The Best Places to Buy Musical Gear Online
Looking for a Good Deal on Musical Gear? Here's Where to Go...
by Paul Diamond Blow
American Musical Supply
American Musical Supply (americanmusicalsupply.com) has been my "go to" online company for years now. When looking for the best deal on gear online I go here first. American Musical Supply has a great selection on gear with good prices, but the best part is they do NOT charge sales tax on orders, and they offer FREE shipping on orders $29.95 and up. For orders under $29.95 they charge only $4.95 for ground shipping. They also sell "dent and scratched" items on their website for reduced prices, which can save you money if you don't mind a few scratches on your gear. The customer support is also excellent here: I have had no problem cancelling orders when necessary and the one time I needed to return an item I had no problems. (True story: one time I ordered a "dent and scratched" Gibson Les Paul Studio with a $300 savings, but they sold it to someone else first by mistake. Instead of refunding my money they sent me a BRAND NEW Les Paul for the same low price!)
Musician's Friend (www.musiciansfriend.com) is another place I always check when shopping for musical gear. They offer the same great selection of musical instruments and gear and offer the same low prices as American Musical Supply, and they also offer great customer service support, but they do charge sales tax on all online orders. Shipping is FREE for orders over $25.00, shipping for orders under $25.00 is only $3.49. Musician's Friend also lists used gear on their website which can save you some money. I recently purchased a used classical guitar (saving $200 on the price) and the guitar looked brand new to me. Musician's Friend also often has special online "coupons" that will save you 10-20% on orders over $99, and usually I buy gear from them with such coupons, so it's a good idea to sign up for their emails with these coupon codes. The Musician's Friend website also features a "stupid deal of the day" which is worth checking out.
I mentioned that I like to try out gear first at my local Guitar Center, but Guitar Center also sells new and used musical gear online (www.guitarcenter.com). Guitar Center offers the same selection on gear and the same low prices as the other companies listed here, but often times they too offer "coupon code" discounts and sales that can save you 10-20% on a purchase, and you can use these coupons online as well as at the stores. Guitar Center's online store does charge sales tax on all orders, but they offer FREE shipping on all orders over $49.00. Guitar Center also sells used gear on their website, which can save you some bucks.
I make most of my musical gear purchases from the three companies listed above, but I have purchased gear online from Sweet Water (www.sweetwater.com) a few times over the years when they had the lowest prices listed for some items I needed. Sweet Water's musical gear selection is not as extensive as the other companies listed here, but they do generally list the same prices. The cool thing about Sweet water is that they offer FREE shipping on most items regardless of the price -- even on guitar strings! It's a good place to shop for inexpensive items such as strings, chords, picks, etc. Sweet Water also gives you an extra year of warranty service for FREE on most new gear, and they even give you free candy with every order (living up to their name, of course).