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Author Topic: Sharing my experience with anyone interested in hearing about it.  (Read 14278 times)
KenSanders
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« on: January 10, 2008, 11:36:07 PM »

In the business world, for as long as I can remember, there has always been advertising to attract and, I believe persuade potential customers. For us musicians (both professional and hobby), one of the largest group of businesses out there today targeting us, is the on-line musical instrument dealers.

They all seem to have well-thought-out websites with lots of information about the products, and they all seem to have another thing that has has caught my attention.  It seems to be the new “MUST SAY IT” phrase for on-line musical instrument advertising.  Roll Eyes

It’s that statement that may also catch your attention......... the  "GUARANTED LOWEST PRICE”.  Yes, the dealers say they will meet or beat any competitors advertised price on any item. Well, that sounded good to me, so I decided to put this to the test with five of the big on-line dealers.  I chose the Yamaha Steel Shell Model SD-2340 Snare Drum as my test item.  Why?  Because it’s not a custom-made drum, nor an expensive drum, nor is it a rare item.  That’s why I selected it.

First, I went out on the web and searched the dealers who advertised this drum and made note of each dealer’s advertised price on this snare drum so the test would be about the exact same new drum with each dealer.  The actual lowest price I found was $174 with free shipping.  Shocked

The other prices listed on the various websites were:
•   $185.00 Shocked
•   $209.50 Undecided
•   $219.99  Cry
•   $251.95  Angry

I emailed each online dealer who listed a higher price and used their “CONTACT US” email address from their website.  I clearly explained that I was interested in purchasing above mentioned Yamaha Steel Shell Snare Drum (Yamaha  Model SD-2340 also ) BUT that I had found a competitor with an advertised lower price.  I also advised them that I was including the lower price competitor’s website site l that showed the actual posting with an advertised lower price.

I asked them a very simple question and requested a prompt response.  The question was: “Would they would either MEET or BEAT the competitor’s advertised price?” ?  After all, that was exactly what their stated policy said.  All of those emails were sent out two weeks ago.  To date, I have received NO RESPONSE from ANY of the dealers.  Huh

I have drawn my own conclusion about the “we will beat any competitor’s advertised price”.  My conclusion was that, at least in my own experience, that is was just a gimmick.

I am sharing my experience with any one who is interested in reading about it.  My advice is that you have a well thought-out strategy when dealing with the online dealers.  Shocked

I have not mentioned any particular online dealer’s names, because I have no intention of defaming them on the DSA website.  That is not my purpose nor my desire.  I simply want to empasize the old adage  that was applicable in my experience......................let the buyer beware.

It reminds me of buying a car.  How many times does the car salesman go to "the boss" and return with another absolute best price?  I've usually start to walk off about four times before the REAL best price is ever offered.   It seems you have to really "play their stupid game" too, unless you want to spend more money than you have to.  Cheesy

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Ken Sanders
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« Reply #1 on: January 11, 2008, 12:31:19 AM »

It is sad but true... - None of them will make anything like that...

The exception (in my experience) is Sam Ash, they will actually sell you the item for the price of the competitor (assuming the price is lower than the one Sam Ash is presenting) BUT they want to see the Real store, Not the Online store, so if you can find something cheeper elsewhere, just walk over to a Sam Ash store and tell that to the salesman, and you have your self the deal! - At least it was like that in my case.

But again, it HAS to be an actual store, not an "online only" company.
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KenSanders
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« Reply #2 on: January 11, 2008, 07:59:49 AM »

I have to ponder why I wouldn't be inclined to purchase a item from the store with the original lowest price.  

Unless the other store (i.e. Sam Ash, which I understand has a wonderful reputation) was BEATING, not just meeting, the other store's price; then why should even I consider giving them my business? Even though a reputable store like Sam Ash would eventually refund the difference, you would have still lost the use of the extra money paid out for a certain period of time.

