Retail Shops & International Distribution - So where are we and why are we not there yet?
I receive emails on a daily basis asking me “where can I go to try your guitars” or “are there any shops that carry your guitars?" I also receive emails asking about international distribution. We ship a lot of guitars to Europe and you would be surprised at how many people in Australia play guitar !!! I know buying a guitar sight unseen or played is a difficult thing to do for many people if not impossible. Add to the fact that our guitars are not inexpensive. For most people purchasing a new guitar in the $800-$1000 range is not an “impulse buy”. I understand. I get it. To reassure and give that person who might be on the fence about buying a guitar direct via our website, I offer a no questions asked return policy. I will even cover the return shipping. Im not at all worried about the guitar not winning the person over. At this level its not a matter of quality. The quality is there. What it comes down to is whether the player feels a connection to the instrument. The dilemma for us is how many players are not willing to take that leap of faith and make that on-line direct sight unseen or played purchase. How do we get our guitars into more players hands ? So you may ask why are we not in stores? Here is the reason why. PureSalem is 4 years old and is a small family run affair. My background was in law enforcement. For 21 years I chased cars, ran after people and bared witness. I knew nothing of the music retail industry. I had no mentor our guidance. I jumped into the deep end of the pool but I knew I wanted to take things slow and grow organically. PureSalem continues to be a work in progress. I learned very early on about something called BUY -IN REQUIREMENTS. I heard and read about horror stories and the draconian BUY -IN REQUIREMENTS that many of the larger companies imposed on small mom and pop shops. Twenty, Thirty , Forty thousand dollar buy-ins were required for some brands. Stores are required to purchase so many guitars, so many amps and accessories. Many times products and models they do not even want and are then forced tot maintain specific stock quantities at all time. So … why are we not in any stores? Because of BUY -IN REQUIREMENTS. I knew that it was unfair and unrealistic of me to approach any store or distributor and ask them to consider carrying PureSalem. Who the hell is PureSalem would have been the logical response. For many it still will be. We were unknown and unproven. We were not ready. I needed to establish PureSalem as a brand. I needed to be able to show that our guitars are road tested and artist approved. If I am going to ask a small business owner to spend several thousand dollars ( our buy-in will be 6 guitars and 2 cases ) and invest in a future with us they need to know that we are the real deal. That we have a following, we have working musicians playing our instruments and that we are going to continue to grow and be around ten years from now. I want to establish long term working relationships and friendships with those who take us on. I keep coming back to the term work in progress. That's what we will always be. I will always try to improve upon what I have done the day before. The reward for me is the journey itself. There is no finish line. PureSalem is a labor of love and I am enjoying every minute of it. The 2018 Winter Namm Show will be our best and most important one yet. We are going to reach out to stores and distributors and enter the next chapter of our story. Thank you for your support. To all of you who have ever called or emailed me or have taken the time to comment or like a post. THANK YOU. I wish all of you .... All The Best !!! Rick Sell