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MusiciansFriend = GuitarCenter ???


TommyK

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Was looking at a > > > Ukulele on MF < < <

 

and the same > > > Ukulele on GuitarCenter < <

 

Both show details of the heel and sound board, showing some nicks.

 

a. Are they the some entity?

 

b. This appears to be a scratch and dent. Don't they normally identify the nature of the scratch and dent? All they mention is a vague price adjustment.

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Yes they are essentially the same company. Depending on who you ask the will specify different owners. GC employees say that GC owns MF, and vice versa. My guess is there is a single entity that owns both companies.

 

I purchased a scratch and dent or "used" guitar from MF a while back. They did specify what the issue was, but there was no pic of it posted (although I don't think a pic of the blemish would have even turned out).

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.

Yes.

 

Beware the dark side of the Force.

 

Guitar Center and subsidiaries: Musician's Friend, GuitarCenter.com, Music & Arts Center, LMI, Giardinelli, Musician.com, Private Reserve Guitars, Woodwind and Brasswind and Harmony Central.

 

.

 

That explains why I got a GC exclusive Gibson from Woodwind and Brasswind.

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To my knowledge, either one owns the other or they both share the same mother company.

 

Then again, almost every company is owned by another, and that one is owned by another, et cetera.

 

It all seems to go back to the same place; the same people.

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All the above mentioned companies are owned by Bain Capitol, including hundreds of other companies such as; AMC Entertainment, Aspen Education Group, Brookstone, Burger King, Burlington Coat Factory, Clear Channel Communications, Domino's Pizza, DoubleClick, Dunkin' Donuts, D&M Holdings, Hospital Corporation of America (HCA), Sealy, The Sports Authority, Staples, Toys "R" Us, Warner Music Group and The Weather Channel.

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Guitar_Center

 

What many people, and MOST musicians don't know, is that one of the major stockholders in Bain Capitol (to the tune of something like $50+ million), is presidential candidate Mitt Romney.

 

So it is possible that in the near future it could be said that Guitar Center is owned by the President of the United States.

 

I MEAN TO MAKE NO POLITICAL STATEMENT HERE, JUST STATING AN INTERESTING FACT!

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I know for a fact... Musicians Friend is definitely MUSIC123 in disguise.

 

(search my recent posts for a better detailed description.)

 

But is Musicians Friend actually GC in disguise also... i am not completely sure. i've heard rumors to that affect, but not 100% positive. However it would not surprise me in the least.

 

Also, they MF&Music123 has employees that monitor this very forum to see if we're pissed about something, and what they can do to make it right. interesting....

 

'j'ever get the feeling you'r being watched?'

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If you phone the number on the website to order or ask questions, whether it is MF or GC, you get the same people. I know because I tripped one up once (unintentionally). Here's how.

 

I called MF to inquire about a product, and asked if I could use a GC coupon (done so many times, they've always said yes so far, under the guise of "price matching"). We began to discuss whether I'd be charged shipping, and then sales tax. He was still thinking GC (from the coupon) and stated, "we charge sales tax when delivering to any State where we have a retail outlet". I was momentarily confused and asked "you have retail outlets"? (MF does not). He said "sure. we've got them all over". "Do you have any in Florida"? (I was in Florida at the time). "Yes, closest one to you is in" (I think it was Orlando or West Palm). "Really? I didn't know Musician's Friend had retail outlets, you don't in Michigan, right"? (I am from Michigan and knew I preferred MF because they don't collect Sales tax). Exasperated sound from the Sales Clerk... "Sorry, no... we don't have any retail outlets". "Oh, you were confusing this with GC, weren't you. So you answer the phone for both"? Sheepish voice says "Yes". Busted!

 

Oddly, the stock for the two often does not match (guessing they may have separate warehouses). Also sometimes prices are different (not seen a lot of that). Either will price match with either, or any of the other big online retailers (who also will price match). So, if you can get a great deal at one and it is advertised, you can probably do the same at any of them (something to keep in mind when shopping, especially if someone is out of stock of what you want).

