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Do music stores listen to you?

Discussion in 'Maddrakkett's Caffe' started by Bass Lady, Jan 27, 2013.

  1. Bass Lady

    Bass Lady

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    I'm wondering if music stores are a little bit like car workshops / mechanics in that they don't think women know anything about equipment or if music stores don't listen to men either.

    When I am looking to buy something I tend to do a lot of research beforehand but often like to ask advice to make sure I am on the right track. What I am finding though is when I go into a music store, often asking for something quite specific, the store / sales guys will not listen to what I'm asking for at all and try and sell me something completely different. This normally results in me leaving the shop and buying what I had in mind elsewhere (normally the internet) and the local shop (which I always WANT to support) loses the sale!

    Just two examples of recent enquiries but there have been plenty more.

    A few months ago I was looking to purchase a cheap(ish) PA system for my classroom in school. We have an excellent, very expensive HK Audio powered PA that we purchased (I did all the research for this one too) which we use for school concerts / gigs / musicals etc. but we only set it up for these occasions. I wanted a powered amp mixer (controls on face rather than mixer type) and a couple of passive cabs so I could set it up in my classroom for bands to practice on. We also have a couple of other PAs that are already set up permently in the department. I did my research, knew exactly what I wanted in terms of power, size, makes etc. and found out prices on the big, internet music education sites. I then had a look at the local music shops to see if I could find a suitable system. One of the shops had EXACTLY what I was looking for (even the make was right) so I go along to see if we can do a deal. I really was quite specific about what I was looking for, explaining why I had these requirements but as always asked for advice to make sure I was correct, but this was more really to do with the amount of power. Well after 20mins of the guy telling me that really I wanted something completely different, a powered set up with loads more power which of course was going to cost a lot more money, blah blah, blah and more technical stuff which I did understand but I am not sure he did, I walked out and made the purchase on-line. The PA arrived a few days later, worked perfectly for what it was intended to do and has done ever since. The kids finds it easy to use and there are no worries that they can really break anything.


    Yesterday I visited a couple of local stores (not the one mentioned previously) as I am considering a mini rig set up. As much as I love my Warwick CCL ND it is not practical for me to carry it about for gigs / rehearsals. Great on flat surfaces but as an aging lady (!) I can't cope with getting it in and out of the car or stairs etc.

    As always, I have already done a lot of research and have drawn up a very rough short list but my main criteria is small and loud. I know it is going to cost lots but I want the best (at least for me) that I can get.

    So, shop number one:
    In fairness, the first lad (barely out of his teens) did listen a little and as a bass player did at least understand the principle of a mini rig. But that is where it ends. I was mentioning names like MarkBass, Genz Benz, Galien Krueger, Barefaced, Hartke, Orange etc. and he was coming back with Laney, Behringer, Marshall, Peavey, Fender etc. none of which were small or powerful. Before you shout get real, I know they are not going to be dealers for all of the high end stuff, but they did have some of them in various forms in the shop and he did say at the begining of the conversation they could order just about anything in.

    So he was trying to sell me bigger, less powerful, less expensive gear and to be honest I did just get the feeling that he had no idea about what great gear is actually out there. Okay, he was young and maybe not very experienced but he was telling me quite confidently what I "REALLY" wanted and what I "REALLY" needed.


    Shop two:
    I've bought a lot of stuff here over the years and at least these guys know me and what I do / play / etc. They are GK dealers so I was a bit more optimistic that they might listen. Again, quite specific about what I was looking for and why and it started well, GK MB500 head might be an option but then went on to tell me that I HAD to go through a GK cab (haven't found the ideal cab from GK) and then in fact what I REALLY need was the 150w GK combo! Had never heard of Genz Benz or Barefaced (okay, I'll give then that one) and didn't really rate MarkBass stuff.................

    I despair................

    I really want to support local shops, and with the promise that they can order just about anything, they end up talking themselves out of sales because they KNOW what I want.

    Okay, rant over. :p

    What I'm asking, does this happen to others or is it a case of either me being female or not being understood by sales guys / music stores???
     
  2. boston asphalt2

    boston asphalt2 Official Forum Pain in the Ass

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    Naw it happens to guys too. Everytime I go into GC an ask for a question about either a guitar or a bass I want, I ALWAYS get told, "check out this Fender."

    Effing idiots. I stopped going there for anything except strings
     
  3. sprocket

    sprocket

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    Some places are just don t getting it , too bad , I get my business elsewhere . They hire people that don t belong there it s all to me .
     
  4. DiMarco

    DiMarco nutcase Good Vibe Sponsor

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    I get that in any shops I go to, not only music shops.

    Like you I do my research before entering any shops and usually I know exactly what I am looking for. This is NOT how most people go about it, they mainly buy stuff on impulse. Instant GAS hits them and they leave the shop with something that feels to them like a present (eventhough they payed for it themselves). You're lucky you are not like that. This is positive!

    TBH it has nothing to do with you being a woman, shop personnel are just not used to handling clients who know exactly what they want and more importantly, what they don't want.
     
  5. Bass Lady

    Bass Lady

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    Thank You guys, that has made me feel a whole lot better about my experiences.

