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  #41  
Old 08-16-2010, 08:48 PM
Crazy8s
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Default Re: Drumkit Profit Margins

People buying purely on price has caused manufacturers and retailers to use cheap labor in foreign countries to create cheaper products at a lower price.

This practice eliminates employment in the buyers country and takes energy out of the local pool. This is wholesale destruction of our culture and economy.

Here in the US, our economy has slip, slip, slipped away and unemployment is nearing an all time high, bankruptcy at an all time high, foreclosures are rampant, the souplines are filling up, and STILL people don't recognize that their own habits are what caused this. Instead, they pawn off their responsibilities onto some politician and blame them for these problems...and they STILL continue buy irresponsibly furthering the destruction of their culture.

While this thread has been about drum pricing, the mentality is the very same for all products. On one hand, one person will get very frustrated at how they don;t make enough money to live a lifestyle they believe is right, so they try to achieve a lifestyle they can;t rightly afford by buying cheap sparkly garbage made in some other country...and then they run around preaching how awesome they were for doing it. What? You are awesome for taking value from your country and giving it to another?

Think of it like this....

You go work X amount of hours at your job. You have invested your energy into a system. This energy is returned to you in a different form as your paycheck. You have converted your labor energy into fiscal energy. Now, if you spend that fiscal energy locally, the energy gets redistributed amongst your peers and has a much more likely chance of coming back to you. This recycling of energy helps you directly, because some of the money you spend comes back to you in the long run.

When you take your fiscal energy and send it to another country, you have lost all of it. You have taken your energy out of your local system and it can't come back. You have harmed your local economy by sending your fiscal energy out of it.

Now we live in a grossly harmed economy and people need to wake the hell up. if you can't afford locally made products, the answer is very simple... work harder.

In other words, I would much rather have 2 badass US made snare drums than 10 cutrate foreign made snare drums.

Rant off...
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  #42  
Old 08-16-2010, 08:56 PM
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Originally Posted by DrumEatDrum View Post
There is a lot of mis-information in this thread.

Mark up is NOT 100%, or even 50%.
For my part, I was just saying that our markup was 100% when I did retail, but that was a long time ago, and I only know about the store I worked at. That wasn't 100% markup to an msrp, but to the marked in-store price. I also said I doubted that was still the case now. When I worked in retail, there was no Internet (well, at least outside of early research and government versions like ARPANET/MILNET).
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Most people behind the counter make extremely small amount of money. Which is why there is so much turn over, because while selling drums sounds like a fun job, it pays so poorly, very few people can keep it going for very long.
That's always been the case, I believe, yes. I see it as more of a business-model problem though. The folks higher on the totem pole are sure doing alright for themselves.
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  #43  
Old 08-16-2010, 09:03 PM
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If you had ever worked retail, you'd know how utterly offensive that is.
I worked retail, as I noted above, and I do not find it offensive. Of course, I don't find anything offensive, but still . . . If I had worked retail in the age of the Internet, I would have had the same view when I was working retail. Why should someone buy something from the store I'm working at when they can get it cheaper elsewhere. It would help me make a few bucks, sure, but it's helping them have a few extra bucks too.
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Think twice about going into a store - even Guitar Center - to 'try' the products with no intention of buying them there. No store needs that kind of business.
The only reason I'd do that is because I can get the items cheaper elsewhere--even if only because I do not have to pay tax. If Guitar Center made it so that I can buy the items cheaper from them, then I would. I wouldn't be not buying from Guitar Center just because I want to waste their time, so that even if they offered me a better deal, I'd prefer to spend more on the item elsewhere just so I can waste the GC folks' time, lol
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  #44  
Old 08-16-2010, 09:09 PM
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I thank them, tell them I understand how the business works, and I walk, without an attitude. Now it may be that because I treat stores and their employees with respect, I am treated well in return.
I go into shops to check stuff out, but almost always buy it online instead, because I can almost always get it cheaper online, yet I'm treated fine.

On the other hand, the way I like to be treated in a retail store is to be left alone unless I have a question, then I like a salesperson to answer the question and leave me alone again.
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  #45  
Old 08-16-2010, 09:13 PM
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Being a smart consumer is crucial, and should not be strictly a price-based effort. I've seen people chase all over town to save $10 on an item, while spending hours of their time and that $10 on gas anyway. Seriously, some people just don't factor that in!
Then you know to check out that store first next time, and when the first business wonders why the other store is doing so much better, hopefully they'll notice that the other store has lower prices and adjust accordingly. Supporting the principle of it is worth the $10 in gas.
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  #46  
Old 08-16-2010, 09:30 PM
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Because people don't buy, the stores can't afford to keep good, qualified customer service oriented sales people. Because the stores can't keep up a good staff, people don't buy.
Especially with the Internet now, though, does anyone really need "good, qualified customer service-oriented salespeople"?

Even without that, prior to the Internet, I've never trusted salepersons anyway, and for good reason--they have vested interests in you buying something from them that day, and often vested interests in you buying a particular item.

The only use I have for a retail instrument store nowadays is that I like seeing and hearing the instrument in person in addition to seeing pictures, hearing youtube videos, etc. I want salespersons to not bother me, to just leave me alone unless I have a question. If they start bothering me, then pretty much two things are certain: (1) I will NOT be buying anything from them, even if they have a better price, and (2) I might screw with them a bit in order to waste their time, I might be rude to them, etc., since they're annoying me by not leaving me alone (aren't they supposed to be able to read body language better than that?) . . . I really just do not want to be bothered when I'm in a store.

