• Andrew Harrison

Where should I buy my first guitar?

Updated: Jul 26, 2020

When looking to purchase an instrument, is it best to buy online or in your local music store?

For beginners and existing musicians alike, this question is all too relevant when deciding what instrument you want to buy.

Online music shops rely on the customer knowing what it is that they would like to buy. Whether that is having a rough understanding of brands and models or reading the reviews that the staff have written about each and every product. This can take a long time as online shops tend to have a large inventory.

The same cannot be said about a local music store where the sales staff are there to answer any questions you may have and advise on the best course of action when buying an instrument for you or your loved one. If the store doesn’t have a specific item you are after, oftentimes they are able to order it in.

Products are less expensive online though right? That’s the reason most people go online for items anyway isn’t it?

The answer to this question used to be a simple yes. Products used to be less expensive when purchased online from certain suppliers due to the fact that you are doing sales staff a favour. You purchasing a product online would free up a member of staff to serve another customer at the same time. However, things have changed now due to inflation and smaller shops competing with larger online retailers. Now you would be hard pressed to find much difference between an instruments value online vs in store.

Quality guarantee. Due to the nature of ordering online, the supplier must either send your product to your home address or to a designated dealer of their products which raises two issues.

Firstly, when receiving a product from an online retailer unfortunately delivery companies can be a little carefree with the way they handle your item. They not may arrive in the same condition it left the supplier. Equally it could arrive absolutely perfectly with no hiccups whatsoever. This is a risk that all customers must be aware of when ordering online.

Although most products come with at least a 3 month warranty, it is still annoying and inconvenient if this happens and then you must arrange to send it back which can leave you out of pocket.

Secondly, if the supplier is only giving you an option to collect from your local store then you may as well have gone to that store in the first place to order the product. You could have also tried it out to make sure you are definitely happy with the potential purchase.

Due to the nature of my work, I often have new students ask this question and for me, the answer is simple.

Go to your local music store. There they will help you find the instrument that works best for you. They are also available for after care such as services, adjustments, set ups, string replacements etc... Living in West Sussex, the place I always suggest is We Have Sound. The staff there cannot do enough for you. Find your local store and go and have a chat today about getting started.

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