Guitar Center Employees?

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by tplyons, Nov 2, 2003.

  1. tplyons


    Apr 6, 2003
    Madison, NJ
    I'm looking to apply at the local Guitar Center, and I was wondering a few things. What's the average salary for a beginning employee? Do they employ many 17 year old bassists?
  2. Stephen Soto

    Stephen Soto

    Oct 12, 2003
    I don't know... But I think after your first year there, you can get, it's either the price straight from the factory, or that + 15% off that.
  3. tplyons


    Apr 6, 2003
    Madison, NJ
    That's part of the reason I'm applying, I can't afford anywhere near retail :p
  4. warwickbass


    Dec 8, 2001
    The employee discount is after 30 days of employment.
  5. Not too sure on the salary but I'm pretty sure you have to be 18, at least here anyways.
  6. Josh Curry

    Josh Curry

    May 29, 2003
    Frisco, TX
    I know lot's of guys who worked at GC just to get the discount so they could buy gear. However, you might be interested in knowing that the sales people are going to a commision based system extremely soon, So, a lot of the discounts are going to dissapear. But I guess if you are buying gear for yourself it still might be worth it. I would seriously talk to someone who works currently there first!
  7. Benjamin Strange

    Benjamin Strange Commercial User

    Dec 25, 2002
    New Orleans, LA
    Owner / Tech: Strange Guitarworks
    I worked as an assistant manager at GC New Orleans for over a year. Let me tell you something if you are thinking of applying to GC: Don't.

    GC is a pretty well run corporation; they have their game locked down tight. Operationally sound, profitable, and growing fast. But they are a public company that is beholden to the stockholders. Which means any way they can make the stocks go up, they will do it. This includes paying you as little as possible for the most amount of work. It is common practice to work 60 hour weeks, even as a starting employee. If you can't commit to 6 days a week, then you will not be looked upon very favorably. There is a reason that the turnover rate is 400% (they have a whole new crew every 3 months). The commision rate is miserable, but livable if you are REALLY good at it. But be prepared to kick and scratch for it. And be prepared for it to change often. In the almost two years that I was there, the basic pay changed 3 times, always to accomodate higher profits for GC, and less pay for the employees. Sure, discounts are great, but you still won't be able to afford anything.

    Then consider the working environment: noise. Lots of it. All the time. Even if you kicked every single Blink-182 at full volume playing kid out of there, it would still be loud, due to the overhead music in there. This comes down from the corporate people. The equate loud to energy, and energy to sales. I had to start bringing earplugs to work because my ears would be ringing. And once you get home, you will have no interest in making music on your own. Trust me on this. I generally play for several hours a day, and that dwindled to almost nothing while I was at GC. I felt creatively drained, because I didn't even want to look at a bass after a hard day of listening to Nirvana tunes in every conceiveable key and time signature. not that it would have mattered: GC as a whole discourages career musicians to work there. Just try to get a Saturday off for a gig. Forget it. It won't happen.

    Not to be too dour, if you really want to make a career out of slinging guitars, there is no better place to be for ladder climbing. Their head CEO started behind the accesories counter. My manager was given a $30k bonus at the end of the year. Hell, I won a car! If you want to really go far in the corporate thing, it's a good spot. But be prepared to dedicate your entire life to it. Even the guys all the way up top work 6, and even 7 days a week.

    I found that my personal life was more important than all that. But that's just me.
  8. Stephen Soto

    Stephen Soto

    Oct 12, 2003
    What!?!? Dayamn!! :D ;) !!!!!!
  9. secretdonkey


    Oct 9, 2002
    Austin, TX
    Man, I find it draining just to make a quick foray into a GC for strings. I could not imagine having to bear the cacophony all day, every day.

    Very insightful post on the GC 'big picture,' btw.
  10. Thor

    Thor Moderator Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    PM Nickman, he works there now. He may have good insights for you. He had some posts from 2 months or so ago dealing with his experiences. They are not all that positive overall if I recall.

    Find yourself a nice fish company to sell fish for. [ Frozen, not fresh. ] Make yourself some good money, perishable commodities have a quick re-order cycle! Then with money, you can buy whatever you want! Simple.


  11. Stephen Soto

    Stephen Soto

    Oct 12, 2003
    Well, it's not like a place to go hang out for a few hours a day.
  12. tplyons


    Apr 6, 2003
    Madison, NJ
    Well, turns out that I can't get a job there at it looks like I'll be driving 40 minutes to work instead of 20. Next closest guitar shop :)
  13. You have to be 18 to work in the GC's in Southern California. I'm sure this applies mostly at all GC stores. Also they really don't hire teens, just alot of 20's. You really don't have to know diddly squat. Just look presentable, I've seem some extra dumb people there-that should have been at the center for the dumb stupid people institution.