Preferred retailer?

cbphoto

Gold Member
I didn’t like the part that they were not very flexible offering any discounts and were only offering their great service.
True story:

After talking with a sales rep at Sweetwater for the first time, I decided to ditch Logic Pro running my rack-mounted MOTU 896HD and buy a Presonus StudioLIve 16.4.2 mixer with the Presonus DAW, Studio One. I also bought some cables and other odds & ends.​
It's important to note that this occurred during the time Apple was phasing out their PowerPC line of Macs, and I used both a PowerPC-chip iMac and an intel-chip iMac.​
Upon receipt of the mixer, I immediately checked its system firmware. It was old, so I chose to update the firmware from my G4-chip iMac. This was a mistake. I bricked the mixer. DOA. Toast. The firmware update stated near the bottom of the EULA that all firmware updates were to be done from an intel-chip Mac computer. I had just burned $1500. I felt sick.​
So I called my Sweetwater guy and tell him I need a repair. He laughs and says he'll send another one out, free of charge, once they receive my dead one, and then gives me a return UPS ticket (and it was a large box for this mixer). I had a new mixer two days later. Apparently, I wasn't the only guy who didn't get the "intel-chip Mac" memo.​

Another true story:

I got a marketing email from Sweetwater with a discount for some drum software (for those people who don't or can't record a drum kit, but can play all the other parts). I responded saying to only send me deals on real drums. I got a call from my sale rep a few minutes later and he asked what I wanted. I said a Tama Starphonic Aluminum snare drum. He gave me a deal that equated to 35% off their listed prices for the drum and a very nice Tama snare bag, plus free shipping.​
Plus, they toss candy into their shipping boxes.
 

Doraemon

Well-known member
Another true story:

I got a marketing email from Sweetwater with a discount for some drum software (for those people who don't or can't record a drum kit, but can play all the other parts). I responded saying to only send me deals on real drums. I got a call from my sale rep a few minutes later and he asked what I wanted. I said a Tama Starphonic Aluminum snare drum. He gave me a deal that equated to 35% off their listed prices for the drum and a very nice Tama snare bag, plus free shipping.​
Plus, they toss candy into their shipping boxes.

Don‘t get me wrong, the shopping experience was great, just depending on the product, I prefer saving a few hundred dollars and take my chances. I called them, but the offer was minimal and they didn’t care about sales at the competition. I would have loved to take 35% off..
The candy will go to the bin, don’t want to multiply my costs at the dentist. :)
 
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iCe

Senior Member
Well since I'm from Europe... 9 out of 10 times i buy from Thomann.de. Great customer service, great package tracking and everything arrives intact.
They don't do discounts etc., but they have have a nice selection of b-stock models (either returned items, showroom items or discontinued items) that every week (maybe 2, can't remember) drop in price and that way you can snatch something really cheap. Saved €40 on a novo china this way. And when Paiste released a limited edition Nicko McBrain set it cost around €14.000 and since nobody bought it the price eventually dropped to €7000 before it disappeared on the site.
 
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someguy01

Well-known member
they didn’t care about sales at the competition.
That's because they don't really have any competition in the online marketplace.
 

Doraemon

Well-known member
That's because they don't really have any competition in the online marketplace.
Can you provide data for this fanboyish claim?
I’ve bought music instruments online many times from lots of other stores, I think GC has a big share considering their overall retail sales are still about 4x of SW, and I would also consider Amazon as an increasingly serious contender.
 

someguy01

Well-known member
Can you provide data for this fanboyish claim?
I’ve bought music instruments online many times from lots of other stores, I think GC has a big share considering their overall retail sales are still about 4x of SW, and I would also consider Amazon as an increasingly serious contender.
GC is moving to chapter 11 proceedings because they have failed to aptly compete with Sweetwater in the online marketplace. This information can be found on Bloomberg Financial. Amazon I don't consider a contender as they don't make sure they're selling the real deal, they will sell anything. There have been threads here about guys receiving fake items from Amazon with a name brand on them. Plus, Amazon is not always an authorized retailer of musical items and that would keep a manufacturer from honoring their warranty.
I am simply stating what is commonly known in the financial world and has been written about 100s of times in regard to GC having to restructure debt on multiple occasions.

