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Guitar Center Warning

SleepingSG

Member
Messages
438
Hello vintage fans.

I recently sold a vintage guitar to guitar center. It was a Kalamazoo Gibson, rather well known year. Like many of you I love the details, I knew what it was and was certain about it.

When you sell vintage to guitar center the local store must defer to a national vintage expert via phone, photos, black light, and everything is tested well. The national experts then determine what it is and its value. Great! Lord knows the local teenage employee doesn’t know anything about vintage gear.

But here’s the thing. After a 30 minute process. They got my instrument year wrong, and with an error that made it more valuable.
Well, I mentioned the mistake, but the local guy shrugged as it wasn’t his call and they were offering me *great* money for it.

When I went online to check out their stock I realized MANY of the guitars were not correctly dated, some unforgivably obviously so.

I am not ascribing deceptive intent on the company, could very well be someone is making mistakes. Could be that I am in correct, though, I really doubt it. Im also not going to go into detail on any of this about which instruments are wrong and why, it would be a huge task given how many I recently saw incorrect, and I don’t really want this post to cause issues for any individual employee.

This is simply to let fellow vintage gear admirers know to do your own inspection of any of these 60-70s guitars at guitar center. I do trust them on the *condition* just not the actual dating and original parts identifying.

Given GC’s financial situation, many may start looking to buy off their vintage inventory or they may be hitting the market outside of guitar center, via other online store fronts and start throwing prices way off.
 

Jayyj

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
7,573
Sadly it's not just Guitar Center, many shops even with Vintage right there in the shop name make basic errors all the time when it comes to this stuff. It strikes me from dealing with these people that a lot of them are old boys who've been doing it since before I was born and think they know it all, but a mistake you've been making for 40 years is no less a mistake and there's a lot more info available now than there's ever been.

The very best guys in the game - well, in any game that includes experts - not only know more than anyone else, they're still looking for new things to add to their understanding of them.
 

Laurent Brondel

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
2,637
Vintage gear on GC is a clusterf**k, caveat emptor. prices are determined by faraway reps, not the guys at the local level, almost thankfully I hate to say…

A few weeks ago I bought a mid '60s Vox AC-50 head, shipped from a GC in NH very close to me, I even thought of going there to pick it up and avoid shipping risks, but I talked to the guys there and gave shipping instructions. I also bought a used cab at the same time.
Both were packed by cocaine monkeys, bubble wrapped but totally loose in the beat-up shipping boxes, AC-50 chassis tray broken, missing the fuse holder (???), L alum chassis and faceplate bent of course, tubes loose etc. They even managed to send me the wrong cab… Returning it was an aggravation: don't ever go through GC central, just deal with the local manager, I wasted days talking to clueless phone reps who even hung up on me on a couple of occasions… The manager of the NH GC finally sent me waybills when I contacted him out of exasperation, and refunded me when they got the returned items.
Never again…
 

MikeMcK

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
4,923
There was a GC in New Jersey that had a '64 and '65 Les Paul up on their vintage wall. If you're thinking, "wait a minute... there's no such thing" you are correct. And mentioning it just got some eye-rolling form the staff.
 

indexless

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
265
Ad's can lie, right now there are 2 Gibson CF-100's on Reverb from 1950, the model wasn't introduced until 1952....
 

Highnumbers

Member
Messages
756
Guitar Center is a value play. You’re likely to get a low price but don’t expect the expertise and reputation of the world’s top vintage guitar dealers. That knowledge comes with a price tag.

The normal guitar buying public thinks that vintage guitar folks are all insufferable pedants... but that’s for good reason. Unless you have a bottomless checkbook and a reputable dealer, this hobby forces you to study the details, know the history and understand what you’re looking at. The stakes are way too high to just trust whatever some seller is telling you, and to be honest I don’t put Guitar Center much higher than any individual on Reverb, Ebay or Craigslist. That’s the extent of the knowledge you’re dealing with.
 
Last edited:

Yescaster

Member
Messages
40
Iv seen GC post photo of the completely wrong used guitar based on the listing title, I always kind of wondered which guitar you'd get when you clicked and bought one of these.
 

rusty

I own a guitar & I'm 3° from Kevin Bacon
Silver Supporting Member
Messages
2,468
One of my friends just bought a '69 Blackface Twin from our GC...:rolleyes:

He tried to explain it to them, and they were adamant...
 
Messages
2,064
Yep, it's hit or miss.