Before I walk into an instrument store, I'll have done my research into the product I'm interested in, competing products, etc. If I had to not be able to see or hear the instrument in person, that's fine. I've bought plenty of things in that situation anyway, since music stores tend to only carry lowest-common-denominator stuff anyway.
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My last straw was 10 years ago, a guy came in to buy a $20 tambourine, and started arguing with me over the exact price, and using his cell phone to call the shop across town. And it was like, really? You're going to spend $3 on gas to drive across town because you think that MAYBE you'll get it for a dollar less? The price I'm giving you is on par with all the mail order places, and you're going to argue with me anyway? What's the point?
Both as the customer and the salesperson, I would think that the point is that the store I'm currently in SHOULD have or be able to offer the item at a lower price if others are able to do it. Why should the guy give in to a higher price for some other reason, just because whoever owns the music store is too stubborn to meet the other price? And probably while he's on the golf course that day, which he drove to in his Mercedes.

It doesn't help the salesperson, but if owners are going to milk another couple bucks out of customers and still not pay the salespersons a decent living wage, why support them being in business in the first place? Help put them out of business and support other companies instead.
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  #47  
Old 08-16-2010, 09:42 PM
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Default Re: Drumkit Profit Margins

While I do not find anything offensive, if I were to, your nationalism might do it, Crazy8s (and funny with that that you're from Arizona).

I do not see any humans as not my peers. I do not see any humans as more separated from me than my neighbors are.

I did find it funny, though, that basically you're arguing that people need to work harder so they can buy a snare drum from you for more money than they could buy it from someone else. Why don't the manufacturers and retailers work harder instead to figure out how to be able to offer the same quality items for a lower price, so that they're making even more money while bringing in even more customers eager to set down their cash for the products?
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  #48  
Old 08-16-2010, 09:59 PM
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Well, brewbillford, keep on buying your foreign made garbage. When you are broke and there is no jobs near you, you will be glad you made the right choice. /sarcasm off
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  #49  
Old 08-16-2010, 09:59 PM
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Default Re: Drumkit Profit Margins

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Why should someone buy something from the store I'm working at when they can get it cheaper elsewhere. It would help me make a few bucks, sure, but it's helping them have a few extra bucks too.
Agreed. So it's okay for them to come to you for info, they beat on your drums, you share your knowledge and offer them what you know is a great price, and they leave anyway because they were just there to 'demo' the product? (The exact comment was "A thrifty approach would be to use the local shop(s) as a demo stop, should they happen to have the piece of gear you like try it out, then shop online for a better price" with no mention of attempting to buy the product there.)

That's what I'm talking about when I said 'offensive'. Most salespeople invest time and energy in trying to make a sale, and don't like being used as a tester only for the purchase to be made elsewhere, which is what the post in question stated.

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  #50  
Old 08-16-2010, 10:04 PM
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Well, brewbillford, keep on buying your foreign made garbage. When you are broke and there is no jobs near you, you will be glad you made the right choice. /sarcasm off
I don't prefer foreign or US-made stuff. I prefer things that I like--for features, quality, aesthetics, etc.--and that I think are a decent value for the money. I'd enjoy living many places as much as I like living in the US, so I could easily go wherever work is available. ;-)
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  #51  
Old 08-16-2010, 10:06 PM
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Agreed. So it's okay for them to come to you for info, they beat on your drums, you share your knowledge and offer them what you know is a great price, and they leave anyway because they were just there to 'demo' the product?
Yes. If I were them, I'd buy it from the shop that's cheaper, too. As just a salesperson, it would be out of my control to offer it lower than a particular price without losing my job, perhaps. So the boss is making the mistake and ultimately losing the customer. Why blame the customer for that? Explain to the boss why he's losing business instead.
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  #52  
Old 08-16-2010, 10:18 PM
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Default Re: Drumkit Profit Margins

The problem you are going to have is that the price that is set is set with the sales person's commission in mind. Every cent that you squeeze out of the price will come out of his or her commission.

Usually companies like GC run these ads where you can get an extra 10 or 15% off, and these deals are worked in to the computer system. The salesperson's commission is off set to reflect the promotion. You can also come into the store with a price match and that will be off set with a manger's code so as not to affect the salesperson's commission; but he or she still might not get a commission, and you really have to ask yourself if that is fair.

If you go into a restaurant, the waiter makes minimum wage and you tip that person To Insure Proper Service. It is also a way that you pay for and respect that person's need for a fair wage.

My advice would be to get a coupon for the lowest price and slip the sales person a twenty for helping you out. Give it to him or her when they're helping you load that thing into the car.
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  #53  
Old 08-16-2010, 10:24 PM
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Default Re: Drumkit Profit Margins

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Originally Posted by Crazy8s View Post
Well, brewbillford, keep on buying your foreign made garbage. When you are broke and there is no jobs near you, you will be glad you made the right choice. /sarcasm off
Why is something made in another country automatically garbage? I guess Tama, Pearl, Premier, Sonor, Mapex, and Yamaha are all terrible drums... Care to qualify that remark?

I will buy what suits my needs, at the price that I can afford - If I can get it here, great. If not tough s**t.

