Discussion:
Online shopping for guitar accessories
(too old to reply)
David Kilpatrick
2003-08-06 10:33:41 UTC
Permalink
Hi - got a favour to ask...
In the next couple of months a new UK based online store will be up
and running offering all the guitar strings and accessories you'd
expect. But before its launch we'd like to hear about your experiences
of online shopping.
- whats important to you? price? delivery? service?
We'll be throwing all three of these into the mix but aim to offer an
all round better shopping experience, so any comments would be greatly
appreciated.
Please feel free to include your current pros and cons about sites,
your favourite shop and why.
I generally buy from the USA, simply because of price. Intellitouch
tuners for $29, PB or 80/20 strings for $2.50 a set, Fishman pickup
elements at a third of the UK shop price - etc.

I have tried to buy from some site which use special 'engines' to power
their on-line sales and find that often they fail, especially for a Mac
OsX Netscape user. Many musicians use Macs. So don't use a shopping
basket system which collapses on 20 per cent of the browsers people
might be using.

I sell on-line and a surprising number of buyers make a personal
telephone call after studying the instruments. This morning I have sold
two, one to Australia and one in the UK; Australia needed about three
days of email correspondence to confirm details, specs, suggestions; UK
sale involved about 15 minutes of discussion, advice on books for a
learner, etc. If you don't have real people who can answer the phone and
talk sense about what you sell, your online store won't be complete, so
do try to employ guitar/muso friendly staff and not just salesbots.

Finally, the key to doing any business is not to offer all the strings
and accessories 'you would expect' but to offer all the strings and
accessories you would NOT expect! If you just sell JHS's catalogue most
folk will continue to buy from local shops, where they can try out a few
guitars.

David
http://www,troubadour.uk.com/
Andy Dempster
2003-08-06 10:58:04 UTC
Permalink
Hi - got a favour to ask...
In the next couple of months a new UK based online store will be up
and running offering all the guitar strings and accessories you'd
expect. But before its launch we'd like to hear about your experiences
of online shopping.
- whats important to you? price? delivery? service?
We'll be throwing all three of these into the mix but aim to offer an
all round better shopping experience, so any comments would be greatly
appreciated.
Please feel free to include your current pros and cons about sites,
your favourite shop and why.
Many thanks for your time, those who repy won't be forgotten!
Leon Turner
Rattle And Strum
Like many people here I use www.stringsdirect.co.uk. Good range of products,
always in stock and next delivery no matter how big or small the item, even
on a Saturday. The website is clear and simple and they are quick to respond
to phone, email and online chat. I have to say I am more than satisfied with
their service and it would take something pretty outstanding to make me
change. But good luck with your site and if your looking for a hosting
company, drop me a line :O)

Andy_D
Lon
2003-08-06 11:25:24 UTC
Permalink
Post by Andy Dempster
Like many people here I use www.stringsdirect.co.uk. Good range of products,
always in stock and next delivery no matter how big or small the item, even
on a Saturday. The website is clear and simple and they are quick to respond
to phone, email and online chat. I have to say I am more than satisfied with
their service and it would take something pretty outstanding to make me
change. But good luck with your site and if your looking for a hosting
company, drop me a line :O)
Andy_D
Thanks Andy, I agree - stringsdirect seem do have a good service on their
hands, but don't you think that the navigation of the site could be
improved? or is it just me doing something wrong - takes me ages to find
EJ16's!!
Whats this about hosting then? more details would be good please

Leon.
Kane
2003-08-06 11:50:02 UTC
Permalink
Post by Lon
improved? or is it just me doing something wrong - takes me ages to find
EJ16's!!
just you

took me a couple of seconds to find them, and that's the first time i've
been to that website
^mad^
2003-08-06 20:21:47 UTC
Permalink
Post by Kane
Post by Lon
improved? or is it just me doing something wrong - takes me ages to find
EJ16's!!
just you
took me a couple of seconds to find them, and that's the first time i've
been to that website
me two, and I didn't even know what they were.... you learn something new
everyday :)

Leon: I think the most important thing with any online shop is customer
service, its so frustrating to buy stuff online and not be able to contact
someone by phone, or quickly through email... one of the good things about
most eBay sellers is that as they only sell one or two things they know
their stock well, they will cut you a good deal if you are buying a bunch of
stuff and they respond very quickly to emails (less than 30mins is good).
its also nice to know that the person selling the stuff has experience of
using it, and can therefore provide some support for it.. but maybe my
expectations are too great :)
Leon Turner
2003-08-07 20:03:53 UTC
Permalink
Thanks for that - interesting.

