found this site
and has some interesting info, like this:
With buying time quickly approaching, I thought I would make the music industry mad and blow the lid off of some of the prices that you pay at the local music stores.
This information will be a general rule of thumb about 90% of the time.
When you go into a music store, you can't help but to be bombarded with about a hundred or so "For Sale" signs, or "Specials" that are only good for that day. Let's take a look at the pricing.
You have 'List Price" - This is the recommended sellers price
You have "Cost" - This is what the store actually paid for the item
You have "Sale Price" and this is what you are expected to pay
A dealer, in most cases (remember the 90% thing?) will buy the item at one-half the list price. For example, if you see a guitar that lists for $1,000.00 and is on sale for $799.00, that means that the store is making $300.00 more than they paid for it. Not a bad mark-up.
Most guitars, amps, drums, effects, and so on, fall into this category.
There are also other ways that money is made. Take a standard Takamine guitar for instance. The manufacturer will make a model of guitar. Let's call it a model D105. It will be sold exclusively to a major store chain. (you know the one's). Did you know that the exact same guitar will also be sold to another store as a model D104? Just because the major store buys thousands of these at a time, they get their own special number for it. You think you are getting an updated version but in reality, well. you know.
There is another trick to watch out for and this one really makes tons of money. It is called stock. Not just any stock, but A,B,C and D stock items. An instrument that may have a blemish (usually not noticed by the buyer) and will be bought in bulk by the stores and sold at a slightly discounted price. They will probably call it a "We bought the bank" sale or something like that. That same guitar that cost them $500.00 a few lines ago, now only cost them $270.00 and you can have it for a song at only $670.00, this weekend only. (now a $400.00 profit)
Close out items are called specials but are sold to the big guys because they can afford to buy all remaining items of an old stock. They get it for a very small price and can triple or quadruple their cost all day long. A boss pedal will cost a store about $28.00 to $40.00 depending on the model and these are sold for at least double their cost. Beware of floor samples because if an item was sold, found to be defective, returned and their was none left behind the counter, well you can bet that they got the floor model and the return has taken it's place.
A pack of guitar strings, (electric) probably cost the store about a buck. So $6.96, buy one, get one free, is not really such a good deal.
Remember that CASH talks and BULL walks. If you plan on making a major purchase, use the information to negotiate a better deal. Most store managers, (Which by the way is the only one in the store worth talking to) understands that a little profit is better than none. Don't expect to pay one or two dollars over their cost. Calculate a reasonable profit margin and don't be afraid to dicker a little