Reader: Is it Time to Stop Supporting My Local Music Store?

HanginInThere I have been buying most of my gear from our local music store for almost 30 years. I say most because there are some brands and gear they don’t carry. Over the years they – and particularly the owner – have gotten so negative about brand support, the industry and even the customers. I don’t have to deal with that when I buy online. But I feel if I give up, that I am contributing to “the end of the local dealer” in general. What should I do? Leave? Say something, or both?

gear.abby @HanginInThere You gotta do what you gotta do. Whether they survive or not is not your responsibility. But you may be surprised how long they do. Here’s’ why I say that.

Negativity in the music business about brands, the industry and the customers in not new. It’s been that way since I was a kid – and that’s a long time! It’s not because of the changing market or the Internet. Neither is gossip about brands, like Gibson. That’s been happening for years too.

Music Stores Across the Country

Over the years, throughout the country, you would typically find two diametrically opposed music stores in every community. Each with specific brands, and each with a unique attitude. Each collected the employees and customer base that matched their vibe. Whichever brands the one carried, the other saw as “crap” and vise-versa. Same with customers and employees.

Often, one store would take the high road and the other would not. When the market changed and local stores started dropping, what I observed and heard from others I know across the country, it seems that quite often, the “nice guys” lost. Not always, of course.

My opinion as to why that happened is this. It’s is a tough business, so the tough guys survive. I also believe that unfortunately, while people want to be positive, their nature may be drawn to drama and gossip, so those stores are often remarkably busy too. People will complain off campus, but they will be right back to that store on Saturday morning.

It sounds like you are realizing you are not in tune with that store’s attitude anymore, and I applaud you for recognizing it – whether they survive or not, and whether or not that is a good thing, does not matter.

I see no point in addressing it with them. If you do have a more positive store near you, by all means shift your support and keep that local store healthy so you can still actually play a guitar before you buy it!

Your Vibe Attracts Your Tribe

There is saying that “Your Vibe Attracts Your Tribe” and so you can always assess the true nature of business entity’s values by looking at who is attracted to it – no matter what they portray in public. Their following is usually a mirror of who they are. Trolls, curmudgeons and all.

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