What do YOU want from a small brick & mortar store?

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  • Jackss565Jackss565 Frets: 6
    Regarding the website, personally I would look at reducing the amount of information on each guitar/amp on the landing pages of each category and then having more information for each one on a separate page. Currently you have to scroll down for a long time (on mobile at least) to have a look at each item. That’s fine for people just browsing but if I’m looking for a particular guitar and want to see if you have one then I don’t want to browse 15 others on my way to it. A headline list followed by click here for more info would be more effective.
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  • CHRISB50CHRISB50 Frets: 1750

    From a personal perspective, stock multiple left handed guitars.


    Equally I understand that for a small shop, this is often not worth the money or effort. Which is a shame.

    I can't help about the shape I'm in, I can't sing I ain't pretty and my legs are thin

    But don't ask me what I think of you, I might not give the answer that you want me to

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  • Phil_aka_PipPhil_aka_Pip Frets: 8597
    FWIW if the person in the shop knows their sh1t and they are a good person then I'll more likely buy from them than someone I don't know who's a bit cheaper. It's not just about price, it is about availability, and it is about the relationship you have with the staff.
    "Working" software has only unobserved bugs. (Parroty Error: Pieces of Nine! Pieces of Nine!)
    Seriously: If you value it, take/fetch it yourself
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  • munckeemunckee Frets: 1035
    Fuengi said:
    My favourite guitar shop is Guitar Sound in Chichester. The website is always updated, when you go in they are super friendly and enthusiastic, and they are competitively priced.

    They stock interesting new models across the price range - Fender, Martin, Guild, Faith, Sigma, James Nelligan - and have a good selection of used instruments and amps for a small shop - enough to make you want to pop in to see what they have in. 

    They also commission a local builder to make guitars for them to sell in store. Again, this must help footfall as I'll go in to see what is available. They probably stock three builders guitars at a time at around £1k each. 

    The other thing is that all the guitars and amps are available to play and you will be encouraged to do so.
    Yep I would second this great shop and a very good website, would be a good website to look at to bring more attention to the shop and drive some online sales.  The owner of Guitar Sound made me play a 60s ES335 that was thousands knowing there was a 0% chance of me buying.
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  • steersteer Frets: 193
    edited July 12
    Not talking about your shop, but ...
    I want to be badly intimidated by the small clique of locals who are mates with the shop owner and spend their entire lives in the shop. If I do manage the shop staff to let me try out a guitar, I would love the staff to make quite clear that he is doing me a massive favour., and for me to be very grateful that this is taking him away from discussing life with his shop-frequenting friends.   I would particularly love to then play this guitar this in front of all the aforementioned blues loving grey bearded self-appointed expert regulars, and by no means would I want to be allowed a little space and time in a semi-private location to try out the guitar in peace. 

     s 
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  • HAL9000HAL9000 Frets: 3824
    edited July 12
    Aren't little guitars a bit niche?

    Seriously, I can see what people say about the website. I've never actually visited TLGS. However, the website does come across as quite friendly and chatty and it would be a pity to lose that aspect if you were to go for a new design.

    What do I want from a guitar shop? 

    Knowledgeable staff.

    Staff that can 'read' when I just want to browse and when I would like some attention.

    Guitars that have been set up and that don't have rusty or sweaty strings.

    Something different from the usual wall of Fenders. I like Fenders but a display with fifty variations of Strattiness just bores me rigid.

    Decent used selection.

    Possibly a cup of coffee and a chat.

    Decent selection of cables, strings, etc.


    It might look like I'm listening to you, but in my head I'm playing my guitar.
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  • AnderzAnderz Frets: 6
    The store I used to frequently visit was more of the only nearby choice if you wanted anything guitar related. In certain parts of Denmark music stores are mainly in the biggest towns. 

    I found that what I saw and heard did not match what I wanted. I had to start somewhere and so of it went trying all sorts of stuff. 

    At the time I was into metal but the store did not have anything related much to that. The range of guitars were all at a certain price point though some times they did get some cool stuff but still not often. They could order anything for me and they did  some times.  

