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Thread: Kentuckys in canada

  1. #1
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    Default Kentuckys in canada

    Seems Kentucky mandolins don't find their way to Canadian dealers of late. I don't know anyone in this area ( Vancouver ) carrying Kentucky mandolins right now . Also I noticed Amazon's online Canadian outlet has been back-ordered on Kentucky mandos forever . I'm wondering if this CITES tax thing is a factor ? Also I've noticed a considerable jump in U.S prices for the Kentucky stuff .....although there do seem to be an awful lot of new models available to folks in the States .Anyone have the 'inside scoop' in the scarcity up here ?
    Last edited by roysboy; Sep-05-2018 at 8:09pm. Reason: spelling

  2. #2

    Default Re: Kentuckys in canada

    your right there is a BIG jump in price in just the KM 200 series from $479.00 to $549.00. an that is at the Mandolin store. well I guess this is like a movie we will just have to sit back & see how this plays out for Kentucky. remember supply & demand. if know one was to buy one or buy another brand that was less money just maybe they would roll back their price's

  3. #3

    Default Re: Kentuckys in canada

    Early this year I was talking to one of the brands that sends a lot of guitars up to Canada (they don't make mandolins). They were saying that it was a major hassle, expensive and there were long delays.


    One shipment took 11 months. There was a large flat rate fee, and they were only able to transport through certain border crossings. This is all due to Cites.

    Apparently it is not something you would do on a small scale, a few instruments at a time (unless they are high profit).
    Robert Fear
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    "Education is when you read the fine print; experience is what you get when you don't.
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    Default Re: Kentuckys in canada

    Quote Originally Posted by Folkmusician.com View Post
    Early this year I was talking to one of the brands that sends a lot of guitars up to Canada (they don't make mandolins). They were saying that it was a major hassle, expensive and there were long delays.


    One shipment took 11 months. There was a large flat rate fee, and they were only able to transport through certain border crossings. This is all due to Cites.

    Apparently it is not something you would do on a small scale, a few instruments at a time (unless they are high profit).
    Yes....this would explain things , Robert . And I suspected as much where CITES issues come into play . Is this part of why you aren't carrying much Kentucky product at the moment ?....drop in foreign sales ?...

    thanks for your input

  5. #5

    Default Re: Kentuckys in canada

    My reason for dropping the Kentucky line is not due to CITES (although it did pretty much wipe out international sales). It just isn't profitable to sell them. Kentucky is one of the few brands with no MAP pricing. Most of the big box sellers are using auto repricing, so if say Walmart (which Saga supplies), lowers the price, then everyone else does within minutes. I commonly see Saga products being sold below cost. Nothing wrong with the mandolins themselves.

    I was the first I know of to entirely drop them, but I do notice less and less presence at other dealers as well. Saga recently restricted the sales of KM-500 and higher models (no more to Amazon and MF)so there may be widespread exodus.
    Robert Fear
    http://www.folkmusician.com

    "Education is when you read the fine print; experience is what you get when you don't.
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    Default Re: Kentuckys in canada

    Quote Originally Posted by Folkmusician.com View Post
    My reason for dropping the Kentucky line is not due to CITES (although it did pretty much wipe out international sales). It just isn't profitable to sell them. Kentucky is one of the few brands with no MAP pricing. Most of the big box sellers are using auto repricing, so if say Walmart (which Saga supplies), lowers the price, then everyone else does within minutes. I commonly see Saga products being sold below cost. Nothing wrong with the mandolins themselves.

    I was the first I know of to entirely drop them, but I do notice less and less presence at other dealers as well. Saga recently restricted the sales of KM-500 and higher models (no more to Amazon and MF)so there may be widespread exodus.
    Hard to compete with Amazon and Walmart etc on price anyhow. Doubly so with no minimum advertised price structure.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Kentuckys in canada

    Quote Originally Posted by Folkmusician.com View Post
    My reason for dropping the Kentucky line is not due to CITES (although it did pretty much wipe out international sales). It just isn't profitable to sell them. Kentucky is one of the few brands with no MAP pricing. Most of the big box sellers are using auto repricing, so if say Walmart (which Saga supplies), lowers the price, then everyone else does within minutes. I commonly see Saga products being sold below cost. Nothing wrong with the mandolins themselves.

    I was the first I know of to entirely drop them, but I do notice less and less presence at other dealers as well. Saga recently restricted the sales of KM-500 and higher models (no more to Amazon and MF)so there may be widespread exodus.
    This endless race to the bottom, isn't doing much of anyone any good, at least not long term. People buy these instruments from WallyWorld for next to nothing, get them with no setup, don't know how to do it themselves, and end up frustrated. Or, they show up with the instrument at the local shop, can't understand why a setup is going to cost more than $7.50, and everyone winds up with a headache. In the meantime, reputable places like Folkmusician end up cutting the brand from their inventory, and the brand's credibility suffers. WallyWorld gets sick of selling the blasted instruments for less than cost and finds a cheaper knockoff they can sell for even less and still make money from. The manufacturer has burnt bridges with everyone else. Everyone loses.

