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* BUYERS GUIDE FOR DRUMMERS *

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BUYER'S GUIDE: DRUMSET PURCHASING TIPS

SPECIAL NOTE: 

I do not sell drums.  This info is designed to help aspiring drum students make informed drumset purchase decisions.

This very special e-book/lesson could easily save you $150.00 to $900.00 on your next drumset purchase . . .

You will discover from this note that I am fed up with the way some music stores tend to gouge beginning students on new purchases.  I want to help you find the absolute BEST deal on a drum set.  The music dealers hate me for writing this little piece!

FIRST . . . It is important that you understand this ONE VERY IMPORTANT POINT . . .

RULE #1:
*  ANY BRAND of drum set will represent GOOD DEAL if the price is right!

Nearly all of the drumsets on the market today are of excellent to superior quality . . . even the low-cost generic drums are an excellent value, if . . . THE PRICE IS RIGHT!

To discuss and compare the various brands will only confuse you.  We won't do that!  The idea here is to get the BEST price on what ever you decide to buy.

PRICE IS THE MAIN ISSUE!!!

You should buy ANY BRAND you like!  Just don't pay TOO MUCH for anything you buy.

Someone will ALWAYS be willing to offer 30% off (or BETTER), if ONLY we'll play our cards right.

This may mean a savings of $180 on a $600 drumset, Or possibly $600 (or more) on a hypothetical $2000 purchase.

The TRICK to getting these huge discounts is knowing how to FORCE any dealer into giving-up their HUGE PROFITS!  We must make it MORE PROFITABLE for the dealer to accept LESS MONEY.
We must FORCE them into a price-war, against their competition.

**************************************************
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**************************************************

The tricks that follow should work in nearly any country in the world.  Though the currency standards may be different . . . the strategies you'll learn here . . . SHOULD work anywhere on ANY drumset, from the cheapest to the most expensive.

HOW TO FORCE ANY DEALER
INTO OFFERING 30% (OR MORE)
IN DISCOUNTS . . .

It's much easier to do, than you may think!  My 'secret formula' is explained in minute-detail below . . . Read this valuable message VERY carefully!

NOTE . . .
The mark-up on ALL music-instruments is usually 50% or better.  This means that your dealer will be obtaining our hypothetical ($2000) drumset for about $1000 plus shipping. That's the DEALERS cost.
Keep this crucial fact in mind!

QUESTION . . .?
HOW MUCH PROFIT, IS A 'FAIR' PROFIT FOR THE DEALER? YOU, can decide and CONTROL this, once you know how to do it! 
That's the GOOD news!

................................
PART I,  OF THE FORMULA . . .
................................

  • 1.  Decide on a VERY SPECIFIC set up . . .
  • 2.  Obtain the manufacturers 'suggested list price' from the manufacturers catalogs . . . (including cymbals, throne and other accessories.)
  • 3.  Slice 30% off that TOTAL list-price and refuse to pay any more than that!
  • 4.  Price the exact same setup with SEVERAL dealers until one dealer offers the BEST possible quote on that SPECIFIC setup.  (It is extremely possible to find many dealers who will dip WELL BELOW the 30% standard, too!)

VERY IMPORTANT . . .
Cymbals, thrones and OTHER drumset accessories are ALSO a VERY BIG part of our negotiating process!  We must negotiate EVERYTHING (the EXACT SAME drumset), with EACH of the various dealers, until we find the ONE dealer who'll 'settle' for the LEAST PROFIT on OUR SPECIFIC ORDER.

Always compare apples to apples!  Don't let the dealer include (or subtract) extras . . . as a way of confusing you. Tell them EXACTLY what you want to buy.  Check the catalog prices and do the math beforehand . . .  then negotiate until you find the best deal.

Some dealers may actually be happy with only 10% profit, if we'll use these additional 'NEXT TIPS' . . .
This 'could' translate to about $900.00 in savings for you on a drumset that lists for $2,000.00! 

  ................................
PART II AND III,  OF THE FORMULA . . .
................................

MORE MONEY-SAVING TIPS . . .
*  When we SEE a drumset on the dealers showroom floor . . . it means the dealer has HIS MONEY invested in THAT drumset.  He'll be wanting all the profit he can make, off THAT investment . . .
This won't represent the BEST deal for us . . .

