Is Guitar Center Even Trying Anymore?

I need strings. Guitar Center, $5, done. Sure, you can get them for $4 online, but at that low of a price, I like to just get them right away. Plus then I get to go into Guitar Center and hence, have stories to make fun of them for. They never disappoint.

I get there yesterday morning at around 10:30, because they’ve been hit with the financial crunch too, and last time I went there at 9:00, I found that they had moved their hours up to 10:00. Never mind trying to find out what musicians really want to play, and diversifying your stock a little more beyond uh…Ibanez. Just open less hours to the customers. So I get there, and they are closed. Now they don’t open until 11:00. So I go across the street to Hollywood Video to kill time, and realize that with internet rentals, I think video rental places are going to just be stories we tell our kids about in no time. And kind of the same thing as Guitar Center over here. Rather than actually carrying movies (novel idea for a movie rental place), they just come up with new ways to do ‘customer service.’ ‘Do you have this movie?’ ‘No.’ Do you have this movie?’ ‘No.’ Do you have this movie?’ ‘No. But we can print you out a list of recommended movies for you based on your previous rentals!’ So they don’t carry anything I want to watch, but that’s okay because I get a computer-generated list of movies I will like. Which always seems like it’s based more on what movies just came out, rather than what I have rented in the past. However, Bee Movie was on it. What have I been renting? hehe

Anyway, I get back to Guitar Center and decide that as long as I’m there for just strings, I should check out the vintage room. Apparently Egnater is vintage now. (Nothing wrong with Egnater, but……in the vintage room? And being the only thing in the vintage room? Ya, not so much). So I go to check out the POG2. Not there. I ask the sales guy, ‘Do you have the Electro Harmonix POG2?’ He goes to his computer. Never a good sign, especially with a pedal that at least on the internet, is really hot right now. And he says, ‘What brand again?’ I say, ‘Electro Harmonix.’ He says, ‘Electro……?’ I say, ‘Harmonix.’ And of course, they don’t have it. So, in my current quest for octave-ness, I go over to the Boss Kiosk to try out the Boss PS5. Broken. The screw has fallen somewhere behind the Kiosk and hence, the cover won’t close…and the pedal no longer stays on. So I take a quick look around the room for something used. Nope. Alright, that’s it. Strings, and let’s get out of here.

Me: ‘Hey, could I just get an Ernie Ball green pack? The 10’s.’
Sales guy: ‘Sure.’ (Turns around.) ‘Uh, we’re out of them.’
Me: ‘Really.’
Sales guy: ‘But we have these. They’re basically the same, just coated.’

Oh, so at least I can get half the tone for twice the price. So I go to grab a cable because our church ones are going, and I just need one for the click track this weekend. Cheaper and better quality online, but I’m right there. And I look at it. $46.99. Not Mogami. Not Monster. Not even Planet Waves. Just a generic cable. And it’s more than Lava or Evidence Audio. Guitar Center is awesome.


69 thoughts on “Is Guitar Center Even Trying Anymore?

  1. Last time I went in and asked about recording tools, they highly recommended me a tubescreamer because it “emulates an amp.”

    At least or musiciansfriend you can search and get it mailed to you without as much of the ridiculous.

  2. My favorite part is how you feel the need to start out with explaining what you’re doing in Guitar Center in the first place.

  3. I usually end up chasing down a customer to explain to them the real answer to the question the GC “expert” just attempted to answer. Being a Fender employee and a vintage guy, I always look in the small vintage (in Murietta). They always have misdated Fender amps, that are broken. I’ve gone in a month later, after telling them that the ’69 Champ (that’s really a ’76) is broken…and it still does not work. I actually think they are not trying.

  4. Rapha–lol You are incredibly correct, my friend. :)

    Justin–haha I’ve felt the same way!! You almost feel obligated to waylay the 14-year-old metalhead and tell him that instead of buying the $2,000 Marshall half stack, he can get a used Mark IV on ebay and half way better tone for like, half the price. I don’t know…is it kosher to do that? haha

    Oh, and this totally happened in Murrieta. hehe

  5. Karl, believe it or not, I am kinda jealous. At least you have a GC that kinda might think about having the strings you want to play. I have to order mine, because no one locally carries what I like. Either that or suffer through a lesser string. The only good news is I get a massive discount on whatever Best Buy carries, on account of working there. The bad news: they don’t really carry anything I want. Except a Carbon Copy. But I just spent $800 on a motorcycle, which means I have no guitar money for months. Why do I have such addictive hobbies?!?

