If you want Ludwigs, get in touch with Dennis from Long Island Drum Center. He's the best! Also, check out his crazy deals on Saturday mornings on Facebook. Get in is VIP club (for free) and get a text 30 min. before the sale video is posted.
Amazon (hate to say it) but... the amazon AMEX gives 5% back, i use it to buy stuff for my business and make 300-600 a month in toy money..pretty much anything i bought for drums in the last 2 years that was new i got that way.. Next month.. Concept2 rowing machine
I had really great experience with Drum Center of Portsmouth this year. I was looking to buy a special Sonor snare wire and Sweetwater took weeks to get back to me saying that I can't. I asked Thomann, since they're in Germany, and they said they can't sell parts to US due to customs. I tried to argue that it's not a "part", but still no. The other shop where I bought my snare from said I should buy another snare, and that way shipping will be worth it, and just refused to help. Drum Center then got me the item at a normal price with free shipping on time. Next time I'll start with them...
It WAS Sweetwater...great service!..but to many drum SHOPS have closed their doors or have become a trailer somewhere. If I can do SOMETHING to keep americas drumshops running I'll do it so I switched to Memphis drumshop. Their shipping is seriously fast..almost unbelievable and top notch service.
Thomann is usually my choice, but I check out the online stores in my own country as well, usually, before I buy. However, selection is very low here, and a lot of items has to be ordered in. It's sad to not give my money to more local shops, but since I live far away from any decent sized stores, and the prices are sometimes close to double that of Thomann (and way longer delivery time), it's hard to justify buying locally.