Guitar purchase etiquette at Guitar Center

bob-i

Member
Messages
8,776
I'm up front with the guy and tell him I'm not buying, but when I do buy something I make sure the guy gets credit no matter how small.

I wouldn't accept a guy complaining I only buy small stuff, I'm not there to make him money, I'm there to get what I need, so he can bite me. When I DO buy something big its not gonna be from a guy who complains about the small stuff.
 

Semitone

Member
Messages
898
This may sound harsh, but I do not give 2 schitz who gets credit. Just ring up my purchases and get me out the door in under 10 minutes. I've never spoken to a single GC employee who offered any knowledgable sales consultation, and typically they only offer hilarious misinformation. It's not my job to sort out their internal issues.
I agree. It's not your job to try to fix GC's operating model. The OP took a look around to try to find the salesperson...decent attempt to give credit to the proper person... but after that, go to the register and not worry about it. You didn't break it, you don't need to fix it. You are the customer. The employees are there to help you solve your problem...not vice versa. If the employees can't sort it out internally, they shouldn't be there.
 

DrumBob

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
17,065
First of all, I am a sales professional with over 20 years experience in MI retail and commercial AV and I earn my living as a design engineer and commissioned consultant. I'm successful because I've worked hard and continually educated myself.

I've shopped at many GCs and the structure of the company is the flaw. More often than not, I've called ahead to simplify and speed up transactions and showed up 15 minutes later and the guy I spoke with wasn't even in the building. It has nothing to do with my quality as a human being.

I'm in sales, and have been for thirty years. If you're a sales professional as you say you are, you should understand what it's like working on commission. The kids at GC, as incompetent as some of them are, and as much as we all say we hate them, are still trying to earn a living, and they probably haven't sharpened their sale skills. They get paid sh** money by an organization whose compensation plan is set up so they get screwed; an organization that's on the balls of its ass, and most likely about to go bankrupt because it can't repay a huge loan due this month.

I can understand your feelings if a GC kid acts like a clueless idiot. We've all known a few of them. But, I've bought three guitars at GC over the last year, and both sales people, and in one case, a store manager, were helpful, knowledgeable and smart. They earned my business, and got it.

My point is, have a bit of sympathy for the good salespeople at GC. Not all of them are idiots, and if a salesperson has earned your business, make sure he or she gets the commission they've earned. I have bought things at GC, and made sure the correct guy got rewarded for it by telling the manager his name.

Think about it. How would you like it if you pitched a deal to someone and a competitor stole that deal from you? I'm sure it's happened to you. It's happened to all of us.
 

bluesjuke

Disrespected Elder
Messages
24,143
My GC experiences have been almost completly positive and I have dealt with some good guy that have treated me right, including managers.
The ones I've dealt with did know their stuff pretty well and I alwasy sought to give them my business when I walked in.


SUre there are some younger and less experienced and maybe shouldn't even be doing that job.

Painting all with that broad brush is not fair nor true.
 

Noise Under The Floor

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
10,918
The kids at GC, as incompetent as some of them are, and as much as we all say we hate them, are still trying to earn a living, and they probably haven't sharpened their sale skills.
The customer/buyer isn't responsible for their choice of employment or the fact that a lot of them have poor sales skills. If your job is selling stuff in order to make commission, then you better make it your job to do so, and give a damn about what you're doing. Whether its guitars or whatever, for whoever. You chose the job, its what you're there to do. If you're not into what you're doing your numbers are going to reflect it. Handing someone a guitar and walking away isn't sales. If that's what the employee wants to do they should go work someplace non commissioned.
 

Celery Man

Member
Messages
289
What's the etiquette for when they have a parts-o-caster on the wall tagged as a Fender? "Excuse me sir, could you help me locate the serial number of this guitar?"
 

tele1951

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
759
This may sound harsh, but I do not give 2 schitz who gets credit. Just ring up my purchases and get me out the door in under 10 minutes. I've never spoken to a single GC employee who offered any knowledgable sales consultation, and typically they only offer hilarious misinformation. It's not my job to sort out their internal issues.
^^^not cool. You obviously don't work on commission. If you did, you would have an appreciation for those of us who do. I avoid people like you in my world. What goes around,comes around.
 

