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Guitar Center Used: Don't Buy Items

Discussion in 'Hot Deals' started by NicJimBass, Sep 7, 2013.

  1. dave79

    dave79 Rest well Fish Supporting Member

    I always expect something to be wrong with anything I order. Often it's just a potentiometer that needs to be cleaned or a wire that came loose, things that would be enough to cause an idiot to think their gear was completely broken and to take it to GC. About 1 out of 5 will have a broken truss rod, blown speaker, or any other thing I don't want to deal with and will get returned ALWAYS to be listed for sale again the next day no matter how much I try to explain that the item needs repair.
    Killed_by_Death likes this.
  2. Never had a serious issue with GC. Once I ordered a head from GC, came in busted. Took it back no problem and refunded me everything. I checked in with "my" staff member a week or two later and he said it was fixed and sold. I think it's about finding the employees that care and that are trustworthy. I know which ones at my local GC to talk to and which ones only want to sell something.

    I've also had other employees just ignore obvious problems that will damage gear, like having numerous heads connected to the same cab. Told the one I could find that day, and he didn't care at all. I've also had one tell me nothing was wrong with their floor model when it wouldn't turn on for 5 minutes. He told me it needed to "warm up". I told him I have the exact model at home (GK MB200) and that it doesn't warm up for more than a few seconds. He finally caved and I watched him fill out a repair order.

    Again, you gotta know which employees actually know their stuff and care. Some do, many don't, so when you find one, go with that person as much as possible.
  3. Tom F

    Tom F Supporting Member

    Apr 23, 2003
    Union County, NJ
    This one is a pretty big mess - truss rod nut stripped, the rod itself is buried deep and at a weird angle so you can't get a wrench in anyway, non matching chrome knobs (not the black mid matched ones in the pic but not right anyway) and in worse shape than the pictures suggest. Plus it smells like incense. It's a shame - sounded pretty good and played approximately "ok".

    Fender Jazz Bass 24 V 5-String Electric Bass Guitar

  4. Tom F

    Tom F Supporting Member

    Apr 23, 2003
    Union County, NJ
    Argh...looks like this one is on eBay now ("as is" of course). You can tell by the missing batter cover. Buyer beware - especially since the preamp worked when I played it.

    Fender Jazz Bass 24 V 24-Fret 5-String Quilt Top Sunburst Electric Players bass
  5. Bought it used online for a cheap but decent low volume amp. Think the speaker's blown, it is distorted no matter the channel or settings. I hooked up another head and still got distortion. Also, one of the push switches is missing. Listed in fair condition, but to me that means fully functioning but rough looking. Not fully functioning, that's for sure. Returned it Friday night, doubt it's been fixed already, but it's back for sale!

    Gallien-Krueger Backline 112 Bass Combo Amp
  6. Dluxe


    Jan 9, 2011
    Austin, TX
  7. porterbass


    Jul 11, 2013
    Beware of this Lakland Hollowbody. I purchased it from GC a few weeks ago and it has electronics/wiring issues. I already own one of these and was purchasing it because of its lighter weight. A previous owner had to have messed with the wiring. The pots were not in the normal configuration for this bass. There was a loose ground wire. The pickup selector switch didn't work properly. Unless both pickups are on with the selector switch in the middle, there was a slight buzz. This Lakland HB should sound very full, yet this one sounds very thin, with low output.

    I brought it to my local GC within a couple of days of receiving it. They opened it up, soldered the loose wire and I left with it as it was hard to tell if it sounded proper with all the store activity. Nothing changed. I have the other one to compare it to. Took it back last night. They were very apologetic, refunded my money, and put it right back on the floor. I had told them to call me if they repaired it and I would purchase it from them. I don't think they care.

    Lakland Skyline Hollowbody Electric Bass Guitar
    rogerbmiller likes this.
  8. porterbass


    Jul 11, 2013
    This Lakland Hollowbody continues to be purchased and returned. It is now in Overland Park, KS. One of the employees told me that their computer shows it has been floating around their system, store-to-store, since February of this year. I'm sure they have to refund the shipping charges every time. What a waste of a gorgeous bass. All they have to do is have their repair staff fix the electronics.

