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No, we primarily handle commercially available instruments. We do make some fiddles and have several mandolin designs in the works, when time becomes available.
On the very cheap end, drop shipping vendors never see what they ship. The instrument is sent out directly from the importer without inspection and arrives without being set up, tested, or improved. We are on the other end, personally inspecting, setting up, and maximally adjusting each instrument, adding a suitable case, and providing long term warranty and other customer service. Numerous direct and overhead costs accrue with this approach, and those costs have to be passed on. So much of the performance and enjoyment of a musical instrument comes from taking what is essentially a raw “blank” and turning it into a properly performing musical tool that we will not cut corners. Our approach is not for everyone, but it is what we and other good shops do.
Minimum Advertised Price. The supplier sets a price which the retailer is not allowed to advertise below. The existence of a MAP does not limit what a retailer may actually charge. Thus our price may be below the MAP plus installation of a bridge and any other special services. While anti-competitive, the MAP system does help insure a marketplace that is fair to the supply side.