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Friday, May 25, 2012

Local Music Gear Store Review, A review of retail music stores based on shopping experiences ...(Review)

Reviewed By: Sean McCormick
Over the past year or so I have been on a mission to find the retail music stores with the best customer service. This store report is from a handful of local stores in NJ that I shopped at for this reason. I have shopped at 15 stores in total. I went into each store with cash in hand ready to buy and the experience for each store is very different. Below are my experiences at the first four, there will be other reviews to follow. 
My Experiences
Lou Rose Music Center Edison New Jersey
Sales Person: Didn’t get his name
Item shopping for: Grover tuners and some allparts parts
My Experience: Pleasant
Any Problems: No
Items Bought: Allparts on-on-on switch, Allparts pickguard, strings
Additional Info: They didn’t have the Grovers that I needed in stock but they offered to order them for me and told me that I could find then up the street at a Sam Ash. It really shows that they had my interests as a customer at heart to refer me to the competition. 
Hi Way Music East Brunswick NJ
Sales Person: The Owner of the store
Item shopping for: 12 string Acoustic
My Experience: Pleasant
Any Problems: No
Items Bought: Fender 12 string acoustic guitar 
Additional Info: This store is a very small store that has been in East Brunswick for as long as I can remember. When I was nine years old my father took me here to by my very first electric guitar. I told the salesperson what I was looking for and within a half hour I had my new guitar with 2 sets of string for $50 less than what I was ready to pay.  
NJ Guitar and Bass Center Edison NJ
Sales Person: The Owner of the store
Item shopping for: Acoustic Bass Guitar 
My Experience: Pleasant
Any Problems: No
Items Bought: Brownsville Acoustic bass guitar 
Additional Info: This store one of the coolest stores I have been to. They must have over 1,000 guitars. The selection is the best I have seen for used gear in the area and the people are nice.   
Sam Ash Music Edison NJ
Sales Person: Jack Sheppard 
Item shopping for: Epiphone DR 500 MCE  
My Experience: Not the best
Any Problems: Yes
Items Bought: left the store without buying 
Additional Info: So out of all stores I went to this store was the only one that I had a problem with. The superstores chains claim that they will price match any advertised price. So I shopped around from Guitar Center, Sweetwater, and a few others that are owned by the Guitar Center family of companies and was given a better price than Sam Ash had for the same guitar. So, with cash in hand I went into Sam Ash of Edison NJ and was told off by my sales person. My sales person, Mr. Jack Sheppard, first said that the quote for the guitar, that was a PDF with the other companies logo on it with the sales persons name; could not be the real price and that I made it up. After I had a few words with the store manager and he called and verified the price, I was ready to check out and bring my new guitar home. While I was at the counter Mr. Sheppard said that he would have given me the guitar for free if I would have bought more gear through their store since I hade bought other items through the store that quoted me the discounted price. He said this in front of other customers in a belittling way. It made me feel so uncomfortable that I left the store and called Paul Ash. Now with all that said I did go back a few weeks later and worked with two different sales people (Billy and Jason) and I had a pleasant experience. I ended up buying the guitar the next day from the Guitar Center in East Brunswick, NJ for the quoted price without any problems at all. I didn’t mind shopping at the Guitar Center or Sam Ash since it was a guitar that my local independent stores could not order at the time, and yes I tried them before I fed the beast.  
The experiences I had may be much different than an experience(s) you have had or may have in future visits to the stores I shopped at. Please feel free to let us know about an experience you have had at a local store in your area. 
Posted 5/2012