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GC trade-in experience - curious for opinions

MattC

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
1,610
First, this is not another "let's bash GC" thread, so please go elsewhere if that's what you want to do. But I had an interesting trade-in experience today and was curious for opinions.

I have a mid-2000s Mesa Maverick 2x12 combo that I just haven't played in the last few years. The amp is in very solid overall physical condition and still sounds great on both channels, but here's the rub: the reverb is totally out and I haven't bothered to get it fixed. I've casually listed the amp a few times on CL in years' past and just had a few lowball offers here and there. But now I'm more motivated to sell it to free up some space for an upcoming house renovation, so I figured I'd see what GC would offer before relisting it after the holidays.

So, I roll into GC with the amp today and immediately start talking to two of the sales guys there. Before we even went to plug it in, they were digging how cool the amp looks and the shape it was in. I immediately told the main guy I was talking to about the reverb and he just stops in his tracks and tells me, "Sorry, we can't take it if anything's not working, we'll just get people asking for us to take something off the price." I asked him if he wanted to at least plug it in and hear how great it sounds, and he declined. (The other sales guy asked me how much I wanted, I gave him what I think is a reasonable number on the spot given the reverb issue, and he smiled and said "Damn, I wish I had $x right now").

After that, I took a quick walk around the store because I can't help myself (man, if I would've gone to sell an amp and bought something instead, that would've turned out even worse at home than the string trip that turns into a new LP). I saw that a bunch of the used amps were in horrible cosmetic condition. For instance, they had a 2010 Fender Twin '65 Reissue that was so beat to hell I could see wood underneath the cabinet exterior and the left panel of the cabinet completely separating from the rest of the amp. It may well sound great and work perfectly, but it was marked down to $549 for the obvious poor cosmetic shape (I typically see GC list these between $650-$850).

I get that certain gear is unacceptable/unsellable in "non-functioning condition" and certainly understand the overall policy, but I was a little surprised in this context. This is a pretty cool amp that GC customers wouldn't see every day, and if they're willing to mark a used amp (or guitar) down for cosmetic issues, I don't see why it would be any different for at least certain functional issues like this. If one of the channels is completely out or the speakers are blown? Sure, I get it in situations like those. But here, we're talking an amp in solid condition that sounds great that can be paid for by GC and priced accordingly with the reverb being out. I don't get the sales guy's stated concern about inviting haggling any more so than with any other used gear, especially when so much of their used inventory is already in poor shape. I think a lot of customers would love to buy the amp as is for a fair price that GC could still make some money on.

Oh well, I'll move the amp elsewhere. It just seemed like a strange application of what's a reasonable policy in many other contexts. Thoughts?
 

WhoJamFan

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
2,573
Beat to hell can be sold as "mojo"
Not fully working is a pass every time, as they aren't gonna risk what it may cost the amp shop they use to fix it.
Went through that with a JC120 I had with the crap reverb not working.
 

WhoJamFan

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
2,573
I found Sam Ash to give much better trade ins than GC does.
Gc wanted to gove me $15 for a 70s script Phase 100 and Sam Ash gave me $90
 

Atmospheric

Member
Messages
4,048
Trade-ins are always sucker bets. GC will give you half of what you could get selling it yourself.

Maybe you should take the amp to a reputable tech, get the reverb working and try again.
 

Chris6870

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
1,721
Buy yourself a reverb tank off Ebay for $25.Its four screws and 2 RCA to unplug to replace it then take it back.
I had a Washburn acoustic,it was beautiful but really big and not comfortable to play. I paid $359 new,they go for maybe $200 on Ebay if your lucky, I probably would have to price it at $150 to sell it then ship it. I wanted a new smaller acoustic so I brought it in to GC. I found a really nice Breed Love that was $399. They gave me $125 for the Washburn plus 20% trade in credit. I was really happy with that. I was glad to be done with the Washburn and love the new guitar.
I checked the used inventory online for the store I traded it to for about a week after and sure enough it showed up for sale for $175. It was gone pretty quickly.
Also I would have never mentioned the reverb not working. That's an invitation for them to chisel you on the price. Let them check it out and see if they find it,chances are they would not.
 
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MattC

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
1,610
Trade-ins are always sucker bets. GC will give you half of what you could get selling it yourself.

Maybe you should take the amp to a reputable tech, get the reverb working and try again.
I hear you. I usually try to sell on CL, but there's a lot of cash-strapped folks in my area (Northeastenr Ohio/Cleveland). I suspect GC would've actually gotten close if not been right around the best private offers I got the last couple years, and I wouldn't have to deal with relisting, responding to folks, meeting up and all that.

Oh well. I'll probably fix the reverb and then let one of our higher end boutique shops sell it on consignment.
 

Killed_by_Death

Senior Member
Messages
18,302
GC & SA both have a policy of simply not buying or trading something that isn't completely functional.
One of the strings came loose on an Ibanez S320 I took in, during transit to GC/SA.
They wouldn't even look at it until I fixed the string, but they did at least let me borrow their allen wrench to do the job.
 

MattC

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
1,610
If you can't see the difference between cosmetic issues on a guitar and "certain functional" issues on an amplifier…THEY probably dodged a bullet.
Oh man, the snark is strong in this one. Look, I get why they would have a blanket, "discretionless" policy and totally understand how they handled my situation. I'm not mad In the least. Just not sure I'd do the same in their shoes, especially on an amp you don't see every day. Not like I was trading in an HRD or Blues Jr.