And I'm sorry - but the bottom line here is that you treated the OP like he was a piece of garbage for posting his question - how about a little more respect for the other people on this board??
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  #54  
Old 08-16-2010, 11:17 PM
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Default Re: Drumkit Profit Margins

So it's okay for them to come to you for info, they beat on your drums, you share your knowledge and offer them what you know is a great price, and they leave anyway because they were just there to 'demo' the product?

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Yes. If I were them, I'd buy it from the shop that's cheaper, too.
And I'd normally buy it from the cheaper shop as well. But I wouldn't pimp one guy and deliberately give the sale to someone else, and I sense you're overlooking that the poster said it's a 'thrifty' shopping tactic. You'd be in a severe minority of sales people if you think being used is acceptable.

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  #55  
Old 08-16-2010, 11:31 PM
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Especially with the Internet now, though, does anyone really need "good, qualified customer service-oriented salespeople"?
Well, most people want to HEAR what they're buying 1st. You can't hear cymbals or drums over the net very well. Sure, there are 100's of samples of sounds online, but they're highly compressed sound files. Stores have some uses.

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Even without that, prior to the Internet, I've never trusted salepersons anyway, and for good reason--they have vested interests in you buying something from them that day, and often vested interests in you buying a particular item
.

That is sort of the point of why any salesman exists in any store. A vested interest in selling a product is the basis of our entire economy.

,
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I would think that the point is that the store I'm currently in SHOULD have or be able to offer the item at a lower price if others are able to do it. Why should the guy give in to a higher price for some other reason, just because whoever owns the music store is too stubborn to meet the other price?
You missed the point. The point was not that the mark up, the point was the price was already fair, on par with where it's selling anywhere else. But rather than realize this, people love to just grind down for the sake of it, and trying to start arguments over petty things.

How much is your time worth to you? Do you think spending 20 minutes arguing, and then driving 30 minutes across town is worth a dollar? In the end, the guy spend lord knows how much on gas, wear and tear on his car, all because he's rather be rude than pay the market rate. In the end, he lost money, as the driving to the other store cost him more than anything he may have saved. Assuming he actually got his dollar less at the other store.

You don't go into the grocery store and argue over the price of apples. You don't go in most stores and argue over the price. You look it, find the going rate, see what's it's going for at most places, and pay what the market will bear. But in the music instrument business, for what ever reason, that's not the case. It doesn't matter how low the price is, people love to think the salesmen is ripping them off, and the price must be available somewhere for less. It's utterly ridiculous thought process based on no concept of reality.

Look up the price online, figure it out, and pay it if you want it. Looking it up, and then assuming that price should be less, contains zero logic.

My story had little to do with price, to had to do wit treating people with at least a shred of respect.


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Originally Posted by Deltadrummer View Post
The problem you are going to have is that the price that is set is set with the sales person's commission in mind. Every cent that you squeeze out of the price will come out of his or her commission.
.
This is true.
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  #56  
Old 08-16-2010, 11:38 PM
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Default Re: Drumkit Profit Margins

Every cent that you squeeze out of the price will come out of his or her commission.


Delta. Not entirely true. If the salesperson gets 5% of all sales and you hit him for 50 dollars he doesn't lose 50 dollars, he loses 5% of 50 or $2.50. On a 700.00 drum set he makes 35.00. If he lets you have 50.00 Off he makes 32.50. Not a real big deal.
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  #57  
Old 08-16-2010, 11:57 PM
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Why is something made in another country automatically garbage? I guess Tama, Pearl, Premier, Sonor, Mapex, and Yamaha are all terrible drums... Care to qualify that remark?

I will buy what suits my needs, at the price that I can afford - If I can get it here, great. If not tough s**t.

And I'm sorry - but the bottom line here is that you treated the OP like he was a piece of garbage for posting his question - how about a little more respect for the other people on this board??
First of all, the OP asked the most insulting question that could be asked of a seller. It is neither polite or appropriate for the buyer to ask how much profit the seller makes. Anybody who feels differently has never been the seller, and they are asking a completely ignorant question. It is NOT your business to know how much profit a seller makes unless you are the seller. The buyer should only be concerned with the value the item has to them and how their fiscal energy matches the perceived value. The actual value of the product is more than the atoms that comprise the product.

Secondly, if I lived in Japan, I'd be looking at Tama or Yamaha. If I lived in the UK, I would be looking at Premier. The foundation of my argument is that our music money (fiscal energy) should stay local, if we want to maintain local music energy. Since the value of a product extends further than the simple collection of atoms that make up a product, the word 'garbage' refers to the part of the fiscal energy that gets disposed of, as in not being recycled into our local music system.

If you keep your fiscal energy near you, you will enjoy the benefits of that energy being in your locale. This translates to more opportunities to sustain your livelihood in a musical career. By moving your fiscal energy to a faraway location, you have removed part of the musical energy that could have been used to cultivate a healthy music scene.

Buying musical instruments made from outside your culture is detrimental to your local music scene, especially when that foreign location you bought from doesn't invest back into yours.

My observations here on economies is easily validated by simply having a look at our own economies and trying to understand where all the jobs went... here in the US, the jobs keep getting lost as the money we spend outside of the country increases. By buying foreign, you are selling out your local scene.
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  #58  
Old 08-16-2010, 11:57 PM
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Originally Posted by Deltadrummer View Post
and you really have to ask yourself if that is fair.
If I were to believe that it's not fair and it should be, the problem would lie with the person setting the commissions.
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If you go into a restaurant, the waiter makes minimum wage and you tip that person To Insure Proper Service.
Which I can't say I agree with. I have nothing against tipping, but "tipping to ensure proper service" I have a problem with. You should have proper service without being required to tip.
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slip the sales person a twenty for helping you out.
Like tipping, that I think is cool if someone wants to do it, although they shouldn't be required to do it to ensure that the salesperson doesn't drop their gear down a flight of stairs in the stockroom first.
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  #59  
Old 08-16-2010, 11:59 PM
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You'd be in a severe minority of sales people if you think being used is acceptable.
That I can accept, but I certainly do not feel there's anything wrong with being in a severe minority.

