Dear GC, this TOTALLY makes me want to buy a $2000 bass
Not trying to be super snarky, but I feel that the really nice, Bass oriented online music stores have really spoiled me.
While perusing GC.com today, looking at their really great selection of roasted neck Stingrays, I was struck by the fact that their photos of Premium instruments are often far inferior to the photos of used gear from sites like BassCentral, TheBassPlace, ThePerfectBass, etc, etc, etc.
e.g. http://www.guitarcenter.com/In-Store...84-i1837980.gc list price of $2099
vs. the 2007 Stingray on this page (selling for $1099)
Used gear on GC.com tends to be in a similar situation or worse, as pics are often lower quality.
Seems fairly silly as it's much easier to GAS over a piece of equipment you can actually see clearly.
I agree with you. Most of new basses on GC are not the one's pictured, they order them from a supplier and have it shipped to the store. If you don't like it you have 30 days to return it (New or used) which is a good thing. When buying used gear the actual pictures are important because that is the instrument you will be getting (warts and all). GC is not the best at describing or taking photos of used gear, maybe because they have so many items coming in and out. I have called GC and had an employee discribe and take photos of an item I had bought in another location, but that apparently is not a normal thing with them. A place like Bass Central takes way more pride in there stock and customer service IMO.
I agree I look at the used stuff daily the descriptions and pictures are terrible often times the stuff is mislabeled or sometimes they don't even put stuff on the website and calling the knuckleheads at the stores is a joke.
Yeah. I love the pictures on The Perfect Bass, and the ones from Bass Central's site are OK (though much more often than not, the pictured bass is not available, gr). Having good pictures helps sell if you're looking... though luckily I don't seem to suffer from GAS, so they don't invoke that feeling for me :D
GC and other mega stores have 15,000 people a day buying drum sticks and guitar strings. (I used to manage a music store. Those kinds of items are where the real money is. Nobody makes much off of the guitar/bases themselves. And I wished we never sold mics and keyboards. Not a DIME to be made on those items.)
So, used gear is just a side business for them. It doesn't affect the bottom line all that much. With that, they don't see any value in paying for people, camera equipment, and bandwidth to display a few used items in each store. Can you imagine how much on a corporate level it would cost to set up a really good used items advertising plan in each of hundreds of stores? First thing they would have to do is hire a VP of Used Items Marketing..... and so on.... and so on.... And I don't blame them. Not enough return on their investment. Whereas your favorite small bass store just has to buy one camera and they have a relatively small web site. They also don't get that many customers in a day, so there will always be someone who has time to pursue things like pretty pictures and really nice descriptions.
Those two kinds of stores were never designed or intended to provide the same kinds of services and/or goods. Sure, there are some common areas, but for the most part they are two very different kinds of businesses providing to very different products.
I for one, like the choice. I would rather go into GC in Raleigh last minute to get a cheap set of bass strings and a spare strap at 8:30 p.m. on Friday night on the way to a show. And I would rather buy a bass from TB or one of the places you mentioned. And I would rather NOT pay higher prices at GC and the like so that they can put in place all the resources it would take to even come CLOSE to the kind of service you get from the smaller dealers. I like having both.
If I were you, I would stay away from GC.
I think Two Fingers has it right, you just have to know what is good to buy at GC. I think along with strings and other "emergency" purchases, GC is good for production amps and production effects. Their effects policy is very lenient, letting you try a pedal out for something like 4 weeks, and trade it back in for full credit if you don't like it. I spent months trying out 4 different pedals before finally settling on a Sparkle Drive from GC, and it was a very good experience.
For high-end amps, boutique effects, and certainly instruments, there are many options superior to GC.
Search for a Bass Only shoppe in your area or where you're traveling to for vacation.
Very sweet basses.
They have better pictures on their platinum website.
BTW my Girlfriend is going to be really mad at you when that Blue roasted neck shows up. :bassist:
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