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Music store blues


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Okay, this is a pet peeve of mine, but there only seems to be two kinds of music stores. Some, thank goodness, are friendly places with great gear and nice, knowledgeable staff that love this stuff as much as we do. I am lucky to have such a shop, Music Street, in Huntington.

 

Then, there is the other type. The staff are too busy being important and letting you know that they are granting you a huge boon just by allowing you to exist in their exalted presence.They make you feel unwelcome from the start. The first one of these I remember from years ago when I was looking for string options for my 74 LoPrinzi flattop. I decided to try to get advice in one of these shops…they just looked down their noses and informed me that, since this was just a Martin copy ( it isn’t), string choice didn’t matter. I walked out, went to a good shop that recommended Pearse strings, and I’ve been using them ever since.

 

I had a really bad experience today when I pulled into Peach Music in Colechester. They are, apparently, open by appointment only and gave me the distinct impression that I just did not belong there. They will never get a penny from me. 
 

I have worked retail and have never understood this attitude. Any other music store horror stories out there?

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I’ve had nothing but great service from every music shop I’ve tried in Glasgow. These guys know that they don’t sell loads of guitars and almost all of the staff are musicians or at least massive music lovers. The ones I have dealt with genuinely want you to try out guitars because they are exited to share the experience. Maybe I’ve been lucky. 

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I've been to Peach a couple of times and not had any bad experience personally, perhaps I didn't have the misfortune of meeting the salesperson you did! They're open by appointment only to protect stock I think, they've had a few thefts in recent years including a £10k custom shop PRS so I don't begrudge them that - I would of course begrudge them poor service and a bad attitude as you've experienced. I hope that isn't a sign of how they now operate...

 

On a slight side note, I did have a very nice chat with Mr Paul Reed Smith himself a few years ago at that Peach store, he's an incredible blues player! 

 

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Edited by binky_bass
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Because I don't really have the social skills to notice, I'm blissfully unaware of sales-people trying to make me feel unwanted in any shop. I'll happily take my time looking and touching all the items I'm interested in, and after all of that I may even make a purchase.

 

However like, I suspect, a lot of people on here, I generally find myself more knowledgeable about stuff that I am genuinely interested in buying than most of the people trying to "sell" it to me.

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1 hour ago, binky_bass said:

I've been to Peach a couple of times and not had any bad experience personally, perhaps I didn't have the misfortune of meeting the salesperson you did! They're open by appointment only to protect stock I think, they've had a few thefts in recent years including a £10k custom shop PRS so I don't begrudge them that - I would of course begrudge them poor service and a bad attitude as you've experienced. I hope that isn't a sign of how they now operate...

 

On a slight side note, I did have a very nice chat with Mr Paul Reed Smith himself a few years ago at that Peach store, he's an incredible blues player! 

 

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I think that’s kind of a strange business model. It’s a guitar shop, not the Louvre. Makes them look like a-holes, in my opinion. Ever been to Gruhn Guitars in Nashville? I would bet their stock is a bit more expensive, but they actually let people walk in. 

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Most shops I've been into are great. I used to spend hours in my local shop (Harrow Music) when I was a teen chatting to the staff and they were all really sound.

 

The worst service I've seen was down on Denmark St. About 10 years ago a guy asked to play a Gibson LP and the guy behind the counter said he could play an Epiphone instead to see if he likes the feel of that and make his decision to buy based on how the Epi felt. Maybe they're sick of people coming in just to noodle on nice guitars, but that was terrible.

 

I really want to like Andertons, I love their YT channel and content, their site is easy to navigate, range is ace and prices are decent too.......but every time I've gone there or talked to them on the phone it feels like they're too busy to care or just aren't that knowledgeable. I get that they're busy, but I'm not a fan of their service level.

 

PMT and GuitarGuitar on the other hand I think are great from a service point of view. I was with my mate the other day when he went to drop his strat into PMT for a setup. The tech looked at it when he handed it over and said he could see where it wasn't setup properly, tinkered with it for 10 minutes then handed it back for no charge.

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If I was the manager of gear4music I would be wondering why their staff are so uninterested in helping a sale come to fruition. As it was, I appreciated being left alone to spend some quality time coming to the conclusion that the bass I had travelled to see was not quite for me. I guess that's a recommendation? 🤷

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3 hours ago, binky_bass said:

They're open by appointment only to protect stock I think, they've had a few thefts in recent years including a £10k custom shop PRS so I don't begrudge them that

 

Sounds like they're protecting themselves from stronger sales figures from spontaneous customers too. 

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25 minutes ago, Machines said:

 

Sounds like they're protecting themselves from stronger sales figures from spontaneous customers too. 

Great comment…I think most musicians value good relationships over a wall full of guitars you can’t touch. I just looked at Peach’s website…nothing special there, and certainly nothing I can’t get at my local.

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At age 18 I went into Sound Control in Edinburgh and the shop assistant was a condescending twerp.

 

I met him again, 40 years later, and guess what, he's still a condescending twerp.

 

 

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My dealings with Peach have only been via their website and on the phone. They went out of their way to sort out a Vintera Jazz I bought last Autumn, and they rejected the first two replacements that Fender sent them - the one that satisfied their standards was then given the full plek treatment (usually an expensive option) and arrived in perfect condition. 

 

I would certainly use them again (the Jazz was the third, possibly fourth, bass I have bought from them in the last few years. Only wish they weren't so far away!

