Friday, March 23, 2018

Different customers

IN THE WILD and unpredictable world of small business retail, there are many different types of customers. We see them all here at Fifth and Maine, from "twirlers" (get Sheryl or Steve Rees to tell you about that one) to beginners to serious musicians.

This week has been a classic example of three different kinds of guitar shoppers. The first is the one that comes in, plays a guitar, says they'll be back to buy it, and .... doesn't come back. We understand - it's an investment and a second look at the old bank balance may make you think twice. A fair number of these customers go online and think saving a few bucks for the exact same guitar is worth the risk of having it delivered. I'll spare you the horror stories, but it isn't.

Then there's the random guy who walks in, picks up an expensive guitar like the Takamine Pro Series acoustic, and says, "I'll take it." We've had a number of these over the years, and a lot of them are people who used to live in Quincy and are back on vacation or for family functions. The guy this week said, "Well, I still love Quincy and I like supporting a business in my old hometown." We like that he still likes the Q-Town!

Finally, there are the customers like our friend, and let's just call him Tony. He comes in here a lot, jams with us and is an awesome player. Tony got away from playing for a few years but is getting back into it now, and he certainly doesn't need another guitar, but the fatal "need versus want" is a tough thing to deal with.

He came in the other day and when I asked him what he was doing, he said, "I'm caving." Tony has come in several times and played our amazing Gretsch hollow body guitars, and had a particular liking for the Streamliner Junior in Torino green. He finally pulled the trigger yesterday - "I just had to make sure my wife wasn't gonna kill me when I brought it home," he said. He was joking. I think. His wife has been in several times to get stuff for him so she understands.

I just bought an incredible G&L Telecaster. Did I need it? No. Did I want it? What a silly question. We are exploring the possibility of getting more in since our sales guy also does our Alvarez guitars.

It doesn't matter why you come in ... we love it all the same, and thank you for supporting a small and local business.

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