customers will avoid the stores.

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Originally Posted by bobdadruma View Post
It's not their fault, They just don't know.
But as the person selling the product, they're supposed to know! Somebody coming to buy something may be relying on that person to actually help them make a decision!

Employee training is almost non-existent.

Then again, there are also some just plain dumb people behind these counters. I had to explain to one person how to spell djembe, using the common pronunciation - JEM-bay, not ZHOM-bay - and had to tell him 3 times before he could type it correctly into the computer. It's 6 letters!! It shouldn't be difficult to type as I speak, nevermind him not knowing in the first place when there were about 25 djembes littering the floor in front of him.

I try to be patient with the younger ones, and will gently educate them if they seem receptive. But the inexperienced & untrained salesperson problem has really become chronic.

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Old 09-12-2010, 10:45 PM
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Default Re: Make it hard for their customers, the customers will avoid the stores.

There is only one dedicated drum store left in Connecticut. Dynamic Percussion
It is about an hour away from my home in Manchester.
It is not a big store but it has almost everything! If Art (the owner) doesn't have it, He knows about it and he can tell you all about it.
There aren't many of these places left.
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Old 09-12-2010, 10:50 PM
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Default Re: Make it hard for their customers, the customers will avoid the stores.

Quote:
It's not their fault, They just don't know.
Except it is their fault for not knowing the products they are selling. The company needs to provide training and the employee should care about the service they provide.
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Old 09-12-2010, 11:16 PM
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Default Re: Make it hard for their customers, the customers will avoid the stores.

I don't know about any of you guys but I've been drumming for about 40 years and I don't know everything about every percussion product that exist!
If I have a question I come here and I ask in a thread or I PM someone that I think will know.
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Old 09-12-2010, 11:39 PM
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Default Re: Make it hard for their customers, the customers will avoid the stores.

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Originally Posted by bobdadruma View Post
I don't know about any of you guys but I've been drumming for about 40 years and I don't know everything about every percussion product that exist!
If I have a question I come here and I ask in a thread or I PM someone that I think will know.
I started lessons 45 years ago, have been playing professionally for over 35 years, and I don't know it all, either.

That's why I occasionally rely on somebody behind the counter of store with a relative handful of items and brands to at least know what they are! It's not right that I know more about the items being sold than the person selling them.

Then again, maybe I should just go work for Guitar Center and show everyone how it's supposed to be done. Maybe when I'm finished with drumming as a career, I'll give it a shot.

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Old 09-13-2010, 12:33 AM
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Default Re: Make it hard for their customers, the customers will avoid the stores.

Most of the percussion dept. staff in these chain stores is geared toward knowing how to assist the beginner and the parents of beginners.
I notice that they seem to have that down pretty good.

Percussion sales are not the pinnacle of their business like Guitars/Amps are.
That's where the real money is for them.
That is what they concentrate on the most.
I bet that pedal sales to guitarist alone top the sales of the whole drum depart.

Last week when I was in Sam Ash I noticed a real nice DW kit. I was going to sample it until I noticed that someone had dented every head multiple times.
I had been in the store a few weeks earlier and the kit wasn't in the store.
The damage was done within two weeks.
The kit was right near the stores front desk where there is always someone sitting.
I can't imagine how they sat there while someone pummeled those drums that hard.
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Last edited by bobdadruma; 09-13-2010 at 01:05 AM.
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Old 09-13-2010, 01:11 AM
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Default Re: Make it hard for their customers, the customers will avoid the stores.

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Originally Posted by azrae1l View Post
... seriously if the place was on fire, i'd go get marshmellows.....
This has to have been one of the best things I've ever seen on the forum.

Sorry for pretty much omitting the rest of your post though.

Since I should write something on topic...

I haven't been in too many GC's, but the ones I have been to have been pretty mis/uninformed, which shows the lack of personal education for the salesperson. That's a disappointment, because how can they be professionals if they don't even know that Paiste still makes RUDEs?
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Old 09-13-2010, 01:44 AM
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Default Re: Make it hard for their customers, the customers will avoid the stores.

It's a similar scene here in Oz. Once we had Drum City, Billy Hyde and Allens. Then there were two when BH took over DC. This year Allens took over Hydes.

I've found the sales staff well-meaning but the number of really clued-up people is low. They are generally there to sell, not to help you find the best thing for your needs. Not too many are passionate about understanding your needs and helping you get exactly the right thing by pointing out things you don't know.