As for referring to my statement as fanboyish is simply ludicrous. I am an "fanboy" of nothing. Almost everything has value, no one over another and as discussed also in a previous thread, that particular term is borderline derogatory. I will politely ask that you never use that to refer to me again.
 

Doraemon

Well-known member
GC is moving to chapter 11 proceedings because they have failed to aptly compete with Sweetwater in the online marketplace. This information can be found on Bloomberg Financial. Amazon I don't consider a contender as they don't make sure they're selling the real deal, they will sell anything. There have been threads here about guys receiving fake items from Amazon with a name brand on them. Plus, Amazon is not always an authorized retailer of musical items and that would keep a manufacturer from honoring their warranty.
I am simply stating what is commonly known in the financial world and has been written about 100s of times in regard to GC having to restructure debt on multiple occasions.

As for referring to my statement as fanboyish is simply ludicrous. I am an "fanboy" of nothing. Almost everything has value, no one over another and as discussed also in a previous thread, that particular term is borderline derogatory. I will politely ask that you never use that to refer to me again.

i didn’t mean to be derogatory, sorry for the offending term. I simply can’t believe that SW has such a monopoly on online sales, just because certain kinds of customers like them. For most people price and convenience matters more and I doubt first time shoppers even heard of SW (judging from the number of reddit posts about people with broken Donner kits, lol..).I can see their business is booming, but saying they have no competition is a stretch. (And it wouldn’t be a good thing for us.)
 

someguy01

Well-known member
(And it wouldn’t be a good thing for us.)
This is true. And it's not. I'd love to have the plethora of choices I did in the 80s and 90s, but the big box retailer killed the little shop and then the online marketplace killed the big box retailer that didn't see the writing on the wall. Pretty soon we're all gonna be buying from like one corporate entity with 50 different store names scattered around.
It's not so much that SW has a monopoly online, it's that the others in the market have done such a poor job with online sales that they don't really offer competition. I can say for myself what makes or breaks a retailer is customer service, not best price. SW has it, Drum City Guitarland here has it, GC/MF doesn't.
 

cbphoto

Gold Member
Can you provide data for this fanboyish claim?
Only Sweetwater hosts Gearfest, a thoroughly enjoyable 2-day event where all brands Sweetwater sells can display their wares. And the best part is they bring their endorsers. And these endorsers play their chops and answer questions and, perhaps later, have a snacks or lunch with fans and family. Many of them participate in the large stage evening concert events, which is like a jam session for solo acts such as Steve Vai.

And anyone with a booth display on the Sweetwater campus has deals. Some great deals, some maybe 5%. They make it very easy to buy gear. The vendor simply swipes my Gearfest pass and the item is pulled from stock and is held for me. At the end of two days, I pay for any gear at the exit. Very easy. Very dangerous.
 
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Darth Vater

Senior Member
Only Sweetwater hosts Gearfest, a thoroughly enjoyable 2-day event where all brands Sweetwater sells can display their wares. And the best part is they bring their endorsers. And these endorsers play their chops and answer questions and, perhaps later, have a snacks or lunch with fans and family. Many of them participate in the large stage evening concert events, which is like a jam session for solo acts such as Steve Vai and talent

And anyone with a booth display on the Sweetwater campus has deals. Some great deals, some maybe 5%. They make it very easy to buy gear. The vendor simply swipes my Gearfest pass and the item is pulled from stock and is held for me. At the end of two days, I pay for any gear at the exit. Very easy. Very dangerous.
I'd like to go to that once the pandemic is under control.
 

wildbill

Platinum Member
Only Sweetwater hosts Gearfest, a thoroughly enjoyable 2-day event where all brands Sweetwater sells can display their wares. And the best part is they bring their endorsers. And these endorsers play their chops and answer questions and, perhaps later, have a snacks or lunch with fans and family. Many of them participate in the large stage evening concert events, which is like a jam session for solo acts such as Steve Vai and talent

And anyone with a booth display on the Sweetwater campus has deals. Some great deals, some maybe 5%. They make it very easy to buy gear. The vendor simply swipes my Gearfest pass and the item is pulled from stock and is held for me. At the end of two days, I pay for any gear at the exit. Very easy. Very dangerous.