    It does worry me though the way the whole retail business is going though. Customer service is really so important these days with so much information and different shopping options available, so you would think that anyone running / working in / owning an actual shop (as opposed to webite shop) would listen to their customers and care. Then you have a company like Warwick who will do anything to listen to and serve their customers to the very best of their abilities................. but could then be let down right at the very end of the chain at "shop level"???
     
  6. DiMarco

    DiMarco nutcase Good Vibe Sponsor

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    That is my experience, yes. Shop personnel is above all cheap.
     
  7. shaftbass

    shaftbass

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    I never go places to buy things and expect to get information from sales people. I do plenty of research ahead of time.
     
  8. sprocket

    sprocket

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    Don t forget , knowledge is power .
     
  9. boston asphalt2

    boston asphalt2 Official Forum Pain in the Ass

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    Yup!!

    There are only a few places I will go if I need help deciding what I need. Guitar stores are not on that list, and neither are places like Best Buy and other large chain stores.
     
  10. siderocks

    siderocks Fatass

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    In my town the sellers are usually experienced musicians and familiar faces seen in those stores and on local bar stages forever. They aren't exactly the best customer servers with all smile and ♣♣♣♣, they might even curse and just ignore you but they always know the stuff very well and if they don't have something in stock they order it. And they don't come bothering unless they are asked :D
     
  11. dazzla

    dazzla

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    Exactly what shaftbass says. With the internet these days the customer can have as much info/knowledge on a product than the salesperson selling the product. I do all my music shopping online, especially 'evilbay'.
     
  12. Bass Lady

    Bass Lady

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    I completely agree which is why it is even more annoying when they TELL you what you want rather than actually listening to what you are asking for! :eek:

    Olli, luckily I do have one shop owner I can trust and ask anything and will get a great answer. The only trouble is if he isn't there I end up with the "non listening" staff.
     
  13. Nachobassman

    Nachobassman Bass, Tapas, and Rn´R!

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    1.- No, in my experience, 99,95% of the sellers want to sell you something from Fender or Ampeg, that´s it.

    2.- I´ve always known way more that any sell guy/gal that I´ve interacted with. So if I want something and they have it in stock I´ll buy it because I already did my homework.
     
  14. markoism

    markoism

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    I usually know more than the sales people there and that annoys them haha. Not to be a dick but I research everything so I know what to ask but you're not alone they usually try to sell you something else that the manager is trying to get rid of.
     
  15. Lady Warwick

    Lady Warwick Vampyre Spaz

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    It's kind of funny at my local GC, I go in and look at everything especially in the used section...I was looking at a really nice fender in the wine color...and one of the guys who know me a bit, he's funny "What are you looking at that for? You're a Warwick player!" That was a couple weeks ago. They're pretty cool there. When I do go in for something specific, like strings or whatever, stuff behind the counter, they'll let me make the decision...I like my Black Beauties, but whoever's at the counter won't go "hey try these...theyre great, blah blahb lah blsalb, etc...." UNLESS...I ask their opinion and they're a bassist as well.

    What is kinda fun, I can go into a GC read the serial and tell how old it is when the store guys can't. hehe :p

    So, at least that store doesn't give me any BS cos I'm a lady, the one guy is just downright kool and kickback and lets me do my own thing. I usually just bum around, I don't plug in cos I just kinda feel funny about it..

    ..Lady Warwick...
     
  16. sprocket

    sprocket

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    You re one of the lucky ones in there Gina .
     
  17. Grgzilla

    Grgzilla

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    Because most music stores offer low wages, they tend to only attract short term staff, who don't stick around long enough to gain that salesmanship our parents generation took for granted. They thing to do, when encountering sales staff who are pursuing their own agenda, rather than helping you out, is to remind them, often repeatedly, what it is you're after. If they persist on showing you stuff that they merely wish to sell you, rather than what you're after, ask for the manager. This normally cuts the crap,coz tyre kickers normally don't go to that much effort, only serious customers do. Tell the sales person you've done your own research online, & know basically what you're after. It's often the customers initial approach that can make all the difference. Unfortunately us consumers have to suffer these incompetent & inexperienced staff, just as experienced staff have to suffer incompetent customers who don't know anything about what they need, & expect someone else to educate them in a matter of minutes & get them excellent value for money. So much info is available these days there's really no reason to not be an uninformed consumer.


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
     
  18. Stroud

    Stroud

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    Sadly these days in most low profit retail sectors (which is more and more of them as people demand cheaper goods), it tends to be the shops with the knowledgable staff that help you to buy what you want that go bust first...

    It works out great for the people that want lower quality stuff cheap, because the cheaper stuff tends to have the better profit, so the punter gets a cheap whatever and the shops stay in business.

    For the people with more specialist needs, the items tend to be less profitable for the shop (less demand equals less need for competitive prices). Large chains usually would prefer you went for a cheaper, higher profit option, for obvious reasons...


    There is really no way of winning in retail now. People generally want to much for too little.


    And what Greg said was spot on. You'll find few retail sales jobs (in the UK at least) that aren't minimum wage.
     
  19. Lady Warwick

    Lady Warwick Vampyre Spaz

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    After reading so many stories, I do feel lucky...or maybe they just think it's cool a girl bass student comes in all the time.
     
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