BUT . . . If we are willing to pay (at least half) up-front . . . then wait two or three days for our shipment to arrive . . . it will mean that our dealer doesn't really have to invest HIS OWN MONEY!

This is a very big issue for the dealer and it also means we will get our specific 'color-choice' too!
So . . . there's TWO good reasons for using this MONEY-SAVING tactic . . .

The dealer will only need to make a free 1-800 phone-call to place our order!   Then, he'll use OUR MONEY to pay for the products!  It's a fast, easy, NO-RISK, quick-profit-sale, for our dealer!

How much PROFIT . . . would YOU need . . . for making a 5-minute phone call?
Will $100 to $400 profit on our hypothetical $2000 drumset be enough profit?

You bet!

Wouldn't we ALL love to make $400 bucks for every phone call (order) we might place?   They'll love it too . . . and they should ALWAYS be MORE THAN WILLING to do it!

ANY DEALER who ISN'T happy with $400 profit on a $1,400.00 (5-MINUTE) deal may be the WRONG DEALER FOR YOU! 
(Leave skid-marks as you get out of there . . . FAST!)

   HERE'S ANOTHER SPECIAL TIP . . .

*  Those who deal in BRAND-NAME musical merchandise are bound by law to NEVER advertise those brand-names below a certain price-level (set by the wholesaler.)  It's considered low-balling . . . and it'll possibly cost them their dealership . . . if they do it.

MANY DEALERS WILL LOWBALL, BUT ONLY IN SECRET!
E-MAIL may often become a SPECIAL way to offer online dealers the sort of 'secrecy' that'll nudge them even lower than the prices they are allowed to advertise!  Many may advertise a 30% discount, but almost none will admit to discounts LOWER than that, (publicly.)

Then again . . . since your order is coming from outside their local area . . . they may become more inclined to offer YOU a BETTER deal.  It means they aren't competing against themselves.

IN OTHER WORDS . . . What we see advertised on their WEB PAGE . . . and what the dealers may actually SELL FOR, may often be two very amazingly different prices. E-mail can and will often swing the advantage our way . . . especially if we are communicating well, and using all the other tips I'm giving you here . . .

MORE . . . MONEY SAVING TIPS:
*  SALESMEN must be paid!  If we DEAL DIRECTLY with the OWNER . . . it can mean even larger savings, because the owner won't be paying-out commissions to the salesman! This tip can often help us keep an additional 10% to 20% of the MONEY in OUR POCKET.
Sometimes, the very small one-man-shop (online or offline), may be the best place to buy!

* ALSO . . . the SHOWROOM drumset must be assembled, setup and tuned by SOMEONE for DISPLAY on the showroom floor.  This means the owner will have to pay SOMEONE to do THAT job.  Up goes the price of that particular drumset again!  It's usually a 2-hour job!  At $10 per hour, it COULD mean another $20 to $30 savings, if we are willing to accept our new drums 'in-the-box', then assemble and tune them ourselves! 

THINK ABOUT THIS!
We NEED to learn how to assemble and tune our own drumset ANYWAY . . . DON'T WE?  ;>)

.........................................................
See the lessons . . . How to Assemble and Tune
Your Drums' . . . if this is a worrisome issue for you.
.........................................................

FINAL POINTS . . .
Brand-name dealerships are usually issued by manufacturers according to locality.  They'll only allow a limited number of authorized-dealers for their brand-names in any given local area.

EVERY 'general locality' should have AT LEAST one dealer for any particular brand-name we may be seeking. 

If our LOCAL brand-name dealer . . . refuses to budge from EXORBITANT PRICING . . . it may pay us to visit a similar dealer within a close, but 'neighboring' proximity.

The Yellow Pages of any locality should help you select specific brand-name dealers in THAT area.  A short drive to a neighboring city could help increase your negotiating power and possibly help you save 10%, 15% or up to 40%!

WHAT ABOUT THE WEB?

Every dealer (worth his salt), in EVERY LOCALITY will probably have a web-site these days!

  So . . . WHO ARE THE WEBSITE DEALERS?
The web-site dealers are dealers of the same brand-name products you are seeking . . . but they're music stores operating OUTSIDE of your local neighborhood area!  They are the 'little local music-stores', scattered all over the U.S. and rest of the World! 

