As any seasoned musician knows, buying musical instruments can be stressful. They’re expensive, and often you have to make educated guesses.
Not to mention, transporting giants like pianos can be a hassle!
Convenience, when used for the right reasons, makes all the difference in our lives. Online music stores create the perfect connection between convenience, assurance, and quality products.
For piano players, this is extremely important given the weight, fragility, and size of their instruments.
When you trust the online retailer you’re purchasing from, it makes the entire buying process much smoother. Below are seven of the best websites you can use for buying pianos online.
It comes as no surprise that Sweetwater is the first choice for many musicians. When asking pianists where to buy a digital piano, Sweetwater consistently ranks highest.
Sweetwater has a large inventory and good prices and all that jazz; but when we get down to the facts, their sales reps are what make them exceptional. First-time customers are paired up with a rep, and that rep sticks with them for all future purchases.
It’s an everyday occurrence to see reviewers call out their reps by name on the Sweetwater website – organic marketing at its finest!
While some tease Sweetwater for this strategy, the reality is that they do a phenomenal job of developing relationships and ensuring reliability. Most reps are musicians themselves with extensive knowledge of their gear.
They come to the job with experience and inside knowledge. Customer service and relationships rate as some of the most important factors in a successful business.
That’s why so many small businesses still survive in a large capitalist economy. While not a small business by any means, Sweetwater doesn’t skimp on service simply because they’re big and popular.
Besides service, Sweetwater has the aforementioned large inventory. They offer free shipping and a 48-month payment plan without interest. They always have deals too.
Since we’re not as rich as Stevie Wonder buying his thirtieth keyboard, these budget-conscious deals do make a difference. Plus, if you don’t mind the secondhand market, they provide a platform for musicians to sell used gear to each other.
If you’re looking for a hassle-free, budget-friendly experience with honest salespeople, Sweetwater remains a formidable choice.
Amazon needs no introduction. Not just to musicians, but to everyone buying literally everything. But how does it rank when it comes to buying music gear?
As it turns out, Amazon functions like you’d expect a big corporation to. Their biggest draw is convenience and variety. Since they’re the largest online marketplace, they “win” by being the default choice of many.
This isn’t bad. Given what’s available, it makes sense. They also have plenty of discounts, and sometimes Amazon will cover shipping for purchases over $25.
Assuming most gear will be over $25; most purchases will have free shipping. And since many customers have Prime, they don’t have to worry about shipping at all.
Unfortunately, given their size, Amazon does terribly with customer service. You won’t get the immediate know-how of Sweetwater, and handling could be rough.
While your products will probably be fine in the mail, some customers prefer the added security of niche marketplaces. Ultimately, it comes down to preference and how much you trust the delivery process of Amazon.
Guitar Center is another excellent choice for buying a digital piano. Some folks mistakenly think it’s only a brick-and-mortar store for guitarists.
Given its name, this makes sense. But thankfully for us, they have a wide inventory, often including newer gear. It won’t be as extensive as Sweetwater or Amazon, but they will have most pianos.
Additionally, their sales reps know what they’re talking about and can help you out with questions.
From personal experience though, there are several cons I have noticed with Guitar Center.
First, their website can be a bit clunky to use. That isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but it’s a subtle weakness that can affect your overall shopping experience.
Second, their sales reps can be a bit pushy. I’ve noticed that compared to Sweetwater, they tend to be less personal and more concerned with, well … sales.
However, if you don’t mind being a bit pushy yourself to find a good deal, Guitar Center is certainly a viable option for comparing with other sites.
zZounds might not be as popular as Amazon or well-known as Sweetwater or Guitar Center. This is unfortunate because they are an underrated gem in the online music marketplace.
zZounds has an intriguing story, as it began in a physical building, but always wanted to be an online business. That was in the 1990s. They were envisioning their dream around the same time Jeff Bezos was starting Amazon.
History aside, zZounds’s biggest selling point is their budget prices. They intentionally try to price their products lower. Their sales team does an excellent job at helping out without being pushy.
Their digital piano inventory is quite extensive, as well. Prices are usually as low as it gets, and the online ordering process isn’t too complex either.
zZounds always uses free shipping, and products often arrive within one or two days from purchase. They offer a 45-day return policy and four payment plan options.
While I wholeheartedly recommend zZounds, there is one thing to watch out for: don’t pick their default payment plan, as that can actually cost more money in the long run!
Overall, zZounds is a solid choice for buying pianos online, with a long history to support it.
As a plus, they offer a killer affiliate marketing program! If you have any interest in e-commerce yourself, you should consider partnering with them!
The next three sites are great alternatives to the ones mentioned above! Overall, their business strategies and deals are similar. To save your time, I‘ll highlight their unique perks!
Sam Ash has been around a while, and is often mentioned in the same sentences as Guitar Center and Sweetwater. They include three-year warranties, a credit card, small shipping fees, and a 45-day return fee.
What differentiates Sam Ash from other big music e-retailers is that they’re still family owned after all these years. They have a good physical presence across the US, second to only Guitar Center.
However, I think Sam Ash excels most when it comes to students. They let you rent equipment for 5- or 10-month chunks. If you decide you want to make purchases in the meantime, 50% of the rental fee can go towards buying gear.
American Music Supply
American Music Supply, known as AMS for short, is another business in the same ranks as Sam Ash and Guitar Center. They may not be as large, but they are reliable and trustworthy.
I would recommend AMS for people looking for fast, safe shipping times. AMS ships from four warehouses in Tennessee, Ohio, Nevada, and Pennsylvania. With these strategic locations, they pride themselves in fast, efficient deliveries.
Furthermore, they ship to Canada and Puerto Rico.
I’ll end with Thomann because of their international appeal. Whether you’re buying pianos online, or getting other gear, it can be a hassle if you don’t live in the USA or North America.
Thomann is based in Germany, but they have different branches in other countries. Because they ship worldwide, they have to be very efficient with their order processing and shipping.
90% of their merchandise leaves the warehouse within half an hour of purchasing, and most countries receive their products within three to eight days. Quite impressive, if you ask me!
Shipping across large distances and continents can be worrisome, so Thomann makes sure to provide financial benefits. They offer three-year warranties and a 30-day return guarantee.
Growing up in West Africa, I was always curious about buying pianos online. Shipping was expensive, and even though you could make purchases online, it just wasn’t feasible. We often resorted to finding pianos secondhand from friends.
Thankfully, today it’s more possible than ever to buy pianos online almost anywhere in the world. Hopefully with some research and help from this article, you’ll know where to buy a digital piano in no time!