  6. Oh, and I’m almost over the “my-tone-is-better-than-your-face” attitude that comes when you must special order something as simple as strings. Almost. Sometimes its annoying, but I really like those strings, and I still think it’s worth it. Plus, when you tell people that you can’t buy strings off the rack, they know how awesome you are. Right?

  7. Hey, man. By the way, thanks for your e-mail about the tubes. I am going to try what you suggested.

    Yeah. I am experiencing the same frustration with Guitar Center. Their pedal demo area is just awful. The guitars they put out there are pretty much so cheap that they are unusable. the cube amps are just horrible. half the pedals are not hooked up correctly and the way they rig it makes it impossible to fix it. Plus the pedals are broken a lot.

    In our “loud room” we used to have a few decent amps, but now it’s crap like B-52s and stuff. They used to have plexis and AC-30s, but not anymore.

    My best guitar center salesman quote:

    ME: “Do you have any 12AX7 tubes?”

    GC Salesperson: “No. Sorry, man. But we have these things called Groove Tubes.”

    • That must be the same gc I called,I ask if they had any 12ax7 tubes and the kid on the other end said we don’t have those we only have groove tubes,after explaing to him what’s what I arrived at gc and purchased 1 12ax7 groove tube,only to get home and find out it was a used tube with scratch’s and severely bent,corroded tubes.After straightening and cleaning the corrosion I tried it and it did work thankfully.I live an hour and a half away.I am currently in a mess with them over an acoustic I bought and have had to return it twice.

  8. I was just in there looking for Pharns to get a killer deal, but he wasn’t in. I tried to use the same Boss pedal… 😉

    I was surprised that they don’t have any decent Vintage Acoustics in their special room anymore… just a ton of Taylors, a few Martins and one or two Gibsons. Bummer!

    I did meet a nice GC Expert who was very humble about her lack of knowledge… Now that was refreshingly unusual!

    Oh yeah, and they were out of my strings as well. Now that’s bad!

    PS – Buffalo Bros. Guitars has scaled way back as well. They got rid of their whole front room!

  9. My worst would be when I went to get a very cheap MIDI Keyboard (M-Audio E-Keys 37). When I asked the guy if they have it, he sort of laughed and said that there is no such thing. And I was trying to explain to him that there is one and it’s an entry level, he went on to ask me how many keys per octave in a demeaning way. And it’s not possible to have 37. Soon enough, I asked him if I can get online to check. After much hesitation, he did. When I found the item in the M-Audio site, he suddenly changed his mood and become very helpful. He even checked their inventory and showed that they have something in-stock. I was already pissed so I just told him to make sure he shuts up next time he doesn’t know the product that the customer is asking for … and I’ve never been back since!

  10. I spend more time trying to wade through all the attitude at GC than actually getting any help from anyone. I was relieved and refreshed to find a local music store that has great stock and no attitude. If they don’t have what you’re looking for, they order 2…one for you and one to put in stock. The staff are actual experienced musicians…if they don’t know the answer to something, they find out…they’ve actually called me at home and given me the info or whatever. Every time I go in…I’m greeted by name…yeah…(it’s embarrassing when someone knows your name and you can’t remember theirs, I’m getting better though) Their tech is awesome! The kind of people that when something breaks, you don’t panic but say to yourself “…it’s ok, I’ve got ‘people'” Man I would find a local shop who cares and give them your business. Nothing against the big stores…but they have become their own worst enemy! And lately they aren’t doing their customers any favors.
    Just because they’re awesome! I go to ‘Music Connection’ in Chico, CA.

  11. Sal Hamby–haha That’s exactly where I went after Guitar Center was out of them!


    Sam–I totally agree. There just aren’t a lot of them that have stayed in business around here. Just another reason to move to Hollywood. 😉

    Joel–haha Oh, I know that feeling well. And I’m trying to get over it, too. hehe What strings do you play? Snake Oils?

    David–lol That tube story is amazing! Oh, Guitar Center. And yes, I think those pedal kiosks are just about the worst thing ever.

    Gtr1ab–absolute post of the day. hehe That was awesome!

    Eric–Pharns is cool. And they were out of your strings, too? Yikes, what is happening with those guys. Ah, I’m sad to hear that about Buffalo Brothers. I haven’t been in a few months. I hope they stay in business, because they’re a fun store.

