If you live in the US and you’ve been shopping for guitars or other music gear, there’s a good chance you’ve seen some advertisements for a store named Sweetwater. Because they have only one physical location, their brand isn’t as widely known as the likes of guitar center, and this may have you wondering, “is Sweetwater legit?”.
It’s a fair question, of course, with so many bait and switch websites out there, it pays to do a little research into the retailers you play to buy from. Keep on reading to find out more about Sweetwater and whether or not they’re a reputable retailer.
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- So cut to the chase – Is Sweetwater Legit?
- Company Info
- What are some of the reasons to buy from Sweetwater?
- They Have Almost Literally Everything
- They Inspect Every Guitar
- Their Sales Team are Killer
- Sweetwater Credit Card (Synchrony)
- Sweetwater Return Policy
- 2 Year Warranty On All Instruments
- Additional questions?
- Who is the owner of Sweetwater? Is Sweetwater owned by guitar center?
- How long does it take for Sweetwater to deliver?
- Does Sweetwater have a store?
- Does Sweetwater have coupons?
- Does Sweetwater deliver to Canada/The UK/Europe?
- Does Sweetwater do price matching?
- Will Sweetwater haggle?
- Does Sweetwater collect sales tax?
- Does Sweetwater ever have sales on guitars?
- Final thoughts on Is Sweetwater Legit?
So cut to the chase – Is Sweetwater Legit?
Bottom Line: Yes. Sweetwater is the biggest online musical instrument retailer in the US, serving millions of customers a year, and have top ratings on all review sites. You should have absolutely no reservations in ordering with them.
They have a 4.47 rating on SiteJabber with (at the time of writing) 684 reviews. They rate 1st for music equiptment sales, and get top marks for service, value, shipping, returns and overall quality. They have 82.7% positive reviews for the last 12 months, with comments like “hands down the best customer service in themusic gearindustry”, and “mysales engineeris knowledgeable about every aspect of pro audio and never pushes me to buy anything”.
They have a 4.7 rating on Trustpilot with (at the time of writing) 594 revirews. 89% of customers rated them “excellent” overall, with recent reviews praising the sales staff, and commenting that even “hard to find” items were in stock.
They have a 100% Trustscore on Scam Advisor, based on over twelve thousand reviews. They have zero negative highlights – zero!
They have a 4.9 rating on Google Reviews, based on over eleven thousand reviews. Google lists as highlights the fact that they have on time delivery of over 90%, accurate and undamaged orders of over 95%, with 94% five star reviews overall.
ResellerRatings gives them 9.51 out of 10 based on 1431 reviews (at the time of writing), noting they have 95% five star reviews. The most recent review there when I looked started with “Nobody compares to Sweetwater when it comes to customer service“.
Sweetwater are the largest online and second largest overall musical instrument retailer in the US, which is no mean feat considering they only have one physical store compared to number 1 Guitar Center who have 269.
Founded in Fort Wayne, Indiana in 1979, Sweetwater started life as a mobile recording studio run out of a 1966 VW microbus. Over forty years later, Sweetwater’s home office covers 166 acres, with a 480,000 square foot distribution center.
What are some of the reasons to buy from Sweetwater?
They Have Almost Literally Everything
Sweetwater has an incredible inventory covering guitars, amps, pedals, speakers, plus basses, drums, keyboards, all the way through recording gear and even live sound and lighting gear.
In fact if you sign up for Sweetwater’s mailing list, they will send you out a regular catalog of over 600 pages of amazing gear. You’ll never again have to be bored on the commode when you can sit and dream of owning a $25k Les Paul, or a $250 Schecter if that’s more your style.
They Inspect Every Guitar
Ok this is killer – Sweetwater have a 55 point inspection that they do of every instrument before it goes out the door. Ever gone to your local big box guitar store and almost had your fingers ripped off by rough fret ends? With Sweetwater, your guitar basically gets a setup before it arrives at your door.
