Guess what’s coming in the mail, scheduled to arrive at my doorstep on May 27 according to UPS Tracking? An electric cello! A beautiful, full-size, hand-carved, maple wood electric cello in pearl white -Very exciting (I usually adhere the prefix super when extremely excited or interested in something, but I’ll refrain).
As enthusiastic the purchase was however, it’s equipped with necessary forethought because of the variance in craftsmanship that likely exists with any musical instrument on the market today. I am a starving-artist in the flesh: Shot my first music video in my bedroom on a zero-dollar budget, and just completed a semi-soundproof recording studio in a 6×8 closet by responding to a few Free Foam Please Take ads on Craigslist. You would be amazed at the high price of low-grade foam nowadays!
As much as I sympathize with the principles of a mixed-market economy, I refuse to partake in the purchase of man-made materials that are often laying around people’s houses or available as recyclables on the internet. Because of my frugality, I chose a lesser product when buying the electric cello and this, without refrain, makes me super, super nervous.
During my hasty research preceding the purchase, the two brands that popped up most often in search results were Yamaha and Cecilio. Thinking I had found a great deal on a used Cecilio electric cello for $350 from a college student on Craigslist, I immediately jumped on the offer only to find out the kid was trying to break even as I stared at a webpage on kkmusicstore.com where they listed the same electric cello unused for the same price, PLUS free shipping. Hmm, free shipping for a 4-foot tall musical instrument? Scary thought. I can envision KK Music’s business strategy to either take a loss and spend less on important shipping materials like EXPENSIVE FOAM, or decide to put less money into the craftsmanship of the cello and adding the shipping cost to the final price.
Either way, or other more ‘accurate’ ways of looking at KK’s business matters, I knew I was taking a risk so I Googled an elementary yet effective tag, KKmusicstore bad. After some digging and use of more intelligent synonym tags for bad, I found what I was unfortunately suspecting: Bad craftsmanship, poor shipping standards, terrible/nonexistent return policy, strange customer relation strategies. I became deeply afraid to make a purchase from this company so I didn’t. I moved on to smarter consumer pastures. I tried Crystalcello Musical Instruments. They had a homey, comfortable family-feel to their website (As a consumer, I’m easily persuaded by visual misconceptions) but they were out 8 of the 9 electric cellos listed for sale on their website. What business does that?
I looked up Yamaha electric cellos and those were out of my budget starting around $1700. After speaking with the strings sales rep at Groth Music in Bloomington, MN, I learned buying a Yamaha would be a smarter investment -an actual investment- over some of the cheaper models on the market. Fortunately, I enjoy learning things the hard way while taking severely beaten paths without making charges to unjustified lines of credit. I purchased the Cecilio from a decent top seller with a good ranking, lower price, and 30-day No Questions Asked return policy. I’m so smart. I’m the smartest consumer in the world.
Did I look up customer reviews from this new company I was purchasing from? No, I relied on Ebay feedback. Did I use the same precautions as previously mentioned about any possible poor shipping standards? No, I purchased the cello for $219 plus $68 shipping. Did I call the company’s 1-800 number and leave a message with my order number, make and model so they wouldn’t mess up my order? Yes, plus I left an Ebay message AND e-mail message because I’m a thorough freak like that.
Why a thorough freak you might ask? When all was said and done and the order was placed, I jumped and giggled for joy at my boyfriend until I received a return e-mail message informing me of my free online instrument lessons from the following website http://www.kkmusicstore.com/page.html?id=99&utm_source=Ship_Confirm&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Mendini_Link. I hate tricky monopolizing file-sharing companies but I can’t wait to play with my first electric cello! Stay tuned! I’ll post a video with my new pearly white toy!
sunshine & kisses ♥