    Lakland Skyline Hollowbody Electric Bass Guitar
  9. rogerbmiller

    rogerbmiller Gold Supporting Member

    Sep 16, 2003
    Given the poor financial condition of the company, I wouldn't be surprised if they were doing this deliberately with some of their use stock just to continue to trap cash and "play the float." Otherwise if it's irreparable, they have to zero it out. And if it needs to be repaired but that has expense, they would have to sell the instrument at a loss. By keeping it, not only do they continue to hold other peoples dollars for a period of time, but they hold the inventory and it's trade in price on their balance sheet.
  10. There is a YAMAHA TRB1004 at my local guitar center (jacksonville florida) that is $549... It has the preamp ripped out. Probably worth about $400.
  11. Handyman


    Sep 4, 2007
    Austin, TX
    Gallien-Krueger MB200 Ultralight 200W Bass Amp Head

    GK MB200 with an alluring price of $119. Don't buy it - hisses like a mother. The hiss is so loud that it actually was hurting my ears listening to the thing plugged into a cab with no input. I've never heard another bass amp do this.

    Returned it, told the manager, so of course they put it right back in stock in "excellent" condition. :rollno:
    Killed_by_Death likes this.
  12. porterbass


    Jul 11, 2013
    Godin A4 Fretless Acoustic Bass Guitar

    I wouldn't recommend buying this Godin A4 fretless. Good price but it has a crack in the top that looks like it is going to get worse. I had even called the store to "go over" the condition with them and they told me it was very clean and in excellent condition. Not sure how he would have missed the 4" long indentation and crack in the top. After I returned it to my local GC yesterday, it is relisted the same as before, in "Great Condition".
  13. BillyB_from_LZ

    BillyB_from_LZ Supporting Member

    Sep 7, 2000
    I've had a bad run as of late with used amps from GC (albeit guitar amps). One made a loud SNAP (which sounded like a component reaching end-of-life) when I shut it off, followed by the scent of magic smoke leaking out. When I returned the amp and described the problem, the sales guy plugged it in, played through it finding that it still worked. He dismissed my experience (which I know what I heard and smelled as I hear it and smell it during my day-job at UL). Another amp came with a burned out power tube, or worse (I didn't look inside). Back it went too. I was rewarded by having my account flagged which effectively blocks my return privileges. If they're willing to remove it if I find something I want, I'll try again. If they maintain their "no returns until you keep some stuff" line that I was given, I won't be doing business with GC again.
  14. dave79

    dave79 Rest well Fish Supporting Member

    I've always wondered what line I'd need to cross to get returns revoked. I bought an amp a month ago, showed up to the store to pick it up and it didn't work at all, no sound, completely dead. They listed my return as buyer's remorse.
    Killed_by_Death likes this.
  15. bobcruz


    Mar 10, 2004
    Alameda, CA
    They LIED in writing about your reason for return? That's libel! :banghead::spit::rollno:
  16. BillyB_from_LZ

    BillyB_from_LZ Supporting Member

    Sep 7, 2000
    I would have expected a warning or something. I could truthfully argue that I was not buying stuff, recording or gigging with it and then taking it back. It was stuff I wanted to keep but there were problems with some and I just didn't like others. That written, they seem to have overlooked that I've spent a couple $Grand in the past 10 months or so on gear that I've kept.

    I didn't mention that while I was playing through the amp that ultimately went SNAP, I received a call (which I didn't answer because I was playing) from "my personal" online GC sales person. He left me his number and email address. I shot him an email asking for an explanation of what just happened and then a reminder a couple days later to which he replied he'd look into it for me. No response yet.
  17. BillyB_from_LZ

    BillyB_from_LZ Supporting Member

    Sep 7, 2000
    I've wondered if they're given "suggestions" on what to write as the reason. They probably have metrics which gives them incentive to make it the customer's fault, not something misrepresented by someone within the GC organization. IMHO.
  18. brstma

    brstma Supporting Member

    Nov 20, 2008
    I've had a few problems over the years too, but they did take care of it and they've honored the return policy when needed. I can't understand why they don't put any effort into testing or repairing things before they say it's in good condition.

