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Thread: Not the best experience... Does anyone know why Sam Ash does this?

  1. #1

    Default Not the best experience... Does anyone know why Sam Ash does this?

    I tried to sell a horn and made the mistake of saying someone else had given me a price before. After that he was done. He said I would have to bring the horn to the guy who saw it. Does anyone know why they do that? I'm just curious because I'm not sure. He didn't tell me why.

    So he started whittling down the price and told me that thats what the other guy would have to pay me... Even though he admitted he wasn't the manager and the guy who saw me before was. Alright... Thats fine I guess?

    Then he starts bragging to me about how a woman came in with an R13 clarinet and wanted to sell it. He said he offered her $175 and that was the highest he could pay her. So she took it?! Thats stupidity on her part really but I don't feel comfortable spending money where people brag about ripping someone off. But oh well. I guess it's how business goes.
    "By seven o'clock the orchestra has arrived---no thin five piece affair but a pit full of oboes and trombones and saxophones and viols and cornets and piccolos and low and high drums." - F. Scott Fitzgerald ; The Great Gatsby

  2. #2

    Default Re: Not the best experience... Does anyone know why Sam Ash does this?

    He wanted you to talk to the original guy because otherwise they'd have difficulty keeping their lies straight.
    Yes, I'm one of those people who bought a TaiShan Bari. For what it is and what I'll use it for, it's perfect.

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    SOTW Administrator SAXISMYAXE's Avatar
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    Default Re: Not the best experience... Does anyone know why Sam Ash does this?

    Sounds like a third rate pawn shop tactic to rob you of your horn. I'd walk out the door and never look back. I've never liked large chain music stores like Sam Ash, Guitar Center, Brook Mays etc. for a whole host of reasons, including what you experienced.
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    Default Re: Not the best experience... Does anyone know why Sam Ash does this?

    Don't go back. Sell it to someone who doesn't brag about taking advantage of another person and will give you a fair price.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Not the best experience... Does anyone know why Sam Ash does this?

    The times I've been to Sam Ash I've met few who knew what they were doing. I once wanted to play test a Soprano and was handed a clarinet mouthpiece. There were one or two people though who were knowledgeable. This guy just kind of rubbed me the wrong way I guess. When I heard him say he bought an R13 for that price I assumed he was implying he plays the clarinet... wrong. He then went to tell me about the poor woman. It made me not want to sell my horn to them. I'm going to another music store sometime this week.

    It's a shame, Sam Ash is the nicest music store in my area that isn't at least an hour away. I'm not gonna let this experience keep me away from buying small stuff like reeds and such, but I won't be selling to them again.
    "By seven o'clock the orchestra has arrived---no thin five piece affair but a pit full of oboes and trombones and saxophones and viols and cornets and piccolos and low and high drums." - F. Scott Fitzgerald ; The Great Gatsby

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    Default Re: Not the best experience... Does anyone know why Sam Ash does this?

    The thing to do is to stop the conversation, take out your phone and snap a photo of the guy. He will be very curious and will likely ask why you did that. Just tell him as you walk away that you need it for your internet blog where you describe how the guy at the counter at Sam Ash tried to rip you off. Be sure to address him by name while telling him this. Then say nothing more and walk out.

    I have found this is super-effective.
    Good Luck,

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  7. #7

    Default Re: Not the best experience... Does anyone know why Sam Ash does this?

    My name is Richard Ash and I am the CEO of Sam Ash. I am sorry for the bad experience you had in one of our stores. Our company policy is to buy as many used quality horns as we can get our hands on. Our policy is to never low ball or rip the customer off. We pride our selves on offering fair prices and reselling them at fair prices. We want your business and your friendship. You can contact me at anytime by email rash@samashmusic.com. We are a family business that has been buying and selling horns for over 87 years.

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    Default Re: Not the best experience... Does anyone know why Sam Ash does this?

