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FinalSalvation

What's wrong with GC

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The free market system is here for a little while longer. Embrace it while you can.

 

I'm all in favor of the free market system, but part of the problem with GC is that they don't abide by it.

 

They have "created" their own competition -- GS, MF and Private Reserve Guitars all belong to the same company -- and evidently they have also engaged in price fixing.

 

It would seem that they're doing their best to create a monopoly.

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I have never had a problem at GC....but I have built a reputation at my local GC. All the sales people know me and never try to hassle me. They all know I have worked in a music store, do my homework and they always haggle on price cuz I know what they pay for their inventory. I never pay sticker.

 

On another note, the store prices on on the accessories and lower priced items are higher than guitarcenter.com. Sure it's not much but the $2-$5 increase per item x whatever volume = a lot of extra $$$. I saved $4 on strap locks cuz I told showed them the Internet price. Sam Ash does the same thing.

 

If you go in w/ confidence and know your sh!t it is very easy to get a good deal. No matter where you shop.

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Mojo, you're right on the money for the most part, but I have to take issue with this one statement;

 

 

If you go in w/ confidence and know your sh!t it is very easy to get a good deal.

In 25 years' date=' I've done a lot of dealing.

Been doing it at Guitar Center for 20 years and I can tell you that some days it just ain't happening.

 

I was just trying to remember how many of their stores I've been in...

Texas - 7

Arizona - All 5

Nevada - 2

Kansas -1

California - Hollywood

Oklahoma - 2

New Mexico - 1

Colorado - 2

Louisiana - 1

Illinois - 2

Florida - 1

Georgia - 2

 

And I bought a guitar from a store in Oregon that was shipped to Arizona in 2003 - the LAST one.

 

 

That's nearly 30 stores, over a span of 20 years.

 

Any of you who doubt me, read the story Twiz posted very carefully.

Then proceed as you wish.

Just remember their business model is out there in plain sight for all to see but is continually ignored.

The very reason they unlock the doors every morning - is to (Censored) you in the ***.

 

"Oh, but the guys at MY Guitar Center are cool guys..."

"No, they aren't gonna (Censored) me because I know what I'm doing...."

 

Yeah, right.....

 

 

 

They may not get away with it when they try, but it's up to you to keep your poop chute covered.

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Any of you who doubt me' date=' read the story Twiz posted very carefully.

Then proceed as you wish.

Just remember their business model is out there in plain sight for all to see but is continually ignored.

The very reason they unlock the doors every morning - is to [b'](Censored)[/b] you in the ***.

 

"Oh, but the guys at MY Guitar Center are cool guys..."

"No, they aren't gonna (Censored) me because I know what I'm doing...."

 

Yeah, right.....

 

 

 

They may not get away with it when they try, but it's up to you to keep your poop chute covered.

 

 

I believe twiz's story. It does suck and doesn't surprise me one bit actually. They used to push the credit card but I refuse everytime so they stopped. If they don't give me a good deal, I walk. Unfortunately, GC and Sam Ash are the closest places. The only other stores are a good 45 minutes away and don't always have what I want. GC and SA do.

 

Do I think the guys at my local GC are cool and not gonna try and screw? Not really, but like I said I know their game. Knowledge is power. Most of the time, I know more about the product than they do and I tell them what I'm going to pay, most of the time they accept, and the other times, they check w/ the store manager who accepts.

 

I do heed all your warnings and I know they are sharks but having been in their shoes doing what they do I am far from the soccer moms and dads who buy stuff for their brats. I pass my knowledge to my wife who also does not take sh!t from them. She asks what I want for any gift giving occassion, I tell her what I want and what price to pay.

 

I'm not disagreeing with you, I'm just saying, I am wise to their ways and have always come out happy. After all I only paid $1052 (after tax) for a brand new Gibson Explorer when it was priced at $1299.

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Mojo, I think you'll do just fine at Guitar Center....

 

[lol]

 

 

Next step - The Insurrection.

 

While looking around at Guitar Center, when you see somebody considering a nice guitar,

wait until the salespunk walks away to go "cut a dope deal" with the manager and tell the customer

where else they can shop in the area to save the certain horrific fate that awaits them.