Last edited by BrewBillfold; 08-17-2010 at 12:20 AM.
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Old 08-17-2010, 12:04 AM
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Originally Posted by Crazy8s View Post
First of all, the OP asked the most insulting question that could be asked of a seller. It is neither polite or appropriate for the buyer to ask how much profit the seller makes. Anybody who feels differently has never been the seller, and they are asking a completely ignorant question. It is NOT your business to know how much profit a seller makes unless you are the seller. The buyer should only be concerned with the value the item has to them and how their fiscal energy matches the perceived value. The actual value of the product is more than the atoms that comprise the product.

Secondly, if I lived in Japan, I'd be looking at Tama or Yamaha. If I lived in the UK, I would be looking at Premier. The foundation of my argument is that our music money (fiscal energy) should stay local, if we want to maintain local music energy. Since the value of a product extends further than the simple collection of atoms that make up a product, the word 'garbage' refers to the part of the fiscal energy that gets disposed of, as in not being recycled into our local music system.

If you keep your fiscal energy near you, you will enjoy the benefits of that energy being in your locale. This translates to more opportunities to sustain your livelihood in a musical career. By moving your fiscal energy to a faraway location, you have removed part of the musical energy that could have been used to cultivate a healthy music scene.

Buying musical instruments made from outside your culture is detrimental to your local music scene, especially when that foreign location you bought from doesn't invest back into yours.

My observations here on economies is easily validated by simply having a look at our own economies and trying to understand where all the jobs went... here in the US, the jobs keep getting lost as the money we spend outside of the country increases. By buying foreign, you are selling out your local scene.
Crazy, where do you think most of the lugs and other hardware comes from that you use to build drums. It's all foreign. My local scene doesn't make lugs. Without foreign trade we all die. Buy a little , sell a little.
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Old 08-17-2010, 12:08 AM
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Originally Posted by GRUNTERSDAD View Post
Every cent that you squeeze out of the price will come out of his or her commission.


Delta. Not entirely true. If the salesperson gets 5% of all sales and you hit him for 50 dollars he doesn't lose 50 dollars, he loses 5% of 50 or $2.50. On a 700.00 drum set he makes 35.00. If he lets you have 50.00 Off he makes 32.50. Not a real big deal.
That isn't how it works Gruntersdad. Previously, in another thread, you insulted me for supposedly being ignorant to economics.

If a vendor pays $500 for a kit they sold for $700, then $200 of was money that could be used to pay for overhead like rent, electricity, insurance, wages, upgrades to the store, and then whats left is a very tiny percentage that could be perceived as profit.

Very rarely does a salesperson get paid as a percentage of the total sales. Only if they do not have leverage in altering the sale price would they ever get paid a % of the total sale. If a salesman gets paid from a percentage of the profit, then they will be haggling with their own money by haggling with the buyer.

...but it is OK. It is just fine to send your money elsewhere for the cheap price. It WILL come back to haunt you. It is already haunting us in that the music shops are closing their doors all around us, and as we all know...smart buyers buy instruments that we can hear first. When all the shops close their doors and there is nowhere to hear instruments to buy, all we will have is stupid buyers.....

We have too many stupid buyers as it is. The sales people are there to educate you. You always get what you pay for. If you like the cheaper price, you always get the cheaper value, which makes you cheap.

I don't like to be cheap. I like to provide value.
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  #62  
Old 08-17-2010, 12:12 AM
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Originally Posted by DrumEatDrum View Post
Well, most people want to HEAR what they're buying 1st. You can't hear cymbals or drums over the net very well. Sure, there are 100's of samples of sounds online, but they're highly compressed sound files. Stores have some uses.
I've been fine hearing things online--it's been representative enough, imo, but even hearing things in stores, which I mentioned I often like to do, too, that doesn't require a salesperson. It just requires that the store have the gear on the floor (which unfortunately, they often do not).
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That is sort of the point of why any salesman exists in any store. A vested interest in selling a product is the basis of our entire economy.
While I agree it's widespread, I can't say I'm a fan of it. I'd rather have someone honestly addressing my needs and desires if they're going to interact with me in that way.
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. . . But rather than realize this, people love to just grind down for the sake of it, and trying to start arguments over petty things.
It's not clear to me if you're saying that the customer could have gotten it cheaper elsewhere or not now.

Another thing I can't say I'd be a fan of, though, is if a salesperson started arguing with me. That's not a way to get any business from me.
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How much is your time worth to you? Do you think spending 20 minutes arguing, and then driving 30 minutes across town is worth a dollar?
Yes, because the value is in the actions for the principle. It's not about a dollar. It's about the principles behind it. I doubt who would do that sees it as merely being about a dollar.
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he'd rather be rude than pay the market rate.
I would see it as rude that a salesperson is arguing with me, rather.
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You don't go into the grocery store and argue over the price of apples. You don't go in most stores and argue over the price.
Right, but with some stores, you do. I'm not a monist about anything. ;-)
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My story had little to do with price, to had to do wit treating people with at least a shred of respect.
In these discussions I get the impression that many retail folks want the customers to be serving them for some reason rather than the opposite. You can't forget that you have to earn their business or you can go out of business. They do not need to earn anything from you. They can just go elsewhere.
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  #63  
Old 08-17-2010, 12:14 AM
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Originally Posted by GRUNTERSDAD View Post
Every cent that you squeeze out of the price will come out of his or her commission.