Leon.
also.....
have customer reviews on the site, as they are really hard to find for
somethings... its good if your like amazon and reward your customers for
reviewing (like with an x% discount on thier next order, or free shipping)
then they come back and buy, and review again... it also will generate
more
visitors to your site..
Again,
^mad^
Post by ^mad^
Post by Kane
Post by Lon
improved? or is it just me doing something wrong - takes me ages to
find
Post by ^mad^
Post by Kane
Post by Lon
EJ16's!!
just you
took me a couple of seconds to find them, and that's the first time i've
been to that website
me two, and I didn't even know what they were.... you learn something new
everyday :)
Leon: I think the most important thing with any online shop is customer
service, its so frustrating to buy stuff online and not be able to contact
someone by phone, or quickly through email... one of the good things about
most eBay sellers is that as they only sell one or two things they know
their stock well, they will cut you a good deal if you are buying a
bunch
of
Post by ^mad^
stuff and they respond very quickly to emails (less than 30mins is good).
its also nice to know that the person selling the stuff has experience of
using it, and can therefore provide some support for it.. but maybe my
expectations are too great :)
Magnus Paterson
2003-08-06 11:17:01 UTC
Permalink
Hi - got a favour to ask...
In the next couple of months a new UK based online store will be up
and running offering all the guitar strings and accessories you'd
expect. But before its launch we'd like to hear about your experiences
of online shopping.
- whats important to you? price? delivery? service?
We'll be throwing all three of these into the mix but aim to offer an
all round better shopping experience, so any comments would be greatly
appreciated.
Please feel free to include your current pros and cons about sites,
your favourite shop and why.
Many thanks for your time, those who repy won't be forgotten!
Leon Turner
Rattle And Strum
I've been using stringsdirect for a while now because (a) they
stock what I use, (b) they usually deliver it next day and (c) their
prices are excellent. That's priority sequence, too.

I'd avoid excessively-clever HTML as not everyone has broadband
access and, as David has noted, not everyone uses Windows, and
some websites can get tricky with MacOS. (I use PCs in the office
with T3 and at home with broadband, so it isn't an issue for me).

Good luck with the launch.

Cheers,
Magnus
Leon Turner
2003-08-06 11:37:47 UTC
Permalink
Post by Magnus Paterson
I've been using stringsdirect for a while now because (a) they
stock what I use, (b) they usually deliver it next day and (c) their
prices are excellent. That's priority sequence, too.
I'd avoid excessively-clever HTML as not everyone has broadband
access and, as David has noted, not everyone uses Windows, and
some websites can get tricky with MacOS. (I use PCs in the office
with T3 and at home with broadband, so it isn't an issue for me).
Good luck with the launch.
Cheers,
Magnus
Magnus,

Many thanks for your comments, rest assured they'll be no Flash involved!

Thanks for your good wishes,

Leon.
Lon
2003-08-06 11:22:23 UTC
Permalink
Post by David Kilpatrick
I generally buy from the USA, simply because of price. Intellitouch
tuners for $29, PB or 80/20 strings for $2.50 a set, Fishman pickup
elements at a third of the UK shop price - etc.
I have tried to buy from some site which use special 'engines' to power
their on-line sales and find that often they fail, especially for a Mac
OsX Netscape user. Many musicians use Macs. So don't use a shopping
basket system which collapses on 20 per cent of the browsers people
might be using.
I sell on-line and a surprising number of buyers make a personal
telephone call after studying the instruments. This morning I have sold
two, one to Australia and one in the UK; Australia needed about three
days of email correspondence to confirm details, specs, suggestions; UK
sale involved about 15 minutes of discussion, advice on books for a
learner, etc. If you don't have real people who can answer the phone and
talk sense about what you sell, your online store won't be complete, so
do try to employ guitar/muso friendly staff and not just salesbots.
Finally, the key to doing any business is not to offer all the strings
and accessories 'you would expect' but to offer all the strings and
accessories you would NOT expect! If you just sell JHS's catalogue most
folk will continue to buy from local shops, where they can try out a few
guitars.
David
http://www,troubadour.uk.com/
Thanks for yor speedy response, we shall indeed be taking into account
non-Bill Gates users!
I note your comments, many thanks. I do have somewhat of an understaing of
peoples needs having worked for an online guitar accessories company for
some time, it's interesting to hear what you've had to say.

