This is how ridiculous Guitar Center has become!

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by davidjbass, Feb 22, 2021.

  1. baileyboy


    Aug 12, 2010
    What makes you assume GC is buying these used basses at a higher cost?
  2. 40Hz

    40Hz Supporting Member

    To your point about buying new I’ll agree completely. There’s no point in buying used, and saving a mere 5%, when you can get something new with full warranty, case candy (and a box!!!) for not that much more. At the very least you won’t need to worry about inheriting somebody else’s undisclosed problem.

    But GC coupons?

    GC coupons are worthless. Try reading their excluded brands list sometime. They’re right up there with Prymaxe for that. You’d be hard pressed to name a company whose products you’d want to own that isn’t on their list of excluded products.

    That’s because GC isn’t really who’s offering a discount in most cases. What actually happens is GC decides to do a multi-brand promotion which it then “invites” the manufacturers to “participate” in. If the manufacturer declines (and many if not most do since they prefer to run their own promotions) that manufacturer is excluded from GC’s coupon or sale.

    There’s also that convenient “sales items excluded” clause. GC makes a regular practice of sending out coupons the same week they put all their instruments (technically) “on sale” in their stores.

    I’ve gotten some genuine bargains - in the past - from GC. But it was always on an in-store sale item or a “stupid deal of the day” offer. I have never once succeeded in using one of their coupons in any of their stores. There was always a “we’re sorry but that item doesn’t qualify” gotcha whenever I tried.
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2021
  3. bon viesta

    bon viesta

    Dec 10, 2020
    maybe unrelated but i always found it ridiculous how guitar center could put for sale a $4000 vintage instrument online and all they put in regards to its condition (it’s 50 years old, you know) is either “good” or “great” or whatever. NO DESCRIPTION EITHER!!! what a joke, unless if i’m missing something.
  4. TheAnalogKid

    TheAnalogKid Yer Doin' GREAT!!!!

    Dec 7, 2011
    Tucson, AZ
  5. roswell1965


    Mar 5, 2002
    GC will tell you "Dat action gonna take ya higher!" ...aaaand SOLD to the internet chump for 2.5K
    TheAnalogKid likes this.
  6. fhm555

    fhm555 So FOS my eyes are brown Supporting Member

    Feb 16, 2011
    Yep. Demand drives pricing.
  7. StayLow


    Mar 14, 2008
    Opposite experience for me.

    Many brands, such as Fender and Mesa to name a couple people here may've heard of, fix their retail pricing so that stores aren't allowed to advertise any lower/sale prices.

    Speak with the manager though, and you'll get 15% off anything, or close to it - any day of the year no matter if there's an active coupon offer, sale event, or not.
    DrMole likes this.
  8. Admiral Thrawn

    Admiral Thrawn Trying to find the elusive Brown Note

    Jul 29, 2017
    The thing about that Bongo is it's a Ball Family Reserve, so it's a limited production run, which right there drives the price up.

    I think it would be more appropriate to compare a standard Bongo 6HH used to a new one rather than a limited edition one as being the standard bearer for the used market for that bass model.
  9. 40Hz

    40Hz Supporting Member

    Must have something to do with where you are and what you’re buying. Five years ago I would have agreed with you. But my experience has been that the “15% off just for asking” thing is pretty much over for most bigger ticket main brand items at GC these days. The fact they’re currently just out of Chapter 11 proceedings probably has a lot to do with it.
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2021
    StayLow, sleddogn and Spidey2112 like this.
  10. sleddogn


    Sep 8, 2013
    I too agree the GC 15% for asking just doesn't fly anymore...i've tried super recently, lol
    chaosMK likes this.
  11. Exactly.
  12. LBS-bass


    Nov 22, 2017
    When I was selling stuff, the margin we wanted to get for just about any new item was at least 20% above cost. That was the "deal" price the people would get when they asked for a discount. All the stores basically operated the same way, so the "deal" you'd get at our store wouldn't be any sweeter or less sweet than the other store.

    Sometimes we would buy something in bulk to reduce our cost and then we might be able to offer something a little cheaper than the next guy, because our cost was lower.

    Huge volume customers were a little different. We sold to some big studios; one of my biggest clients was a well known studio with national hits and they bought tons of gear. For those guys you'd work out something a little better because the volume of sales and the repeat business made it worthwhile. The store owner always said that it takes at least 10% above cost just to pay the basic expenses so we weren't really allowed to go below that.

