Consumers are to blame for the downfall of brick and mortar retail…..not websites

As many of my friends know, I work part-time at a guitar shop. This is about a particular gentleman who’s been in twice.

Last November, this person called to see if we had a Mesa Boogie Rectifier 25 in stock. We did, so he wanted to bring in his guitar to try it out. Absolutely! We encourage that. How else will you know if you like it with your gear?

So in he came. And he played. and played. And played. For nearly three hours, he played at deafening volumes, much to the chagrin of other customers. But…..he did buy it! It fit his needs. Great!

Except when a week later, and he:

just am not feelin’ it, man

Okay. Well, he did try it out for quite a long time, but whatever. We don’t normally take returns, rather we encourage people to try it out with their gear. If absolutely necessary, we do exchanges. It may seem like an extreme policy to some, but we like to keep gear new, and prevent “rentals”. It’s also clearly stated in the store and website. We understand if someone doesn’t like it, but that’s our policy.

However, the owner decided to make an exception, and take back the head after a week. Annoying, but hey…..that’s retail. It happens.

Fast forward to yesterday.

The same guy came in, again with his guitar. I recognized him, both what he looked like, as well as his distinct voice. He had an interesting cadence to his speech, which was really memorable to me for some reason.

Him:

I’m looking to try out an amp

Me:

Sure, absolutely! Glad to see you brought your guitar again to be sure it’s what you’re looking for.

Him:

I want to give it a go with my guitar and my attenuator, before it shows up on my doorstep Thursday…..

Me:

Wait, what?

Him:

Yeah I ordered it online

Me:

That’s odd…..we didn’t receive an order for this amp (a Silver Jubilee Mini) on our website?

Him:

I got it from ZZounds.com

I, well, got a little pissed. He’s going to take my time, make noise in our store with customers there, to try an amp he bought online, from someone else? 

Me:

Look man, I don’t want to sound rude, but we’re just not someone else’s showroom for their website. We pride ourselves in keeping our products in better than new condition, and you jamming on this with zero intention of buying it just isn’t cool. Someone else is going to want to buy it.

Him:

But I brought my attenuator. I wanted to see how it sounds.

Me:

Ain’t gonna happen, man. Sorry.

He then proceeded to loudly put his guitar back in the case, slam the lid, and leave, with a huge look of indignation on his face.

Have a great day, gentlemen

He said, in a snarky tone.

Is this acceptable? Normal behavior? I don’t think so. I really don’t. Maybe it’s my decade of time selling cameras before this, and now over 4 years with guitar gear. But If you go into a store to try something, you should have the intention of buying it from that store, should you decide it’s for you. Don’t try it, and then go somewhere else to save sales tax, or free shipping, or whatever gimmicky bullshit the website is offering.

TL;DR – if you’re enough of a douchebag to waste someone’s time and put wear and tear on their equipment, at least have the brains to NOT announce you’ve already ordered it from someone else. Keep your dumb mouth shut. 🙂

 

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