Today's cautionary tale comes from a Second String Music customer who went online Monday night and ordered a $87 guitar package. It seemed legit? The website looked clean. There were good reviews.
When he went to hit "pay" he had a panic attack. He noticed typos and dangling sentences in the descriptions. He noticed a $1,500 guitar selling for $288. Hmmm ... could this be real?
Yes, it's a real website. But it's selling the discards from guitar makers. With a sinking feeling, the man realized he was ordering a hunk of junk with strings on it.
So he changed his mind, but by then his credit card info had gone through. He looked for a phone number and only found a shady @me.co email address. He cancelled the order as best as he could but was still unsure if it had actually cancelled. The next morning he called the bank and cancelled the card. They also put a stop payment on the seller, still fearing the website would take their money anyway.
Then he and his wife came to Fifth and Maine.The guitar was for their son, and they wanted something decent that would last, and they wanted their son to be happy. They told Sheryl what they had done with the online seller and could finally laugh about the situation. They debated all their options and settled on a great guitar.
Done. They bought an amazing guitar for a few more dollars, and got a strap, and free lessons too. The father played the guitar first and was happy with the way it sounded. They walked out relieved and excited that they were giving an amazing present for Christmas, and that they had a retail business standing behind the product - real people.
I've said this many times - I am not against the internet. We might not have that exact guitar you are looking for, and I understand the ease and convenience of shopping online.
But if you roll the dice and save a few bucks, pray your guitar shows up in one piece and it's actually the instrument you ordered. Pray that if there is a problem, the website will actually care enough to help you.
We seem to discuss shopping local all the time. Supporting businesses in your OWN town and helping your own economy. Keeping your money in your town keeps jobs in your town. The internet will continue to grow and become increasingly tempting but it is a money suck to your economy. If you want to keep jobs and small stores, and thriving down towns - you must support your local economy. You. Must. We all must.
We really do thank you for supporting a small and local business! Christmas is much more than just giving and receiving gifts, but we want the experience to be positive and the memories to last forever.