Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Best Buy - my new source for drum equipment?

You probably don't know this about me, but I also dabble as a percussionist, my primary instrument being the timpani (yes, the big kettle shaped drums in the back). And my father was a professional musician, so I've been playing music since I was, oh, three or four?

Anyway, the announcement that Best Buy would start devoting a 2500 sf portion of its stores to selling music equipment caught my eye, mainly because they are selling real product. Yeah, you can get a few things at Wal-Mart, but not Fenders, Gibsons and Rolands.

I like this idea. First of all, Best Buy can become my source for equipment that I need right away; for instance, if I break sticks or lose something I can run down the street and probably get something at a reasonable price instead of paying full price at the local retailers.

The local independent music shops should be scared of this far more than of the category killing retailers such as Guitar Center that never did the job. Why? Best Buy is pervasive and people may buy there out of ease and price considerations. Yes, the indy store may have lessons and more knowledgeable people and niche products, but you can't ever discount price as a factor for many.

But that's exactly why Best Buy probably won't also become my first choice music store. I need a lot of equipment that just won't be carried in a 2500 sf shop, be it there or in an indy. I therefore buy from specialty shops out of state (such as here and here) that carry everything I want and at better prices. But for the casual player Best Buy should be a significant factor.

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