Guitar Center at Ebay -- What a joke!

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by lefty007, May 4, 2005.

  1. lefty007


    Jan 19, 2004
    Miami, FL
    Like is not enough that Guitar Center's showrooms are full of overpriced, poorly setup basses, now they are trying to make money at Ebay, posting auctions with ridiculous prices -- and not even a good description of the item.

    They have a '78 P-bass listed at more than $2000, used Carvins for $800 . . .

    I swear, those executives at Guitar Center's headquaters have no idea how to run a business for musicians.

    You would think that if they are trying to do business at Ebay they have a better idea of market prices, but they seem to be oblivious of what is going on in the real world.

  2. basspro2

    basspro2 I'm seeing Gorillas...

    Apr 6, 2002
    Northbridge, Mass
    I avoid those like the plauge..Overpriced garbage. I even e-mailed them once to ask why so much for used equipment. No answer. No buy.
  3. I try to stickk with the localy owned shops where possible. Anytime a company gets big like GC, quality goes away. Always about the bottom line instead of the customers. :rollno:
  4. Petary791


    Feb 20, 2005
    Michigan, USA
    Your guys' GCs must suck!

    The one by my house is really nice i'd say.
  5. kegbarnacle


    Nov 18, 2003
    Their Ebay auctions are definately overpriced and then some. But they have to know something about running a business, they've been around a while.
  6. Andy Brown

    Andy Brown Supporting Member

    Jul 23, 2004
    Rhode Island
    Founder: Wing Bass
    Two words:

    Retail Turnover
  7. I live 3 minutes away from one. The prices there are OK. The bass department is a bit smallish compared to others I have been in. My big complaint is that they don't set up their stuff. I don't want my first impression of an instrument to be "This is what this will feel like in 10 years if I don't maintain it" nor do I want to have to go home and set up the instrument or pay somebody to set it when when it's brand new. If they want my business, they will make sure that their basses are set up properly.
  8. Fred312b

    Fred312b What if I want to play jazz precisely? Supporting Member

    Apr 23, 2002
    Chicago, IL
    a lot of the time with used stuff, they pay way too much for it because they don't know any better, then they pass the cost onto you. but yes, the way they pay/treat their employees, there is mucho turnover...
  9. j-raj

    j-raj Bassist: Educator/Soloist/Performer Staff Member Supporting Member

    Jan 14, 2003
    Atlanta, GA!
    I do feel the same way... Usually the eBay ID's look like: gcrepXXX
  10. Transverz

    Transverz believer of the Low End Theory

    May 3, 2004
    Los Angeles, CA
    Sadly enough, their auctions will and do work for the same reason their stores work. There is enough people buying their gear at those prices to support them. So even if their used gear is way overpriced (which of course it is), and doesn't have a mass amount of people climbing over each other to buy them, there will be some dude who will say "wow, I'm going to save $Xhundred by buying it from GC on eBay then at the store? Cool!" and they make another sale. The strength of their store brand gives them this power. Check out their feedback to see their selling rate. One of the GC sellers has a sale every few days, more or less. And you know this used gear was basically DONATED by people trading in their stuff. So even if they don't get a sale everyday, when they do sell something, it more than makes up for what they "don't sell". I put that in parenthesis because they are selling it at the same time at their stores!

    For GC, eBay is yet just another channel, and a CHEAP and inexpensive one at that, to sell off their gear when the store is crowded or it's moving too slow only selling it to their local in-store clientele. Sales floor real estate is expensive when a piece just sits there when it could have a fast moving Squier sitting there instead. So, what to do? Put it in the back among the stacks of guitars, and put it up on eBay. If it doesn't go now, it will sooner or later. Whether again on eBay or maybe a few weeks out in a corner of the sales floor. And they didn't put much into it in the first place to have to sell it for too cheap. All of this adds up to prices we as better informed consumers wouldn't pay for. But you know just like I that there is far less of us than there is of them.

    There's one born every nano-second!
  11. basspro2

    basspro2 I'm seeing Gorillas...

