What's up with Guitar Center?

Birddog

Member
Messages
3,116
the walls at GC are littered with Squier, MIM Fender and entry level stuff that does not appeal to the seasoned guitar player
Crap, I have a couple of high end guitars, and I didn't realize my MIM Strat didn't appeal to me anymore. I'm well seasoned, too. Dammit.
 

tarfungo

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
51
<snip...> Also, at the store you must pay tax. If you are buying a $2,000 Les Paul the tax alone can be as high as 7, 8, 9% which can add $140, $160 or $180 to the price. <...snip>
Just wanted to mention that while you may not be asked to pay sales tax on an out of state Internet sales at the time of a sale, almost ALL states now require that you to pay that missing sales tax on your income tax returns. Take a good close look at your tax forms this year. Trust me it's there.

While you may choose to ignore that line entry on your state income tax form, (BTW; Ohio is a must pay state - assuming your screen name reflects your locality?) if you want, but if you ever get audited, the first thing your tax auditor will ask you for - no matter what they are really looking for - is a copy of all of your credit card statements for the preceding three years. If they find any out of state purchases on any of those statements where no tax was collected up front and not itemized / declared on your tax forms; the uncollected tax payments will be totaled and you will be fined and assessed a late payment penalty on the entire total.

http://www.ecommerce-blog.org/archives/the-myth-of-tax-free-internet-sales/
 

73Fender

Member
Messages
3,980
Just wanted to mention that while you may not be asked to pay sales tax on an out of state Internet sales at the time of a sale, almost ALL states now require that you to pay that missing sales tax on your income tax returns. Take a good close look at your tax forms this year. Trust me it's there.

While you may choose to ignore that line entry on your state income tax form, (BTW; Ohio is a must pay state - assuming your screen name reflects your locality?) if you want, but if you ever get audited, the first thing your tax auditor will ask you for - no matter what they are really looking for - is a copy of all of your credit card statements for the preceding three years. If they find any out of state purchases on any of those statements where no tax was collected up front and not itemized / declared on your tax forms; the uncollected tax payments will be totaled and you will be fined and assessed a late payment penalty on the entire total.

http://www.ecommerce-blog.org/archives/the-myth-of-tax-free-internet-sales/
argghhh fingers crossed..knocked on wood ha ha
 

SuperD

Member
Messages
27
Sadly, none of this stuff is new with GC. I have one store 10 minutes away and I avoid it like the plague. Lost count of the number of times I went in to specifically buy something only to have NO ONE give me the time of day. And usually, the guitar manager is sitting in his glass office, sipping a big gulp, scoping porn (or so it would appear). Other than the front counter person (looking for shoplifters), no one has ever said boo to me. I get better customer service at McDonalds.
 

ksandvik

Member
Messages
6,328
Sadly, none of this stuff is new with GC. I have one store 10 minutes away and I avoid it like the plague. Lost count of the number of times I went in to specifically buy something only to have NO ONE give me the time of day. And usually, the guitar manager is sitting in his glass office, sipping a big gulp, scoping porn (or so it would appear). Other than the front counter person (looking for shoplifters), no one has ever said boo to me. I get better customer service at McDonalds.
You can't judge all the hundreds of GCs based on one place. The one here in South Bay San Jose has excellent service and good deals.
 

Johnny2013

Member
Messages
849
As much as there are downsides to GC (ie beat up guitars, etc) I've gotten good service at the one in Cherry Hill NJ and the one in Oxford Valley PA (I've seen a guy from the Oxford Valley post on TGP). Also I have sold an amp to GC and of course I got 1/5 of what I paid for it, but they were very up front about the whole thing. They showed me the completed transaction prices for it on ebay, showed me what they list it for used, and told me how much profit they need to make to make it worth it for them. I didn't feel like dealing with it on ebay or CL (heavy, cumbersome solid state from the nineties, not in high demand and a pain to ship) and I didn't play it anymore, so I decided that the hit was worth it.
 

Crossroads

Member
Messages
638
fwiw, the GC here in Madison, WI is very nice. I've found the staff to pretty knowledgeable and attentive when you ask questions. But they'll let you be and check out the gear without hovering around you.

I had some scratchy pots and their tech took care of it and I got it back the same day for $15, and he cleaned it up and checked out the set up while he was at it.
 

MikeMcK

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
5,728
We had one just open up nearby with a lot of fanfare. I've stopped in a couple of times and in the few months it's been open I see a lot of changes: used pieces going from $799 to $999 overnight, complete elimination of all the store's used stuff, half a wall of higher-end guitars gone to another location. Musician friends who were charged up to start working there just look tired.

They still have their fans: one guy I used to play with complains about the local store (Russo's) prices, but price is his sole buying criterion. He still busts my chops for owning a couple of SM-58 mics because he bought 5 vocal mics at GC for $95. I have to think he still hasn't paid attention to how they sound...
 

quadraphonics

Member
Messages
41
I had a great experience a few months back. I was performing on a Saturday night and the bridge pickup on the Strat started cutting in and out. Rushed over to the Denver/Englewood GC right as the tech was leaving. He stayed late on a Saturday and fixed my guitar so I could have it for Sunday morning's performance. He didn't have to, but he saved me a bit of frustration and I am thankful for that.

Randall
 

Fenderesq

Member
Messages
304
I have nothing but positive experiences with the GC in NYC.

Ive purchased '52 Hot Rod Telecaster (watched them uncrate it); a Martin DSR (killer guitar at a ridiculously fair price) and a Sterling Ax40 and every transaction was great. I have also picked up new and (barely) used pedals which they don't charge shipping if you pick up at the store that all arrived in under a week.

I find the staff to be knowledgable and polite, most seem like decent guys/gals.