Their Sales Team are Killer
When you buy from Sweetwater you are assigned a sales engineer. Your engineer will answer any and all questions you have, giving you honest answers (my engineer has talked me out of so many bad puchases) and following up to ensure you have no issues. Plus you can ask them for discounts, which is something you can’t do with any other online retailer.
Sweetwater Credit Card (Synchrony)
With the Sweetwater Credit Card via Synchrony, you can get amazing financing on a ton of gear, typically at 0%. For example, I once bought a $2300 guitar that was only $48 a month on their 4 year 0% financing. It makes gear so much more affordable, and since there’s no interest, you’re not paying anything extra.
Click here for more on Sweetwater financing.
Sweetwater Return Policy
They have a “no hassle” return policy that means you can return anything within 30 days for any reason. Don’t like the color? No problem. Realized you can’t afford it? No problem. Spouse found out you spent $2300 on a guitar? No problem.
2 Year Warranty On All Instruments
Sweetwater offers a 2 year warranty on everything, to cover all parts and labor costs on anything you buy from them. It doesn’t hurt that they have a huge number of techs onsite and turn around repairs lightening quick.
Who is the owner of Sweetwater? Is Sweetwater owned by guitar center?
No, Sweetwater is not owned by Guitar center. Guitar Center is owned by Ares Management, whereas Sweetwater is majority owned by Providence Equity Partners with founder Chuck Surack owning the remainder of the company after selling over half of his stake in July of 2021. Surack moved to Chairman of the Board from the CEO position after the sale.
How long does it take for Sweetwater to deliver?
Sweetwater’s free shipping typically takes two to four days for small items and one to five days for larger items.
Does Sweetwater have a store?
They do actually have one store that is run out of their main 166 acre facility in Fort Wayne Indiana.
Does Sweetwater have coupons?
No, Sweetwater does not do coupons – even though some sites would have you believe they have coupons. In reality, you can usually get a killer deal on any item of gear from Sweetwater by… Asking!
Does Sweetwater deliver to Canada/The UK/Europe?
Yes, Sweetwater ships internationally.
Does Sweetwater do price matching?
On select items, yes. Call Sweetwater or email your sales engineer and they will get you started.
Will Sweetwater haggle?
You can absolutely ask your Sweetwater rep if they can do anything on the price on an item, and in many cases they do have some leeway. There are situations where specific retailers do enforce a strict rule on maintaining the advertised prices, but for many many items, your rep will be able to work with you on price.
Does Sweetwater collect sales tax?
At the time of writing, Sweetwater collects sales tax for the following states: Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, District of Columbia, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Nebraska, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin and Wyoming.
Does Sweetwater ever have sales on guitars?
Sweetwater runs sales on guitars for all major holidays, as well as their annual GearFest event, wherein they have different items on sale every day. Even when it’s not sale time, they have a ton of stuff available at reduced price in “the deal zone”.
Final thoughts on Is Sweetwater Legit?
At the point it should be clear – Sweetwater is one of the most trusted and beloved musical instrument retailers in the US, and possibly even the biggest in terms of sales volume. You should have no qualms with spending money with them – and you might even find they save you a ton!
You might also like these related articles:
- Is Guitar Center Legit? Is Sam Ash Legit? Is Reverb Legit?
- Sweetwater VS Guitar Center
- What was the Guitar Center String Club?
- Does Guitar Center take trades?
