I've been a musician for most of my life. I play piano in two church services each week. I doubt I could quit if I wanted to. 🙂
For most of that time as well, I've been a bit of a closet drummer. Lately I've also had the chance to hit the kit at church as well. (I'm still too loud. I need to be more like Steve Gadd and less like Animal.)
The drum set I bought at a pawn shop a while back is at the church. I finally got some new heads for the drums so that they didn't sound like #4 washtubs.
Guitar Center … for drummers?
I got the heads at Guitar Center. They had a clearance bin with some decent deals, and I loaded up. The guy working there helped me out a lot with my questions, and the heads work great. A few days following the purchase, I got an email from him asking how the heads worked out. That was a nice touch!
I go to Guitar Center fairly regularly these days. I guess I gave them another chance after what appeared to be a raw deal on a keyboard. Following that incident I've overall been pleased with the service I've gotten there.
The last time I was there, I saw a sign advertising: “Fresh Sticks for a Year!” It's called the Guitar Center Stick Club.
The sign in the store didn't list the price of the club. The link above indicates that it's $20/year. This gets you a card that entitles the owner to $5 towards sticks each month for a year.
Intrigued, I checked the fine print. (There's always fine print.) The fine print from the link:
Limit 1 per customer. See a sales associate for details … Year's worth of sticks is $5 per month for 12 months. Card will never exceed $5. Monthly amounts do not roll over. Ask your local expert for details. Stick Club is only available in-store.
So I can conceivably get $60 worth of sticks for $20, here's how the fine print taketh away:
- “Limit 1 per customer” — The maximum amount I can save with this deal is $40. Forty bucks isn't insignificant, but … that's it.
- “Stick Club is only available in-store.” Not online. In-store. Which means I have to go into the store to get the deal. Which takes time, and gas …
- “Year's worth of sticks is $5 per month for 12 months.” To get that maximum $40 savings, I have to buy sticks each month. They win either way. Either I come back into the store — which I have to do to get the deal (see above) — or I don't, in which case they're ahead $15. Four visits is break-even.
- “Card will never exceed $5. Monthly amounts do not roll over.” So if I miss a month, it's gone. Too bad, so sad.
- “Ask your local expert for details.” There may be even more terms and conditions! Yay! Not.
So, is the Guitar Center Stick Club a snare? *** rimshot ***
As with all other things, it depends. From Guitar Center's standpoint, they're playing the numbers. They're selling you up to $60 worth of merchandise for an upfront $20. They're hoping that (a) you forget, or (b) that they make it up on the back end by getting you into the store those twelve times.
But … if you're a drummer and go there regularly anyway, then no doubt you're already buying sticks, so why not? Or, even if you're not a drummer, but go there regularly and have a lot of drummer friends … then sure, why not? The once-a-month visit to the store would not only not be a chore, but people wouldn't have to twist your arm at all!
It's all about context! Store deals are usually a win for you if you're already dropping a lot of cash there.