Reply To: Buying On-line or at your Local Music Store

#2317
AvatarAlan Brinton
Participant

Not much said yet about buying online. I have bought all my melodicas online since we have no local outlets that have them in stock. There are four main online sources: Amazon.com; independent online outlets (the least risky being those that also have bricks and mortar stores); eBay and Rakuten Global when ordering from Asia. Amazon is very reliable and often has multiple vendors with whom Amazon has enough clout to keep them in line. Amazon also oversees returns and takes care of its customers. Prices on some melodicas jump around on Amazon; you may see a model at $50 one day and down to $30 the next day, and then who knows where a few days later, sometimes from the same vendor. So if you’re interested in a particular model, it may be wise to monitor prices for awhile. For any given model there may be multiple listings that come up in a search for your product. Under any given listing you should always check for “Other Buying Options,” where prices and shipping cost are listed. The least risky independent sellers are familiar names such as Guitar Center and Groth Music. These vendors typically also sell through Amazon, though their specials do not always show up there. They commonly have holiday weekend specials with a 15-18% discount and sometimes with free shipping. Most eBay sellers are fairly reliable; it’s good to check their ratings. I’ve been stung badly (to the tune of $400) on eBay, though not on a melodica. eBay is the most likely source for used melodicas (such as vintage Hohners) but also for Japanese models. Prices for any given Japanese melodica on eBay are all over the map, as is shipping; so this is another environment in which it’s good to monitor what’s available and prices and shipping. My experience with Japanese vendors is that they are very reliable, and shipping is usually faster than what they estimate. Some of the same Japanese vendors also sell through Rakuten Global, not to be confused with Rakuten.com , their western outlet — and/or through Amazon.com. Rakuten.com is not a good source for melodicas), but Rakuten Global is a good source. One of their main vendors for melodicas is Chuya.com, which is a good one. I have had good luck with all these online sources for melodicas. Before you buy, it’s also a good idea to simply Google the model of choice and see whether any bargain prices come up. I’m a fan of buying online. You might get stung sometime, but the same is true with bricks and mortar.

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