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Local Music Instrument Store vs. Big Chains

How do you choose between a local music instrument store in your area vs. a big chain store? The following list will walk you through the benefits of supporting local businesses and the main differences between both.

Better Customer Service

While many chain stores also provide good customer service, it’s almost always true when anyone says local small businesses tend to have better service. It’s often because local stores have the flexibility to do the right thing and make the customer happy without having to jump through corporate hoops and processes.

Trusting Long Term Relationship

A local music instrument store like Hideaway Woodwind Repair can attest to this. Most of our loyal customers are professional players who have come to us for 20+ years. Smaller stores like us, tend to develop long term relationships with their customers because their customers are not “just a number” to them. Small business owners understand the value of building trust and providing value. Unfortunately, many big chain stores which originated from smaller businesses forget where they started. Big chains tend shift their focus from building relationships to crunching numbers once they have grown.

Less Shipping and Handling Hassle

With technology nowadays, many businesses and big chain stores have the option for their clients to ship their band instruments to get repaired or offer shipping for purchased instruments as well. Such convenient offers can actually become a hassle for people, specially when timing and shipping damages are involved. By choosing a local instrument store in your area, you have the ability to touch and feel the instrument you’re about to purchase and take it home with you on the same day. If you’re looking to bring an instrument for repair, you can easily drop by and have a professional technician check it out without waiting for shipping.

Instrument Repair Pricing

Depending on the stores, it’s common for a local instrument store to provide better repair pricing and promotions than big chain stores. Unlike grocery shopping, big music repair chains tend to hire local music stores to do the repair for them as a white label service. In order to make a profit as a middle man, big chain stores will need to increase the price on the consumer end or cut the costs and pay for the local stores who do the job. In the end, even when prices are almost the same if you come to a local shop vs. chain shop, it’s easier to cut the middle man out and support your local store for the sake of a healthy local economy.

Consistent Quality Work

Knowing that big chain stores outsource their work to local shops, it’s hard to keep any consistency on the quality of work provided by big chains. As a consumer, you never know who is repairing your instrument, and whether it will be the same technician as last time. This is a main reason why a local music instrument store like Hideaway Woodwind Repair is able to provide high quality work for customers. All instruments brought to our shop is repaired by the owner / certified technician in house.

Timing & Easy Access

Nothing beats driving for 15-30 minutes to a store when it comes to timing. Even with Amazon Prime, any shipping takes hours if not at least a day. Having the ability to drop by a local music instrument store in person not only saves you shipping time or repair time. Having a physical store nearby is crucial when you have an emergency repair needed and neither rushed shipping nor rushed service will get your instrument back on time.

Inventory & Sales Price

One of the advantages big chains have over a local music instrument store in Nashville would be the inventory and pricing. Big chains have the ability to buy in bulk and lower the sale prices for their customers. Big chains also tend to have more music instrument inventory available. Local instrument stores understand their disadvantage when it comes to pricing, which is why their business isn’t focused on selling, instead they focus on providing outstanding service. It’s important to understand when it comes to instrument accessories, local instrument stores often sell these items for the customer’s convenience and not to make a profit.


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