Being able to purchase top quality guitars and music equipment from the comfort of your own home is a luxury that is now a reality for almost everybody worldwide.
We can buy almost anything online: Insects, tanks, and wolf urine – just to name a few. The same is true for guitar and music equipment.
Sure, it may not hold the same appeal as going to your local music store and physically touching the wood of the guitar you are thinking of buying, possibly cranking up the store front amp to 11 and gracing the patrons with your
annoying awesome metal riffs… but it is a way to find the best prices and get everything delivered to your doorstep.
Thanks to some amazing companies, we have access to the best of the best in music gear at the lowest prices worldwide.
Take a look at this:
There are a great number of online stores out there, many of them are awesome and are a place to find amazing deals but others are dodgy and should be avoided.
Instead of doing things the hard way by spending an afternoon on Google, researching and reading reviews, we’ve saved you the trouble and go through some of the best online music stores below.
Ahh Amazon, the behemoth of online shopping. This is the first place everyone goes when shopping online, and for good reason. They are the world’s largest online retailer and ship internationally to over 75 countries.
Amazon is also home to some amazing deals in all categories, including the category we care about most: Music equipment ♪
A quick jump over to the ‘musical instruments’ category (select ‘Musical instruments’ from the drop-down next to the search bar and then click the magnifying glass) brings up a wonderfully designed product page. I could make an entire post describing the reasons the layout here works so well but honestly it would be better if you just take a look at the page and see what I mean.
If you are an international shopper, simply scroll down to the ‘Refine by’ section on the left of the page and check “Ship to your country“. This will display only products that are eligible for shipping to you, and now you can browse and refine to your heart’s content.
The ‘Show results for’ and ‘Refine by’ sections really are my favorite thing about Amazon. They work really well and make finding exactly what you are looking for so easy.
Amazing has been and will likely continue to be my number one spot for shopping for musical equipment online due to their great site and reputation. The only drawback I’ve found is the noticeable limit of items that can be shipped internationally.
Thankfully we have the fine stores below to make up for that!
I love the layout of this store’s home page. It is neat and striking and I find it very easy to navigate, which is an immediate plus.
The handy search works really well and there is a large variety of manufacturers to choose from.
They also often have deals and promotions like the “Stupid deal of the day” or “Backstage pass”, where you can dramatically save money by shopping here. Don’t forget the Stupid deal of the day app!
Another great thing is that they really emphasise that you call them. This is a sign of great customer service and it is good to see. They really strive to be a ‘musician’s friend’.
They even sit in the holy grail of online stores that accept PayPal. This is fantastic news and should excite many readers as much as it excites me.
You can also find buying guides, reviews, and visit a blog type musicians resource called “The Hub” where they host all their resources in one central easy-to-navigate place.
Whether you are looking for the Yamaha FG700S, the Epiphone 339, or any other guitar, Musician’s Friend have outdone themselves in the online music store space and we recommend them to any casual or serious musicians.
This website is huge! Seriously, there are so many products available it would take days to go through them all.
Guitar Center has been a nationwide guitar and music equipment seller for a very long time. They recently decided to move their catalogue online, which has been a great choice for their continued success.
They now ship internationally to over 90 countries and offer great deals that many people in those countries would not be able to get otherwise.
You can also buy used gear from Guitar Center online and they will ship it to almost anywhere.
Guitar Center has updated their website since our last write-up and all the concerns we had seem to have been ironed out. Kuddos to the Guitar Center web development team.
The site is now less cluttered, easier to navigate and really just makes a heck of a lot of sense. The news and interviews section has been dropped in favor of Guitar Center-related and sponsored events, which is cool and doesn’t take away from the rest of the site. It is really easy to shop here and find what you are looking for, whether you are shopping for a specific product or the best deal in a line of products.
Be sure to check the ‘Outlet’ section for clearance sales!
Thanks to their 150+ worldwide stores, you can be sure you are in good hands when shopping at Guitar Center.
I must be honest here – I do not like the zZounds website. It is quite cluttered and there are a whole lot of words without direction. It requires a lot of scrolling and nothing important really stands out and says “click on me”.
They seem to have sorted out the issues that we had with there being a large section just for brand logos, but it is still there and still pointless.
The categories list on the left is also not very thought out. The list is so long that you have to scroll down two pages to read it all and it mirrors the larger content in the center of the page. This makes browsing through the site take longer and feel tedious so it is another thumbs down from me.
Once I did get into the catalogue, I was presented with tiny thumbnails of the equipment I was looking at. This did not please me either.
It is a shame because they are actually a good store with an impressive costumer service reputation. They sell a huge range of equipment and have some great deals.
I would never say do not shop at zZounds. If you are looking for a deal then for sure stop by this site to see what price they have. You can be confident that your order will be successful and that you will be treated with care.
For everyday browsing and casual guitar porn, though, this is not the site. A little too old school and harsh on the eyes – a face lift would be welcomed.
Final words and tips for buying online:
Amazon, Musician’s Friend, Guitar Center and zZounds are a few of the best places to buy guitar and music equipment online. They are some of the most reputable online stores out there and have everything I could ask for. I use them myself and would recommend them to any musician or personal friend looking for music equipment.
Credit card, debit card, and Paypal are all valid and secure methods of shopping online but a credit card is usually the best because they have they most security and fail safes should something go wrong. Reversing a credit card transaction is relatively simple whereas the same cannot be said for debit cards and PayPal.
Shipping costs will vary greatly when shipping internationally depending on the distance you are from the seller and the weight and size of the products. Do your research; you may find that it is cheaper to buy smaller items online and source larger items locally.
Take advantage of specials and free shipping deals when you find them; online stores are known for some insane price cuts.
Make use of the reviews and ratings – one of the best ways to gauge the quality of a product is what other people are saying about it. Popular products with more than 100 reviews and a 4+ star rating are almost always a good bet.
Shop responsibly. Always consult your parent, wife or significant other before making a purchase. As with all shopping, buyers remorse is a risk, but it is even easier to take that risk when a purchase is just a few clicks away.
Have fun shopping online!