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I've decided that I am going to get the Les Paul. I am going to go on tuesday after finals are over. So I am hoping they have one that I want there. It is Guitar Center and they more than likely will. I was wondering if you had any tips for me. I have never had to deal with Guitar Center before, have never bought a guitar before. (been using my friends old electric for the past 2 years). I would like to get a good price along with a few things in the deal. i.e. Strings, Stand, New Strap and a set up. SO any advice going in? Thanks in advance.

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Don't know about GC, other than what I read here but take your time. Play everything you can for a while, visit lots of shops. Don't get bogged down in the details of a deal until you are clear in your mind what's on the market and what it is you like best. You seem decided on a Les Paul, so go and play as many as you can find. Learn all about the different models of Les Paul by getting your hands on them in the shops and by reading the forums here and asking questions. The people here are very knowledgeable and more than willing to help.

 

If choosing a Les Paul I'd have to decidde on:

 

Historic or USA model.

 

Type; standard, custom, studio, faded, bfg, etc etc

 

Type of neck; thin 60s or fuller 50s style

 

Colour

 

Only then would I start looking for a deal.

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Definitely negotiate a price. Depending on the price on the wall you can usually walk out of there with a decent deal. Make sure you have cash in hand and tell them the price you want to pay. They may scoff at it, but it never hurts to ask. I do not think it in unrealistic to go 20% below the price marked. I usually start there.

Make SURE that once you have decided on the guitar they bring you one out from the back. If they do not have one in back have them bring another one in that is unopened (unless you are set on the guitar you have in hand). I am very anal about this fact. I want one that has not been touched by anyone but me. Some people do think I am crazy, but I always feel wierd about playing a guitar that has gone through hundreds of hands.

If you are getting one new out of the box, play it once you open it and make sure it is the guitar you want. I have had them bring a guitar out of the back for me before and it played awful. They had there repair guy do a set-up and it still played awful. I actually waited for another one and that is the one I got.

Then ask them to do a set-up for you whether it is new or off the wall. You just spent a ton of money on a beautiful guitar and they will almost always do one for you IF you ask for it.

FINALLY go home and play and play and play. Enjoy your new guitar.

Good Luck and I hope you find the one you are looking for.

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I was at a GC last week and nearly every Gibson I played had cracks along the neck binding at each fret. It must have been from the lack of humidity. So, I'd go over that guitar with a fine tooth comb.

 

If you find one that you like, ask them to take it home for 24-hours. I find it hard to get a good feel for an instrument at the music store. I wouldn't buy a guitar from the display rack either...but that's just me.

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As said above negotiate price. Although, less willing to negotiate since the new ownership they still will. Walk out if they don't. They have a price matching policy so do pricing research online, bring it with you and don't settle for just matching the price. If they're not negotiating the price of the guitar as low as you would like ask if they'll throw in a set of your favorite strings, a strap, strap locks, a cable and picks to make up the difference. You'll need them anyway.

 

As pointed out above, ask if they have one in the box you can buy. They like to move inventory from the walls first so their first answer to this is generally no so stand firm. If you have to have the one you were playing and it is dinged use that as a negotiation point.

 

You want to be able to hear the guitars you're playing. Some GC's have a room. Pull the model amp you will be playing into the room with couple of your favorite LPs and play them side by side. Take your time.

 

Have it professionally setup after you buy. There may be some exceptions but most of their guitars are not well setup and I don't think that most their sales reps can or should setup a guitar although I've seen them try. Call Gibson Support and they'll point you towards a certified tech in your area.

 

Don't forget to look at used guitars. A buddy just bought an 03 SG Standard from GC in perfect condition for half of the price of a new one.

 

Congrats in advance. You'll never regret buying a LP!

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As said above negotiate price. Although' date=' less willing to negotiate since the new ownership they still will. Walk out if they don't. They have a price matching policy so do pricing research online, bring it with you and don't settle for just matching the price. If they're not negotiating the price of the guitar as low as you would like ask if they'll throw in a set of your favorite strings, a strap, strap locks, a cable and picks to make up the difference. You'll need them anyway.