A couple things, sometimes they're shady intentionally and not always innocent. I'm fully up to speed on the local Nashville platinum room and if they take in a dud at the wrong price they continue to tow a BS line. But, the vintage guys on the phone are usually just uninformed/mistaken versus the Vintage Dealers who will tear you down to 10% market value, say they can only move it for 5G's then price it at 20G's if they don't know you.


The "Vintage Experts" on the phone will give you 3 different assessments if you take an item in over a period of time 3 different times with zero changes to the item. It's pretty funny.

Good thing: They aren't dinosaurs, they will eventually drop prices no matter how hard it hurts.


It's funny how blatant it is, walk into a '61 Band Master...plastic-ey repro cloth, plastic logo, impossibly clean knobs, ask the guy about the assessment and of course it's "All Original" as usual. Eh.
 

DrumBob

Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
17,240
There was a GC in New Jersey that had a '64 and '65 Les Paul up on their vintage wall. If you're thinking, "wait a minute... there's no such thing" you are correct. And mentioning it just got some eye-rolling form the staff.
I seem to remember that a while ago. I chalked it up to just another clueless GC idiot.
 

mc5nrg

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
9,907
The expert that read the factory order number in the CF100 I recently sold dated it as '51 IIRC.

I will add that dating the exact time a mass produced manufactured product is as much an art as a science especially with Fender and Gibson. Martin is a different situation.
 
Messages
4,034
Hello vintage fans.

I recently sold a vintage guitar to guitar center. It was a Kalamazoo Gibson, rather well known year. Like many of you I love the details, I knew what it was and was certain about it.

When you sell vintage to guitar center the local store must defer to a national vintage expert via phone, photos, black light, and everything is tested well. The national experts then determine what it is and its value. Great! Lord knows the local teenage employee doesn’t know anything about vintage gear.

But here’s the thing. After a 30 minute process. They got my instrument year wrong, and with an error that made it more valuable.
Well, I mentioned the mistake, but the local guy shrugged as it wasn’t his call and they were offering me *great* money for it.

When I went online to check out their stock I realized MANY of the guitars were not correctly dated, some unforgivably obviously so.

I am not ascribing deceptive intent on the company, could very well be someone is making mistakes. Could be that I am in correct, though, I really doubt it. Im also not going to go into detail on any of this about which instruments are wrong and why, it would be a huge task given how many I recently saw incorrect, and I don’t really want this post to cause issues for any individual employee.

This is simply to let fellow vintage gear admirers know to do your own inspection of any of these 60-70s guitars at guitar center. I do trust them on the *condition* just not the actual dating and original parts identifying.

Given GC’s financial situation, many may start looking to buy off their vintage inventory or they may be hitting the market outside of guitar center, via other online store fronts and start throwing prices way off.
Well to be fair, speaking generally (and with few exceptions) GC is not the place to go if you want knowledgeable salespeople who understand the product...so I'm not surprised to hear this at all.

Hell, that's why I buy guitars pretty much exclusively from there...I've purchased a couple dozen guitars from GC over the years and about 50-60% of the time it was clear the store had no idea what they were selling and what it was worth.
 

SleepingSG

Member
Messages
438
Well to be fair, speaking generally (and with few exceptions) GC is not the place to go if you want knowledgeable salespeople who understand the product...so I'm not surprised to hear this at all.

Hell, that's why I buy guitars pretty much exclusively from there...I've purchased a couple dozen guitars from GC over the years and about 50-60% of the time it was clear the store had no idea what they were selling and what it was worth.
been there and done that =)
 

Dave1

Member
Messages
410
Hollywood does not have a clue. Those guys are idiots. Don’t let the local guy take your guitar out of your sight. They have no idea how to safely remove the neck, which they will do in the back. I’ve had nothing but bad experiences with them.
 

edwarddavis

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
7,172
I don't buy high end or vintage guitars from stores and if I did I would do my home work just kike when I buy private
 

cram

Member
Messages
13,709
Sounds like an invite for the informed, not a warning for the vulnerable and that's the point; box store with presently very little/low capital doesn't have things managed correctly? Nah... couldn't be! :)

This is an opportunity for informed buyers to exploit this to their advantage.
Just as an investment house will do when they purchase the debt, laying out a 6year plan that will keep the company limping along.

Happy Hunting ! !
 

SleepingSG

Member
Messages
438
Checking guitar centers stock. They either sold MANY over priced vintage gibsons in the past 2 months (which is great for values) or something is going on and they are moving the good and medium vintage stuff somewhere prepping for chapter 11. Anyone have any in sight?
 




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