If you’ve ever browsed around the internet for a guitar, then you have certainly heard the name, Sweetwater floating around.
However, since this company is exclusively an online musical equipment retailer, some may question whether or not Sweetwater is a legit place to buy a guitar.
Why would you trust an online music retailer like Sweetwater over your local guitar shop or even Guitar Center for that matter when you can just walk into a physical store if you have a problem with your purchase?
So that begs the question that many older guitar players may have.
Is Sweetwater Legit?
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.
Sweetwater is my personal favorite place to buy all of my musical equipment. In this post, we’ll discuss why Sweetwater is legit as well as all of the benefits that get when you shop at Sweetwater.
Let’s get started!
Is Sweetwater Legit? – Company Background Info
To help give you an idea of just how legit Sweetwater is, here’s a little bit of background information about the company.
Sweetwater Sound was founded by Chuck Surack in 1979 and remains the president and CEO of the company to this day.
Their headquarters is located in Fort Wayne, Indiana and they only have a single physical location.
While Sweetwater may not have physical locations, it’s still one of the largest and most reputable music retailers in the world, next to Guitar Center.
To put it into perspective the company reported $805 million in revenue as of 2019 and has 1,531 employees.
Sweetwater Sound is one of the industry giants and trusted by the entire guitar community. Some guitarists hate shopping at large retailers like Guitar Center in favor of local guitar stores, but Sweetwater has actually built up a dedicated fanbase over the years.
Is Sweetwater Safe? – Sweetwater Reviews
When shopping for musical instruments, guitars, in particular, many have an “old school” outlook where they will only purchase a guitar after playing it first in a physical store.
For those people, shopping at a music retailer that exclusively operates online might sound risky and leave them skeptical.
If that sounds like you, then you might be asking, “Is Sweetwater Safe?”
Yes, Sweetwater is definitely safe. They are one of the largest and most reputable online musical instruments retailers in the world. They have outstanding customer support, offer a free 2-year warranty on all purchases, and an excellent customer satisfaction guarantee return policy.
And if you’re still skeptical, here are some consumer reviews of Sweetwater Sound to help give you an idea of how satisfied customers have been shopping on Sweetwater.
Sitejabber – According to Sitejabber, Sweetwater has a total of 761 reviews with an average rating of 4.47/5. This means that most people are satisfied with their experience shopping on Sweetwater.
Trust Pilot – According to Trust Pilot, Sweetwater has a total of 745 reviews with an average rating of 4.6/5. Consumers say that Sweetwater Sound is outstanding and provides an excellent shopping experience overall.
Yelp – According to Yelp, Sweetwater has a total of 316 reviews with an average rating of 4/5.
Reasons to Shop at Sweetwater
When it comes to shopping for guitars and other musical equipment online, Sweetwater is my personal favorite.
It provides a slew of different benefits that make the overall research and buying experience a complete breeze.
Also, whenever I buy guitars from Sweetwater, I can feel confident in my purchase due to their amazing customer service and customer satisfaction guarantee.
When you’re purchasing equipment that can cost upwards of hundreds, or even thousands of dollars, it helps give you peace of mind knowing that you will be taken care of if you experience any issues with your order.
Here are some of the main advantages of shopping at Sweetwater compared to any other music retailer.
Dedicated Sales Engineers
One thing that Sweetwater really prides themselves on is their dedicated sales engineers.
Have you ever gone into a guitar store and asked questions about a guitar only to find out that the representative has no knowledge of musical equipment at all?
I absolutely HATE when that happens!
Luckily, that’s not something you’ll ever need to worry about when you shop at Sweetwater. Their entire team is filled with experts who are knowledgeable about music gear and will be able to help guide you to the best product for your needs.
You’ll never have to deal with general support specialists who don’t know or care what you’re talking about.
Many people take this for granted, but it’s probably one of the biggest selling points that Sweetwater offers over any other online music retailer.
55-point Guitar Inspection
If you’re going to be spending hundreds of dollars buying a guitar online without actually being able to hold it in your hands first, it’s imperative that the guitar goes through a proper inspection first.
No one wants to go through the hassle of receiving a large, heavy, awkward shaped package in the mail only to find that you need to send it back due to a manufacturer defect.
When you buy from Sweetwater, all guitars valued over $299 go through what they call their “55-point Guitar Inspection.” As the name would suggest, Sweetwater thoroughly inspects every guitar before they ship them out, looking at 55 unique criteria points to ensure the guitar is set up correctly and in pristine playing condition.
