When it comes to purchasing music gear, it’s important to shop around and compare prices at multiple retailers to ensure that you’re getting the best deal. One way to save money is to consider buying used gear, which can be a great value. Just make sure to inspect the gear carefully before purchasing to ensure that it is in good working condition. Most online retailers include a ratings area so you can decide based on other people’s experiences whether to trust the seller.
Another way to save money is to keep an eye out for sales and discounts. Many vendors offer special pricing on their music gear, especially around holidays, so be sure to check for these opportunities. In addition, if you’re in a band or are planning to purchase multiple pieces of gear, you may be able to get a bulk discount by purchasing from the same retailer.
Here are some vendors known for offering affordable music gear:
This online retailer is known for offering competitive prices on a wide range of music gear. They also offer free shipping on most orders. I’ve had good experiences working with Sweetwater, the sales staff are approachable and responsive. When you start working with Sweetwater, even before your first purchase, they assign you a salesperson who will help you with any questions and give it to you straight. They will also take the initiative to find coverage if your salesperson is unable to respond to you in a timely manner.
With a large selection of music gear, including both new and used items, Guitar Center is a good place to look for affordable equipment. Guitar Center has a very similar structure to Sweetwater. At one time, back in the 1990’s, Guitar Center, to me, seemed the haven for musicians. It’s not that any longer, but they still do their best to take care of the customer. On occasion, you may find certain items marked a bit high, but that’s why we have multiple sources in this article and elsewhere to choose from.
This online marketplace is a great place to find used gear at discounted prices. You can also buy new gear from individual sellers or small retailers. I have experience purchasing from private sellers on the Reverb marketplace. Like Amazon, the rating system allows you to see if a seller has been approachable and professional as well as if their products are to the quality they claim. Reverb seems to have a good checks and balances in place and offers mitigation if necessary.
When big name stores either don’t carry what you’re looking for or you want to bargain shop, Reverb is another great option to add to your favorites.
This retailer has a large selection of music gear at competitive prices. They also offer financing options for larger purchases. I personally have not purchased from Sam Ask but will be keeping an eye on them as well for my future needs.
This online retailer is an affiliate of Guitar Center and… well it’s basically Guitar Center. I list them because there is the off chance that something listed with Guitar Center may be marked different than Musician’s Friend or vice versa. I have not personally found this to happen yet, but there’s always a first.
This retailer, much like the other big retailers on this list (Guitar Center and Sweetwater) is known for their wide selection and offer a range of products to suit all budgets and levels of experience, making it easy to find the perfect gear for your needs.
Like Reverb and Amazon, eBay is a marketplace. You can find many vendors and private sellers on eBay. I’ve used eBay for many purchases including parts, accessories, and even guitars. If the price is right, you can uncover some great and affordable finds!
Admittedly, using Amazon and Ebay for larger purchases can be a gamble sometimes.
In some cases, particularly with the larger retailers, you can price match and/or negotiate with the retailer as long as you can show proof that the same item is for sale at another retailer. In my experience, this has worked for me for both in-person purchases and online with the larger retailers. When you get right down to it, the salesperson is looking for a commission and, depending on certain variables, may be willing to cut you a deal. These deals may not always be to cut down the price of the item you have in mind, but they may offer additional products for free or at a reduced price to sweeten the deal.
There are also many smaller, independent retailers that may offer better prices on music gear due to lower overhead costs. By following these tips and shopping at these retailers, you should be able to find affordable music gear that meets your needs at your budget.
Kurt Echols is an American musician and the founder and Owner/CEO of Axtreme Guitar, a thriving Boston-based enterprise known for its guitar lessons and comprehensive maintenance and repair services. Kurt’s exceptional talent as a performer captivates audiences, while his creative prowess is evident in his skillful composition of original music that deeply resonates with listeners. He actively collaborates with fellow artists, co-creating captivating musical arrangements.
Alongside his musical pursuits, Kurt is committed to fostering music appreciation among young individuals. Through Axtreme Guitar, he engages with the community by providing music appreciation programs in elementary schools, inspiring aspiring musicians and instilling a love for music. With his diverse skill set, unwavering passion, and impactful contributions, Kurt Echols continues to leave an indelible mark on the music industry, both locally in Boston and beyond. Axtreme Guitar also maintains a strong online presence with engaging content on YouTube at http://www.youtube.com/axtremeguitar and at Axtreme-Guitar.com.