Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by JAUQO III-X, Dec 2, 2013.
I'm kind of diggin one of his other articles: http://www.ericgarland.co/2013/11/27/dont-want-christmas-presents/
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Hey TalkBass, what's up? - Eric Garland here, bassist and trend analyst. I was psyched to start getting traffic from this site when my piece on Guitar Center unexpectedly went viral.
Nutdog's right, the more important piece is the one where I start talking about why I lust after a $12,000 Janek Gwizdala model Fodera. The finance behind guitar center is interesting but...let's get back to tone.
Great article Eric very well done and thanks Jauqo for the post.
I think that this was widely known to anyone who had looked at the situation. What's scary is not the end of GC but how such an event could have ripple effects throughout the industry affecting a number of manufacturers.
... does Guitar Center still owe Fender over $10M?
Last I'd heard it was something like that (tens of millions anyway), and Fender is not in super great shape either.
I will continue to support them. Many of the guys that work at my local GC are personal friends that I have supported for a very long time. They rarely have the bass gear that I want, but I continue to purchase whatever I can from them for my church.
Interesting article for sure. I'm no fan of UnfitMitt either.
The economy is not going to get better b/c the powers to be keep the money at the top and have suppressed wages for decades.
My favorite line from the article: "Dude, apparently all the musicians didn't get the word that the Dow Jones is at 16,000 so they can go lay out $3200 on a new Paul Reed Smith."
I said something shockingly similar to some friends last week: "So, the Dow Jones is over 16,000 and I still can't get crap sold on eBay..."
Killer Vintage mentioned in the article is about a mile or two from my house. That place is cool.
You're welcome Mike.
I like GC and I hope they figure it out. I do not miss they days when all we had was the small local rip off chains that try to pass used as new etc. GC busted them in the chops with strong pricing and better selection. Most of the guys at my local GC know what's up. Just don't trade anything in and you will keep smiling
Maybe I'm spoiled by having never lived through the days you describe, but my sentiments align completely with the article writer; I'd gladly pay more at a local shop to buy gear from someone with character than know that the pocket change I saved was minted from the legions of souls crushed by operating the Machine.
And in my experience GC is waaaaay more likely to oversell an item's condition than a local music store. (A pawn shop is not the same as a local music store, to be clear.)
Haha loved the way you nailed that anonymous comment poster as being from GC headquarters by digging up his IP address. Strong work.
I have to say I won't miss them. i do miss all the wonderful stores that used to line 48th street. Remember when Mars Music went under? I had just bought someone a gift certificate there and they closed the doors unannounced the next day. Luckily AMEX covered me for it. Wouldn't be surprised if GC suddenly closed as well.
I also hate that I all my favorite mom and pop hardware stores are gone. And I keep my corporate coffee consumption to a minimum.
Having worked at a local music store, and having been to a few Guitar Centers. I will have to say I would way rather buy from a local shop even if it is more expensive. My experience is that the local shops have such history and most of the time the guys who work the sales floor have considerable amount of knowledge of product and a lot more passion than those working at GC. Everytime I go into a GC I find myself knowing a bit more than the sales person, but yet again I have passion for gear. Not trying to boast in fact I'd like to go into a GC and find a person who is enthused about music and shows it to me. I am not a fan of big box, again the local shops have history and if you are lucky to go into a mom and pop where the owners still work there and interact every day with their customers because they are eager to share their story and their passion. Music is about passion so show me a local shop with passionate workers and it makes for a great experience.
I got a chuckle out of some of the posts.
There are several GC's here in metro PHX, and a new one just opened somewhat closer to home in Mesa. There are differences between the shops. The Scottsdale store has a higher end section that has had some nice unique Fender basses over the years. I kind of enjoy stopping to look there from time to time. The rest of the stores cater to parents buying their high school kids their first guitars as well as providing the gigging folks strings and stands etc when they need something on short notice.
Like any music store, I am usually mostly interested in the used instrument sections.
So, the assertion by the one commenter that GC is primarily focused on pro musicians was really quite hysterical. First of all most working pros don't have enough scratch to be lucrative customers; and second, the reality is most gigging players just often go to local places. At least, that's the way it is here in PHX.
I have no idea if the GC business model can work or not and don't really care one way or the other. The thing that concerns me are that we seem to be more focused on this retail shell game as opposed to being more productive on a bigger scale. Making better steels, understanding wood microstructure better; generally doing, as JFK said, the harder things because they are hard.
Meanwhile, as Tersan says, let's get back to discussing tone.
As with anything, it comes down to people. The GC that I have been going to for 8 years, buying very little all this time, has been good to me. Most are friendly, say hi and whatnot w/o pressing me to buy one of the many basses I will play when I stop in.
Then recently I spotted a used fretless 78 PBass there. Played it a bit, chatted casually with a dude bout it. Left to think it over. Went back and bought it, they gave me a good deal (lower than listed) and were great after the sale. I have received two follow ups via email, and they were not canned mails, these were personal and touched on the conversations we had when I bought it.
Them the other day I was there and a different dude said "your the guy who bought that fretless" and we talked a bit about it.
Anyway, the guys at mine are good, and understand about personal connections.
And for all the big box crushing the little guy talk, there two GC near my buddies small shop. He's doing fine too.
There is room in the market for both.
The phoenix metro location is remodeling to have studios in place. This seems like a more feasible business model as they offer more services instead of relying on pushing cheap products. I do enjoy the phoenix metro location for their employees and used gear selection and have bought quite a few items from them recently.
I bought everything Guitar Center has that I wanted, and now I just go there to kill time. I used to have relationships with managers in both local stores, and always got good deals from them. They're gone now in the tradition of GC's pervasive employee turnover so I have to pay MAP now for my picks. I'm lucky to live close to Bass San Diego (when I'm not at Groom Lake) to accommodate my occasional GAS. Their business strategy is exactly what Eric said it should be - don't sell what GC sells.
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