- Guide to Guitar Online Blue Books
How trustworthy is Sweetwater? ›
In short, yes Sweetwater is legit. They are one of the largest and most reputable music retailers in the entire world, right behind Guitar Center. They offer products from the biggest brands in the industry and also offer benefits such as free shipping, a free 2-year warranty, and an excellent return policy.Should I buy from Sweetwater? ›
So cut to the chase – Is Sweetwater Legit? Bottom Line: Yes. Sweetwater is the biggest online musical instrument retailer in the US, serving millions of customers a year, and have top ratings on all review sites. You should have absolutely no reservations in ordering with them.How long does it take for Sweetwater to ship? ›
1–5 business days within the contiguous U.S. 6–7 business days to Alaska and Hawaii. FedEx Express Saver® – U.S. only (excluding Alaska and Hawaii). Delivery to business by 4:30 p.m. and to residences by 7 p.m. in 3 business days.How many guitars does Sweetwater sell a day? ›
“We're now selling a thousand guitars every day,” adds Sweetwater's Surack. “It blows me away.” In 2019, Sweetwater had days where it would peak at 800 or 825 guitars, but one thousand has since become the daily average.Is Sweetwater hard to get approved? ›
Being a store card, the credit score requirement for a Sweetwater card is lower than the score that would typically be required by a bank or other external creditor. The score needed to gain access to Sweetwater credit is usually 630.Is Sweetwater or zZounds better? ›
Overall, these companies are pretty even in terms of pricing, shipping and inventory. Sweetwater maintains a slight edge in customer service, and their website is more professional and easier to use. They also offer a free 2-year warranty, something that zZounds does not offer.How much commission do Sweetwater reps make? ›
Sales engineers start with a salary guarantee in the mid 30Ks. In the second year they go on commission, with an average earning of 35K. The average for the second year is 53K, in the 5th year 75-85K, and six figures after 10 years. 15% of the sales staff makes $95,000 or more a year.How much do Sweetwater reps make? ›
The average Sweetwater salary ranges from approximately $26,000 per year for Sales Associate to $124,808 per year for Sales. Average Sweetwater hourly pay ranges from approximately $13.00 per hour for Sales Assistant to $16.56 per hour for Collection Agent.Does Sweetwater run your credit? ›
We may request a credit report and will work with you on the terms that are best for you to pay off the gear in either three or six months. After paying a nominal processing fee, you can split your total up over three or six months and make equal payments using your existing credit card. Minimum purchase required.Does Sweetwater ship guitars safely? ›
Sweetwater ships guitar safely, with a guitar, case, and package box protection, and the customer service is the best possible. They do refunds, and you can return the defective product with no or low shipping costs.
Does Sweetwater or Guitar Center ship faster? ›
Here's the Short Answer: While there is no clear winner, Guitar Center has a slight advantage over Sweetwater as they stock more guitars, ship faster, and offer a 45-day return policy compared to the 30-day Sweetwater return policy.Does Sweetwater set up your guitar? ›
A setup typically involves our world-class Guitar Workshop installing your preferred strings, adjusting to a requested action height, and even installing new pickups or other parts. If you would like your instrument set up before it ships, simply tell your Sales Engineer. They'll be happy to oblige.How many guitars does Sweetwater sell? ›
Sweetwater's annual total sales increases have ranged from 11% to 28% every year since 2010. The company sold more than 147,000 guitars in 2019, up from 128,000 in 2018 and 107,000 in 2017.Why are guitar sales declining? ›
Sales of acoustic guitars have been declining in recent years. This is due to a number of factors, including the rise in popularity of electric guitars, the popularity of digital music, and the increased cost of acoustic guitars. Acoustic guitars have been a popular choice for musicians for centuries.What brand sells the most guitars? ›
Top Guitar Brands
Gibson holds the largest share at 34%, followed by Fender at 30%. Ibanez, Yamaha, Epiphone, and other brands make up the rest of the market.
Average Sweetwater hourly pay ranges from approximately $9.81 per hour for Support Specialist to $20.40 per hour for Product Specialist. The average Sweetwater salary ranges from approximately $24,000 per year for Sales Representative to $135,000 per year for Software Development Specialist.Is Sweetwater owned by Budweiser? ›
SweetWater Brewing Company.
|Headquarters||Atlanta , United States|
|Area served||United States|
What's the Synchrony Bank credit card credit score requirement? It depends on the credit card you are interested in. Most credit cards offered by Synchrony Bank are designed for people with fair (640 – 699), good (700 – 749) or excellent (750 – 850) credit.What is the alternative to Sweetwater? ›
sweetwater.com's top 5 competitors in November 2022 are: musiciansfriend.com, zzounds.com, americanmusical.com, samash.com, and more.Who is Sweetwater competitor? ›
Sweetwater competitors include Reverb, Sam Ash Music, Guitar Center and zZounds Music. Sweetwater ranks 1st in CEO Score on Comparably vs its competitors.
