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Bricks and Mortar Shops


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I posted this over on GC but thought it might be of interest here too...

 

I was in my local music shop, Matchetts, this evening. They are having a pedal week and had Adam Ironside from D'Addario in to demonstrate their new XPND pedal board. I am an absolute beginner when it comes to electric guitar, so I went along to try and learn something (and because I was at a loose end). The pedal board looks like a really useful bit of kit. The one he showed holds about 4 pedals but has a section that slides out which can accommodate another 3 or 4. He encouraged us to ask questions, so I asked about powering the pedals (I did say I'm a beginner) and I ended up coming away with a D'Addario Pedal Tuner Plus for asking what Adam considered to be the best question of the night. Happy days! He also gave us some t-shirts. The moral of the story is, support your local bricks and mortar music shops, because you don't get this sort of thing from online retailers.

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I couldn't agree with you more. Whenever possible, I now try to purchase from physical stores rather than online. However, the problem is not always helped by the retailer, especially when stock (say of a pedal, for example) is only available online and no stock is available in your local store.

Sometimes the convenience and confidence factors of shopping online is too much of a pull to trump driving x number of miles just to find that the shop is out of stock etc. 

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Other than getting CDs on Amazon and Discogs I won't do any online shopping. This is partly out of principle, as I don't want to contribute towards decline of trad retail businesses. Also how often do you hear about people getting stuff that doesn't fit/work or after a courier has lobbed it over a fence or or left it outside the front door only to get nicked. Besides, viz music stores what better way to spend time than having a play on something well outside your price range? And you get to have a good ole chat with the owner/manager.

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Sadly it's not an option for some of us. The closest, half decent music shop to  me is three hours drive away, even then, they couldn't even dream of competing with the likes of Thomann on stock, price, or probably even customer service. I can get stuff delivered to my door from Germany cheaper than I can drive to the city, park to go and pick it up. Online is the only way to go as far as I'm concerned. 

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4 minutes ago, Newfoundfreedom said:

Sadly it's not an option for some of us. The closest, half decent music shop to  me is three hours drive away, even then, they couldn't even dream of competing with the likes of Thomann on stock, price, or probably even customer service. I can get stuff delivered to my door from Germany cheaper than I can drive to the city, park to go and pick it up. Online is the only way to go as far as I'm concerned. 

I got my guitar and amp from Thomann, but I did buy my bass amp from this shop a few months ago (though I did order it online 😄). If I decide to upgrade the guitar or buy a new bass it will be from the shop, because I want to be able to try it first. I do buy other bits and pieces from them too, like plectrums, straps, books etc.

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Haven't most bricks and mortar shops pivoted online anyway?  If I buy online from a wee shop somewhere rather than going route one to your generic online box shifter then surely I am supporting bricks and mortar without having to go to the ballache of actually going there (come on, I live in Aberdeen, going almost anywhere in the UK is a ballache).

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Shops are fine provided you have mainstream tastes or there are suitable specialised shops in your area.

 

Otherwise not even giants like Thomann can compete with the variety of stuff available once you venture on line. Personally I like to buy direct from the individual manufacturers wherever possible.

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Posted (edited)

I wouldn't buy a new bass from anywhere but a shop. Thats the only way to be sure that the exact instrument I receive weighs, sounds, and is finished exactly as I want it.   It ain't worth trying to save 30 or 50 quid on a £1000 instrument if you can't hand pick the very best example.

 

 

 

Edited by Bassfinger
Stopped at the shops
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1 hour ago, Bassfinger said:

I wouldn't buy a new bass from anywhere but a shop. Thats the only way to be sure that the exact instrument I receive weighs, sounds, and is finished exactly as I want it.   It ain't worth trying to save 30 or 50 quid on a £1000 instrument if you can't hand pick the very best example.

 

I'm the same when choosing a camembert. Each one has to be opened, tested for springiness then put back. There are often over forty to test; shopping like this can't be done on t'web. -_-

(Disclaimer : I don't buy 1000€ cheeses...).

 

JVon6RP.jpg

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On 27/05/2022 at 08:33, Barking Spiders said:

Other than getting CDs on Amazon and Discogs I won't do any online shopping. 


Do you know about hive.co.uk for CDs? They aren’t always as cheap as Amazon but give a percentage to a local shop of your choice. 

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31 minutes ago, nekomatic said:


Do you know about hive.co.uk for CDs? They aren’t always as cheap as Amazon but give a percentage to a local shop of your choice. 

Sounds a bit like bookshop.org

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On 27/05/2022 at 22:45, Dad3353 said:

 

I'm the same when choosing a camembert. Each one has to be opened, tested for springiness then put back. There are often over forty to test; shopping like this can't be done on t'web. -_-

(Disclaimer : I don't buy 1000€ cheeses...).