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I think it's the member of staff you get to deal with rather than the shop as a whole. When I use PMT in Southend I always ring first and see if a particular chap is in and talk to him first because he's extremely knowledgeable, helpful and, above all, friendly and polite. I've had good service at Peach but I've only been there twice. Also, if you walk into a shop and people and get cr4p service complain about it! I've received bad service in a few music stores and I've asked to see the manager and asked them why their staff are being rude and belligerent when I'm trying to give their business money. Occasionally the manager arrives and it's clear they are the Head Tw4t of many undertw4ts and then you are simply left with the satisfaction of some florid swearing and finger gestures as you leave. I think they get into this I'm the big I am mindset because they are (possibly) decent musicians in a shop full of goodies, it's easy to snap them out of it with a few choice words. I agree about withdrawing custom but let them know why.

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17 minutes ago, Frank Blank said:

I think it's the member of staff you get to deal with rather than the shop as a whole. When I use PMT in Southend I always ring first and see if a particular chap is in and talk to him first because he's extremely knowledgeable, helpful and, above all, friendly and polite. I've had good service at Peach but I've only been there twice. Also, if you walk into a shop and people and get cr4p service complain about it! I've received bad service in a few music stores and I've asked to see the manager and asked them why their staff are being rude and belligerent when I'm trying to give their business money. Occasionally the manager arrives and it's clear they are the Head Tw4t of many undertw4ts and then you are simply left with the satisfaction of some florid swearing and finger gestures as you leave. I think they get into this I'm the big I am mindset because they are (possibly) decent musicians in a shop full of goodies, it's easy to snap them out of it with a few choice words. I agree about withdrawing custom but let them know why.

I asked for the manager and was told it wouldn’t do any good, and that I should just leave, which I did. Maybe I had a real jerk, but at that moment, he was the store. Others might have had great service there…good for you. Come to think of it, I’m still whizzed of at that place. I nurse a grudge…probably my biggest failing.

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20 minutes ago, dclaassen said:

I asked for the manager and was told it wouldn’t do any good, and that I should just leave, which I did. Maybe I had a real jerk, but at that moment, he was the store. Others might have had great service there…good for you. Come to think of it, I’m still whizzed of at that place. I nurse a grudge…probably my biggest failing.


I would feel exactly the same, in your situation I would have left too, but not quietly.

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44 minutes ago, dclaassen said:

I asked for the manager and was told it wouldn’t do any good....

My response....'Allow me to be the judge of that, now off you go and get him/her'.

EDIT: Once you've asked for the next level up, you can't back down.

Edited by hiram.k.hackenbacker
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I suppose I`ve been lucky, but having purchased from PMT (Bristol & Northampton), Coda (Luton & Stevenage), Giggear (Harlow) plus numerous other standalones such as The Music Dept in St Albans I`ve never encountered any of these horror stories. 

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2 minutes ago, Lozz196 said:

I suppose I`ve been lucky, but having purchased from PMT (Bristol & Northampton), Coda (Luton & Stevenage), Giggear (Harlow) plus numerous other standalones such as The Music Dept in St Albans I`ve never encountered any of these horror stories. 

My experience with PMT has always been very good - they have even diverted staff members on their way home to drop stuff off at our house. Hard to improve on service like that!

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Being left handed I started a few years back to contact shops before I go in to see if they have what I want in stock as websites are not always up to date. I generally find I get treated well but they know I'm coming and I'm serious about what I'm looking for. Manson's in Exeter are great for customer service, as are Wunjos in London. 

 

I've had bad treatment though many times when I was younger. Generally looking down on me or trying to embarrass me when I'm looking at a cheap instrument and they say "nah you want this..." And point you to a £2000 instrument. 

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21 hours ago, dclaassen said:

They are, apparently, open by appointment only

 

There's a guitar shop near me that's 'by appointment only.'

 

Looking online they do stock a couple of fairly niche makes I'm interested in, but I think I'd feel like a time waster if I made the appointment to try them out and ended up not buying anything.

 

To fair I've only heard good things about the place, but I'd be far more likely to visit if I could just casually drop in and have a browse.

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34 minutes ago, Cato said:

 

There's a guitar shop near me that's 'by appointment only.'

 

Looking online they do stock a couple of fairly niche makes I'm interested in, but I think I'd feel like a time waster if I made the appointment to try them out and ended up not buying anything.

 

To fair I've only heard good things about the place, but I'd be far more likely to visit if I could just casually drop in and have a browse.

Yup….plus, I’m not jumping through those so hoops to go in and buy a patch cord

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Sorry to read about your experience at Peach Guitars @dclaassen

 

I visited peach guitars before the pandemic, to try a limited edition Fender.  I was unimpressed with the bass and didn't buy it but I was impressed by their service and felt bad I had taken up their time for no reward.  

 

Since the Pandemic that have either been closed to the public or now, it appears, pre-arranged appointments only.  Shame really because its a very large shop with a pretty decent selection of basses on the wall. 

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10 minutes ago, BillyBass said:

Sorry to read about your experience at Peach Guitars @dclaassen

 

I visited peach guitars before the pandemic, to try a limited edition Fender.  I was unimpressed with the bass and didn't buy it but I was impressed by their service and felt bad I had taken up their time for no reward.  

 

Since the Pandemic that have either been closed to the public or now, it appears, pre-arranged appointments only.  Shame really because its a very large shop with a pretty decent selection of basses on the wall. 

Nothing that I can’t see anywhere else. I would love to play some other nice 5’s to see how they compare with my MPV, but that can wait. Those guys will never get a chance to make a better impression…just the way I’m wired. 

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