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Guitar Center - no complaints from me

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Smooth_bass88, Dec 9, 2018.

  1. Smooth_bass88

    Smooth_bass88 Groove it Supporting Member

    The last several times I've gone to my local Guitar Center, I've had absolutely positive experiences. I needed a small mixer for my in-ears, the salesperson found me exactly what I needed and it was cheaper than expected. The other day I stopped in there to buy a new cable. I was about to purchase a nice BOSS right angle, but the salesperson recommended I check out their store brand because if there's ever a problem you can exchange it for a brand new one, no questions asked. I was impressed with the quality of the cable so I bought it. They also had the correct battery for my Snark tuner. Aaaaaaand I almost waked out of there with an SVT! They had a used SVT 2-PRO head (all tube) for $749!!! If I didn't already have one, I would have grabbed this one. I was thinking it would be cool to have a second one as a back up... but I just couldn't justify spending the money so close to the holidays. I know GC gets ragged on alot around here, but it's really not fair. They're not all bad!!
    bassestkkm, DJ Bebop, TinyE and 20 others like this.
  2. Valsmere

    Valsmere Supporting Member

    Jun 28, 2018
    southern NJ
    I have do quite well with my local GC. No complaints from me.
  3. Stopped in today for strings. As usual, there is a line to check out and a GC employee just watching. Another GC employee, a true hero, rushed over, took me over to his register and got me checked out pronto.

    I wish they had a comment box by the door.
  4. Stranger Danger

    Stranger Danger Feel Like A Stranger Supporting Member

    Jan 3, 2010
    I like GC. They get a lot of my money. Their return policy is stellar. If you know your stuff they’re great to deal with.
  5. I don't have a Guitar Center near me so I'm not a regular shopper, but I've always had good experiences the few times I have been in one.
    BBQisgood likes this.
  6. alembicbones


    Nov 10, 2000
    Seattle, WA
    Guitar Center is what it is. When you need certain commodity items, they are fine.

    When it comes to basses, I think it is rare they have something I am interested in. There are so many other online options for quality instruments, be it value priced or high end, that's where I spend my time.

    Barisaxman and BBQisgood like this.
  7. Dr. Cheese

    Dr. Cheese Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2004
    Metro St. Louis
    As StrangerDanger said, it is good to know something if you shop GC. If not, you may have the stereotypical unhelpful experience with a salesperson who knows nothing but comes off like an expert. My local GC has decent amps, but the basses are rarely better than mid level in quality. The two GCs on the Missouri side of the river, especially the one in Bridgeton is much more impressive in terms of bass oriented gear.
    Last edited: Dec 10, 2018
    BBQisgood and markjazzbassist like this.
  8. jd56hawk


    Sep 12, 2011
    The Garden State
    They also sell basses!
    birminghambass and Smooth_bass88 like this.
  9. I've never bought an amp or instrument at a GC, just straps, strings, cables, etc. Never had a problem.
    (Do all of my bass buying in pawn shops now, and there are a few local shops that deal used amps that get my money).
    Having said that, last year I ordered a used guitar combo amp from the GC website, and whichever out of state store had it did a great job on the listing re: condition and pics. The packaging was stellar, and it arrived in perfect condition despite the hits the outer cardboard took.

    I'm glad GC is around.
    Sam Ash as well.
  10. juggahnaught


    Feb 11, 2018
    Seattle, WA
    GC isn't always bad - it varies from place to place. It's a big box store, though, and it's showing its age in the current online consumer culture.

    For equipment and accessories, it's definitely a go-to. Amps are fine too if you know what you want and they have it (and you need it now and can't afford to wait for the used market). I've bought cases, cables, stands, bags, straps, recording accessories, drumsticks, books, etc. ...I've a long purchase history.

    For instruments, though.....I've never bought a stringed instrument from a guitar center store. (Bought a Casio CDP piano once, good purchase.) I'm not necessarily averse to it, but it's a last choice (or an emergency case where I'd use their return policy).
    BBQisgood likes this.
  11. Greg Waldon

    Greg Waldon

    Aug 22, 2017
    I’ve ordered two basses over the past several years from GC. Both were advertised as being in good condition and got both at about 1/2 of normal retail price. When each bass arrived, they could have been sold as new. There was not a mark, scratch, ding or anything on either one. I like GC.
    BBQisgood, ObsessiveArcher and pcake like this.
  12. GregC