 

JVon6RP.jpg

Im the same with condoms as well. Gotta test them for fit at rhe chemist.  Sandra on the till is very patient.

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On 29/05/2022 at 22:17, nekomatic said:


Do you know about hive.co.uk for CDs? They aren’t always as cheap as Amazon but give a percentage to a local shop of your choice. 

Not heard of them but will check them out next time there's a CD I want to buy. I try to support indie stores when possible - Head in Leamington Spa and Badlands in Cheltenham - though their 'electronica/dance ' sections are very small compared to other genres, which is why I have to use Amazon and Discogs.

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I would love to be able to buy from a bricks and mortar shop, But they simply don't carry the stock or option of brands that I'm looking for.

Even things such as strings are hard to get at the moment due to varying issues, but even then finding a shop that stocks 50-110 strings is increasingly difficult with out going to a specialist - either andertons or GAK for a physical shop (somewhere between 1 and 3 hours away) or a few clicks away on a pc without any petrol outlay ;)

the only basses they stock in the local emporium are real entry level stuff - not that theres anything wrong there, but I tend to look for things which are generally a couple of rungs up the ladder if you understand me.

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I've always found it odd (and a little quaint) that people will continue to take this stance and shop at places with a storefront.  Sure I can understand my 85 year old mother-in-law browsing round department stores, but in the main, we're all net-savvy and should know better.  Barring my Barefaced win, all my current kit (guitars, basses, amps, stomps, enclosures, accessories) was all purchased sight unseen from Thomann, Andertons, Bass Direct or Amazon, honestly can't remember last time I bought anything from a music shop...possibly a Laney 2x10 from Kingfisher in Fleet early 90s.  As a prodigious reader, the only shop I'd make any effort to use/visit would be Waterstones and even then only if they had a Waterstones-exclusive content or there was a signing I wanted to go to.  I even buy shoes online.

 

When all this was fields, I worked for a company that tried to dissuade online sales by the customer-base and only supplied businesses with a regular shops; eventually they trialled one customer online and realised very quickly how many units they could shift and the floodgates opened.  Quicker than you could say Where's Montgomery? (chortle) we'd jumped in bed with Amazon and sales rocketed.

 

The High Street as we know it is on it's last legs, folks.  Nail shops, beauty parlours and hairdressers.

 

 

 

 

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I hate shopping, finding places to park the car (or even worse having to use public transport) and having to deal with idiots, behind the counter and in front of it, I buy as much as I can online, except food (even than I mostly use click and collect)and clothes, it's convenient,  cheaper and there's far more choice.

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31 minutes ago, PaulWarning said:

I hate shopping, finding places to park the car...

That's the worst bit.  I've only been to Andertons once, I timed my journey so I arrived at opening time to give me the best chance of getting a parking spot out front.  I was successful but as soon as I had parked and got out, other cars started sniffing around.  I try to only go to shops that I know parking won't be an issue, at a certain time.

 

Nevertheless, I really enjoy being in guitar shops, looking at all the basses etc hanging from the wall.  I feel like a kid going to a toy shop just before Christmas.

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I spent a lovely couple of hours in merchant city music at the weekend trying out different guitars. I could have shopped around online or waited for something used, but as I was getting a guitar for the first time in years I wanted to try things out so I was sure I was getting the right thing.

 

Great selection, no hard sell, relaxed staff and I was able to take my time. 

I'm really happy to support local shops. It's good for the local scene.

 

Admittedly it took 6 weeks to find time to be able to do this, but it was worth the wait.

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I yearn for the days of going local. In Birmingham when i was young, there was so much choice. Most shops carried a fair stock of new and second hand. the latter was the section i had to choose from. I knew everyone! They tolerated my stupid bass playing and lack of funds. They stuck with me until i earnt a few bob to spend!! It has changed and had to change. Its not just a stock issue its distribution and the market leaders buying up all the small guys and spitting them out. The market reflects consumer needs and choice. Im happy to go with both, However i do miss my wasted days learnig about gear and stuff.

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I try to buy my instruments and amplifiers from shops that I can visit in person - but they are becoming increasingly hard to find. They also don't do themselves any favours when their websites show something as being in stock at your local branch, but after driving there and asking for the item, they tell you that the website hasn't been updated for weeks...

My last two new basses were bought on line, and although I had problems with one of them, it was replaced without any fuss.

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It’s not an either / or, we can still support independent music shops buying from them online. Matchetts is an online retailer, physical store in Belfast plus full fat e-commerce site. See also BassDirect, The Gallery.. 
There aren’t any bricks and mortar music stores that don’t also heavily rely on online sales. 

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It must be time to roll out this old gem again. 

 

This is my nearest music shop.

I still can't work out if it's a clever parody or he's just a bit of a knob. Well I tell a lie, I've been in there... I shop online now. 😁

 

 

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