Ukulele Sales

An interesting article about ukulele sales talking to a number of sellers (via Arch on the Cosmos). Despite a few clangers (Kamaka was established in nineteen-sixTEEN rather than nineteen-sixTY, and there’s still no ukulele in I’m Yours) it’s well worth a read through.

It’s a long article so here are a few quotes:

Sammy Ash from Sam Ash:

It’s an interesting business to watch, because it seems like whenever we add another line, it just adds more sales. One new line doesn’t seem to be taking sales away from another. That’s always a fear – if you have eight lines of guitars and you add one, you’re not selling more guitars you’re just selling less of one of the ones you already carry.

Peter Dods of Easy Music:

“They are an easy upsell. The cheaper ukes sound… well, cheap. Up from the $30 ones to over $100, the sound is noticeably different. Above $200, it’s dramatically different.

It seems like Kala are outstripping Lanikai these days. Myrna Sislen of Middle C music:

I’m excited about Kala because they make a perfectly fine uke at a reasonable price… I love dealing with Kala – they treat their dealers very well. In the rare instance there is a problem, they make it right.

Ash again:

“We’ll see two more years of growth, but now what we’re seeing is that so many manufacturers are jumping in… If you would have tried to tell me I’d be having this conversation five years ago… But there’s no store that is lacking in uke sales.


the uke market is growing rather than leveling – I’m selling more every month, so I would guess the market hasn’t peaked yet. I’m happy!

In other matters, this week’s ukulele photos: children’s ukulele band, goofy guy, ukulele girlfriends in a boat.

View Comments


  1. Howlin' Hobbit October 22nd, 2010 11:35 pm

    how ’bout a link to the article itself instead of two links to the board?

  2. Ron Hale October 24th, 2010 7:48 am

    Face up to it, Al, I’m Yours is a modern ukulele
    classic – resistance to this reality is useless.

    Ignoring the IY phenomenon is a glaring weakness in
    Mighty Uke, and you can be sure the snub was a deliberate one by the older film makers. Which is the perfect segue for me to toss in my two cents (tuppence?) on the film (I know your official entry on it was a while back, but I’m here now, so here is where I’ll comment).

    I know you said that a lot of artists refused to participate (such as UOGB), but I cannot believe that young stars such as Julia Nunes, Ward Johnston (ugh), Never Say Never, etc. would have
    turned their backs on the exposure. Their side of the uke experience is very important and should not have been ignored in favor of all the older
    persons in the film. Yes, Dent was there, but he’s
    not quite the same thing as Julia and that group.
    Molly Lewis would have been nice in the film. Craig, too. Some Gus & Fin would have spiced things up.

    To make room for these people we could have had a bit less of Uni (love her, but just too much time for one person) and the Langley Ukulele Ensemble (my favorite ukulele orchestra, but far too much time spent on them). Too much time on BAS, too.

    Let’s see – somebody should keep both hands on the wheel when driving;
    I don’t care about flashing lights on a ukulele;
    took me a week of watching before I noticed Tippy was there; think MU is way off base about
    the importance of rock stars playing uke as far as the uke revival is concerned (who cares? is my attitude); how about some classical fingerpicking ukers such as Herman, Rob MacKillop, Wilfried Welti?; with all of the attention paid to Hawaii (love the Islands, used to live there) would a second or two of Iz have hurt? Somewhere Over the Rainbow – very important in this wave, MU; Fred Fallin is a gem; Rest In Peace, John King;
    Tappy will outlive us all; God bless Jumpin’ Jim for his defense of Tiny Tim; Lil’ Rev is a national treasure; Jon Braman’s bari is the uke world’s version of Willy Nelson’s guitar; nice to see Elvira Bira, why she’s ignored by uke blogs is beyond me; please send me a free Ukulelia tee shirt, Gary.

    There’s a new Smoke Fairies album out, Al, and
    it’s very nice.

  3. Woodshed October 24th, 2010 12:05 pm

    Hobbit: Yeah, I did that at first (hence the double link) but it seems like it’s blocked for a few areas and there’s a pdf there. I’ve changed it back, see how many complaints I get.

    Ron: I don’t disagree that I’m Yours a modern ukulele classic. But that doesn’t change the fact there’s no ukulele on the track (no matter how often people say there is).

    I doubt it’s a snub. My guess is that it cost more to include it than the budget of an indie film would allow. I think they did the right thing on narrowing the number of people featured. A film needs a narrative and an emotional payoff; the LUE provided that.

    Yep, been spinning the new Smoke Fairies album and enjoying it.

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