Delta. Not entirely true. If the salesperson gets 5% of all sales and you hit him for 50 dollars he doesn't lose 50 dollars, he loses 5% of 50 or $2.50. On a 700.00 drum set he makes 35.00. If he lets you have 50.00 Off he makes 32.50. Not a real big deal.
The commissions are based on a percentage of the price sold over whole sale cost though. Never gross sales.

Lets say the retain price of a drum set is $1,000, whole sale is 50-20 (which is common), so the whole sale cost is $400. Every online shop is probably selling it for $600, because 40% off retail is roughly the market rate of many items (or was, it's probably lower now)

And for ease of use, say commission rates are 10% of profits (which is not unheard of).

So the commission is $600 sale price minus $400 whole sale price, for a gross profit of $200, which yields a commission of $20.

So now instead of 40% off, you want to make the price 45% of retail, to get the final price $50 lower

Commission is now 550-400=150 x 10% = $15.

That's a 25% reduction in pay for knocking off an additional 5% off the final price.

So Delta is, in fact quite right.

And given few people come in an buy a drum set off the shelf without asking 101 questions, and comparing many items to many others (look at all the threads we have here on these subjects), the average salesperson has spent anywhere from 2 to 4 hours (if not many, many more) with a customer explaining why anyone set is the one for them over another, and tracking down the exact color, etc, the final commission of $15 is spread out over many hours of work.
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Old 08-17-2010, 12:14 AM
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Crazy, where do you think most of the lugs and other hardware comes from that you use to build drums. It's all foreign. My local scene doesn't make lugs. Without foreign trade we all die. Buy a little , sell a little.
I make my own lugs. I make my own shells. I make my own hoops.. The heads I use are Evans or Remo, which are US made. The only imported thing I use are t-rods and snare wires, but I am trying to resolve that too.


It is only your perception that we will all die if we don't buy foreign. It is completely untrue. We lived just fine for hundreds of thousands of years without importing anything. Facts from history prove you wrong, so you might consider adopting a new perception.
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Old 08-17-2010, 12:17 AM
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If you keep your fiscal energy near you, you will enjoy the benefits of that energy being in your locale. This translates to more opportunities to sustain your livelihood in a musical career. By moving your fiscal energy to a faraway location, you have removed part of the musical energy that could have been used to cultivate a healthy music scene. Buying musical instruments made from outside your culture is detrimental to your local music scene, especially when that foreign location you bought from doesn't invest back into yours.
Sounds like some kind of "karma" argument to me. If I were to buy Ludwig or DW instead of Tama or Sonor (and assuming that Ludwig and DW would only use stuff manufactured in the US), how exactly are they investing money back into my musical career?
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My observations here on economies is easily validated by simply having a look at our own economies and trying to understand where all the jobs went... here in the US, the jobs keep getting lost as the money we spend outside of the country increases. By buying foreign, you are selling out your local scene.
Not that I just play locally--I've played plenty in countries other than the US, plus I've played all over the US, but my local scene is supported by people from all over the world--I'm in NYC.
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Old 08-17-2010, 12:21 AM
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Furthermore...the reason why there are virtually no 100% US drum makers is that we bought the lie that we can't make a living at it.

We have been told a gigantic lie which was used to convince us that we are enslaved to the mighty dollar..the dollar that has in itself no inherent value and hasn't been backed by anything tangible or real for about a hundred years now. By believing this lie, we have sold our souls to our govt, because now we rely on them to feed us.

I am going to stop this now because it is certainly taking us to a place that a drum site shouldn't need to go to. My goal is to preserve the beauty and joy we find in creating music for ourselves and our loved ones to enjoy. The idea of money only seems to stain these wonderful values with negative energy.
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Old 08-17-2010, 12:28 AM
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Originally Posted by BrewBillfold View Post
Sounds like some kind of "karma" argument to me. If I were to buy Ludwig or DW instead of Tama or Sonor (and assuming that Ludwig and DW would only use stuff manufactured in the US), how exactly are they investing money back into my musical career?Not that I just play locally--I've played plenty in countries other than the US, plus I've played all over the US, but my local scene is supported by people from all over the world--I'm in NYC.
My name is Kevin Carman. Most people refer to me as Karma.

Neither Ludwig or Dw are 100% US based. Not even close, though DW is much closer to that than L is. There is nothing inherently 'wrong' with playing any brand. This entire conversation is only intended to help others realize the importance of developing local music energy, because quite frankly we need it.