Can you return guitars on Sweetwater? ›
"No Hassle" Return Policy:
If you are not satisfied with any new product, for any reason, you may return it for a refund of the purchase price or an in-house credit, or you may exchange for another product within a fair amount of time from the shipping date (usually 30 days).
If a position's pay mix is 80/20, for example, then the base salary accounts for 80% of the mix, while commission accounts for the remaining 20%.Which sales reps make the most money? ›
- How We're Defining “High-Paying”
- Enterprise Sales/Account Executive.
- Pharmaceutical Sales Representative.
- Medical Device Sales Representative.
- Sales Engineer.
- Software Sales Representative.
- Major Gifts Officer.
- Game Audio Designers.
- Music Producers & Directors.
- Agents & Business Managers.
- Music Professor.
- Sound Engineering Technicians.
- Film & Video Editors and Camera Operators.
- Musicians & Singers.
- Music Directors & Composers.
They can make you work more than 40 hours because you are on commission. The pay will be great after a few years, but it is always 90% luck. It fully depends on what customer calls to order.How much does a Sweetwater guitar handler make? ›
Average Sweetwater Handler hourly pay in the United States is approximately $15.02, which meets the national average.Does Sweetwater sell on Amazon? ›
In addition to its website, Sweetwater began offering its catalog of products to buyers on Amazon, eBay, and Reverb.What credit bureau does Sweetwater use? ›
Yes, Sweetwater Card reports your account activity to the following credit reporting agencies: Equifax. Experian. Transunion.Does Sweetwater sponsor musicians? ›
Since its founding in 1979, Sweetwater has been a supporter of numerous music and education-related activities through donations, sponsorships, and in-kind products and services including free recording time both in-studio and during live performances.How long should a guitar sit after shipping? ›
Many Vendors will not cover these types of damages that may occur to finishes in these types of conditions, so we urge you to allow at least 6-24 hours depending on the differential between outside/inside temps for the guitar to naturally acclimate itself to the new environment.
Why is it called Sweetwater? ›
This oasis with sweet water amd bitter-tasting gypsum streams, Sweetwater has long been considered a place to rest one's weary feet. Long before the settlers and ranchers arived, the Kiowa Indians names the site "Mobeetie," which meant sweet water.Who owns Sweetwater? ›
Chuck Surack, President and Founder of Sweetwater, Inc., has been a musician and a salesman for as long as he can remember.Who is Guitar Center's biggest competitor? ›
Guitar Center main competitors are Vudu, Fender, and Factory Direct, Inc.What is the largest guitar store in the world? ›
The House of Guitars®,Inc. is located in Rochester, New York and known as the “Largest Guitar Store in the World.” The store was started in 1964 by Bruce and Armand Schaubroeck out of the basement of their mother's home and quickly became famous for being the intersection of music, art and culture.Who is bigger Sweetwater or Guitar Center? ›
Also, since Guitar Center is a larger brand, they're more likely to have a particular guitar in stock if you already know the exact model of guitar you want. At the end of the day, both Sweetwater and Guitar Center offer an excellent experience when buying music gear.How much should I pay for a guitar setup? ›
Generally speaking, a professional setup costs around $50, but it could be upwards of $100 if there's a lot of work to be done. New strings are usually part of the setup process, since the gauges of the strings affect intonation.How much does a PLEK setup cost? ›
|Plek (includes setup)||$299|
|Plek with bone nut upgrade (includes setup)||$379|
|Plek with Graph Tech nut upgrade (includes setup)||$379|
Once we've assumed that refretting is the way to go, you'll need to know a few things in advance: It's a delicate process. You might not get it perfect the first time, but practice makes perfect. You will have to purchase some specialized gear and gear up with a lot of patience, working space and some time.Does Sweetwater send you candy? ›
For years, Sweetwater Sound has been packing handfuls of candy into boxes full of music technology and music instruments that are shipped all over the country. Little did they know that this little "thank you" to customers would one day help save a life.Does Sweetwater sell used stuff? ›
Buy - Sell - Trade quality used gear. Sell quality used gear, and browse gently pre-owned items. If you are looking for the Sweetwater Gear Exchange website, visit http://www.sweetwater.com/used/.