All the best to you for the future,

Leon
Julian @ Work
2003-08-06 15:42:53 UTC
Permalink
Hi - got a favour to ask...
Fire away..
In the next couple of months a new UK based online store will be up
and running offering all the guitar strings and accessories you'd
expect. But before its launch we'd like to hear about your experiences
of online shopping.
- whats important to you? price? delivery? service?
We'll be throwing all three of these into the mix but aim to offer an
all round better shopping experience, so any comments would be greatly
appreciated.
Unfortunately, I reckon it's that elusive mix of all 3. Price is obviously
key, but delivery is also critical. Service is important when things go
wrong. They *will* go wrong occasionally, but IMHO it is how cockups are
handled that makes them either minor glitches or major dramas.
Please feel free to include your current pros and cons about sites,
your favourite shop and why.
Need to be simple layout, easy to navigate, with lots of description about
the items. Simply listing codes or model numbers is no use for casual
shoppers. Also, make recommendations - which strings to try if you are
currently using X brand, what differences you may find etc.
Many thanks for your time, those who repy won't be forgotten!
Leon Turner
Rattle And Strum
Also replied offlist about website promotion - key for commercial success.

Cheers
Julian


---
Outgoing mail is certified Virus Free.
Checked by AVG anti-virus system (http://www.grisoft.com).
Version: 6.0.507 / Virus Database: 304 - Release Date: 04/08/2003
Bill Benzel
2003-08-06 20:23:19 UTC
Permalink
Leon Turner (***@hotmail.com) wrote:
:
: Please feel free to include your current pros and cons about sites,
: your favourite shop and why.
:

I've recently ordered from FQMS, juststrings,com, stringsbymail.com so I
guess I managed to use them without getting ticked off. I've also liked
the way Mandolin Bros., Guitar Gallery and even the infamous Buffalo Bros.
do their inventory lists though those are shopping sites, not places I'd
ever order from without at least one phone call.

I'll go the other direction for you -- not that I'm Mr. Negativity but
these are a few things that put me off a web site immediately and cause me
to abandon the order process and look elsewhere.

1.) Slow loading web pages with fancy graphics, required plugins, popups,
flash, etc. Keep it quick and simple up front and use links to provide
optional expanded content such as pictures, .pdfs, etc. Some sites have
an entrance page with a choice between flash and non-flash, frames and no
frames, etc.

2.) Ability to determine shipping costs prior to entering all the checkout
information including a credit card. Nothing puts me off an online store
faster than being asked to give you a credit card before I know what my
total is going to be.

3.) Any attempt to get personal information from me without showing me a
secure URL (https://...).

Best of luck with your store. If you offer free shipping to the US I
might just stop by and order something.
--
Bill
Lee D
2003-08-07 01:41:48 UTC
Permalink
Post by Bill Benzel
I'll go the other direction for you -- not that I'm Mr. Negativity but
these are a few things that put me off a web site immediately and cause me
to abandon the order process and look elsewhere.
1.) Slow loading web pages with fancy graphics, required plugins, popups,
flash, etc. Keep it quick and simple up front and use links to provide
optional expanded content such as pictures, .pdfs, etc. Some sites have
an entrance page with a choice between flash and non-flash, frames and no
frames, etc.
2.) Ability to determine shipping costs prior to entering all the checkout
information including a credit card. Nothing puts me off an online store
faster than being asked to give you a credit card before I know what my
total is going to be.
3.) Any attempt to get personal information from me without showing me a
secure URL (https://...).
Very good points. #1 annoys me. #2 will chase me away EVERY time. #3 will
chase me away just as quickly.