    Rhoy–oh, I totally hear ya. I’ve been talked down to before because when asked what amp I play, I’ve said ‘Matchless’ instead of ‘Marshall.’ And of course, if they haven’t heard about it at Guitar Center, it must not be good. hehe There are the occasional sales guys and gals who get it and are cool; but they seem to be sadly so very few and far between. So how was the M-Audio? I think my wife has that exact keyboard and she uses it to record through Logic.

    Shawn–nice! Man, if I’m ever in Chico, I’ll totally check them out, just on principle alone. You gotta support the awesome little guys! And especially those who don’t have an elitist attitude about their Valvetronix. 😉

  12. Karl, Bee Movie wasn’t that bad. It wasn’t great, but it had some good lines from Jerry Seinfeld.

    I think I went to guitar center with a friend about a year ago. She is a beginner (she still hasn’t begun) and looking for a beginner guitar. Just for fun, I picked up some Eric Clapton model Martin that was selling for somewhere in the $2300 range and it didn’t sound as good as my Martin DR that I’ve had for 10 years now. Maybe they just don’t care about the quality of their instruments anymore? I can’t believe Best Buy is selling musical instruments now!! What!!!

  13. As I read your reply, I presumed (never assume) you meant absolute “best” post, but then you put down the most versatile amp in the world?!? My Valvetronix…
    is not the answer to tone nirvana, but it does provide features I need as a beginner in a home with small children at a price I can afford (the amp, not the children).

    In all seriousness, is there a good all tube amp out there that provides great tone while still providing the volume, headphone, line out, and versatility that allows me to learn what different amps sound like for different styles of music? How do I learn what makes a good Marshall stack sound so good or a good Fender Deluxe or Bassman sound so smooth or that amazing Matchless tonal nirvana so tonal? Do I have to put my financial and marital well-being at risk or can I use modeling amps to get a jump start? Watching youtube demos and playing amps in 20 minute increments at local guitar stores doesn’t seem to do it. Can I use modeling amps to get through the learning stages before taking the plunge into an amp, pedal, guitar, etc. that costs more than my classic 1985 Honda Prelude? Am I screwed because I didn’t start my quest for tone, let alone guitar, 20 or 30 years ago?

    And if you’ve answered this in a past post, sorry to bother you. :)

  14. Karl, to answer, I play Ernie Ball Classic Rock ‘n Rolls. They differ from the standards in the winding. The classics are pure nickel, compared to nickel allow. It makes for a smoother, warmer sound, which works better for me. On my LP I play 10’s, but my Tele gets 11’s, and they are just impossible for me to find locally. I live in a magical land where everyone loves music, but the only people that play it are into the music where every song sounds like: JUDD JUDDD JUDD WANANA JUDD JUDD JUDD WANA.

  15. Jonraz–haha Then awesome! Maybe Hollywood Video was actually right, and I need to rent it. :)

    And I hear ya on the quality of the instruments thing. For the big companies, it just keeps going down. Luckily, that’s been making room for a ton of independent builders who’s quality is amazing. Oh, and I also have a standing order never to play anything with a famous guitarist’s name on it. 99% of the time, they’ve never even touched that model. haha

    And ya, Best Buy is pretty sad. I’ve never been into one where the pedal setup actually had power running to it. But…they did have my strings when Guitar Center didn’t…hmm…hehehe Guitar Center, you’d really better step up your game.

    Gtr1ab–what I meant was ‘post of the day.’ But then I put ‘absolute’ in front of it, so that there was no question. :) So, in a full sentence, it would look like, ‘Your comment was the absolute post of the day.’ Kind of a weird way to say it, so sorry for the confusion. But I did love your comment! :)

    As for modeling amps, I do apologize for putting down the Valvetronix. I’m sure that there is some definite value in using modeling technology to get a better understanding of each amp’s nuances and tonal differences. It’s just that for me personally, it’s been far more beneficial to actually try out the different amps. And here’s why:

    When I first started, I did the whole modeling thing. I had a Boss GT6, and dialed in strat tones, Mesa tones, Marshall tones, Fender Blues Junior tones, Matchless tones, etc. And maybe the Valvetronix is of a much better technology than the GT6 was, but that GT6 really messed me up in terms of my perception on gear. For instance, they had a patch called ‘Fat Strat.’ And it was this huge metal tone. And for years afterwards, when I had moved away from modeling, I was always trying to get a metal tone with strats. hehe Or, the Marshall tone sounded more like what a real Vox actually sounds like. So, at least in my experience, the modeling wasn’t that accurate, and I had to play the real thing anyway.

