Guitar purchase etiquette at Guitar Center

mcdyas

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
1,119
If you are there that often it would be in your interest to be on a first name basis with a manager or assistant manager in the guitar department. This has always worked for me, sometimes a little and sometimes a lot.
 

78deluxe

Member
Messages
5,360
I have a habit of going into Guitar Center, heading to the used section, and running the racks. If I find something I can't live without, more often than not I'll buy it.

Here's my question. I know the GC salespeople work on commission. If one or more of them talks to me when I'm checking out used gear, should I make sure they ring me up when/if I buy something? Sometimes I look for them and don't see them or they're busy, so I just go to the counter and pay whoever is working the register.

Last weekend I spent a few hours at a local GC - one guy pulled a guitar down for me, checked in a few times. I did buy a guitar, but he wasn't around when I went to check out. I did see him as I was leaving - he said something that could be interpreted as sarcastic.
Serious question, did he actually help you in some way other than getting a guitar down that you wouldn't have been allowed to get on a ladder (against company policy for a buyer to get on a ladder)?


When I hear the term checked in on me, that in my experience is more akin to ok, you are still looking at it.

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...


:)
If you had any idea how little these guys get paid even with commission (which is like 1-2% tops I believe), then you would understand why business cards would be a hefty investment.
 

V-Type

Member
Messages
3,475
I bought $800 worth of bass stuff last Oct. and on my bill were not one salesmans name but three.
And honestly I talked with only one person.
I wonder if these sales folks share like the tip jar at a restaurant,etc.....

For the OP I wouldnt worry none.
Chances are the guy inquired on the sale and got his take.
If not well its on him honestly. When you make a fee on floor sales and if in youre middle name isnt Haweye you just may miss a couple of $$$$.
 

gtrdave

Member
Messages
5,091
I hate the commission system at GC.
It used to not be that way. Well, it may have still been commission based 20+ years ago, but unlike the rigid fixed pricing of today everything was marked as msrp and you had to haggle to get a respectable price.
 

ZeyerGTR

Member
Messages
3,703
I would try to find the salesperson that helped me, but if he's not around there's only so long I'd wait around. Try to do the 'right thing', but it's not the end of the world.

I haven't had great luck at GCs - although it certainly varies by location - but the Sam Ash near me has really nice, helpful salespeople. I actually like shopping there, although I don't really go that often. Never had a bad experience.
 

gigs

Member
Messages
10,868
Most experienced guitar players don't need a lot of help from a GC salesperson. Expecting them to know more about it than you is the wrong expectation going in. Or it means you didn't do your homework before you went there. And if that's the case, you deserve what you get.

I expect them to be polite and knowledgeable about that they have in stock. And if I want to try out that $4500 axe, I expect them to get it down for me without grumbling.

One time, I asked to play the big expensive axe on the wall. The guy said, I'll get it for you, if you plan on buying it. I said, well ... not anymore and left.
 
Messages
1,820
I've established that I buy from two guys. One in guitars, one in effects. Doesn't matter what I'm buying- recording gear, drums, guits, pedals- because they're the best guys there.
 

JCW308

Supporting Member
Messages
7,687
Not cool, no matter what the circumstance.

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.
 

Semitone

Member
Messages
898
Not cool, no matter what the circumstance.
What is not cool is the salesperson making a sarcastic comment. If he was working for me he would have been fired. It shows he really isn't very professional and shouldn't be in sales. I have worked with many sales people over the years and actually seen fistfights over commissions but I have never seen a great salesperson who takes out their issues on a customer... no matter what. Great salespeople have incredibly thick skin and ALWAYS present a smile to the customer no matter what they are really thinking. This particular GC salesperson shouldn't be in this particular job.
 
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GuitarArt1980

Member
Messages
1,213
Those guys strictly work off min. wage with commission.
And I used make $4.25/hr when min. wage was $5.15, WITHOUT commission as a grocery sacker but could accept tips (which hardly ever happened) so the store could pay us less. PLUS I didn't get to work around musical gear all day.

