Prices

Posting Prices 

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I get numerous E-mail because I don't post all my prices,  Believe me I wish I could, it would make my life so much easier. Hell all I would have to do is wait for the checks to arrive. Even better yet I could get one of those virtual shopping carts and not even have a phone number like those all those catalog companies

Well let me tell you it's not that easy. The music business by nature is a wheeler dealer business. Only the very strong and the ever vigilant survive.

People who buy in The Big Super Stores are too lazy or ignorant to buy mail order.  It can be easy to price things in a store environment.  People on the internet on the other hand are smarter, quicker on their feet & definitely will not buy the first price they see.  I have found that even if you quoted them below cost they would still check 3 other places before buying.

All prices can't be posted for many reasons
I will attempt to list most of the reasons Below

 

 Ed Roman's Price Guarantee Is Fairly Simple:
I will beat any stocking authorized dealers advertised price
on any new  brand of production guitar.

Bring in that Musicians Friend Catalog !!
We will always beat the price!!!!
 The Only Exceptions
Limited Editions, Hard to Get Items, Extra Special Models, Low Serial Numbers & Collector Models

Reason 1. Most Manufacturers limit my printed prices to their M.A.P. plan
MAP means Minimum Advertised Price.

The M.A.P. prices are those high prices you see in all the printed mail order catalogs that come in the mail. The cost of printing and mailing those catalogs is mind boggling. Guess who pays that cost.  Believe me the catalog companies don't do it out of the goodness of their hearts.  A typical small 500,000 piece mailing at $1.30 postage each is $650.000.00 that's Six Hundred and Fifty Thousand Dollars and that's just the postage cost. Layout costs printing costs average out to about $1.50 a catalog that comes to a whopping $750.000.00 that's Seven Hundred and Fifty Thousand Dollars,  add the two up and you get $1,400,000.00 that's One Million Four Hundred Thousand Dollars. Ok now lets multiply that by 4 Mailings a year.

 $5,600,000.00 that's Five Million Six Hundred Thousand Dollars.
"OUCH"

In many cases I sell below the M.A.P. and that would be a problem.  If I printed those prices the Manufacturer would cut me off.  I have letters from Taylor that will prove this. Taylor became very upset when I printed prices below M.A.P.   

 

Reason 2. Printed prices always kill or screw up trade in deals.
When a customer wants to trade an item in he naturally wants to get as much as possible for it. Usually the customer will shop the best price and then "Spring his trade in"  It happens to me about 5 times a day.

I have been selling guitars for 37 years and I can tell you for a fact that this problem is by far the worst.  Many stores won't accept trade in's anymore (Especially the Super Stores)  I happen to like to do trade in's. I specialize in all sorts of weird off the wall items anyway. One mans junk is another mans treasure. Because of my long experience I can handle trade in's in such a way where everybody is usually happy.  A Superstore with a 19 year snot nosed derelict behind the counter is going to piss the customer off by offering him next to nothing on his trade.

Bottom Line
If a customer is relatively intelligent, (Most of my repeat customers are very intelligent). He must and will understand that the dealer is in business, The Dealer needs to feed his family so he (The Dealer) has to win.

Some customers will try to get the dealer to pay very high money for a trade in and then discount the living shit out of the merchandise he wants to buy.  Sometimes they succeed in getting over on the dealer. In reality this doesn't do anyone any good. If the dealer can't make any money he will simply fold and close.
(Enter the Superstores).    (The consumer is always the loser when that happens)

 

Reason 3. Customers who call and discuss prices are always the serious ones!!!!
In this world of no money E-mailers, Time wasters and Geeks a' Gawkin' the dealer needs a way to be able to separate a legitimate customer from a Tire Kicker. Naturally the dealer wants to spend his valuable time with the real buyers.

