Guitar Center Follies (kinda)

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by Chace90, May 12, 2003.

  1. Chace90

    Chace90 Supporting Member

    Feb 1, 2002
    Denver, CO
    Well, spent some time at a local guitar center this past weekend. Nothing to get excited about. I made the trip because I needed to get a new strap for my warwick thumb (neck diving monster). Anyway, for anyone who's ever brought their own instrument into guitar center, they have to check it in. No big deal. So, I get out my bass and sure enough the guy at the counter has something to say about it. "Hey! A warwick fretless. We have one just like this!" I have a fairly individual model, '90 Thumb Neck-through Fretless. I later discovered that the "same model" he was talking about was a fretless corvette standard. Not the same bass at all. I have yet to see a newer, updated model like mine anywhere. At this point, I've made it very clear that my bass is older and isn't much like the newer models. He can't find the serial number, because it's not in the usual spot. My impression is that this guy knows little about bass but is trying to pretend that he plays bass himself. Sales gimmick that I'm sick of!

    I take my bass to the bass section of the store and try out amps. Nothing special. Over the course of half an hour, I had numerous sales people say, "how you liking that fretless?" or "warwick?" I don't even think the sales manager, who was trying hard to get me to buy an amp, knew that the bass was mine and not one of theirs. What bothers me about that place is that no one knows what they're selling. It's annoying when a sales person comes up and says, "I love that bass man, one of the best players we have here." The bass is mine! You've never played it! If you don't know that the bass is mine, how do I know that you've actually played an instrument there and know of it's quality?

    Later, when I was buying a strap, the guy who's ringing me up makes a point to say how nice these straps are and even has to have this little exchange with a co-worker. "Hey ______! You could probably play about 12 hours with this strap, don't you think?" Is this really necessary? I agree it's a nice strap but reiterating this point several times is annoying.

    Obviously I'm just kinda venting about sales people selling something they know nothing about. I know some of you here work at GC. They aren't always this pushy and incompetent. In fact, the guy at another GC who sold me my combo amp was very helpful when I was torn between two amps. He even hooked me up with a discount because we got along so well. I didn't expect him to do that, he just did because he can relate to my life. He's a muscian too, trying to survive. He knows what it's like to spend a fair amount of money on something that you're unsure of.

    Granted this is a major chain and a lot of them view it as just a job. I'm sure some of them do take it seriously, but I've found that to be rare. The people who own private shops tend to be the people who really care that their customer is satisfied.

    Everyone who talked to me was nice, I just get sick of the general lack of knowledge. Has anyone else had this kind of experience? I might be the only one who's bothered by this. I like my sales people to know what they're selling (i.e. specs, features, drawbacks, etc.). I also don't wanna feel like they're desperate to make a sale or anxious to get you outta there. I don't wanna buy something from a store that doesn't wanna put real effort in to help me. It's just tedious. Anyway, I'll stop venting. Just kind bothers me, you know? Can anyone relate? :confused:

    P.S. Sorry this is so long. I didn't feel it could be summed up very well. Also, this isn't an attack on anyone. Just venting mostly. :rolleyes: I welcome criticism to these points, especially those who are sick of people like me trying stuff out without ever buying anything. (I know I'm guilty of that at GC. :( ) I'm sure this doesn't apply to all GC employees.
  2. Deano Destructo

    Deano Destructo Music Man/Upton addict. Hasn't slept since 1979. Supporting Member

    Dec 10, 2000
    Austin, TX
    I agree with ALL the above. Also you might wanna know this type of service might not last much longer there. I recently applied at GC(about 3 months ago) since I was hurting for employment in Seattle's economy when I moved here and figured it'd be something to tide me over. I was of course looking more into the guitar section since thats as close as GC will allow for our field of expertise but they were only hiring in pro audio. I thought, hey no problem I know enough to get hired in that area too right. Wrong, there was a test.....make that exam to take. I looked it over and could'nt answer half the questions on it. None of which of course were amp or guitar related mind you. Mostly just cable and mic(NOT my cup o'tea). Though it goes to show they're at least screening on some level now so you don't walk in there and speak to a salesman who may have played guitar 6 years ago for 6 months. Hopefully they'll improve with time now.....:rolleyes: ;)
  3. temp5897

    temp5897 Guest

    Stupid people working retail? No...Impossible. ;)
  4. Dcd004


    Dec 14, 2002
    Huber Heights ohio
    I think it depends on the store just like any other place they are the good then there are the cream of the crap
  5. Obsolex

    Obsolex Guest

    Nov 17, 2002
    Only been there once, I don't really need to go there that often as you might be able to tell. But the guy that I talked to, COULD NOT have been nicer (unless he gave me free stuff, lolz), we talked about basses, bassists, music... It was cool... _-soto-_
  6. P. Aaron

    P. Aaron Supporting Member

    A music store is a music store. Not everyone they hire is going to be a working pro. And, with a kazillion brands to choose from, everyone has their favorite. Probably not your favorite though.
    The sales staff could always be more tech-savvy, (heck, I could be more tech-savvy too).