Perhaps it is just Phoenix where the local music scene has collapsed? I haven't toured in many years, but I have witness dozens of small music shops here in AZ go belly up. Now there is just Sam Ash and GC, the walmart and Kmart of the music world.
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Old 08-17-2010, 12:29 AM
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the average salesperson has spent anywhere from 2 to 4 hours (if not many, many more) with a customer explaining why anyone set is the one for them over another, and tracking down the exact color, etc, . . . many hours of work.
I actually find that hard to believe. Everyone I know in real life shares my distaste of being bothered by salespeople. I also do not know anyone who really trusts salespeople--they tend to not trust their knowledge or that whatever they're pushing they're pushing because it's the best choice for that particular customer. So why would they be spending hours with them? I'm sure that happens in a small percentage of cases, I would guess mostly with folks buying a first instrument and trying to figure out just what they need, or in the rare cases where someone famous, say, has a close relationship with particular salespeople that they've come to know well enough over the years to know that they can trust their knowledge, and they know that the person will go out of their way to hook them up with special gear, but for most sales?
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Old 08-17-2010, 12:35 AM
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Yes, because the value is in the actions for the principle. It's not about a dollar. It's about the principles behind it. I doubt who would do that sees it as merely being about a dollar.
Yes, it is the principle. The principle is stores provide a service, and as long as the store is honest and selling items at the market rates, they expect to make a little something for their time and effort, and not sell items at a loss.

Do you go to work and expect to get paid less than your wage? If your boss said, "by the way, I'm cutting your pay by $1 an hour, do you just say "oh, ok". If you do a gig for $50, and after the gig, the band leader says, you know, I only feel like paying you $45, do you just accept it?

No, of course not. Why should any store sell things for no profit, or at a loss, just because you think they should?

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In these discussions I get the impression that many retail folks want the customers to be serving them for some reason rather than the opposite. You can't forget that you have to earn their business or you can go out of business. They do not need to earn anything from you. They can just go elsewhere.
Of course, you have to earn the business. But if I treat a customer with respect, and the customer doesn't treat me with respect, and wants to start an argument without being provoked, there is no business to earn.
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Old 08-17-2010, 12:37 AM
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Originally Posted by Crazy8s View Post
People buying purely on price has caused manufacturers and retailers to use cheap labor in foreign countries to create cheaper products at a lower price.
Hmmm... Buying on price or manufacturering on cost... As you point out, manufacturers have a hand in this as well. I don't suppose they are helped very much by insistent stockholders wanting an instant return, overpaid CEOs , ineffective or unrealistic business models, or any of a myriad of other ways business can find to waste.

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This practice eliminates employment in the buyers country and takes energy out of the local pool. This is wholesale destruction of our culture and economy.
Welcome to the Global Economy! Fun isn't it? Your comment does seem a bit shortsighted however. As a counter example, look at those claims that all the "oil dollars" are flying out of America. What do people think happens to those dollars when they get to the other end? Those dollars buy construction equipment, (some from the US), buy engineering expertise (some from the US), pay for the labors of who knows how many people who all have to buy food (some from the US)...

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Now we live in a grossly harmed economy and people need to wake the hell up. if you can't afford locally made products, the answer is very simple... work harder.
Sure! Work harder! (and while you are at it add 6 hours to every day and 1 day to every week) The reality is that for many products, there simply is no local alternative offered.

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In other words, I would much rather have 2 badass US made snare drums than 10 cutrate foreign made snare drums.

Rant off...
Much like the world's auto industry really does not have a car made entirely in one country, I wonder if the same holds for all the drum manufacturers. From the mylar in the heads to the tension rods, the gaskets, the rims, the lugs, the wrap, and yup, even the wood, did all of that originate (at least for this example) in the badass US? Even DW sells drums made of wood that is *gasp* not domestic.

I think this begs the question of why is it that some percentage of the consumer base is irrationally attracted to a "US made" label, that doesn't really exist.


But I like a good rant as much as the next guy. Really!
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Old 08-17-2010, 12:39 AM
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Default Re: Drumkit Profit Margins

I like your last sentiments crazy8s but I also understand someone wanting to know the "buy price" as well as the "sell price" for goods. I don't want to be ripped off and I'm sure the retailers relate to this too. Services are another matter and you have every right to charge what you want for your time.

Also, no-one has a boycott on "how hard it is to make ends meet" - things are tough all over man..... peace and drums :-)
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Old 08-17-2010, 12:41 AM
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I have witness dozens of small music shops here in AZ go belly up. Now there is just Sam Ash and GC, the walmart and Kmart of the music world.
My basic view of that is that in our system (I'd prefer a completely different governmental/societal organization, but that's a different discussion), if the mom & pop places want to survive (or ANY business for that matter), it's their responsibility to be creative and adaptable. They may need to completely rethink the way they do business. They need to completely rethink the products they're carrying, how they're developed, etc. I do not agree that they're owed business success simply because they exist. If you want to do your own charitable contributions to them to make sure they do not go out of business, even though they're not bothering to try to change anything about the way they do business, that's your prerogative, but I do not think that other folks are at fault for not choosing to make charitable contributions of their own. Heck, where are the charitable contributions for me?
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Old 08-17-2010, 12:45 AM
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Originally Posted by Stewed View Post



Welcome to the Global Economy! Fun isn't it? Your comment does seem a bit shortsighted however. As a counter example, look at those claims that all the "oil dollars" are flying out of America. What do people think happens to those dollars when they get to the other end? Those dollars buy construction equipment, (some from the US), buy engineering expertise (some from the US), pay for the labors of who knows how many people who all have to buy food (some from the US)...



Sure! Work harder! (and while you are at it add 6 hours to every day and 1 day to every week) The reality is that for many products, there simply is no local alternative offered.