 

I've let plenty of people in Phoenix know about Bizarre, Milano's, Rainbow, etc.

A few told the salespunk they wanted to wait and think about it - and left.

 

 

Aw....

Poor Guitar Center lost a sale.....

 

 

After being witness to what I've seen them do to customers over the years, I feel no remorse.

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Mojo' date=' I think you'll do just fine at Guitar Center....

 

[lol]

 

 

Next step - The Insurrection.

 

While looking around at Guitar Center, when you see somebody considering a nice guitar,

wait until the salespunk walks away to go "cut a dope deal" with the manager and tell the customer

where else they can shop in the area to save the certain horrific fate that awaits them.

 

I've let plenty of people in Phoenix know about Bizarre, Milano's, Rainbow, etc.

A few told the salespunk they wanted to wait and think about it - and left.

 

 

Aw....

Poor Guitar Center lost a sale.....

 

 

After being witness to what I've seen them do to customers over the years, I feel no remorse.

 

You know what? After reading twiz's story, I too would feel no remorse as I am sure there are many other people who got screwed the same way. That in mind, I urge eveyone to be cautious w/ musiciansfriend as well since they are under the same umbrella.

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Yeah, Musicians Friend, and I believe Music 123 is the same overall outfit.

 

I do find it interesting also how many of these mail order Web sites have the same prices on virtually everything.

 

Hmmmmm... I've only had one bad experience that brought what I believe was a sincere apology. I wanted a hard case for a 12 string acoustic I'd bought elsewhere. I asked the young lady on the phone sales line if she was familiar with the guitar dimensions and their cases. She acted as if I were an insulting, macho, woman-hating jerk and told me they had nothing that would fit other than a gig bag.

 

Okay, I was getting strings and some other stuff too, so I ordered the bag. Then I did a bit more research, called back and complained. I got the hard case I wanted. The sales person didn't know what she was talking about.

 

No, I'm not an insulting, macho, woman-hating jerk 'cuz I ask the same questions of male sales people when I'm looking for something relatively specialized. Turns out she got in over her head. She was simply guilty of non gender-specific hubris and ignorance combined.

 

As I said, though, I was treated decently when I called to complain. Ditto my last order for strings and stuff where there were some tech questions to ask - and I asked the young male sales person if he knew about the stuff I was looking for. He said "not everything, but we can check if there's a question." It turns out he could and did - and saved me some money as well.

 

As for messing with sales in the store, I dunno.

 

I remember working in a large store when I was 19. I told it as well as I could in terms of product quality.

 

Funny thing is that some of the other guys had sale numbers that bounced up and down; mine were were climbing over an averaged straight line for other folks when I left for my first printing and publishing job.

 

My opinion is that long term, a bit of integrity is worth more in terms of sales than a hot pitch. I know I've never sold a product I didn't offer my honest opinion of to the buyer. On occasion I've had customers return and apologize that they didn't listen to what they were told in terms of quality.

 

I'd wait to see if the GC sales person was pulling a fastie or if he was being pretty straight. As I've said, I think there are more sales to be made if you're honest and care about customers than if you play "big box bingo." There might be a kid working there who feels the same way.

 

Examples: Somebody bought a guitar. Do you have extra strings? How about a strap. Picks? A case? Don't buy a guitar and amp without a decent cord, for heaven's sake. Etc., Etc. Even if they don't buy, when they realize you were right, they'll be back. If they figure you were scamming them for a bigger ticket ... Naaaaah.

 

m

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Eh, once they've availed themselves of a little more knowledge at the competition they can do as they want.

That's all my intent really is, to help them see the possibility of a trap.

 

If a store I recommend can't get the sale, for whatever reason, the Guitar Center wins fair and square.

I'm okay with that.

 

Well, kinda okay....

 

[biggrin]

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Neo...

 

Yeah... although now I'm a bit conflicted.

 

Many times Ma and Pa are shopping... at some point they get tired of it any buy wherever they are last, whether it's the better deal or not. Been there, done that, regretted it. <grin>

 

m

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I'm all in favor of the free market system' date=' but part of the problem with GC is that they don't abide by it.

 

They have "created" their own competition -- GS, MF and Private Reserve Guitars all belong to the same company -- and evidently they have also engaged in price fixing.