  8. #8

    Default Re: Kentuckys in canada

    I have noticed a change. A lot of brands have stopped supplying Amazon. There are still third party sellers, but Amazon themselves are no longer given product. The specific reason is the heavy discounting.

    I believe what you are describing about taking the marketshare, then bringing in low priced instruments is exactly what has happened. Some brands that I dealt with a few years back are practically unheard of now. They poured themselves into Amazon and MF, and lost the dealer network. They then found themselves competing with instruments in the $50-$100 range and didn't have a chance. This wasn't such a problem a few years ago. It is now.

    I am not sure this can be stopped. Even if the reputable brands pull out, there will still be a flood of under $100 instruments. The best selling mandolin on Amazon is a Hola at $79.95. It has the same star review as the KM-150 at $395. Which is the uninformed beginner going to buy?

    Over to MF. Best selling mandolin is the Rogue at $49.99 with 839 reviews at 4.5 stars. KM-150 at $395 with 26 reviews at 4.5 stars. We know which one people are choosing and it's not even close!

    The Loar pulled from Amazon this year. Kentucky just pulled models above the KM-500. Other brands that I used to see are no longer to be found on Amazon. I am not sure how much is dealer push back vs. brands seeing the future on their own.

    In the end it is a free market and buyers are the ones directing it. I don't think the established brands can stop it. Buyers want lower prices and they are voting with their money. The reviews show that customers are pleased with these sub-$100 mandolins.
    Robert Fear
    http://www.folkmusician.com

    "Education is when you read the fine print; experience is what you get when you don't.
    " - Pete Seeger

  9. #9

    Default Re: Kentuckys in canada

    I can't imagine anyone buying a sub $100 mandolin paying for a setup. What I can imaging is 95% of owners quitting. I have fifty years of callouses and hand strength built up fron bass guitar, guitar, and mandolin. When I bought my blowout special Michael Kelly, witch I believe retailed for around $500, it was in need of a setup in a major way. The bridge had a poor fit,the nut had to be slotted, and the frets needed leveling. Now I could hand it over to a beginner feeling they had a chance.

    I can only imagine what the $50 mandolin plays like. Jerry Rosa has a Rogue review. Gave it an ok after he set it up, but most don't get touched.
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    Default Re: Kentuckys in canada

    The race to the bottom plays out as expected.

    There is a phenomenon that goes the other direction. I remember an interview with one of the founders of Second Cup Coffee. When they opened their first location they looked at the pricing of all the other coffee shops in the mall they were opening in and set their price higher. Everyone at the time was buying the same beans from one or two wholesale roasters.

    Second Cup was an immediate hit because of the assumption that their more expensive coffee was superior.

    I've seen this personally, where at lower cost people are more inclined to see less value in a service. At higher cost they are more committed.

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    Default Re: Kentuckys in canada

    The astronaut, John Glen is quoted as saying "As I hurtled through space, one thought kept crossing my mind - every part of this rocket was supplied by the lowest bidder.”
    ó
    And once the storm is over, you wonít remember how you made it through, how you managed to survive. You wonít even be sure, whether the storm is really over. But one thing is certain. When you come out of the storm, you wonít be the same person who walked in. Thatís what this stormís all about.

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    Default Re: Kentuckys in canada

    I was just reading on violinist.com that both Thomastik-Infeld and Warchal (a smaller string manufacturer) now have lines of violin strings available only through luthiers—no online sales. With the Warchals, part of it is that they want them to stay flat, rather than wound up to go in packets. I wonder if part, too, is to make nice with the brick-and-mortar people.

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    Default Re: Kentuckys in canada

    Quote Originally Posted by AndyV View Post
    The race to the bottom plays out as expected.

    There is a phenomenon that goes the other direction. I remember an interview with one of the founders of Second Cup Coffee. When they opened their first location they looked at the pricing of all the other coffee shops in the mall they were opening in and set their price higher. Everyone at the time was buying the same beans from one or two wholesale roasters.

    Second Cup was an immediate hit because of the assumption that their more expensive coffee was superior.

    I've seen this personally, where at lower cost people are more inclined to see less value in a service. At higher cost they are more committed.
    My good friend and fellow musician is a lawyer in his 'real life'. He once asked me , on behalf of his law firm , for a quote on a night's solo entertainment for the firm ..Xmas party , I believe . I gave him a quote ...my going rate at the time .....which was more than fair on my end . He said " up your rate 200.00 for the evening...these folks will feel they got more when they are paying more than the next two or three acts quoted ". So I did , of course .A splendid time was had by all .

    Its an interesting 'philosophy ' but the second guessing begins when you feel that folks like APPLE , BOSE , or perhaps even some luthiers may be overcharging significantly for their products .

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