    Now so many years later I got the experience and kind of know what I want so nice and friendly staff. the ability to try everything without being bothered to much as usually that is the best for me to get into any gear. That is about it.


    Computer Shop UK Your PC Needs In One Place: https://computershopuk.com/
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  • chris78chris78 Frets: 70
    If you want to know how to run a smaller guitar store, talk to Mark at guitars4you. 
    If you want to run a big guitar store that still has small store service, talk to John at Peach. 

    In short, it’s all about service and these guys absolutely nail it
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  • ZoolooterZoolooter Frets: 231
    Use Destroy all Guitars as a template. Sell high end UK hand built guitars, amps and pedals. Be very very picky and selective with what you sell. 
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  • prlgmnrprlgmnr Frets: 260
    This far into the thread and no one has said "I like to see a reasonable range of bricks"

    Anyway, I like that my nearest smallish but decent store didn't ban me for life when I picked a Jackson Custom Shop PC1 (1 of 25 in the world) off a hanger and proceeded to very firmly twat it against a USA Strat when attempting to put it back in its place.

    I'm not sure which was louder, the crisp attack of one premium bit of tonewood against another or the sound of me soiling myself.

    Luckily no marks were left.
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  • NikcNikc Frets: 76
    coffee have coffee even just a vending machine - I pop in to my local shop have a chat and pretty always buy something - and have a coffee ;)
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  • AlvinAlvin Frets: 61
    edited July 12
      The main two things that put me off some shops are having things all over the floor with hardly any free space to walk , so you have to step very carefully to avoid knocking things over (one shop in Birmingham is/was terrible for this) .
     And a constant barrage of noise at 110db of someone trying a guitar out .  I know everyone who wants to try a guitar needs to hear it but you can tell an awfull lot without having it plugged in .  When Musical Exchanges was trading i don't think i ever visited once without being able to look around in peace , which considering the size of the place they could have easily had a seperate test area away from the shop floor .

       It is difficult for a  retailer nowadays knowing what market to cater for but you don't need 50 different versions of a strat or Les Pauls in 100 different colours  , just a few choice ones would be better at different price points but that is a problem when the manufacturors insist you stock every model they make .  And making so many different versions is unnecessary and confusing anyway . 
         At the cheaper end a brand like Vintage would be a better bet you get more bang for your buck than from many other brands , i think their bold logo puts people off but they are decent . 
       Something different and superstrat like , Palmbay  , not that well known but quality guitars and originally a British made guitar .  I am sure they would welcome another dealer as they don't seem to have many and sell online which must put people off , difficult to beat them for the price.    
       Then stock a couple of high end brands , but something different where you can try and order to customer specs so you don't need to stock every version . If you are the only dealer they can't go elsewhere  - thinking Keisel but i don't know if they have dealers anymore , not in this country as far as  i know .

     
     ,  
      
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  • RolandRoland Frets: 1742
    @JamesSGBrown ; Congratulations on starting a supplier thread which gets so many useful contributions. We’ve got to the end of page 2 without some silly sod expounding his belief that any supplier is the spawn of a capitalist devil.
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  • jeztone2jeztone2 Frets: 920
    edited July 13
    A comprehensive selection of accessories. I won’t be buying a new guitar every month. But cables, power leads, midi leads, strings, picks, straps, strap locks, tools, tuners etc etc. Set ups too! Well priced with a speedy turnaround. 

    Back in the mid 2000’s I remember the most used phrase I used to hear in Sound Control Derby was “Out of stock til Thursday mate”. Usually I had a gig on the Wednesday so I’d hop over to Nottingham and go to Hot Rox. Who are still in business, whereas Sound Control are not. 
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  • JamesSGBrownJamesSGBrown Frets: 31
    Roland said:
    @JamesSGBrown ; Congratulations on starting a supplier thread which gets so many useful contributions. We’ve got to the end of page 2 without some silly sod expounding his belief that any supplier is the spawn of a capitalist devil.
    Ha, I’m genuinely pleasantly at the range of replies here! 
    Thank you everyone, lots of thought fodder. 
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  • meltedbuzzboxmeltedbuzzbox Frets: 7107
    Alvin said:
      The main two things that put me off some shops are having things all over the floor with hardly any free space to walk , so you have to step very carefully to avoid knocking things over (one shop in Birmingham is/was terrible for this) .
     And a constant barrage of noise at 110db of someone trying a guitar out .  I know everyone who wants to try a guitar needs to hear it but you can tell an awfull lot without having it plugged in .  When Musical Exchanges was trading i don't think i ever visited once without being able to look around in peace , which considering the size of the place they could have easily had a seperate test area away from the shop floor .