Bottom line for me is if I'm going to buy a guitar at GC, sure I'll glance around for the guy that grabbed the guitar off the wall for me, but I'm not going to wait around to spot them so they can get their commission. It's their job to find me, not vice versa. And the guy/girl at the register should ask if anyone was helping me today. I'll gladly identify the salesperson.

I'm a nice guy (usually way too nice) but if I were the OP and a GC employee got sarcastic with me, we'd have words for sure.
 
Messages
972
What he said was "Hey, I'm really glad <other salesdudes name> was able to finish helping you out." I think he was being sarcastic (or he was really happy for me).

The thing is, I really don't need (or want) anybody's help, unless the guitar is hung up too high for me to reach it. But since I know these guys work on commission, I try to make sure the person I talked to (if I talked to anybody) gets it, even if all they did was say "that's a nice guitar, man."
 

thedesertsand

Member
Messages
286
What he said was "Hey, I'm really glad <other salesdudes name> was able to finish helping you out." I think he was being sarcastic (or he was really happy for me).

The thing is, I really don't need (or want) anybody's help, unless the guitar is hung up too high for me to reach it. But since I know these guys work on commission, I try to make sure the person I talked to (if I talked to anybody) gets it, even if all they did was say "that's a nice guitar, man."
Um...that was 100% a smartass sarcastic smartass reply to you. I would have complained to the manager, thats just rude
 

Knavery

Member
Messages
3,042
I think it all comes down to the type of person you are actually. Sure, many times the salesman you initially worked with doesn't deserve the commission. However, if you're a good person that thinks about the wellbeing of others, you will bring his/her name up when at the register just to be sure that they are getting a commission.


Some people wouldn't even think to do that. It comes down to character.
 

Semitone

Member
Messages
898
Um...that was 100% a smartass sarcastic smartass reply to you. I would have complained to the manager, thats just rude
Undoubtedly it's difficult to judge without being there but nothing about the words necessarily seem sarcastic to me.

In addition, I have never worked in a place where salespeople were shy about getting their commissions. They would just mention to the cashier that it should be their sale, work it out with the other salespeople or have the manager assign the commission. Once again, it is not the customer's responsibility to "fix" this type of problem.

If a salesperson can't get commissions allocated to his/her satisfaction then they need to fix the system, or move on to a job that suits them better. No need to abuse a customer.
 

McShred

Member
Messages
2,892
Um...that was 100% a smartass sarcastic smartass reply to you. I would have complained to the manager, thats just rude
You're probably right, but you actually have no idea what the salesperson's tone, facial expression or demeanor was. Believe or or not, there are actually nice people out there
 

joemilitello

Member
Messages
2,237
There are times when I am envious of those of you living in major metropolitan areas with big retail opportunities, but this is not one of them.

Living where I do, I do not get to try out much vintage or boutique gear, but, man, our local store, Music Villa is great.

I work with one or two guys, but everyone in the store knows my name, knows what gear I already have and what I may like that just came in.

I go out and see their bands whenever I can, and generally really enjoy going to that store, to the point that I'll stop in on a Friday just to say hi or hear a few good jokes.

Sometimes, small towns have their benefits...
 

Paleolith54

Member
Messages
3,095
You sound like a real swell human being, sympathetic to the plight of a guy working a crummy retail job for a corporation that treats him as expendable.
He sounds to me like a customer who understands where his responsibilities begin and end in a business relationship.
 
Messages
5,037
When I wasnt presented with a name or cant remember the sales person I've described the sales persons physical appearance to the person at the cashier and they know whos who.

I've never had a problem with GC really...yeah, a lot of those people dont know a lot about some of the gear (or any huge store like home depot sometimes, walmart...) but its not hard to just look that stuff up on the net, they've always had pretty friendly sales people. When information and independent reviews from the net is so readily available these days for anything and everything I'd much rather deal with a somewhat uninformed sales person who's friendly than some know it all douchebag you get a lot of times in small pricier types of stores (like bike shops for example!).
 




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