I do not know if the quality of the stores varies, but they give no reason to go anywhere else with, which the demise of 48th Street is a very good thing.
 

Rumy73

Senior Member
Messages
474
GC is has its ups and downs. If one is wise, he can play GC for a good deal. Of course, they have a lot of nonsense going on there.
 

WoodenDuckMaker

Senior Member
Messages
1,978
I'm willing to put up with some of their poor business practices because they have the best prices and selection.

Got a Fender Classic Players 60's strat in good condition for $299. On craigslist or eBay it would sell for 400-500 easy.

Not a fan of how they check receipts and bags like you're a thief. Or how they don't disclose stuff like cracked neck repairs, and are deceptive about why their guitars prices get marked down. They will say its because it's been sitting for too long, and then you examine it and you see scratches and dings that go down to the bare wood, making a new guitar a used guitar.

But their liberal return policy gives me plenty of time to find any reason to return it.
 

73Fender

Member
Messages
3,980
We had one just open up nearby with a lot of fanfare. I've stopped in a couple of times and in the few months it's been open I see a lot of changes: used pieces going from $799 to $999 overnight, complete elimination of all the store's used stuff, half a wall of higher-end guitars gone to another location. Musician friends who were charged up to start working there just look tired.

They still have their fans: one guy I used to play with complains about the local store (Russo's) prices, but price is his sole buying criterion. He still busts my chops for owning a couple of SM-58 mics because he bought 5 vocal mics at GC for $95. I have to think he still hasn't paid attention to how they sound...
The one in Ocean Twp? No more used stuff? I need to get to that Russo's, only been to the one in Hamilton.

As someone said, the ability to find used gear on their national search page and have it delivered to your local store and then have a month to test drive it is pretty cool.
 

Vox66

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
657
The GC in New Brunswick, NJ has been great to deal with for many years. The GC they opened in Ocean, NJ not a good experience... I won't go into it. If you live in my area (the Jersey Shore) Russo Music is the place to go! Very knowledgable staff and great guitars and amps. It doesn't hurt that my office is in the same building... :)
 

Rumy73

Senior Member
Messages
474
The one in Ocean Twp? No more used stuff? I need to get to that Russo's, only been to the one in Hamilton.

As someone said, the ability to find used gear on their national search page and have it delivered to your local store and then have a month to test drive it is pretty cool.

I agree with you on GC the used gear test drive. I scored a Charvel MIJ hotrodded strat and a Gibson LP from them. The Charvel I bought online. I picked up from the store and totally loved it. The LP, I saw and played in Hollywood GC while on vacation. They shipped it to D.C. I was able to play it again and knew that I loved it. While they try to act inflexible about reducing the price on used gear, I got them to knock off a few bucks on each. Ultimately, it was the GC return policy that swayed me over buying from Ebay, which I do on occasion.
 
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T92780

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
8,240
Guitar Center will be out of business is less than 2 years. They are having major financial issues. The internet is killing lots of businesses. Think about it, why would anyone buy a guitar at Guitar Center unless you are one of those people that MUST play a guitar before buying it? The internet makes it so easy to buy the exact same instrument for a lot less than buying it in the store at GC. Also, at the store you must pay tax. If you are buying a $2,000 Les Paul the tax alone can be as high as 7, 8, 9% which can add $140, $160 or $180 to the price. I hate to say it but Guitar Center has become my "testing ground". I only go to Guitar Center when I want to see, hold and test out something new. Once I determine that I want that item I head online to find it a hell of a lot cheaper than I can get it at GC. This is the main reason why GC is having huge financial problems. This is also the reason why they will be defunct in the near future. Not to mention that in most cases their inventory sucks. I am a high(er) end type of guitar buyer. My average guitar will cost me $800-1400. Guitar Center simply does not have a good selection of these types of guitars. Yeah, they may have 1-3 decent Les Paul's and maybe 2-4 decent strats but overall the walls at GC are littered with Squier, MIM Fender and entry level stuff that does not appeal to the seasoned guitar player. I hate to dump on Guitar Center but their business model cannot and will not survive in the age of online purchasing. They simply cannot compete. They would be wise to restructure their business model and stick strictly to online sales with their 3 sites (GC, Musician's Friend and Music 123). This would eliminate the costs associated with the stores like rent, labor and insurance.
Now, that being said, someone is going to respond to my post and mention that most of the world does not consist of "seasoned guitarsists" and the every day person needs a place to go in order to buy little Johnny a Squier Strat Pack. I don't disagree but in today's age of digital commerce even the most non tech savvy buyer is starting to spend more time shopping on line. RIP Guitar Center, I'm afraid it's just a matter of time.
I agree with pressure/strain from .com retailers, heck, in 10-years Amazon will be the biggest retailer....mark your calendar......yes, bigger than Wal-Art. Yes, GC merchandising plan o gram set is horrid, but you're not a "high end type guitar buyer" at $800-$1,400.00, but mid level only and, most GC locations should have enough to interest you IMO, especially if you only stop in a few times a year.

In regards to GC not being cost competitive, they can be, but 90% of people don't know how to talk/haggle down price, they don't work direct with store GM, etc, and, for those that say they do haggle down cost, 90% could've got a greater discount.
 

axe4me

Member
Messages
4,132
The company standard on used trade in value is 60% of current retail. And they will often negotiate.
I haven't had this 60% percentage at GC.
They're selling a Gibson Blueshawk at 2 locations @ $999.99 and the amount they've given on my pristine Blueshawk is nowhere close to 60%.
 

Rumy73

Senior Member
Messages
474
I haven't had this 60% percentage at GC.

They're selling a Gibson Blueshawk at 2 locations @ $999.99 and the amount they've given on my pristine Blueshawk is nowhere close to 60%.

You get about 30% not 60%. Trading in to GC is typically a bad move.
 






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