In a time when traditional music retailers increasingly compete with the tempting offers available online, particularly from international sites, the warnings are consistently issued from time-to-time about the risks to the consumer. We have a whole section on Buying Safely Online in this website. A stark reminder of the risks is the recent sentencing hearing for a guy who ran a website called GlobalSound. Read the full article here. This website had a lot of Australian customers. It claimed to have supply lines from the major distributors, but obviously did not keep stock or make the investments that legitimate online dealers and bricks n mortar stores do. Roland Corporation has reported that Global Sounds had actually threatened to sue them for drawing attention, on their website, to previous investigations by NZ consumer affairs into its business practices.
Roland MD, Brendan Callinan told us, “There was a period a year or two ago, when every week either us or our dealers had customers using Global Sounds website pricing as ‘evidence’ that we were ripping off the public both here and in NZ. Pretty obvious now who was doing the ripping off. Do your homework people. If it looks too good to be true it probably is”
There are some pretty basic things to watch for.
Australian best practice is that an online seller should provide their ABN (Australian Business Number), physical address, and phone and fax numbers. This is important when buying musical instruments online.
There are many responsible, reliable online retailers. and buying from them is just as safe as buying from a store. Many AMA bricks n mortar stores have comprehensive web sites too
But obviously, there are also many online sellers who aren’t that scrupulous. Who take advantage of being ‘somewhere in the ether’ to part you from your money and provide you with substandard goods and service.