​​​​Is Musician’s Friend Legit? Your Questions Answered!

One of the biggest problems with shopping for music gear today is the lack of brick and mortar stores.

In the case of Guitar Center, the fact that they have so many physical buildings across the United States serves as validation to many that if they shop online at Guitar Center, they won’t get ripped off.

But what about the many other retailers?

Take Musician’s Friend, for instance – they have no physical stores, so how do we know if Musician’s Friend is legit?

Read on to find out all about them.

Looking to buy a guitar online?
Check out our full guide to online guitar retailers.

Is Musician’s Friend a Scam Site?

Musician’s Friend is an online store only, but they have been established for quite some years now, and are in fact owned by one of the country’s biggest music retailers, so we are confidently able to report that Musician’s Friend is not a scam site.

Unfortunately, the major retailer that owns Musician’s Friend is Guitar Center, and they received a very similar low score on Trustpilot of just 1.4 stars from 184 reviews at the time of writing. Musician’s Friend also stands accused by many reviewers of sending used or demo items when new items had been purchased, and the lack of customer service has also been heavily commented upon.

Over on Sitejabber, Musician’s Friend have a pretty lowly 1.82 stars out of 5 from 235 reviews, and rank in 34th place when it comes to sites selling musical instruments.

Of course, given that Musician’s Friend is a legit business, they did score 100% on the Trustscore scale on scamadviser.com.

Company Info

Musician’s friend was founded in 1983 and at first was operated out of a garage in Southern California. Originally, all they sold was guitar strings via mail order, but with the development of the internet, they branched out and became a full e-commerce music store. Over time, they also set up some physical retail locations, too.

In 1999, Guitar Center bought out Musician’s Friend in a $33.5 million dollar stock deal in an effort to leverage their vast experience with online and catalog retail. As a part of the merger, the 7 existing Musician’s Friend stores would be converted to Guitar Centers.

Musician’s Friend’s corporate offices are now shared with Guitar Center in Westlake Village, CA.

What Are Some of the Reasons to Buy from Musician’s Friend?

Stupid Deal of the Day

Every day, Musician’s Friend heavily discounts one item, calling it their “Stupid Deal of the Day”. There is no real way to predict what will be reduced, or by how much, but with significant reductions on everything from strings to guitars and amps, it’s always worth checking in on the “Stupid Deal of the Day”.

Wide Selection of Equipment

Musician’s Friend’s selection of equipment for musicians of all types is enormous. Of course, they sell everything that a rock band could ever need, but they also stock orchestral and marching band equipment, DJ and recording gear, and much, much more.

Used Guitars are Available

Despite the fact that Musician’s Friend do not have any brick and mortar locations, they still sell used gear taken in at trade. They’re able to do this because they share inventory with Guitar Center, who take in the used gear at their physical locations, photograph it, and list it for sale. So, even if somebody in California trades in a guitar, you can buy it all the way from Florida.

Free Shipping

Musician’s friend offers free standard ground shipping via UPS in the lower 48 states. It is worth noting that used and vintage items are excluded from the free shipping offer. All orders ship within 24 hours of checkout.

Guitar Warranty

If you purchase a guitar or bass guitar from Musician’s Friend, they will give you a free 2 year warranty on the instrument, protecting you against any manufacturer’s defects for an extended period. This policy applied to both new, and open box models, but not used.

Generous Return Policy

When purchasing from Musician’s Friend, you’ll get 45 days in which you can return your items (with some exclusions). This can be for any reason, as long as the item is in as new condition. You’ll get a full refund as long as you contact Musician’s Friend prior to returning to get a return number and return slip to affix to the packaging. As mentioned, there are some exceptions, so it’s best to check with customer service before planning a return.

Multiple Ways to Pay

If you need gear now, but you’d rather pay for it over time, Musician’s Friend offers several ways you can do this. First, there’s a Musician’s Friend credit card, which is processed by Synchrony bank. If you’d rather not get a credit card, they offer 0% interest financing up to 48 months on qualifying purchases. Lastly, if you’d just like to split the cost over 4 equal payments, you can do this with Klarna – you can get your gear right away, and Musician’s Friend will debit the card you designate every 2 weeks until the final payment is made.

Musican’s Friend Common Questions

What is Musician’s Friend’s Shipping Time?

With Musician’s Friend, all orders (except used and vintage, and oversize/heavy gear) to the lower 48 are eligible for free standard ground shipping. The free shipping option usually takes 3-5 days to arrive at your home after leaving the warehouse.

For additional cost, Musician’s Friend do offer shipping on heavy and oversized items.

Should you need to get your gear in less than 3-5 days, you can pay to upgrade your shipping to either 2 day, or overnight service. The cost of the upgrade will depend on where you live, and the items you’ve ordered. 

Does Musician’s Friend Have Coupons?

Musician’s Friend will occasionally accept coupons and discount codes, but the majority of their discounts come from their internal sales, most of which don’t require that you enter any kind of code.

Does Musician’s Friend Deliver to Canada/UK/Europe?

International shoppers will be pleased to know that Musician’s friend does offer international shipping to over 100 countries worldwide, with more being added all the time. To find out if your country is included you’ll need to check the website directly.

Does Musician’s Friend Price Match?

Musician’s Friend has an identical price match policy to their sibling company, Guitar Center. They offer, with proof of the lower price at another retailer, a reduction in price to match the competitor. If you’ve already purchased an item and you find it for less within 45 days, Musician’s Friend will refund the difference provided that the competitor’s discount qualifies.

Does Musician’s Friend Collect Sales Tax?

Musician’s friend does collect sales tax on online purchases unless you’re purchasing from Alaska, Oregon, Montana, New Hampshire, or Delaware. If you reside in any of those states you are still responsible for paying the sales tax within your home state.

Does Musician’s Friend Ever Have Sales on Guitars?

You’ll often find good discounts on guitars at Musician’s Friend. As mentioned earlier, their Stupid Deal of the Day often features guitars with heavy discounts. During other times of the year, Memorial Day, Black Friday, etc., there are often discounts available on many of the guitars in stock – these sales are often huge, so they’re definitely worth checking out.

Final Thoughts on Musician’s Friend

Musician’s Friend has an enormous selection of musical instruments and accessories of all kinds, but that wide selection might come at the cost of poor customer service, the potential of receiving demo, or even used items when paying for brand new, and a whole host of other issues. In their favor, we do really like the Stupid Deal of the Day, but to avoid disappointment, we recommend that you exercise caution and closely inspect all items immediately upon receipt.

  • Simon Morgan

    Simon is an Orlando based musician, but originally hails from Newcastle, England. He started playing bass and guitar in 1998, and played the local scene throughout his teen years before running away to work on ships. These days his passion is budget guitars, amps and pedals - though he's not afraid of the finer things.

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