 

As pointed out above, ask if they have one in the box you can buy. They like to move inventory from the walls first so their first answer to this is generally no so stand firm. If you have to have the one you were playing and it is dinged use that as a negotiation point.

 

You want to be able to hear the guitars you're playing. Some GC's have a room. Pull the model amp you will be playing into the room with couple of your favorite LPs and play them side by side. Take your time.

 

Have it professionally setup after you buy. There may be some exceptions but most of their guitars are not well setup and I don't think that most their sales reps can or should setup a guitar although I've seen them try. Call Gibson Support and they'll point you towards a certified tech in your area.

 

Don't forget to look at used guitars. A buddy just bought an 03 SG Standard from GC in perfect condition for half of the price of a new one.

 

Congrats in advance. You'll never regret buying a LP!

 

very well said.

 

here's a really good rule of thumb when dealing with commissioned employees: Assume they are lying to you. They will tell you anything and everything to get you to buy the guitar. And don't fall for that tag team crap they pull. It's like buying a car...know ahead of time they are trying to eff you over; their paycheck is directly related to how much they can rip you off. Make the salesman eat his commission.

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Mine came from GC. I bought it off the wall... but look at it! I wanted this guitar.

 

Everything everyone has said here is excellent advice. If I may add, tho...

 

I believe every GC has a Platinum Room. Get them to let you in there. Much more quiet and easier to hear it.

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First of all you should check out GC and Musiciansfriend websites... they are the same company but sometimes prices will vary a little.

 

You take a look there for prices, it has happened to me that i see something on their site and when i go to GC the thing is at a higher price... so i allways print what im looking for fro GC before going there, this way i can show them the advertised price for the item im looking for.

 

Read reviews, read the specs of each guitar you like and look for them in different sites (zzounds, sweetwater, hell even samash), that way you can go to the store with a clear idea of what you want, and it will be more difficult for the salesman to sell you some piece of sh1t nobody wants.

 

MOst of the time they wont have in stock in the store what you see on their website but oyu can order it with no problem and it should take a week for it to arive (unless it is a custom shop or something like that).

 

As noted aboce by everyone, play as much as you can, ask for a better price, as for a setup if you think the guitar needs one.

 

And forget about case candy... you are buying a very good guitar, it will come with the original case, some documents, a pickguard and a tool that you use for the truss rod. You can ask for strings or even guitar care products, but asking for a strap or cables is gonna leave you with the cheapest strap and cheapest cable, and guess what? they will break when you less espect it. Spend a little more in a good strap and a quality cable.

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In addition to the price matching, make sure that is the "out the door price" and includes sales tax. Make them eat the tax. If they say they can't, then tell them thanks anyway, I'll just order it on line where you don't have to pay for tax or shipping. Especially if the lowest price is from the GC or MF websites. They are not going to let a Gibson buyer walk out the door, to loose the sale to the Internet department of their own company.

 

Good luck, we look forward to seeing your new axe in these pages soon.

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When I bought my Les Paul from GC they threw in an 3" Ampeg strap (I like a thicker strap with my LP because of its weight), two sets of my favorite DR strings, a package of Dunlop nylon picks and a monster cable. Of course you're going to get the cheap stuff if you let them drive the situation. The point, if you don't ask you won't get anything and these, as well as the care products you mentioned, can help reduce the overall cost of the deal. When you're spending this much on a guitar you have some leverage and should use it.

 

I totally agree with you on shopping around. I've had good and bad experiences online and at the store alike and often what sets all these resellers apart is when you have an issue after the purchase. I recently bought a guitar for my daughter from Musician's Friend and it arrived in bad shape. They sent me another in two days even before the return had arrived back at their warehouse which is against their written policy. I was pissed when I received the first guitar but they handled it so well that I ended up a satisfied customer.

 

Good point about "tax-free" with the online retailers.

