An idea shared, is an idea squared. I have always believed this. Although I am long gone from the DRTV industry, it still fascinates me. When some of those ideas “bubble up to the top,” I will always put them out there. They won’t do me any good just sitting there in my brain. Here are a couple of them:

Selling Guitars on TV

For many years, Home Shopping Network has had a monopoly on selling guitars on television. They use celebrities to endorse the instruments. It works, but I think another shopping channel could compete without the celebrity endorsements.

While the HSN guitar packages come with how-to DVD’s, I maintain that a shopping channel would attract a lot of customers by placing some basic how-to videos on their website for free. This little freebee would serve as quite an attraction for people who are guitar shopping. The channel could also have more involved how-to videos on their website, available by entering a code they would get when they bought a guitar.

The channel should have a small cross section of guitars. Everything from inexpensive imported instruments to name brand, American-made instruments could be offered. There are some fine instruments made overseas, their buyer would have to select instruments that are well made, have real adjustable truss rods (many current guitars have non-functioning truss rods, meaning the necks are difficult or impossible to adjust).

The instruments should also be well finished. You should be able to run your fingers down the side of the neck without feeling sharp edges. The metal frets on some guitars offered on TV these days are so poorly finished that they actually cut your fingers when you do this.

The fact that the network is giving their customers the how-to videos on their website would attract a lot of people who otherwise might not be inclined to buy a guitar. Once they see how easy it is to start making music, they would be much more inclined. The videos have to be concise and offer techniques that will help people to start playing “real” music right away. The video in this post is an example.

Not using a celebrity endorser means the shopping channel would save money, allowing them to offer their guitars at a much better price. If one of the channels is interested in getting into the guitar business, this will help them compete with the celebrity guitars currently being offered.

Selling Music on TV

With all the streaming services and file sharing today, there is only one way I can see that would work. Again, it involves using the channel’s website:

A musical artist will appear on the channel. And while they will offer CD’s, the main thrust of the presentation will be to get customers to download the music from the website. When they call in to buy the music, the customer will get the option of having a CD shipped to them or receiving a code that will allow them to download the song or songs from the website.

The website has to be set up so that they can only download the music one time. A good website administrator or web designer could easily set this up.

Recorded music would be the only product on the channel that would not have a 30-day unconditional return policy. This needs to be carefully explained to the customer. This will prevent people from buying the music, copying it and then getting their purchase price refunded.

The excitement of being able to see the artist play live on the channel and then download their music immediately will offset most negative impressions about the lack of a return policy.

My brain always feels a lot less cluttered when I put these ideas out there. At my age, that’s important. Now, where did I put my phone?

TV Shopping Host and Coach, Musician, Author, Teacher.

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