Much like the world's auto industry really does not have a car made entirely in one country, I wonder if the same holds for all the drum manufacturers. From the mylar in the heads to the tension rods, the gaskets, the rims, the lugs, the wrap, and yup, even the wood, did all of that originate (at least for this example) in the badass US? Even DW sells drums made of wood that is *gasp* not domestic.

I think this begs the question of why is it that some percentage of the consumer base is irrationally attracted to a "US made" label, that doesn't really exist.
So, I ask, why is it that we are now in full swing of this globalized economy that our economy is now in irreversible ruin? Globalized economy results in localized economic ruin and subjugation of the people. Who has the most interest in this? Not me or you, that's for certain. Some people buy the hype, while others do not.

I am completely unconvinced of the benefits of a globalized economy because all I have to do is have a look at our state of economy and see that it isn't working. We have to work more now to maintain a certain lifestyle than we did 20 years ago, and the primary thing that has changed is the increased foreign trading.
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Old 08-17-2010, 12:52 AM
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Yes, it is the principle. The principle is stores provide a service, and as long as the store is honest and selling items at the market rates, they expect to make a little something for their time and effort, and not sell items at a loss.
Do you think that's the principle I was referring to?
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Do you go to work and expect to get paid less than your wage?
I expect to get paid what I contracted for, or depending on the situation, I'd either just leave or possibly sue for contractual fraud. If I'm in a commission position, then I would expect to make the agreed upon commission rate for things I sell. I wouldn't accept a commission position if I were not comfortable with that.
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If your boss said, "by the way, I'm cutting your pay by $1 an hour, do you just say "oh, ok".
It depends on the situation, really. I wouldn't be happy with it, but I might not say anything about it if I didn't have something else lined up right away or If it wasn't a situation where I could sue for a breech of contract.
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you do a gig for $50, and after the gig, the band leader says, you know, I only feel like paying you $45, do you just accept it?
What is the analogy here to, anyway? Are we talking about your base pay changing for some reason, or not receiving the commission you'd hoped for, and why?
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No, of course not. Why should any store sell things for no profit, or at a loss, just because you think they should?
That's the analogy? That's not the same thing as contracting for a rate of pay and not receiving what you've contracted for. When you contract for a rate of pay, you should actually be doing a legal contract, in writing.

Okay, but for your question. If another store is selling things that cheaply, then there are a couple of possibilities:

(1) They're using the item as a loss leader, but not selling everything that cheaply. In that case, it might be a good idea to either use the item as a loss leader, too, or use something different as a loss leader.
(2) They're not actually losing money by selling the item that cheaply, becuase they've figured out ways of doing business that are more cost-effective. Maybe the other store should do the same, or face going out of business.
(3) They're actually losing money, in which case, they won't stay in business very long and you no longer have to worry about them.
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Of course, you have to earn the business. But if I treat a customer with respect, and the customer doesn't treat me with respect, and wants to start an argument without being provoked, there is no business to earn.
If you can afford to lose their business or the chance of it, then go ahead and be rude to them. it's up to you.
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Old 08-17-2010, 01:03 AM
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Default Re: Drumkit Profit Margins

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So, I ask, why is it that we are now in full swing of this globalized economy that our economy is now in irreversible ruin? Globalized economy results in localized economic ruin and subjugation of the people. Who has the most interest in this? Not me or you, that's for certain. Some people buy the hype, while others do not.

I am completely unconvinced of the benefits of a globalized economy because all I have to do is have a look at our state of economy and see that it isn't working. We have to work more now to maintain a certain lifestyle than we did 20 years ago, and the primary thing that has changed is the increased foreign trading.
There was growth in American Capitalism up until about 1970. The system worked. But with technology and outsourcing, American wages have staggered since 1978. Americans answered by working longer hours. The banking industry answered by extending immense amount of credit that they knew could never be paid back. They sold those 'loans' to investors overseas. It was fraud. It was the way Americans continued the myth of constant growth and the American Dream. Now that system has come to a halt and there is no easy way out. It is basically the failure of American capitalism. The system is bad and needs to be totally overhauled and reformed. This process is going to take years, and in that time there will be no easy answer for the millions here at home or overseas who are unemployed.
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Old 08-17-2010, 01:47 AM
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Originally Posted by Crazy8s View Post
People buying purely on price has caused manufacturers and retailers to use cheap labor in foreign countries to create cheaper products at a lower price.
So this is purely the consumers fault? Cheapskates forced the companies hand and left them with no alternative? The company's drive to maximise profit and return to shareholders had nothing to do with the decsion to move production off shore to "cheap foreign labour"?

Turn it up, old mate.....I'm just not buying it.

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We lived just fine for hundreds of thousands of years without importing anything. Facts from history prove you wrong, so you might consider adopting a new perception.
We lived just fine for hundreds of thousands of years without mass production, global corporations and daily international business transactions too.....hell, we've lived for hundreds of thousands of years without a lot of things that are now part and parcel of everyday life. But the simple fact is that those days are long gone. No change of perception is needed.....facts from history may prove him wrong, but facts from the present simply don't.

It's a new world we live in. Another poster said the two magical little words "global ecconomy". I'm not saying it's right or wrong....I'm just saying, it is what it is.

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Old 08-17-2010, 02:25 AM
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PFOG, all I am saying is that directly converse to the increase in global trading is the decrease in lifestyle here in the US and many other countries including yours. The resulting effect is further subjugation of the masses and a decrease in value of the self.

