We in the business of selling mandolins often forget there is another world out there. The mandolin is such a niche product and the market is very small. I don't normally pay much attention to what the competition is doing. I figure, my limited time is better spent worrying about what I am doing!
In many cases, I am the last to know when another dealer closes up shop. I normally find out through the grapevine or seeing a post on a forum. That is exactly what happened today. I was reading a banjo forum (yeah, yeah, I know), and ran across a post regarding the banjo hut. This is a longtime shop that I am loosely familiar with. I am aware that they also ran the Mandolin Hut.
According to this post, the websites suddenly disappeared. Sure enough, I go to search for the mandolin hut, and nothing comes up. Strange, they should at least show up in Google. I try to go directly to the domain mandolinhut.com and it is now a generic landing page. A little more research and it turns out they did close up just recently (2017).
It just got me thinking. Now that I have been at this for 20+ years, the vast majority of dealers that were around when I started are now gone. Even some of the biggest, most respected dealers in the business are no longer around. I suppose a niche like mandolin sales is never going to a stable business, but it makes me very grateful to still be doing what I love.
I have no idea as to the circumstances of mandolin hut closing. I do wish them the best in their future endeavors.
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