Celebrating 5 Gold Stars for FLEA Ukulele Sales


True Joy Acoustics earns 5 Star Customer Ratings on Amazon and eBay

A strong predictor of your online purchase satisfaction is the experience of prior shoppers

The experience of prior shoppers is a strong predictor of your satisfaction

Some shoppers have limited experience purchasing a musical instrument over the internet, even though it is quite common to do so. Ukuleles are a fast growing segment … mainstream music popularity, easy to learn among all age groups, not too big, not too pricey, growing abundance of brands and model options to choose.

True Joy Acoustics has sold hundreds of FLEA® brand ukuleles. Primarily on the internet, but also by direct sales at professional expos and local customers. We, and our growing customer base, believe a FLEA® is simply the best ukulele for beginners plus advancing players.

Don’t just take our word for it. Check out what our buyers have posted directly on the largest e-commerce channels. Simply click each icon below to see ratings and reviews:

eBay Customer Ratings

eBay Customer Ratings

Amazon Customer Ratings

Amazon Customer Ratings

Red FLEA Reviews on Amazon

Red FLEA Reviews on Amazon

Natural Reviews

Natural FLEA

Blue Reviews


Wanna’ PLAY or PLEDGE a FLEA® ukulele? Visit www.truejoyacoustics.com to learn more plus connect to Amazon and eBay listings. Purchases are convenient, secure, delivered FREE (continental USA) and backed by Buyer Protection Programs on these two well established e-commerce stores.

Email me at info@truejoyacoustics.com if you would like to sponsor a donation of one or more FLEA ukuleles to the music therapy program at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center. It’s easy and will certainly bring joy to your heart as well as many kids spending weeks in a hospital.

click to visit our website

Bloggers, visit us on: WordPress (True Joy Acoustics – Community), WordPress (Ukulele Shops), Tumblr (Ukulele Shops) and Blogger (Ukulele Shops). Comments and connections welcome!



Ideas for Funding Musical Arts Programs in School

What toll is the recession taking on state economies?

$ 538,000,000,000

This is the combined total of state budget gaps experienced and projected over four fiscal years (2009-2012) per the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.

Federal stimulus funds, budget cuts, tax increases and reserves used as gap fillers create a short term illusion of security. We can still drive on roads, expect a response to a 911 call, and our kids go to school. But the underlying cash flow imbalance will continue to squeeze, including key elements within our education system.

School programs viewed as non-essential such as band/orchestra remain cost saving targets. Urgent levies and political changes are unlikely to shield further cuts given the nature of this recession. Such cuts deny our children (i.e., our future society and leaders) the benefits of a well-rounded education. Those benefits are nicely articulated in an April 9, 2010 speech by Education Secretary, Arne Duncan.

This post offers a few “high leverage” ideas to raise net-extra funds to help preserve music making in our schools. They’re about monetizing or tapping into existing material and cash-flow streams. Offered without warranty, but in a spirit of ideation. Something to share with your school/PTA/PTO and booster leaders to assess interest and viability within local rules. Easy links are built into the subtitles.

1. Amazon Associates program – create an Amazon “aStore” on your school’s website or affiliated music program site. Simple and free. Load it with Amazon sku’s that students are going to need or want as part of regular school year purchases … books, supplies, gear for school teams/clubs, school related clothing, any other common items congruent with school spirit. Ask parents to originate their Amazon purchases via the site’s aStore. Amazon will then reward your directed marketing efforts with commissions in the 4-15% range. No added cost to the shoppers!

Enlist a student/faculty team to create the aStore page, keep it fresh. Integrate fun incentives to encourage frequent visit, e.g., create a related YouTube channel on the site featuring clips from marching band performances, concerts, talent shows.

2. Kroger Neighborhood Reward program – similar to preceding concept, this allows your school to earn commissions on purchases made at your local Kroger and affiliated stores (e.g., Ralphs, Dillons, King Soopers). Easy setup. Fill in the application with proper 501(c)3 verification, then purchase loaded gift cards that are re-sold to participating families. Cards can be continuously recharged. When aggregated purchases exceed the $5k per 4-week threshold, your school receives a 4% commission check. Everyone needs to eat, Krogers is a great place to shop.

3. eBay Instrument Resale Program – where do all those instruments go that were played by graduating seniors? Some to college, some to younger siblings, most likely hibernate in a closet. Find a seasoned eBay’er in your parent population, or better yet, a local music shop that would host an “eBay drop off store” capability. They can efficiently refurbish instruments as necessary, and with more shops building online presence (to survive), they have optimized listing and shipping techniques.

The music shop earns a consignment fee and gets to boost their eBay transaction volume and feedback ratings, whereas the school collects net proceeds. There may be some tax benefit for the family donating the instrument … need to check with a tax expert. Think broader than the band/orchestra instruments … all those guitars, amps, music books. eBay is a huge market (90 million traders globally) to monetize value from those closet-destined instruments.

