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Can I Talk GC Down From Their Price?

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by dhagler, Jan 1, 2013.

  1. Fine. Believe what you want. I worked their, you didn't. I know what was drilled into my head. You don't. I was about to be appoint asst. manager. you weren't. You obviously know more than me and can't read what I have said several times.

    THE PEOPLE DOING THESE DEALS ARE BREAKING POLICY AND CAN BE FIRED FOR IT. At no time did I say it WASN'T happening. I REPEAT, it's against company policy to make special deals other than coupon, trade in, price match or the like.

    I worked several deals for people that thought I was giving them a "special discount" but I wasn't. I was using a coupon that they didn't know about and letting the rather naive customer think I was give them one. This made the customer think I was treating them special and they would come back to me. Remember I was paid on commission.

    Here is how pay is done at GC. Feel free to ask someone at your local store if this is true. They not, because we were not allowed to.

    Sales guys are paid $7.25 an hour plus commission. At the time I was hired this was 10% of the gross profit (GP) and 2% of the gross sales (GS). Sales guys do not receive and commission check until they "fade" their hourly pay. This generally comes out to about $7000 GP a month BEFORE they start earning a commission check.

    Last year they dropped the commission percentages. I was "grandfathered" so mine didn't change but new hires get something like 7.5% of the GP and 1.5% of the GS.

    There's some information you can confirm. I know what I'm talking about when it come to GC.
  2. DrSpunkwater


    Sep 17, 2012
    Last time I went to GC, they were all too ready to make deals. Considering these guys work on commission, and GC is hard for cash in this economy, they WILL make deals. You might have to do a bit of haggling to get it, but you'll get the right price eventually.
  3. guy n. cognito

    guy n. cognito Secret Agent Member

    Dec 28, 2005
    Nashville, TN
    Like who owns them? Or the public nature of their statements?
  4. Oh and Mjac28. You're so right.

    I'm officially done with this tread.
  5. guy n. cognito

    guy n. cognito Secret Agent Member

    Dec 28, 2005
    Nashville, TN
    Did you work at the GC in Nashville? I live in Nashville, and personally know a number of employees there. Maybe you gave me a discount at some point...... ;)
  6. Not yet

    Not yet

    Mar 26, 2012
    Now that's funny
  7. hags2k


    Jan 27, 2010
    Aww... Did I just read another thread chock full of interesting information that may all be BS?
  8. smcd


    Jun 28, 2009
    Boston, MA
    Despite people getting cranky and all, this is a good thread. Lots of good info/insight.

    I've been buying from GC a lot over the past 15 years. Back in the late 90's, GC was like an arab street market. You could haggle all day and night over anything. Especially used gear. This has changed somewhat in recent years. The official policy now seems to be "no more haggling". But.... the sales staff seems to have ways of getting around that policy. This depends entirely on how long the gear has been sitting around.

    When I buy from GC today, I always try to haggle. I've found that if a piece of used gear has just come in, the staff won't bend on the price. But if it's been there over 30 days, they'll bend. Look online and see how much used gear has a "Price Drop" tag. Sometimes these price drops are 50% of the original asking price. So the managers DO have some flexibility, and they do use it.

    New gear? No need to haggle these days. GC seems to have perpetual "15% off" coupons floating around. A couple times a year they throw out a 20% off coupon. Officially, these coupons can't be used towards purchasing used gear. But again, that does depend on how long the gear has been sitting around. I've had GC salespeople take a 15% Off coupon over the phone a few times in the last couple years. Could be that they were a day away from marking the item down 30%, but so what? They're happy, I'm happy.

    I like GC.
  9. jwr


    Jun 28, 2010
    Overland Park, KS
    Has anyone brought up that fact that companies break their own policies constantly? I work at a grocery store (yes I know...fantastic work), and our store manager can break policy to please a customer if it pleases her. It does not matter if it's policy or not. Same applies at other places I've worked.

    It's all subjective. Manager's break policies all the time and if their store is making bank, I highly doubt they'll lose their job over it.

    I'm not saying you're wrong Got2. I'm just saying, maybe other stores run things differently.
  10. D.M.N.

    D.M.N. (O))))

    Oct 6, 2008
    Los Angeles, CA
    To get back on topic to the OP, go right ahead and try. Regardless of whether these employees are breaking company policy or whatever, dealing still goes on, at least in the GCs I've been too. I remember when I bought my AVRI 62 Precision, it had been in the store for months as the floor model. Still listed at full retail, at the time something like $1500. When I went to buy it, I brought it to the sales associate or whatever you'd like to call them, and noted the fact that it had a few minor dings, and had obviously been played a fair amount. I ended up walking out of the store with it for $1100, paid in cash and waving tax, with the case, a free set of strings of my choice (Swing 66s) and a very nice heavy duty leather strap. I didn't use any coupons or whatever. Granted this was a few years ago, so maybe they don't haggle so much anymore, but a friend recently bought a guitar at one and got it down by about $200.

    So maybe Got2 has a point, that the sales folks are using other discounts to somewhat deceive you into believing you're getting a better deal, but I think the OVERALL POINT is that you CAN often get instruments for less than the prices listed on their sales tags. Go in an try it, the worst that happens is they say they can't pull that deal.
  11. Malak the Mad

    Malak the Mad Over the River and through the Looking Glass Supporting Member

    They ended that sale at the end of December 2012. Prices are back up to their usual retail levels.

