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kebob

Another reason to loathe Guitar Center

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I rarely go into my local Guitar Center, but yesterday I did. I became smittened with a Gibson Hummingbird Pro (cutaway with built-in fishman preamp). Very nice and I envisioned it as a great gigging guitar with the built-in electronics. I weighed my options -- don't need another guitar without getting rid of one, so I figured I consider a trade.

 

I bring my Martin D-18V to offer for possible trade. The D-18V is a cannon of a guitar -- the used market for one is between $1,600-2,000. I figure if they give me $1,400 I would be enticed to pay the difference and walk out with the Hummingbird Pro -- they make profit from both deals, I get a guitar more suited to me.

 

The young gal looks over my D-18V for awhile, checks used prices. Then comes back with her offer: $800.

 

I thought she was joking. I knew they would give me the lowest possible offer, but that is ridiculous.

 

I realize Guitar Center is not in the business of doing trades per se, but they had an opportunity to make money both ways. I don't get it.

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... Then comes back with her offer: $800....

 

This is the standard formula of GC trade-ins or outright buys, 50% of "ACV" (actual cash value).

 

At one point GC was actively advertising they would buy "vintage" gear. Bring it in, get an on-the-spot cash offer. I took in a few pieces at various times just to test the waters, yep, everytime, 1/2 "street price".

 

Business is business, and their 50% formula is pretty simple and straight forward, so I simply chose NOT to do business with them in this manner.

 

Craig's List is your friend.

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I think the standard mechanism for calculating a trade value is 50% of the market price of the instrument. The store needs to maintain a certain total margin on the total deal, otherwise they could trade themselves out of existence. We all adhere to the notion that you are likely ahead to sell on your own rather than straight trade. Perhaps list the guitar on consignment with another shop. Wait for that money to come in, and then go hunt for that bird.

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This is the standard formula of GC trade-ins or outright buys, 50% of "ACV" (actual cash value).

 

At one point GC was actively advertising they would buy "vintage" gear. Bring it in, get an on-the-spot cash offer. I took in a few pieces at various times just to test the waters, yep, everytime, 1/2 "street price".

 

Business is business, and their 50% formula is pretty simple and straight forward, so I simply chose NOT to do business with them in this manner.

 

Craig's List is your friend.

 

Yeah, I just don't get that policy. It tells me: we're not interested in trade-ins. That's fine -- they just lose business. WIth me yesterday, they lost out on the profit of selling a new guitar and the profit from selling a nice used guitar. Business is business -- dumb business is dumb business.

 

The thing that surprises me is I had them offer me a trade on my Reissue J45 last year, and they offered $1,200, which I thought was pretty fair. A Martin D-18V has a higher resale value than a J45.

 

I may go Craigslist at some point -- just wanted to avoid the hassle, and I'm willing to pay less by trading in equipment, but don't insult me by going well beyond lowballing crap.

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I think the standard mechanism for calculating a trade value is 50% of the market price of the instrument. The store needs to maintain a certain total margin on the total deal, otherwise they could trade themselves out of existence. We all adhere to the notion that you are likely ahead to sell on your own rather than straight trade. Perhaps list the guitar on consignment with another shop. Wait for that money to come in, and then go hunt for that bird.

 

Like I mentioned earlier -- they profit two ways (sell of new guitar and evenutal sell of used guitar). The only way it's not a great deal for them is if they think a D-18V would not sell, which I highly doubt. May sell the guitar on my own -- I'm in no rush -- it's a killer guitar in every respect.

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I rarely go into my local Guitar Center, but yesterday I did. I became smittened with a Gibson Hummingbird Pro (cutaway with built-in fishman preamp). Very nice and I envisioned it as a great gigging guitar with the built-in electronics. I weighed my options -- don't need another guitar without getting rid of one, so I figured I consider a trade.

 

I bring my Martin D-18V to offer for possible trade. The D-18V is a cannon of a guitar -- the used market for one is between $1,600-2,000. I figure if they give me $1,400 I would be enticed to pay the difference and walk out with the Hummingbird Pro -- they make profit from both deals, I get a guitar more suited to me.

 

The young gal looks over my D-18V for awhile, checks used prices. Then comes back with her offer: $800.

 

I thought she was joking. I knew they would give me the lowest possible offer, but that is ridiculous.

 

I realize Guitar Center is not in the business of doing trades per se, but they had an opportunity to make money both ways. I don't get it.

Thing is, if they give you $1400, they would then have to sell it for $1800-2000. That would be too much for a used D18. They did low ball a bit, if it was in perfect condition. But only by about $100-200.

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Thing is, if they give you $1400, they would then have to sell it for $1800-2000. That would be too much for a used D18. They did low ball a bit, if it was in perfect condition. But only by about $100-200.

 

Disagree a bit. A used D-18V goes for closer to $2,000 than $1,600. I see several sites listing in the $1,800-$2,000+ range. But whatever.

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Thats the way big Places do there thing.. buy low , and sell high.. I cannot and will not support stores like that.. I would rather support a Small store and give them a shot at getting more Biz..

