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Negotiating with Guitar Center

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by 'JC', Oct 12, 2004.

  1. 'JC'


    Mar 14, 2000
    Hello all,

    I just put down a deposit on a Used SR506 six string at Guitar Center. I did this to insure no one else would snag it while I did some research on it.

    GC is asking *edit* 599.99 for it used, despite the fact it goes for *599 NEW at other places and:

    1. has some very noticable scratches below the neck pick-up on the natural mahogany top.

    2. is obviously used, not new.

    3. does not include any type of case.

    4. does not include any type of manufacturer's warranty or maintenance tools (allen wrenches for the bridge and truss)

    If you were in this position, what would you do to continue the deal? I am considering asking for something extra to be thrown in, prefferably extra strings, a strap and a discount of maybe 50 dollars or so. Sound reasonable?

    Keep in mind I really want to continue with this deal, as I fell in love with the action, and have been in the market for a versatile six for a while now.

    SR506 from AMS

  2. The link you provided shows it at $599. If you can get it new and a hundred bucks less, than I don't see a reason why you wouldn't. ;)
  3. Lackey


    May 10, 2002
    Los Angeles
    AMS is selling it for 599, not 699.

    I'd offer them 350, then haggle up from there. They didn't pay anymore than that for it - I've seen the inside of their bluebooks!

    I just got a used TRB6 for 550 from Sam Ash. Not an eyepopping deal, but still a bargain considering how rare they seem to be out here.

    How bad do you want it? Too bad you already put a payment on it, that's probably gonna limit the effectiveness of haggling with them.

    Get them to throw in a case, several packs of strings, straps, cables, tuners, instructional videos, etc if you pay close to 699 for it. (seriously!).

    Good luck!
  4. If you have someone that can do a good setup, then tell GC to go to heck or order a new one so you get all the parts you need. if you can get it new for the same price, then do that. you shouldn't pay more than like $500 for a used one of those. especially if it's nicked up...
  5. superfly


    Aug 4, 2004
    Remember, you have 30 days to return it, no questions asked. Thats the ONLY reason I ever buy anything from GC.
  6. winston


    May 2, 2000
    Berkeley, CA
    I'd expect a place with a name like Guitar Center to know the Blue Book/going market rates of used equipment. Either they don't or they ignore it, or they bank on making money from poorly-informed, gear-hungry customers. That's somewhere between unprofessional and unscrupulous--gotta love capitali$m! Their used prices are consistently higher than real music stores, eBay, and TB/BassGear.com. Some guy on the Double Bass side of TalkBass just paid more for a used, crappy upright at GC than it sells for new :(

    I bought a excellent condition Mesa Boogie Bass 400 with graphic EQ through an acquaintance for $450 about 5 years ago. After retubing, I consigned it for the (then) Blue Book price of $650. Went into GC, saw a beat-up Bass 400 without graphic for $1000. I've never bought used gear from GC, so I haven't tried to haggle them. It's always good to do a Google/TB search before buying gear unless you know you're getting quality equipment at a reasonable price. If you know what you're doing you can make back all your money if you pay the right price used and you later decide to sell.
  7. 'JC'


    Mar 14, 2000

    My mistake, GC has it at 599 used.
  8. kserg


    Feb 20, 2004
    London, UK
    My friend just got one like that... it sounds good and feels pretty good...

    Does it have any extras? like maybe pick ups where upgraded or what not...
  9. Senor SQUID

    Senor SQUID Guest

    Jan 11, 2004
  10. Is like negotiating with a rock.
  11. Senor SQUID

    Senor SQUID Guest

    Jan 11, 2004
    They also have a lot of room to bargain. They work on commission!
  12. i just bought a new pacific drum set for my son at GC. it included hardware and cymbals and we walked out for around $800 - about 150 less than their asking price (not counting sales tax). yeah, they still made good money on it, but it was a better deal than any other local place was willing to do.

    most importantly, it matters who you talk to (salesman) - get to know someone that you connect with. go in several different times and don't buy it. then come in with as much cash as you're willing to spend. I also think it's best to go in with the cash on a Mon, Tues or Wed evening about an hour before closing time.

    this all may be a little more difficult to pull off since you've already tipped your hand - that you REALLY want that bass. but i'd still do the cash thing but first talk about a case, strap and things, then make your offer.

    good luck.
  13. 'JC'


    Mar 14, 2000

    bartolini's come stock.
  14. 'JC'


    Mar 14, 2000

    I think I'll take it to the manager.
    Explain it goes for less used, and that for the asking price, I can get it new without tax, and free shipping from an online merchant and see where it goes from there.

    Ideally, I want at least 100.00 off now.

    I'm prepared to walk away if I have to.

    Thanks everyone.
  15. Munjibunga

    Munjibunga Total Hyper-Elite Member Gold Supporting Member

    May 6, 2000
    San Diego (when not at Groom Lake)
    Independent Contractor to Bass San Diego
    If they have it marked at $599, they paid no more than $300 for it. They can do just fine at $389 for it. I'd offer $350 and let them whine and take you up as high as $400.
  16. rojo412

    rojo412 Walnut is fun! Supporting Member

    Feb 26, 2000
    Cleveland, OH.
    Negotiating with GC is easy. As a former employee, I can tell you they have a lot of bending room. They usually pay 1/2 tag on low to mid end gear (stuff that's really high end gets a bit more cash).

    No matter what, if you take, let's say, $100 in stuff you want and say "throw this in," they'll throw it in easier than if you wanted $100 off. WHY? Because $100 in cables, strings, case, etc. costs them like $45-55. If the bass had a case when it came in, they only paid $0.01 for it. Use this in your figuring a final price.

    Used gear also has a minimum price. This means a manager has to approve a deal. If they are a jerk, they won't hook you up. I'm guessing this bass was tagged at $599 in hopes of getting more than it should. I'd say the min could be $399-449, so expect that to be a final, pre-tax price.

    In your situation, I'd ask if it has a case, make an offer for everything you want, stick around while they ponder the deal, and you should get it for a more reasonable price. I'd bring a new one quote with you as ammo. Whip it out if they try to say "This is a fair price for this bass."

    Ask me if you have more questions!
  17. petch

    petch Supporting Member

    Mar 25, 2001
    Medina, Ohio
    Very good advice rojo! :)
  18. cheezewiz

    cheezewiz Supporting Member

    Mar 27, 2002
    Bottom line...if GC is asking $599 for it, they allowed $300 in trade on it. Offer them $400, take it or leave it, and they make a $100 profit, and you get a better price. If they won't do it, move on to something else. I find the best way to haggle is to offer your bottom line price, and stick with it. Either they can do it, or they cant.
  19. Robman


    Mar 19, 2004
    Sherman, Texas
    IME, dealing with GC is worse than buying a new car.
  20. Juneau


    Jul 15, 2004
    Dallas, TX.
    I dunno, I guess I found a cool salesman at GC. Mike Henry, who also runs their platinum collectors room is an awesome guy and very easy to deal with. I havent payed sticker price for anything in the store I ever bought, cept maybe a tuner or stands hehe.

    Ive gotten free t-shirts from him at guitar shows, he's just an all around cool guy. And my particular GC has a few other staff memebers who are just as easy to deal with. Kinda saddens me that so many here have had bad experiences there.

    Id say tell them what youd like to pay, be firm, tell them what you want extra thrown in, see what they say. They will usually barter with you if they are even halfway decent salesmen. They do work on commision afterall.