Thrifty instrument deals available for the holidays and year-round


When a passion and appreciation for music attains the kind of longevity that Adam Gordon’s has, a music lover will inevitably find themself returning to what they love. That’s precisely what Gordon did when he began Musician’s Thrift Shop, originally located in Ocean View. His small shed-style shop, now in Millville, has rested near the intersection of Routes 26 and 17 since Independence Day of this year and, despite the wavering economy, business has been surprisingly good.

Coastal Point • Ryan Saxton: Alan Gordon plucks some strings on one of the guitars at his Millville shop. The Musician’s Thrift Shop is one of the exclusive places in the area to fulfill all of your music needs.Coastal Point • Ryan Saxton
Alan Gordon plucks some strings on one of the guitars at his Millville shop. The Musician’s Thrift Shop is one of the exclusive places in the area to fulfill all of your music needs.

“This is the stuff I love,” he said. “I felt like people around here were looking for something like this.”

Most well-known music stores selling instruments and accessories are an inconvenient drive from the Bethany and Ocean View areas.

“There’s no other place around here to go get a guitar or a tune-up,” he said. “You have to go up to Lewes, West Ocean City or Seaford, and people don’t want to drive out that far. I found myself driving all over tarnation just to find the things I needed.”

Though he dabbled in the heating and air conditioning industry for some time, Gordon was eventually drawn back to music, an infatuation three decades in the making.

“I wanted to get back into it,” he said. “I wanted to bring something to the community that people could enjoy. This is a blast, and I love it.”

Music has been an influential part of Gordon’s life long before he relocated to lower Delaware from Rockville, Md., 22 years ago. He played in bands with friends all through his high school and college years. It even led to the creation of Spontaneous Combustion, a five-piece band he helped assemble and play in for several years throughout the Maryland and Delaware shores. Though the band reunites for special gigs and around the holidays for shows, their run has come to an end.

But Gordon himself is no stranger to the music scene now and is proud to be there for members of the community keeping the passion for music alive.

“What I like best is being here for the younger musicians,” he said.

Since starting his thrift shop, he’s had young, ambitious students stopping in, some still in elementary and middle schools.

“They’re a lot of fun to work with,” Gordon said, “and it’s great to get them involved.”

While business at the beach is prone to swings according to the season, there is still an obvious desire for Gordon’s service in the community.

“The off-season is definitely proportional,” he admitted. “June, July and August are nuts, but the rest is surprisingly steady. In any given day, I can get 10, 15 or 20 people walking through the door.

“For the size of this community,” he added, “there’s a good interest in the music scene. It’s amazing. Musicians will come out of the woodwork. Everybody’s looking for a good deal.”

And Gordon’s deals are hard to beat. He carries new and used guitars starting at $50, and has access to almost any instrument a musician or would-be musician can imagine. The space inside the thrift shop may be small, but the possibilities are endless. From acoustic and electric guitars, basses and amplifiers to trombones and violins, even car stereos, Gordon can help tune in to anything a customer desires.

“Anything that has to do with music,” he said, “I can find it for you. Being a musician, there’s a lot of stuff that people sell to me, and I’m always getting new, cool instruments. That’s my lifeline. It’s a great business, and it’s busy enough to make a living out of it.”

His most popular request from customers is for a “beach guitar” or a second guitar to keep around the beach home.

“It’s a double win when someone sells me something,” he said, “because they’re getting the best money for it, and I can sell it to others for a low, affordable price.”

As his Millville location continues to attract business, he’s not too discouraged with the tight quarters, although there is plenty of potential for expansion.

“I’ll be getting a lot more stuff down the road,” he said. “I’m still testing the waters for now.”

With Christmas right around the corner, Gordon has dropped deals on everything in stock for the holidays.

The Musician’s Thrift Shop is open between 10 a.m. through 7 p.m. Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. on Saturdays, and exclusive hours on Sundays during the holiday season. Call (302) 725-8425 for more information or stop by the store along Route 26, just west of Hocker’s Supercenter.