    GregC Johnny and Joe Gold Supporting Member

    Jan 19, 2007
    I think TB should have a separate Guitar Center subforum, where everyone can relate their experiences at GC several times a year and we can all endlessly speculate on if/when they're going under.
    Mister Boh, Fletz, Helix and 14 others like this.
  13. Ghook

    Ghook Supporting Member

    Sep 25, 2018
    Eastern US
    I was a huge critic of GC for quite a long time. Now I realize, as with most Corp box stores, the store management sets the tone. At one point I traveled often and going into a local GC was something I could do to kill time. My observations, although maybe a bit too sweeping , are these. GC's located near cities with music scenes tend to be the most obnoxious. San Diego ( even when it was in the industrial park off 163) LA, Nashville, Asheville, Gainesville, for example,were stocked with sales people who were doing days jobs to support their gig jobs. Nothing more annoying then having a sales person take the guitar your interested in from your hands and doing an audition. I mean seriously. Then there were the major market stores that were not "limelight" locations and seemingly the staff had a much better sense of what they were there for. I often go to the Ocala GC, perfect example of what I mean. GC might actually not only make it, there were serious doubts, but lead the way in how a business model with both online and brick and motor can work well together. Order online, pick up at store. Real human solutions if a need were to arise. So as it stands now I'm rooting for GC to get their act together , provide local employment and management experience for kids just starting out. Oh, I almost forgot, a place where I can try a bass and large amp and entertain the entire store with my version of "She's not There" :)
  14. Gilmourisgod


    Jun 23, 2014
    Cape Cod MA
    Your experience is particular to that store with that particular crop of employees. My local GC (Braintree Mass) used to be pretty good, but has tremendous turnover in employees. I get in their 3-4 times a year and literally never see the same employees twice. It’s not surprising given the poor pay, no benefits, and lack of commissions. The bass department is small and rarely upgraded, the salesman all guitarists who don’t know much about bass. It’s a franchise, so what kind of service you get depends on who’s running it, like your local Macdonald‘s. People gripe about what they see personally. Count yourself lucky to have a good GC in your area, enjoy it while it lasts!
    lermgalieu, Charlzm and HolmeBass like this.
  15. Smooth_bass88

    Smooth_bass88 Groove it Supporting Member

    What's a basses?
    jd56hawk likes this.
  16. rashrader


    Mar 4, 2004
    Baltimore, MD
    I bought a small mixer there a few weeks ago. It was a decent experience. I don’t know. There really isn’t much there anymore.... They’ll occasionally get some interesting used gear. That’s really about it.
  17. Krizz


    May 26, 2018
    Columbus, OH
  18. Scottgun


    Jan 24, 2004
    South Carolina
    GC is like anything retail. It mostly depends on a manager hiring people who don't live under highway bridges and instilling in them customer orientation.
  19. BBQisgood


    Feb 24, 2016
    The employees where I used to live were really nice and knew their stuff. I miss those guys. I felt great giving them my business.

    Unfortunately I had three or four bad experiences in a row at the one by my new place.

    It's a mixed bag, I guess. 90% of my business goes to the smaller guys.
  20. I have had exactly ONE bad experience with GC, and it was enough to put me off of them, simply because it mirrors so many others' complaints. I've been to the store (near where I was working) two times. The first time, while just looking around to see if anything impressed me about it (had never been to one before), I was never approached by a single sales person.

    That second time, there was an issue- the complaint being lack of service- I was planning on buying the wife a digital piano for Christmas. Said item was on sale. Online said the the particular store in my locale has the item in stock. Went to the store. Asked a salesperson for the product.

    Waited 10 minutes; during which time, NO ONE ELSE even approached me! Finally got told they didn't have any in stock. Made them look on their very own website, which showed they had it. Employee called the Store Mgr over. Told him the deal and he even checked in their computer for inventory to verify it actually WAS in stock... somewhere...

    The following was a direct quote from the Mgr himself, "It's in the back somewhere. if you give me your email, I'll let you know when we find it." Since I had taken time off work to drop in (and didn't want wife to get suspicious of what I was doing), I told him that I really needed to wait and buy it ASAP.

    He INSISTED that he get my email, as his staff were "too busy right now"... There were three other "customers" in there at the time, looking about as clueless as the sales-staff were.

    I gave up. I also vowed to never attempt another buy from them again. Since then, Sweetwater, Musician's Friend and StewMac have gotten all my biz.

    If you've had good luck with GC, I'm happy for you! But I'll never step foot inside one again...

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