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Thread: Carter Vintage experience vs Morgan Music

  1. #1
    Registered User McIrish's Avatar
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    Default Carter Vintage experience vs Morgan Music

    Just curious about anyone else's dealings with Carter Vintage. I spent a week in Nashville for a wedding and took the time to go the Carter Vintage. I have a Gibson Fern that I like very much but also wanted to try out some mandolins on the next tier up ~$20K.

    My experience there was not good. I played what they had hanging on the wall. None were even close to the Fern I have. I asked where the others were, that were listed on the web site. I was told they were in a photo shoot. I could wait, which I did. Obviously, they assumed I didn't have the money. Next, they came out and took the other mandolins off the wall that I had played (higher dollar) and moved those to the back room as well. huh?!

    It was about then I started to get the impression they didn't respect me as a customer. After waiting a while longer, with no contact from any staff, my wife and I left. What a total bust. I was really looking forward to it. I actually do have the money to buy whatever I wanted. I won't be going back there.

    Maybe they had a bad day. I personally felt mistreated. Possibly my long hair and beard turned them off? (two years ago I had no beard and short hair) Hard to say what it was. They have lost a customer. I was thinking of buying the Weber mandocello they had there, but now I think I will buy one from a forum member here instead.

    That reminded me of when I was on tour with my band and bought the Gibson Fern I play now. I got it from Morgan Music. Listen, they brought out every single mandolin they had and even restrung a few while I was there. I left with the Fern and my bass player left with an NS bass as well. They treated us well and we made large dollar purchases.

    Of the two stores, I would gladly buy from Morgan Music again. Really great people to deal with. I can't say the same for Carter Vintage. Man, it still bugs me!
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  2. #2

    Default Re: Carter Vintage experience vs Morgan Music

    That is a shame. I was there about a year and half ago when stores were first re-opening after the initial pandemic store closings. I had a great time, good, super polite service and I bought a guitar that day. Sorry you had a bad experience.

  3. #3
    Registered User McIrish's Avatar
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    Default Re: Carter Vintage experience vs Morgan Music

    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff Mando View Post
    That is a shame. I was there about a year and half ago when stores were first re-opening after the initial pandemic store closings. I had a great time, good, super polite service and I bought a guitar that day. Sorry you had a bad experience.
    That's good to know you were treated well. Maybe everyone there just had a bad day or someone dropped a Loar earlier...
    Gibson 2016 "Harvey" Fern
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    Eastman MDO305 Octave Mandolin
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    Collings 0002H
    Five & Six String Banjos
    Lots of other Guitars
    http://www.shadowfields.com

  4. #4

    Default Re: Carter Vintage experience vs Morgan Music

    Definitely not how I was treated at Carter's. It's been a couple of years since I was there, but everyone in the store was as nice as could be. I cannot image a better place. I could try out anything without a salesman hanging over you.. They had a display case there and a guy standing next to me asked someone who worked there if that was a real Les Paul in the case. The guy said it sure was, "would you like to try it ". He took it the 59 Les Paul of the case and handed it to him. I of course, asked if I could hold and yelled to my daughter to take a picture of me holding a 59 Les Paul. I'm sorry you had a bad experience there but I do not think that is how they normally treat people. I left there thinking I had just left heaven.

  5. #5
    Registered User j4music's Avatar
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    Default Re: Carter Vintage experience vs Morgan Music

    A friend visited Carters a few years and was treated like gold - wound up buying a serious vintage Martin + a Calton case. I've always understood they treated people well. But recently I inquired about an expensive mandolin; first inquiry - no response. Follow up inquiry - about a week getting back, and they sent a video and no information. I understand the store changed ownership recently;maybe that's why the change in service.

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    Registered User Russ Jordan's Avatar
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    Default Re: Carter Vintage experience vs Morgan Music

    The experience of McIrish at Carter’s is the opposite of my own. They were absolutely accommodating and let me play anything I wanted. On my first visit we were pulling a camper and Walter Carter even came out and helped us get parked.
    Russ Jordan

  7. #7

    Default Re: Carter Vintage experience vs Morgan Music

    Quote Originally Posted by Russ Jordan View Post
    The experience of McIrish at Carter’s is the opposite of my own. They were absolutely accommodating and let me play anything I wanted. On my first visit we were pulling a camper and Walter Carter even came out and helped us get parked.
    Before or after Carters became part of TNAG?
    Sorry, I am no longer suffering fools

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    Default Re: Carter Vintage experience vs Morgan Music

    I was there 2 weeks ago on a Wednesday and had a great experience. Played most of the mandolins in the store, including those in the back room. Even demo’d a couple for a guy who was trying to decide between a couple so he could hear them out in front. I played everything but the Loars and the Randy Wood 2 point, which I didn’t ask to play because they were busy, I’ve played a few (including there), and wasn’t in that market.

    I’m really sorry you had the experience you did. The blond Gilchrist, Monteleone Baby Grand, and Dude were really spectacular. My favs were probably the Ellis and the Giacomel (I like different stuff). I’d give them a try again if you’re ever back in town.

    I also went to Gruhn’s to check out a couple of electric guitars, and they were great until I told the salesman that neither did it for me (I really went planning to buy and left disappointed), at which point he became completely disinterested in me. I told him what I didn’t like about them very objectively and he didn’t even try to give me other options that may have been more in line with what I was after. I played a few more guitars and inquired about some mandolins (they pretty much had Kentucky and Eastman downstairs), but basically got cold shouldered, which has been my experience there before. Would I buy from them if they had something I really wanted and couldn’t find anywhere else? Absolutely. But, I won’t be factoring in time there on future Nashville trips.

