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Guitar Center games?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Jerry J, Jan 17, 2003.

  1. Jerry J

    Jerry J Supporting Member

    Mar 27, 2000
    P-town, OR
    I was wondering if GC managers can manipulate the monitors with the pricing?

    I'm fairly serious about buying a used bass. I spoke with the manager, by phone, today and he said that he would sell me the bass at his cost. They've had it over a year. He told me that he was willing to show me their screen on the bass indicating the price that they paid.

    Well I know from a very reputable source that somebody put that particular bass on hold at a price that was $300 less that what I was told was the price that they paid for it.

    The new price is still not too bad. But I don't want to be jerked around. 300 is 300, anyway. That could keep me in strings for awhile.
  2. They're shady folks! Make them an offer that you feel comfortable with and see if they take it. It can't hurt. All they can do is say no. That's the way that I've dealt with them in the past. I haven't dealt with them recently so I wouldn't know about them having fake monitor prices. I do know that they don't like to sit too long on the used stuff.
  3. rojo412

    rojo412 Walnut is fun! Supporting Member

    Feb 26, 2000
    Cleveland, OH.
    I'll tell you this (being a disgruntled ex-employee):

    1) Cost is what they paid
    2) Into that cost is immediately added 10%, or "Ad Pack"
    3) That makes the up the "Cost"

    Now what they do with this is a bass that cost GC $600 shows a total cost of $660. If they put strings or a battery into it, the cost of those items is added to the $600, then up 10% (so let's say that the strings added $15 to 600 = 615 + 61.50 = 676.50 cost).

    So they (any salesman) can pull up a sale ticket. They put the bass on and hit "Shift F11" and a little number pops up... the GP (gross profit).
    Let's say the bass is $1200 originally and at that price it shows GP=523.50. They can take the price (before tax) down 523.50 and show no profit. But GC still makes $76.50 from that sale.

    The other way is to check the item's detail. If they do that, a screen will show a lot of numbers, but there's only one you have to see: The top left corner shows a number that is the "Actual cost." Below it is the "freight" (which should be 0, they didn't ship it in). Below that is Ad Pack, then the total. They may point to the total and say it's the cost, but they are cheating you at that point if they say "This is what we paid."
    They also may pull up a screen with little on it, then type "Cost" in and it'll pop up... that is with ad pack, not actual cost.

    PM me for any other details.
  4. xyllion

    xyllion Commercial User

    Jan 14, 2003
    San Jose, CA, USA
    Owner, Looperlative Audio Products
    I don't know what they tell you and what to believe, but the bottom line is pay for an instrument based on what you are willing to pay. GC is going to try to make a profit on every deal. Nothing wrong with that because that is the business that they are in.

    If they can't meet the price you are willing to pay, then just move on.
  5. Jerry J

    Jerry J Supporting Member

    Mar 27, 2000
    P-town, OR
    I would have to drive 6 hours round trip to make the deal.

    If I show up (they know where I'm from) then they kinda have me since I'd have to drive back empty handed. NO negotiation at that point.
  6. rojo412

    rojo412 Walnut is fun! Supporting Member

    Feb 26, 2000
    Cleveland, OH.
    I'm not going to deny that... but if they say to you "This is our cost" and it's a lie, that's lying and that is not the business they are supposed to be in.

    The point well made earlier is that you should be treated fairly and don't buy it if the price isn't what it's worth to you.
  7. xyllion

    xyllion Commercial User

    Jan 14, 2003
    San Jose, CA, USA
    Owner, Looperlative Audio Products
    Screw it, man. It is not worth your time to be dicked around. Keep your eyes open on the forsale sites on the Internet and watch for an ad that gets you what you want at the price you want to pay. Don't drive 6 hours to get screwed.
  8. Jerry J

    Jerry J Supporting Member

    Mar 27, 2000
    P-town, OR
    Well the deal is that even the jacked up price is much better than what I've seen on the net.

    I just couldn't understand how somebody was able to get this same bass, almost a year ago and now I'm being told that it's another price.

    I really want this bass so it's worth it to me to do the drive. But I am armed with a bit more info. I don't know if it's going to make a difference but at least now I understand some of the magic that's going on.

    This bass has sat there for well over a year. I'm real sure that they are going to be glad to get it out of there. I will just talk to them and when I get there and see if I can get closer to that original store cost.

