As much as I agree with Bruce with regards to guitar, unfortunately, Drummers are left with very few options. Most of my purchases have been online, but one has to be careful again for online purchase of drums. Am going to give some gyaan, but this might be limited to my geographical reach within the United Kingdom.
Now, what one website advertises as its S.R.P (Seller Retail Price) might be nothing but just a super hyped price and might be absolute rubbish. Look elsewhere to buy your stuff.
I bought almost all my cymbals online (I’ve been lucky with a cymbal that I bought on EBay as well.)
The first and foremost rule if you looking at any product, use google for reviews, and also, there are many Power Sellers/ E-Bay Stores, spend hours reading their feedback. That will give you a general impression of whether you are going to get your bucks worth.
When buying Drum Shells/ Drums: One thiing is for sure there is not going to be that big a difference in terms of buying online or in store except for the massive price difference. So I say go to a store and try all the kits that are on offer, so u get an idea of what you want. Turn on the computer – www.google.com and presto you could be up all night looking for the right buy.
In the UK, I would bravely recommend Only1Music – www.only1recording.co.uk not only for their amazing prices, but also for the fact that the guys in their store know what they are talking about. Now E-Shopping for drums makes drum purchase remarkably cheaper, simply ‘cos of lesser investment. A drum store means big money especially if they have to create space for testing of a kit and whatever, and also, just the sheer size of the store.
THe only flipside is the cost of the courier. In my case my entire purchase including the cost of the courier by far out beat any of the drum store prices in the UK. So much so that Mapex were surprised I managed to get a drum kit that cheap!
Second thing when u talking to these, they are NOT call centre operators, but happen to be drummers with excellent telephone skills (!!!!!!!), so they wouldn’t refuse if you sit and chat with them for about an hour with all your queries!
This is the trickiest part of buying a drumming equipment online. Cymbals are pretty much like guitar buying, but again here as well, the price difference made me go the online way. However, I chose to be brand conscious and went with Paiste Cymbals and got in touch with one of Livepools famous sessions drummers who happens to own a E-Cymbal store. For each cymbal I bought, I would chat to this guy for hours………so much so that the last cymbal I bought, I got a call from him and said “Guru, I have a cymbal that I think will definitely match your taste.” I did think about it for a week, researched on it loads and this cymbal is currently my main crash cymbal and is my all time favourite. Here again, I was dealing with a musician who buy a twist of fate had excellent business skills!
Spare Parts: ONLINE baby! Thats the cheapest you can find. Try and buy them in bulk. Also, cases for your drums – Online!
Ideally every musician would want the red carpet treatment at the cheapest of prices, heck I would love a nice back massage while I am testing out the drums as well, but we know a “bargain is a bargain.” Some basic tips for buying drums/ cymbals:
1) Research heavily on what your requirement and what sound you are after (I took three months to buy a snare, and is one of the loudest you can find. (Ask Mr. Bruce and Rzhude for feedback on that snare after the 13th Note Gig!!:D:D hahaha)
2) Trawl through as many pages in the world wide web for product/ price reviews. Also compare as many E-Shops as possible. Some good shops online are:
THere are more around, but it is upto you to find out what best prices you can expect!
3) Don’t forget this thing called “ASK,” these guys will answer every question, and might throw in a freebie too!
Once again, happy E-Shopping!
I might add more to this, but I think its time for my tea!