    And how I did that, and continue to do that, is by trying to create a healthy balance of research and experience. So, I’ll read up on things to get an idea of what to listen for and how to eq them, and then I’ll do my best to either do the buy and resell thing (which is really fun, and if you make it a fun hobby and are patient, you rarely lose money), or I’ll go out and play with other people who have the gear. Or I’ll go to concerts to hear how that gear sounds mic’d. Sometimes, if I walk into a Guitar Center and no one’s there, I’ll look for amps I’ve never played, and just try ’em out for an hour.

    As for the kids thing, most amps these days either have small wattage versions, or there is a counterpart in the boutique world at small wattages. For instance, you may not be able to find a 5 watt Marshall, but you can find a 5 watt Carr or Swart or something else based around a Marshall circuit. I would also suggest looking into Emery Amps. They make some awesome low wattage model amps that you can change tubes out of without re-biasing. So, you can throw a KT88 in there for a Hiwatt sound, a 6L6 for Fender, a 6V6 for Gibson, an EL34 for Marshall, etc. Now, you don’t get different circuits of course, but you do get an idea of how the different amps would sound, and then you get a killer amp as well, that’ll hang in almost any live situation. For an extra couple hundred, Emery also sells tube kits with their amps, that have all the different tubes to swap in and out of the amp.

    I guess in the end, it just all comes down to preference. If the Valvetronix is playing an integral role in increasing your musical knowledge, then go for it! That’s awesome. All I did in this reply was outline some of the things that have seemed to work for me in my ongoing tone journey. Hope it helps a bit. And if not, disregard it. hehe :) Cheers!

    Guitarya–thanks. Cool site.

    Joel–right on. I’ll have to try those. Pure nickel makes much more sense to me, but the brands I’ve tried that use pure nickel, have never quite done it for me. I’ll try your suggestion. Thanks! :)

  16. Thanks for the response! It is very helpful to get descriptions of other people’s experiences in the quest for tone.
    Also, sorry that sarcasm doesn’t translate well online! I completely agree that the Valvetronix is not “where it is at.” Thanks for the compliment on the comment on your blog and the complimentary comment on my blog!
    I’ll keep you posted on how my journey goes!

  17. haha I figured some of it was sarcasm, but since I couldn’t tell which parts, I figured I’d better play it safe! hehe Stupid typing. 😉 Anyway, I always love hearing about the journey, so please for sure keep me posted! Cheers!

  18. Every time I walk into GC, I feel it’s like Wal-mart. For the people who know exactly what they need, they’ve got everything.

    In my area, there are/were 5 guitar stores. The only two worth visiting closed.

  19. Seriously! I feel the same way. The ‘Wal-Mart/Costco’ mentality is overtaking everything. The only stores I like going to as well, are closing, one by one. So sad. Hopefully Gear Page doesn’t close. hehe

  20. It’s funny, I cannot stand GC but choose to drive an hour to the closest one rather than drive 7 minutes to the local guitar store. The local one is that bad. Everyone who works there thinks they are better than everybody since they “work the scene.” By that I mean they jockey a register at the the crappy local music store. Sure GC is crap, but one guy in the recording section is really good and one other guy showed me the Way Huge Pork Loin and I stinkin’ love that pedal. Great for when I cannot tube my amp past 2; but I digress. I have been told about a guy that makes his own pedals and is local so I will check on that and see what I can find out. He comes highly recommend.

  21. The Mert–the horror a few Christmas’s ago? Do tell. 😀

    Jonathan–nice! I hope that pedal guy works out. That’d be pretty sweet. And you’re unfortunately right. We have two other stores locally here, and they are worse than Guitar Center. Yikes. hehe

  22. So, it’s Monday last (my day off) and I decide to check out one of my local GC’s. Thinking that they might have something in a used pedal worth looking at. Lo and behold they do have a couple that seem interesting. But wait, how does one liberate them from their glass prison, maybe the kind GC employee. But where are the kind GC employees, that’s right, nowhere to be found. So I wait and look, after about 10 minutes I’m gone. I’m with whoever said they were like Wal Mart, if you know what you want and can find it they’re fine, if you need help forget about it.

