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How to effectively deal with Guitar Center

Discussion in 'Bass Humor & Gig Stories [BG]' started by ThinCrappyTone, May 22, 2017.

  1. ThinCrappyTone

    ThinCrappyTone Mostly harmless Supporting Member

    Oct 1, 2011
    Massachusetts, USA
    So, I finally cracked the code on how to get what you want from Guitar Center, and wanted to share it with bass friends.

    I know a lot of us have been experiencing frustration with them, myself included. For example, about a month ago, I purchased a new item that said "in stock - ready to ship", but it actually wasn't in stock or ready to ship, it was sold out. A few months before that, the same thing happened on a used item. Said it was in stock, i bought it, then found out it was already sold.

    So, yesterday, I saw an amp in their used section online. It's an amp I had been looking for, and lo and behold, it was at the gc near me. Woo! So I call up to verify it's still there. Guy on phone says "No, sorry, it's been sold"

    Bummed, I almost gave up. But then i thought. This. Is. GUITAR CENTER!!! (said in Leonitis voice) . I thought "maybe, if things AREN'T there, when they say they are, maybe the opposite is also true?". So I jumped in my car and made the trip, assuming that whatever GC tells me, I should assume the opposite.

    Well, you probably already know the end of this tale. The amp was sitting there in the used section, waiting to be purchased. I bought it and went home, musing about the ironies of life.

    TL;DR - Whatever GC tells you, assume the opposite is true
  2. Oddly

    Oddly Unofficial TalkBass Cartographer! Supporting Member

    Jan 17, 2014
    Dublin, Ireland.
    I hope you didn't pay for it?
    After all it wasn't there...
  3. Ukiah Bass

    Ukiah Bass Supporting Member

    May 10, 2006
    Guitar Center is going down. I wouldn't send them a nickle in advance. Physical item in hand only, then pay. If you can stand walking into one of their stores.
  4. Bob Clayton

    Bob Clayton Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Aug 14, 2001
    Philly Suburbs
    I never really understood all the hate for GC, I haven't had a bad experience. I guess I'm one of the lucky ones. Funny story though.
  5. ThinCrappyTone

    ThinCrappyTone Mostly harmless Supporting Member

    Oct 1, 2011
    Massachusetts, USA
    This is good to get out there. The hate bubbles to the top, so it might seem like the bad experiences are more prevalent than they are. Lots of people, myself included, have great experiences there as well.

    I do think GC is getting progressively worse though. Big music stores have always been a bit of a used car dealership experience for me, but over the last few years, every time I deal with GC, it's some sort of whack, dysfunctional experience that goes beyond the norm. And their online experience is even worse. Not even in the ballpark compared to their competitors like amazon or Sweetwater. Just my opinion. No offense to anyone who works there.
    RyanJD and BassmanMetzger56 like this.
  6. Element Zero

    Element Zero Supporting Member

    Dec 14, 2016
    I worked at my local GC from '04-'14... I go in there now just to chat with the 3 buds that still work there when I did... the rest of them have absolutely no idea what they're talking about.
  7. JRA

    JRA my words = opinion Supporting Member

    funny story, OP. your approach would work at a lot of places, IMO. ;)
    ThinCrappyTone likes this.
  8. s0c9

    s0c9 Supporting Member

    Jan 9, 2014
    1964 Audio artist, Fractal Audio Beta Tester
    Only ever had 2 issues/problems with GC, one of which was nothing to do with me, as I don't buy a lot from them anymore.. as it's mostly MI stuff.
    One was I sold a keyboard (korg) to them.. got their BEST price (almost new price as condition was mint+). A guy in kentucky bought it and they shipped it to him.. They showed me the pics he sent them of the damage caused in transit. OUCH!
    The other was I bought TWO Behringer P16M units from them. They arrived with EUROPEAN wal-warts. Worthless in the US. Took them a month to get the US version.
    Other than that.. they've been fine..
  9. Same here. The local GC is clean, pleasant, and has helpful people working in it. Just because your local store hires poorly doesn't mean all stores do.

