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Can you haggle used gear at GC

mattjayworker

Member
Messages
1,059
Brick and Mortar Buying Guide 101:

When making an offer, ALWAYS have the exact amount of cash that your willing to spend on an a purchase in your hand AS YOU MAKE THE OFFER.

Yes, I literally mean hold out the money in your hand as you make the offer.

This method works more often than it does not.

Cash is still king.
 
Messages
23,888
You could have called the store and threw them an offer in the time it took you to post this.
Yeah, and he could've left some money on the table.

I like just dropping in (knowing the item is there) on one of these sales dates. On something that's been there and there's been no nibbles, they can come WAY off the marked price. I got a crazy deal on an immaculate '65 Reissue Super Reverb in Hoover AL but it was right on my path, NOLA to the mountains of NC. 4th of July sale.

I got a nice deal on a used Desert Sand 50s Baja at the Tucson GC, but in those days the GCs were simply awash in them. I would say you're far better off if you're on the road and just happen in on the way further that direction. If you are traveling 1,000 miles towards the hope and prayer they'll be nice to a guy - that's a good way to get rolled because they have you by the balls. Pay their price or go home empty? That's not a plan.
 

raj007

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
682
Depends on the store. My local GC had a used guitar I was smitten with and they had the same model at other stores listed for cheaper (same condition) so I asked if they could just match their own pricing from another location (was $40 off on a $700 guitar) and they said no. They'd only reduce the price if it was sitting for 12 weeks, so the employee checked and it'd been in the store for 10 weeks..."Ya, you'd have to wait another two weeks".

I decided to get the guitar anyways and I asked for new strings to be put on and to wipe/condition the fretboard (which have been standard inclusions for me in the past at every shop I've been to) and they refused to do that as well. Haha. Gems.
 

jwguitar

Member
Messages
5,881
Spotted a guitar at GC in Tucson that I am interested in... only I am 1000 miles away. I dont have high hopes to call and speak to anyone who would wheel and deal over the phone.
To me guitar sales and buying is very much in line with buying and selling a car. I am never insulted if someone makes a reasonable offer and if I can do it I will and if I can’t I won’t. I would assume Guitar Center has very much the same policies. I haven’t been in that store in a long time but I would expect them to allow you to haggle on new or used items.
 

Pseudohobbit

Member
Messages
751
With their markup on used stuff, you’d think they would. Example: they offered to give me $300 for a tube amp but the same amp used at their store (there were two that were a bit beaten up) were $550.
 

fenderjapan

WCW World Heavyweight Champion
Gold Supporting Member
Messages
4,838
You can always haggle. Whether or not they will play along depends on the item. I have haggled on used things there, but I have also gotten a firm "we're happy with the price as it is" on used things there.
 

jbviper4

Member
Messages
719
In my brief time as a GC employee, only a manager (if you could find one) was allowed to discount anything and they were instructed to try and throw in some freebies instead of lowering the price.

That was just my experience at one store fwiw.
Truth. Just picked up a Rumble 25W and instead of discounting the amp, GC threw in 4 sets of strings and some cheapo drumsticks my son wanted. Still worked out to a 20% discount off the listed price.
 

grego7

has left the building
Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
2,875
With their markup on used stuff, you’d think they would. Example: they offered to give me $300 for a tube amp but the same amp used at their store (there were two that were a bit beaten up) were $550.
yeah, that sounds about right. Seems like they offer ~ 50% of whatever used prices they can find online. Might give you a little more value for a trade in (or take a percentage off of the price of whatever the customer is getting in the trade).
 
Messages
23,888
In my brief time as a GC employee, only a manager (if you could find one) was allowed to discount anything and they were instructed to try and throw in some freebies instead of lowering the price.

That was just my experience at one store fwiw.
A very limited experience, I would say.

I lost track of all the times I showed up with a receipt from having bought "Model X" on closeout from Guitar Center City 1, at GC City 2 and the employee said "I can't get you that price". And I convinced him to just try and enter the data into the system and see what happened. And his jaw would drop and I handed him the credit card and completed the sale. Those higher ups, just tell you stuff and either they don't know any better or they feel it is easier just to lie to you. And the same concept applies to the used items. Not every time was I successful, but this happened a lot more often for me, than your post would have ever suggested. People give up too easily.
 

