5-Star Drum Shops

MikeM

Platinum Member
So I bought a cymbal bag the other day (to give me and my PITA Zildjian hardcase a much deserved rest). It was for my birthday and my kids wanted to see me with a present so it was kind of a hit and run job: into the store, find one that'll do the job, pay for it, and get out.

Great. I got a Meinl bag with a shoulder strap, separate hi hat pocket, and tons of padding. It seems sturdy enough.

Only the tag said 24" cymbal and it's really only good for a 22". I kind of don't care since I don't own any 24" cymbals and I'm not on the lookout for any, but whatever.

But then I go online to see if I can find it just for kicks. Wow! Did I overpay! $98 (incl. tax) vs. $65.

Here's the thing: I like the idea of keeping the little guys in business, especially the 5 stars since they offer lessons, clinics, tons of repair parts, and a lot of unique drum gizmo's you won't find at Guitar Center.

But I have to admit that when it comes to buying bigger ticket items like snares and cymbals, I'm going online. Why spend $600 for a Black Beauty when you can spend $475 for one online? Ditto for cymbals. I've got them to price match before, but not without a lot of grumbling. It's almost not worth it. I'd rather over pay on the cheap stuff and maintain a good relationship than have it go sour haggling over the big stuff.

As much as I want to help these guys stay in business, I have to get the most bang for my buck. What to do? Thoughts?

BTW: I kept the cymbal bag and my mouth shut about it -except for here, of course.
 

jake_larson

Senior Member
At my local 5 star shop I have not been ripped off. I always check multiple sources before buying and so far they are usually cheapest. If not I go in with another advertised price and they can get it for me. For example I want a CJST Fat Conga Cajon. On average the price is $300+ and the 5 star shop it is $220.
 

Ethan01

Senior Member
The nice thing about the brick&mortar stores, you can haggle a price and sell your used gear. That's what I did to get a brand new Ludwig 402 w/ new heads for $240, sold my other ludwig snare in perfect condition for $100 (it's $150 brand new) in the process. It's great!

Also I got a deal on my Ludwig Centennial at another store. What's nice is you start with the 4 piece kit, then add hardware, then add heads, etc. At the end you have a price, and you start from there. I knocked somethin like 150 off that too, but it was a big purchase. The drums were already marked down too =D
 

GruntersDad

Administrator - Mayor
Staff member
I would take the bag back and tell them what you just told us. I like coming here for as much stuff as possible but this is a bit out of line. I shop at a small shop here and I always ask, What kind of deal can you make for a frequest flyer. If they bend OK if not thats cool. But if I see a significant difference on line then I buy on line. They are out to make money and I am out to save money. But 98 vs 65. A no brainer, back it goes.
 

Leadfoot

Senior Member
$33.00 difference, you have to consider that you'd also have to pay shipping, and then there's the convenience factor, you walked out of the store with it instead of waiting a few days for it. I don't see that you got hurt at all.
 

mcbike

Silver Member
I don't like the 5-star drum shop in my town it is really sterile and too quiet in there. They have moved locations 3 times in past 10 years too so thats probably why it never feels worn in. The original location I used to go to alot. They also only sell drums, cymbals, percussion, thats it. So if I need to get cables, mic stands, etc. I have to go elsewhere.

there are other local drum shops in town but they price everything at full retail and then give you a discount when you check out. Sometimes depending on who you get and what kind of day they are having the discount really varies. I've paid $5 for a pair of pro-marks one day, and $17.95 the next day. That being said I have bought two kits, a snare, 5 or 6 cymbals from them in the past. I go to guitar center for stuff like hardware, heads, mic stands, cables, mics, cases, etc. I also go online alot for sticks and heads. Musicians friend always has a bunch of heads that are in "pre-packs" but they actually just send you the regular heads. I can get a full set of gplus coateds in a pre-pack where nobody else will offer that.

That being said I doubt you could find a pa menil cymbal bag anywhere besides a 5 star shop. Most guitar centers might only even cary 1-5 menil cymbals, everything else being sabian and zildjian.
 

MikeM

Platinum Member
Thanks for the replies. I decided to bite the bullet and keep the bag because the hit I took financially isn't worth losing them as a resource for the odd-ball things and obscure bits of hardware that I always seem to need and can't find anywhere else. Did I mention there is a pre-existing strained relation with them from a similar shenanigan? Yeah...

Really, 33 bucks (minus shipping) isn't such a big deal, and I didn't necessarily get "ripped off" because I didn't do my homework ($98 didn't seem too unreasonable at the time). I probably could've haggled with the new guy, or made a scene and brought out the boss, which probably would have just annoyed him - but without a price reference, it would have just been for sport, and I don't roll that way.

So it's almost like donating to public radio: we want them to stay in business, and hopefully we can by letting ourselves get nickel and dimed on the small stuff.

Not dropping any large coin there, though. Of course, I may come to regret that if they do go under. Guitar Center is the Wal-Mart of music stores and it'd be a shame to let them completely take over...
 

mrchattr

Gold Member
Sucks that they have that negative attitude. At Dale's Drum Shop (my local 5 Star), the staff is incredibly helpful. I can also print out a price online and take it to them, and they will match it if they can. Only once were they unable to match it, and at that time, they told me without a doubt to go ahead and get it online there, they would if they were me. I appreciate that, and because of that, always give them the chance to get my business before buying online.
 
A

audiotech

Guest
Sucks that they have that negative attitude. At Dale's Drum Shop (my local 5 Star), the staff is incredibly helpful. I can also print out a price online and take it to them, and they will match it if they can. Only once were they unable to match it, and at that time, they told me without a doubt to go ahead and get it online there, they would if they were me. I appreciate that, and because of that, always give them the chance to get my business before buying online.
I second Dales. I might have to drive a bit but it's worth it. I've been going there for over twenty years now. They get more of my money in a month's time than I care to count, lol. It seems that some days I live in their cymbal section. I very seldom find a lower price anywhere than what they have at Dales.

Dennis
 

Living Dead Drummer

Platinum Member
I love my 5 Stars. When I lived in Buffallo, I would only go to Buffalo Drum Outlet. The owner sold me my first kit when I was a kid, he and I became good friends over the years.
Now that I am in LA I live 4 blocks from Pro Drum, so again, they get all my biz. Stan and Jerry have helped me out and given me some killer deals since I have lived here and I olny like shopping with them. I don't care if I can save a few bucks at a bigger store. It's more about relationships.
 
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Nodiggie

Gold Member
I do what I can to spend my money at drum shops. It's a balance. I picked up my hats for $10 more than GC no big deal, I was supporting my local shop. The shop has better selection of heads in stock and actually beat GC by $7 !

Money is hard to make and even harder to save. I shop online all the time. My most recent score was a Sig reflector Power Slave from a shop in NH. I was happy it was a private drum shop even though it was not in my town. My shop doesn't sell Paiste. bummer.

As long as you are happy with your purchase that's all that matters.
 

branflakes992

Senior Member
Yeah at Rhythm Traders in Portland, OR the prices are very fair. Only a couple bucks different compared to online. I support 5 star shops
 
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