    Apr 6, 2002
    Northbridge, Mass
    True, True... The Old W.C.Fields adage...There's a sucker born everyday..
  12. NOLA Bass

    NOLA Bass Mr. Worst Case Scenario Man Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 3, 2005
    New Orleans LA
    I was the Bass and Keyboard Departments Manager at Musician's Friend here in New Orleans from the time it opened. We were bought out within the first year by Guitar Center. I was the Assistant Store Manager for just under a year. I'm not bitter, and I wasn't fired or anything like that. I simply left because the quality of people and the way they do business was a 180 degree turn from Musician's Friend. We had the #1 performing Bass Dept. in the company at the New Orlean's location. The store now got rid of the Bass Room and put them out on the main floor as an afterthought. It just goes to show you they are the Wal Mart of the instrument world. Low paid employees with little knowledge, high turnover, and a corporate culture that is light years away from the national company I work for now.
  13. Tash


    Feb 13, 2005
    Bel Air Maryland
    Guitar Center is run by crooks, all the way from the top down (to be fair many of the normal employees are forced to be crooks, but they are still crooks). I never spend money there, and I loath spending money at because it is owned by Guitar Center. My music purchases come from a local shop, or when that fails
  14. tplyons


    Apr 6, 2003
    Madison, NJ
    Being not too far from NYC, and being in a very wealthy part of the country, a lot of NICE gear passes through the GC a half hour from me. They've got all kinds of vintage Fenders at fair prices, a few Pedulas hanging on the wall, and they had a Sadowsky UNDERPRICED for less than a day I bet.

    It's buyer beware, but sometimes even they slip up.

    However, they're not totally accurate in their eBay listings, and don't listen if you tell them otherwise. They listed a GK Backline 100 combo as a bass amp, which is a guitar combo that was made for a short time in 1994. No reply, and they relisted thrice after this with wrong infromation. $5 says the speaker blows when a bassist tries to take it at concert volume.
  15. rogerbmiller

    rogerbmiller Gold Supporting Member

    Sep 16, 2003
    You beat me to it! I was going to post on this tonight. Yeah, I just went to the GC in NYC for the first time last weekend and what a joke. That place sucked like a $2 whore.

    The ebay strategy makes sense. They are trying to keep their prices high my reaching a wider audience. Each GC has it's own ebay user id so managers can still be evaluated on performance and used gear should move quicker without the same downward negotiations as they expect with instore sales. And of course, GC still gives you nothing for your gear on sale or trade.

    Botton line, do not buy anythng from GC if you can help it, but especailly not from ebay.
  16. j-raj

    j-raj Bassist: Educator/Soloist/Performer Staff Member Supporting Member

    Jan 14, 2003
    Atlanta, GA!
    Yeah man I hear ya... I was a Warehouse Supervisor for AMG (up until a month ago), then GC bought Music and Arts and merged the both together... now I'm not a Supervisor or anything, just a warehouse employee... they brought their cats in to take over our operations. B'bye!

    Thankful to have another gig in a week's time working for an amp company.
  17. rogerbmiller

    rogerbmiller Gold Supporting Member

    Sep 16, 2003
    Agreed except that Wal-Mart competes on Price. GC competes on presence. In fact their whole game is to be price-makers. The price of gear keeps going up, and largely because GC has the highest visibility and does the most volume. As such, they can set prices and the little guys can come along for the ride. They will match any compettitors price because htat is their way to signal to competitors to keep prices high. Remeber "Nobody Beats The Wiz". That was the same thing-- very creative and legal market collusion. You are signaling to your competitors not to compete on price or everyone's profits will be eroded. Classical Game Theory. I would imagine this is also what they are attempting to do on ebay. A simple way to counter this is not to bid from GCREP auctions no matter how tempted you are...
  18. While I agree with everything that you just said, keep in mind that at least part of Wal-mart's ability to keep prices low comes from hiring almost exclusively part time employees so that benefits are never paid and employment casts are therefore less expensive overall. Sad since they just posted the most revenue in sales this year in comparison to all of the other fortune 500 companies.
  19. Planet Boulder

    Planet Boulder Hey, this is a private Supporting Member

    Nov 10, 2001
    6,482 feet above sea level
    I once had impure thoughts. Oh, and I pluck my ear hair.
    Meh - GC is what they iz. Some are better than others in terms of inventory, staff, etc. In the end, I've found some good prices/selection at some, bad prices/selection at others. I try to avoid GC, if only because of the mullet/Eddie Van Halen wannabe factor.

    If I need some accessories, I'm bored and I'm near a GC, I'll stop in. I actually bought a set of congas a few months ago and I talked 'em down & got a great deal.

    As someone else said, buyer beware.
  20. rogerbmiller

    rogerbmiller Gold Supporting Member

    Sep 16, 2003
    I avoid Walmart like the plague because of how they treat employees, suppliers and the towns in which they do business. Saving $.60 on a bar of deodorant is not worth all of the bad kharma.

    As far ass bass goes, it has invariable been my experience that the Guitar Center is aptly names-- cause there are no basses worth looking at let alone going home with.

    TB, Bassgear and ebay (from non GC sellers) are the way to go. Sadly, the local 2nd had guitar shop is a thing of the past due to the aforementioned. :crying: