Online Music Retailers

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Thomas J
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Online Music Retailers

Post by Thomas J » Thu May 19, 2005 8:40 am

I was just curious. I haven't in the past really dealt much with the online music retailers for classical music outside of say Amazon and Berkshire Record Outlet. I wanted to know the names of some of the retailers you've dealt with in the past which deserve high honors. While you're at it, perhaps mention those you feel you should avoid?

jbuck919
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Post by jbuck919 » Thu May 19, 2005 9:06 am

It's funny you should post this at this time, because just yesterday I posted on the other board about Amazon going down the tubes. They cancelled twelve items from my shopping cart because, though they did not put it in such blunt terms, they decided not to carry them anymore. That pretty much destroyed my next order and my faith in Amazon.

I was a bit short on alternatives myself. The people on the other board have made some good suggestions. If this thread develops and I think something is being missed by our more experienced online buyers, I'll post again.

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Ralph
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Post by Ralph » Thu May 19, 2005 9:18 am

As I've previously said, I like to get my CDs when I see them and Tower at Lincoln Center is still pretty good. But I never let a month go by without a Berkshire order.
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herman
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Post by herman » Thu May 19, 2005 9:27 am

Caiman, which is accessed via amazon - you know, the "new & used" section.

Febnyc
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Post by Febnyc » Thu May 19, 2005 9:44 am

I've had some success with mymusic.com.

aurora
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Post by aurora » Thu May 19, 2005 12:31 pm

Vancouver based A&B Sound is a good resource for canucks

Wallingford
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Post by Wallingford » Fri May 20, 2005 12:57 pm

As for Amazon & ANY used-music site, it's a matter of sticking to the 5-star sellers & the good comments left by previous buyers. I sell used stuff myself over Amazon, & am looking to expand my inventory three- or four-fold these days.

Amazon isn't deleting EVERYTHING, just a tiny handful of things; actually, if anyone can tell me of an alternative site listing the more obscure classical stuff, I'd much appreciate it.
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jbuck919
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Post by jbuck919 » Fri May 20, 2005 1:34 pm

Wallingford wrote:As for Amazon & ANY used-music site, it's a matter of sticking to the 5-star sellers & the good comments left by previous buyers. I sell used stuff myself over Amazon, & am looking to expand my inventory three- or four-fold these days.
Buying something being offered online by an individual as used absolutely gives me the creeps. I've also never bought anything from e-bay. It is a personal thing; I realize that it is routine to many people. But I can never imagine doing it.[/quote]

Amazon isn't deleting EVERYTHING, just a tiny handful of things; actually, if anyone can tell me of an alternative site listing the more obscure classical stuff, I'd much appreciate it.
I'm working on that myself.

I've given Amazon a little test. They didn't actually delete my shopping cart; they put the items into the "save for later' list (which is distinct from the "wish list"--how complicated these things are) with the implication that they couldn't supply them on demand anymore. So I immediately put them back in the cart and ordered them. Now Amazon is telling me they should all be here next week. Is it possible that the right hand doesn't know what the left hand is doing over there?

There's nothing remarkable about it. All one has to do is hit the right keys at the right time and the instrument plays itself.
-- Johann Sebastian Bach

Haydnseek
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Post by Haydnseek » Fri May 20, 2005 2:30 pm

Tower.com is good especially when things are on sale and you can qualify for free shipping. CDUniverse keeps the prices low but makes some of it back on shipping and handling. Their search tool is quite good. It's always worth checking Overstock.com for anything. I ordered three CDs from Overstock today at very good prices with just a $2.00 shipping fee.
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Auntie Lynn
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Post by Auntie Lynn » Sat May 21, 2005 7:55 am

I do mega-business with Hutchins & Rea (sheet music) in Allana, Joja. They are the absolute best - an extremely helpful, heads-up, competitive organization. Bend over backwards for you. Learned about them years ago from the head of the piano department at school. He was, as usual, right...

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Post by Ralph » Sat May 21, 2005 10:26 am

Somehow I've never tried Tower online. Perhaps I should. But in an hour I'll be in their Lincoln Center emporium.
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RebLem
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Post by RebLem » Sun May 22, 2005 2:01 pm

I want to thank all of you for the recommendations. I intend to check into at least two of them. I buy most of my CDs from www.arkivmusic.com However. it ships only to US and Canadian addresses. I recommended this in a discussion on the subject in Fanfare magazine recently (through the Letters column; I am not a contributor there) and while it was agreed that this was a good source, the other one that came up was a UK vendor named Harold Moores Records, www.hmrecords.co.uk

I have only ever bought one item from ebay. That was a 2 CD set of Strauss Waltzes. I received the set in excellent condition and am pleased with the purchase. However, I found the ebay process quite cumbersome and therefore have not purchased anything through them since.
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Gurn Blanston
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Post by Gurn Blanston » Sun May 22, 2005 6:08 pm

That is interesting that you find eBay cumbersome, I have bought dozens odf disks over eBay, never a hassle (yet), and easy as pie to complete a deal. I expect that if you aren't using PayPal, however, it could be a pain.

When I am buying pretty much full-price music, I always buy from Arkivmusic.com, their service is excellent, and they have the easiest to use webpage that i have ever encountered. That in itself is enough for me! I also have used MyMusic.com in Canada, and they have a great stock of things and fast service too, although navigating is a bit more of an ordeal, not insurmountable.

Ultimately, I buy more from BRO than any other source. They have pretty much all that's current, and lots that isn't, and the prices (and now the service since they switched to DHL) can't be beat.
Regards,
Gurn

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Darryl
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Post by Darryl » Sun May 22, 2005 6:42 pm

Thomas,

For many years I've had excellent experiences with MDT and Crotchet (co.uk) both. The lousy exchange rate now makes this less desirable for CDs you can obtain stateside however. MDT's shipping is still very inexpensive.

In the US I've only had negative experiences with some of the small outfits in the Amazon Marketplace (Amazon itself is fine though). You can view the feedback on Amazon.com. Customers will praise until they fall in that unfortunate 5 percent, at which point the comments can become quite vicious (esp. around Christmas time!). I like Tower mail order because sometimes they have imports that cost less than ordering from Europe.

Darryl
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Post by Darryl » Sun May 22, 2005 6:51 pm

jbuck919 wrote:I've given Amazon a little test. They didn't actually delete my shopping cart; they put the items into the "save for later' list (which is distinct from the "wish list"--how complicated these things are) with the implication that they couldn't supply them on demand anymore. So I immediately put them back in the cart and ordered them. Now Amazon is telling me they should all be here next week. Is it possible that the right hand doesn't know what the left hand is doing over there?
That functionality is new, I just tried it. Apparently they just added an extra step to fully delete the cart ... kind of a pain if you really want to delete. It would've been better to add a 'Save For Later' button.

Heck148
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Re: Online Music Retailers

Post by Heck148 » Sun May 22, 2005 7:01 pm

Thomas J wrote: I wanted to know the names of some of the retailers you've dealt with in the past which deserve high honors.
ArkivMusic is very excellent, IME.

good catalogue, great browsing and serach setup - best I've seen.

they are also very fast. 4-5 days is normal.

"H&B recordings direct" is OK too.

I like Arkiv a tad better - the search setup is great, and they are fast.

HMV is good too.

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