    Allow me to clarify, since Fender did this sale twice this year, like they did this past summer, and might do it again in the future. The sale applied to all Fender and Squier models that started at $200 retail (not MSRP). Anything that was less (Bronco, Jag SS, etc…) got no discount.

    It's a sliding-scale discount; low-level items got $25 off, higher got $50 off and all the way up to $100 for higher-end items.
    Squier VM Precision, normally $250 = $25 off
    Fender Modern Player Jazz, normally $500 = $50 off
    Fender Aerodyne, normally $800 = $100 off
  12. RichSnyder

    RichSnyder Gold Supporting Member Supporting Member

    Jun 19, 2003
    They can wiggle a little, but the system has hard minimums that they can't go below. I doubt you'll get $300 off a $900 bass, but you can try.
  13. jlepre

    jlepre Supporting Member

    Nov 12, 2007
    Cedar Knolls, NJ
    In a word?
  14. guy n. cognito

    guy n. cognito Secret Agent Member

    Dec 28, 2005
    Nashville, TN
    A good manager will never tell a low level / low paid employee on commission that they can discount at their discretion. Rather, the low level guys are told "no haggling" while the managers are willing and able to make deals.

    As has been demonstrated, low level employees usually know very little about the company they work for, and the flexibility on policies that are in the company handbook......
  15. jwr


    Jun 28, 2010
    Overland Park, KS
    True that.

    I've had to learn some of our ok policies to break from time to time because I used to work at the returns counter.

    I love GC for what it is. They've always been good to me.

    OP why not look on their used section? Or hell look through the TB adds.
  16. ih8law


    Aug 8, 2009
    Houston, TX
    I never seem to have much luck getting anyone at Guitar Center to make deals other than what is available on printed coupons. The last time I successfully did it I got $50 taken off a Gretsch G5123B, which was nice, but it cost me an extra 40 minutes of hassle in the store and it made me feel like one of those horror-story customers that the GC staff tell their wives or friends about after work. I'll continue to ask for discounts politely, but I think I'll just stick to going in armed with a coupon and focusing on good deals.
  17. guy n. cognito

    guy n. cognito Secret Agent Member

    Dec 28, 2005
    Nashville, TN

    While there are a few knowledgeable people at my local store, most are fairly incompetent and lack even the most basic knowledge of what they are selling. I rarely go into GC looking for detailed product information, and I go to specific people when I do. Otherwise, I treat them like any other bulk retailer: a great place to see a lot of inventory and get a great deal, with a liberal return policy.
  18. guy n. cognito

    guy n. cognito Secret Agent Member

    Dec 28, 2005
    Nashville, TN
    The coupons are great. I actually bought my first Gretsch with a 15% off coupon, which the manager graciously applied for me.
  19. Febs

    Febs Supporting Member

    May 7, 2007
    Philadelphia, PA
    Yup, the 10-k makes it clear that, "On October 9, 2007, Holdings, a company controlled by an affiliate of Bain Capital Partners, LLC ('Bain Capital'), acquired Guitar Center ..."

    As I read the 10-k, it looks like Bain Capital owns a controlling interest of Guitar Center's corporate parent, but not 100%. The 10-k notes that GuitarCenter, Inc. is a direct, wholly-owned subsidiary of Guitar Center Holdings, Inc., which in turn is "owned by investment funds associated with Bain Capital, a co-investor and certain members of our senior management ..." So it looks like Bain Capital owns a "controlling interest," but less than 100%, of Guitar Center Holdings, Inc., and that a management group still owns a portion of Guitar Center Holdings, Inc. Do you read that the same way?
  20. 343 Salty Beans

    343 Salty Beans

    Jan 24, 2006
    TL;DR on the ridiculous length of this thread, but OP:

    If it's used, it's very hard to get a discount unless it's been there for awhile. As an employee at GC a while back, I couldn't get a discount on Used gear. They usually have a 50% margin on used gear, and they are loathe to give that up.

    As far as other discounts, it depends on the salesman and manager. if you go to assistant managers, depending on the store, they have a lot of autonomy on their deals and can manually approve discounts. They're the best shot if you're a shrewd negotiator. The store manager may also approve a deal, particularly at the END of the month, when they're looking to hit their monthly sales goal as a store (usually set impossibly high by corporate).

    You have a few options (if its new):

    1) wait for a good coupon. 15% isn't all that rare.

    2) find a lax assistant manager at one of the stores. If he's having a crappy sales day (or feeling generous, BE NICE! working at GC sucks balls), he's more likely to give it to you. Margin on instruments is generally low, 20-25%, except on cheap-o brands.

    Keep in mind asst managers also get a higher % of gross sales, so they are more likely to not care as much about the profit margin. I was a dept manager for my last 4 months at GC (worked for 8 months), I made the bulk of my weak-sauce commission on gross sales by cutting deals and using coupons.

    Got2SadowskyNYC is spot on with his assessments and GC policies. GC really sucks. I worked there because the mic company I was the Ops Mgr at got taken over and moved cross-country in 2011...which is a different long story about defecation hitting the oscillation. I needed a job because my wife had one more quarter of college to pay for. GC treats their employees horribly, and they know they can because they have an endless supply of dumb teenage kids in the shop that can be their slave labor. It's a sad system. Don't work there unless you have to. To give you an idea, I was always a top 3 salesman at my store, pushing anywhere from 15-20K in gross profit, 50K+ in gross sales every month. I don't never made more than $1800 in one month, and their benefits are awful. I made the company something like 130K in gross profit in 8 months, and made around $12,000 total.
  21. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

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