We were proud to have the Planet DJ story told by fellow mobile DJ veteran and Mobile Beat publisher Ryan Burger back in Issue #138 in November, 2011. He writes:
Mobile Beat likes to tell you a bit about it's community of DJs, it's supporters such as advertisers and stores, and some of the personalities in the DJ industry. When the opportunity came up for me to go on the west coast leg of the Mobile Beat DJ Tour this fall, and stop through Reno, I couldn't pass it up. Partially because I haven't done that part of the tour in the past, and also because I've never been out to visit my friends and supporters of Mobile Beat, Planet DJ.
Chris Whybrew of Planet DJ has a past that goes to well before his involvement with Planet DJ, and I've known him for 15+ years, ever since I first got involved with the National DJ Industry as he was one of my first customers at the former ProDJ.Com. I've known him as a businessman that cares for the DJ industry heavily and that's exactly what I experienced while talking with him at the tour stop and the next morning at the store. While I was at the store, I realized that the people that he worked with at Planet DJ also have the same style of business. I was able to watch several DJs come in that morning and experience a nice consultative sales atmosphere both with Chris and others of their sales staff.
Though Planet DJ was officially established in 1996, Chris Whybrew actually got his start selling DJ Equipment 10 years earlier. Back in 1985, Chris and 3 friends had a 4-system mobile DJ business called The Sound. They quickly grew the company to 9-systems, taking advantage of being one of the first (and certainly one of the largest) DJ businesses in the Reno/Lake Tahoe area. The need for professional audio gear grew, and they quickly realized that there were only a handful of places available to order from. So they formed a retail/mail order division and began selling to fellow DJs. Somehow, while continuing to run a full-time entertainment company performing at over 1,000 shows annually, Chris and his staff also began devoting more and more of their time selling DJ gear. “It was just the right time in the industry. And of course we were younger then, too!” he adds. So as their DJ Equipment business flourished, they decided to give it its own identity as DJ Warehouse and began aggressively selling online and at trade shows.
“I remember when Numark introduced the CD-6020, the first professional dual CD player, back in 1990. They sold for over $1800 new… no instant start, no anti-shock, no looping. Even at that price, every serious DJ had to have one. And then when Denon shook the DJ world and released their DN-2000F in 1992 with those infamous big, glowing cue/start buttons, we realized that the DJ industry was booming and making their mark on the entertainment industry.” - Chris Whybrew
Fast forward to 2000, when DJ Warehouse merged with a local DJ store called Planet DJ. Chris told us “They had a local store and a catalog, and I had an established online web presence and was known through the trade show circuit. It just seemed like the perfect marriage, combining both our product lines and our customer base.” Today, Planet DJ is one of the largest DJ Equipment dealers in the country, and their buying power allows them to pass along savings on most of their products. “We want our customers to not only be confident that we have most popular DJ gear in stock and can assist in answering questions or needs, but that they’ll also get it at a fair price as well. And since we’re an authorized dealer for the products we carry, you can rest assured your warranty and any applicable rebates will be honored as well. We’re in this business for the long haul!"
In the DJ industry there are disc jockey equipment retailers formed by people who are from the sales side of things, and there are people who come from the service side of things. Planet DJ has found a good mix in between by having employees that know the DJ industry inside out. A strong stocking dealer that by my estimates has over 95% of the product in stock in Reno, sales staff that works with you to sell you what you need, not just what they make larger profit on. This is a company that DJs need to pay attention to and someone that they need to know.