When it comes to just about any other purchase you can think of, buying online is something of a no-brainer. There’s more choice, the price is usually cheaper, and delivery is quick, cheaper still, or even free. What is not to like about shopping online?
But for musical instruments, it’s different. The individual nature of each instrument, and indeed the individual nature of every musician means that buying a new violin is very much a touchy-feely process. And you can’t get touchy feely online. We’re not there with the technology yet. And we’re a million miles from smell-o-vision.
Or even cello-vision. We couldn’t resist!
So, it’s best to head for your local music shop, right? Pick up a few violins, try them out, chat with the owner, maybe negotiate a discount or get some added-value on the total purchase with some accessories thrown in or a free instrument set-up. And make friends with a violin expert for life. Someone who can be your violin sensei as you continue on your journey towards the Philharmonic.
Sounds like a great scenario. And it is. But if you’re not looking for that because maybe you’re playing just for fun, learning at a less intense pace or simply just pushed for time or can’t abide negotiating busy high streets then buying online certainly simplifies the process.
It’s still important that the violin feels good when YOU play it, so you need to try them out first. But not everyone has a great music retailer on their doorstep, however, so it’s possible that buying a violin or other bowed instruments online might be your best option or maybe even your only one.
Well, if that is the case then there’s no need to panic, because here’s the thing. While visiting a shop means you have the advantage of trying out any number of violins for size all at once, find the right online dealer and you could still get to try out an instrument before you finally commit to buying it.
Many retailers will offer that option online by sending you a violin to play for a limited period, during which time you can get used to playing it at home and even get your instructor to run the rule over it to find out if you’re getting your money’s worth. Then if you don’t like it, you can simply send it back and try another one until you find the perfect fit for you.
Shopping online also allows you access to independent reviews so you benefit from other people’s experience of the same instrument, which means you can assess the pros and cons of buying it. You don’t get to hear from all the previous customers when you go into a shop, do you?
There is one thing that you will get from a high street store that is harder to get online, however, and that is the level of personal after-sales support. So you have weigh up how important that is to you and if the trade-off with what is presumably a cheaper online price is worth it.
It’s also worth remembering that all Hidersine instruments are expertly inspected and setup before making their way to our dealers. We know it’s important in giving you that crucial peace of mind that what you’re buying online will be in its optimal condition and ready to play when you receive it.
Oh and the one thing retailers really hate is people going into a store, finding the violin they like and then buying it cheaper online. So, whatever you do, definitely don’t do that.