 

It would seem that they're doing their best to create a monopoly.

 

 

[/quote']

Sorry I blame the guitar companies that make the rules as to how much inventory a store has to carry.

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Sorry I blame the guitar companies that make the rules as to how much inventory a store has to carry.

 

+1 Let us not forget about the price fixing.

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Eh' date=' once they've availed themselves of a little more knowledge at the competition they can do as they want.

That's all my intent really is, to help them see the possibility of a trap.

 

If a store I recommend can't get the sale, for whatever reason, the Guitar Center wins fair and square.

I'm okay with that.

 

Well, [i']kinda[/i] okay....

 

:-

 

 

Neo, don't say those words This is G.C. we're talking about here. [lol]

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I am going to start off by saying that there are some pretty cool people that work at Guitar Center. Some guys are cool, some guys aren't. LeeRoy at the Scottsdale store, has been working at GC for 20 years and he knows his stuff. Wally at Peoria is a cool guy and I would never hesitate to do business with either of them.

 

My problem with GC isn't the people, it's the overall vibe of the store. I feel like I'm in WalMart whenever I walk into a Guitar Center.

 

You have all of the employees smoking cigarettes right in front of the store, you have the kids coming in to jam, you have very strange people that are missing teeth coming in to jam, some lady making minimum wage has to check my receipt when I spent $5 on a set of strings. If I spend 5 grand or more they have to call my bank to make sure that I'm not using a stolen credit card. It's just a bad experience.

 

Also if I'm not dealing with Wally, or LeeRoy it's hit or miss who I'm dealing with.

 

I spent $2,500 on a guitar there a few months ago, and it took me 2 hours to get out of the store. It took over an hour to find somebody that would cahs me out and then when I showed him a 15% off coupon, they brought me into the "sales managers" office and told me that they couldn't honor the 15% off coupon because the price on the guitar is "too low as it is". I finally got them to honor the price by threatening to take them to small claims court for breach of contract.

 

Now usually if I'm in a GC, some 15 year old kid will be playing "Crazy Train" or "Sweet Child O Mine" but what's just as annoying is if somebody that is a monster player is jamming. He's never there to buy anything, he's just there to showoff about his sweep picking, or his two handed tapping. I find this just as annoying.

 

I had a falling out with one of the sales guys at Bizarre Guitars so I won't go there anymore, but one of the things I liked about that store was that it was all business. People came to that store to buy guitars, they didn't come in to that store to take out the most expensive R9 they had and play Green Day on it putting a few dings in the process.

 

I'm convinced that more people go to Guitar Center to jam, than they do to spend money.

 

Now when I was 15, I would have done the exact same thing I'm knocking 15 year old kids for so I'm guilty as well. When I was 18, Guitar Center and MARS opened in Cincinnati within 6 months of each other. We never had anything like Guitar Center. We had mom and pop stores that carried a small fraction of what Guitar Center had. I can remember when I was 18 getting off work at 3:00 on Saturday, getting lunch, and then spending the entire day and night at MARS and Guitar Center until they closed at 9:00 and then I'd go home and order a pizza and go to sleep.

 

Today I don't get blown away anymore when I see music stores with 80 Les Pauls. I'd rather walk into a music store with 30 or so high end custom shop Gibsons from after 2009 and 2010 than walk into a store with 100 production and Epiphone Les Pauls of the same instruments that have been hanging on the wall for years that nobody wants.

 

At the end of the day I will do business with Guitar Center, but only after I have exhausted all of my other options.

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2006 Gibson Les Paul Std

2006 Gibson J-45 MC

Epiphone Dot

Epiphone SG

Epiphone Blues Custom 30

 

 

I bought 2 new Gibson guitars from GC in 2006 and 2007. In the store that I went to all the premium stuff is high on the wall so you have to get staff to bring it down. My j-45 is,was beautiful and not a lot of thrashers are playing these guitars anyway.They had a setup guy that actually listened to me and I left with a guitar in my range of affordability. The mom and pop thing is sad but very few small retailers can afford to stock much of a range of spendy eqpmt. and I understand

how the gibson stocking dealer list has been decimated-I am old enough to afford these guitars and I know what I want-...and it usually says Gibson on the headstock. Every guitar I have purchased from them I was able to bring down the floor price to what I can afford-so now I have a desert burst Les Paul Std and a J-45 Std and I am pleased with both.

