2609 E. Broadway, Suite 117 | (573) 442-6350
Got a guitar, keyboard or drum set that’s gathering dust in a closet or basement? There’s a new store that’s ready to buy.
Music Go Round franchise owner Gary Taylor said Columbia fits the ideal criteria for a store dealing in used musical instruments and equipment: more than 110,000 people live or work within five miles of the store’s location, and it’s a highly educated university community with a population that has a strong interest in music.
Taylor fits the bill, too. He has experience in retail management and an intense love of music. In addition to his new store, he’s the drummer for the local alternative country band Grindstrone.
Columbia’s Music Go Round franchise — co-owned by Taylor and his wife, Amanda — opened its doors July 14. The store buys and trades quality used musical instruments and equipment, mostly from local customers. It sells merchandise at 60 to 70 percent off retail.
If Music Go Round’s business model sounds familiar, it’s because Columbia is already home to Plato’s Closet and Play It Again Sports, two other retail-resale franchises also owned by parent company Winmark Corporation of Minneapolis. Music Go Round is located next door to Plato’s Closet in The Broadway Shops on East Broadway. Taylor said the location of his store next to another Winmark business was just a coincidence.
Columbia is such a perfect market for Winmark, said spokeswoman Megan Wallace, that the company is also currently seeking entrepreneurs to open another one of its franchise stores, Once Upon a Child, which specializes in resale children’s apparel, toys and furniture.
Taylor said owning the store is a dream come true. “I’ve always wanted to own a music store,” he said. “There’s something that fascinates me about instruments. … It’s a passion for me and more than a business.”
Taylor and his wife used their savings to open the store and were trained by Winmark. The couple was taught Winmark’s propriety system to determine the price and value of instruments. “Like Plato’s, we look at the condition (of the item) as well as internal data,” Taylor said. Most musical instruments do depreciate over time, he said, but some instruments retain or even gain value, such as vintage Gibson Guitars.
Gary Taylor is the buyer and appraiser, and the Taylors will be able to list their inventory on the corporate parent’s website, which allows customers around the world to buy from them or other franchisees using PayPal.
Besides selling used and some new instruments, Music Go Round will offer lessons. Some of Music Go Round’s 34 franchises in the U.S. offer jam sessions or sponsor indie bands. “Who knows what will evolve with our Columbia store?” Taylor said.
Taylor said the store’s goal will be “getting good used gear into the hand of musicians.” And he said he knows that finding the right instrument is a continual process. “Musicians look for something new and different to express their art,” he said. “We’ll help them get there.”