 

I still prefer MF due to the sales tax issue. But lately, neither would honor some decent coupons on Gibson or Fender guitars, so I went down the road to zZounds and get a decent deal on a couple of Fender guitars. Still no tax.

 

Michigan is considering a law requiring all merchants delivering into the State to collect and pay them the 6% State Sales Tax (seems illegal to me, I don't think they should be able to regulate commerce originating in another State). They say 17 States have similar laws. I hope it doesn't go through, but it probably will.

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What you SHOULD know about Guitar Center...

 

 

They give you FREE shipping on equipment listed VINTAGE.

 

What does this mean? If you order a 100lb 4x12 for $149 in relatively great shape, shipping that would normally cost you around $150-200 is free. Essentially you're getting an item for less than they are listing it at, that is of course if it is a heavy SOB.

 

Seriously, worth, getting into.

 

I have scored TONS of huge ticket shipment items from them at prices FAR below what they would be sold locally in a Guitar Center and shipping is FREE!

 

 

I just had to share.

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What you SHOULD know about Guitar Center...

 

 

They give you FREE shipping on equipment listed VINTAGE.

 

What does this mean? If you order a 100lb 4x12 for $149 in relatively great shape, shipping that would normally cost you around $150-200 is free. Essentially you're getting an item for less than they are listing it at, that is of course if it is a heavy SOB.

 

Seriously, worth, getting into.

 

I have scored TONS of huge ticket shipment items from them at prices FAR below what they would be sold locally in a Guitar Center and shipping is FREE!

 

 

I just had to share.

What happens when you need to return an item shipped to you? Can you take it to your local Walmart...uuumm...GC for a refund, etc??
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Don't know who owns who, although I believe both GC and MF are owned by the same corporation. FACT---if you go to GC to buy something and they don't have it in the store and can't find it in their online catalog, they will go to the Musicians Friend catalog. If you tell them you want something in the MF catalog, but can't find it in the GC catalog, they'll order it for you from the MF catalog. My local GC is less than a mile from me. The MF warehouse is approx 6-7 miles from me. I wanted to buy a microphone at GC, but they didn't have it at the store. They told me if I wanted to, I could go down to the warehouse and get it, which I did.

 

While on the subject of GC and MF------I've mentioned this before in here, but it deserves repeating. Musicians Friend Clearance/Retail Store used to be here, attached to the front of their warehouse. The most incredible place to shop for new and used/damaged instruments, cables, picks, strings, straps, sound gear, etc. in the world. Awesome, awesome place to buy or just kill time, AND, the most knowledable employees you will ever find. Pretty girls with lots of tattoos and guys with spiked hair who knew the answer to your questions. I miss the hell out of that place. I've probably got more money because it's gone, but it was a dream-come-true for folks who love to play music.

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Does it matter?

 

Not for me. I'm lucky enough to live about an hour away from the famous House of Guitars. GC (or whatever you want to call them) is fine for strings and the like but they can't beat the HOG on any major item.

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What happens when you need to return an item shipped to you? Can you take it to your local Walmart...uuumm...GC for a refund, etc??

 

Of course you return it to your local Guitar Center, in person and get a FULL refund for the purchased item.

 

Essentially,

 

You can order tons of stuff, and the within 48 hours return the items perpetually running them OUT of business.

 

 

 

In all seriousness, it's such a great deal. FREE shipping on huge weight items listed VINTAGE.

 

Get into it.

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Both places wind up getting alot of my money! I was told by a GC associate that yes, they are both the same thing! They do have a GC online as we all know as well. It is pretty common knowledge and, not a secret what so ever!

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Does it matter?

 

To me, I guess not. I was just surprised to see the same instrument with the same dings and dents at two 'competing' purveyors.

 

I did what I should have in the first place; Wikipedia'ed it. It appears GC bought MF to get into the internet store front business. GC also bought Woodwind-Brasswind, owners of Music123. All owned by Bain capital.

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