       It is difficult for a  retailer nowadays knowing what market to cater for but you don't need 50 different versions of a strat or Les Pauls in 100 different colours  , just a few choice ones would be better at different price points but that is a problem when the manufacturors insist you stock every model they make .  And making so many different versions is unnecessary and confusing anyway . 
         At the cheaper end a brand like Vintage would be a better bet you get more bang for your buck than from many other brands , i think their bold logo puts people off but they are decent . 
       Something different and superstrat like , Palmbay  , not that well known but quality guitars and originally a British made guitar .  I am sure they would welcome another dealer as they don't seem to have many and sell online which must put people off , difficult to beat them for the price.    
       Then stock a couple of high end brands , but something different where you can try and order to customer specs so you don't need to stock every version . If you are the only dealer they can't go elsewhere  - thinking Keisel but i don't know if they have dealers anymore , not in this country as far as  i know .

     
     ,  
      
    I think the majority of guitar players want a selection of fender or Gibson when they go to a shop. There is a reason why they are the big two
    The Bigsby was the first successful design of what is now called a whammy bar or tremolo arm, although vibrato is the technically correct term for the musical effect it produces. In standard usage, tremolo is a rapid fluctuation of the volume of a note, while vibrato is a fluctuation in pitch. The origin of this nonstandard usage of the term by electric guitarists is attributed to Leo Fender, who also used the term “vibrato” to refer to what is really a tremolo effect.
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  • fretfinderfretfinder Frets: 1959
    miserneil said: For me, Chris at @ampguitars in Macclesfield has it pretty much nailed, the decor (as mentioned above), stock selection and just general customer care is A1. I've been in perhaps only 5 times (we've since become pals on Facebook) and he greets me by name, offers a cup of tea straight away and we sit and chat about music, what's come in, what's coming in, what's gone out, he understands what I like and suggests some stuff, all in a no pressure environment. So much so, of the 5 times I've been in, only once have I not come out with a new guitar which were mostly unintentional purchases! 
    I’ve just looked at the ampguitars website and he has some reasonably nice stuff. But for the vast majority of all the second hand guitars for sale there’s no price shown, it just says ‘call for asking price’, even on bog standard stuff like a used AVRI Strat and Gibbo 339. That’s such a huge turn-off for me, I won’t call unless there’s something I’m gagging for and so I’ll just move on and look elsewhere. Next time you’re in there Neil maybe you can get him to see the error of his ways in this!

    Oh and for all guitar shops on their websites (personal beef alert!) they should list accurate weights for any decent guitars they’re selling - like Coda, Peach, World Guitars, Oasis Music and a few other enlightened purveyors already do...!  :)
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  • Phil_aka_PipPhil_aka_Pip Frets: 8597
      
    I think the majority of guitar players want a selection of fender or Gibson when they go to a shop. There is a reason why they are the big two
    I think you are right, but there's a caveat.