Highnumbers

Member
Messages
756
Brick and Mortar Buying Guide 101:

When making an offer, ALWAYS have the exact amount of cash that your willing to spend on an a purchase in your hand AS YOU MAKE THE OFFER.

Yes, I literally mean hold out the money in your hand as you make the offer.

This method works more often than it does not.

Cash is still king.
Cash might be king when you're standing in front of some dude from Craigslist, but when you're dealing with a huge corporate giant like Guitar Center - they don't care if you're waving U.S. Currency, a credit cards, traveler's checks or your first-born...

The "cash" concept works on the premise that the seller has the option of whether or not to claim the sale and pay taxes on it (highly illegal, of course), so that loses it's power when you're dealing with a corporation like Guitar Center.

Then you have the fact that you're often dealing with whatever kid they have behind the counter who may or may not care about making a sale, or even know what they're talking about. (Note - there are many exceptions with the sales staff at GC, but even a broken clock is right twice a day...).
 
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supergenius365

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
10,518
A very limited experience, I would say.

I lost track of all the times I showed up with a receipt from having bought "Model X" on closeout from Guitar Center City 1, at GC City 2 and the employee said "I can't get you that price". And I convinced him to just try and enter the data into the system and see what happened. And his jaw would drop and I handed him the credit card and completed the sale. Those higher ups, just tell you stuff and either they don't know any better or they feel it is easier just to lie to you. And the same concept applies to the used items. Not every time was I successful, but this happened a lot more often for me, than your post would have ever suggested. People give up too easily.
We were told that managers and guys who have worked there for years with a loyal customer base could discount. Not so lowly starting employees.
 

Twin

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
135
This can be done, sometimes, particularly if the item has blemishes. No harm in trying. Best to be at the store...
 

mattjayworker

Member
Messages
1,059
Cash might be king when you're standing in front of some dude from Craigslist, but when you're dealing with a huge corporate giant like Guitar Center - they don't care if you're waving U.S. Currency, a credit cards, traveler's checks or your first-born...

The "cash" concept works on the premise that the seller has the option of whether or not to claim the sale and pay taxes on it (highly illegal, of course), so that loses it's power when you're dealing with a corporation like Guitar Center.

Then you have the fact that you're often dealing with whatever high school dropout they have behind the counter who may or may not care about making a sale, or even know what they're talking about. (Note - there are many exceptions with the sales staff at GC, but even a broken clock is right twice a day...).
Okay dude, I guess I'll just chalk the many times I've successfully used this method at GC to the 'clock being right twice a day'. :rolleyes:
 

BlueRiff

Member
Messages
6,103
In my experience, GC pretty much has their 'Kelley Blue Book' with regards to buying gear, and it's about $.65 on the dollar..but they WILL buy your stuff as long as it is not complete crap..quite honestly, they are the only place to go if you want to off load heavy amps and the likes..guitars and pedals? Maybe not so much, but Reverb nickels and dimes so bad that GC might be the better option here too..

I offloaded a 2005 (boat anchor) Fender Twin a few months ago..parleyed it into a 'Blemished' Hot Rod Deluxe III..win-win for me

EDIT: I Love Guitarcenter..Sweetwater and AMS (my #2 retailer) don't any have stores near me
Agreed. Best place to sell quick is GC.
 

BlueRiff

Member
Messages
6,103
Cash might be king when you're standing in front of some dude from Craigslist, but when you're dealing with a huge corporate giant like Guitar Center - they don't care if you're waving U.S. Currency, a credit cards, traveler's checks or your first-born...

The "cash" concept works on the premise that the seller has the option of whether or not to claim the sale and pay taxes on it (highly illegal, of course), so that loses it's power when you're dealing with a corporation like Guitar Center.

Then you have the fact that you're often dealing with whatever high school dropout they have behind the counter who may or may not care about making a sale, or even know what they're talking about. (Note - there are many exceptions with the sales staff at GC, but even a broken clock is right twice a day...).
The cash concept also works on the concept avoiding credit card fees - a middle man in the transaction. Tax avoidance would never be a reason for a retail business to sell gear for cash.
 




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