Having trouble buying a guitar!

Discussion in 'Bad Dog Cafe' started by Texasjtl3, Jun 28, 2014.

  1. Texasjtl3

    Texasjtl3 Tele-Meister

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    I haven't bought a new guitar in quite a while and i can't believe how difficult it's been to get guitar shops to sell me a guitar and i wanted to see if my results are typical for the marketplace now a-days.

    I'm 55, well off and an architect by trade, so it's not like i look like a homeless person. I'm not the greatest guitar player, I just do it for fun in my office, but i play well enough to impress most.

    In January, I first wanted to pick up a new Martin D18 in ambertone, so being in Michigan, i called the big known dealer in the middle of the state and had to leave two messages before getting a real person on the third try. i told him what i wanted and he said he'd check on it and call me back. I called back a week later to remind him and i haven't heard back since. Strike one.

    Went to see another dealer, he looked in his computer for a couple of minutes and told me yes he could get one in 2-3 weeks, showed my the picture, just what i wanted. 4 weeks later i get a call it's in! Drive over to his shop and he pulls out the case and opens it up....it's a D-18 alright, but in a standard finish, not ambertone. i asked him why and he tells me that he wasn't going to risk me not buying it (though i told him i WOULD buy it) he goes back to his computer and the original one is sold. Strike two.

    So know i decide that the guitar gods are angry i'm buying another Martin so i change course and decide a new telecaster is in order instead.

    After reading up on all the options on this fabulous forum, stop in a GC and they tell me they've got nothing but the low end stuff, same with the other one's in the area.

    I go check out a shop just north of Detroit as they've got a large Fender stock. i look at all the models and i narrow it down to the 50's Hot Rod as it's got the best neck for me, but i really want dual single coils. (i've got short fat fingers and a couple of Gibsons, so i'm really hunting for the single coil twang, but can't get my mitts around the AV's large 'U' neck). As i'm getting ready to reach for my wallet, the guy behind the counter tells me that for the money i'm spending, i should look at a Suhr Classic T, (roasted neck, dual singles, etc) and says that they should have a bunch of new Suhr's in about 6 weeks and he'll call me when they come in. So I figure I've waited this long, another 6 weeks is fine.

    I go back and double check in a month, not in yet, he assures me he'll call. Stop in 2 weeks later, still not in, tells me they'll call. 2 weeks later i see a posting on Facebook, "Come see the new Suhr guitars!!!" So i run up there the next day and sure enough i see 3 Suhr strats hanging on the wall so i ask the guy behind the counter if they got a Tele in? "Sure did, it's fabulous" he tells me, "can i take a look at it?" i ask. "Sorry it was sold two weeks ago". i tell him I was here two weeks ago and they weren't in, turns out they came in the day AFTER i was there. Strike three.

    I've also tried calling and emailing a couple of the guitar shops i found online in Chicago and Kentucky, but I've not heard back from them in a week.

    Is my experience normal or am i just having a run of bad luck?

    i figured my next option is to throw it out here and see if any dealers see this and care to help me cure this debilitating bout of GAS i've got. so if anyone has a 50's Hot Rod and a Suhr Classic T (ion butterscotch) that i can A/B, and your within an 8 hour drive of Detroit, let me know cause i'm afraid this might be the first fatal case of GAS in recorded history.

    thanks for reading and hopefully helping.
    joe
     
  2. Jamie Black

    Jamie Black Friend of Leo's

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    Have you tried Huber and Breese in Fraser? They've got an enormous amount of stock in store for being a small independant. They're crazy busy but seem pretty willing to work with those who are there to truely buy.
     
  3. ole6string

    ole6string Tele-Meister

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    Call or visit sweetwater.com. Problem solved.
     
  4. Colo Springs E

    Colo Springs E Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    That's odd... I've had things like this happen randomly but you've had a pretty crappy run. Hope your luck improves soon.
     
  5. Texasjtl3

    Texasjtl3 Tele-Meister

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    Huber and Breese don't carry Suhr and I want to sit down and play one before I buy it. (I'm old fashioned that way!!)
     
  6. DavidM1

    DavidM1 Tele-Holic

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    Rock shops have a history of being useless. They might be improving because buyers now have internet options but I'm unsurprised by the difficulties.

    I think the best way is to simply spend some time playing guitars until you find one that grabs you. Buying off the specification is a bit of a lucky dip by comparison.
     
  7. Crawfish

    Crawfish Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

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  8. teletimetx

    teletimetx Doctor of Teleocity

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    How about Elderly Instruments in Lansing? They usually have some good stuff in inventory, both acoustic and electric.
    www.elderly.com



    Phoning it in.
     
  9. Texasjtl3

    Texasjtl3 Tele-Meister

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    Thanks for the tip on acoustic vibes, but I'm onto the telecaster now. BTW, being a State alumni, Elderly was the first place I called, still waiting to hear back....6 months and counting.
     