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Ya, thanks for the advice. I am going for a gibson Les Paul Standard. I have 2200. I'm thinking that should be enough. ANd guitar center is the only place that sells gibsons around here. OH and im making my mom go with me, cause Im an 18 year old kid that they probly won't take seriously. SHe's also quite the negotiator, lol. THanks again.

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Grab your ankles, especially if you're young.

They love young, stupid customers with a bad case of GAS (Guitar Acquisition Syndrome) because they KNOW they can screw you...

 

The best advice I can give you is shop like everybody else has told you - then go home.

DO NOT buy immediately, they are sharks on commission, and they don't want you to leave empty handed.

They WILL lie to you, and no matter how "cool" they seem, they are NOT your friends.

There are some good people working at GC, but they usually don't last long due to the management pressures to fnck everybody.

 

I have a dozen personal stories I can cite, all true and all very damning of the GC business model.

I was in one yesterday - we have FOUR of them in Phoenix - and this kills me.

Why do they want my name for a pack of picks? It's a cash sale, and I doubt I'll be returning them.

I was hearing the same lying BS from the floor manager concerning the new Taylor electric. He's full of sh!t, he knows it, he knows I know it, but he keeps running his mouth loud enough to make sure everybody hears what JUNK the new Taylors are.

All because he doesn't have one to sell me and one of his competitors, Milano Music in Mesa does.

Oh, he'll tell me he has lotsa Taylor acoustics in the store, and they are the finest acoustics in the world.....

Then, when you leave, they have somebody stationed at the door to treat me like a 13 year old shoplifter.

"Can I see your receipt?"

Bastard coated bastards with bastard filling.

 

Concerning price;

There is a Minimum Advertised Price that Gibson retailers are held to.

They can't advertise lower, but they can sell lower if you drive the bargain.

MAP is usually around 65% of list.

They CAN sell at a third off list, and that is where I walk if the list is $3,000 and they won't go for $2,000.

 

Look online, everybody out there publishes the list price in their ad. Musician's Friend, Sweetwater, 123, all of them.

Find the EXACT guitar you want, write down EVERYTHING about it including the serial number, and go home for some web searching.

Call Gibson with the serial and see if their description matches what you're looking at.

 

Once you are armed & dangerous (with information) THEN go back to talk to them.

Do NOT finance it there, do NOT take the store credit bait, do NOT tell them anything about money until you have a price you like.

Do NOT pay a penny for anything else, let them throw in what they will as far as strings, strap locks, picks, cheap sh!t.

If you need a stand, strap or anything like that it will INDEED be cheap sh!t, so get that on your next trip.

Come back later after you are a "good customer" and give them a chance to make you a smokin' deal on good quality stuff there too.

 

It's possible to get a good guitar with no scratches and dings, at a good price, with no bullsh!t from Guitar Center - I've done it.

It just doesn't happen very often.

 

Good luck swimming with sharks, let us know how it goes.

Here's a You Tube link that expresses my sentiments clearly.

Profanity within, and deservedly so....

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m-0s3V4xAsA

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Ya' date=' thanks for the advice. I am going for a gibson Les Paul Standard. I have 2200. I'm thinking that should be enough. ANd guitar center is the only place that sells gibsons around here. OH and im making my mom go with me, cause Im an 18 year old kid that they probly won't take seriously. SHe's also quite the negotiator, lol. THanks again.[/quote']

 

they will take you seriously if you take yourself seriously. Confidence is what matters, not age. Let them know you are a serious buyer, not some punk-assed teenager who wants to bang around on a $2500 guitar. good luck!

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Think Poker-face. They may try to pre-qualify you by throwing big $$$$'s at you to guage your reaction to sticker shock. Just remember, you are in command; they need you a whole lot more than you need them. Trust me, don't go gaga over the perfect axe, even if it is exactly what you are looking for. Keep a stoic look and maybe even a shrug with the obligatory "it's ok" thrown in for good measure. And like NeoConMan says, don't buy the first day in the store. It's good advise.