    Frequent incentives and bonuses would be low-cost/high margin items tossed in for free. Cables, strings, straps and small accessories all have very high profit margins so you can afford to give a few of these away.

    This was in the 90's and when online stores came on, they were offering deals that we couldn't compete with at 10 and 15% above cost. Looking at pricing these days, it would seem that the Wild West of online sales is over and the pricing is about the same everywhere again.
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2021
    DrMole and bonin in the boneyard like this.
  13. Bassclef46


    Feb 1, 2021
    with so many other options out there why would anyone buy anything from GC? If you are buying from a company with their reputation then you should know what to expect.

    Pro tip - dont buy from GC
  14. MordBass


    Nov 1, 2017
    If it helps, I purchased an Ibanez SR5005 in 08' and my cost after discount was $1485 while the street price was $2300.
  15. LBS-bass


    Nov 22, 2017
    Yep, "street" price or MSRP was a more complicated calculation because the margin above cost that gets you to MSRP depends on the deal you're making with the manufacturer or distributer. I know there were cost categories (where cost = x% below MSRP) that a retailer would fall into based on purchasing volume. I have mostly forgotten those details, because they were never relevant to me as a salesperson; we didn't put price tags on anything in my department and we always worked upwards from cost, not downwards from MSRP. So most of the time I didn't even know what that MSRP was; everyone knew they weren't going to pay that. We'd just look up inventory, find out what we paid for the individual item, and work out a price from that number. Sometimes, when we'd get a good deal on bulk purchases, inventory in that category would be cost averaged, sometimes not.

    The store I worked in was an independent shop; I'm sure the bigger chains had stricter policies more relative to MSRP and their salespeople probably had less autonomy than we did.
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2021
  16. P. Aaron

    P. Aaron Supporting Member

    Many people leverage purchases big & small hoping for a better future.
  17. P. Aaron

    P. Aaron Supporting Member

    When I was a Realtor in MI, some smaller brokers would leave beautiful pics of long sold properties on their main pages to attract clicks. That was sold, but, the salesperson’s next line is; “can I interest you in this...(widget)?”

    Even a an overpriced listing can be an effective lure. GC may not net dough on that listing but, just like an overpriced house, if the market is good, can the seller make money on the sign?
  18. MordBass


    Nov 1, 2017
    You're absolutely correct. At GC the practice was that MSRP was just a weird number that you could bring up if you wanted to grossly inflate the alleged savings on an item. We went by street price and tried to stay as close to that as possible while closing deals. The key to saving money there is by knowing how to appease the goals of the salesman/management.
    Somebody might be on the fence for a $1500 bass so you offer to toss in a gig bag, cable, strap, 2 packs of picks, and 3 sets of strings to close the deal.
    Seems crazy but in reality you aren't going to zero out any of that stuff. You'll just add it up to $200 and pull that off the price of the bass. This way the huge margin on the accessories balances the discount on the instrument while stacking the amount of items on the transaction.
    I had mentioned in an earlier post that this is what's wrong with commission structure. Way too much personal motivation to play with numbers in a fashion that might not suit the company best but puts extra coin in the pocket of the salesman.
    I worked in a/v for years and we did it all the time because our paychecks depended on it.
    LBS-bass likes this.
  19. LBS-bass


    Nov 22, 2017
    Thanks for saying this; I almost edited my post to add that the concept of MSRP seemed like an artificial construct designed to give you the ability to say things like "20% off!" when whatever the 20% was being subtracted from was a bit of a meaningless number, because no one was paying that price, anyway.

    The reality is that no one is ever getting a "deal" that hasn't been worked out mathematically to still benefit the retailer in a rather formulaic way. Tossing in all those high-margin/low-cost goodies at 40% up rather than their usual 80% up is, in fact, sweetening the pot for the retailer if the overall margin on that transaction is better than 20%, but the customer thinks they're getting a great deal anyway. And they are, in the sense that if they came in and bought all those things individually from the counter clerk, they'd probably pay the 80% up and be happy about it.
    MordBass likes this.
  20. MordBass


    Nov 1, 2017
    Look at Kohls hahaha. They've built their entire business on discounts taken from fictitious regular prices. Want some jeans? Here, have 40% off of a price they have literally never sold for and never will.
    LBS-bass likes this.
  21. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

    Jul 23, 2021

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