And btw, I was mostly focused on the amps that are physically beat to hell, not guitars for this purpose. That's a lot bigger invitation for problems down the road (and I guarantee you that if i plugged into some f these beat up amps, I'd find some pretty serious "function issues" with a lot of them that weren't disclosed by seller or discovered by GC, too - I was just honest with the gc guys up front about the reverb because I believe that's the right thing to do in these situations, no matter how big or small the transaction).
 
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MattC

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
1,610
Also I would have never mentioned the reverb not working. That's an invitation for them to chisel you on the price. Let them check it out and see if they find it,chances are they would not.
Sure, I could've done that, but I didnt want to get some sales rep in trouble if he missed it and it caused a problem for him down the line. And, I Just think it's best to be honest.

Plus, the selfish side of the coin is that I wouldn't want to sit there and go through a whole process of him trying it out and finding it at the middle or end of the process and end up wasting even more time.
 
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5,058
The Reverb should be an easy fix. I can't remember if that reverb circuit is tube driven, but if it is try replacing the tube(s). If not, it likely just needs a reverb tank. They're cheap and easy to swap out with nothing more than a screwdriver.

But to answer your question, their policy makes perfect sense to me. But only in theory, as they take stuff on trade all the time that isn't 100% functional. I've seen used guitars in there with necks bowed so bad, there's no way the truss rod isn't broken. I've seen amps where channels didn't work, etc.

You did the right thing by being honest. If it were me, i'd spend a few bucks to fix the reverb on the amp and sell it privately.

 

MattC

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
1,610
The Reverb should be an easy fix. I can't remember if that reverb circuit is tube driven, but if it is try replacing the tube(s). If not, it likely just needs a reverb tank. They're cheap and easy to swap out with nothing more than a screwdriver.

But to answer your question, their policy makes perfect sense to me. But only in theory, as they take stuff on trade all the time that isn't 100% functional. I've seen used guitars in there with necks bowed so bad, there's no way the truss rod isn't broken. I've seen amps where channels didn't work, etc.

You did the right thing by being honest. If it were me, i'd spend a few bucks to fix the reverb on the amp and sell it privately.

First, lol at that meme.

Second, yeah, thanks for hitting the point I forgot to make - half the "NEW" stuff (let alone used stuff) at GC has serious issues.
 
Messages
1,657
Trade-ins are always sucker bets. GC will give you half of what you could get selling it yourself.

Maybe you should take the amp to a reputable tech, get the reverb working and try again.
My super clean '79 Pro Reverb sat on CL for 3 weeks. I live in a mid-sized mid-Atlantic city and thought $500 would be a quick sale. I took it to GC and they gave me $550. At $550, I expected they would mark it up to $900 or so. I went back a couple days later to browse the place, and the Pro Reverb was gone. Go figure.

I've since taken numerous amps to GC and I've always been given my CL asking price for a fraction of the typical CL run-around hassle.

Some may consider picking up a new tank as a worthy gamble, and then they simply have a spare if the tank turns out to not be the issue. I'd say the majority of reverb problems are the tank itself, but I've seen enough circuitry issues in modern amps to not automatically assume the tank as the culprit.
 

MattC

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
1,610
My super clean '79 Pro Reverb sat on CL for 3 weeks. I live in a mid-sized mid-Atlantic city and thought $500 would be a quick sale. I took it to GC and they gave me $550. At $550, I expected they would mark it up to $900 or so. I went back a couple days later to browse the place, and the Pro Reverb was gone. Go figure.

I've since taken numerous amps to GC and I've always been given my CL asking price for a fraction of the typical CL run-around hassle.

Some may consider picking up a new tank as a worthy gamble, and then they simply have a spare if the tank turns out to not be the issue. I'd say the majority of reverb problems are the tank itself, but I've seen enough circuitry issues in modern amps to not automatically assume the tank as the culprit.
I think that's how my trade would've played out today but for the reverb. The CL market here is far from robust or cash-rich.
 

woof*

Member
Messages
8,779
I wouldn't expect them to take in a broken amp. They have no idea what the issue is or what kind of quicksand they are buying. Dead reverb could be a tube, tank, reverb transformer...broken traces on a pcb circuit board..who knows. They cant sell it that way.
Beat up amps that work 100% are a far better investment.
 

MattC

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
1,610
I wouldn't expect them to take in a broken amp. They have no idea what the issue is or what kind of quicksand they are buying. Dead reverb could be a tube, tank, reverb transformer...broken traces on a pcb circuit board..who knows. They cant sell it that way.
Beat up amps that work 100% are a far better investment.
On another note, do anyone's GCs have in-house amp techs? The two in my area have never had one to my knowledge (they have a guitar tech). Always seemed kinda weird to me. Probably not enough money to be made with amp work. More volume work with guitar setups and the like.
 

stratovarius

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
9,189
You are giving way to much credit to the poor sales clerks to make appraisals, estimate repairs and make executive decisions. There is no upside for them - just an opportunity to lose their job by going against company policy.
 

MattC

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
1,610
You are giving way to much credit to the poor sales clerks to make appraisals, estimate repairs and make executive decisions. There is no upside for them - just an opportunity to lose their job by going against company policy.
Eh, they're not doing anything without manager approval anyway, at least not at my GC. Anyway, like I said, I totally get why they'd have the policy, it was more the way he was telling me it was because it would invite haggling, not because the amp could have deeper problems or whatever else.
 






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