 

I am a tube amp guy and I buy a spare set of tubes from them when needed-they were competitively priced, and I keep going back. My amp was still in the sealed carton when I got it so it had not even been powered up when I got it. As far as the lip rings and weird stuff goes I am not moving in with them I am just buying from them-

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I have a GC 3 min from my house. I go there all the time and 'play'. GC is where I test drive what ever I'm thinking about buying.

Then when I decide I find it online from who ever has the best price ,free shipping and I pay no sales tax.

I buy picks at GC and thats about it.

The only "deal" I ever got from GC was my daughter was dating a guy who worked at GC and I had him buy a Beale Street Blue ES335 at his price about 30% off msrp and he 'gifted' it to me. I could not find a 'blue' one on the net so I used GC to get one.......Its a great Guitar right out of the box.

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LeeRoy at the Scottsdale store' date='

Wally at Peoria[/quote']

Good guys, and another one I like is Nick.

He was in Tempe for awhile, last I saw he was at Peoria.

When I was raising hell about their return policies, he was at least honest about it...

 

 

 

I had a falling out with one of the sales guys at Bizarre Guitars so I won't go there anymore' date='

but one of the things I liked about that store was that it was all business.

People came to that store to buy guitars [/quote']

I learned a little more about that story.

It was pretty bad from what I get from the guy who's not there anymore.

Can't say I blame you a bit for not returning.

Personal sh!t should not trickle into a business relationship, especially the employees.

 

 

 

At the end of the day I will do business with Guitar Center' date='

but only after I have exhausted all of my other options. [/quote']

I would say we're in complete agreement.

Did your Goldtop ever sell?

 

Be cool.

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I recently bought an Ibanez bass at the local GC. I have mixed feelings about the store. The people that helped me were pretty knowledgeable, very friendly and cool. They didn't pressure me into buying crap I don't want.. which is always just a huge waste of both of our time.

 

The problem that I did have was that the guitars on display that I played where in pretty bad shape. I can understand a display guitar being out of tune and all, but some were almost to the point of being unstrung or missing strings. That was really my only irritation.

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I never did any GC purchases. The closest GC is about 40 miles up the road. I use Sam Ash in Margate FL. The folks there are good, they treat you well. Knowledgeable about the product on hand. If they don't know something, they find out. No BS or wild guesses.

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I have a GC 3 min from my house. I go there all the time and 'play'. GC is where I test drive what ever I'm thinking about buying.

Then when I decide I find it online from who ever has the best price ' date='free shipping and I pay no sales tax.

I buy picks at GC and thats about it.

The only "deal" I ever got from GC was my daughter was dating a guy who worked at GC and I had him buy a Beale Street Blue ES335 at his price about 30% off msrp and he 'gifted' it to me. I could not find a 'blue' one on the net so I [i']used[/i] GC to get one.......Its a great Guitar right out of the box.

 

 

 

 

 

A Beale Street Blue 335.......Oh, my oh my.

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I just recently bought an axe from GC, first time doing business with them. I had been on the hunt for a white SG standard for the past 5 months. Every used one that popped up on ebay would close severely overpriced and the few new ones were at a buy it now of MSRP - screw that. I hit every single shop (all but 1 were ma and pa stores) within 100 miles , out of 12 music stores and a few pawn shops, only 1 had a Gibson, and that was a les paul studio. Every single shop had dropped/were dropped by the Gibson line.

 

Finally I had enough and decided to go Overland Park and stop at a few shops, was told the same thing. Everyone sells fenders and PRS but no one had Gibsons unless I wanted to go to guitar center (I'm thinking "oh great..."). I walked in and immediately saw a classic white SG standard up at the ceiling. Waited 10 mins for a rep to finally notice me checking it out, he took it down for me and I sat down at an amp to check it out. Played beautifully, no dings no scratches no rash. Decided ok time to go do some wheeling and dealing.