In my way of thinking, the original store with the lower price, was more fair to begin with.  So I would rather buy from them than go through all the trouble of producing acceptable documentation to the store that had a higher price. 

If I had an undeniable way to show the competitor's price was truly lower, then I just would not be motivated to do business with another store that was basically asking me to produce other additional proof that I wasn't a liar.  I would also make sure that I told everyone how bogus they were.

When you get jerked around, others need to know about it, otherwise the bogus dealers continue to get away with it.

 

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Ken Sanders
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« Reply #3 on: January 11, 2008, 11:19:19 AM »

You are right! It is a common cense to take the best offer. (and Not to make someone else meet the offer) After all, the one who gave you the best offer from the beginning is making a "better" business. - Better for us as the customers. Cool
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« Reply #4 on: March 07, 2008, 11:48:03 AM »

I have found the same results in the past Ken. I actually bought my kit from a local store and they met the price of an online store to make me happy.  I was indeed happy with the deal, and of course they knew that I would also buy quite a few accesories while I was there so in the end they did just fine for the little bit they subtracted for the initial kit sale. In fact when I bought the kit, I purchased Cymbals,a throne, and cases all at the same time. and also special ordered extra drums for the kit.   Shocked
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« Reply #5 on: August 01, 2008, 04:47:30 PM »

Ken,
        really interesting topic. It's stuff like what your talking about that has helped me to decide to go into the music buisness online myself. Purchasing instruments can be a nightmare either online or at a brick n mortar operation. Sometimes it can be a pleasure it's a crap shoot. I wonder why SA wouldn't beat an online retailers price ? I mean they are retailers aren't they ? SA itself has a rather extensive online presence So I just wonder. It's amazing how much the price of an item can vary from website to website or store to store. Ya gotta do your homework. I'm in the process of doing just that. I'm deciding what products I'm gonna carry and I'm pricing the competition I'm amazed at what I'm finding. One thing I found every website has the garantued lowest prices. LOL Good work bro.
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KenSanders
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« Reply #6 on: August 01, 2008, 07:29:04 PM »

Ken,
        really interesting topic. It's stuff like what your talking about that has helped me to decide to go into the music buisness online myself.


I certainly wish you the best.  I understand that people in business have to make a profit in order to survive.  However, the "we'll beat anyone's advertised price" claim has not been an honest one in my recent experiences.  Maybe that will give you some ideas on how to lure some business your way once you are set up to start.  Keep us posted about your new venture.
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Ken Sanders
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« Reply #7 on: August 01, 2008, 10:20:10 PM »

Ken,
         Thanks and I'll keep you posted. You won't ever see that false come on crap on my site. Or Gaurateed lowest prices Thats all just BS. Honesty, Fair pricing and customer service is the way to do it.
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KenSanders
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« Reply #8 on: May 05, 2010, 08:03:02 PM »

IL_DUCE

It's been a while and I was wondering how you are doing with your on-line venture.
Please bring us all up-to-date.
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Ken Sanders
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« Reply #9 on: May 06, 2010, 07:56:44 AM »

As you all know, my recent purchase of a Gretsch Catalina brought this experience first hand. I agree with Ken on one point: If you, named retailer, are willing to beat another dealer, then you are charging me too much to begin with? How is this fair to me? PLEASE, if there is any advice I must give, it is to shop around. Id you haven't read of my buying experience, please refer to post " Buying my son a drumset "
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« Reply #10 on: May 13, 2010, 04:49:37 PM »

You know, when it comes right down to it, do your homework and buy from the local merchant. That keeps your money locally to support the school district, police and fire departments, infrastructure, etc., and don't forget the employees of the local store. Many of these employee are your fellow musicians trying to make a living. Most of these 'on-line' mega stores are owned by the same corporation. I called a manufacturer with a question and was shocked to find out that most of the big ones are just one company. There is something to said about seeing and hearing the product personally before you buy and doing business with someone you know and not a telephone order taker or computer screen.
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