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  #1  
Old 04-12-2011, 07:17 PM
AngDaga AngDaga is offline
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Default Buying local dilemma

I've been itching for a new guitar for a while and am about to pull the trigger. My issue is where to purchase it. I went to a local guitar store and a very helpful salesman listened to my style of playing and to what I said I wanted in a guitar he and suggested several for me to try. I played for about 30 minutes and found one that suits me perfectly.

My dilemma is that I later contacted a respected dealer on the internet and the price is considerably less. I know we're not supposed to talk prices, but the difference is fairly signficant. I'm just an average middle class guy but it wouldn't kill me to pay the higher price to support my local business, but I have to look out for number one as well.

I really would feel guilty buying online, especially after the attention I was given. Anyone else ever felt this?
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Old 04-12-2011, 07:24 PM
DMSM DMSM is offline
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You can buy a guitar online from a small business owner, as well. I know Guitar Rodeo has competitive prices and is a smaller guitar store operation. Jim provides great customer service and make sure you purchase what your are looking for. http://www.guitarrodeo.com/index.php . Initially I felt guilty about not purchasing in the store, however, I felt more comfortable buying a guitar from Jim than at my local store. He made sure everything was set up properly, no one really played the guitar I was looking for at his store, etc.
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Old 04-12-2011, 07:44 PM
jerlialprophet jerlialprophet is offline
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My feeling is that you should give the local shop a chance to match or at least lower their price for you. The local dealer may be willing to negotiate on the price, especially if he knows you can find a better deal. I've never been to a guitar shop where they haven't been willing to work with you at least some (even Guitar Center) and most would be willing to come down significantly when it comes down to it. That all being said, I have purchased from Jim at Guitar Rodeo and was very very pleased with the experience.
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Old 04-12-2011, 07:46 PM
e8n e8n is offline
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I've bought a ton of stuff from Jim (he's also my local dealer) but in this case I think I would buy from your local store. The salesman took quite a bit of time with you and help you out. That's worth something I would say. The bottom line is that if everyone goes down the street and tries out the guitars and then buys online, there won't be places locally anymore to try them.

Also, you got to play the guitar that you are looking at. No matter who you buy from online you will not have that same opportunity.

-Dave
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Guitars of the past: Alvarez AD60, 2007 Taylor 110ce, 2006 Taylor 710ce, Taylor 2008 GS Fall Ltd, 2010 Taylor 814ce, 2010 Taylor K26ce, 2006 Blueridge BR-361, 2011 GSMini, 1980 Ovation something or othe, Taylor 714cer
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Old 04-12-2011, 08:00 PM
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wooglins wooglins is offline
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Originally Posted by e8n View Post
I've bought a ton of stuff from Jim (he's also my local dealer) but in this case I think I would buy from your local store. The salesman took quite a bit of time with you and help you out. That's worth something I would say. The bottom line is that if everyone goes down the street and tries out the guitars and then buys online, there won't be places locally anymore to try them.

Also, you got to play the guitar that you are looking at. No matter who you buy from online you will not have that same opportunity.

-Dave
THe real question IMHO becomes was the 30 minutes the salesperson spent with you worth say 800 dollars an hour? It would be in my opinion if he made that from your purchase of the guitar, but in reality whether you buy the guitar from him or not will not make or break his day and he for sure wont make the money you will save.

Follow your wallet, and be sure to buy somewhere that has an excellent return policy and a lifetime 100% buyback program.
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Old 04-12-2011, 08:08 PM
e8n e8n is offline
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THe real question IMHO becomes was the 30 minutes the salesperson spent with you worth say 800 dollars an hour? It would be in my opinion if he made that from your purchase of the guitar, but in reality whether you buy the guitar from him or not will not make or break his day and he for sure wont make the money you will save.

Follow your wallet, and be sure to buy somewhere that has an excellent return policy and a lifetime 100% buyback program.
Only if you want the store to be around long term. Ask them to meet somewhere in the middle you never know what they might do.

Just as an aside, for us here in MN buying from Jim is actually more expensive than for everyone else. We pay all local taxes etc on anything we buy which ads up to a pretty fair amount (several hundred $$s +) in the end. So I will say that I do practice what I preach.

-Dave
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2012 Taylor 814LTD
2008 Fender Telecaster
2010 Kentucky Mandolin


Guitars of the past: Alvarez AD60, 2007 Taylor 110ce, 2006 Taylor 710ce, Taylor 2008 GS Fall Ltd, 2010 Taylor 814ce, 2010 Taylor K26ce, 2006 Blueridge BR-361, 2011 GSMini, 1980 Ovation something or othe, Taylor 714cer
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Old 04-12-2011, 08:12 PM
donh donh is offline
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Follow your wallet, and be sure to buy somewhere that has an excellent return policy and a lifetime 100% buyback program.
And you will end up with a nice gaggle of moderately-priced guitars and way-less music in your life.

The local guy led to to a specific guitar that spoke to you. That is worth everything.

Getting a guitar-shaped object with the same markings is a far cry from getting a guitar that speaks to you.