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This is no surprise, anyone who has ever participated in a guitar forum should already know that 50% is typical for Guitar Center. Just don't take used instruments there if that isn't acceptable. You can often offset that with a larger than usual discount if you're buying a new guitar as part of the same transaction. Everything is negotiable there.

 

I suspect Guitar Center really isn't that hot on having a big inventory of vintage instruments. I think they sit around the store for a long time in most cases - check the vintage inventory of a specific store regularly for awhile. You will see the same guitars week after week. I bought my 65 J-50 at Guitar Center two months ago. I had been checking their site for awhile and they had just reduced the price on this guitar by 25%, the salesman told me it had been there for about 9 months. I offered 20% less than the already marked down price and they accepted. I was actually surprised they went for this (the manager had to make some phone calls before agreeing though). I'm sure they still made something on this deal, but not as much as they would have liked.

 

Anyway, I felt I was treated very well and got a good price (less than what I saw others asking for this model online). Also had almost a whole hour with the acoustic room all to myself to play. No need to deal with sketchy Craigslist or eBay sellers, no worries about whether it was "hot", 3 days to return for a full refund.

 

So I have no reason to loathe Guitar Center - but if I did, I'd just take my business elsewhere and get over it. :)

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I don't see why it's a big deal - it's just business and nothing to take personally. You have a price in mind where it's worth your while to part exchange your guitar, and they have a price where it's worth their while to take that guitar in part exchange. In this case the two figures were too far apart to come to a deal and you're obviously disappointed about that, but I don't see that Guitar Center have done anything wrong here.

 

The best way to approach part exchanges is to look at what your guitar sells for in completed listings on Ebay, ķnock off the fees and compare the end figure to what the dealer offered you: is the difference between the two worth the hassle of selling it yourself? If so, do that and buy the guitar you want for cash, if not take the part ex: that's all it comes down to.

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anyone who has ever participated in a guitar forum should already know that 50% is typical for Guitar Center.

 

Let's not get carried away. I've participated in several forums for years and didn't know their policy. I just assumed they offer me a fair price so they could make some profit off the deal. I've made several trades with my local mom-pop shop and was never low-balled like this.

 

No big deal for me. Just learned of their policy through personal experience. To each their own.

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I don't see why it's a big deal - it's just business and nothing to take personally. You have a price in mind where it's worth your while to part exchange your guitar, and they have a price where it's worth their while to take that guitar in part exchange. In this case the two figures were too far apart to come to a deal and you're obviously disappointed about that, but I don't see that Guitar Center have done anything wrong here.

 

The best way to approach part exchanges is to look at what your guitar sells for in completed listings on Ebay, ķnock off the fees and compare the end figure to what the dealer offered you: is the difference between the two worth the hassle of selling it yourself? If so, do that and buy the guitar you want for cash, if not take the part ex: that's all it comes down to.

 

They did nothing wrong. But offering $800 for a Martin D-18V -- c'mon, that's laughable.

 

OK -- moving on from this...

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The only trades I've taken to them are guitars with issues that I did not want to sell at a great loss and I would wait for them to run the extra 15% off a new item and make sure there was something I wanted.

 

It's worked out twice for me.

 

 

 

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The rule of thumb with GC... if you know the new guitar you want, determine in your mind how much difference you would you pay in trade to take it home. Don't be insulted by the amount they offer for your used guitar because you might be suprised by how much they can discount the new guitar. Their main concern is inventory cost of used equipment, they can always justify the price they sell the new guitar as competitve pricing. It's funny money to us but go in thinking that way, let the kick-it-out-the-door money be the only issue you work in trying to close the deal. you can always walk

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In 1985 I started a music store and I allowed people a "fair tade in value" for their instruments. Word got around and soon I was taking in lots of trades by offering them 75-80% of "used retail". I thought, karma, good will, build a good customer base....

 

Two years later I went Tango Uniform from allowing them a "fair tade in value". I had lots of used inventory with no room to negotiate.

 

Seems like people expect a $900 trade in allowance on a $1000 guitar but when it comes to BUYING that same guitar, they offer $600. Funny how that works.

 

I've never set foot in a Guitar Center in my life but I have no issue with them offering 50%. How bad do you want to get rid of that trade in? Ditto for buying something outright. I tell people, "Your _____ might very well be worth $XXX and if you want to put it up for sale, you might get that price this afternoon, you might get it next month, you might never get it. I'm offering you $ZZZ right now." If they don't want my offer, I wish them a nice day and move on.

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There's also the consideration of any store's overhead.

 

In one sense, I've never been happy with any trades I've made with stores because psychologically it's not easy to accept that your trade partner HAS to get the better end of the deal.

 

But in oder to do better, I have to either meet up with people who may or may not want to buy my guitar or ship it off to someone far away and hope it gets there the way I shipped it. I've done pretty good with eBay, but the overall fees (13%) do much of the same damage as a store's 20% consignment, though it often sells quicker. I understand Reverb is much better and, perhaps, I will try it.

