Below In No Particular Order
Pros & Cons
Now that we are
closed to the public, we finally are able to retain a small
semblance of sanity. We can control how many people are here at
once & therefore do a better job of servicing our
customers. We believe it's good to make new customers!
We believe that our old customers are responsible for our many
years of success and they are to be taken care of first &
No Browsing -
The WEBSITE Is For Browsing
there is no consumer reports in the guitar business, you
absolutely cannot trust the
magazines, they are all driven by advertising.
(Magazine Editorials Are
Really Nothing More Than Advertorials !!!)
That's why our website is as big as it is. So our potential
customers can see what we do.
It was overwhelming to most of
them when they walked in to browse anyway.
Invariably they could
not take everything in. Generally they would find numerous
guitars they wanted to buy. (But which one?)
therein lies the major problem.
This caused us to actually
lose sales!!! The average customer
could not make up his mind and therefore he would spend hours
looking and simply walk out confused.
This is the main reason
chain stores don't give you much choice, They generally have
only one high end choice and usually they are not really high
end at all. Chain Stores are cold & calculating. They have zero passion for
guitars and they simply do everything by the book and of course
they succeed financially.
If you are really into guitars and you want to offer your
customers real selection and real quality you do yourself a
disservice. In fact you confuse and befuddle many of your
customers so they cannot make up their minds. They go into
sensory overload and buy nothing. The customer simply goes out
to a chain store and buys a cookie cutter Gibson. (Why ?
Because it's easy and requires no actual thought process)
This is something people do subconsciously, fueled by all the
advertising and the confusion he went through in his short
search for something better. You can read sales psychology
tactics and it will explain the whole process.
This Country Is Being
If You Don't Believe Me Just Walk Into A Guitar Center !!!
3. Saving Time
Perhaps the most important reason is we were growing tired of
getting approximately 150 people a day into the store who had
absolutely no intention of buying anything. These people would
often say as they left, "Cool
Store, If I ever buy a guitar it will be from you"
"I would buy that guitar in a
heartbeat but my wife would kill me"
"I'm getting some money in a couple
of years, do you think you'll still have this in stock?"
I could go on here for about 20
more paragraphs but I think you get the idea.
Our sales have increased dramatically the very first month we
went back to appointment only.
I've had well meaning people compliment
me to the point of telling me the store was the highlight of
their Las Vegas Vacation.
That is the worst thing
I can hear !!!
This is just their way of apologizing
to me for them not buying anything.
Years ago I took
statements like that as compliments, these days I dread hearing
statements like that because all they are really saying is they
are not buying jack squat.
Occasionally, I will get a
call from one of these people who will again thank me for taking
them thru the shop, demonstrating several guitars for them, and
posing with them for a picture. Invariably they will have a
couple of questions and usually some more compliments but very
rarely will one of these turn into a sale.
The calls that I like are
the ones where the potential customer has read the website,
decided that some of the things we had to say made some sense
and simply places an order for a guitar. These people have
rarely been to the store at all.
The worst of all is the
potential customer who calls and says he will be in town in 4
weeks and wants to stop in and buy a guitar. These customers'
plans usually change, they usually don't actually ever even show
up and if they do they were in the buying mode 4 weeks ago when
they picked up the phone and called. Invariably they already
bought something in the week following the call. I am no longer
allowing those callers to make appointments that far ahead. In
fact I encourage them to buy a guitar on the spot and tell them
if they don't like it they can return it when they are in town.
We reduced our
overhead by 70% the very first month we made this move. The
savings to our bottom line has been awesome. Because we have
been in business for 38 years we have no shortage of long term
loyal customers. We have not advertised anywhere in almost 6 years to
speak of. We might even run a few ads now that the cash flow is
back to what it was when the economy was good.
Mo Money Mo Money Mo Money
Let's not lose sight of the
reasons we are in business for in the first place: to make a
profit and be able to feed our families. Going into the second
month of our "appointment only" mode our sales volume has
increased dramatically. We are selling more volume and our
repairs seem to have doubled. In fact I had to hire another full
time tech for repairs. We have 3, not counting full luthiers &
6. No More
Theft, No More Damaged Guitars
Those maggots can go harass Guitar
Center, scratch up their inventory, steal knobs, tremolos,
and basically drive them crazy playing "Stairway To Heaven"
There are a few reasons
it's good to have the store.
In some ways we will suffer some lost acquisitions.
The main thing the store
was good for was for buying used guitars and doing trade ins. We
have noticed that the volume of used guitars coming our way has
slightly dwindled. So it looks like we will be doing guitar shows again
to replenish our used guitar inventory. We can now afford to pay
higher guitar show dollars for used guitars because the overhead has been
reduced to a minimum.
Sales Of Entry Level
Low End Guitars
Another reason that the appointments have greatly reduced our
ability to get rid of cheapo kids guitars. Those sales are the
ones that stores like Guitar Center thrive on.
When we first opened our
doors in Las Vegas we had been strictly by appointment for 5
years at our Connecticut location. We had more than 2000 cheapo
under $400.00 guitars that we had accumulated over a 6 year
period. We figured we could easily raise half a million just by
selling these used kiddie guitars that we had basically
written off anyway.
We could almost have
burned them as firewood and still be ahead of the game.
Sometimes I wish I had done that.
Bashing Us For Going Back To Appointment Only !!
We are not strangers to being bashed. We have been
anonymously bashed for years. We have probably lost some sales
due to it but - except for 2007 & 2008 - we always had more business
than we could effectively handle anyway. When we moved we
didn't even have an official sale. Business was actually decent
right up to the last day we were there.
Our Competitors Are, As Usual, Telling
People We Went Out Of Business??
Screw them & Screw their lying commissioned employees too.
With our reduced overhead we can undersell them and still make
more money than them !!!!!
One of the reasons we have the best selection of
cool guitars anywhere is we reinvest our money into buying the newer and cooler