The conversations tend to go like this:

"Ooh, this looks good"

"Yes it's very good"

"What about this?"

"Yes, that's good too".

I guess the staff aren't paid enough to be passionate about what they're doing and working to improve their knowledge and understanding of the gear beyond the basics.

I think this reflects the way the rest of society. It's harder and harder to find a guru in any field. Devilishly hard to find a doctor who can really dig deep enough to grasp people's holistic situations either. Hardly anyone has the time.
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Old 09-13-2010, 01:52 AM
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Default Re: Make it hard for their customers, the customers will avoid the stores.

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Originally Posted by bobdadruma View Post
Most of the percussion dept. staff in these chain stores is geared toward knowing how to assist the beginner and the parents of beginners.
I notice that they seem to have that down pretty good.
That's fine, but at the same time GC wonders why the pros aren't shopping there!

We all know the answers to help bring in more paying customers, but it requires some expenditures. It means hiring experienced salespeople (more money,) or at least giving proper training to those who are new. It means bringing in product that will bring in pros; better head selection, better cymbal selection, better bag/case selection, more parts. It means bringing in those things that we go to the other store for.

With more experienced people behind the counter, drummers will want to spend more time there. I'm certainly guilty of wandering into my favorite drum shops to say hi to the people I know there, and in poking around, often find something I need or want. There was a time (20 years ago) when Guitar Center used to be an actual 'hang', and I'd go in just to visit and occasionally buy something I wasn't even looking for. Compare that to now, where if I go in with a specific need like hoops, wires and rods for a used snare I just got from ebay, more often than not, they don't have what I need. More often than not, I can't even get 16 of the same rods!

So, I suppose I can understand if corporate doesn't want to create an atmosphere where people are just hanging around, but they're also failed to create a place where somebody can get what they need, even half the time. Seriously, I've been in the local GC - and it's a big one - maybe 10 times the first half of the year, and have made only one purchase. Ironically, it wasn't even for me... it was an instruction book for my nephew.

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  #26  
Old 09-13-2010, 01:58 AM
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Default Re: Make it hard for their customers, the customers will avoid the stores.

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I guess the staff aren't paid enough to be passionate about what they're doing and working to improve their knowledge and understanding of the gear beyond the basics.
Passion and dedication are important, but they can't be bought. Paying someone more money doesn't make them a better employee or suddenly instill interest on their part.

The trick is to hire people in the first place who are experienced and have demonstrated a passion, and go ahead and pay them that extra money.

But employers don't see it that way.

Really, I'd love to work in a store and turn it on its ear by delivering passion, service, and product and drumming knowledge. I had considered opening a shop about 6 years ago, but couldn't find the right location at the right price. In hindsight, with the bad economy, I'm glad I didn't.

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  #27  
Old 09-13-2010, 02:10 AM
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Default Re: Make it hard for their customers, the customers will avoid the stores.

I feel your pain also bermuda,
Those days are gone!
I pretty much buy everything on the net now also.
I only go to the store to buy heads, sticks, mic cords, and things that I know that they stock.
Its better and easier to shop the net anyway.
I Google it, I find it, I buy it. Three days later I have it.
If I have a question I call the eStore and I ask someone who knows.

There is no way that a store could stock a full line of Agop cymbals being that only 1 in 1000 people that shop for cymbals will buy one.
I shopped every music store in Connecticut over about a one year period and I saw 4 Agop cymbals.
I bought 1 of them. It was used.

There are thousands of pieces of drum hardware on Musicians Friend.
No store could stock all of that.
Most of it is drop shipped when it is ordered.
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Old 09-13-2010, 02:11 AM
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Default Re: Make it hard for their customers, the customers will avoid the stores.

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I started lessons 45 years ago, have been playing professionally for over 35 years, and I don't know it all, either.

That's why I occasionally rely on somebody behind the counter of store with a relative handful of items and brands to at least know what they are! It's not right that I know more about the items being sold than the person selling them.

Then again, maybe I should just go work for Guitar Center and show everyone how it's supposed to be done. Maybe when I'm finished with drumming as a career, I'll give it a shot.

Bermuda
I hear it'll be an extra $900 in your pocket a month! Kids make more money flipping burgers at the In-N-Out.