 

Everyone wants a fair deal to sell and a killer deal to buy. Or is that a Killer deal to sell AND a killer deal to buy.

 

Any time you don't like a deal, you could always try again at another store or sometimes the same store with a different person appraising the situation.

 

But be comforted by the fact that nearly everyone is on the losing end of a deal from time to time. I sure have. And it bugs me for a while. But it's non-productive. Yet, it bugs me. Time removes the sting.

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A local family owned guitar shop located here in my home city offers 70% on trade-ins. They specialize in vintage guitars and they are an authorized Gibson repair facility. They sell Martins and Taylors but unfortunately, they are no longer a dealer of "New" Gibsons.

 

The local Guitar Center offers 50% on trades.

 

Bo

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In 1985 I started a music store and I allowed people a "fair tade in value" for their instruments. Word got around and soon I was taking in lots of trades by offering them 75-80% of "used retail". I thought, karma, good will, build a good customer base....

 

Two years later I went Tango Uniform from allowing them a "fair tade in value". I had lots of used inventory with no room to negotiate.

 

Seems like people expect a $900 trade in allowance on a $1000 guitar but when it comes to BUYING that same guitar, they offer $600. Funny how that works.

 

I've never set foot in a Guitar Center in my life but I have no issue with them offering 50%. How bad do you want to get rid of that trade in? Ditto for buying something outright. I tell people, "Your _____ might very well be worth $XXX and if you want to put it up for sale, you might get that price this afternoon, you might get it next month, you might never get it. I'm offering you $ZZZ right now." If they don't want my offer, I wish them a nice day and move on.

 

 

This [thumbup]

 

 

And it's not like they came to you. The guitar sells for $1600 and you're looking for $1400 on trade? That's nearly 90% of value. Crazy. What you're buying for your lower trade in credit is an easy sale. You could sell the guitar on Ebay and get $1600 or $1700 but you would have to give ebay 10% of the take and there still shipping and boxing and insurance to deal with. This is all assuming there arn't 6 more Martin D-18V's listed this week for $1200. That's the risk side of it.

 

I get why you don;t want to take 800 for it but unless you're willing to sell it yourself you're not going to get a lot more on trade.

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In 1985 I started a music store and I allowed people a "fair tade in value" for their instruments. Word got around and soon I was taking in lots of trades by offering them 75-80% of "used retail". I thought, karma, good will, build a good customer base....

 

Two years later I went Tango Uniform from allowing them a "fair tade in value". I had lots of used inventory with no room to negotiate.

 

Seems like people expect a $900 trade in allowance on a $1000 guitar but when it comes to BUYING that same guitar, they offer $600. Funny how that works.

 

I've never set foot in a Guitar Center in my life but I have no issue with them offering 50%. How bad do you want to get rid of that trade in? Ditto for buying something outright. I tell people, "Your _____ might very well be worth $XXX and if you want to put it up for sale, you might get that price this afternoon, you might get it next month, you might never get it. I'm offering you $ZZZ right now." If they don't want my offer, I wish them a nice day and move on.

 

Yeppers

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It's no different that any other business. You NEVER come out trading something, in money wise, as the business MUST make $$ on it. Say I give someone 80-90% of the selling price on an Audio Video Receiver. Then try to turn it around for the selling price. I may sit on it for months. If I'm lucky to sell it, I also give that same person (more often than not) purchasing something I'd make full margin on (that I need every time employee payday comes around, my landlord want rent, or the Feds/State wants some sort of tax payments (payroll burden esp.).

 

Do you think ANYONE really comes out trading in a car to a dealer? Most dealers survive/grow on the used car sales and cover the overhead on new car sales.

 

It's nothing personal, it's just the ratty fact business (that's paying off all those that have their hands out before you can even hope to get your little cut into your pocket).

 

Aster

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Guitar salesperson when you are buying: [biggrin]

 

 

 

 

Guitar salesperson when you are selling: [angry]

 

 

 

Guitar salesperson when you are complaining: :angry:

 

 

 

 

 

 

Depending on the guitar, the consignment in a great shop is a good option - lots of real traffic....

 

 

I had a theft of an expensive (motoring)gearbox I advertised locally years back - 2 yahoos looked at it in the morning and the next morning it was...gone...and I never heard a thing or saw it again.... I assume they came back in the middle of the night.

 

So give that some thought too!

 

 

BluesKing777.

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You don't understand the retail guitar market. There is a 100% retail markup on guitars. That Right...100%. That means you pay TWICE what they paid for it. So why would they give you even 50% of retail for a used one? The standard offer is somewhere in 40% range. You are WAY better off to sell your guitars & gear privately.

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You don't understand the retail guitar market. There is a 100% retail markup on guitars. That Right...100%. That means you pay TWICE what they paid for it. So why would they give you even 50% of retail for a used one? The standard offer is somewhere in 40% range. You are WAY better off to sell your guitars & gear privately.

 

Ok, I'll bite. Say they offered $1,200. They resell it for $1,600 (a very good price). $400 profit for the store.

 

I'm certain there's more to it than this because that makes too much sense to me.

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