    If you’re ever in the Burlington/High Point, NC area, check out Lowe Vintage. I’ve only ever had great experiences there, regardless of how busy they were or whether I was actually shopping or just trying stuff out for fun. I’ve played two Loars there now. The first I went specifically to play. The second time, which was a couple years and a few visits later, a customer was trying one out and I was playing other stuff. They remembered me and brought it over when the other guy was finished, saying, “you may as well play it a while since we’ve got it out!”

    That said, everybody has bad days…sorry Carter’s had theirs while you were there…
    Chuck

  9. #9
    Registered User Russ Jordan's Avatar
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    Default Re: Carter Vintage experience vs Morgan Music

    Quote Originally Posted by Mandobar View Post
    Before or after Carters became part of TNAG?
    All my trips were before Carter’s being part of TNAG.
    Russ Jordan

  10. #10
    Registered User geoffa's Avatar
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    Default Re: Carter Vintage experience vs Morgan Music

    That's a bummer that was your experience, McIrish. I haven't been since they were acquired. Before the pandemic, it was a play-whatever-you-want situation, even for the more expensive items in the back room – except for items locked in cases, of course. I recall reading threads here about how people had to be invited into that room. The times I visited, unless the door was closed, anyone could stroll right in. Hopefully, this was just a blip of a bad experience. It would be a shame if not.

  11. #11
    Registered User mbruno's Avatar
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    Default Re: Carter Vintage experience vs Morgan Music

    I've always had great experiences at both Gruhn and Carter's. I've never issues with either while I was there and I definitely don't look like I have the money haha. Granted, I've always had better experiences at Gruhns (George Gruhn sat down with me and let me play some of his Lloyd Loars too!) but still no bad experiences at Carter's.

    Something to note about most music stores is the staff work on commission. I'm usually not shocked if they aren't overly attentive - especially if they don't think I'm actually buying. I can't imagine how many people that go in there just to play around with, ask a bunch of questions taking up the salespersons time, but with no buying intentions. If I worked in those stores and commissions were part of my pay, I'd be selective too. Can't fault the staff for doing what they are paid to do - find paying customers and sell to them - but still, I understand the frustration of wanting to engage but being left alone.

    That said from your post, it seems like you asked once and were told to wait - but never followed up. If that's the case, in the future, I'd ask a second time and explain my intentions. Never hurts to be direct - especially in a sales environment.
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  12. #12
    Registered User McIrish's Avatar
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    Default Re: Carter Vintage experience vs Morgan Music

    Thanks for al the replies. Seems like something may have changed there. Maybe I'm just getting old, but I really have a problem with anyone looking down on me when they have zero knowledge of who I am. The experience just rubbed me the wrong way. Had they been friendly or courteous in any way, I probably would have left with at least the Weber mandocello.
    Gibson 2016 "Harvey" Fern
    Collings MT Mandola
    Weber 2017 Bitterroot A20-F Octave Mandolin
    Eastman MDO305 Octave Mandolin
    Petersen Level 2 Irish Bouzouki
    Eastman MDC805 Mandocello
    Collings 0002H
    Five & Six String Banjos
    Lots of other Guitars
    http://www.shadowfields.com

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Carter Vintage experience vs Morgan Music

    Quote Originally Posted by McIrish View Post
    Thanks for al the replies. Seems like something may have changed there. Maybe I'm just getting old, but I really have a problem with anyone looking down on me when they have zero knowledge of who I am. The experience just rubbed me the wrong way. Had they been friendly or courteous in any way, I probably would have left with at least the Weber mandocello.
    It might be worth dropping them a line and telling this story...

  14. #14
    Registered User McIrish's Avatar
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    Default Re: Carter Vintage experience vs Morgan Music

    Quote Originally Posted by Mainer73 View Post
    It might be worth dropping them a line and telling this story...
    I did. I figured they should know how they are being perceived.
    Gibson 2016 "Harvey" Fern
    Collings MT Mandola
    Weber 2017 Bitterroot A20-F Octave Mandolin
    Eastman MDO305 Octave Mandolin
    Petersen Level 2 Irish Bouzouki
    Eastman MDC805 Mandocello
    Collings 0002H
    Five & Six String Banjos
    Lots of other Guitars
    http://www.shadowfields.com

  15. #15

    Default Re: Carter Vintage experience vs Morgan Music

    I purchased a high end fiddle from Morgan Music. It was brand new. When I received it the nut looked like a miniature piece of coal, very very rough. There was also a large ding in the finger board. I returned it and then had to request that they reimburse me for the return shipping, which they did. So a good and bad experience. They should have never sold that fiddle without a disclaimer about its condition. They did reimburse me.

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    Default Re: Carter Vintage experience vs Morgan Music

    This discussion skirts our Posting Guidelines: Grievances, personal and corporate: The Cafe discussion forum is intended to be a nurturing community. While it is fair game discussing vendor corporate policies, public malevolent harassment of individuals, including posting names, email address, or any other personal contact information will not be tolerated. For example, a concern about a manufacturer's warranty policy or a reseller's return policy is permissible. Using the forum to malign or leverage personal advantage in a conflict is strictly forbidden. Though intent or motivation are not always provable, the moderators reserve full right in deeming whether or not comments made are consistent with policy, and may take action to edit, delete, or when necessary, revoke posting privileges.

    Now that we've established no one is 100% happy with every retail experience, this discussion has ended. The OP and others are welcome to continue this on social media which is a more appropriate format.

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