As we ventured to Portland Last weekend and hit up different stores on the way and in the Portland Area, I was even more convinced that supporting local music stores is the way to go.
As i’ve ventured into the next phase of targeting music stores to sell Porter Pickups in, I want to start and end with the local guys. I’ve seen the big box guitar stores take out the smaller locally based stores here in the Boise area, and it’s been frustrating. One of the stores to go under was one that carried a smaller selection of gear, but it was gear that was nicer in quality and was set up and ready to play. They also regulated countless “Stairway” and Nirvana” playing as well as your general Shredding sessions. (Always a good thing)
We met some great store employees his week that were very knowledgeable and gave the pickups a listen, and played the pickups on our demo guitars to see if they might be a good fit for their stores. It felt like we were meeting and collaborating with fellow music enthusiasts instead of selling our product to a huge corporation. It also makes a difference to meet the people who may be selling your product. They not only get to try it out, they get to see who we are and how we represent ourselves.
I met a store owner in Yakima who started carrying a specific line of acoustic guitars. He was able to buy them for a certain price, only to find out a larger store was SELLING the guitar for the price he could buy it at. Smaller companies are getting squeezed by the big box companies because they can purchase 1,000 of one item, as compared to 5. (Ironically the song “Money” just came on Pandora Radio. I’m not joking)
This is something to think about, when you want to save a few bucks on a new cable or guitar. Think about the other things you are supporting. Companies are going to follow the dollar at the expense of poorly made instruments, and often poor knowledge and service.
We plan on running Porter Pickups as a small support of locally based music stores. We realize we probably won’t push the tides the other way, but we want to do our part. We feel like it’s the right thing to do.