Buying Guitars

Music Store Guitar Display

Like any major purchase, buying guitars can be both exciting and a bit scary. Buying a guitar isn't like buying an iPod or even other musical gear. A guitar is a very personal thing. You can buy two guitars that look exactly the same, that are the exact same model, or were even made at the same factory on the same day, and they will both play and sound differently. When it comes down to it, a guitar is a big piece of carved wood with a little bit of metal and plastic. So, deciding what kind of guitar to buy involves far more than just a guitar's aesthetic appeal. You have to know what makes a guitar good or bad.

Local or Online?

When buying a guitar, you also have to decide whether or not you want to buy it locally or through an online retailer. There are pros and cons to each option. It's important to understand both so you can weigh your options. Personally, I've had success with both, but you need to be shrewd about your choices.

Pros and Cons of Buying Guitars Locally

If you buy a guitar locally, you can try it out easily before you purchase so you know completely whether or not the guitar sounds and plays well. When you buy locally, you can also develop a relationship with a salesperson that will make the purchase possibly much easier. The downside is that you are more limited with respect to selection, and it can be harder to get the best deal (though many local retailers will match or beat Internet prices).

Pros and Cons of Buying Guitars Online

Buying instruments  online will afford you much greater selection and likely the best prices as well. However, to state the obvious, you can't exactly try before you buy. Most major retailers will offer generous return policies (between 30 days and 45 days), though you might have to pay for return shipping.

Smaller retailers are less generous, though they typically offer 24 - 48 hour return policies. Smaller stores are also more likely to provide specific descriptions of the instrument (e.g. "fast neck," "lightweight") than a larger retailer, so there's a good chance you can get what you want. Depending upon your state's sales tax rate, you can also save a good amount of money through shopping online.

If you have any questions about buying instruments locally or online, send me an email. I'd love to help!

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