Becoming a Fender Dealer

audreysdad

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Who can tell me what is needed to become a dealer. At this time we are in pure discussion, however we are looking into the possibilities of the different levels, ie. custom & master dealer etc.

Any input from those in the know would be appreciated.
 

Tremo

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I think it requires a certain mimimun level of sales to become one of the higher tier dealers. If you're moving a lot of merchandise, you have a shot. If biz is slow, fuggedaboutit. You may also have to carry products that you'd rather skip.

You sure you want to do this?
 

charlie chitlin

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Be ready to buy a butt-load of stuff to meet the minimum stock requirements.
And, of course, be far enough away from other dealers so as not to step on their territory.
Go to any music store that carries Fender and do a mental tally of how much they have tied in inventory.
 

Tim Armstrong

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Yeah, I looked into it about three years ago, they want to see that you're already selling a lot of stuff, and they want a really large initial order. And, like Charlie said, they also tend to protect their existing dealers, although that isn't written in stone. For example, for a while there were three Fender dealers in Fort Collins, Colorado...

Cheers, Tim
 

audreysdad

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Thanks for the replies.

Here in the UP of Michigan there is a dearth of quality music stores, and the wife and I have been toying with the idea since each and every time I see a quality piece of equipment in these locales, it is eaten up quickly.

Like I said, just in the discussion stages at this time, but anyone in the know; how 'bout your 2 cents.
 

Tim Armstrong

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Are you in Marquette? I used to go up there when I was a kid (my Dad was from Marquette, I still have relatives in Munising). I miss going up to the UP!

Cheers, Tim
 

bbkong

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A friend of mine has a dealership in Tulsa and I understand they're pretty territory conscious about setting up a new one.

Another friend, Jim King is a regional rep for the company, he could probably help with any questions.

I do know it's about thirty times cheaper than opening a Harley dealership.
 

Tim Armstrong

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My Dad grew up in the big gray house on the corner of 4th and Harrison. Some of my favorite childhood memories are of family vacations up there in the 60s and 70s. We used to spend a lot of time at my aunt and uncle's house in Harvey, right off the lake. That is some outrageously beautiful country!

Cheers, Tim
 

Rick S

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bbkong said:
A friend of mine has a dealership in Tulsa and I understand they're pretty territory conscious about setting up a new one.

I think I know your friend also BB, and I think this could be a good example of the current state of affairs with this.

This dealer has been in business for probably near 30 years. Lots of Fender product has moved through there. In years past, they have pretty much had NE Oklahoma as exclusive turf.

The way it was explained to me, a dealer at this level was to have protected territory for US product. Other nearby stores could carry Squire and imports.

One thing to note here is the Squire line was by design a strategy to get product into more stores within the dealer's area.

That's the way it was for years, but now this dealer has a Guitar Center about 6 miles from his store with US and Custom Shop product on the shelves.

It's unfortunate but this seems to be the state of affairs with many businesses. Very much like the John Deere light equipment dealers and Home Depot fiasco.

I would think that the proposal of opening a new store with Fender product as an anchor would be very risky. Particularly with the future of FMIC uncertain. I would also think that if you select an area that would obviously support such a venture, that you can bank on a big box store being nailed up next door.

If you were to have a contract attorney check out the contract, I would be surprised if you didn't find that it's not worth the paper it's written on.

It appears obvious to me that the bottom line on being able to open a dealership anywhere you please is how deep your pockets are.
 

KokoTele

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I don't mean to insult anyone, but it's pretty clear that nobody here can offer real answers. Lots of good and respectable guesses, but I bet these folks can give you the real story:

Fender Musical Instruments Corporation
8860 E. Chaparral Road, Suite 100
Scottsdale, AZ 85250
Telephone: (480) 596-9690
Fax: (480) 596-1384
www.fender.com

And folks that work in the world of corporate sales can probaly tell you that policies on agreements like this change frequently. One marketing or sales manager will have a certain philosophy about these things, then they'll move on and the next person has a different philosophy. Or someone needs to set up X number of new dealerships to meet a performance goal and get their bonus so they go nuts until the end of their review period, and then immediately afterwards they're told not to promote so many dealerships. Or whatever... stuff like this changes all the time.
 

TDPRI

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You don't have to be a dealer to buy up tons of like new quality stuff on Ebay for cheap and sell it in your store. You won't get it at cost, but you don't "Have" to have a big inventory either. It takes population to support a music store... and the UP isn't a population hub.

The "mom and pop" dealers I know all make their real sales on the web. The store front is as much inventory storage as it is showroom to those folks.

It's easy to get a store front, stock up on cheap accessories and pick up a bunch of used guitars. That would tell you all you need to know about getting into the world of FMIC dealership.

Paul Green
PS. I've owned my own business for nearly 20 years. Starting small and using growth to expand is the way to go in my book.
 

LK

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I grew up in Ishpeming, just to the west of Marquette. I still have family up there and get up there a few times a year. I used to be a bouncer at the Alibi but the last time I was there it was a gym.

LK
 

ast370

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its amazing how everything I search for about guitars (how to become a dealer in this case) is answered on tdpri. I love this site. I guess I will start a used pick store and work my way up from there. anyone need some .58 gators???
 

Jack FFR1846

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I don't know if you already have a store or are looking to start one. Music Go Round has really good stuff right on their site to give you an idea of the money to start one of their stores. I was considering doing that myself, but decided against it.

Otherwise, yah....what Koko said.
 

bossaholic

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The Mom and Pops put Fender on the map and now it's near impossible as a Mom and Pop to get Fender products. Quite sad actually.

I've entertained the idea of opening small shop, but because Fender and the rest of them snub their nose at the Mom and Pops I've decided that if I do eventually open a shop, I'll stick with the boutique companies. They're making the quality products Leo made anyway so it's win/win situation. Might as well help the next generation achieve success.
 

TC6969

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The Mom and Pops put Fender on the map and now it's near impossible as a Mom and Pop to get Fender products. Quite sad actually.

My friend went through it all a few years back.

It sure would be nice if you could fill out a form,become a dealer, buy 10 guitars and a few accessories and get to selling, but it aint gonna happen.
 

teal

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Good luck but a call to Fender is your best bet.

I'm originally from the UP as well and if I was going to start a music store - Marquette would be my choice too. NMU and Mi Tech being so close and we all know guitars = chicks so at the least you should move some gear to the frustrated freshmen guys...
 

vcode

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Call the local Fender rep and set up a meeting. It's his decision who is and who is not a dealer in his territory. Some are better than others at managing their territories, however, none are particularly great.... generally risk averse.
 

JCSouthpawtele

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Tim Armstrong said:
Yeah, I looked into it about three years ago, they want to see that you're already selling a lot of stuff, and they want a really large initial order. And, like Charlie said, they also tend to protect their existing dealers, although that isn't written in stone. For example, for a while there were three Fender dealers in Fort Collins, Colorado...

Cheers, Tim
With a Guitar Center location, with large Fender inventory on hand,any small dealer would have problems competing.
A friend owns a small shop in a city within 15 miles of a GC. He sells Godin, Seagull, and LaPatrie and Peavey products. Low overhead and no buy in. But the majority of his dealing is used and vintage stuff. IMO you don't need a large outfit or large buy in to be a good guitar shop. What you need is a supplier of guitar repair and accessories like Harris Teller.
 




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