Squeaky violins…urrr…cellos…squeak no more!

I ran to Fishburn Violin Shop this morning shortly before 9:30am. I didn’t know when they opened, so I took a quick side trip to see if they were open. Nope, not until 10am. I had a meeting at 10am, so off to that. I was way early for that, so I took a quick side trip to Circuit City as it is closing and I figure there wouldn’t be (1) much left or (2) anything that I’d want at a price I’d want to pay. I’d go to my meeting and back to the violin shop.

The trip to Circuit City yielded unfruitful. I wasn’t looking for anything in particular. I just went to look. I mean, they are liquidating the store, I might find something that we just have to have at an unbelievable rock bottom price. They are liquidating the store…kind of.

I’ll be honest, I just wasn’t impressed. For a store where “everything must go” they surely don’t want to move it very quickly. *sigh* Most stuff was only 10% off. This included the TVs, digital cameras, printers, etc. Most stuff.

The DVDs were 20% off. Not in the market for too many DVDs right this second, drop the price a little more and we’ll start talking.

I was surprised that the big screen TVs weren’t marked down lower. I suppose they are hanging on for the last possible minute in hopes that 10% is enough to entice the non-savvy shopper. Not me.

There were 2 things I was looking at in particular – printers and camera lenses. I browsed the flat screen TVs first, of course. I didn’t see anything that would make me slap down my credit card right then and there.

Printers didn’t impress me, at least not at only 10% off. Drop the price a little more and many more of them will impress me. I am not a fan of all-in-one devices, so they’re really going to have to play the “Price is Right” game before they’ll get me back in there waving my green backs.

The camera lenses were 30% off. Now we’re starting to talk. Alas they are out of the 70-300mm lens I could afford. At 30% off I could possibly afford more. They did have a 70-300mm lens there that was the super duper fancy once and it was sub-$500, but it was more than double my budget. So I walked away. The price will only go lower or they will be out of stock. The lady as I was exiting the store was nice and asked me if I found everything OK. I had. I explained they were already out of the item I wanted but that they had the fancier version. She kindly told me “come back in a week and see if it is at a price you’d like to pay, keep doing that for a couple of weeks, the prices will go down.” That was mighty nice of her. Kudos to her and her fabulous spirit considering in a few short weeks she will be out of a job.

But this isn’t about Circuit City, this is about the Fishburn Violin Shop.

I took Andrew’s rental violin into Fishburn’s to see if it was worth the drive across town to the other violin shop. Let me say that considering the rental was not Fishburn’s responsibility, they surely took care of me. I am no fool, they want my business and doing little things like this really make it more enticing to switch my business over to them.

First I was greeted by a friendly and warm gentleman, an older gentleman. I had Lance with me and they didn’t even seem to wince at the idea of having an unruly, energetic 4 year old in their shop. This gentleman took a look at the cello right there after I explained to him what was wrong with it (not holding a tune, unable to tune 3 strings, etc). He noticed the bridge was out of place and slipped it back into place. He fiddled with things a little and then we took it into this other gentleman who was in the “repair shop”. This gentleman dropped what he was doing and took a look at my non-Fishburn rental to tell me if it is worth the drive across town. He then proceeded to examine this cello. He cleaned all the pegs, restrung all the strings, and tuned it quickly by the tuning fork. He was friendly as well.

The best part is that they didn’t charge me for this “repair” or “service.” I asked how much I owed. I walked out of there without paying a dime! Amazing! They certainly didn’t have to do that, it wasn’t their rental and were not obligated to do this for no cost.

I made sure to ask them if they did rentals. They do! I talked to them about the different pricing brackets. Our options are $5 less or $5 more than what we’re paying right now. Everything is included, even the string replacement if he breaks one. They’ll step him up to the next size as needed (if he grows) at no additional monthly charge. That includes the insurance. The best part is that they are “local” so they are easy to get to. My rental feels also go to a “purchase” credit with various options. I left feeling really good about the whole experience. I don’t play so I don’t know what I’m talking about and they did not shun me for not having a clue what things were called. They listened and went from there.

I did NOT get this type of friendly reception and service when I took the cello down to the Lisle Violin Shop for a peg that would not stay tight. They had to fix a single broken string. It was a cold environment. I was not looking forward to making that drive again. The drive would take me 10x the amount of time that it would take to make the repairs. The difference was night and day.

I walked out of the Fishburn Violin Shop completely happy. They answered my questions and kept me “the mother” from freaking out over a huge expensive instrument that might need to be “worked on.” I’ll tell people that I got great service there. I did.

Of course, as I am pulling out of the parking lot, I remember that I was supposed to pick up a book for Andrew. I forgot. Darn, we’ll have to go back. I think I’ll take him in there this afternoon and let him experience the atmosphere. He was with me when we went to Lisle’s and even he felt it was a big “let down” for the drive.

So if you live in NW Houston and you need a stringed instruments or parts or whatever, check out the Fishburn Violin Shop.

1 Comment

  1. I’ve heard the same thing about the Circuit City “liquidation,” that it’s absolutely nothing to write home about.

    I’m steamed that they bought out Good Guys, a rival, and are now folding, reducing our options from 2, to 1, to 0. Well done, CC.

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