    I really don't think this instance is going to drive them to the poor house.
  9. DigMe


    Aug 10, 2002
    Waco, TX
    As a buyer, the most important rule (in my mind) is if you want to get the absolute best price ALWAYS be willing to walk away from the deal. There have been times when I have compromised that rule because of other factors that made it worth it though and that's ok too. Just know what you want and what you DON'T want to pay for it.

    brad cook
  10. NJL


    Apr 12, 2002
    San Antonio
    dude!!! thanks for the advice for all of us!

    san antonio just lost mars music and we are supposed to get a GC...thanks for the "inside" info
  11. rojo412

    rojo412 Walnut is fun! Supporting Member

    Feb 26, 2000
    Cleveland, OH.
    Tell no one!:D

    Actually, another trick for those of you who want it:
    The best time for a deal is the END! End of the day, end of the month, end of the year, end of one of their "Fantastic Blowout once a year" sale.
    But remember: Be reasonable... realize that your price may not exist. $1000 for a new Warwick Thumb NT?!? Not gonna happen.

    Another Trick (mantra or theory): Age and wear are your friends. Used gear is the ultimate (most of it has a date on the POP sign like "011703" and that's when they got it). The longer something sits, the less it should go for (unless it's vintage or a collectors item, 3 months is gravy, 6 is gold, 12 is cost). I got a Modulus Q6 for $750!!! It sat for 6 months, then they marked it down to cost (I used Jedi Mind Tricks to get the Manager to do it). I had a friend come in and buy it for me (since I was working there at the time).
    I also messed up some stuff accidentally by knocking it over and it got a little tiny ding on the corner. It went down to cost at sale time. Didn't look too bad, didn't sound or play bad, just had a ding.
    If you spot unfixable flaws, money starts peeling off. And don't settle with any less than $50 on even the CHEAPEST bass.

    As for the salespeople, they are only pawns for the manager, who is a pawn for the company. Most employees do want to make a big sale, but it doesn't honestly mean too much for their actual pocket. A sale that profits $100 (and let's say they are fading their salary OR they made enough sales to take home a comission check which is like 3 months out of the year on average) and is gross $600. The salesguy gets 10% of the profit ($10) and 2.5% of the gross ($15). WOW, $25 to the salesguy. BIG MONEY!!! Less than 5%! GC makes a lot of money by screwing its employees hardcore... but then again, so does every big corporation, so no news there.
  12. LarryJ

    LarryJ banned

    Dec 12, 1999
    Encino, CA (LA)
    I worked at GC BRIEFLY (thank God!) few years back-Suffice it to say that the "system" they use for sales/marketing is not unlike a car dealer, wherein items whether new or used, have no sticker price whatsoever, just a bottom line at which someone is willing to pay or they are willing to sell-No More ,no less.
    Are they the "Evil Empire"? Nah, not really, it's just kinda foul /cause its dealing with beeyootiful basses & amps! SOS anytime in business-what really sux is the vintage market-We have a premier vintage dealer here in LA (no names, please!) who only knows the items as $$ value, not the works of beauty they are---but that's the game. Art (music, basses) and commerce-Like oil & water.
    I've always bought the gear I wanted & as I love the gear, could have cared less whether I made a "good deal" or not- But that's me-creative & financially irresponsible (& damn proud of it!!) Just ask my wife!:D
  13. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Supporting Member

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    DR Strings
    This is the key. Maybe I should type it louder...THIS IS THE KEY:D

    Shouldn't matter how far you had to drive... as a matter of fact I think that can work in your favor. You won't be popping in every other day on a whim. I doubt they'll let a legitimate ballpark offer walk, especially one that may never come back.

    BTW are you dealing with a manager? I make a point of doing that whenever I buy at GC and so far no complaints. They had a very clean used MTD635 at a local GC, asking price $3500. I had stopped by about months before and a few months before that and the price was always the same. This time I talked to a manager who knew me and knew I don't screw around when I show interest. He sold it to me for what he said they paid to take it in... $1900. No sitting on the fence at that price;)

    If they're not tired of looking at it they may not budge. OTOH...

    Good luck... I think it's a deal no matter which price you get, as long as you're happy with it.

    BTW pt 2 you have a PM on the way.
  14. bassackwards

    bassackwards Member

    Dec 16, 2002
    Dude, your profile says you live in Portland, OR. There are 2 Guitar Centers less than 30 min. from Portland. Are you going to the Seattle or Eugene GCs? What bass are you talking about? I might know something about it.
  15. Andrew Jones

    Andrew Jones Banned

    Feb 28, 2001
    Northampton Mass
    Wont GC ship the Item free of charge no obligation from GC to GC?

  16. Jerry J

    Jerry J Supporting Member

    Mar 27, 2000
    P-town, OR
    The deal is done and the bass has had a bit of cleaning and about an hour of playing.

    I'm happy with the outcome as it is a phenominal bass.

    Pics and review to come in a day or so.;)

    Thanks for all the help and chiding on this. You guys are awesome!!!
  17. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Supporting Member

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    DR Strings
    You guys won't believe this bass. I'm jealous.


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