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At the guitar shop today...

7245 Views 43 Replies 28 Participants Last post by  Schectertastic
So, I'm at the guitar shop today and there was this guy hell-bent on dropping more than $2K on a new Taylor. He's obviously excited about the idea, and talking to everyone in the guitar room while he plays the same three chords over and over know, the good ones (no it wasn't me playing, but it could have been). :D

I overheard him asking for a discount, or for the store to eat the GST because he wants the guitar today, is seriously commited, but like anybody else he simply wants to feel he got a great deal. Can't blame him...who pays sticker price for a new car? Anyway, I see the sales guy and the manager looking at list price on the computer and they are shaking their special deals today!

I have to wonder...are they selling so many guitars these days that bartering is out of the question? Is the profit margin so tight that a store simply can't afford to give a customer a break?

I see posts on other forums where a guy can pick up a $2K Martin at half the price by shopping electronically. Despite the risks, this might be the way to go for my next purchase if I don't find a nice private sale.
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It's hard to get a deal out of them, they only seem to do it on blem items, took me an hour at Steve's to get the sales dude to knock off $30 on my strat :rolleyes:

Exactly my point teleman! Back in the day when Avenue was on the north side by the Royal Alex their pricing was a lot more reasonable. If I had lick of sense I would have bought me a Guild acoustic when I had the chance...and I am still repenting for letting a Gretsch Super-Axe fall through my fingers (not literally).

I mentioned electronic shopping, but what I meant was online shopping...I don't like to see my hard earned dollars go south of the border , but I also like to keep as many of them in my pocket as possible. Do you know of any Canadian-based internet sellers?

Maybe we should start our own internet based music business...we could call it tele-gagger or lolli-man...actually the second suggestion is a little queer.
I think it's a case of people geting greedy. Everybody wants to make more money. Ive turned to ebay or just hunting for a shop cause chances are your going to find it cheaper in the states. I recently bought a prs cu 24. At L&M it was like 3995+tax. So I did some hunting on the net. Found the guitar at a shop in conneticut. The guy game me a deal and I got it through the internet. After shipping and brokerage fees and what ever else they ding ya for my total came to 3100$ Why would anyone pay more when you can get it for less. Money crazed mentality.
totally agree and can't wait to pay less for quality instruments
Alot of Canadian guitar stores use the list price to get their prices. Historically if a guitar listed for $1,000US, they would put it on the rack for $1,000CDN. In the US, the street price might be $600US. When the exchange rate was high, the $600US street price ended up being $1,000CDN, so it was equal to what you would pay in Canada anyway. Now with the exchange rate being what it is today, these stores are still trying to use this pricing scheme but the conversion rate has made the US guitar store prices cheaper than buying in Canada. The $600US street price is now closer to $750CDN..............
I got my strat at Steve's for $1365.00 list $'s musician's friend price:

I paid more, but not much more.
My experience was the opposite. I just bought a $2700.00 guitar at L&McQ. I did research some US internet sellers. The lowest price I was quoted, for the same guitar, was $1980.00. Once I factored in the exchange rate, shipping, and DUTY, L&McQ's price was actually lower. Plus, I got to play and hear the guitar I was buying.
Good to see you here GG


You made it over from the AGF! Good to see you here! So do tell...what did you buy?
The proplem with buying on Ebay or other net shops is that you can't play and listen to the guitar. If you played 5 guitars of the same model there might only be one that you like. It's one thing if you are spending $200 but if you are looking at $2000 + this is very important to me.
lolligagger said:

You made it over from the AGF! Good to see you here! So do tell...what did you buy?
Hi Lolligagger!

I bought a Gibson Historic Southern Jumbo! I love my new guitar. I need to post some pictures on the AGF and the Gibson forum, but I can't stop playing the guitar long enuf to take pics! It's funny... it's like the new baby in the house... if I'm not playing it, I'm staring at it :D

How's your guitar? Were you able to resolve the problem at the shop?
long and mcquade.

l&m bought lakeshore music in burlington a couple of years ago and thier pricing went rigid effective immediately.
i wanted to buy a used les paul studio. it was banged up but played well and so i offered $800 cashfor it on a $1000 sticker. the clerk hummed and hahed, typed into a calculator and offered a $30 dollar discount. he didn`t make the sale.
the process is typical of big box retail. they have the suppliers rapped up and they are squeezing out the smaller shops so that we have less choice. ihave known the owner of the burlington l&m for over twenty years and he won`t move on prices. i have easily spent $10,000 there over the years. now that my kids are getting into guitar i`m going to take my business elsewhere. as the internet opens up new markets. it will effect pricing but customs will get strict on tarrifs as well.
my new ovation is chinese by the way. horrid electronics but it plays like a dream. $300.
suppliers have a lot to do with pricing. it`s not all the retailer`s fault. it`s a conspiracy. business. if you have to have a les paul or a marshall amp then you are going to have to carry the weight.
try laney and hamer.
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no whining rule in effect

I am working under a self-imposed no whining rule, so the short answer is no. Okay, just a little self pity...they basically told me they were sorry but there was nothing to be done. I took my guitar and my future business elsewhere.