DrumBob

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
17,065
The customer/buyer isn't responsible for their choice of employment or the fact that a lot of them have poor sales skills. If your job is selling stuff in order to make commission, then you better make it your job to do so, and give a damn about what you're doing. Whether its guitars or whatever, for whoever. You chose the job, its what you're there to do. If you're not into what you're doing your numbers are going to reflect it. Handing someone a guitar and walking away isn't sales. If that's what the employee wants to do they should go work someplace non commissioned.

Sure, some GC kids are idiots, but some try and just haven't developed their sales skills. Some GC salespeople also feel beaten down and discouraged by the unfair system and get fed up, and it shows. If a GC sales guy hands me a guitar, acts disinterested and just leaves and I never see him again, screw him, he doesn't deserve a commission.

But if a guy actually takes the time to try and sell me and answer my questions, I'm responsive, and I will make sure he gets a commission for the sale. I've had better experiences in GC lately, for the most part.
 

GCDEF

Supporting Member
Messages
27,647
This may sound harsh, but I do not give 2 schitz who gets credit. Just ring up my purchases and get me out the door in under 10 minutes. I've never spoken to a single GC employee who offered any knowledgable sales consultation, and typically they only offer hilarious misinformation. It's not my job to sort out their internal issues.
It's no secret that building up a relationship with a sales person usually results in better prices over time.

I guess I'm lucky, but around here, the local GC and Sam Ash are staffed mainly by people in bands, and most of us know each other. I go into either store and the people in there either know me or at least know who I am, and I know them the same way. I get great service at both stores.
 

JRC4558Dude

Member
Messages
5,712
This thread is an excellent reminder of why I'm thankful every day that I'm no longer a salesman working on commission. I did it for 6 years in a music store and it sucked (even though I was very good at it).

The next time you're in a music store, (or any store) have a little compassion for the guy or girl serving you. Working retail means long hours, crummy pay and often no benefits. Yes, of course the person serving you should be helpful and professional, but courtesy and respect are a two way street.

Some of the posters here seem to think that they guys working at GC or wherever are somehow beneath them. It's pathetic.
 
Messages
17,654
if all he/she does is say "im so and so, if you need any help, let me know" and then disappears, you owe them NOTHING...I swear some retail salespeople think this is enough to earn the commission

but if they keep checking in on you, arent too annoying, and actually get stuff for you, then yes they deserve the sale imo

I would have gotten their name and told the register dude so-and-so was helping me but wasnt around
 

gtrdave

Member
Messages
5,100
My local GC in Lakeland knows when I walk in the door that I deal strictly with one guy. He has consistently given me great service and great deals, so I wait for him if need be.
That's been my deal with most music stores I've ever gone to...or more specifically, the ones I tend to frequent.
I have "a guy" who I deal with almost exclusively. We have a friendly and professional relationship and it benefits each of us: I get the deal and they get the sale.
When I was out on the west coast I would even follow the salesperson to a new store if they transferred or went to work for a competitor. To me, the relationship is key and I can avoid dealing with yahoos who don't know squat about gear.

Side note: Yeah, I know every salesperson has to start somewhere and we should always try to cut them some slack and show a little grace, but I'd much rather have an ignorant sales trainee answer a question about the purchase with "I don't know, let me try and find out for you" than the typical "let me manifest a fictional answer in my brain and spout it out my mouth in the hopes that you are more stupid than I am" response which seems all-too-typical of some GC employees.
 

buddaman71

Student of Life
Silver Supporting Member
Messages
12,780
It's no secret that building up a relationship with a sales person usually results in better prices over time.

I guess I'm lucky, but around here, the local GC and Sam Ash are staffed mainly by people in bands, and most of us know each other. I go into either store and the people in there either know me or at least know who I am, and I know them the same way. I get great service at both stores.
i realize that, and, because i've been in and around the industry my entire adult life, i am lucky because i can get anything i want directly from manufacturers or distributors...

for the record: i WAS in the retail MI industry for 10+ years and still AM a commissioned sales professional in the commercial AV industry...i would never purposely screw someone over who has worked with me and EARNED a commission...ever...i'd NEVER think anyone is beneath me...quite the opposite

my only focus on replying to this silly thread in the first place, is that SPECIFICALLY GC policies, hiring practices and attrition rates have made it almost impossible, in MY personal experience, to even know or care about a SPECIFIC person who "helped" me (loosely used term)...