    I just got a new American P-Bass at a GC. The floor guy suggested I compare the MIM to the (3x the price) American model ("to be absolutely sure"). But the tone, weight, and feel was worth the ME!

    My main complaint about GC is the overhead music. It's just too loud and uneccessary. But that's just me.
    Once in a while every music store will rub you the wrong way.
  7. My buddy (guitarist) was always talking about how great ther GC was. So Finally I broke down and went to the nearest one in Warick RI. I have to say, I wasn't all that impressed. The bass section was miniscule and they didn't really have a lot of variety. Mostly alot of high end crap and some used gear. Didn't deal with any of the sales folks, but I guess that's all about the individual not the store. Anyway, think I'll stick with Daddy's Junky Music (even with their annoying pushing of Monster cables).
  8. Benjamin Strange

    Benjamin Strange Commercial User

    Dec 25, 2002
    New Orleans, LA
    Owner / Tech: Strange Guitarworks
    GC has an average turnover rate of 400%. That's a whole new crew every three months. Not surprising.

    I lasted a year and a half, by the way.
  9. sDg


    Feb 26, 2003
    Wise, Virginia
    The Knoxville, TN GC is a microcosm of the universe, I think. I bought some jazz bass knobs there. Two of the three were missing the set screws. I returned them and the guy at the counter kept repeating "Dude, that's weird." I don't think they put their best people at the strings/effects/parts counter.

    I have been in the store many times and there has been a GC employee in the bass room twice. Incredibly helpful guy, he's just never around.

    The guitar tech is absolutely incredible. Personable, bright, fair prices. He will get all my business.

    I have stood at the counter for 5-10 minutes waiting for 2 employees to finish their conversation so I could get some strings. I finally gave up and left.

    I guess if you put them all in a blender, aside from having a huge mess, you get an average salesperson with average knowledge of the product.

  10. Chace90

    Chace90 Supporting Member

    Feb 1, 2002
    Denver, CO
    Man, if anybody actually sold those around here, you can bet I would be bringing one of those in. :D I still think my warwick is pretty individual because nobody seems to stock thumb fretlesses anymore. I wish they did cause I'd really like to compare my old one with the newer models.
  11. thrash_jazz


    Jan 11, 2002
    Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
    Artist: JAF Basses, Circle K Strings
    Hey P.Aaron, is that the GC in Roseville? I've been there a few times myself... seemed ok to me, they had more selection than any music store I'd ever seen (except the Bass Gallery in London! :D )
  12. Thor

    Thor Moderator Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    I checked out this store too, and worked the sales guys a bit on the P and J basses. They had no idea what they were selling in these lines. They offer a decent deal on the starter Ibanez + Amp at 3-400
    bones, which is what they have been told to push.

    The BEST place for accessories and service in Warwick is Noll Guitars, 2 guys, luthiers, that do service and strings, really know their stuff, and appreciate your business.

    At Daddy's I bought a Squier Strat from for my son, I had to take it to Noll to get it set up right, ( Daddy's didn't), now it's fine.

    I noted that the independents such as Ross, Luca, etc., in this area have done much better on price once you decide what you want and you have an ORDER. I just walk in after all the trying out, and say, 'Ok, I want the MIM J bass or whatever, what do you have I'm buying it TODAY'. If I get BS, I leave. I usually find what I want pretty fast.

    Back to GC, it would probably be the last place I would make a purchase, for all of Chace90's reasons and more. I don't mind shopping there. Similarly, I'll shop Home Depot, but I make it a habit to give my independent dealer as much of my bucks as I can, I like flexible small business competition because it fosters choice. I don't want a GC guitar or Bass buyer dictating what I can look at based on the level of manufacturer rebates to GC or any other chain retailer.

    No offense to the guy who is the dept. manager @ GC, but I'm sure he knows the corporate BS drill, the difficulty in attracting qualified help, and the issues that all sales compensation programs have.

    I feel your pain!

  14. wanna see some funny **** go to the gc in boston.
    there a guy that looks like the guy from half bake the burn out. and the drum guys seem little up tite. but the reall funn thing is the gear they have have.they have like at least 10 sunburst jazz,from the 60's. they have more feders and warwick then any thing else. i think it funny u can play any thing in the store but the turn tables. wait pa's too.
  15. P. Aaron

    P. Aaron Supporting Member

    It's the one in Southfield.
    A cousin of mine is a political operative in Ottawa. Beautiful town. Great Beer!
  16. Stupidnick


    Mar 22, 2002 room...

    and let me guess.. when the Jim brewer lookalike is at the cash register taking your money and you hand him a 20 hes like "DUDE.. MAN.. YOU EVER SEEN A 20 DOLLAR BILL ON WEEEEEED!?!! ABES GOTTA GUN MAN!!!!!"