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Schaller distributors?


Buter
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Gentlemen, am I crazy, or is there no Schaller distributor in the U.S.? I've only just moved back from Europe (where it wasn't an issue) and I can only find a few odds and ends.

I was on their website today as I need parts, and I'm finding it difficult to order anything. Question for you lads - is there a U.S. distributor, and if there isn't, is there any merit in establishing one? Is there enough demand in the U.S. to meet the distributor requirements?

Your opinions would be greatly appreciated.

Cheers

Buter

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Hi Pros...

Yeah, they carry some parts, as do a few others, but, as far as I can tell, no one carries a full range and the U.S. is absent from their list of distributors.

All I was looking to do was get a bridge and some machine heads in the brushed copper. Try finding it in the states.

Why have Allparts, Stewmac, LMI, et al... not picked up the distribution rights? Am I missing something? 

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So there appears to be no distributor, as such, but All Parts was willing to order the parts on my behalf since they stock Schaller, but the timeframe was was 1-3 months. I replied that I could work with 4-6 weeks, but after 3 months I'd probably forget what the parts were for when they arrived.

In the end, it was much easier to order direct from Germany. 10 day delivery cost €10.

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Sounds likely that Allparts don't want to (or are unable to) sit on a lot of stock. Schaller are either asking for money up front and/or Allparts can't afford to have money tied up in large quantities of slow-moving stock. If you talked to Schaller about being a distro, I'd be willing to bet you'd have to put a lot of money in the pot up front. 

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The world economy is very different since the 90s-00s. Distros used to sit on stacks of stock ("dead money") because money was flying everywhere under the aegis of trust and artifically-buoyant lending across the board. When that all started to collapse, vendors started asking for money up front and their own money/items to be returned from stock, maybe to fulfil other retailer's orders. My wife's music store had fun times with Marshall in that respect. Glad that she decided to get out and change her line of employment, because that train was completely out of track and a number of music stores were pulled under because of it.

I'm wondering if that's the case here with Allparts and Schaller. You can quite easily be sitting on high tens/low hundreds of thousands of dollars of parts (three of's, ouch) just to cover the range including finish, specifications and spares. That's a lot of money to put out so you can deliver parts domestically. I might be totally wrong, but usually these things come down to financial pressures.

Edited by Prostheta
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Yeah, you kinda just typed out what was in my head.

With high end parts like these, you'd have way too much money sat on the shelves waiting for the one guy who wanted/needed them. Just for one instrument I plopped down $350. Assuming they sell to distributors for half retail and just trying to stock the hardware I bought in the 4 colours it is available in will leave you with $700 sat on your shelves.

The only viable business plan would be to have regional exclusivity, but, on top of the money it would take to be adequately stocked, if the manufacturer starts getting complaints that you can't supply basic parts without ordering them, they will start looking for other retailers/distributors.

Doesn't really sound like a game I want to play.

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The cost of shipping from Germany wasn't bad at all. I just had a couple of orders arrive from StewMac and LMII and they were in the neighborhood or $13 -$17 and those were obviously domestic.

 

I my business we try to get a minimum of 4 turns a year on parts we stock, and 6 to 12 turns a year is more the target.  If we cannot sell the parts in 6 months (2 turns a year) we will only make them to order. It's a different business of course, but most will run on a similar model. And the margins must cover the carrying costs.

SR

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Totally. In an increasingly margin-lean economy, manufacturers are putting less stock into distros without payment and distros have margins so lean they can't hold stock like they used to. That and customers are consistently looking for ways to cut out the middleman and get prices closer to trade.

In my humble opinion, it just makes the whole process for any vendor ridiculously complicated compared to the old fire and forget relationship customers had with the retail end. It's maybe not a bad thing, just different to what we grew up with I guess. The closest we had to internet purchasing in the 90s was snail mail order with a cheque or PO enclosed. None of this badgering vendors unless you were actually in the trade and needed prices for profitability, not end-user scrimping.

Anyway. I'm probably totally wrong. The Schaller rep might have gotten too drunk with the Allparts rep in Vegas with sexy consequences.

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  • 4 months later...

Schaller parts are essentially special order only now in the states from my experience.  Even worse is that Schaller themselves will wait for enough orders for a certain item before they even manufacture a run.  I ordered a set of Ruthenium M6's(standard plain Jane type) in 2011 and did not receive them until almost 2013.  I placed the order through a friend's music store via Allparts right after 2011 NAMM show. They finally  arrived almost Christmas 2013.

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