When a customer inquires, calls, haggles or complains about price the dealer knows for sure that he is a buyer and not a time waster.  Some dealers take offense when a customer haggles, If they were smart they would realize that this customer is truly a buyer and is just trying to make the best deal for himself.  When a customer calls and asks for a price, Then he simply says thank you and good-bye. He is probably not a buyer. He is probably checking what something costs so that he can sell the one he already owns.

 

Reason 4. Price Changes.
Prices change a real lot.  I don't have the time to baby sit this site every single time a price change happens or a delivery slowdown forces prices up.  And when a price changes the customer tends to hold me responsible. It creates hard feelings and tension when I have to raise a price. 

 

Reason 5. Individual Guitars Require Individual Pricing. 
I sell a lot of high end beautifully figured Guitars like  Turner,  JET, Baker, Quicksilver Abstract and many more. Prices have to quoted based on the actual guitar. 

 

Reason 6. Competitor Price Quotes.
If I posted a price on a PRS 1987 Vintage Yellow Custom with birds for $2,700.00  Then a competitor could simply point at it and say I will sell the same guitar for $2,600.00.   In fact I lost many sales that way when all my PRS prices were posted.  This is of course totally ridiculous because one 1987 PRS is not the same as another 1987 PRS. 

The smart customer checks things like Condition, Features, Options, Beauty, Playability and Sound Quality. Many people feel that one 1987 PRS will sound just like another (Nothing could be farther from the truth).

Many times a customer will find comfort in the fact that he/she was able to buy below a posted price. Customers like these are not very intelligent buyers. But sadly the not very intelligent buyers outnumber the smart buyers 90 to 10. 

 

 

I am not a pricing service!!!
I am here to sell guitars!!!!
In order to sell guitars....  
You have to be able to give good service!
You have to be able to support the product after the sale!
You have to have a wide selection of colors and options!
You have to have good clean fresh new inventory!
But Most of all
In order to sell guitars on the web you have to be able to beat prices!
You don't want to be the Idiot who gets his prices beat by every local dealer.

This is one of the main reasons I no longer print all my prices.


Remember the Superstore Mentality

A. Come into a town.
B. Hire all the competitions best salespeople offer them top dollar.
C. Open up a cool new store with every possible product and accessory in stock.
D. Have clinics, giveaway sales, famous personality appearances, sponsor local charities.
E. Get the newspapers and radio stations to promote them free because they advertise so much.
F. Offer a beat any price policy.
G. Open earlier close later than the competition.
H. Open 7 days
I. Often there will be a sharp, hip store manager who will be charismatic and a great musician to boot. He will have all kinds of great Rock n' Roll war stories to tell to all the young gapers who will be amazed when they hear he was a roadie for Kiss or that he did lights for Metallica. He will seemingly be everywhere in the store making friends, making deals, gaining your trust. You will run into him at a concert. He will always have a backstage pass, It seems like everyone knows the guy and you say to yourself  "I gotta' align myself up with this guy". So you start sending your friends in to see him. You remind your friends, to make sure and tell him that you sent them. (Starting to sound familiar)

Remember Mom & Pop stores like to close on Sundays. They also need to make a profit to pay their rent and presumably make payroll.  It becomes very hard when one of these superstores opens.  They can't compete with the big city hype and hoopla that the superstores start up with. They can't afford to stay open the same long hours. They certainly cannot afford to advertise anymore so the radio stations and the magazines shun them and do articles on the superstores or have live in store broadcasts etc You know the drill.

Ok so lets say that your local family owned and run music store bites the dust.  It usually takes a long time for it to happen because they are usually musicians and musicians have big ego's, and the last thing they would ever want to do is admit defeat. Like Meg Ryan did to Tom Hanks in the Movie "You've got Mail".
By the way the owners of the superstores are usually not musicians, They could give a shit about the Van Halen tour with David Lee Roth, And they certainly don't care if the guitar you bought won't stay in tune after the warranty has expired.