 

Standing at the register, a rep coming in off break spots me and starts chatting me up. Sticker price on this one was 1399, the other SG's were 1299. I immediately asked why this one was higher - we chatted for 20 minutes and he figured out I wasn't the usual kid buying with daddy's credit card he was used to dealing with. He cut me a deal right there. 1100 bucks, and used the 20% coupon that "didn't apply to Gibsons" but he did it anyway. Walked out of the store with it for 900 bucks.

 

Have to say he was one of the best sales reps I've ever dealt with. I had a pleasant experience and will buy from him again, and the guitar turned out to have just came in that day - it was manufactured 2 weeks before I purchased it and hadn't been touched by the kids yet. The proverbial virgin.

 

Now usually if I'm in a GC' date=' some 15 year old kid will be playing "Crazy Train" or "Sweet Child O Mine" but what's just as annoying is if somebody that is a monster player is jamming. He's never there to buy anything, he's just there to showoff about his sweep picking, or his two handed tapping. I find this just as annoying.

[/quote']

 

This is the most annoying part about shopping there, all the kids grabbing the most expensive guitars they can reach and hammering the hell out of them. While I was going through scales and checking intonation I couldn't even hear myself think because some chucklehead decided to dial it to 10 and start chugging and thrashing halfway across the store.

 

Edit: He did ask me if I wanted to finance with a GC credit card, of course I declined. I've never owned a credit card in my life and don't plan to. Wrote a check and went on my merry way.

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I usually have a pleasant experience at GC. But then I stay away from there on the Weekends, especially Saturday. Usually have the place to yourself if you go on a Tuesday Evening, but if you decide to go when the School Kids are there, you get School Kids.

 

Also, I've never had a problem with pressure sales. I just tell them, "I know what I'm looking for. I'll find You when I need you," and they leave me alone. the nearest Mom and Pop store to me gives the Worst service I've ever had to deal with and Extremely High Pressure Sales. I asked for Valve Oil and they acted like I was the most unreasonable person in the world, how dare I ask for something Small and Cheap while there's Student Pianos to be sold.

 

The First Bad Deal I ever had was from a small privately owned Music Store. I was young and inexperienced, so they sold me a fender Amp for Twice what it was worth. I learned my lesson well, never again did I trust any "Sales Person" to educate me on a Product they were selling. No matter what!

 

Needless to say I've been a Guitar Center/Musicians Friend customer for most purchases. They have better return policies and they have fewer chips on their shoulders than the Privately Owned places I've been to.

 

So I guess it depends on people more than name on the door.

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I hit every single shop (all but 1 were ma and pa stores) within 100 miles

Pittsburg' date=' eh?

Did you make it to EM Shorts in Wichita?

Great little store.

Talk to Lance.

 

I grew up in the other end of Kansas, Ulysses.

Still have lotsa friends in Wichita.

 

Good job declining the credit offer at Guitar Center.

They will gladly hook you into a finance company to make a sale.

They get their cash, you get your credit destroyed for five times the price of the guitar....

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Well, I just had an order for a buncha little stuff from MF.

 

The sales person found me some stuff I had on my shopping list with some deal that cut the cost a cupla bucks and actually knew what I was talking about when I asked for particulars on specs. Before I started with any ordering, I asked if the guy knew the equipment of the type I was ordering. He said yes, or at least I can find out if I don't.

 

I ran into one young woman sales person some years ago on a phone order who acted as if I were a male chauvinist pig when I asked the same question. I wanted a hardshell case for a used acoustic 12 I got a good deal on and some strings.

 

She said, nope, nothing will fit that one and pushed a gig bag. It took checking some of the Web pages and a bit of measuring to discover she didn't know what she was talking about. I called, told the rep the deal, he put me to a supervisor who sent me the case I wanted in the first place. The gig bag? Still have it, no charge.

 

I think there are some pickles among the sales people, but there are some pretty darned good ones too. Given how far from anyplace I live, I appreciate people who actually try to make a customer happy because frankly, after the one young lady, I will hang up on a phone order if they obviously are in over their heads. Ain't happened since.

 

BTW when I got my Leslie emulator, I asked the young lady if she knew the stuff I was looking at, she gave me the, "Yes, pretty much, and I can find out if I don't." She did have to check on one question; got me the answer and I happily ordered from her.

 

So... Yeah, I'll complain when it's appropriate; I'll also admit I've had pretty good service.

 

Never been in a GC, though.

 

m

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