Congratulations on you new Gibson...the green-eyed monster is alive and well within me!
That surprises me too. It's "expected" that you will get a deal from the price tag. Even if you just buy stings and inexpensive stuff, most stores will round down the price of all the items that you are purchasing so that you get a sense that you're getting a deal and that you're a valued customer for them and that they want you to come back.

If you're buying a couple sets of strings at 11.95 a piece, they'll usually give it to you at 11 each and no tax or something along that line.

Especially on 2k $ items, saving you the GST is just about the right thing to do if they want you back. They have to be comfortable giving that type of discount anyway since that they will probably do it at a certain point here and there during the course of a year with various promotional sales.
Gilliangirl said:
My experience was the opposite. I just bought a $2700.00 guitar at L&McQ. I did research some US internet sellers. The lowest price I was quoted, for the same guitar, was $1980.00. Once I factored in the exchange rate, shipping, and DUTY, L&McQ's price was actually lower. Plus, I got to play and hear the guitar I was buying.
I had a similar experience at L&M for a Larrivee. Cost me $1100, and I couldn't beat that with anything I found online from the U.S.

It suddenly occurs to me...that guitar was made in Canada. :eek:
I did some research into this whole question a few months ago and had quite a thread going on both FenderForum and It sure is crazy that you can get a new guitar from the US 20% cheaperl, including tax and shipping than you can walking a few blocks to your nearest guitar store. From what I've been told, the margin here is not that great and crossing the border brings in a middle man especially for Fender.

I've found the downtown store of L&M very flexible, and they will meet prices of other stores if they can call and verify. Trades are good at L&M. I even wrote the head of L&M about this when I was trying to buy a Strat at their North York store, but nothing much came of that though they sounded willlinging to deal. I was going to get 10% off a shopworn EJ Strat that had been in the store for 6 months...big deal when you can buy a brand new from the US, including tax and shipping for 20% less than that!

Another thing is that stores go by list prices to figure out selling price but they don't factor in the strength of the Canadian dollar. That's another reason why buying direct from the US is the way to go. So much for free trade, which doesn't mean a hell of a lot for buying guitars. I was surprised to find that Australia and the US have an agreement where taxes are not applied going both ways. That would be nice for both stores and individuals, but our government could care less about an issue like that. Big business gets tons of breaks, individual consumers none. Even buying a $25 accessory from the US can lead to tax and processing charge, whereas going the other way, you can buy something worth $200 US before getting dinged.

For those in the Toronto area, I think the Guitar Shop in Port Credit is the way to go. They'll deal with price immediately and up front.
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Another factor (perhaps a minor one) is that I'm getting a free/complimentary pro set-up from L&McQ for my guitar, because I bought it there. If you buy online, you may find the action not to your liking, and end up footing the bill for a $60.00 set-up at your local shop.
It's been my experiance that stores who won't offer any discounts (even something as token as taking off the price of GST) don't have any or enough competition. Last year in town I bought an EP7, I got over $200 off, I traded it this winter for a new taylor and some $$, and I after the trade value was factored out, he game me $225 off. I just bought a martin backpacker and he gave me almost 15% off.

I still have a hard time accepting that a store owner/manager cannot bend on price. I think they could lower the price a little if they actually wanted to, but at the end of the day they really don't have to.

I really don't think it is uncommon for any retail business to jack up the price of their merchandise 100 - 300%. Its the whole supply and demand thing. When demand falls off you can buy something 40% of the original price, and the stores are probably still making money.

A guitar probably tends to be an emotional purchase for most of us. Just walking in to the guitar room we are already interested in taking the bait...its simply a matter of seeing if the sales guy can keep us on the line once we are hooked.
I have a good relationship with the local L&M....

.........and I just tell the Manager that in the US the price of a certain model is XXX and duty plus shipping comes up to about 5% of that price. I will then ask him to either match it or give me the best deal. Most of the time, he will give me that price as long as he is within his allowable margin. I think all store should be able to give you a discount but you just have to talk to the right person. Steve's Music is an exemption. I will not buy anything from them unless I am really sure that it is what I needed. The return policy of Steve is written to protect them and not the customer.
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