Interstate music had something similar with Drummerfest.
They closed up shop though and the new owners are going to all on-line starting this Sunday.

 
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Xstr8edgtnrdrmrX

Well-known member
This is true. And it's not. I'd love to have the plethora of choices I did in the 80s and 90s, but the big box retailer killed the little shop and then the online marketplace killed the big box retailer that didn't see the writing on the wall. Pretty soon we're all gonna be buying from like one corporate entity with 50 different store names scattered around.
It's not so much that SW has a monopoly online, it's that the others in the market have done such a poor job with online sales that they don't really offer competition. I can say for myself what makes or breaks a retailer is customer service, not best price. SW has it, Drum City Guitarland here has it, GC/MF doesn't.

already happening...look up Bain Capital
 

bud7h4

Silver Member
I just shop around for the lowest price. I did always check Cascio Interstate before anywhere else for 2 reasons:
1. when they ran a sale, it was usually a store-wide sale, unlike many other places just trying to get rid certain products,
2. you could make offers on their Ebay "store". I bought most my cymbals from them, brand new at about 20% off.
 

Sakae2xBopster

Well-known member
I used to drive back and forth between Columbus, OH and Chicago a lot. Fort Wayne was about half way. I always timed my trips to pass Sweetwater when they were open. An amazing facility. I enjoyed looking through all of their galleries--drums, guitars, keys, basses etc. Had hoped to run into Nick in the hallway but never did LOL!
 

Xstr8edgtnrdrmrX

Well-known member
I used to drive back and forth between Columbus, OH and Chicago a lot. Fort Wayne was about half way. I always timed my trips to pass Sweetwater when they were open. An amazing facility. I enjoyed looking through all of their galleries--drums, guitars, keys, basses etc. Had hoped to run into Nick in the hallway but never did LOL!

where did you live in C-bus?
 

Sakae2xBopster

Well-known member
where did you live in C-bus?
Lived in Gahanna and then Blacklick. In NE Florida now, though. I don't miss the snow, but I do miss the guys at Columbus Pro Percussion! Great shop. They refurbished my Slingerland student snare from the 1960s when I pulled it out of storage a few years ago. And then I bought my Sonor Bop SE kit there in 2016.
 

Xstr8edgtnrdrmrX

Well-known member
Lived in Gahanna and then Blacklick. In NE Florida now, though. I don't miss the snow, but I do miss the guys at Columbus Pro Percussion! Great shop. They refurbished my Slingerland student snare from the 1960s when I pulled it out of storage a few years ago. And then I bought my Sonor Bop SE kit there in 2016.

sweet!! I live in Clintonville, and CPP is just down the street from where I teach, so I am in there about every other week. I am an "original" customer from back when they opened in the early 80's. My friend lived about 5 houses up from that original store sight on High Street, so we lived down there. Rupp and Briethhaup were always kicking us out of the store for making too much noise...

and we don't get snow anymore...we pretty much have "Tennessee" winters now -> 40* and rain the whole time.
 

someguy01

Well-known member
Had a nice conversation with my Sweetwater rep about my apprehension blind buying Zildjians. Being a drummer himself, he completely understood and when I inquired if I could return a cymbal for the same one if it didn't sound right, he said there was no issue with that at all. CS not price wins every time, it was a sweet deal though.
You'll find what it was in the "recent purchase" thread when it arrives.
 

Doraemon

Well-known member
Had a nice conversation with my Sweetwater rep about my apprehension blind buying Zildjians. Being a drummer himself, he completely understood and when I inquired if I could return a cymbal for the same one if it didn't sound right, he said there was no issue with that at all. CS not price wins every time, it was a sweet deal though.
You'll find what it was in the "recent purchase" thread when it arrives.
Does it mean they will pay for your return? I think you can return anything for 30 days, but not at their cost unless it's broken...
My Sweetwater rep (probably a different guy) said if I return the product I don't like (and not even fully compatible with my kit), I have to pay for shipping (at least $50 due to weight) and they will also deduct their free shipping cost from my refund, so now I'm stuck with it, and will likely put it on ebay.. At least with a local store or Prime I am safe to get all my money back. (Same with shoes, lol.)
 
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