I was having a discussion with friends recently about stores I have had good service with. There are many shops out there, but some have a real specialism with the ukulele and as such provide expert advice. I thought I would share my favourites with you and let you tell me yours.
Bear in mind that I am based in the UK so for shipping cost and import duty reasons I havent risked ordering from the USA. That's where you come in. Add your comment to this post letting me know your favourite store and why they offer good service.
So, on to my favourites...
Southern Ukulele Store - probably the best known uke seller in the UK and they must also have the largest stock. They are based in Bournemouth and managed by Paul Tucker, a uke player himself, their advice and range is wonderful. Everything from cheap entry ukes to beautiful handmade instruments. They also have a great range of strings, and I think their prices are competitive. Speak to these guys and you know you are speaking to ukulele experts!
Eagle Music - a great store based in Huddersfield that sell a range of folk type instruments. They don't have as wide a range as SUS, but do carry some nice ukes and are the approved UK dealers of Mainland instruments. Their service really shines, and if you pick the phone up to them you can speak to an instrument lover who really understand their products. I had a problem with one instrument and their after sales service was superb.
Highly Strung - A wonderful little shop based in Wantage that offer the same expert advice from an owner (Nigel) who knows his instruments. Their range sticks to the beginner to intermediate category, and I recommend them often as being the uk's most reliable stockist of the Makala Dolphin.
Musique 83 - moving in to Europe we find this excellent store in Giraud, near the south coast of France. Their range is huge and includes many high end ukes at very competitive prices. Even with shipping you may find their prices can't be beaten. They offer a nice service where each uke is photographed in detail and they guarantee to ship you the actual uke you are viewing in order that you know what grain pattern you are getting. I recently had a tech support issue with them and Patrick at the store handled it perfectly. In fact it was beyond perfect. Highly recommended.
Thomann - A German large volume dealer of a bewildering array of musical instruments. I don't often recommend this sort of store as you can't speak to an actual expert in their field, only sales reps. It's the reason I would never recommend buying a uke from Amazon. They also ship boxed as the ukes arrive from the factory, ie no set up. As such I would not recommend them for cheap ukes unless you are prepared to adjust setup yourself. So why are they on this list? Well, their prices are good and they ship the ever popular Eleuke models. Delivery is quick and reasonable and the instruments come in the best packaging I have ever seen.
So those are the stores I have had the best experience with. I would be delighted to hear about yours!
- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad