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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So I'm going to a particular music store today, that I won't name. I've visited a couple of these locations but this one I'm going to I've been to several times. I find my self down near it quite a bit as my job requires me to travel to a location that is very close to this music store. The past few visits I've played this custom shop guitar that I've really liked but was never in the market for. But now I am. So I'm going today to give it a serious look.
I called them yesterday to see if it was still there and I explained to the store manager that I was looking at it and how much was it. He said it was $4,800 and asked what I was thinking of for a budget. I told him my budget is more around the 3k range, maximum. So he says that "I can get the pencil out and I think I can get very close to that". Now this isn't the first time I've had a similar dealing with. In one of their other locations I was talking to the owner about another custom shop guitar that started out at close to 6k and the owner was real high pressure sales and came down to $3,200. This scared me off and I ended up buying a guitar at Long and Mcquade that I was also looking at, instead.
When dealing with these guys I feel like its those vacuum sales guys that come in to your home with a $3,00 vacuum that ends up coming down to 1k when you try to get rid of them.
I'm just wondering if I have anything to worry about? I can't get my head wrapped around how a guitar can start out at 5k and you can get them down to near 3k. The same guitars at L&M are 5k and they don't come down at all.
This particular music store doesn't have a great reputation (especially the owner) so is there a chance something shady is going on?
 

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I've worked in music stores for owners like that, and they will screw you somehow no matter how good of a deal they claim they're giving you. What is the exact model of the guitar you're referring to?
 

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That appears to be their normal M.O.

Another one of their favourite tactics is to call you after you walk out & say that another buyer is in the store who wants the exact same guitar but they liked you & are graciously giving you the chance to buy it now before this other buyer opens his wallet.
 

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He is willing to play on his markup... he might be wanting to turn over his inventory... If a guitar does not sell, its money laying on the floor room.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I've worked in music stores for owners like that, and they will screw you somehow no matter how good of a deal they claim they're giving you. What is the exact model of the guitar you're referring to?
Its a custom shop 63. From what I remember the neck was beefy like I require but I'm going back to double check today. Most of the complaints are people that have put deposits on a guitar they've ordered. 2 to 3 months later no guitar and they want their money back which turns in to a night mare.This is a guitar they have in stock. I probably realize I have some leverage as its been there since the store location has opened which has got be a year or 2. I don't think its a great location to be stocking custom shop guitars or any gear thats a few thousand or more. There used to be another store on that same street not far that sold all low end gear and even they went out of business. So I can see coming down in price a little to make a sale. But if I go in there and they meet my price within a couple hundred I think red flags will go up. If they give me some story about some other buyer that wants it, that won't work with me. I'm content with waiting for something used to come along that I'm interested in.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
He is willing to play on his markup... he might be wanting to turn over his inventory... If a guitar does not sell, its money laying on the floor room.
Well thats kind of what I'm thinking. But my first experience he was coming down to nearly 50% of the original price. I know what these guitars cost and yes his original price was definitely on the high side but the price he came down to was on the ridiculous low side that no other store would match.
Anyway, this afternoon I'll find out what they're willing to come down to and I'll give the guitar a good work out to make sure its something I really want.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
If your gut says no, pass.

Also, if you feel the store is shady then it makes sense to name them IMO.
I don't feel its necessary to name them. Only those GC members that visit here rarely probably wouldn't know who I'm talking about.;)
 

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I probably realize I have some leverage as its been there since the store location has opened which has got be a year or 2. I don't think its a great location to be stocking custom shop guitars or any gear thats a few thousand or more. There used to be another store on that same street not far that sold all low end gear and even they went out of business.
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Its a custom shop 63. From what I remember the neck was beefy like I require but I'm going back to double check today.
Depending on the year and condition, $3200 CAD is actually a very good deal. Perhaps I spoke too soon. Give a once over to double check the condition and verify the year.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Its a 60's (no particular year) custom shop telecaster from NAMM whatever that means. Supposedly has a certificate that its a NAMM guitar. The neck was nice and chunky although a little thin in the first few frets. I took my Masterbuilt Nocaster as a baseline and used a deluxe reverb reissue to play them. Its a nice weight, probably just over 7 pounds. I also compared with a Jason Smith masterbuilt they had there. Both my Masterbuilt and the one they had there just clobbered the 60's. I plugged the 60's telecaster in first and it sounded pretty good but when compared with the 2 MB's it sounded dead. I never assume just because a particular guitar is more expensive equates in to a much better sounding guitar. I thought my 52 RI sounds better than both the MB's and its a fraction of the price.
The main guy wasn't there but the sales guy there said I could put in an offer and they'll see if it would work. I told him I'm not buying a car or vacuum cleaner just tell me what you're bottom price is. I asked if they had an idea of what they need out of it. He just said, "well make an offer and we'll see if it works". So I said I'll have to think about what its worth to me. I'm not sure its worth it to me to get in to a bidding game with them. I'm not sure I liked it enough. Even if they took 50% off the price, if I don't like it enough it wouldn't be worth it.
 

