I'm in the opposite camp. No sales tax in my state, usually free shipping, and they ship pretty fast. I can't recall any drama over an order, ever. Including a few returns. And if you call in sometimes those hippies will work with you on a deal.
They've been owned by Guitar Center for years now, which is just about the worst thing ever, but so far I haven't seen anything from MF to put me off. Sweetwater however gets a little carried away with the follow-up calls, and the local shops around here are borderline scams even before the sales tax.
If there's one thing to take issue with it's when they have a store-wise X-percent off deal, but the fine print excludes basically every brand you'd possibly be buying.
Anyway, good deal, thanks for posting OP
stuff like the livingsocial musicians friend fiasco (offering half off on musicians friend credit and turned out to be only valid on a select few items which was NOT in the fine print), not accepting certain coupon codes when nothing says it would be wrong in the fine print e.t.c... Trust me I can rattle off so many of these things.
Listen, musicians friend is great if they have what you want for a price you want, sure. Pretty much like any standard accredited business that sells stuff online. However, I cannot begin to tell you how many times they have pulled shady stuff like that in my own personal experience(s!). I agree with you sweetwater is way too aggressive.
The past few years amazon has taken the majority of my music cash and most of the time I got it a good amount cheaper than musicians friend had it for at the same time
Amazon's the first-stop shop for basically anything, that's almost a given for me. I pay 7% sales tax there starting this summer but for now they have first dibs vs. everybody if price is equal. If I held music retailers to the same standards I wouldn't have any gear.
I'm not above other places but there isn't a major music gear retailer I haven't had an issue with at some point, at least of the top 4. And the last time I can recall a B&M shop I liked locally was run by a guy who's been dead probably 15 years now. I've seen MF clearly misprice a sale item in an ad (it was $29.99 instead of $299.99 which was already a good deal). I called and they gave me a discount on something, but I saw people were all upset the next day over it. I know these things can work people up a bit but I can forgive pricing errors or bad coupons especially when I spot them at checkout (as it happens I make mistakes too sometimes).
I'm more worried about whether they can fill an order and ship reliably, and what kind of grief I'll get or not get if I need to send something back. Plus, whoever I'm buying from ultimately needs to have what I'm looking for and at a competitive price. I'm a sample size of one guy but they've been very consistent with me. YMMV
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