Last week my dad contacted me, wanting me to buy a Michael McDonald CD for Mum for Christmas. “Amazon has it,” he told me. I quickly told him that Amazon is based in America, and it would never arrive before the big day. I hit up the usual suspects, JB Hi Fi, Sanity, nothing.

My Googling took me to The Muses, a local online business that I’d never heard of but I wanted to tell you all about. I placed the order and crossed my fingers. I then realised we’d missed the Christmas cut-off date by a significant margin. Panicked, cursing my Dad for his disorganisation, I put in a call to The Muses. I was assured by Tori, one of the Muses co-founders, that they would do their best, but as they were a small company without the manpower of some of those big chains they couldn’t give us any guarantees.

More crossing fingers. However, this morning, the CD arrived. A Christmas miracle.

It might seem strange for a blog with an ad for Sanity on the side to post about giving another online music store a go, but the truth is, if your tastes are a little left of centre you’re going to struggle with the big music chains. The Muses prides itself on carrying a broad, unique collection of music. If you want an album you can’t get elsewhere, you might find it here. If you want vinyl or limited edition stuff, this is the place. And I like that it’s small. I don’t know about you, but I’d much rather support a couple running a music business for the love of it than a faceless corporation.

I know many of us approach online shopping with a healthy sense of trepidation. We’re nervous about handing over our credit card details to companies we don’t know, so we tend to stick with the tried and true. But after my experience with The Muses I’d love you to branch out a little and check out what they’re doing. You won’t be disappointed.