UK Ukulele dealers - my own views | GOT A UKULELE - Learn Ukulele, beginners tips and reviews

14 Apr 2010

UK Ukulele dealers - my own views

Having bought bits and pieces from all over, thought I would provide some short notes on some of the Ukulele dealers I have dealt with. These are my own views, and you should check out for yourselves. In no particular order....

If you buy from any of these shops, it would be very much appreciated if you mentioned to them that you saw the plug on this website- its good to keep the dealers happy!

1. Eagle Music - brilliant shop in Huddersfield that specialises in traditional instruments such as banjos. Whilst their website could do with stock updating (always best to phone to check stock!) the guys in store are about the most helpful I have come across - they are clearly also players themselves, and hence knowledgeable - not young kids who just work it part time.

Eagle are also, I believe the only UK dealers for the brilliant Mainland brand, and I bought by Concert from them. Had slight glitch with instrument and their customer service in getting it dealt with was superb. I think their prices are good too. Together with some cheap brands like Mahalo, they stock Leader, Mainland, Martin and a couple of others (plus uke banjos!)

2. Southern Ukulele Store - This is a well known store, linked to Music Is life, that also have a great ebay store for online purchases. - these guys really do specialise in ukes - great selections and new stuff arriving all the time. They have about 600 ukes in stock to suit all price levels (from the entry ukes to the fantastic Hawaiian models). Great prices too in my opinion and having ordered from them can vouch for decent customer service. Sell all sorts of ukes (Lanikai, Makala, Kala, Ohana, Fluke, Risa) from the cheapy to the extremely pricey. They are however most used by me as my port of call for buying Aquila strings in the UK

3. Purple Turtle Music - ebay shop, but I think they have an actual store in Stockport. only ordered parts myself from them, but service was good and prices excellent. Whilst at first glance you see they sell a higher proportion of cheaper instruments such as Mahalo and Makala - if you keep an eye open they do have their share of excellent solid mid range instruments also. They recently had a brilliant all solid Kala Joe Brown signature at a superb price that I am still kicking myself about not purchasing!

4. Gamlins - Cardiff guitar shop that I have only ordered from once (bought my Flea from them) but great service and good price. Nice range of low to mid priced instruments, but sadly on calling them recently they said they would not order me a Fluke Uke because of the poor strength of the pound. I have no idea what they meant by this - if they meant price increase, then fine, I might have paid it!

5. Duke Of Uke - famous London based store that I have never visited, but had bad experience with their website recently. Looking at web, its nicely designed, but am not sure it is regularly updated - tip - call the store to check and order direct!!

6. Thomann - odd one this - German musical instrument web shop - quite a massive range of ukes (along with tons and tons of other musical stuff). You might think it odd to order from Germany, but.... shipping is £10, and in superb strong boxes, and there is no duty to pay from the EU to UK. I have ordered loads of stuff from them, and delivery comes about 4 days later. Got my Bruko and Eleuke from them, both with no problems at all. They do some instruments under their own brand name Harley Benton, including their Eleukes. I can vouch for the fact that the Harley Benton Eleuke is a real Eleuke but with a different headstock logo and much much cheaper! First class!

7. Forsyths - Manchester based music shop - have never used it, but their website puts me off as I cannot ever work out what is in stock and what isn't

8. Zings music - on-line store that mainly seem to stock the very cheap brightly coloured models, but I won a cheapy uke from them on a twitter competition, so what can I say - I have to give them a thumbs up!

9. Hobgoblin - not sure about this shop - they are a folk instrument shop that I have seen many times at folk festivals - they seem to have massive stock, but I have never been a fan of their prices, and they mainly seem to focus on their own brand stuff (Ashbury and Blue Moon) which I don't hear great things about - I could be doing them a disservice so do your own research.

10. Highly Strung - another web shop front for a real store - very very helpful people too - proper shop. again - beware their stock control and call before ordering, but they do have some nice kala ukes on their pages- free delivery too!  I've ordered a while back from them and like their customer service attitude to making sure you get what you want when you want.  Another shop run by people who care about instruments, rather than treating them like mere "products"

There you are, there are probably loads more - shops like Dolphin, GAK etc sell ukes I think, but these are ones I can comment on. My favourites are clear - Eagle and Southern Uke Store - you wont go far wrong with either of them. If any of the shops mentioned want me to correct anything factual, feel free to get in touch!

As a final point, I have heard lots of good reports of people ordering direct for international delivery from Mainland Ukuleles - they have a great website, and Mike is a true helpful gent who will ensure you are ok - they are great instruments, and if you cant get the mainland you want from Eagle - try Mike direct.


  1. Unfortunately I just had the same experience with Gamlins. They advertise the Fluke on their website, and even took my order, but then I called them to ask when it would be delivered they said that they couldn't supply because of the strength of the dollar! I'm less than impressed so ordered a Mainland from Eagle Music instead.

  2. That's a shame - the Fluke is a great instrument.

    Never mind - the Mainland is a superb instrument, and Eagle are a great store!

  3. Eagle are good but they hardly ever have any quality tenor ukes, I was waiting for an email to let me know when they had a particular uke in stock , never got it, saw it on their website and emailed and got a response saying they had it in stock.This was a year later than the we'll put you on the waiting list email reply I got back.

    Bought a new ohana from them recently. Good range of soprano's but if you want anything bigger forget it. Web site can't be trusted it lists mainland tenors which they blatantly don't have in stock etc. Shame as they always offer you tea etc and don't rush you .

  4. Promanade Music in Morecambe Lancashire are a very good shop, I bought my Ohana Baritone from them and they were very good to deal with.

  5. Promanade Music in Morecambe Lancashire are a very good shop, I bought my Ohana Baritone from them and they were very good to deal with.

  6. Very informative, thanks...

    Polite, Knowledgable, good experience.
    Ordered a my Ukulele from them yesterday, in stock, strings changed and setup, to arrive Monday.
    Efficient and quick, nuff said...

  8. Yes John - really nice store and Nigel really cares. I was buying guitar stuff from him long before I ever picked up a ukulele.


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