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positive GC stories, please

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

  1. arbiterusa


    Sep 24, 2015
    San Diego, CA
    Today...seriously, today, just a couple of hours ago, I traded in three Squier Jazz basses for more than I paid for them and got a Warwick.

    They unfailingly take my returns and I return a fair amount of stuff since I’m picky. Sometimes you have to eat the shipping, that’s the only “bad” thing I can say. Still way cheaper than renting.

    Here’s the catch, which does affect some people - returns are really easy but you have to live near one. If you live three hundred miles away you just might want to think about getting new stuff only.
    Mike Whitfield and mikewalker like this.
  2. Real Soon

    Real Soon

    Aug 15, 2013
    Atlanta, GA
    I've gotten pretty much all my best pedal deals via GC... including my first gigging multi FX, a DigiTech BP355. Retails for $200, on sale for $60. Hardly a scratch. Also my Ampeg 2x10 cab, GK MB200 backup head, an Alesis Command electric drumkit I don't play enough but got at a stunner deal too, MORE good pedal deals, and a $5 Flea dvd.

    I haven't sold to GC, but unfortunately, MusicGoRound's corporate HQ raised store prices and cut trade-in values (and I've sold to them a few things), so we'll see what happens there.

    Overall I'd say I've had a smashingly positive experience at GC.

    For the most enduring readers: I've only had one guy try to get over on me at GC, the manager of my local store's keyboards section. I was interested in a Korg MS-20 mini synth not long after they came out, and he said he'd sell me the floor demo model at standard full price, but "throw in" the patch cables at no additional charge. I politely bought an actual new MS-20 from a seller on the west coast, who shipped the patch cables with it because they're always included at no charge. Unrelated, there was a storewide brief sale so I also saved $70. The GC manager's attempt wasn't a major scam by any means, but I knew he was lying, which stuck in my craw... so I was fine with screwing his sales over by windowshopping there until he left. THEN I bought a new MIDI controller in his former department. I'll take the ethical grey tint.
    Mike Whitfield, mikewalker and pcake like this.
  3. edwinhurwitz

    edwinhurwitz Supporting Member

    May 13, 2003
    Boulder, CO
    Endorsing Artist: DR Strings, SMS
    I have a good history with them in general, but I ordered a used SWR SM-500 and when it arrived, it was not just trashed but missing parts and so far away from being functional that it was insulting. It didn't even look like the picture in that it was missing knobs and all kinds of nonsense. I took it back and they had another one to replace it with. That showed up with a serious rattle, and I discovered an electrolytic cap rattling around. I spent another $100 getting it all fixed up, there was a number of things wrong (loose tube socket, loose wires, etc.). It's fine now, but sheesh. They have gone downhill, as far as I am concerned.

    Of course, it would take a lot of negative to outweigh the good experiences. Hard to beat an Alembic DS5-R for $75.
    Mike Whitfield and mikewalker like this.
  4. arbiterusa


    Sep 24, 2015
    San Diego, CA
    It’s three. Not seven.
    Mike Whitfield likes this.
  5. theretheyare

    theretheyare Supporting Member

    Sep 4, 2010
    Brooklyn, NY
    Endorsing: Arkham Vacuum Tube Amplification
    Always ok to good experience in GCs. it's a big box /chain store, so what do you expect. Always been fine to me. Sold a bunch of old heavy poweramps to them and was glad they took them off me. The principle of price you get for your gear is very transparent.

    The one place that had a really atrocious vibe was Manny's on 48th. Sales guys constantly eyeing and threatening each other, stealing each other's customers.
    Mike Whitfield and mikewalker like this.
  6. You can get some really good deals on used pedals, but you have to be fast, right place, right time, etc. You're usually not just competing with other customers, you're competing with staff. Almost all the sales reps, especially the guitar/bass players, are pedal collectors, know the true value of the pedals, and I've caught them hiding away pedals that are advertised as available on the website. Most recently I went into my local GC and had to play "Where's Waldo," but I finally located the Dunlop Crybaby I went in for...hidden away behind stock where it did not belong. Someone obviously wanted it for themselves.
    Mike Whitfield and Real Soon like this.
  7. wraub


    Apr 9, 2004
    ennui, az
    previated devert
    To my previous I will add that, at my closest GC, the basses have always been well set-up, easy to grab and play, and, if you don't like, the set-up/repairs section is (essentially) in the same room and the dudes there will usually setup a bass to your preferences (within reason) to play with no hassles.
    I have been in worse purveyors of music gear. ;)
    Mike Whitfield, pcake and mikewalker like this.
  8. Cliff Colton

    Cliff Colton

    Nov 7, 2016
    The GC employees help you open the boxes and try out gear after you purchase it, and you refer to them as ‘so-so at best’ and ‘young smart-asses’? What do you want the so-so’s to do, shine your shoes?
  9. StatesideRambler


    Jul 1, 2015
    My first GC purchase was in Chicago in 1976. In the following 40+ years I have had both good and bad dealings with GC. Buying from GC resembles buying a car: when you know what you’re after and you know more than the salesman about what you want you’ll come out pretty good. Many GC salesman through those years have been less than knowledgeable but that sure isn’t a GC thing. I see it everywhere.
    pcake likes this.
  10. And I

    And I Supporting Member

    Feb 19, 2009
    Witchtown, MA
    I drove down in a snowstorm to get a bass drum head for my drummer before our show that night. We were backlining so having the drum head was a must and this is not a common size. GC had one in stock. After I got the head squared away I went to mees with the basses.

