You can pick up a guitar almost anywhere today and many do so online, with eBay and Amazon being good examples.
Online shopping is convenient, but shopping for an acoustic or electric guitar at your local music store still has many advantages.
The main one is that you actually get to see, touch and feel the guitar.
Sure, you can spend your whole day watching the 360-degree video that the webmaster has uploaded to its site and listen to the pro play it, but you still won’t be able to judge its weight, balance or the tension of the strings.
A couple of professional guitarists have these suggestions when considering buying a guitar from a real store.
Research online. Online stores are great to get an idea on every instrument that’s available on the market. Read the reviews and compare prices. Then, decide on a couple of models that you think are best for you.
Visit all the stores that you can. You’ll get all the information you need this way and you’ll also find different offers that might suit you.
Avoid rush hours. Music stores are crowded on weekends and in the afternoon. try to pick another time to shop as you’ll get more attention this way and the seller won’t be too tired, or grumpy, to answer all of your questions.
Play the guitar. Most stores encourage customers to play, but if you run into one that’s reluctant, just leave.
Remember, you’re the buyer and the store’s job is to earn your confidence and business.
Employees in music stores are usually musicians. Ask them their opinion as they’re probably enthusiastic and have real life knowledge. See if you can get the information you need.
Get the best price. Music stores are like car dealers; they expect you to bargain and usually price accordingly. Musical instruments are fairly big ticket items and the profit margins are usually quite good so there should be some room to negotiate. If you see that it’s not possible, you might get some free stuff instead. Books, lessons, strings and picks for example.
If you have an old guitar, let them know. You might be able to get a bargain out of it as some stores resell used instruments. Otherwise, you can always check prices on eBay!
Make sure you understand the store’s return policy.
Use competition to your advantage. Music stores know their competition. Show them that you do, too. They’ll probably try to beat these prices to keep you in store.
Only pay a premium if you’re getting more value. If you pay a higher price, bargain for free customer support or service or anything else you might need. This way you’ll only pay once, but you’ll have peace of mind; anything you might need is going to be included in the price.
Above all, remember – You’re the client and you have the money. They’re not doing you a favor by selling to you. Make them earn the right to have you walk out of the store with one of their guitars!
One of the main attractions of shopping online is that it offers anonymity and excludes sales pressure. You can visit the page as many times as you like and no one will look at you in a strange way. However, building a personal relationship with employees of a music store might be more beneficial as you’ll always have someone to look after you and without waiting for a return email (which often never comes)!