And not to make this a political discussion, this situation about paying for people isn't going to get any better any time soon. Companies are worried about hiring people because they don't know how much they'll be paying out in the next year. Tax cuts look to be eliminated, and then there's that health care debacle the government is making everybody pay for to insure those that don't have insurance. You want to talk about how screwed up it is from the top - down.....don't get me started!

If I was a potential employer of labor, why would I hire anybody if I don't know I can actually afford to have them and keep them? If mostly all the employers are thinking this way, no wonder the economy stays flat. Nobody makes money, nobody buys anything, products don't get sold, you get the idea.

OK, I'm fine now. I'm thinking of my vacation to Maui soon.
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  #29  
Old 09-13-2010, 02:23 AM
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Default Re: Make it hard for their customers, the customers will avoid the stores.

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There is no way that a store could stock a full line of Agop cymbals being that only 1 in 1000 people that shop for cymbals will buy one... There are thousands of pieces of drum hardware on Musicians Friend.
No store could stock all of that.
Obviously a single store can't keep everything on hand, but I'm talking about a major chain store not having basic parts. Not having more than a handful of Zildjians or Sabians on hand. Not having a complete set of heads for a kit.

I'm not interested in them ordering something for me, I can do that without leaving the house. I go to GC looking for something I need right now, not in 3 or 4 days, and I go there only because they're close by. But my faith diminishes every time I go in and walk pout with nothing, which is most of the time.

Maybe it's my fault for expecting to go to a drum department to find what I need. Perhaps I need to anticipate every need by several days, and buy online. I'll have to work on my psychic abilities.

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  #30  
Old 09-13-2010, 02:26 AM
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Default Re: Make it hard for their customers, the customers will avoid the stores.

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And not to make this a political discussion, this situation about paying for people isn't going to get any better any time soon.
I know it's a problem now, but why didn't they act accordingly 5 or 10 or 15 years ago?

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Old 09-13-2010, 02:38 AM
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Default Re: Make it hard for their customers, the customers will avoid the stores.

Bermuda, I have had this debate with the manager of the local George's Music Store numerous times...I'd love to be able to go in there and get a head I need or even to purchase a decent cymbal now and then but they only stock what I would consider beginner drum items, etc. I have asked the manager why they don't carry anything an experienced drummer would want and his reply is always, "they don't come in here", MY response is always "because we know you don't carry anything we want"...

I'm only 30 minutes outside of Philadelphia but to find a real drum shop I have to drive at least an hour and 1/2 to Harrisburg to go to Dale's Drum Shop, probably more drum items in that one store than the other stores in my area combined...

Don't know what the answer is...
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  #32  
Old 09-13-2010, 03:00 AM
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Default Re: Make it hard for their customers, the customers will avoid the stores.

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I know it's a problem now, but why didn't they act accordingly 5 or 10 or 15 years ago?

Bermuda
Well, if history serves my memory, acting accordingly should've started say, back in 1976-77, when Carter became President. Alot of things began to go wrong starting then!
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Old 09-13-2010, 03:10 AM
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Default Re: Make it hard for their customers, the customers will avoid the stores.

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And thanks to online competition, the small shops began offering really great prices (which they weren't always doing until recently,) so the idea that their prices are high is old school.
Bermuda
I really want to believe this is true.

I used to frequent a shop in Seattle that had great prices and excellent customer service.

Unfotunately, I've since moved and haven't found any place like that. I have a local drum shop here that has decent prices but I wouldn't go to them for any drum-related info; they just don't seem to be that educated.

I started a thread a while back about local shops having obscenely high prices. I just returned from a short trip to Northern California where I found the same thing. I found a K crash cymbal that I've wanted for a long time but the $495 price tag was a bit steep. They also prominently featured your standard LP Black Beauty cowbells on a rack for $77. I just walked out after that. I realize small shops need to cover expenses but that is ridiculous.
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Old 09-13-2010, 03:15 AM
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Default Re: Make it hard for their customers, the customers will avoid the stores.

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Well, if history serves my memory, acting accordingly should've started say, back in 1976-77, when Carter became President. Alot of things began to go wrong starting then!
Yep, Carter's presidency had a huge impact on the decline of service industries outside of the US. :-)

It's an unfortunate fact that this issue is not just limited to the retail sale of drums.....it's far more widespread than that.....and far more widespread than just the US. I'm not convinced the problem can be pin pointed back to one single presidential administration either. Corporates have far more control over this than any government could ever hope to.
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Old 09-13-2010, 03:18 AM
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Default Re: Make it hard for their customers, the customers will avoid the stores.