    Welcome to the forum Richard. I'll bet I am more shocked to see a reply from the CEO of Sam Ash than you are to hear that this kind of thing happened in one of your stores. C'est la vie. Still, it is nice to hear from you, and I hope you will help Kontra out. Since you are here, may I please ask if your guys are on commission or benefit in any way from low-balling the customer? In other words, what is your compensation policy regarding purchased horns?

    Thanks.
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    Default Re: Not the best experience... Does anyone know why Sam Ash does this?

    Thanks for your post, Richard, and welcome to SOTW.
    Sound guy theory of relativity: E=mc^2 (+or- 3dB)
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    Default Re: Not the best experience... Does anyone know why Sam Ash does this?

    Quote Originally Posted by LampLight View Post
    I hope you will help Kontra out. Since you are here, may I please ask if your guys are on commission or benefit in any way from low-balling the customer? In other words, what is your compensation policy regarding purchased horns?
    I was wondering the exact same thing. What would motivate an employee to so blatantly and egregiously violate company policy like this, and why would that same employee brag about it to other customers? If such behavior is not connected to compensation, then it sounds like this guy might be a bit sociopathic, and probably shouldn't be interacting on your behalf with your customers. I'm sure Kontra can identify him for you. And in addition to helping Kontra out, I'm hoping you can make things right with that woman (the R13 owner), too.

  11. #11

    Default Re: Not the best experience... Does anyone know why Sam Ash does this?

    I appreciate Richard coming and responding. I have emailed him.
    "By seven o'clock the orchestra has arrived---no thin five piece affair but a pit full of oboes and trombones and saxophones and viols and cornets and piccolos and low and high drums." - F. Scott Fitzgerald ; The Great Gatsby

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    Default Re: Not the best experience... Does anyone know why Sam Ash does this?

    My name is Daniel Miller, I work for the Sam Ash Music in Richmond, VA. I'm sorry to hear you had a terrible experience at one of our other stores. I wish I could've helped you out myself. I personally take great pride in my customer service and it always saddens me to hear something like this happening.

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    Default Re: Not the best experience... Does anyone know why Sam Ash does this?

    ^^^I've dealt with Dan at the Sam Ash in Richmond, and he is a top notch salesman and Sam Ash Richmond is my favorite music store in the area. I make the 20-25 mile drive from Chester to deal with them. I think the OP had the misfortune of dealing with a sociopath at the Tennessee store (sales jobs seem to attract that type).
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    Default Re: Not the best experience... Does anyone know why Sam Ash does this?

    Quote Originally Posted by LampLight View Post
    Welcome to the forum Richard. I'll bet I am more shocked to see a reply from the CEO of Sam Ash than you are to hear that this kind of thing happened in one of your stores. C'est la vie. Still, it is nice to hear from you, and I hope you will help Kontra out. Since you are here, may I please ask if your guys are on commission or benefit in any way from low-balling the customer? In other words, what is your compensation policy regarding purchased horns?

    Thanks.
    When the image of your store is on the line, its easy to say a few reassuring words to get people back on your side. But where are the goods? I want to belive Richard Ash's sincerity on this thread, but it has been a few weeks, and no reply yet to the above message asking how store policy contributed to this incident.

    Lets remember, it is not unethical for Sam Ash to offer Kontra or anyone else a super low price for their horn. In a capitalist society, we get offers of all kinds all day long, which we are free to take, or reject. It is dishonest, though, to claim the intent to be reasonable and fair when the store rewards employees for not doing so. The silence is telling...

  15. #15

    Default Re: Not the best experience... Does anyone know why Sam Ash does this?

    This thread just happened to catch my eye while I was browsing. And though it's been a while since it was active I felt compelled to make a comment. It most certainly IS unethical for Sam Ash or ANYONE to knowingly exploit a customer. Such a thing may be a common practice in a capitalist system, but common practice does not define morality or ethics. Many things are done daily in business that cannot pass the test of ethical behavior. Just because a lot of people do something doesn't make it right. And even business law makes some note of unfair or unethical practice. Capitalism is not an open door to lies, fraud, and willful misrepresentation. "Caveat emptor" (let the buyer beware) is a piece of wisdom, not a blank check for unscrupulous business practice.

