positive GC stories, please

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by pcake, Jun 12, 2019.

  1. pcake

    pcake Supporting Member

    Sep 20, 2011
    Los Angeleez
    someone in another thread said he thought positive stories about guitar center are few and far between. my personal experiences are otherwise, and we regularly go to five GC stores. my husband and i have probably made 250ish purchases from GC over the years from something as minor as picks to guitars and basses and electronic cymbals. i don't think i've ever had a bad experience from GC, but part of that may be that i have realistic expectations. but we've had a few reps who got to know us - one who really got to know us, and he's the one who made my ric and taylor GC8 possible by letting us make long term layaways (7 months each).

    when we were hanging out at various GCs a lot, they were mostly really nice. i got to know a couple guys in west l.a. in acoustics well, and we'd trade playing, customers and gigging stories when it wasn't busy. i admit that the guys from the electric guitars sections are never as friendly, but luckily we don't care :D

    i have heard sales guys at a couple stores mislead customers. one guy told a buyer that he could keep up with a band with a drummer with a 40 watt combo, the other told a buyer that this all-laminate yamaha acoustic was an all solid guitar. sadly in both cases the customers bought the items, and in the case of the amp, i actually told him it wouldn't work, but he believed the sales guy.

    but i've heard lots of sales guys/gals not lie, as well. and they can't really lie to me because i never rely on them for any information :D i mean, even the most honest person isn't going to memorize facts about hundreds or thousands of items in the store that they've never tried, right?

    my used experiences - well, i got an SR500 for $199 and a rockbass streamer 5 for $249. my husband got a used gibson victory bass for a good price in mint condition in 1999 and they threw in a case. my husband got a line 6 amp there for a good price, although we had to wait a few days to pick it up because of the sheriff's department hold. i've never gotten a bad piece of used gear, but the thing is that if i did, i'd call and let them fix it.

    as far as selling to GC, i've only done so a few times. a couple, including my luthite cort curbow, i got what i would have sold them for on CL. a couple things i sold because i didn't need them and i wanted the 15% off of a new item that you get when selling them gear. that worked out pretty well.

    the worst thing about some stores are the customers. and it's true that over the years, GC stores have failed to stock things i wanted to try and buy including parlor and smaller guitars and lately bass cabs.

    i've never had a problem making an exchange or return at GC. they always seem very willing to do either, but i've been lucky and never needed to exchange anything.

    without guitar centers, there are so many pieces of gear i'd have never gotten to try and enjoy. they've helped me rule out many pieces of gear. they helped sell me some, too, like my ibanez SRH500, which i'd never have considered without "meeting" one at guitar center.

    your turn!
  2. bholder

    bholder Affable Sociopath Gold Supporting Member Supporting Member

    Sep 2, 2001
    Vestal, NY
    Received a gift from Sire* (see sig)
    I've bought from the GC used gear website and had them ship to the local GC for pickup. Worked out fine. All I've got.
  3. Gorn

    Gorn Supporting Member

    Dec 15, 2011
    Queens, NY
    I got a girl's number there once. We hung out a couple of times. Didn't go anywhere but she was fun.
  4. pcake

    pcake Supporting Member

    Sep 20, 2011
    Los Angeleez
  5. Bent77


    Mar 6, 2013
    Desert, Colorado
    Depends on the staff. I’m half way between 2 stores. One is so atrocious I don’t even go in to try the stock.

    The other one the staff is so awesome I go out of my way to work with them
  6. pcake

    pcake Supporting Member

    Sep 20, 2011
    Los Angeleez
    in what way is the staff atrocious?
  7. Bent77


    Mar 6, 2013
    Desert, Colorado
    Completely overbearing and aloof. Tell you why their opinions are valid because they are “players”
    Awful service, rude. Talk down to customers. Typical GC stories
    lizardking837 likes this.
  8. pcake

    pcake Supporting Member

    Sep 20, 2011
    Los Angeleez
    i've run into those, particularly at one store. i just laugh and tell them if i need something, i'll let them know and they go away :D
  9. Bent77


    Mar 6, 2013
    Desert, Colorado
    Yeah I go to the other store and they know my name
  10. bloobass


    Jul 10, 2012
    Louisville, KY
    It's in 2 parts, and a little long, but a great GC experience:
    Went in and they had a new GK 410neo marked down to $400something. I played it, and loved it. Talked to the sales guy about trading in my 2 Markbass 115's. He gave me a ballpark idea, which was much lower than I wanted to go. i told him I'd try selling on my own, thanked him and left. Over the next 2 days GAS ate at me. I called, asked for him and asked if they still had it, they did. I told him I'd try to get in there that day with my cabs and do the trade. He offered to put it on hold...FOR FREE. I accepted, went in the next day to do the deal. He was out, so I talked to a manager who told me they didn't have it if it wasn't on the floor because they were not allowed to put stuff on hold for free. I pushed him to look in the back, and he finally brought it out. I made the deal, making sure my guy got the sales credit.
    Part 2:
    a day later I called the sales guy, said I need the bi-amp speak-on cable that was supposed to come with it. He couldn't find it, so he ordered it from GK. I got the call it was in. Sales guy was out, same manager rings me up. I tell him it supposed to be free. He argues, I ask for his boss. Boss comes, hears my side, tells the manager I bought a new cab, so I should get whatever it came with. I left happy, but with a distinct dislike for that manager.
  11. I had a really helpful manager in the Lafayette LA store help me pick up a guitar yesterday. Long story short, my money card order thru paypal had some issues, and the online order got lost in the GC system. I called the store and asked if they could just cancel the order and then let me order it over the phone. One salesman said I had to wait for it to show back up online. Another said I couldn't do that, then that I could put money down on it to hold it and they would ship it to the closest store to me (two hours away) and then I could go pay full price for it there and then the money would go back on my card in a few weeks (causing me to pay more for it initially, a no go for me). I finally asked to talk to a manager, who said "yeah sure, I'll just cancel the "out of stock" the item was showing and let you pay for it!