Lee D




-----= Posted via Newsfeeds.Com, Uncensored Usenet News =-----
http://www.newsfeeds.com - The #1 Newsgroup Service in the World!
-----== Over 80,000 Newsgroups - 16 Different Servers! =-----
Jim Anable
2003-08-07 02:09:05 UTC
Permalink
I'm not reading the whole thread, so I'm sure that there'll be some
repeats.

1) Low prices. Don't pad the prices by overcharging on shipping. Don't
offer "free shipping!" when nothing's free. Price the goods low enough to
sell in a competitive market and high enough to make a reasonable profit.
Price the shipping at or near cost.

2) Liberal return policy on non fungible items. If I can't return it, I
ain't gonna buy it. Strings and low priced items aren't my concern. If
you were selling guitars, I want to be able to return a dud.

3) Good selection. If I see a good selection, I'll remember your site
and come back to it when I'm in the market for something else. If not,
I'll remember you're the site that only sells brand X and Y, and I won't
come back.

4) A personal touch doesn't hurt! Pics of your store and staff. If
might make me want to spend the extra $ instead of going to MF.

5) LIVE HUMANS on the phone, and messages (e-mail or phone) returned
promptly.
Hi - got a favour to ask...
In the next couple of months a new UK based online store will be up
and running offering all the guitar strings and accessories you'd
expect. But before its launch we'd like to hear about your experiences
of online shopping.
- whats important to you? price? delivery? service?
We'll be throwing all three of these into the mix but aim to offer an
all round better shopping experience, so any comments would be greatly
appreciated.
Please feel free to include your current pros and cons about sites,
your favourite shop and why.
Many thanks for your time, those who repy won't be forgotten!
Leon Turner
Rattle And Strum
misifus
2003-08-09 15:31:45 UTC
Permalink
- whats important to you? price? delivery? service?
Not paying duty charges
My first & last time ordering something from the states cost me 50% extra
If you're not talking about evading the taxman, you're going to pay the
duty. On imported items either the importer pays, or you pay if you buy
direct. If the importer pays, he will pass the duty on to you, he must do.

-Ralph
--
Misifus-
Ralph Seibert
mailto:***@cox-internet.com
http://www.ralphandsue.com
Sax Jarritt
2003-08-09 15:42:18 UTC
Permalink
How does this work then?
I bought twelve sets of strings from the USA and they were mailed direct to
my house. They went through UK customs at Mount Pleasance and I had nothing
to pay on them. The douane label stated they were gifts with a value of 19
dollars...of course I paid more than that for them but they still worked out
much, much cheaper than I could get them in the UK!
Will I get caught out next time?
misifus
2003-08-09 17:36:22 UTC
Permalink
Post by Sax Jarritt
How does this work then?
I bought twelve sets of strings from the USA and they were mailed direct to
my house. They went through UK customs at Mount Pleasance and I had nothing
to pay on them. The douane label stated they were gifts with a value of 19
dollars...of course I paid more than that for them but they still worked out
much, much cheaper than I could get them in the UK!
Will I get caught out next time?
I don't know if you'll get caught or not, but this is exactly what I
meant by evading the taxman. If the folks at the other end cooperate,
you can get by, but, as you implied, it is taking a chance with folks
whose sense of humour is limited, at best.

-Ralph
--
Misifus-
Ralph Seibert
mailto:***@cox-internet.com
http://www.ralphandsue.com
William Black
2003-08-09 21:01:55 UTC
Permalink
Post by Sax Jarritt
How does this work then?
I bought twelve sets of strings from the USA and they were mailed direct to
my house. They went through UK customs at Mount Pleasance and I had nothing
to pay on them. The douane label stated they were gifts with a value of 19
dollars...of course I paid more than that for them but they still worked out
much, much cheaper than I could get them in the UK!
Will I get caught out next time?
At the moment packages with a stated value of less than £18 are passed
without tax or duty by customs. However this may change as lots of people
now know this and buy just under £18 worth of stuff (two CDs for example)

--
William Black
------------------
On time, on budget, or works;
Pick any two from three

Continue reading on narkive:
Loading...