4. Ukulele After-School Club – yes, a plug for my program, but it offers relevant help. Not as much a fundraiser as it is a program to create more incentive to join and support music making. The more students involved, the more parents that see value and give it weight. The enrollment of 8th grade students in band/orchestra across US schools is only 1-in-5. Not every student desires to play or can afford such instruments.

Simple model. Bulk orders from True Joy Acoustics are discounted. The discount is channeled to the school (kits are resold to families at face value), or passed on to maximize enrollment. The music teacher, student or community leader implements a fun and engaging program (ukuleles are easy to learn) … students learn and perform together. This creates a value-added extension to traditional school music programs, reaches more students and stimulates cross-over synergy (e.g., I kind of like playing music together with my friends … maybe I’ll look into joining band).

If you like any or all of these ideas, please share them with the appropriate contacts and forums in your school district. Point a link to this post out there in your social media networks. Perhaps they will invite testimonials and learning from those who already implement them (e.g., my children’s district uses the Kroger Reward Program) or spur on discussion and additional ideas. Let’s keep the music playing!

Greg H., True Joy Acoustics founder

What Others are Saying

A little instrument with a big heart. Ukuleles have a way of bringing joy, community connection and appreciation.

A July 2010 article in the local section of The Cincinnati Enquirer shared how a little girl at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center was enjoying FLEA ukuleles donated during our May kickoff event … her mom strumming right along. Click here (TJA Enquirer) to read or download.

Our kit donations to pediatric hospitals are funded by delighting a growing base of marketplace buyers. The more kits we sell, the more we donate. Here’s what early players are saying:

Fantastic instrument & kit arrived safe, saves me from buying it all on my own! – Jim, eBay Store purchaser

Got it. All tuned up and ready to go. I’m very excited! – Betsy, Cincinnati area music therapist, just after picking up her kit at Clovernook

Play it everyday! I can strum the Sunrise chords in many different ways, and learned Over the Rainbow from the internet. – Sarah, middle school student

Awesome! I own all types of acoustic instruments … this is the best ukulele I’ve ever played. My stepson plays it, now my wife is starting to pick it up. – Brian, Cincinnati area barber

These comments are not all that different from FLEA ukulele reviews posted by experienced players on Google and YouTube.

Our program aims to equip any player with a FLEA ukulele … plus the essential gear to learn it fast … enjoy all the FUN and learn some fresh techniques, regardless of personal circumstances or prior ukulele experience.

Greg H., True Joy Acoustics founder

BID on a Kit at St. Max Festival, June 11-13

Thank you to the many who visited our display … and to the lucky winner!

MUSICIAN MAKER KIT donated for silent auction at St. Maximilian Kolbe Catholic Church festival in Liberty Township, OH (5720 Hamilton-Mason Rd).
Bid to win the kit! Join all the fun! Festival runs June 11-13, 2010.

Summer festivals bring families and communities together.  Good friends, food, drink, music, games, raffles, auctions, fresh outdoor air … rain or shine.  Free admission.  Free parking shuttles.  What a relief in a distressing economy.

In return, festival proceeds enable the gracious host to persevere in its community mission.  Volunteers and donations keep everything viable and efficient. True Joy Acoustics is proud to be a GOLD level sponsor of this year’s festival.

So if residing in or visiting the Cincinnati tri-state region in the middle of June, come join the fun at St. Max! See details by clicking: St. Max.

Win a Hibiscus RED Ukulele Kit ... starting bid is only $75!

Whether or not you successfully bid on a festival kit, remember that ongoing kit sales benefit two special community causes: all kits are quality packed by a visually impaired workforce, and we donate kits to pediatric hospital programs.

Summer is also a perfect time to learn and enjoy a FLEA ukulele!

Our kits make it easy to learn music and travel with all the right gear. All FLEA ukuleles are made in the USA. So pick a patriotic model color or two and start strummin’ a solo or duet … you’ll love your summertime FLEAs!

All kits and combo packs are listed on our EBAY Store and Amazon.com

Greg H., True Joy Acoustics founder

Our UKULELE Kits Now Available on eBay Store

Creating a sense of Grand Opening in the expanding universe of cyber stores and information flow is a daunting challenge.

Virtually an infinite number of offerings beckon the virtual shopper.  Many shop remotely while on the go, multi-tasking, juggling their daily (and nightly) to-do’s.

“Managing information overload” is more critical than ever.  Researchers from the University of California in San Diego recently reported: “the average American consumes about 34 gigabytes of data and information each day –– an increase of 350 percent over nearly three decades.”  About 100,000 words a day processed via print, Web, TV and radio.

Of course, this massive flow also represents a powerful way to reach millions of shoppers if you uniquely have what they need or want.

Thankfully, “computer screen corner stores” called EBAY and AMAZON create consolidated venues that help manage the target consumer and product search connections.  And so there we are.

Hopefully there will be ample ukulele kit purchases just in time for summer … a relaxing way to enjoy the simple pleasure of strumming some music … letting those gigabytes fly right by … at least for awhile.

Greg H., True Joy Acoustics founder

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