    Moral #1: ALWAYS call and order!
    Moral #2: ALWAYS ask for a manager first thing!

    All three people I dealt with were very helpful, but there's a reason some are managers...

  12. QweziRider

    QweziRider Gold Supporting Member

    Sep 15, 2008
    Northern Nevada, U.S.
    Several years ago I needed an amp for my upright. Went to GC on a weekday morning just as the doors opened. No noisy people weedling away on guitars. Just me and the staff. I got to A/B many amps with my bass for an hour, settling on the right one while staff let me be. That was glorious.

    That's my only good story.
  13. JeezyMcNuggles

    JeezyMcNuggles Supporting Member

    Feb 23, 2018
    Santa Maria, CA
    I suck, but nobody really notices
    I've never had a bad experience with them either. Hell, they even fixed my SR605 for free. Re soldered the pre-amp. Free. And, I've sold a pretty good amount of stuff to them.
    Mike Whitfield and pcake like this.
  14. twinjet

    twinjet Powered by GE90s; fueled with coffee. Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Sep 23, 2008
    Well, my city's first and only GC still isn't open... so that's a plus. :)
    Keger Jupit and QweziRider like this.
  15. gln1955

    gln1955 Supporting Member

    Aug 25, 2014
    Ohio, USA
    The Good:

    Back when I was just starting to play bass, the salesman at GC was super helpful. I knew guitars inside out, but bass was a different animal, and he helped me choose a MIM Jazz that I still have.

    Everything I've bought off the GC used site has been as described. I have it sent to the local store and they help me unbox it and try it out.

    The bad:

    The current crop of salespeople are so-so at best. A lot of them are young smart-asses that aren't so smart.

    The inventory sucks and is not well maintained.
    muddy grampy and Mike Whitfield like this.
  16. I buy stuff from my local GC almost exclusively, unless it's an item Sweetwater or a different online store carries and GC doesn't. Every so often they get a new go-getter manager in there that puts the salesyness on high gear, but that is few and far between. They are very convenient for me and are typically more than fair. Even though there are quite a few musicians that work there in between "tours", they to a person tend to be pretty decent folks. I buy off their used site and have it shipped to store all the time, and often (because the distribution center is 3 hours away) buy stuff online new and have it shipped to the store as well (assuming it's not in stock of course). It usually gets there the next day. I wish they carried more basses, but that's cool.
    Mike Whitfield and Koala of Doom like this.
  17. BradH

    BradH Gold Supporting Member

    Nov 1, 2010
    Billings, Mt
    Over the years I have got some great used bass's at GC stores.

    I don't have one in my state, so I look, call, ask question.

    I have some that I returned also.
    muddy grampy and Mike Whitfield like this.
  18. Shopping and buying from GC is an operation much like piloting an aircraft. If you know how to work the controls you will take off, fly straight, and have soft landings.

    If you don't know how to finesse it, you might crash and get burned.

    I have three GC's in my metro area, the closest is about 10 minutes away, the furthest around 45 minutes. I know who the reliable, experienced staff and managers are in all three. I learned long ago how to make GC work for me, and I am almost ashamed to admit the kinds of deals and service after the sale I've received and how much money I have saved over the years.

    The majority of GC horror stories I read here are from people who don't know how to work the GC experience in their favor. Most are just not smart consumers. Between website ordering, in-store service, and a liberal return policy, I don't understand how anyone can't come out ahead - if they use their head. No shopping experience is perfect or fool-proof. You have to get your head in the game.

    One danger zone is GC Used Long Distance purchasing. Very unpredictable, best not to get your hopes up. Consider yourself warned.
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2019
  19. Pandastylebass

    Pandastylebass The Moon Machine

    May 6, 2013
    Brooklyn, NY
    Here is one that starts bad, but ends up good.
    I bought a used Late 70's / early 80's fretless Fender P bass from there used site, when I picked it up the neck was very bowed, which is not a big deal, I figured I bring it to my guy to have it set up. He could not fit me in right away so I had to wait a week for set up. Now as some may know GC has a 7-day return policy on "Vintage" instruments and I have now had the bass for 9 days when I brought to my luthier. He checked it out and told me I needed to return it, the truss rod was maxed out and the neck would not straighten any more. I called GC and explained to them what happened. They could not have been more accommodating on the return of the bass. The salesperson saw how disappointed I was and offered asked me if I wanted something particular instead and he could see what he could do. I asked for a brand new Tony Franklin Fretless. He offered me his employee discount plus the Presidents day sale price which brought the price down considerably and I had a brand new bass in my hand later that week.
    I do not shop there often, but when I do I try to get new things or just accessories.
  20. KJMO


    Feb 6, 2015
    Short and sweet, I got charged more than the salesman told me I would, but technically the correct amount, and the saleman emailed me to come back and get a refund. It was about 125.00. They now have even more guys that are super service oriented. I'd probably even trust the tech with a setup. No flack, very helpful.

    tldr: I bought an acoustic guitar that the tech looked at and measured the action and said was out of spec, so he went and got me a new one in box and checked it to make sure it was within spec. Didn't have to, just did.
    Mike Whitfield likes this.