    Short story...I head the classroom technology unit at a large university. We have a small rental section that does more business with renting PA systems than anything else. One of our guys spotted a nice Anchor Audio PA system in GC online; it was a $2000 system new, and was for sale for $200.

    I grabbed it and had it shipped in, knowing that I could refuse it if it were damaged. It was in great condition.

    The only drawback was that buying online, I HAD to pay sales tax, which I knew the university wouldn't do. So when it arrived, I had a financial problem to solve. The GC manager worked with me very nicely, and the solution was for me to return it for a full credit, then buy it back with my university credit card; since we have a tax ID on file with the local store, no sales tax was charged. I had some clean-up paperwork to do, but for $1800, I can do the paperwork.
    Dwitt33, 47th Street, pcake and 6 others like this.
  10. MrLenny1


    Jan 17, 2009
    My experience has been that the clerks are all teenagers who
    don't know anything and don't care because it's a P/T job.
    Called on a used bass, was told they don't carry it.
    It was in their store.
  11. silvertone


    Nov 6, 2007
    SF, CA
    And Schroedinger's cat is either playing bass through that amp or it isn't.....?
  12. DavC

    DavC Supporting Member

    May 17, 2005
    Tallmadge , Ohio
    effectively - stay out
  13. Once I called about a used Dave Murray Strat that I wanted to buy, but the guy said it must have been sold, because he couldn't find it.
    It was still available online, so I made the buy & it was shipped to me.
    Little did I know that those are not recess routed so you can't pull up on the vibrato arm, which makes absolutely no sense for a Floyd Rose equipped guitar :confused:
    So I ended up returning it the day after I received it :(
    ThinCrappyTone likes this.
  14. Ross W. Lovell

    Ross W. Lovell

    Oct 31, 2015

    So GC has adopted the Constanza Principle?
  15. Never had any issues at GC myself. Always had staff who let me do my thing, and have had great luck buying online. Just be informed about what you want- they are in the business of making money after all.
  16. bass40hz

    bass40hz Cigar smoker, scotch drinker, American Patriot Supporting Member

    Aug 13, 2014
    Sussex County, NJ
    no endorsements yet...Are you listening Spector, DR, GK, Line6?
    I too, have had more bad experiences than good...bought a used Ibby just because I had a couple hundred burning a hole in my pocket, took it home and had major rattles "inside" the neck, after 3 trips to and from GC, with their in-house tech using a power drill to remove screws on the bass, I concluded myself that the truss rod was broken, and the knucklehead tech kept trying to use the drill to "fix it", bass was returned...2nd horror story - I was in a Skynyrd tribute band and were doing a show so I ordered a T'bird (how can you play Skynyrd without a 'bird), and needed it in 2 days, I had the foresight to have it shipped ot the store *just in case* something was wrong, lo-and-behold, the pots were wired wrong, so I left it...this one wasn't their fault but it just added fuel to the hate fire...3rd incident, ordered another Ibby, to be shipped from another store to my local one, this time it was brand new but hanging on the wall, when it arrived at the store and I opened the box and the bass was set in the packing peanuts, no plastic, no paper, no bag or inner box...just in a-midst the packing peanuts, when I removed the bass from the peanuts, the pickups fell out of the bass...FELL OUT....I left it. Done with GC.
    Last edited: May 22, 2017
  17. theduke1

    theduke1 Supporting Member

    Dec 22, 2010
    Manitowoc WI
    Rule #2
    Never assunme
  18. Charlzm

    Charlzm Supporting Member

    Mar 25, 2011
    Los Angeles, CA
    So the answer seems to be: don't buy online; go to the store and see what they have.
    Zos Kia Cultus likes this.
  19. I have only been in a Guitar Center once. Didn't buy anything. Once, I did buy a new Bass from Sam Ash. That was the only time I had been there, also. All my other gear buying has been online (Reverb, TalkBass, BassStringsOnline, E(vil)Bay). I also like to cruise pawn shops.
    pappabass and 47th Street like this.

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