Wednesday, July 16, 2008

O how I love shopping....!

I'm trying to buy a guitar at the moment. Not a difficult thing to do, you'd have thought - given the ubiquitous nature of the rock and roll industry. And in one sense it isn't.

I want to buy a Simon & Patrick Flame Maple electro-accoustic - lovely tone, hard-wearing and excellent electronics (so everyone tells me). I duly pitched at the guitar dealer nearest to me who had half a dozen in stock. The prices were not too eye-watering and the tone was sublime, the action a little high (though the dealer said he'll sort that out for me free of charge) and the electrics - ie when it was plugged in to an amp - were indeed excellent.

So I could have bought it. But I felt I ought to shop around, so I went off to Tin Pan Alley just off London's Charing Cross Road to trawl the guitar shops and see what was on offer. Well, you'd never guess there was a recession on. Despite being the only customer in most of the shops, no one offered to sell me a guitar. When I did speak to a member of staff, I was told that either they did not stock S&P guitars but the ones they did stock were better or that I could play anything I wanted. no one offered to assess what my guitar needs were or to set instruments up for me to try out.

Not surprisingly, I left empty-handed.

So, I went back on line. I've already trawled a number of websites checking out S&P - reviews mainly (universally positive except for one guy who lived in Arizona and found his S&P fell apart in the dry heat). But this time I looked for offers, deals, even prices and was surprised at the number of sites that don't post prices but invite you to enquire by email - what's that about?!

I finally found a Belgian site with a good range of S&P guitars only to find that the one my local retailer had in stock was available at over £200 more than he was selling it for - and I'd have to entrust it to the vaguaries of a courier.

So, looks like I'll be driving down the road and buying locally after all. What do I learn from this?


Jonathan said...

What do you learn?
That you have wayyy too much time on your hands right now.

lynn said...

Love Jonathan's comment.

I'd learn from this that the internet isn't necessarily the cheapest place to buy things (which we wus always told) and that assistants in guitar shops don't necessarily want to sell you anything, they just want to show off their superior knowledge of their particular favourite brand (I'm married to a Taylor geek)

Oh, and I've also found that guitar shops are empty 9 till 5 weekdays. They're only full of people on Saturdays!!