On the Important Matter of Cases

If you’ve been following our company for any length of time you know that we have been intentional, from day one, to deliver professional level products at the lowest possible price.  It doesn’t matter if you play in a famous band or if you are just starting out.  Everyone gets the same product, same service, same warranty and same price. There is no better value than a Pedaltrain.

A number of you have asked why we don't sell Pedaltrain cases as separate items. We have agonized over this decision for years. Because we care about you, we want you to understand how we’ve arrived at this decision. Once you have all of the facts, we think you will agree that our decision is the correct one, that our decision is consistent with our desire to keep prices as low as possible, and, ultimately, is in your best interests.

If you email us asking "Where can a buy a Pedaltrain case-only?" this is the answer that our customer service team will share with you:

"Thanks for writing and using a Pedaltrain! We do not sell cases as stand-alone items, only as a bundle (case, board, velcro, etc). This is the way our products ship from the factory, and doing this helps us keep costs low. If we sold the cases separately, the price would be just about the same amount for an individual case as it is for the bundle. Crazy, we know, but it’s our volume that keeps our prices low. We have decided not to separate them for that reason."

This answer is 100% correct and truthful. You can stop there, or read on for more details.

Here's an outrageous statement for you to consider:

We can deliver a complete Pedaltrain bundle, in a tour case, to you, through a store, for less than most custom case makers can buy the parts for the case alone.  Re-read that sentence.

Let me break that statement down for you. Pedaltrain can…

  • Source our aluminum alloy

  • Fabricate a Pedaltrain pedal board by hand

  • Finish the Pedaltrain (grinding, painting, logos)

  • Make the parts for a tour case (latches, corners, laminate, etc.)

  • Build the case, by hand

  • Quality control all components

  • Source our own hook-and-loop

  • Bundle the hand made Pedaltrain, with finished case, hook-and-loop, etc in a nice box

  • Ship the boxed, finished, goods to one of our climate-controlled warehouses

  • Hold that inventory indefinitely, ready for a store to order

  • Sell the product to a store

  • Ship the product to the store

  • You buy at the store or online

...for less than a custom case maker can buy the parts for the case (no Pedaltrain, no velcro, no assembly of the case, no profit for the case maker, etc.).

Seriously?

Yes!

In fact, a major USA retailer recently told us that they tried to source custom cases for Pedaltrains.  The cost?  $600/case.  They decided to stay out of the case business.

You may be asking yourself "Well, okay Pedaltrain, I understand that. There's no doubt Pedaltrain is the best value in the world. But isn’t it true that offering a case by itself would cost less than a complete unit?" 

Ah!  This is the issue, isn't it? This seems to be the logical conclusion, but, in fact, this is not correct.  If we offered cases as standalone products, not only would the cases cost as much a complete unit, but every model we sell would be more expensive. 

Huh?

Yes!

Why?!

Cost accounting!   Sexy, eh? 

Stay with me...

We make 22 different Pedaltrain models (not counting power supplies, accessories, etc).  Each of these items require, as described above, manufacturing, packaging, shipping, receiving, warehousing, etc..  With every new product added, we must add additional resources to make, package, ship and store the item.

If we sold our cases as individual items, the number of Pedaltrain products would double to 44.  This would result in almost doubling the fixed capabilities of many components in our supply chain.  These fixed costs would, in turn, be spread across our entire product line, resulting in an across-the-board price increase.

Take, for example, warehousing. Our warehouse space requirements would grow exponentially.  Warehouses are not cheap, nor are they elastic. Warehouses do not expand and contract at will. Simply stated, bigger warehouse = more costs. More costs = higher price.

Now consider the global dimension of warehousing.  Pedaltrains are shipped to, and stored in, facilities all over the world.  We have warehouses in Chicago, in Belgium, and, with our distributors, in the UK, Japan, Korea, Australia, New Zealand, Indonesia, Israel, Canada, South America...all over the world.  If we were to offer cases separately, we would instantly double the number of products in each of these warehouses.

Are you following this? I’ve just described exponential growth in warehousing around the world.  Warehousing is just one aspect of the supply chain.  There are many more that I won’t go into here.

So you may be thinking, “I get it, but why not just make a few extra cases and you know, stick 'em in a corner for special situations?”  Well, that's just naive. That's not how our business works, that's how a flea market works. I don't mean to sound harsh, but if we ran our business like that we wouldn’t have one for very long. When we offer a product for sale, it must be available at all times for anyone that wants it, finished, in a box, with a UPC code, with a warranty, ready to go. Anything less leads to a bad customer experience and is just not a sustainable way to run a healthy business.

Truth be told, we almost put Pedaltrain out of business a few years ago when we started a case company. That's a story for another day. Fortunately, we survived and learned our lesson.

“Alright Pedaltrain, I understand.  But I still need a case. What should I do?”

If you want a tour case for your Pedaltrain, buy a complete unit from your favorite guitar shop.  Do so knowing that you are getting the best value possible.

In conclusion, we want everyone to have a professional-grade Pedaltrain at the best possible price. We are writing this note to you because we work very hard to make sure our business is run in an efficient, honest, and transparent way, and we want you to understand why we do not sell our cases as separate items.  

This is our job and our joy. We take this job, and your trust, very seriously. It is an honor and our privilege to protect your valuable gear. We hope this explanation helps you understand our decision.