    1- bought a Yamaha N12 mixer online, shipped from another state to my local store. I prefer to get it in the store so if anything is wrong I can point it out before taking it. I open the box and there's no power supply. Yamaha uses a proprietary power supply so you have to use theirs only. A GC guy called the other store, they said it never had one....so how could they test it??? Major stupidity. So I told them they can get me the power supply or take it back for a refund, and they ordered a new power supply for me...but it took 2 weeks. Luckily my friend had one I was able to borrow

    2- bought a yamaha stagepas PA online, shipped from another state to my local store, was told everything is there. Opened the box in the store to check it out...no speaker cables or power cable. They gave me brand new ones in the package right there so that was cool

    3- Bought a markbass randy Jackson head, shipped from another store, got it home and the compressor would clip and limit constantly no matter what it was set on unless it was off. Returned it and told them about the issue. They put it on the sales floor with no discount or repair done...I tried it again to see if it was fixed

    - a friend bought a retro stereo tube power amp and paid for the extra warranty. It died 6 months later, they said they couldn't repair it and told him to keep it and refunded the purchase price of $200. He took it to a guy who fixed it for $50 LOL Some repair shop they have at GC!!! I'm sure they didn't even bother to diagnose it

    I've played many used instruments at the store with major issues and when you point it out they don't care and won't even consider discounting it accordingly. One was pretty major on a guitar: The bridge mounting "nut" was pulling out of the body and a chip was forming in the top veneer around it. Looked at it a few times after I pointed it out, never fixed it

    But they do have some pretty good deals and have always honored the returns (less shipping) for me so it's worth the risk because I can't afford to buy everything new...or I'd have a lot less stuff. And if they honor the extra warranty like they did for my friend, you could end up with a brand new replacement if available because they can't seem to repair anything!
    Last edited: Jun 18, 2017
  19. J.D. Detroit

    J.D. Detroit

    Nov 12, 2015
    Heads up - Aria Pro II Cardnial Series Bass Black & Gold.

    Had it shipped to the Detroit store. Neck is shot - significant twist/warping, ski-jump..

    It was orig marked as a CSB 450 - $249 - good cond - zero mention of the neck issues.

    Detroit said they'll try and sell it - business as usual.
  20. Luckily I have a guy who is very honest at the GC near me and the Luthier's there always have no problem checking stuff out for me or doing a quick set up to save me some time when I bought a guitar there. I bought my first bass used and had it shipped to the Houston store from the Dallas store where it was at. The guy called the store and had him plug it in and have their Luthier look it over before I paid for it and had it delivered. He said it needed only a truss rod adjustment and it looks fine. So when it got there, I had the Luthier do a once over for me and he even set the string height to the floor model which was actually set up by the Luthier so they could get them sold fast. That was pretty cool of them to do.

    So far the bass plays well and sounds good. But I never bought used instruments from GC in the past. Sometimes I get a pedal used after trying it out for a bit but that's about it for used stuff. Just like you never buy used guns from a gun shop unless you know that they have a gunsmith in their shop and test fire them before they go on the shelf for sale. Too many people sell firearms with cycling issues instead of doing a simple spring and extractor exchange before selling them off to be someone else's problem these days. I am going to do a trade with a pawn shop for the Markbass amp they have for sale and I am going to play it for a minimum of 30 minutes and look in to looking at the speaker if possible before I even consider trading for it because I don't want to get screwed over by some shop that doesn't check out the stuff they buy. They said that the guy traded it for one of their other bass amps that they had in the shop so hopefully it's in good condition and not destroyed inside the cab.