What happened Sweetwater? ›
In 1971, Sweetwater disbanded to pursue their own careers and lives. Two Sweetwater LPs were released after Nancy Nevins' accident, Just for You (Reprise, 1970) and Melon (Reprise, 1971).Why do most guitar players quit? ›
Probably the main reason so many people quit guitar shortly after they begin is because they aren't having fun. Perhaps they are getting discouraged, frustrated, or just finding practice to be grueling and uninteresting.What should I not play at guitar stores? ›
- Stairway To Heaven – Led Zeppelin.
- Smoke On The Water – Deep Purple.
- Sweet Child O' Mine – Guns 'N Roses.
- The House Of The Rising Sun – The Animals.
- Enter Sandman – Metallica.
- Sweet Home Alabama – Lynyrd Skynyrd.
- Yamaha AC1M.
- Fender CC-60S.
- Gibson G-45.
- Guild OM-240 CE.
- Epiphone Hummingbird Pro.
- Fender Newporter Player.
- Martin D-28.
- PRS SE Silver Sky.
- Fender Player Stratocaster.
- Fender American Professional II Stratocaster.
- PRS Silver Sky John Mayer Signature.
- Fender Player Telecaster.
- Gibson Les Paul Standard '60s.
- Gibson Les Paul Standard '50s.
- Fender American Professional II Telecaster.
Considered the world's greatest electric guitar, the Stratocaster was known for its distinct voice and three pickup design, when most electric guitars during its time had only one or two.
Not only is the Sweetwater Music Store open to the public — with its vast Guitar Gallery, drum room, and the largest on-site inventory of any music store in the country — but our customers and community members are welcome to come and enjoy the rest of our space, too.Is Sweetwater owned by Guitar Center? ›
Sweetwater and Guitar Center are competitors. Guitar Center does not own Sweetwater. It's owned by Chuck Surack, who founded the company in 1979. Guitar Center is owned by Brian Capital, the firm that also owns Musician's Friend, another popular online guitar store.Is Sweetwater customer service good? ›
Their customer service is amazing and I love that I get to deal with the same sales person every time. Chris Arnold is fantastic and Sweetwater has become my first stop when I need anything music-oriented. It's usually my last now too because they almost always have what I'm looking for!Does Sweetwater run a credit check? ›
We may request a credit report and will work with you on the terms that are best for you to pay off the gear in either three or six months. After paying a nominal processing fee, you can split your total up over three or six months and make equal payments using your existing credit card.
Who bought out Sweetwater? ›
SweetWater Brewing Sold For $300 Million To Canadian Cannabis Company Aphria Inc.Does Sweetwater affect credit score? ›
Get a decision in seconds with no impact to your credit bureau score.Do guitars from Sweetwater come set up? ›
A setup typically involves our world-class Guitar Workshop installing your preferred strings, adjusting to a requested action height, and even installing new pickups or other parts. If you would like your instrument set up before it ships, simply tell your Sales Engineer. They'll be happy to oblige.What can make you fail a credit check? ›
You have late or missed payments, defaults, or county court judgments in your credit history. These may indicate you've had trouble repaying debt in the past. You have an Individual Voluntary Agreement or Debt Management Plan. This might suggest that you can't afford any more debt at the moment.Which credit bureau does Sweetwater use? ›
Yes, Sweetwater Card reports your account activity to the following credit reporting agencies: Equifax. Experian. Transunion.Do you pay tax on Sweetwater? ›
Currently, Sweetwater collects sales tax on purchases delivered into the following states: Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, ...