Many of these points may seem obvious to you but not to others. Below we have listed some helpful pointers that we have found when buying studio equipment online. We have a great deal of experience in this area having bought and sold studio equipment online for the best part of 15 years. Have a read of the pointers below and hopefully a few will not be apparent to you and save you some money.
1 - Studio's are expensive and no matter what the dealers says they are all willing to discount you in some way. Granted the value you are spending with them plays a big factor in the discount you can get, but believe me they can and will give it to you if you are lucky and catch them on a good day. We recently did a complete overhaul of the Audio Animals studio. Which meant buying a great deal of equipment through one supplier. In total we spent upwards of £10,000. I only mention this to put it into perspective the discount that is possible to receive if spending large amounts. The supplier we use was able to give us a 15% discount which totalled a saving of £1650. Which was great as it essentially meant we got our SPL phonitor 2 free. This discount was given to us because we were referred to the supplier by a close personal friend and the fact we were spending such a large amount of money in one order. In my experience 15% is a great discount to receive.
2 - This one will seem obvious but look online for the best deal. Yes this is just common sense I know but you can find yourself looking at only one shop because it's local to you or you've shopped there before. Call each shop or email them for the best quote. Get your quotes together and work out which is the cheapest and see if shops will price match or even beat the best quote you have been given. If you google the product you want to buy and click shopping you will find all the best prices available as standard by each shop.
3 - Ebay, Gumtree or similar are awesome for used equipment. The great thing about buying on ebay is you can buy a used piece of studio equipment for lets say £500 use it for 2 years and resell it on ebay for the same or similar amount. Generally studio equipment of a high level is bought racked and well maintained. You may even get a really good deal and make some money. I purchased a Moog Voyager RME off ebay 6 years ago for £1000 and looking now on ebay they are selling for £1700. Had I known this back then I would have bought 10 of them and stored them for 6 years.
4- Keep an eye on your friends selling equipment on social media. I often buy my friends synthesizers to sample then resell on ebay once finished with them. If you look at the secondhand value of the piece of equipment on ebay beforehand you can gauge if it's a good deal your friend is offering. Mates rates and all that. I purchased a Novation mininova from a friend for the purpose of sampling for around £120 then resold it a few weeks ago for £185. Obviously you can keep what you buy if you wish but there is money to be made.
5 - Contact the company direct. Often this doesn't work and they will just direct you to a dealer but sometimes cutting out the middle man does work. You may need a good relationship with the company beforehand. I've found this to be very important. You won't be looking at a huge saving as they may only quote you the RRP that you would get from most retailers but it's always worth a try. I have a close personal relationship with one company I can deal directly with and I do get an amazing deal with them similar to what I imagine the shops get the equipment they sell for. This has taken years of knowing and working with them though.