They've ALL become POTENTIAL DEALERS for YOU, now!  The WEB has brought them to your door!  All you have to do is find them on the web . . . then make contact and begin negotiations via e-mail! 

It's as simple as doing a specific web-search for the specific brand-name you may be seeking!

HERE'S A THOUGHT . . .
When we buy locally (here in the U.S.) . . . we'll often end up paying a state-sales-tax.

* When we buy out-of-state, via the web . . . we may AVOID that tax, and it might mean an additional savings.

HOWEVER . . . the typical web-page dealer may legitimately need to consider adding DOUBLE-shipping to THEIR prices!  First the order must be shipped to them . . . then they will ship it on to you.  This negates their position a little, in a way . . .

WHY?

Because the above fact 'may' wipe-out the 'saved' taxes I mentioned in the other tip above . . . (The EXTRA shipping costs may wipe-out the saved taxes.)

All this tends to level the playing field!  It means neither the Internet dealer nor the brick & mortar dealer has a major advantage!  That's another big PLUS for us!  It means our decision will become a bit easier to make when all factors have been taken into account.  The BEST price-quote is the all important factor! That's the BOTTOM-LINE!

SUMMARY . . .

  • * Shop the WEB to gain leverage, getting 'numerous' price-quotes on the exact same drumset.
  • * Negotiate with all dealers, 'apples to apples'.  Be VERY specific about the drumset and exact accessories you are wanting to purchase.
  • * Know the dealers cost . . . (get the catalog prices) then hold firm for a 'fair' discount of 30% or better.
  • * Be ready to pay upfront, then order . . . and wait a few days.
  • * Deal directly with the owner, if possible.
  • * Be ready to accept your drumset 'in-the-box' . . .

    You'll save a bundle!  :>)

..............................................

*  SHOULD YOU BUY USED DRUMS?

USED DRUMS may be your BEST option.
With a little luck, the drum kit you need, may be in your neighbors broom closet, or it could be just across town, taking up precious space in someones garage.

It may be worthwhile for you to make a trip the nearest large city to you, in search of the best used bargains.  The trick is finding just the right drumset at just the right price!
I hope to help you do that, here . . .

GENERIC OR BRAND NAME?
*  Should you buy low-cost 'generic' drums or should you go for an expensive brand name?

I'm very strong on the 'generic' entry-level kits for all BEGINNING students of drums.  (Would you buy a Cadillac, when learning to drive?)  After all, that's exactly WHY those 'generic' low cost drumsets are on the market!  THEY'RE MARKETED SPECIFICALLY TO BEGINNING STUDENTS!

"ANY DRUM SET IS BETTER THAN NO DRUM SET!  PRICE, IS THE REAL ISSUE"!

So IF you are a beginner, and IF you aren't expecting to be on-stage playing for money within the next year or two, I recommend the lower-priced drums . . .

If I can help you get those drums at the best possible price, I'll feel like I've done you a real service.

.............................................................
THEN AGAIN . . . if I could help you find an EXPENSIVE
brand name kit at a greatly reduced price . . . that would
be even better! 
Part of these decisions will depend on how much you can
currently afford to spend.
.............................................................

FINDING THE 'USED' BARGAINS . . .

*  Read the want-ad section of EVERY NEWSPAPER AND SUBURBAN SHOPPER in your immediate area.

Timing is a major factor. This search may require some persistence and patience on your part.  The BEST times to find the bargains are February through August, but don't let that discourage you.  There are bargains to be found, year-round, if you'll read enough want-ads.

TIP:
Look through last months (old) want-ads first. Look for individual ads touting 'Drums For Sale'. 

Here's why . . .

If the drums did not sell when originally advertised, the seller may have become discouraged and dropped the ad after a only a few insertions.  That seller may still have the drumset!  This is where the REAL bargains are found!  You will be in a powerful leverage position! This type of seller will be very anxious to get the drumset out of his house and may accept any reasonable offer you will submit.
Remember this!  The seller is in need of extra cash RIGHT NOW! 

Why?

Your anxious seller wants to go out and buy some other toy to give or throw away NEXT Spring!  

IF THAT DOESN'T PRODUCE RESULTS . . .

