How much discount off a new instrument?

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by Cornet23, Nov 10, 2015.

  1. Cornet23

    Cornet23 Member

    I'm going trombone shopping next week with a friend, and we were talking about how much (if any) discount it's polite to ask for off a new instrument. And whether it's appropriate to ask for a mouthpiece to be thrown into the deal as well.

    The last thing we want to do is insult the sellers (for example if they can't afford to give a discount - I have no idea how much profit is added to an instrument after cost price), but also I don't want my friend to waste money by just paying the full price if it's not needed.

    How much discount would you ask for (and how much would you actually expect to get) off an instrument costing £2,000?

    Sorry if this is a silly question but it's a lot of money to spend, so we need to be sure we know what we're doing!
  2. Bbmad

    Bbmad Active Member

    I would suggest that you research and compare the prices that different retailers are able to offer.
    If a retailer is able to offer an instrument at a cheaper price then I can't see any harm in asking if there is any way that they can price match.
    They might be prepared to offer a discount or throw in something extra or they might just say "if you can get it cheaper elsewhere then go there".
    Nothing to lose for you.
  3. simonium

    simonium Member

    I know that Besson and Yamaha were trying to introduce maximum discounts - price fixing which is illegal - but it has been three years since I was involved in the brass instrument industry. They were doing this to appease some dealers who didn't want to compete with the discounters. However retailers have traditionally worked off 55% mark-up where possible so there is plenty of room for discounts. Needless to say the bigger dealers will not only receive a supplier's maximum discount but bonuses for keeping large amounts of stock etc, Certainly Vincent Bach who supplied Conn, King etc would reward larger dealers. It was given in the lottery instruments era that a discount of 30% was easily obtained. I will admit to having no inclination to ever waste my money on new instrument ever again, so my information here is probably comically inappropriate in today's market!!
    2nd tenor likes this.
  4. Cornet23

    Cornet23 Member

    Thanks to both of you, that's really helpful. I've done a bit of research and I think where we're going seems to be the lowest price for buying new for the model she's after anyway. I have suggested she looks at second hand but she's not keen - and I'd be a hypocrite to push it because I like new and shiny things when I can afford them, too! I'm living vicariously through her purchase currently!
  5. 2nd tenor

    2nd tenor Active Member

    I agree with the advice you have been given already but add to it slightly. What is the total package you are buying and what might be thrown in with it for free or at cost price?

    By visiting the shop you are able to (and should at length) play the instruments you are interested in to confirm that what you buy is what you expect - take what pleased you away and not one just like it. By visiting the shop you can ask about after sales service and ask to see their repair shop, you can get a feel for the honesty of the salesman and how they intend or not to back up the sale. I think it is reasonable to ask for a price match, and if they have a demonstrator for sale you might get an even better deal.

    With Trombones it really is very important to inspect the slide carefully for damage, alignment and build quality. I don't know if you will be buying an instrument with an F attachment but if so do check it out for being 'free blowing' and easy to operate the valve. The ergonomics and (weight) balance of Trombones is often not that great so some might suit your purchaser better than others. The above is all part of the value of going to the shop (rather than mail order) as such tests, trials and inspections are all part of what you are buying - buy somewhere else if the sales staff think otherwise.

    Good luck.
    Slider1 likes this.
  6. I do like a discount :)
    When buying trombones in particular I think it's most important to try a few out. Even multiple examples of the same model of instrument.
    If there are one or two models you are mainly interested in, then I personally would buy from the place which has a few in stock and will let you try them out and choose the one you like best.
    Then when they can see you are seriously looking to buy then and there, you can hit them with the best price you've found online and ask for the same number.
    Trying instruments out is also a good time to try out a few mouthpieces, and I would definitely try to get one thrown in if you're buying a brand new instrument, or at least haircut the price by buying both together. In my experience, if it means "sealing the deal" so to speak, retailers tend to be fairly accommodating. They will still be making a margin after all, so it's in their interest to move the stock.
    You lose nothing by asking. The worst that can happen is they'll say no. Happy hunting!
    2nd tenor likes this.
  7. JimboFB

    JimboFB Active Member

    Where literally are you going 'shopping' as such? Im not sure if you have even considered this but (having worked for a few years in a music instrument shop) it really is very helpful to have advanced warning if someone is coming in to try multiple instruments. Theres nothing more frustrating to the buyer and also the shop to be rummaging around in store cupboards looking for instruments you know you have but cant find, then having to lubricate the slides etc etc.

    Also you dont want to be hanging around for ages waiting for a quiet spot because someone is trying out another instrument at the same time. Might be a suggestion to ring ahead explaining what you're after and what time you'l be there, really will make the experience a better one, plus avoiding a wasted journey if they havent actually got what you want in stock. Id also suggest ignoring what is listed on companies websites as that will often give you a price without them actually having it in stock. Ring and check first.
  8. trumpetmike

    trumpetmike Active Member

    Without sounding rude - how old is the friend?
    The majority of the time, if they are still in full-time education you can purchase instruments without having to pay the VAT, which makes a huge difference - ask about the Assisted Purchase Scheme. Most shops know about this and will be able to advise.
  9. Cornet23

    Cornet23 Member

    Just to update, the "RRP" on the one she eventually got was £2,999, on the website at a discounted £2,450, and eventually paid £2,189 for instrument and mouthpiece. So we were happy, and almost a month later and she loves it.

    ROBTHEDOG Member

    Have a look at ProZone they always have good used stock of great brands.

    You can have a look at Thomman and use the price for your selected model as a lever if ur looking to UK outlet.

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