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Klarinet Archive - Posting 001061.txt from 1998/04

From: "Kevin Fay" <>
Subj: Re: Mouthpiece Information--Retail v. Warehouse
Date: Mon, 20 Apr 1998 10:51:02 -0400

I understand that local music stores think they need to charge more than
the "warehouses." It is not true, however, that the WW & BW get a
better price--what they may be selling at less than your purchase price
is last year's inventory. The Robinson-Patman Act disallows volume
discounts among sellers at the same level of distribution.
The real reason that their prices are lower is that their margins
(profits) are lower--they gouge less.

I can understand that the local store has somewhat higher inventory
carrying cost than a retailer that has considerably higher inventory
turnover. I cannot in good conscience, however, send my students to a
local store to buy an instrument when I know that they can get the very
same article through the mail for less than half the asking price.

I too think that Jason's "solution" is ethically challenged. I have
never come across that problem, however--no retailer here in Seattle has
ever bothered to stock an inventory of decent mouthpieces to compare. I
have always had to order several through the mail and send most of them


----Original Message Follows----
Date: Wed, 15 Apr 1998 05:59:27 -0400
From: Bill Hausmann <>
Subject: Re: Mouthpiece Information

At 06:41 PM 4/14/98 -0700, Jason Hsien wrote:
>Now, in regards to your mouthpiece and instrument. I really don't like
>Artley, they don't play well, but Vandoren mouthpieces are excellent. I
>would try them out at your music store, see which ones work the best
>your instrument-reed-ligature combination before you buy from WW & BW.
Excuse me, but as one who makes his living in the retail music business,
must object to this advice. The reason local retail stores must charge
higher prices is that our overhead is considerably higher than it is for
warehouse operations, and we often don't get the same discounts from the
manufacturers that the high-volume places do. What the customer gets in
return is convenience, personal service, and the ability to do things
try out mouthpieces. This costs us MONEY! To do as you suggest is
tantamount to stealing from us. If you want to buy from WW & BW, which
fine with me (I've done it myself), order a couple of mouthpieces from
and try them out. They will do this at no charge if you buy one of
otherwise they charge a small restocking fee. But please don't use our
stores as free sample distributors, unless you have some intention of
buying there. We are barely scraping by as is.

Bill Hausmann
451 Old Orchard Drive
Essexville, MI 48732

If you have to mic a saxophone, the rest of the band is too loud.

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