You can find good quality drums at a variety of outlets. The first place you’re likely to start is your local music store or drum shop. They’ll generally offer you great service and the opportunity to play the drums before you buy them. The disadvantage is that you’re likely to pay a little more for your drums than if you went through a mail order or Internet retailer.
I recommend the local drum shop first because they can help you find what you’re looking for, but if you don’t have a local drum shop or if you really want to save a few bucks, you may want to consider an alternative.
Wherever you end up buying your drums, make sure you check on the return policy of the store. If something goes wrong or you just plain don’t like the way your drums sound, you want to be able to return them. Most reputable retailers have a policy that allows you to return the drums if you need to (the policies usually specify that you need to return the drums between 14 and 30 days from the date you purchased).
If you order from a mail order or Internet company, you’re liable for the shipping charges (to and from your house) unless there is something wrong with the drums. If you end up sending a drumset back after ordering from one of these retailers, you’ll lose any price savings that you gained over the higher price of the local drum shop.
If you’re in the market for a drumset, your local drum shop or music store will probably have a few in stock, but if you want a traditional drum, you may not be able to find one in your area (especially if you’re in the market for a surdo or something exotic like that). In this case, you need to find an alternative source. There are several great mail order and Internet companies that sell drums.