    Despite me saying before now that you can't have too many Gibsons, I have an LP, SG and an ES-335. If money were no object I'd probably have more than one of each, but unless I came across another LP/SG/335 that I liked enough to trade an already-loved instrument for, I'd be looking out for the less-common instruments eg ES-330 or ES-175. Whereas a lot of the Fender or Gibson dealers I've seen just have walls full of Strats or LPs. Maybe I'm not the kind of punter they're after ...
    "Working" software has only unobserved bugs. (Parroty Error: Pieces of Nine! Pieces of Nine!)
    Seriously: If you value it, take/fetch it yourself
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  • FezFez Frets: 191
    Some great comments worthy of any retailers attention in this thread. I doubt TLGS will have room for toilets and coffee machine but these are very good things to have. When we were in GG Epsom a couple of weeks back the lad doing his best to sell me a PRS made Mrs Fez a coffee which went down well with her. If we are spending any length of time in a guitar emporium the chances are one of us will want a comfort break.
    Don't touch that dial.
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  • richardhomerrichardhomer Frets: 18139
    edited July 14
    miserneil said: For me, Chris at @ampguitars in Macclesfield has it pretty much nailed, the decor (as mentioned above), stock selection and just general customer care is A1. I've been in perhaps only 5 times (we've since become pals on Facebook) and he greets me by name, offers a cup of tea straight away and we sit and chat about music, what's come in, what's coming in, what's gone out, he understands what I like and suggests some stuff, all in a no pressure environment. So much so, of the 5 times I've been in, only once have I not come out with a new guitar which were mostly unintentional purchases! 
    I’ve just looked at the ampguitars website and he has some reasonably nice stuff. But for the vast majority of all the second hand guitars for sale there’s no price shown, it just says ‘call for asking price’, even on bog standard stuff like a used AVRI Strat and Gibbo 339. That’s such a huge turn-off for me, I won’t call unless there’s something I’m gagging for and so I’ll just move on and look elsewhere. Next time you’re in there Neil maybe you can get him to see the error of his ways in this!
    I agree with @miserneil about Amp - I think what Chris aims to do is provide an ‘old school’ bricks and mortar experience - rather than being ‘on-line’ with a shop front.

    Whenever I’ve been in, he seems to have a steady flow of regular customers passing through - and the first name/tea treatment is all part of the experience. The CS Strat and Musicman combo in my profile pic were both ‘accidental’ purchases from there.

    In a world of stores that all look like a branch of Dawsons - this place really stands out.
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  • EricTheWearyEricTheWeary Frets: 6902
    Fez said:
    Some great comments worthy of any retailers attention in this thread. I doubt TLGS will have room for toilets and coffee machine but these are very good things to have. When we were in GG Epsom a couple of weeks back the lad doing his best to sell me a PRS made Mrs Fez a coffee which went down well with her. If we are spending any length of time in a guitar emporium the chances are one of us will want a comfort break.
    Although it's a tiny shop as I mentioned earlier there are some nice facilities around it. There's a jewellery repair place we've used there and they give you a voucher for the coffee shop across the road if you are waiting for a job to be done or contemplating a purchase. Don't know what it costs them but it stops you leaving the area. 
    I feel the warm, healing, liquid presence of God’s genuine cold-filtered grace. 
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  • fretfinderfretfinder Frets: 1959
    edited July 14
    miserneil said: For me, Chris at @ampguitars in Macclesfield has it pretty much nailed, the decor (as mentioned above), stock selection and just general customer care is A1. I've been in perhaps only 5 times (we've since become pals on Facebook) and he greets me by name, offers a cup of tea straight away and we sit and chat about music, what's come in, what's coming in, what's gone out, he understands what I like and suggests some stuff, all in a no pressure environment. So much so, of the 5 times I've been in, only once have I not come out with a new guitar which were mostly unintentional purchases! 
    I’ve just looked at the ampguitars website and he has some reasonably nice stuff. But for the vast majority of all the second hand guitars for sale there’s no price shown, it just says ‘call for asking price’, even on bog standard stuff like a used AVRI Strat and Gibbo 339. That’s such a huge turn-off for me, I won’t call unless there’s something I’m gagging for and so I’ll just move on and look elsewhere. Next time you’re in there Neil maybe you can get him to see the error of his ways in this!
    I agree with @miserneil about Amp - I think what Chris aims to do is provide an ‘old school’ bricks and mortar experience - rather than being ‘on-line’ with a shop front.

    Whenever I’ve been in, he seems to have a steady flow of regular customers passing through - and the first name/tea treatment is all part of the experience. The CS Strat and Musicman combo in my profile pic were both ‘accidental’ purchases from there.

    In a world of stores that all look like a branch of Dawsons - this place really stands out.
    Sounds good. Do all the half-decent pieces of gear in the shop have a card on them saying ‘£please ask’, instead of an asking price?  :)
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