Recently my studio has turned into a hardware centric place with two guitar amps, Line 6 Pod XT, cables, pedals, guitars, bass guitar, lots of stuff around the place.
As part of ramping up the traditional instrument side I’ve been purchasing stuff from online stores and other places. Here are some notes in case you want to save money.
One place that I like is Musicians Advocate. They don’t have all the brands, but a nice wide selection of instruments, amps, effects, MIDI interfaces, even software. The cheap prices are the ones you need to click for generating an email response. I suspect that those are B-stock units. B-Stock is where something has a flaw, either as part of shipping or being in a store for weeks, resulting in something that can’t be sold as brand-new. But hey, if a little bit paint is gone in a corner, that’s not a big deal, especially as musical instruments in use will become tarnished over time, anyway.
Another interesting link that I check from time to time is Musician’s Friend Stupid Deal of the Day. They have different kinds of things there, a couple of days’ ago they sold bass softcover bags for $9.95 plus shipping. But if you suddenly wants something they announce, it’s a quick way to get something cheaply.
Another place I check is DealNews, but this is mostly to catch any interesting coupons for online stores. Speaking of coupons, do a net search in case the brand of the product purchased has a special deal for sending in a coupon (usually a PDF file to be filled in) and you get something extra or money cash-back.
I’m also using Google’s Shopping service to quickly get a rough idea what the street price is for various products. Also, using Amazon I have found even lower prices for the same music online sites that sell via Amazon compared with their online prices at their site. One of those mysteries of this universe.
There’s the obvious eBay and CraigsList. I prefer Craigslist as I could locally meet the seller and check out the product before taking it home. eBay purchases are more risky in my opinion, the picture looks nice but it might be broken, or the shipment might cause damage to the product — as shipping electronics is a delicate matter.
Many music stores also have a special swap shop section. Here in the San Francisco Bay area the Guitar Showcase swap shop and Starving Musician are good places, they even have their listings online so you don’t need to visit the places unless you see something you want to purchase. The Guitar Showcase has some kind of deal with Ibanez USA about B-Stock, I’ve seen a lot of really good Ibanez electric and bass guitars for ridiculously low prices over there every week.
Finally, if you purchased something that you are not really using, just re-sell it. No idea wasting studio space for unused gear.