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I don't understand what some of these people are talking about, GC is fine. I've done a side-to-side comparison to an Epi Les Paul, and they are somewhat close. The Epi is good for a 500, if your still trying to keep it cheap. But the only problem is, some of the hardshell cases are half the price of the actual guitar, so WATCH OUT!!

 

But I'd still stick with a Gibson. I just wanted to help in the field of "Save Money"

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I don't understand what some of these people are talking about' date=' GC is fine. I've done a side-to-side comparison to an Epi Les Paul, and they are somewhat close. The Epi is good for a 500, if your still trying to keep it cheap. But the only problem is, some of the hardshell cases are half the price of the actual guitar, so WATCH OUT!!

 

But I'd still stick with a Gibson. I just wanted to help in the field of "Save Money"[/quote']

 

Not talking about the gear that GC carries or even the prices they charge. Main point of this thread was to pass along some personal experiences that some of us has had when dealing with GC and the overall attitudes they promote. This is particularly true when you want to check out the guitars in the glass case.

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I love smaller guitar stores. I am not a big fan of GC. The place I have ordered my Standard threw in a Valve Junior amp for free and also gave me a competitive price for the Standard.. A smaller store usually takes more care of their inventory. They also can order a guitar for you--though you may have to wait a few weeks/months. I think GC has great prices for accessories--but I wouldn't buy a guitar from them.

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They also can order a guitar for you--though you may have to wait a few weeks/months. I think GC has great prices for accessories--but I wouldn't buy a guitar from them.

Just to further this...larger retailers will also order guitars for you and the wait is the same. I ordered a R8 without VOS treatment from a large franchise music store and the wait was up to three months. I ended up canceling it for other reasons.

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THe only problem with not buying on the first day is that going to guitar center is quite the drive' date=' Chances are I won't be able to make it back for quite some time.[/quote']

 

Then take off for an hour or two. Grab some lunch, shop for some shoes, pick your nose, whatever... Just don't let them know you're coming back.

The last thing any salesman wants is for a customer to walk out the door. They will try anything to stop you. You know you're coming back, but he/she doesn't. If they've tried all their tricks, and you still have the superhuman power to oppose their will, they be so freaked out that when you do return they'll know not to screw around or you might walk out for good next time.

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All the goo d advice is needed and Guitar Center will tell you the case is extra unless you know that's bunk and Gibson includes a case on everything other than low cost models like faded and Melody Makers.

 

That said I don't see the hating on GC it's like a stores who works there there are some great GC folks out there with good people ask to speak too the Guitar Mgr tell him your new to this and ask for help after you tell him your price available.

 

The Store I use is great the manger nows I buy a lot of guitars and wants me to buy from him as well as refer other so he;s good that doesn't mean he won't sell high if someone asks for it. but he turns some great deals from him on new and used guitars they take in in trade, I just picked up a J-45 that was two year old and looked better than most of the guitars on the floor. he sold it to me for what he paid which was 60% less than I could have talked a new one down too.

 

on the other hand the Mom and Pop stores around here are hurting so they are tight on the Gibson brand guitars really tight blaming the g=huge cost that gibson makes them buy as a reason to not deal. Phoenix has a lot of stores of all sizes for Instruments and Nick is pretty straight at the GC

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Since this has become a GC debate, I'll add my thoughts.

 

They aren't IMO a bad place to buy your guitar. They probably have the largest selection of Gibsons you will find. Just know the basics before you go looking. When I bought my LP, noone there explained anything to me about the differences in 50s vs 60s necks, BBs vs 490R/498T ot 496R/500T p/us, chambered/weight relieved ect.

 

As far as price, everyone has given some good advise on negotiating. I only slightly disagree when people begin to make them sound evil for wanting to make a profit. I don't go to my job and work for free so I don't expect that the GC employees do either. Just like buying a car, I don't expect that I will ever get that car for the same price that the dealer paid for it. No company, including GC would stay in business if they sold that way.

 

Good luck and I'm sure you'll be a happy camper when you finally come home with your new LP.

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