    Strangely enough, I’ve applied there as a second job and can’t even get an interview.

  23. Oh, that’s the worst. You’re like, ‘Um, does anyone want my money? Paying customer here.’ Ya, it’s just crazy how bad they’ve become. If you get the job, let me know which one, and I’ll take a special trip there just to chat with a GC employee who knows what they’re talking about! hehe

    • It’s been a while since I applied. I figured if I was going to have 2 jobs one of them should be about guitars. I may apply again since I am getting transferred to another store (at my current second job). If I get it I’ll let you know.

  24. GC near where I live used to actually have vintage amps in there, a 60’s tweed deluxe reverb. Now they have not only the Egnator, but along with it a Blackstar, Blackheart and PRS.

    We need the “Lexus” brand of Guitar Center with all the boutique we want and not try to sell a “vintage” guitar for $2k that has scratchy pots and jacks that are falling out.

  25. Craig–sweet! Where are you located again?

    Jonathan–haha Totally. Ya, I love seeing the Epiphone Valve Jr.’s in the vintage room. Nothing wrong with that amp, but…this is the vintage room!! hehe

  26. I was just reminded of an experience a co-worker of mine had. He went to a larger music store and asked one of the workers there ‘What is this guitar made out of?’ The employee responded ‘Err wood.’

  27. Lol. That’s awesome. I don’t want to give too many details, but one just tried to sell me on the superior ‘electronics’ on a certain lowest of the low model guitars. At that point, just try to sell me on the color, bro. :) (Which he did, also. Can’t fault him for that.)

  28. When I asked a clerk if you can get dotted-eigth note delay on a new POD floor model that my friend bought a week ago with no luck of finding the setting himself (note that I had the effects proccessor with me in front of the clerk). He (in all his knowledge) simply replied, “Yeah, you just need to tap in the tempo you want.” … Needless to say we returned the product.

  29. OK I went back to the CG in question and they still had one of the peadls I was looking at (the peadl will remain nameless to prevent Karl’s ridicule). So I actually hunted down an employee and asked if they could open the display. It took forever but it did get opened and I did buy the pedal. So, I guess I’m a sucker for a deal.

  30. haha Me too. I just went back and bought a backup guitar there because it was a great used deal. haha And I promise, I won’t make fun of the pedal! I currently have a Boss pedal on my board! And an M-Audio pedal! lol

  31. OK It was a Line 6 Dock with the crunch and tremolo module for less than $40. It seems like a pretty good way to free up space with some effects I don’t use often. Also Les Paul Player Dr. has me interested in the Verbzilla. I can pick one up for about $20. Seemed like a pretty good deal.

    Wow, even I don’t have a Boss or M Audio pedal on my board. Of course there are also no boutique pedals either.

  32. Actually, that seems like a great deal! Ya, I’m not a very big Line 6 fan, but that does seem to be a great value. And that ToneCore trem isn’t bad. The Verbzilla is good because currently it’s the only reverb I know of with the Octo setting. But personally, it just sounded a bit too synthetic for me. But then again, I am very picky…sometimes when I don’t need to be. haha

  33. Yes you are very picky, and not shy about it ;). It covers a fair amount of territory for little $$, and if it’s not good I can move on.

  34. hehehe 😉 Well, where’s the fun without being just a tad controversial? But in all seriousness, in the end, if it’s helping you make beautiful music for the Lord, I don’t care if it’s a pedalboard of Dano’s plugged into last year’s model POD. :)

  35. Controversy is fine, especially when it’s in fun.

    I will say that I really like my Dano chorus, and I loved my POD when they first came out. Thought it sounded really good, but incredibly live unfriendly.

  36. Interesting. Ya, I’ve been meaning to do some shootouts with those newer Dano pedals that everyone is loving. Was it the POD or the Dano that was unfriendly live?

  37. Karl,

    I have the older Dano chorus (Cool Cat, maybe) that is the sea foam green metal housing one. It is a pretty subtle chorus and sounds pretty good. I just keep coming back to it because they are inexpensive and most other chorus pedals are a little too chorusy for me. I really haven’t tried their new stuff, and am pretty happy with my board as is.

    As a side note I have been informed by the worship guy at my home church that chorus is bad, and that it sounds like the 80’s. For some reason he doesn’t think that drowning everything in .8th and playing “Edge chords” sounds 80’s at all, go figure. (Sorry Karl, I really do like U2 and the Edge and am working on improving that area of my playing. But, it’s still a sound that I, and people my age, associate with the 80’s. But enough of me venting.) Because of this my chorus is not on my board right now, but in the case so I can add it if the need arises.

