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Ring the Bell: Back to School Sales

Christian Wissmuller • August 2019Survey • August 11, 2019

For some MI retailers, the weeks leading up to the new school year represent amongst the most robust sales in the calendar year. To capitalize further on the profit potential of this season, many dealers host “Back to School” sales – and even those who do not often take a moment to refocus and reenergize the whole team.

“During our sales meeting before the start of school, we will review and discuss our rental policies, demo techniques, and accessory add-on suggestions to our entire staff, as it is generally ‘all hands on deck’ for the first few weeks,” says Jerry Vesely of Parowan, Utah’s Vesely Music.

Retailers who embrace Back to School sales typically offer starter or step-up packages, discounted rental or lesson promos, and targeted discounts on key school music instruments and gear. While email and social media campaigns are used to great effect by many, of the participants in this month’s dealer survey, the vast majority pointed to the importance of having a strong relationship with local school music programs and independent instructors – 76.7 percent of respondents reported having such connections.

As Scott Apelgren of The Horn Section, Inc. (Melbourne, Florida) says, “There is very strong support in our area for school music and we do all we can to cultivate and support those relationships!”


“We will reconfigure our B&O department and set up some special displays before school starts, and put a few specials in our monthly publication.”

Jerry Vesely

Vesely Music

Parowan, Utah


“We target grades 5 through 12. The needs of each are different based upon the grade levels (5th grade beginners are in need of different products/services than

high school students). Our approach is to coordinate with area educators to ensure that we are prepared to provide the appropriate products and services for the students when they are needed.”

Jonathon Breen

The Music Shoppe

Normal, Illinois


“We target families with back-to-school age children from, say, 6 to 18. In doing this the response usually coincides with the target.”

Stan Stazenski

National Direct Marketing-many

Wheeling West Virginia


“We’re constantly in touch with, and building relationships with, local independent teachers and those at private schools and universities.”

George Nellas

Piano Planet

Honolulu, Hawaii


“School music programs are always in trouble and typically have a tough time keeping good teachers. We have become experts at working through teacher turnover and microbudgets.”

Anthony Mantova

Mantova’s Two Street Music

Eureka, California


“We have sales reps who call on schools once a week during the school year.”

Pat Bowles

Saied Music Company

North Little Rock, Arkansas

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