Most of those little stores are already out of business They just don't know it!!  There is a small dirty little grimy, mildew smelling, health hazard of a music store in my town owned by a guy so stubborn he has hung on for more than 30 years. (Let's call him Gus) Gus has had the same 20 or 30 guitars in his store for over 10 years.  He survives by taking on a small new line and simply not paying his bill. Most of the manufacturers write him off as a bad debt and don't bother trying to collect from him. The cost of collection on a $3,000.00 debt can be $5,000.00 so the manufacturers just don't bother. So between giving a few guitar lessons and Bullshitting some of the newer smaller companies who don't have credit managers Gus manages to keep his doors open.  Of course Gus never has anything good and he probably never will.  He has been there nearly 50 years I worked for him when I was a kid. Gus had really cool stuff then, he always had Marshall's, Fenders, Hagstrom's, and all the other cool things from 50 years ago.

He even had the Oliver Clams  (Private Joke)

In any case Gus is of no importance and certainly will never affect the local music market ever again.


 
Superstores Mentality
After all the competition is dead and buried
Or as in some cases they just refuse to stay dead like Gus

A. The First thing is the prices will start to creep higher and higher.
B.  The selection of product will dwindle their computers have indicated what 75% of the locals like.
C. Those original high paid employees will start dropping like flies and in their place you will see minimum wage high school kids who would probably work for free just to work in a big music store.
D.  The radio advertisements are fewer now, The sales are much farther apart (I mean who do they have to compete with Gus???)
E. The store will usually get a new manager The old one is sent out to open another new store in another new town. And so the virus spreads.
F. The new manager has a whole new way of doing things.  All the good will the original store manager created is no longer attainable because the new guy (Usually a lower paid cretin idiot suit & tie) is usually sitting in the back office drinking coffee and trying to think of new ways to cut costs.
G.  The new Manager will cut costs by closing earlier opening later and in some cases I have heard they even close on Sundays.  After all who are they competing with Gus ????  I think not.
H.  They will usually still offer the beat any price deal. But it will mean that they will beat any local price, Yup you guessed it Maurice doesn't carry it and if by some small chance he happens to have one in the store they will still weasel out of it because they will simply say to you that Gus isn't a factory authorized dealer.

Think about this the next time you go into one of those Super Sores to buy a pack of strings.


More reasons
Why Ed Roman refuses to buy products made by large corporations

Brussels, 16 July 2003

Commission fines Yamaha millions for restrictions of trade and resale price maintenance in Europe

The European Commission has decided to impose a fine of 2.56 million on musical instruments manufacturer Yamaha for restricting trade within the European single market and fixing resale prices in certain EU countries for such products as pianos, guitars and oboes. Although the restrictions were of a serious nature, they seemed to be limited to certain dealers, products and countries rather than the result of a deliberate strategy, and appear not to have been implemented in full. Furthermore, as soon as the Commission intervened, Yamaha took steps to end the restrictions and to redesign its European distribution system.

Yamaha sells under a selective distribution system a whole range of traditional and electronic musical instruments and equipment in Europe, such as pianos, electronic organs, guitars, saxophones and violins. The company is the European market leader for most musical instruments.

After an investigation, the Commission has concluded that Yamaha has violated European Union competition rules by entering into agreements or concerted practices aimed at partitioning the market and fixing resale prices.

Such practices had the object of restricting competition, within the meaning of Article 81(1) of the EU treaty and Article 53(1) of the European Economic Agreement, in Germany, Italy, France, Austria, Belgium, The Netherlands, Denmark and Iceland.

The restrictions took different forms at different times and in different countries. They included obligations on official dealers to sell only to final customers; obligations on official dealers to purchase exclusively from the Yamaha subsidiaries; obligations on official dealers to contact Yamaha before exporting via the Internet; and the fixing of resale prices.

Agreements and/or restrictive practices partitioning the European market and fixing resale prices constitute a violation of EU rules, according to an extensive case law.

Although the infringement was qualified as serious, some of the contractual provisions were applied to only a limited number of dealers and products, were not systematically included in all Yamaha agreements throughout the EEA and have not been simultaneously implemented.

The fact that Yamaha terminated a majority of the restrictions as soon as the Commission intervened was also considered a mitigating circumstance.


Another Happy Customer

I will keep this brief as I know you receive a lot of e-mail. I was in Vegas this past February and I purchased a left-handed Blues Deluxe from you. I just wanted to tell you that after playing this guitar for a few months, I can honestly say that this guitar was one of the best investments I have ever made in my life. The action on this guitar is unreal and sound only gets better as I play it more and more. I haven't even changed the strings on it yet as they still sound like the day I got the guitar. My speed has just about doubled as well.

It is extremely difficult (nearly impossible) for me to find quality left-handed guitars, and I just wanted to thank you for keeping them in stock. I have 3 friends who play lefty as well, and they are all jealous of me. I know for a fact that you will be receiving business from one of my friends who plans on going to Vegas this September.

Thanks Ed (and Scott too),

-Paul
Buffalo, NY


How do you make a guitarist's eyes light up?
Shine a flashlight in his ear.

What's the range of a Gibson Les Paul?
Depends on how far you throw it.

Why are so many guitarists jokes one liners?
So the rest of the band can understand them.

What's the difference between a guitar player and a bag of garbage?
The garbage gets taken out at least once a week.

What's black and blue and laying in a ditch?
A guitarist who's told one too many drummer jokes.

How many guitarists does it take to change a light bulb?
At least 2000: one to change the bulb and 1999 to insist how much better they could've done it!


Late one day a local pub saw six guys walk in, obviously in pairs of two, sit down and order their favorite after-work drinks.

The first two to seat themselves and be served by the bartender were two guys working at a major university whose I.Q.s were so high they could hardly be measured! They began discussing from Quantum Mechanics to the fine points of Particle Physics, either one as brilliantly as the other.

The bartender then went over to the next pair who were "regular guys" with ordinary jobs, with average I.Q.s, schmoozing about how hard it was today to keep up with bill payments, how high taxes were, how corrupt politicians were and all the day-to-day struggles most everyone has.

The last two the bartender served were two very badly educated, ill-mannered dolts with very low I.Q.s that could barely be measured on any I.Q. test. As soon as they'd ordered the bartender overheard one say to the other, "Oh, hey, I meant to ask ya, do you use flat wound or round wound on your bass?"

 

A guitar player comes to the doctor and complains about a serious deterioration of his memory. He especially has a hard time remembering correct changes and is afraid to lose all his gigs. Since the doctor can't find the cause, he asks the guitarist to leave behind his brain for a week in his lab for more detailed examinations.

After seven days the guitar player fails to show up, and even after 2 more weeks there's no sign of him. Finally the doctor runs into him on the street, grabs him and asks: "Excuse me, but your brain is still waiting for you to stop by and pick it up, so why don't you show up?"

The guitarist says, "Well, I think you can keep it; I finally switched to bass..."

 

A man gives his son an electric bass for his 15th birthday, along with a coupon for four bass lessons. When the son returns from his first lesson, the father asks, "So, what did you learn?"

"Well, I learned the first five notes on the E string." Next week, after the second lesson, the father again asks about the progress, and the son replies, "This time I learned the first five notes on the A string."

One week later, the son comes home far later than expected, smelling of cigarettes and beer. So the father asks: "Hey, what happened in today's lesson?"

"Dad, I'm sorry I couldn't make it to my lesson; I had a gig!"

 

A tour manager comes across the guitarist and bass player fighting at the side of the stage and pulls them apart asking what the problem was.

"That bastard detuned one of the strings on my bass", says the bass player, "And we're on stage in five minutes."

"So what's the problem?", asks the tour manager.

"He won't tell me which string it was he detuned", said the Bassist.

 

What's the difference between Rock music and a machine gun?
The machine gun only repeats 10 times per second.


 


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