  10. SustainerPlayer

    SustainerPlayer Tele-Meister

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    You sure you don't look like a drummer?
     
  11. Warm Gums

    Warm Gums Friend of Leo's

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    Yes and no, trying to do things by phone with most music stores is far different than what you are probably use to professionally where people have people and people have assistants to make sure things get done in a timely fashion so as to meet hard deadlines etc.

    Independent music stores (for the most part) are much looser, Email is something you get to when you have a bit of down time i.e. about every two weeks. Return phone calls to a cold call from a unknown customer? don't count on it. If you are new to all this they don't know you and may even be suspicious of being burned by a high roller who has no problem with picking something else up and sticking them with an expensive guitar that is not a quick sale to their usual clientele. Still the ordering a standard model instead of what you want is odd (I would have required a 50% non refundable deposit) . Sweetwater is an exception, and there are several others and although I have always have good experiences with Elderly, it sounds like you didn't. Even with high end shops if you are new to the game you need to take the initiative and keep in contact, eventually every one becomes comfortable with each other, and things smooth out. No different than many things, I'm in the process of looking for a "nice" used car, and find that I need to keep an eye on the sites, and when the "intransist" car I'm interested in (that they were going to call me about) shows I need to make the call, & set things up. The body in the shop gets priority over the repeat customer at home who is over the unknown looker from last week, who is over the cold call..basic retail pecking order.
     
  12. Texasjtl3

    Texasjtl3 Tele-Meister

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    David, Yep...that's what I'm attempting to do by trying to locate a Suhr to play!
     
  13. Jefe

    Jefe Tele-Afflicted

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    I think there comes a time when you need to stop being a nice guy, and be a bit of an a-hole with them. Say "look, I've been trying for months to buy a guitar. This is the model I want. This is the color I want. If you get it here, and you call me, I will come in with CASH IN HAND and buy it. DO YOU WANT MY MONEY, OR SHOULD I BRING IT TO A DIFFERENT DEALER??"

    Short of that, I say ditto on Sweetwater. Call them, and get yourself set up with one of their sales people. That will be the person you deal with from now on. Discuss their return policy, and explain your situation to them. If you don't like the guitar once it arrives, then send it back.
     
  14. SamClemons

    SamClemons Poster Extraordinaire

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    You need to find some better music stores or order from sweetwater or even ebay.
     
  15. Jefe

    Jefe Tele-Afflicted

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    Probably listen to what Warm Gums is saying before anything I'm saying. They don't know you, so you're going to need to take the initiative, call them every week, show up every week, etc.
     
  16. hemingway

    hemingway Poster Extraordinaire

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    Last guitar I bought I had to buy online and take all the associated risks, as no one could get me the model I wanted when I wanted it, in a shop, to actually play.

    Yes, sometimes it seems that no one wants your money
     
  17. teletimetx

    teletimetx Doctor of Teleocity

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    I should have guessed that Elderly was too obvious. However, my most recent experiences have been that having a jones for a specific model & make can be a tough row to hoe.
    And trying to communicate via land lines?
    Might be worth making a trip to the store, make a personal contact, see what they have on hand. If the gods seem to be making it hard for you to acquire some specific model, as you say, then go to a place with a large inventory and fool the gods - maybe what you want is a rickenbaker or maybe some other slightly used guitar that is looking for you.
    The suggestion about Sweetwater is worth looking into - they've recently adopted a customer service approach that is truly surprising.


    Phoning it in.
     
  18. Drubbing

    Drubbing Friend of Leo's

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    This sort of story is very typical for a left handed shopper. Minus all the guitars...
     
  19. 10thoufirst

    10thoufirst Tele-Holic

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    Well, Texasjtl3, I really admire your patience. I know I couldn't do it. They say money talks, but the guys you've been talking to don't seem to be listening. Perhaps they couldn't care less; if I had a customer like you I'd bend over backwards to get you what you wanted. And quickly.
    I can't mess about like that, I'm impatient and if I went to a shop which didn't have what I wanted, there are others who will oblige. Mind you, that's easy for me to say. I live in England and a major trip for me is a run down the road for you guys. But it still hurts me to hear that a fellow musician (and prospective Tele player to boot) can't get what he wants within a few days, let alone weeks.
     
  20. Warm Gums

    Warm Gums Friend of Leo's

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    LOL
    Flashing your privilege like that would have gotten you the quick boot from my place, "why yes PLEASE take your money elsewhere". Most indy shops are a labor of love, and each has a vastly different personality, some cater to the "I know what I like/want" crowd, and others are more suited to a exploration of all things guitar. While I enjoyed turning a profit, there were folks that I wouldn't/won't work with. Not saying the OP is one of those people, but you shouldn't expect a Ferrari experience form the local Ford dealer match your inquires to your expectations. Another option might be "Washington Music Center" aka "Chucks" listed as a Suhr dealer they are not known for mail order but they do, and often have deep inventory and excellent pricing and while they can be a bit brusque they do tend to take care of business.
     
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