    The POD was unfriendly live. It sounded great,(the guy who recorded our CD had never heard one and wanted to buy mine.) But the inability to switch during songs is really limiting. If I could have moved patches around it would have been better but no luck. Even with the floor board it was more trouble than it was worth. So, the POD went in favor of a GT-6, which was much better. The fact that I could program my own patches and arrange them where I wanted them (one bank per song for instance) and not have to bank up and down so much was a big improvement. I know of your GT-6 experience, but I found it a pretty good way to go at a certain point in my life. I would have liked it much better if it would have had some sort of lead boost, with a pedal big enough to stomp (GT-8 has the boost with a tiny button).

  38. Has anyone else had trouble with emailing GC? I’m not much of a telephone guy, I’m all about email. So far this year I’ve emailed my four local GC stores about a tele I was looking for and another GC in another state about a used amp they had listed on the GC Web site. That is a total of 5 stores and I did not get one reply. Maybe my 4 local stores didn’t have the tele I was looking for, but the 5th one had the amp listed on the GC used Web site. I live in the Minneapolis area and we have TONS of shops – 2 high end, 4 GC, 4 used chain stores, a couple Best Buys, several one-off mom and pops, and 1 vintage shop that you can get almost anything Gibson has made if you are willing to trade your house for it. With that kind of choices I was able to find my tele at a local shop and I did get my amp on ebay (there weren’t any in my area). If you add up the one new pedal I purchased from another local shop along with the tele and amp; I spent three grand so far this year. GC didn’t get a penny because they won’t return emails.

    Your comments about them changing their hours and customer service made me think of this.

    Keep up the good work.

  39. Craig–haha No worries. D8 is definitely overdone, but most people don’t think of it as 80’s because Hillsong does it now so much. And I hear ya about the POD live. I totally agree. And I like chorus, and I’m a younger guy. Go figure. hehe

    Towtruck–yep, I get the same thing. I’ve emailed them and called them about thousands of dollars worth of used stuff over the years. No response, no call-backs. I check their site months later, the stuff is still listed. It seriously is like they don’t even want to sell things anymore. haha Glad I’m not the only one! Cheers!

  40. so i work at gc…. was about to go to the website but i googled it cuz im lazy to put it in the url. this popped out as one of the top deals. “oh, a forum where somewhere thinks guitar center is awesome. thats refreshing to see for once.” ….not at all what i expected.

    half of the complaints on here are bout how we were out of stock on something, …..the largest music retail store in the world….and were out of stock on something! man, its almost like we actually have people who come in and buy stuff from us!? I can say that as i started out in accessories, which is where we sell strings and such, people would come in and clean out every last pack of strings we had in a specific brand just so they would not have to come back for a while. completely understandable right, or no? is it our fault that people do that? i should think not.
    another complaint i see on here is lack of knowledge. people may think that we have people lining up to be employed at gc but couldnt be more mistaken. the job pays 7.25 an hr! plus a commission scale that is bull! a hard working individual who is trying to support their family would tell the manager of the store to shove it! so is gc trying? YES…..are they making progress? YES. we literally have to take people with no retail exp. or product knowledge that is limited and turn them into a titan. believe me, even with my degree and knowledge in audio i did not know everything. gc trains people as fast as they can, but they also throw people into the fire way to early. so the next time you find urself showin off to an employee, plz just think of the high road for once, instead of making them feel like an idiot. of course everyone that walks into the store already feels like they know everything about everything anyways. i cant tell you how many times just because of my age i was brushed aside by older gentlemen only for them to come crawling back with no answer on what the hell an interface is. or what the difference between a patch cable and an instrument cable is.

    finally, i wish to just say this….i understand how older people think that haggling is still around….but believe you me. its not. you may have A GUY who does stuff for you, but understand….the commission is where we really make our money to support ourselves. and when you walk up with a cable and ask me what the best deal is you can get, im gonna tell you the tag price….otherwise, i get nothing. let me say it again….nothing. seriously, would you ever walk up to walmart and ask the clerk about every product in your shopping cart if you can get a deal or not? no…you wouldnt….i dont understand where people get this idea. either you got a coupon, you got a price match, or you got A GUY who doesnt mind not getting paid. thats the bottom line. im sorry, im just not one of those guys. ecspecially with a degree and the knowledge that i possess. be happy you are talking with someone who wont lead you in the wrong direction and will sell you exactly what you need.

