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How to be an "el Cheapo" when spending on gear



Location: Cape Town, South Africa

Joined: Feb 06 2010

As everyone knows music gear is really expensive, especially quality stuff.

I was wondering if anybody would be willing to share their tricks on how they save, negotiate, extort, barter, blackmail or bribe to get their goodies at the best possible price (Only really applies when buying from shops, not 2nd hand). Here is one of my tricks (it works for me, might not work for you)
If you have any tricks for buying online, go ahead.

First - Get a "Home-Base" store (usually where you bought your first instrument or other expensive gear) and when your in the area, pop around and visit some of the people, develop a relationship with them (when they're not busy otherwise you'll end up annoying them). Ask for advice etc. get informal. Put in some effort and you are almost guaranteed a big discount on your next axe, bass or whatever.

1.) There are about 7 music stores in my area.
2.) One store is my "home-base" where everyone knows me and I usually buy my expensive stuff eg. New Axe, Keyboard etc. (As such I don't buy there often)
3.) When buying normal things I go to the store I haven't been to in the longest amount of time.
4.) Odds are the person won't recognise me and consider me a new customer.
5.) Because they want you to come to their store more often and buy more often they are much more open to giving discounts for the first few purchases.
6.) After that its on to the next store.

One last thing - I think of buying a 2nd hand amp as buying 2nd hand tires - Not the smartest investment. Guitars and MFX yes, but in my opinion amps take the most abuse out of all you equipment, so watch out.


Yeah, its all a matter of



Joined: Aug 15 2008

Yeah, its all a matter of relationship.
I rarely come to a guitar shop cause its far away from my city though :(
But my dad got a 100€ discount on my guitar cause the seller was a friend of my cousin :3

Take some time to look at online musicshop (once a week for example), they do great discount from time to time.
Already seen a 3000€ -> 1600€ discount for a Gibson (no B stock...) :|

It really is about


Location: New York

Joined: Dec 01 2008

It really is about relationships and connections. There's a local music shop a few minutes away from me and I've got a friend who works there. Every once in a while I'd mention needing something, so he would hook me up by either just giving them to me or giving me some kind of discount. Recently I've gotten to know the owner, so now I can just go directly to him. Of course, I do not and will not take advantage of this. The man is trying to run a business after all =)

As for buying online, you could try signing up for a mailing list. They usually send emails with discount codes for 10-25% off. Most of the time there's some kind of catch (spend X amount of money), but that is better than nothing depending on if X is suitable for what you're able to shell out at the time. Also, search around before settling on buying from an online vendor. Sometimes you'll find that other sites sell what you want slightly lower than another.

Lastly, you could always try to buy used gear... I personally don't like to do this because with this you never really know what the gear has went though, if it was taken care of properly, etc. It's somewhat of a risk that I'm not willing to take unless I can meet up with the person selling the item, test it out, see how much wear and tear it's been through and all that good stuff.



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