Their specialists will check various factors including handling, cosmetics and construction, hardware, electronics, playability, tuning, packaging, and much more. You can read the full details on their 55-point inspection process here.
Fast, FREE Shipping
When it comes to buying musical instruments online, shipping is a huge factor to consider.
Since musical instruments and equipment tend to be on the heavier side and often have awkward dimensions (particularly with guitars), shipping costs can really add up.
It’s not uncommon for shipping to cost upwards of $80-$100 depending on the weight of the product and the company it’s shipped through.
Luckily, Sweetwater offers fast and free shipping on ALL items no matter how big or small. And unlike most retailers, their free shipping policy doesn’t come with any minimum purchase value requirements, meaning you could spend $5 on an item and still qualify for free shipping.
Definitely keep shipping in mind when you’re buying a specific item, but comparing which online retailer to buy from. If the other music retailer doesn’t offer free shipping, then you could be missing out on some significant cost savings by not opting for Sweetwater’s free shipping.
Read Also: How Much Does it Cost to Ship a Guitar
FREE Tech Support
Nothing is more frustrating than buying a piece of music software a not knowing how to use it.
Sure, you can look up tutorial videos on YouTube, but depending on your specific setup, the process can vary.
With Sweetwater, you’ll have access to free tech support where you can have dedicated experts help you troubleshoot any issues you may have.
From my experience, this tech support service has been incredibly helpful when I had issues setting up DAW software that I had purchased.
If you’re having any trouble with the software on your machine, you can actually allow their team to remotely control your computer and walk you through setting up the software.
As you probably know, we old-school guitarists aren’t always the best when it comes to technology, so it’s helpful to have someone in your back pocket to help you with tech issues so you can focus on what matters most; making music!
FREE 2-year Warranty
Having a solid warranty policy is essential when it comes to online commerce because it allows you to buy with absolute confidence knowing that you’ll be taken care of if you run into any issues.
When it comes to warranties, Sweetwater Sound is the gold standard.
They offer a completely free 2-year warranty on all purchases in addition to the manufacturer warranty that already comes with the product you purchased.
This is a HUGE benefit that you get with Sweetwater that practically no other online music retailer offers.
Most online music retailers offer an option for “Pro Coverage” or “Extended Warranty,” but typically requires you to pay an additional fee for that added protection.
The fact that Sweetwater offers a completely free 2-year warranty on all purchases shows how legit they are as a company and how confident they are in their service.
Sweetwater Return Policy
Sweetwater offers a “No Hassle” Return Policy meaning that if you are unhappy with your purchase for any reason, you can return it for a full refund within 30 days. You can also opt for an in-store credit or you can exchange the product for something else.
In addition, if you purchase used gear and experience any issues with it, you’ll have up to 90 days to return the item instead of 30, however, you’ll have to cover all shipping costs.
Sweetwater’s return policy shows that they value customer satisfaction. As a guitar player, it’s nice to know that you can always return something that you’re not happy with, especially since we’re used to being able to feel and play a guitar in-store before actually buying it.
Should You Buy at Sweetwater?
So now that we’ve discussed all of the benefits of shopping at Sweetwater, the one question still stands.
Should you buy at Sweetwater?
The answer is a resounding Yes, you should shop at Sweetwater. If you’re comfortable with buying musical instruments and gear online, then you won’t find another online music retailer that offers such robust benefits.
However, since they don’t have any physical stores (besides one), if you’re an old-school guitar player who NEEDS to feel the guitar in your hands before buying, then you’ll need to look elsewhere either in a local guitar shop or Guitar Center.
Is Sweetwater a trusted site?
Yes, Sweetwater is a trusted site. It’s one of the largest online music equipment retailers in the world. According to sites like Sitejabber, Trust Pilot, and Yelp, Sweetwater has an average rating of 4.5 with nearly a thousand user reviews on each site.
Is Sweetwater owned by Guitar Center?
No, Sweetwater is not owned by Guitar Center. Sweetwater was founded and still owned by Chuck Surack. He is the CEO and president of the company to this day. Guitar Center is owned by Ares Management, a global alternative investment management firm.
How good is Sweetwater?
According to many in the guitar community, Sweetwater is one of the best places to buy musical instruments and gear online. They have a wide variety of the biggest brands in the industry, excellent customer service and support, free shipping, and much more.
What company owns Sweetwater?
Sweetwater is not owned by another company. Sweetwater was founded and still owned by president and CEO Chuck Surack.