If you are going to use their good services (he helped you find "one that suits me perfectly") at least have the good grace to palm a $50 bill and give him a golden handshake.
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Old 04-12-2011, 08:31 PM
MattM MattM is offline
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I agree you need to give the local guy a chance to play ball. His helpful advice should be worth something, as is buying the actual guitar you played vs. a similar model that you haven't. The same model that you buy sight unseen WILL NOT sound exactly the same as the one that you already know that you like, and that is where the real value would be for me. That is why I would not ask him to match an intenet price, but I would offer him less than "sticker price" (much like cars, most people don't pay full sticker, and this is especially true on higher end guitars). Just for example, if his price on a guitar is $1,300 and you can get it for $1,100 online, I would offer him $1,200. I would simply state "I know you have some overhead to cover here in your shop that others may not have, and I do appreciate the helpful advice, so I am willing to pay a bit more than I could get it through other channels; however, it would sure make things easier for me on the home front if I could get this guitar for $1,200" or somesuch. If he counters or doesn't take it, give him your phone number in case he changes his mind. This has a better than even chance of working if you handle it right.
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Old 04-12-2011, 08:36 PM
givempills givempills is offline
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This thread has me thinking....

I'm an independent pharmacist. I hate losing customers to mailaway and big chain stores.

I just bought a guitar from Jim @ Guitar Rodeoi!

When somebody comes into my store and asks for a lower price on something, I usually try to work with them....These days, I'd rather make some $$$ than have a customer leave the store.

Another thing, I'm not so happy with my local dealer. Why, you ask? Because theyre jerks! You have to give a urine sample to try a guitar. Theyre so unwelcoming that every time I walk out of there I say I'm never going back!
The guys there dont know much about the Taylors they have, and really dont know much about what they dont have!

Here's my current method for finding a new guitar.
STEP 1: Talk nice @ Guitar Center and get them to open the case.
STEP 2: Play em all!
STEP 3: Call Jim at Guitar Rodeo

Dont forget that this forum doesnt run itself.....The support and knowledge you find here is also worth something! Look at the Spring limiteds, you saw them here before Taylor even announced them. To me, THATS worth something.

Dont give that salesman at the shop $50. I work too hard to walk around handing people money for helping me. Most of the time, some eye contact and a "thank you." gets me through the day.

Sorry to ramble...dont spend more than you have to if you dont WANT to!

-Bill
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Old 04-12-2011, 08:46 PM
timstone41 timstone41 is offline
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I am a small business owner who takes pride in the level of product knowledge and expertise that both my staff and I provide to our customers. I often struggle with the fact that some customers will use our expertise and time to find the right product for them and then that customer goes online and purchases those products for often the same price, sometimes a little less, but saves on the sales tax (currently 7.75% locally). Most of our customers can see the value in dealing with a local business and others are simply looking to get all of the answers, in effect use us for our knowledge and they see no value in it. They just know that they will save a few bucks by buying it online.

In your case, I would at least give your local dealer a chance to get your business. The salesman took the time to find the right guitar for you. If you see value in that talk with him about how much you love the guitar and hopefully you can meet somewhere in the middle on price.
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  #11  
Old 04-12-2011, 08:59 PM
Cindy Cindy is offline
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I've bought both locally and from Jim. Locally you will probably have tax, and if you buy from one of the forum sponsors, you probably will have shipping. When I purchased locally, it's been from two different stores...one was GC and the other a small private store. Both local stores were more than willing to work with me on the price without any hassles at all. When you buy locally, you can visually inspect the guitars and listen to the tone. If they have more than one of the same model, you can even A/B them back to back.

If you buy from Jim, he has a nice buy-back policy as others have stated where you can trade up for a more expensive guitar after a year providing it's kept in good shape.

Both ways have their benefits. Are you looking for a keeper or a stepping stone?
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Old 04-12-2011, 09:47 PM
Baxter Baxter is offline
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This should be a no-brainer. If you found the guitar that worked good for you at a local store, go buy the dang thing. If you are offered a better price online, get it writing and ask the local guy to work with you.
With the online purchase, you never know what your going to get. You get to test drive it once you pony up your charge card number. All the online stores have 30 day return policies. Is this such a great sales pitch ? The guitar sent to you could have been sent to a few other shoppers before you.
What if you have a warranty issue down the road ? Are you going to go out, find a box, ship it back to the online store, or are you going to take it to the local guy for advice ? What if you need your saddle polished during a string change ? Online guy can't do that. You get soooo much more for your money when you shop locally. You get the after sale interaction, you get a relationship. This will pay off down the road.
The local guys are the one who built Taylor up to where they are today. The online stores came in later.
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Old 04-12-2011, 09:50 PM
Andrew Y Andrew Y is offline
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Originally Posted by Baxter View Post
This should be a no-brainer. If you found the guitar that worked good for you at a local store, go buy the dang thing. If you are offered a better price online, get it writing and ask the local guy to work with you.
Exactly. Where i work, we're happy to match prices. at least give that a try!
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Old 04-12-2011, 10:24 PM
scooter74 scooter74 is offline
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Originally Posted by AngDaga View Post
I went to a local guitar store and a very helpful salesman listened to my style of playing and to what I said I wanted in a guitar he and suggested several for me to try. I played for about 30 minutes and found one that suits me perfectly.
That should be the end of the story but it wasn't, for some reason after this positive experience you called or emailed around for prices which tells me price is more important to you than you admit. If so than buy your Taylor from Jim, or better yet, get the same price from LA Guitar Sales. Ted is not only a sponsor of this forum but a major contributor as well.
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Old 04-12-2011, 10:31 PM
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DenverSteve DenverSteve is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AngDaga View Post
I went to a local guitar store and a very helpful salesman listened to my style of playing and to what I said I wanted in a guitar he and suggested several for me to try. I played for about 30 minutes and found one that suits me perfectly.
No dilemma. Buy the guitar. It suits you perfectly. You were served by a local owner who - was there when you needed them, had guitars for you to play, listened to you play and advised you towards a specific guitar, and he/she was right. Priceless.
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