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Trumpet Discussion Discuss Music Stores in the General forums; Originally Posted by rowuk I think many of you are not aware how dramatically the market has deteriorated. Small shops ...
  1. #21
    Piano User
    Join Date
    Dec 2007

    Re: Music Stores

    Quote Originally Posted by rowuk View Post
    I think many of you are not aware how dramatically the market has deteriorated. Small shops that dropped the ball have almost no chance without a new start which costs money that they do not have.

    I agree, an active community can help dramatically, but MONEY is what keeps the shops afloat and banks are not as cooperative as they once were regarless of the amount of "puffers".

    This is a good start to improve customer relations! Any other low-budget suggestions?
    The idea of music stores establishing or sponsoring bands/choirs/orchestras is that it increases the number of players and - it is to be hoped - loyal customers, providing the the stores with a greater cash flow, which is what banks care about when lending money for expansion. It's not just about better customer relations with existing players/customers.

    Since the process has already begun (the New Horizons program, for example - there may be others) we can simply watch and see how it goes. The first baby-boomers - the pig in the python, the most catered-to generation in history - retire in a couple of years. If a local college starts up a program there will probably be some advantage to any store in the area, but if a store takes it on - provides or finds the space, arranges for a music director, organizes lessons, provides repair services - they'll keep more of the money that would have gone to the internet sellers. Providing the service doesn't have to be charity - some groups charge a monthly fee for membership. And there's TM, advising newbies to find a group as soon as possible, to help with recruitment.

  2. #22
    Mezzo Forte User bigtiny's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2005

    Re: Music Stores

    Quote Originally Posted by rowuk View Post
    It is easy to kick a dying horse.
    Whether the problems are caused by lack of personnel or the lack of qualified salespeople by the lack of profit is a moot point. The real question is what can we reasonably expect for what we are willing to pay? Can a local music store live from what we are willing to let them earn? What possible value add can they offer?

    Instead of beating the shops up, what needs to happen to make the local store viable.
    I don't claim to be a typical consumer, but I WOULD pay more to a local store that offered me service and an inventory. I would never expect them to match a price of an Internet competitor, just treat me fairly. I actually WANT to shop locally....I don't like this phenomenon. I sometimes shop on the internet and it's very convenient at times, however, I'm tired of not being able to find a decently run bookstore or music store.


  3. #23
    Mezzo Forte User
    Join Date
    Jan 2005

    Re: Music Stores

    Quote Originally Posted by View Post
    The high schools need to be funneling business toward the local music stores.
    That would be wonderful if the local store carried the stuff the kids need! I live in Denver, a faily large city with a large metro area (Denver proper is not all that big, actually) and if I went to every store I know of, I could probaly try three or four Bach Bbs (who knows what model), two or three Yamaha Bb (Xenos, not artists), a Conn Vintage One, a Selmer TT and a few lower end horns. Probably not more than one C or Pic and no Ebs. With four medium to large music schools and dozens of high schools within an hour drive, it seems like the market would be there for a store to carry pro horns, but they don't. So everyone gets things from the internet or another store (in north Colo) that deals in used horns.

    I don't know if better prices on the Internet caused the stores to stop carrying these horns (probably) or if they stopped then people turned to the Internet, but as of now, the fact is that if you want a good horn, you have to either order it or look for it used, or drive all over town to try three or four horns and then pay more than a mail order place that will send you three of hte same thing so you can pick a good one.

    A store I used to work at had no understanding of this. They thought that people would buy whatever they happend to stock simply because they "service what they sell." But you didn't get a discount on repairs or cleaning, you didn't get you horn in and out faster and they wouldn't order a horn unless you'd buy it (and what if you didn't like it?).

    I only thing I could see to turn this around is if all the existing stores here quit selling pro horns altogether (they're not far off) and someone opened a new store specializing in pro instruments and accessories (not just trumpets), kept a good selection on hand and marketed aggressivly to the nearby colleges and high schools. I don't see that happening, but I'd do there if did!


    Edit...I also remember from working at that store that Selmer requires a HUGE inital investment to be a Selmer dealer, and because of that, there is only ONE store in Denver that carried new Bach trumpets (as far as I know). Some of the smaller stores probably can't afford to sell them. Can't blame that on the Internet.
    Last edited by Pedal C; 02-11-2008 at 06:08 PM.

  4. #24
    Pianissimo User
    Join Date
    Jul 2007

    Re: Music Stores

    Ahh! The death of small business. The struggle to start. Dealing with the public, who will drive miles to save two bucks. No loyalty. Merchants who have tried to be square, end up looking nasty. It's the American way.

    I have run 3 different businesses. All successful. And none worth it. I actually found most customers loyal. As long as my prices were so cheap, no real profit or growth would come. When I did start to make it, some special interest group would put us under. Or the Gov. would regulate us out of business.

    The big fish eat the little fish. And nothing is going to change that. The worst is truth, honesty, integrity mean little or nothing any more. The big fish have no conscience, morals or anything else. They really mean no harm. They just eat when hungry. No matter what. It's not fair. But then what is.

  5. #25
    Forte User Jimi Michiel's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2005

    Re: Music Stores

    I went into one of the local music stores a few days ago to pick up a mouthpiece for a student. I had found the student a good trumpet on CraigsList (an old Holton with great valves, no dings and working slides), but he needed a mouthpiece because his current one would have to be returned with his rental. I went to Schmitt's and they were selling regular Bach 7C mouthpieces for $60!!! Not gold plated, not even Megatone, just a regular 7C mouthpiece. Good grief! I asked one of the clerks if they had any there trumpet mouthpieces in stock, but after examinign several French horn and tuba mouthpeice boxes, informed me that "uh, I think this is all we got."

    I ended up going to the other music store in town, Groth Music, and they were able to sell me a Getzen 7C for $10 (many of the schools they deal with request Getzen trumpets with Bach mouthpieces, so they had a bunch of Getzen mouthpieces in a box in the back). Groth is a great example of a music store doing its best to stay afloat while doing its best to maintain some semblance of integrity.


  6. #26
    Pianissimo User Brett Getzen's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Elkhorn, WI

    Re: Music Stores

    We hear from the smaller dealers all the time. We try to help them by offering certain models to only brick and mortar stores. Our theory is that, without the local stores, the market will crumble. Afterall, who is going to service and repair your horn if there are no local shops anymore?

    The problem as I see it has many layers. One factor is the inability to compete on price. There isn't much anyone can do about that. Another is the lack of knowledge. How many of you have bought a trumpet from a drummer or guitar player? Someone that just barely knows what a trumpet is in the first place. Another problem is inventory. Small shops don't want to put a lot of product on the shelves, and I can understand that. However, when someone comes into the shop looking for a specific instrument to try and nothing is there, what do you expect them to do? Sure they will order you the horn, but you're on the hook for it whether you like it or not. Of course people are going to turn toward the online stores with favorable return policies. Unfortunately, each of these things prevents any of the others from being corrected. It's a rough cycle to break out of.

    Don't get me wrong, not all dealers are like this. There are countless "smaller" shops out there that do a fantastic job. They operate like the music stores of old. Unfortunately they are pretty spread out around the country. It seems like the majority of them are on the East and West coasts with a few scattered around the midwest. If only every state had one or two "real" music stores. Hmmm, maybe we should all pool some money and open our own stores. I know somewhere we could get a good deal on trumpets and trombones.

    Brett Getzen

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