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Yep, Carter's presidency had a huge impact on the decline of service industries outside of the US. :-)

It's an unfortunate fact that this issue is not just limited to the retail sale of drums.....it's far more widespread than that.....and far more widespread than just the US. I'm not convinced the problem can be pin pointed back to one single presidential administration either. Corporates have far more control over this than any government could ever hope to.
True. And again, I apologize for the semi-political tilt. But the Carter presidency gave rise to the Reagan era because things needed fixin', and for the most part, he did. Isn't it funny how America is on the verge of doing the same thing again?

OK. End of political tilt. Resume your normal discussion. That'll be my last political posting. Carry on.
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  #36  
Old 09-13-2010, 03:23 AM
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Default Re: Make it hard for their customers, the customers will avoid the stores.

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And again, I apologize for the semi-political tilt........

........ OK. End of political tilt. Resume your normal discussion. That'll be my last political posting. Carry on.
Not at all, Bo. Speak freely my friend.......at least you can when talking to me (well at least within the confines of Bernhards wishes).

I just couldn't resist a friendly little jab at that one though. :-)
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Old 09-13-2010, 03:26 AM
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Default Re: Make it hard for their customers, the customers will avoid the stores.

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Originally Posted by Pocket-full-of-gold View Post
Yep, Carter's presidency had a huge impact on the decline of service industries outside of the US. :-)

It's an unfortunate fact that this issue is not just limited to the retail sale of drums.....it's far more widespread than that.....and far more widespread than just the US. I'm not convinced the problem can be pin pointed back to one single presidential administration either. Corporates have far more control over this than any government could ever hope to.
I agree. This has doodly squat to do with government and everything to do with corporations cost cutting like crazy because ...

1) as each larger company gobbles up a smaller one it brings management another step further away from its customers and 2)

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Originally Posted by bobdadruma View Post
I pretty much buy everything on the net now also. I only go to the store to buy heads, sticks, mic cords, and things that I know that they stock.
The trouble with online shopping for me is you lose the experience of going into a drum shop and having that Adventures in Fantasyland feeling. Oh well, times change and it was good while it lasted ...
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  #38  
Old 09-13-2010, 04:10 AM
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Default Re: Make it hard for their customers, the customers will avoid the stores.

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The trouble with online shopping for me is you lose the experience of going into a drum shop and having that Adventures in Fantasyland feeling. Oh well, times change and it was good while it lasted ...
OK, Let's talk about the fantasyland feeling.

I get in my truck.

I fight traffic for 30 to 60 mins

I park, lock, hide all of my things like my iPod, radio faceplate, etc.

I walk into the music store

The drum department is full of kids hitting everything in sight and making so much noise that I couldn't hear a cymbal if I wanted to

None of the drums are tuned

It never fails, No matter what I want to look at there will be someone standing there looking at the same thing

I buy $20 worth of heads, sticks, or another cheap thing.

I have to show my receipt to the doorman to leave the store

I go home

I spend $10 on fuel round trip


OK, Now the net experience

I make a vodka on ice

I open my laptop

I look

I click buy

I use PayPal

I get my receipt and tracking # via email

I wait four days

I even gave my UPS driver the code to my garage door so he puts the boxes inside for me.

I come home from work and its Christmas!

If there is a problem, I send it back without leaving home.
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Old 09-13-2010, 04:58 AM
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Default Re: Make it hard for their customers, the customers will avoid the stores.

Except for some unexpected political discussion, I think everything else is just a rehashing what was initially said in the first few posts.

I would like to see some kind of a solution to the problem other than avoidance, or just going on the web. It is unfortunate that once in a while the musician needs to touch and hear the instrument or equipment they are about to purchase, so the stores have a function of sorts.

If the major manufactures understood this problem they may want to sponsor their own outlet stores. Like apple do their stores. But, then the customer would have to visit several stores to compare products between different manufactures. The outlet stores could show off the companies products. Perhaps many companies would do several products at their own outlet stores.

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  #40  
Old 09-13-2010, 05:07 AM
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Default Re: Make it hard for their customers, the customers will avoid the stores.

When I was entering the intermediate to high end drum level during the 1970s I would go to my local Ma and Pa drum shop and they rarely stocked a full spectrum of better gear.
Everything had to be ordered from a catalog.
Back then it took longer to get something than it does today once it was ordered.
It is actually easier to get gear today.
We have access to anything that is made instantly.
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