    Keep the faith! 
  •   Try all the current media want-ads. 
  •   Make special trips to surrounding towns, and . . .
  •   Scour the web for personal want ads too.  You may find your drumset on the web, but then distance becomes a major factor.  It is hard to equate a great deal if the seller is 4,000 miles away.  Be especially cautious when buying from 'unknown' individuals on the Internet. All it takes is one scammer to ruin your day. 

    At any rate . . . Stay away from the music stores and pawn shops until you are totally discouraged! Dealers have the ugly habit of adding additional profit to the merchandise in the guise of free enterprise and survival! We can't blame them for doing that . . . but we're looking for a SUPER bargain on a USED drum set.   :>)

  •   The best deals are in the broom-closets, garages and storage-rooms, right there in your own neighborhood. Your future dream-drumset may be in the possession of disheartened and discouraged seller just around the corner. RIGHT NOW!

ONE MORE TRICK! (Advertise!)
Well . . . I'll assume you have tried all the above tips and found nothing! 
Rats!  You must have the luck of the Irish!

What's next?

ADVERTISE!!!!  Yep!  You heard me right!  Run a small inexpensive ad in your own suburban-shopper or newspaper!  Place the ad in the 'Wanted' section or the 'Used Musical Instruments' section of your local paper(s). 

Keep your ad simple and to the point!

Announce in your ad that you are in the market for a used drumset and will pay $XXX.XX for the best deal you can find. 

Buy an answering machine or hire a secretary!  You may need some help.

I will bet my money on this one tip!  It usually works  :>)

KNOWING A BARGAIN, WHEN YOU SEE IT!

This is a key issue . . .
How will you know when a bargain is really a bargain?

First, remember that there are literally hundreds of brands out there . . .  and each brand will usually come in varied levels of quality . . . 
You'll need to know what qualities to look for . . . then how to equate the value . . .

There are basically two kinds of drums:

* BRAND NAME . . .
The brand names are/were: Ludwig, Rogers, Premier, Pearl, Yamaha, Tama, DW, Mapex, Sonar (and a few others). (Some of these brands have disappeared in recent years, but you'll still find them as you look for used drums.)
Of course, the brand names are worth more money . . .

* OFF-BRAND . . .
The GENERIC brands are:  Sunlite, Adam, TKO, Thor, Percussion Plus, Pacific, Dixon, Hammer, Argent and MANY MANY others.

The generic list is almost endless.  If you haven't heard a name before . . . or seen it advertised in the various media, it's probably a generic name.

  SPECIAL NOTE: (Generic is generic!)
Most of these entry-level 'generic' drum PARTS are manufactured by ONE company in Taiwan, and according to the word on the street, that company is a subsidiary of Pearl.

The parts for nearly all the generic, low cost, entry-level drums are (in most cases) made in Taiwan, then shipped around the world, where the various jobbers and wholesalers assemble them for shipping to dealers. They add their own names and logos. They're essentially all the same drums . . . with a hundred different names.

I'm told by good sources that the low-end, (entry level) 'Pearl Export' and 'Pearl Forum' kits are also made in those same factories.  The only major difference is the 'Pearl' logo stamped into the metal.
The 'Pearl' logo is worth, and will cost you approximately $100 extra dollars (or more.)

BE A SHREWD BUYER!
HERE IS HOW!

If you are buying used drums, follow these simple guidelines:

  • 1.   Discover the seller's ORIGINAL PURCHASE PRICE. Just ask! They will usually volunteer this information. (Be sure to watch their eyes, . . .)
  • 2.   Check the drums for broken or missing parts.  If the set is in good condition, then . . .
  • 3.   Divide the seller's original purchase price by two.   Make your offer a tad below that number and hold firm.  In other words if a drumset sold for $1000 (new) and it is still in good condition, offer $450.00 or less.  Most people will jump at nearly any cash offer.  If they will not go for it, keep looking.
  • 4.  Hold firm and DO NOT 'Fall in Love' with the drumset.  If you ARE in love . . . DON'T SHOW IT!  Keep a 'Poker face' to save a bundle!


Sometimes you'll RECEIVE MORE, by giving a little at just the right time. Here's what I mean . . .

International copyright secured @ Bill Powelson 1994 all rights reserved.