    now before i end my really long spree of all the crap that is on my chest from customers i would like to say one more thing. the thing that really set me off tonight is me thinking, wow some people who are actually gonna say nice things about gc! i was excited to read about their experience cuz it was different than all the other “i hate guitar center” and “guitar center sucks” ads. I have never had any bad experiences with any of my customers. i can say that even tho some people have tried to brush me off, or act like they knew more than me, i still have never had a bad experience. and not one person would complain about me by name because i take care of people the best i possibly can, even tho im paid just enough to sell and thats it. The thing that really sets me off is that ill never see a forum about my service for customers. never a “hey this guy at gc was so awesome to me and im gonna tell everyone how well he did.” nope not one. and i dont expect it. but when you see the negativity repeated, and everyones same stories over and over again, a guy like me thinks….wow, these people really have nothing better to do with their lives than jump online and complain about something. its like Facebook status’. no one cares! youll occasionally get the person who is right there with you, but the bottom line is….no one is going to ever remember how badly u were treated, or how poor customer service was in a store. its life, and things happen, no one is perfect, but the least you can do is take the high road and make life easier on yourself. thats all

  41. Hey, thanks for giving us the flip side of the coin. I’m sure the frustration goes both ways; nobody likes to be treated as if they don’t know what they’re talking about, whether it’s a GC employee or customer. Unfortunately, I’ve been treated that way several times by several different employees. The latest of which was a guy trying to convince me that he was giving me $70 off a DD20 because he was selling it to me for $230 and the MSRP was listed at $300. Even though I can clearly see the $230 price tag on the Boss kiosk behind me. It’s stuff like that that leaves a bad taste in my mouth from the majority of my Guitar Center experiences.

    However, there have been some good experiences, and those are documented here on this blog. There’s a few about GC Hollywood, where I bought my Matchless used from a very knowledgeable and non-condescending used gear salesman, and another about a boutique pedal guru who works at the same Guitar Center and is a stand-up guy. There’s even another one about another local GC that always gives me shipping boxes free of charge when I offer to pay for them.

    So it’s not all bad…providing you get the right people. But some of the not-as-nice employees as well as some of their corporate policies can tend to leave a bad taste in some of our mouths. And for what it’s worth, there are still a good many places in the world where haggling is perfectly acceptable. Car dealerships, mattress stores, buying a house…anything where the salesmen or on commission. I understand if Guitar Center has decided not to do so anymore, but some of us (and I’m only 26) still miss the fun of it, when it was done in the right spirit on both sides of the transaction.

    My apologies that the search led you to a not-so-positive Guitar Center post on this blog. There are some good ones here, I promise. :) Props to you for striving to be one of the salesmen there that we actually want to talk with when we go in. Cheers, my friend.

  42. GC was bad enough before they went public, but now they are even worse. I won’t even buy picks there, in fact I won’t even enter a store anymore.
    I became friends with the guitar dept manager of my local GC a few years ago. He got called into the regional manager’s office once. The guy wanted to know why he had so much turnover in employees. my Friend told him it’s difficult to keep employees when they can barely make $200 a week working all open store hours. Unless you are selling $15K les pauls twice a week, there is not much to be made. And the same employees realized they can go across the street to McDonalds and start at $12/hr.
    Well the regional manager told him that’s no excuse and the turnover in staff was my friend’s fault. He lobbied for a more reasonable compensation model and was laughed at.
    A local retailer told me that GC is in so much debt that Gibson will only allow GC to advertise as an authorized dealer, nobody else as GC owes them millions, and they want their money.

  43. Wow. That’s really bad! Ya, they don’t seem to have the greatest business model, or hiring system. I feel bad for your friend, for sure. Does he still work there?

  44. he ended up leaving as he was so disenfranchised. They are now owned by Bain Capital(of Mitt Romney fame) who also owns the Home Depot. Their business model of “try for 30 days or return” has seriously backfired on them. Other retailers in my area know of studio musicians who go into GC, buy a $1200 strat, and a $4000 Marshall full stack….take it to the recording studio on Friday and Monday bring everything back for a full refund.

  45. Ya, they probably need to change that policy. Either that, or start an equipment rental section of their business and filter all that through it. Still would be tough, though…

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