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Sounds like a bit of a nightmare.
A relative of mine ran a small music shop - he could not stock Yamaha keyboards because he could not order / sell sufficient to meet their minimum.

Presumably, though, there is old stock sitting around at wholesalers / manufacturers as well as some of the stuff at Hattons 'new in this month' looks like pretty old stock - I've noticed that they sometimes have different prices for the same item as they 'paid less for the cheaper ones'.

It must be nice to own a shop-full of this gear - provided you don't go broke!
 

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Simonj

I agree, that is unfortunately the other side of it.

Looking around the Internet at prices I've often been surprised at how high some of them are - EBay seems particularly full of pitfalls. The same item as stocked and sold by 'normal' suppliers is often on E-Bay at a higher price. It seems that some retailers have cottoned on to the idea that people assume on-line shops with no overheads will charge less and are relying on people not shopping around.

On the other hand I do have sympathy with local suppliers who keep things in stock / provide a service for their customers and occasionally get caught with old stock that they have difficulty selling at a reasonable ptice.

In my opinion it is advisable to tread warily on the internet - and never to assume that the best prices are on E-Bay, for example. I remember that while the main dealers were busy off-loading the blue Duchess from the Hornby Royal Train Pack (I think it was) at knock-down prices the same locos were going for over £10 more on E-Bay with all the appearance of being 'bargains' - people were apparently bidding quite a bit higher than they would pay elsewhere, and I've seen a number of Bachmann sets going at inflated prices. Unless there is something special that nobody else can supply EBay, EBay shops and box-shifters with no 'real shop' are a non-starter as far as I am concerned.

If I could, I would buy locally - the few pounds extra (if they exist, that is) are worth it for peace of mind and to ensure that local shops remain available. Besides, it's more enjoyable too. And no, I'm not exactly rich!
 

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it's sometimes worth pointing out that the price is higher than so-and-so other retailer - but politely, of course, if the difference is really not acceptable.

When I bought my guitar amp some years ago, the price at the 'big guys' was £489, but the local shop wanted £589.
I explained that I'd prefer to buy locally, but the price difference was too great. I expected him to knock £50 or so off, as the extra would have been reasonable considering the travel or mail inconveniences, cost, time etc. but after he'd checked the prices on the internet he sold it to me for £489 - the lowest price advertised elsewhere.

Like many owners of 'hobby' shops, he was an enthusiast who spent his time indulging in the 'hobby', not checking prices on the internet. He'd no intention of 'doing' anybody, just put the prices on that had been suggested and got on with playing the guitar. I left him studying prices on the internet - he looked more interested than dismayed.

Human nature being what it is I have never complained to any shop-keeper for under-charging.
 

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Simonj
well, yes, I had intended to cover the 'buy it now' prices - but my post, when re-read, was a bit poor. The 'buy it now prices' were higher than those advertised by the 'normal' big sellers. The 'buy it now' prices were something like £69.99 ( less than £70
), whereas the prices at Hattons et al were in the £50s. So yes, I agree - also beware of the 'buy it now' 'bargain' prices.
 
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