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You have to realize not every retailer or private sale guy is gonna say “this is my bottom dollar”. That’s not how bartering/negotiation/business works. If you actually like it and know they will already come down nearly 50 percent well that’s a win win. Worst case with your offer is they say no. You’re not under any commitment.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
You have to realize not every retailer or private sale guy is gonna say “this is my bottom dollar”. That’s not how bartering/negotiation/business works. If you actually like it and know they will already come down nearly 50 percent well that’s a win win. Worst case with your offer is they say no. You’re not under any commitment.
I don't think there is any hard and fast rules for bartering. It really depends on the owner of the item. They know what bottom dollar they'll take. They wouldn't be very good business people if they didn't. Some sellers will tell you the least they will take. Then that gives you a base line and you try to offer a bit less to see if that is the bottom dollar or if they are willing to give a little more. I happen to like a baseline as to where I can work from. Or maybe the bottom dollar is far above what I could reasonably counter with. I like to waste as little of my time and the vendors time.
This is why I hate buying cars. I buy brand new cars and drive them till there is nothing left because of the experience of car buying. When I go to negotiate a car I pretty much spend a whole day while the sales guy goes back and forth with the manager with negotiations. I'd rather pay a mechanic to fix my aging car than go buy a new one.
When I buy a guitar I don't want the "car salesman" experience. When I bought my Martin authentic from My Favorite guitars in Florida they have their "lowest advertised price" that Martin will let them publicly advertised. You send them an email and you end up with a 40% off retail which was a far lower price than I could have got anywhere in Canada. The negotiation took 5 seconds. Thats how you sell a guitar.
Usually most music stores have their inventory appropriately priced with a little bit of movement and it doesn't take a day to negotiate that bit of discount. I'm not in to stuff being hugely marked up so theres hundreds of dollars of room to negotiate and it taking a a couple hours to negotiate it.
I might have been motivated to consider the guitar if they were straight up and I came away knowing what it would cost me. Right now I'd be thinking over whether I liked it enough for X amount of dollars. Right now I don't know what to think so probably won't think about it anymore.
 

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I agree with a lot of what you said. It sounds as if you aren’t sold on the guitar regardless of the discount so if that was me I would pass. Tons of great deals to be had on new and used for CS teles.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I agree with a lot of what you said. It sounds as if you aren’t sold on the guitar regardless of the discount so if that was me I would pass. Tons of great deals to be had on new and used for CS teles.
Yeah I think I'd have to cart my amp down there and give it even more of a work out. If I had a starting point or a base line of what they were expecting out of it I think I'd go to the trouble. Part of what is hindering my interest is the music store that has it.
 

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I don't think there is any hard and fast rules for bartering. It really depends on the owner of the item. They know what bottom dollar they'll take. They wouldn't be very good business people if they didn't. Some sellers will tell you the least they will take. Then that gives you a base line and you try to offer a bit less to see if that is the bottom dollar or if they are willing to give a little more. I happen to like a baseline as to where I can work from. Or maybe the bottom dollar is far above what I could reasonably counter with. I like to waste as little of my time and the vendors time.
This is why I hate buying cars. I buy brand new cars and drive them till there is nothing left because of the experience of car buying. When I go to negotiate a car I pretty much spend a whole day while the sales guy goes back and forth with the manager with negotiations. I'd rather pay a mechanic to fix my aging car than go buy a new one.
When I buy a guitar I don't want the "car salesman" experience. When I bought my Martin authentic from My Favorite guitars in Florida they have their "lowest advertised price" that Martin will let them publicly advertised. You send them an email and you end up with a 40% off retail which was a far lower price than I could have got anywhere in Canada. The negotiation took 5 seconds. Thats how you sell a guitar.
I'm like you in that I prefer to buy items that have firm price tags and when flexibility exists I get the feeling I'm getting ripped off so I can feel your pain. All you can do is get a rough estimate elsewhere what these generally might be worth and establish your parameters as to how much your willing to spend and feel good about. Keep in mind that there are a ton of instruments available to you when you're dropping that kind of cash so IMO either you love it and are willing to risk it or leave it for the next guy.
 
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Give them a stinking low ball offer.
When they say 'no way man, we can't let it go for that!'
'Well then. What do you need for me to leave the store with it?'
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Give them a stinking low ball offer.
When they say 'no way man, we can't let it go for that!'
'Well then. What do you need for me to leave the store with it?'
I was thinking at the time to do just that. But I am still processing whether I even like it enough to pursue it further. If I decide to go ahead I'll use that advice.
 

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I was thinking at the time to do just that. But I am still processing whether I even like it enough to pursue it further. If I decide to go ahead I'll use that advice.
Doesn't that kind of answer your question? If you are not sure whether you like it enough, then chances are you don't.
 
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