i simply cannot remember the last time any GC employee even told me his/her name or gave me a card...my entire point, for which now, i'm apparently now a waste of a human being for stating (i'm kidding!!!!! seriously...lighten up y'all :)) is that it's pretty difficult to bend over backwards and put in effort as the CONSUMER to make sure a nameless, faceless order taker who didn't really bring any value to the transaction in the first place gets credit...that is all...

peace :)
 

8raw

Member
Messages
1,090
I hate the commission system at GC. If I shop there I'd rather get a kid, because they aren't so deep into it. It does matter to me who is getting the commission. I am paying somebody and I want it to go to the person I select. So, an up and coming kid is good. Not just a guy an inch deep and a mile wide.
 

Tommy Biggs

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
6,119
This may sound harsh, but I do not give 2 schitz who gets credit. Just ring up my purchases and get me out the door in under 10 minutes. I've never spoken to a single GC employee who offered any knowledgable sales consultation, and typically they only offer hilarious misinformation. It's not my job to sort out their internal issues.
I dont think they really give a damn, they just want your money. Nothing more. But its an awful job and whoever helps I will try to find when I am ready to pay.
Not my problem. I am there to shop, not fit into some commission scheme.
Here's a tip fellas. Be nice. Often people are nice back. In a store you regularly frequent, or are likely someday to do business in - scout for the staff who look knowledgable. Don't waste their time. When you buy somethhing commissionable - make sure they get the commission.

Maybe things are different up here in NJ (where folks are known to be friendly and helpful) but there are guys in Sam Ash and GC (3 within 15 minutes of me) and who know what is going on. There are some regular staff who have attitudes that I avoid.

The stores are busy - so they can't drop everything for you to try 20 different guitars if you aren't serious. But they will help you out when you let them know you are shopping vs looking. When I'm shopping I ask for that guy - if he's out, and someone else helps, I always say who helped out. the operative phrase is "helped out".

Let a musician make a buck, reward the guys that provide service -maybe they'll stick around, and you'll find knowledgable staff next time you are shopping - instead of short term know nothings.
 

jorlevis

Member
Messages
326
Those guys strictly work off min. wage with commission. By going to some guy at the register you by-pass the guy who actually tried and should get credit..
 

Myriad_Rocker

Member
Messages
439
I've only had a few decent experiences in GC when purchasing something. One time was several high dollar recording items and another time was a cheap used cab. Both of those times were out of town, but still at the same store.

Every other time (that store included) I've been into GC to make a purchase, the sales people act pretty disinterested. At my local GC, there's one guy that works there that used to work at a locally owned guitar store. He was cool as all get out back then. When he started working at GC, he became a totally different person. I also happen to know the store manager, who used to own his own music store in the area several years ago. He's changed, too, albeit less so.

The last time I made a purchase from my local GC, it was an Epi Dot Deluxe. The tag said it came with a case and the guy said he'd pay the tax. Sweet, not a bad deal. I said I'd take it. The guy goes to the back to get the case and shows up with a dreadnought guitar case. I said, "That's not the case that goes with the guitar." He says, "It's a case and it works." I said, "But the guitar won't fit properly." He goes, "I don't have to sell you the guitar. Do you want it or not?" The guy was a total d-bag. I bought the guitar, but not directly from him. I ended up paying someone else at the register. I asked them to test fit the guitar in a case that obviously wasn't meant for it. It fit...but the case was deep and there was obvious tension on the neck. The guy that had previously been a d-bag shrugged his shoulders and goes, "See...". I ended up buying a Dot case on Amazon and selling the dreadnought case. But I'll NEVER buy so much as a pack of strings from that guy again...and I'm pretty sure he was the guitar department manager.

So, in conclusion, I think the problem is culture. It trickles down, rolling down the hill like chicken $hit does.
 

jtm622

Member
Messages
9,317
If the sales people there are on commission, then why don't they simply request that you ask for them should you come back to buy an item that they've showed you???

Business cards these days are cheaper than the gas those guys burned to get to work, so why not have some printed up to hand out to customers so that they'll at least know who to ask for?

The salesperson that's on a commission needs to show a little initiative, or maybe he's got the wrong job...

In any case, ultimately it's not the customer's responsibility to manage GC's sales department...


:)
 




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