​​​​Is Sam Ash Legit?

Almost everybody has heard of the nation’s largest chain, Guitar Center, but especially if you’re a newer player, or if you just don’t have a store in your town, you might not have heard of one of their biggest rivals – Sam Ash.

If you’re just learning about Sam Ash for the first time, you might find yourself wondering whether or not they are legit?

We’re here to answer that question for you – keep reading to learn more.

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

Is Sam Ash legit/safe to buy from?

Yes, Sam Ash is a legit retailer that is safe to buy from. While they can struggle sometimes with customer service, they are a legit business that sells more musical instruments that any other physical retailer in the US other than Guitar Center.

Sam Ash History & Reviews

Sam Ash was founded in 1924, and to this day operates the largest family owned chain of music stores in the US. They operate 44 individual stores and have a presence in 16 different states. Alongside their physical stores, they also operate online under samash.com

The website has an overall positive rating on Trustpilot, with an average of 3.3 stars out of 5 at the time of writing. The actual number of reviews on Trustpilot is very small, so any future reviews could dramatically alter this number.

The story is similar over at Sitejabber, with only 1 review having been left for samash.com. The single review is extremely positive, leaving them with a 5/5 score, but again, with such a small sample size, this may or may not change quickly over time.

Fortunately, samash.com has a little more presence over at Scam Adviser, with a 100% Trust Score and 4.3 stars from 7 reviews at the time of writing.

Company Info


The store was founded by Sam Ashkynase in Brooklyn, New York back in 1924. They are to this day a family owned business, and are currently run by the 4th generation of the Ash family, making them the largest family owned chain of music equipment stores in the US.

They have remained New York based throughout their entire operating period, and their current headquarters are located in Hicksvile, NY.

What Are Some of the Reasons to Buy from Them?

Brick and Mortar Stores

While they aren’t as present as the likes of Guitar Center, SA still retains a presence in some major metro areas, making them a viable alternative if you’re the type of player who likes to physically hold and try out their gear before buying.

They Stock a Wide Range of Gear

SA is more than just a guitar store. They offer gear for drummers, keyboardists, pianists, DJs, sound engineers and more. Whether you need a lighting rig or a 4×12 cabinet, SA will have what you need.

Easy Trade In

Sometimes we all need to sell off old gear to justify the purchase of, or to fund new gear. Selling privately can oftentimes be more hassle than it’s worth, which is why their trade in program makes such good sense. Their stores take almost any gear in trade, and will offer a straight purchase from you, too if you aren’t interested in buying anything new at the time.

Unlike Guitar Center, Sam Ash has an online form in which you can input the details of whatever you’d like to trade and they’ll send you an estimate right to your email. This is very handy, and could save you a trip in the event the price they offer isn’t to your liking. With Guitar Center they will not give any indication as to value until you let them physically inspect the instrument. 

They Sell Used Guitars

The guitars that are sold or traded in end up in their pre-owned selection, which gives buyers the opportunity to buy models they’re interested in at a reduced price compared to new. They do keep the inventory of used gear visible on the website, but it often still displays guitars that have already been sold, so be sure to call before visiting your local store based upon what you see on the website to avoid disappointment.

Fair Return and Refund Policies

As their return policy states, if you’re unhappy with your purchase for any reason within the first 45 days of purchase for in store transactions, or within the 45 days of shipping for online purchases, you can return it for a full refund provided that it’s still in original condition with. Not all products are eligible for the return policy, software for example, so be sure to read the details of the return policy before trying to get a refund.

Multiple Financing Methods

Like other music retailers, Sam Ash offers a credit card processed through Synchrony Bank. When using your card, you’ll be eligible for 0% interest on a range of qualifying purchases.

In addition to the credit card, they also offer some alternative financing methods, including a no credit needed, 90 day lease to own program, and they also offer a more traditional loan type finance through Affirm.

Common Sam Ash Questions

How long does it take for them to deliver?

Sam Ash New York City Mega-Store

Sam Ash will ship items within 24-48 hours of purchase, and offers free delivery on most items over $50. The free delivery service is excellent, and the majority of orders arrive within 2 days.

If you need your items faster there are 2nd day and next day guaranteed services available through FedEx, but pricing will vary depending on where you live and what you order.

Do They Have Coupons?

There aren’t usually third party coupons available for Sam Ash, but they do often have sales and discount codes that they self promote within the website. Be sure to keep an eye on the banners and popups while you’re browsing their website for the latest deals.

Do They Deliver to Canada/UK/Europe?

No, Sam Ash does not normally deliver outside of the United States and US territories, however, they can make some exceptions. If you’re outside of the US and any US territory and you’’ like to place an order, they offer an online form on their website that will put you in touch with a sales specialist for more information.

Do They Price Match?

Sam Ash will price match with proof of the lower cost from another retailer provided that the item is in stock at the cheaper price elsewhere. Additionally, if you purchase from them and find the same item for less elsewhere within 60 days of purchase, they will refund the difference.

Do They Collect Sales Tax?

In store and online purchases from Sam Ash will have sales tax collected on them at the point of sale as required by most states.

Do They Ever Have Sales on Guitars?

Sam Ash has frequent sales and occasionally gives hefty discounts. Their Black Friday sale in particular is a good time to find discounted items including everything from accessories to high end guitars.

Final Thoughts

Sam Ash is one of the few remaining holdouts when it comes to guitar stores with both an online presence and a number of physical stores across the country. While they’re not a scam site by any means, they do seem to struggle a little with customer service when it comes to their online business, especially.

Qe’d recommend that you take the time to try before you buy in one of their physical locations (if you have one nearby) to ensure you like the guitar or gear you’re considering.

  • 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.