How to NEVER pay full price for DJ equipment.
I"ll start by saying there is no special secret or formula out there but if you don't have any connections to a company rep or insider hookup, you gotta get creative and put in some work. I realize that this may make me look cheap and also not helpful to the DJ community and that is not my intention at all, my objection is to save you a few bucks and make your gig that much better for the client since you'll have the right gear. I"ll highlight a few sites out there that I've used and none should be any surprise to you if you're a DJ and have shopped online and I'll plug a site that I just used for the first time this week.
If you haven't received a million black Friday or cyber Monday emails with deals and coupons--then you must be living under a rock and kudos to you for not giving out your personal info. The rest of us-we're getting sprayed machine-gun style with emails telling me how much I need that new QSC KS118 sub. I have yet to pay full price for any of my DJ equipment and I hope you are doing the same. This can be a tricky line though because if you're planning on using in-store financing, chances are you won't be able to take advantage of another promotion. I personally pay cash for my equipment because I hate monthly payments and I also feel that if I don't have the cash, I shouldn't buy the equipment. There are business exceptions to this if you're buying a full rig to get your business up and running and you'll be making a profit but I still believe you don't need a large investment to get started. True story, I did my first DJ gig on a Mixtrack Pro 2 mixer, 2 speakers I borrowed, and I rented 2 Chauvet Kintas. Was it an epic setup--not really but not not person said, "wow that's a small setup". The reality is that people don't know much about DJ equipment and the only scrutiny you'll get on your equipment or speakers is most likely from other DJ's--and they're probably jealous you booked that gig and not them!
Onto my simple formula on how I've saved money and how you can also:
First things first, demo the equipment if at all possible. I am totally against buying and returning DJ equipment to a store or site. It's not great for business for anyone and in the end, you don't want to hurt the DJ community by buying stuff with the intention of returning it. Once you determine what equipment you want to buy, do an online search for a "bundle" that could have that set of speakers with cases, cables, etc. or the mixer with a case. You'll always find a better deal when you bundle and if you're spending the money on a premium speaker or mixer, don't be cheap-buy the case or bag that goes with it.
I'm going to be very transparent on here and say that the best bundle deals I've found is on www.idjnow.com. I honestly don't know how they do it and I can't say enough about their customer service and pricing. It's solid and you may find some other sites offer a bundle as well but I'm 100% convinced that these will be the best bundles you will find and they are all relevant meaning, it's a thought out bundle and you'll get exactly what you need, no nonsense.
Now that you've got that bundle price, you can start to leverage that price with other retailers and see who is willing to do what. I'll mention Guitar Center because they have physical locations you can go to but the best secret I can tell you is not to buy at the store itself. I repeat: do not go into the store and buy direct. If you choose to buy from Guitar Center, and I will absolutely recommend buying from them, give them a call and buy it over the phone. Let them know what other retailers or sites are offering and see if they will match it. Chances are they will and you could've just saved yourself $100's of dollars. This doesn't always work but it's worth a shot. Something to note about Guitar Center is that they will only match an online bundle price if they the EXACT items in their inventory. This is another spot where www.idjnow.com shines. They'll offer a killer bundle and chances are, Guitar Center won't have those same items and they won't be able to match the deal. On the flip side of this, www.idjnow.com will give you the bundle pricing as a whole package, not individual items so let's say you're looking for a #pionnerDDJ1000 and they have a bundle of the controller and a hard case but you don't want the hard case, you'll be back to paying full price for the controller. If you call Guitar Center and they decide to match, chances are you can just get that controller at that discounted rate which is likely between 10-15%.
Catch my drift on this?
Yes this can be a hassle and you could save a few bucks or save $100 but to me, that money that I make a gig is precious and I'm not looking to give it straight away to any corporation. I live by the motto that a dollar saved, is a dollar earned.
I wanted to plug another site on here that I just made a recent purchase on, www.thedjhookup.com. Hands down the best customer service I've ever received buying DJ gear and at the time of this post, they don't collect tax or shipping which was...UGE. They don't have the selection of other sites but the gear they do sell is at solid prices, you'll get amazing customer service, and you'll save money on tax and shipping.
The last suggestion I can make is to look for open box and used items. Some people don't like to gamble on used equipment and I can respect that but I have a Pioneer DDJ-RX that I bought used that's done over 30 gigs without any issues or signs of slowing down. That transaction alone saved me about $400 by the time I would've bought it new with tax and shipping. With that $400, I bought my first Chauvet Gig Bar 2--all while using my discounted methods above so I didn't pay full price for that either. There are some things I wouldn't love to buy used and you just have to have the right eye for it. I suggest using Facebook Marketplace over Craigslist for purchasing used. On FB marketplace, you can get some insight on who the person is. Maybe they "wanted" to DJ and bought a bunch of gear. Then they couldn't get a gig so they're unloading their gear and that's when you swoop in. As someone who has bought a lot of used items/cars in my lifetime, I"ll say there is a huge value to shopping the secondary market, don't hesitate to look around.
I hope this helps a bit. It's mostly common sense but my main message is that you don't have to pay full price, for most anything in life. Use your head and your resources and you'll come out ahead. I also want to reiterate that I don't want to this come across as trying to grind down any retailers but I want you to know that they want your business just as much as you want their product.