A Letter About Our Closing

Thank you!  We are sorry to say good-bye.

First of all, to the loyal fans of Riff City, I want to say how much I appreciate your support this past 7 years.  

The best business advice I have ever gotten, and frankly have given to others, about starting a business is to go where there is a real need.  To find a business or an aspect of the business where there is less supply than demand…where you can offer something unique, not just “better quality, better service.”  

Gear Buyers today have so many choices.  Not only in the number of products available but also, places to buy them.  While there is no doubt that the music gear business is a very fun place to be, it requires a massive investment in inventory and has become extremely competitive at the point of sale.  

As a company, we have determined that the investment relative to the opportunity to stand out and offer something unique no longer equates to a good business investment for us.  

I also want to address the questions we’ve gotten and will continue to get about the Chapman guitars situation, lest there be any misinformation.

Chapman was a brand that we took a risk on, which paid off exponentially.  It was truly one of the most incredible journeys any retailer has ever taken with a brand.   Because it was small and had no significant representation in retail stores in the USA, we invested in 2 “American Expedition” bus tours and brought Rob Chapman and his team along with every model of Chapman guitar to major cites on both coasts and were prepared to do it again.  We forged lifelong friendships with his team and with fans across the USA.  

It was truly the first YouTube celebrity brand to make it in this industry, and that helped Riff City Guitar become known to thousands of fans who may have never heard of us otherwise.  We have no regrets about the risks we took.  

Last year Chapman guitars had the opportunity to sell their guitars to the largest retailer of music gear in the US and took that opportunity.  As anyone would expect, there was a significant reduction in our market share of the brand. But that is life, and moreover, that is business!

The Chapman Guitar brand was indeed that “something” unique for Riff City Guitar for nearly 5 years.  We looked high and low for similar brands to promote and expand along the way, but that was a once-in-a-business-lifetime opportunity!

So, it is also “business” that brings us to our decision to move out of the musical instrument retail sector.  Simply put, we no longer see an opportunity to add enough unique value to the industry to support the margins required to offer the service levels and product selection already available by other, incredible and more established retailers in the industry.  

We will really miss our loyal customers and business partners, and I cannot say thank you enough for supporting us this past 7 years.  

With a heavy heart,


P.S.  With all of the friends we’ve gained and knowledge of the market, we plan to continue our Riff City Channel 2 content site to continue to promote our favorite brands.  Several of our staff and freelancers will be working to bring you news, reviews, and other industry insights.  We’d love to have your support in that endeavor- and if you are a writer, video creator or are interested in contributing to our content- please reach out and describe how you’d like to help by clicking here.

Notes about the closing:

No more reward points will be accrued upon sale, but all points you have accrued are good to spend though Sunday, October 13th at 11:59 PM (CST) at which point our rewards program will come to a close. After that there will be no value to your points.

Customer service will be electronic only, no phone support will be provided, except for callbacks in certain situations.  Service hours will be from 11 to 5 M-F until we close.

Shipping times will vary. It may take up to 2 days after the sale on stringed instruments that are to be inspected due to the heavy volume of orders.

We do not have a specific date in mind for the final closing, it will depend on how quickly the remaining stock sells out.

All sales are final.  All items are being sold “as is.”  

Stringed instruments will be inspected but NOT SETUP beyond what the factory provided.  

Cookies will be provided only while supplies last. :)