Webshop experiences

Anything about MUSIC but doesn't fit into the forums above.
cptgone
KVRAF
4940 posts since 1 Aug, 2003

Post Fri Jun 07, 2019 2:31 am

I've been buying lots of stuff lately (guitar, pedals, pedalboards, cables...) from many shops, and given the differences in customer experience, I decided to share mine.
I'm in Belgium, so I avoid non-EU stores, as custom fees are huge and unpredictable.

Thomann
- good prices overall.
- some bargains to be found, if you look around (they're not always advertised as such).
- price reductions seem to be legit (no fake price drops, with inflated regular price)
- fast communication
- fast order processing
- well packaged shipments
- incredibly large catalogue, most items are in stock
- hard to find stuff sometimes due to the way products are categorized; customer feedback is often informative; sales ranking give you an idea of which products sell best; good bargains overview (but remember, sometimes the 'regular' price is a bargain by itself)

Bax
- good prices overall. They seem to fluctuate according to stock (items that are out of stock seem to be cheaper).
- when they advertise a product as discounted, don't trust the regular price that is shown
- good communication, apart from lag
- fast order processing
- well packaged shipments

Gear4music (only shopped there once)
- bargains to be found
- fast order processing
- well packaged shipments
- UK shop, so mind the power outlets - they do ship a converter when you order from, say, continental Europe)

Muziker
- they have a voucher discount thing, but their prices went up the last few weeks, in general
- they have a "diffuser" discount scheme, but I can't tell if it works as advertised
- stock seems to be rather limited
- order processing is sometimes fast, mostly not (perhaps due to the discount thing?)
- communication is OK
- packaging leaves to be desired
- they seem to be reluctant to do partial shipments (per order, even when you have a lot of open orders) or even unwilling to do those

musicstore.de
- more expensive generally (good prices for Behringer pedals though, if you don't mind the wait as partial shipments seem to be off)
- they seem to be unwilling to do partial shipments. It seems I'll have to wait 3 months for an order of 4 products, 2 of which were in stock both when I ordered, and when I complained after 2 weeks - after a lot of mails they're out of stock now). Their reply to my protest: "we don't mind if you cancel" :?
- one item arrived broken, was replaced
- slow order processing
- communication leaves a lot to be desired

Key Music (Belgian brick and mortar store with webshop)
- expensive, but I did get one pedal rather cheap there. It was shown as being in stock, after purchasing I was told to wait a month. Having had a terrible and costly customer experience with theml in the 90s, I angrily protested and they sorted it.

chk071
KVRAF
20324 posts since 11 Apr, 2010 from Germany

Re: Webshop experiences

Post Fri Jun 07, 2019 2:39 am

Thomann is great. Also when it comes to complaints/returns. I must say that i had a issue with the least web shops, though. I also love to order at Amazon, because they also have a great service.

cptgone
KVRAF
4940 posts since 1 Aug, 2003

Re: Webshop experiences

Post Fri Jun 07, 2019 2:49 am

On the subject of partial shipments: musicstore had me return the broken item (<€20) which is silly (it was a pedal with 1 broken knob, I might have found use for it but it's beyond repair).

Thomann on the other hand, let me keep a cheap item that didn't suit my needs, rather than waste money on courier service to have it returned. So I gave it to my neighbour. Win-win-win :)
chk071 wrote:
Fri Jun 07, 2019 2:39 am
I also love to order at Amazon, because they also have a great service.
I'm a happy Amazon customer, but only once did I find a good price there for an FX pedal (at amazon.fr)
(Ironically, I bought from Bax instead because for once, I was willing to pay a little more for fast delivery - and as Murphy's Law would have it, for once Bax was slow hehe so that didn't really work out)

chk071
KVRAF
20324 posts since 11 Apr, 2010 from Germany

Re: Webshop experiences

Post Fri Jun 07, 2019 2:54 am

You're right. If Music Store offers on Amazon, for example, their prices are higher than on their own shops. For music gear, Amazon is maybe not the cheapest option. Amazon itself sometimes sells some music gear as well though, and, their prices are competitive.

cptgone
KVRAF
4940 posts since 1 Aug, 2003

Re: Webshop experiences

Post Wed Jun 12, 2019 12:34 pm

Browsing guitar pedals in French and Spanish shops, I notice quite a few brands I never heard of. E.g. Jacques, Glou Glou, Amsterdam Cream, MI Audio (Australian, it seems)...

And I would have bought some discounted pedals from peachguitars.com if it wasn't for (seemingly inflated) shipping costs. Many UK businesses don't seem Euro-customer friendly (at Amazon.co.uk, many even refuse to sell anything to continental customers).

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