    I saw a used squier jaguar with a single humbucker near the bridge. I tune it up and notice it has "treble side" tuners on the bass side. But I finish tuning, turn it up and start to play... five minutes later I am paying for it, and the guy who checks me out is a former recording studio intern of mine. Community at guitar center? Yup.

    I ended up playing the new squier at the gig that night! It was my first gig on a 4 string in years so a little rough around the edges... but super fun show, the headliner (Bonerama) was awesome and really nice. Overall a hugely positive day that guitar center played a positive role in.

    In theory I don't like guitar center. But in practice it's usually a good experience there.
  11. BeefPie84


    Mar 29, 2019
    One time I was there with my four-year-old girl and a salesperson approached her and ask her to actually take out the Guitar Center Credit Card, spouting the benefits as he talked (True). Of course she had no idea what was going on, and the sales person walked away laughing maniacally. (Also true).

    Anyway I really want to thank that sales person for trying to educate my four-year-old about the responsibilities of Guitar Center credit cards and what it could mean for her musical future.

    What a fantastic Guitar Center experience. I really love them.
  12. jerry

    jerry Doesn't know BDO Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 13, 1999
    48th street was like MECCA to us as kids!
  13. i got a bathroom spit handy in the danvers mass one once.
    Real Soon, FugaziBomb and LazerCrazer like this.
  14. I walked in to a GC.

    I asked this kid behind the counter with big ear tunnels in if he would help me.

    He did!

    The End :)
    LazerCrazer likes this.
  15. 2F/2F


    May 26, 2009
    Los Angeles, CA
    GCs are generally horrible IME (which includes about 30 years of shopping there in some form or another).

    You can happen upon decent things at decent prices with decent service...but it is the exception rather than the rule IME.

    I scored a Gibson one time because it was marked wrong: $420. Played it for a few months, but kept it as-new. Then sold it on Craig's List for almost $100 more than I had paid for it.

    Found my lifer '68 ES-330 there, after shopping for one obsessively for a few years. The price was right.

    Found my LP Custom there, again, for the right price.

    Just recently had a decent experience buying a LP there.

    That's really all that sticks out as being great experiences...in 30 years of shopping there.

    Nowadays, I pop in once every year or so. I only went in this last time because the Website said the location had a certain guitar in stock and a great price (and I did end up buying it).

    They're the McDonalds of guitar shops. Absolutely horrible...but ya still eat there once in a blue moon. Expectations are very low...and are usually met.
    Mike Whitfield and FugaziBomb like this.
  16. A lot of people want to support smaller local shops and I think that's great but I also think the big box stores serve a kind of important role in regulating the price of gear at the smaller stores. Maybe this isn't the case so much now that online options abound but it's a lot harder to price gouge with a GC right down the road.

    At the end of the day though it doesn't matter where you shop. If you buy a couple thousand dollars worth of QSC PA equipment and the associate is getting a commission, he's gonna take care of you real nice like. I'm pretty sure they see my ride in the lot before I get out of it now.
  17. My local one in des moines has been hit or miss. Lately its been great though. Im assuming they got new management in that store. The staff can actually be bothered to sell things, instead of having a long line at the pro audio counter. Its a welcomed change from the attitude the last 5 or so years.

    Recently, i went in for a gig bag and left with an amp but no gig bag. The manager was able to drop the price a bit since it was a floor model. No big deal by me, and now im rocking a tc electronic 250 2x10 combo!

    Also, more guitar related. But i got the earthquaker devices afterneath GC special run with a loch ness monster graphic. I really like the loch ness monster graphic over the standard wizard graphic. Its a nice touch on a seriously great pedal.
  18. BwanaDust

    BwanaDust Commercial User

    Apr 11, 2019
    Pittsburgh, PA
    Lincoln Learning Solutions - Lincoln Park Performing Arts Center
    I've never had a problem with them. Got my 2014 American Pro P-bass there (used) at a great price. Also found a fantastic Daion Power MK XX guitar for 200.00. It's worth at least 1,500.00.
  19. redwingxix


    Oct 21, 2015
    I buy most of my gear at GC. There are two within ten miles of my house and six of them within 50 miles. I usually just go to the one that's a mile away. It's the smallest one but the staff is the best. I probably buy used gear more than anything else but I've only ever returned new stuff. An EBMM caprice and an Rumble 15" cab were the two most recent things I brought back, both did not have the sound I wanted and no hassles at all. Eight years ago I bought the my first decent bass (you know more than $50 off of CL). I snagged a 2007 Fender Fretless Jazz American Deluxe for $740 with the OHSC and all the case candy. I still have it and it's one of the reasons I regularly look through the used gear listings on their site.

    Their return policy can't be beat. Who else lets you buy a used bass or amp, play it for 29 days and then get your money back with no questions asked?

    One of the things I love about GC is their gear trade in program. If I'm buying something I'll bring an old cheap pedal that they give me $15 for and I get 10% off of whatever I'm buying. However lately, as long as your on their mailing list you usually only have to wait about two weeks before they send you another 15 or 16% off coupon anyway.
  20. FugaziBomb


    Jun 5, 2017
    There's another GC about an hour away that is a little better, but still not great. The Sam Ash in my area is a lot better. Where the GCs only stock about 20 pedals, the Sam Ash has a glass cased sales counter that is probably 50 feet long and stocked with all kinds of pedals (JHS, Fulltone, Earthquaker, etc),a huge pro audio department, lots of diff amps and bases. I'm not trying to be disparaging to GC, though. They are filling a niche and that's fine, it's just not for me.

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