I know that I am not alone when I state very clearly that I do not intend to be enslaved to the banks, which is exactly what is happening all across the Western World of which you are a part of.

The average US worker now works more hours per week just to survive than almost any other country in the world, but most people still don't recognize this as subjugation. The labors we invest are traded for a valueless piece of paper that we have been trained to believe is the only thing worthwhile to have.

Just because I deliver a message that is difficult to accept or believe, it doesn't mean that I am wrong or misguided or ignorant. I don't enjoy that we as people are brainwashed into believing that globalized business practices are good for us as we watch our world collapse right before our very eyes. I KNOW that it is wrong, this globalized economy, because the economy here is failing. The proof of my words is everywhere, but despite this, many people will just choose to cling to a message told to them by a different entity...an entity that cares very little about them. An entity that doesn't like them.

I am not with that 'entity', and I will NOT support that entity. Make sure that you have chosen the right direction for yourself and your family, because that is what is at stake here.
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Old 08-17-2010, 02:45 AM
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Default Re: Drumkit Profit Margins

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Perhaps it is just Phoenix where the local music scene has collapsed? I haven't toured in many years, but I have witness dozens of small music shops here in AZ go belly up.
Certainly not just Phoenix. Although there used to be a lot more stores, I'm glad the locals like Bizarre, Milano's and Boogie Music have hung in there. (I was at all 3 this past week.)

In L.A., dedicated drum shops have dwindled to just two - Pro Drum, and Chad Sexton's - with West Coast Drum Center and Robin's closing last year. I believe Pro & Chad's are the only real drum shops south of Santa Barbara!

The business is tough for everyone, it's not just the mom & pops that are unwilling to compete (and BTW, most can compete very well when they want to.) GC and Sam Ash and the online stores are taking a big hit as well, but are just too big to fold so easily.

Those who know Todd Trent at Ontario Music also know he made every deal possible to keep customers coming through the door. Eventually, they slowed to a trickle. It wasn't anything Todd did or didn't do, and it's not like they were buying elsewhere. They just weren't buying. Todd closed the doors to his store in July, 50 years to the month after they opened. And there was nothing he could do, even with the appropriate financial consulting.

I'm not suggesting we all go out and buy stuff simply so stores can exist, but there's now a very thin line between making a few bucks, and closing up shop. Apart form a customer being presumptuous by maybe knowing a store's cost on an item, stores just can't give stuff away in the name of cash flow. Even the box stores who might have sold something at cost just so another store wouldn't get the sale, then make it up across the other departments, have curtailed that practice. Raw economics have surpassed the positioning that those stores enjoyed, and now they're hurting too.

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Old 08-17-2010, 02:58 AM
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Certainly not just Phoenix. Although there used to be a lot more stores, I'm glad the locals like Bizarre, Milano's and Boogie Music have hung in there. (I was at all 3 this past week.)

In L.A., dedicated drum shops have dwindled to just two - Pro Drum, and Chad Sexton's - with West Coast Drum Center and Robin's closing last year. I believe Pro & Chad's are the only real drum shops south of Santa Barbara!

The business is tough for everyone, it's not just the mom & pops that are unwilling to compete (and BTW, most can compete very well when they want to.) GC and Sam Ash and the online stores are taking a big hit as well, but are just too big to fold so easily.

Those who know Todd Trent at Ontario Music also know he made every deal possible to keep customers coming through the door. Eventually, they slowed to a trickle. It wasn't anything Todd did or didn't do, and it's not like they were buying elsewhere. They just weren't buying. Todd closed the doors to his store in July, 50 years to the month after they opened. And there was nothing he could do, even with the appropriate financial consulting.

I'm not suggesting we all go out and buy stuff simply so stores can exist, but there's now a very thin line between making a few bucks, and closing up shop. Apart form a customer being presumptuous by maybe knowing a store's cost on an item, stores just can't give stuff away in the name of cash flow. Even the box stores who might have sold something at cost just so another store wouldn't get the sale, then make it up across the other departments, have curtailed that practice. Raw economics have surpassed the positioning that those stores enjoyed, and now they're hurting too.

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Chad's is gone.

The building has been empty for a few months now.
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Old 08-17-2010, 03:08 AM
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Okay, but for your question. If another store is selling things that cheaply, then there are a couple of possibilities:

(1) They're using the item as a loss leader, but not selling everything that cheaply. In that case, it might be a good idea to either use the item as a loss leader, too, or use something different as a loss leader.
(2) They're not actually losing money by selling the item that cheaply, becuase they've figured out ways of doing business that are more cost-effective. Maybe the other store should do the same, or face going out of business.
(3) They're actually losing money, in which case, they won't stay in business very long and you no longer have to worry about them.
For a smart guy, you keep missing the point. I never said the other store is selling cheaper. I discussed the perception that it must be cheaper out there at another store, and believing this is true without any proof.

All stores will price match any other stores advertised price. If the other store WAS ACTUALLY selling it cheaper, it would be a non-issue.

EDIT: My bad, I left out one detail: I used to work for the "other shop" too, I knew what their price was, same as ours.


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If you can afford to lose their business or the chance of it, then go ahead and be rude to them. it's up to you.
Again, you keep missing the point.
If a customer says "sell it to me at this price or else" and the price mentioned is below cost, what do you do? If you claim the customer is always right, you sell at a loss and are out of business. You have no choice but to decline their offer. How is THAT rude??

Last edited by DrumEatDrum; 08-17-2010 at 04:17 AM.
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