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    Default Re: Not the best experience... Does anyone know why Sam Ash does this?

    I would think their job is to buy a used instrument for as low as they possibly can and then sell it for as high as they possibly can... this being capitalism and all. If their offers offend you, don't sell it to them. Ever try to sell something to a pawn shop? Yeah. The advantage of selling to Sam Ash or a pawn shop is that you can go there any day of the week and leave with a cash offer. Take it or not. Or you can go to ebay, craigslist, sotw and sell it for what the store who bought it from you would.. but that takes longer and may not even happen.

    Buy low, sell high. It's the American Way.

    Edit- this reminds me of watching the show Pawn Stars. They bring an expert in to assess the value of something rare, say a diving helmet from 1820. The expert says, "This is worth $10k to the right collector." The Pawn guy goes to the customer, "I'll give ya $1k for it."

    He justifies these low ball offers by saying, among other things, "I have to hope someone comes in and wants it, I have to mark it up to make a profit, I get taxed on it when it's in my inventory, Who knows how long it will be here, etc etc" Right or wrong, I'll leave that up to the morality police.
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    Default Re: Not the best experience... Does anyone know why Sam Ash does this?

    Quote Originally Posted by buddy lee View Post
    ...
    Edit- this reminds me of watching the show Pawn Stars. They bring an expert in to assess the value of something rare, say a diving helmet from 1820. The expert says, "This is worth $10k to the right collector." The Pawn guy goes to the customer, "I'll give ya $1k for it."

    He justifies these low ball offers by saying, among other things, "I have to hope someone comes in and wants it, I have to mark it up to make a profit, I get taxed on it when it's in my inventory, Who knows how long it will be here, etc etc" Right or wrong, I'll leave that up to the morality police.
    The difference is, the seller knows what the item is worth (retail) and can then make an informed decision.
    "The key to improvising is being able to play and listen at the same time."

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    Default Re: Not the best experience... Does anyone know why Sam Ash does this?

    Why can't the seller do that before they go to Sam Ash? With the internet, it's never been easier to get ballpark worth of anything you'd want to sell. Also, if you want to sell something for as much as you can possibly get for it, why would you take it to a place whose job is to re-sell it after they buy it from you? The store is going to have to price it at market value or below in order to sell it so it stands to reason that they're going to need to buy it from you at a price substantially lower than that. So, again, if you want to get market price for what you're selling then don't sell it to a re-seller... go to CL, ebay, SOTW etc and sell it to a PLAYER. If you want quick cash in your pocket without have the hassle of dealing with the general public then go to a store.
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    Default Re: Not the best experience... Does anyone know why Sam Ash does this?

    I worked in camera stores for years. All would sell things on consignment (and typically take 20% of the sale price - sometimes lower for a good customer, or if they were also buying a bunch of stuff). If the customer wanted to sell something outright, we would only buy it if we thought we could resell it - if reselling it was going to be hard, we would not buy it at all. If we thought we could resell it, we would pay about half of what we thought we could sell it for.

    Selling used stuff is more work and more risky than selling new. There is more likely to be something wrong with it (even if you checked it out thoroughly), and if there is, the store can't send it back to the manufacturer - they are just out of pocket. Or a customer is unhappy because the horn/camera/whatever they just bought from you crapped out at a crucial moment.

    But for a sales guy to boast - to someone he is trying to buy a horn from - about how little he pays for horns, and that he will lowball people, is incredibly stupid. Definitely an out-of-control ego issue. Sure, stores like to pay a low price, but any store that depends on repeat customers (which outside of NY is most of them) doesn't want its customers to feel ripped off.

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