Finding Value in the Music Market

One of the things that we have always put as a fundamental basis of our store is the concept of “value”. This term can mean many things too many people, but especially in the economic times that we are in (and have been in for awhile); “value” is becoming more the necessity rather than the option.

To me, a “value” is a product that performs well above the average performance range of the comparably priced product. Much of our stock selection on what product we carry in our stores is based around this “value” concept. Makes sense obviously if you think about it. If we adhere to the concept of best value, then we will only offer customers the best instruments & musical products available for the money.

This might seem a fundamentally basic concept to most customers but the truth is that many stores do not operate this way. You will typically find one of 2 scenarios:
1. The store will simply carry everything and anything. This approach is one that gives the customer many items to choose from, but in many cases further confuses the question of “what to buy”. Overloading the selection actually makes the “value” harder to find. Sure, you can give the best price on the particular item, but that it no way means that the particular item is the best value for the money and rather makes it more difficult to discern the value of the products.

2. The store will simply carry a handful of specific brands, many times not the brands or models that the consumer really wants. This store model also makes spotting the value difficult if not impossible. If you don’t have other brands and/or comparable products to compare, how can the customer KNOW that they are getting the best value?

Both scenarios make the customer rarely feel that they are getting the best value and are more hesitant (or at least they should be) to make the purchase.

The KesslerMusic way
We have always done things differently than the industry standard. Frankly you have to in this day and age to stay in business. When my father opened up the store in 1989 here in Las Vegas, there were already 2 well established music stores that had the market share. Both stores had been around for 15-20 years and had the big names in their store. So for my father to actually start up his own store was to say the least, a gamble… but hey, it is Vegas!

When my parents opened the store in 1989, they decided that instead of following the average way of doing business (like charging full retail price), they would strive to offer parents (since they were mainly looking at the local school music scene) the best values in the industry. They felt that it was their job to be looking out for the parents who were spending their hard earned money on their kids. Perhaps this had to do with the fact that they were raising 5 boys at that point and felt that no-one was offering that service to us in other industries. Whatever the reason, when Kessler & Sons Music opened in June of 1989 with 1 small location, the idea was to give the customer the best advice, price & service.

This model has served us well. The established stores from that time are no longer around. We did it by giving our customers a great price, great selection, treating them fairly and honestly, and combining it with expert advice.

Today, the internet has helped us grow into something that initially hadn’t even been dreamed about. All of our success though goes back to the way that we do business.

Value Hunting
This should be a sport. With as much confusion and change in this industry, many teachers let alone customers have the time to stay up on the changes in product quality, manufacturing and playability. No longer can one simply rely on brand name to provide certainty in instruments or mouthpieces. It seems that on a yearly basis some company is changing manufacturing facilities, outsourcing production, being sold, etc… it’s a mess! So we constantly hunt through all of it to find for our customers the best values there are.

Whether you are looking for a saxophone, violin, mouthpiece, clarinet or are in need of repair advice, we pledge to help you get the straight answer to your questions. We have no agenda in trying to push one model over another on you. Instead, we listen to your musical story and help guide you to the product that will be the best match and the best value for you. Many times, customers are shocked to find out that we will advise them on a lower priced product because of its performance value.

So if you have questions or are simply just getting confused during your hunt for something new, give us a shot. Give me a call.

4 thoughts on “Finding Value in the Music Market

  1. Michael Kerr says:

    I can appreciate much of this entry as I am a novice and was looking to upgrade my clarinet. The options were endless and, whith out local advice I was totally lost. I phoned Kessler and Sons and was told I needed to speak with Dave. Unfortunately, he was not in that day and the special I was interested in was expiring that day. I called back the next day and was transfered to Dave. He spent an extraodinary amount of time on the phone with me. By the time our conversation ended I knew more about the Buffet E11 than perhaps, I needed. And was provided the advertised special from the previous day! Only now do I know I was speaking with Dave Kessler. WOW! An unbelievably fantastic customer experience! Kudos to Kessler and Sons

  2. Jeff says:

    Well in this “value” driven economy, one can feel pretty good purchasing one of your Custom or Custom Deluxe Saxophones or whatever you guys recommend. I purchased an Alto in 06 and finally am putting some mileage on it via our community band. It plays better than anything I played on back in the day and was actually cheaper than a Bundy II Based Signet (especially comparing dollar value from each period) I played back in HS. I am thinking of buying a Tenor to replace my Vito23 and if I do, the Custom or Deluxe will be on the list based on my experience from the Alto.

  3. Vincent Duff says:

    I wanted to inquire about Sam Butera.I heard he passed away last June.I read that he was a customer of yours.I was wondering what setup Sam used on his Saxophone with Louis Prima i.e.mouthpiece etc. and how much do these cost.Thank you Vinny Duff

  4. admin says:

    Vinny – Yes, Sam was a customer. He was one of my favorite guys to deal with and was always good for a joke each time he came in. If memory serves correct, Sam play on the FIRST Berg Larsen mouthpiece sold in the USA that he bought in New York. If I recall, it was a 130/1… yes, a .130″ tip. To top that off, he used a Plasticover 5 (again, not a typo) reed. To say that Sam had “chops” would be a gross understatement. He was a great player and a great guy. His passing marked huge loss to the world of music but his influence will last for generations.

    Finding one of these vintage Bergs can be a lifetime search. Not many people can actually play on the setup that Sam did.

    However, my advice to customers is always this: develope your own sound. Even if you could manage to play on Sam’s actual setup, you would not sound like Sam. You are going to sound like Vinny. Find the mouthpiece that helps you best develope your own sound. You will be a better player for it.

    – Dave Kessler

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