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Warning: Buyer beware at Guitar Center

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Bassranger45, Jun 11, 2019.

  1. Cave Puppy

    Cave Puppy "Humph Bo, he's wond!" - John Lennon Supporting Member

    Jan 13, 2015
    I got a "new" EBMM Caprice bass during GC's fire sale on those. They were clearing them out at about half of what they were going for. Bass came from El Paso where it had been on the wall for at least two years and was totally neglected. So neglected in fact I sent it to EBMM for warranty work and got back basically a brand new bass! Anyway, when I first got the bass and realized what poor shape it was in, I called GC to see what options I had and what they could do for me. They knocked $140 off on what was already a great price. So --- CALL GC! They will do you right.
    Aqualung60, pcake and CTBassGuy like this.
  2. Cave Puppy

    Cave Puppy "Humph Bo, he's wond!" - John Lennon Supporting Member

    Jan 13, 2015
    I think you're right. They cast the widest net so they get more stuff and can get rid of used gear the same way. I just sold 3 basses to them. It's easier imo to deal with GC of you have an issue rather than a private party on Reverb/eBay/CL/ FB, etc. They have a program where they have a database of what has been sold by them, how much it sold for, etc. so you know what you're going to get when you go to a GC to sell your stuff.
  3. I pissed off the sales guy at GC pretty bad when I ignored his chatter, sat down, & pulled out a capo, feeler gauges, and a fret rocker... Not sure what he was upset about, but the used Lakie I was looking at checked out fine. Still - Might be an entertaining thing to do, just on principle. ;):thumbsup:
    Jason42 likes this.
  4. craig0316

    craig0316 Supporting Member

    Jul 3, 2017
    But at least they're polite about it....eh?
    Nev375 likes this.
  5. Keep in mind two things, GC sells used gear and also they are in business to make money.
  6. Tampabass

    Tampabass Going Viral By 2080 Supporting Member

    Feb 16, 2006
    I know you are, but what am I?
    Sorry that that happened. I've had nothing but good experiences when shopping GC's used site. And I love the 30-day return policy. Many of the items they have listed as "very good" (or whatever their highest rating is) essentially are brand new.
    B-Mac likes this.
  7. pcake

    pcake Supporting Member

    Sep 20, 2011
    Los Angeleez
    they don't really have a rating system that they follow. i did a sit down at a GC with what turned out to be the guy in charge of trying to improve the used listings. the poor, small pics, the claims of banged up stuff being listed in excellent condition - he's been trying to change all that with no luck at all. he said it's up to the managers how to list used stuff, and most would simply like to list it with as little effort as possible.

    but for us, that's where their return policy comes in. it's worth a shot.

    yeah, but consider this thread. there's probably no real issue, yet it's a thread with a title warning us about GC. all the OP had to do was call GC. most times, they'd have either refunded him part of his money or sent him an RMA. instead he started a negative thread. and that's the case in a lot of threads.

    i don't think i've ever had a bad experience from GC, and i've been shopping with them since 1972. it helps that my expectations are realistic - many of the guys at GC get paid very poor wages, and a couple i know at one store only work there because they can get time off when their bands tour, then come back to their jobs. many don't get commissions and some are clueless. that's okay - i can do my own research, believe my own experiences, and have had GC and sam ash take multiple returns quickly and easily.

    i HAVE, however, had a bad experience with sweetwater and wouldn't shop there for several years as they didn't take care of me even afterward. my relationship with sweetwater has improved - i love knowing the weights of basses i buy. but GC has never done me wrong. no company is perfect, but for me, how they deal with me when there's a problem is a big part of what makes me come back to any business over and over.

    btw, between my husband and i, we have well over 200 purchases at GC.
  8. ruju


    Dec 9, 2017
    With 30 day no hassle return and 90 day warranty....I think that's great customer service.
    bulldean likes this.
  9. bassbones2

    bassbones2 Supporting Member

    Dec 31, 2013
    Nicholasville Kentucky
    I realize the OP is far from a GC, but others take heed....always have it shipped to the store and check it out there. If it’s not good, talk to the manager and get your shipping fees back. I’ve bought 3 basses there in the last year. I show up with truss rod wrenches and screw drivers and check everything. So far, a Lakland Duck Dunn, a Sterling SB14, and an Ibanez BTB all winners.

    Tampabass likes this.
  10. Warning: Buyer beware at Guitar Center
    Is this an attempted warning or a personal revelation just understood?
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2019
  11. fhm555

    fhm555 So FOS my eyes are brown Supporting Member

    Feb 16, 2011
    Why not just return it for one more acceptable? Also, an instrument purchase from GC is little more than buying warehouse direct so having to do a setup would be considered a normal aspect of the transaction, at least to me.
  12. That’s nice to hear. Like I said, this is one of the few positive stories I have heard... just sayin’. And on the flip side, one of the rare instances I’ve heard regarding Sweetwater.
  13. Runnerman

    Runnerman Registered Bass Player Supporting Member

    Mar 14, 2011
    For used gear I've had great luck with Music-go-round. The stores are personally owned and the employees tend to be very customer centric. When ordering on line, I call the store and ask specific questions about what I'm buying knowing the potential flaws I might be concerned about. They've always been very friendly and willing to take time to answer. The product has always been as described. Shipping has been reasonable.

    Since you took the same approach calling GC and getting your questions answered, I think there is some misrepresentation on their part. You did the right thing to call. I'm sorry it didn't work out for you and hope the cost to repair that bass isn't too much. Have you called the store manager and told him the employee misrepresented the condition of the bass?
  14. Teck_Instructor


    Dec 19, 2018
    +1 Life is better with GC than without GC.
    +1 GC managers seem to have a good bit of leeway to make a sale right.
    +1 The use of the rating system for used gear varies from GC store to GC store. I have seen my local store get a piece from another store listed originally as "Excellent", and they re-post as "Good" (two steps down).

    I live about 25 minutes away from the #1 GC in the country for selling used equipment. Get to see and try lots of different equipment that comes through there. Helps me know what to lust for / drool over. :drool: I go there every couple of weeks to get my fix of just hanging out with musicians of all levels. They are a lot more encouraging of trying out instruments and equipment than any other music store in the area, even if it's just for fun, and you're not currently in the market to buy.

    Occasionally, they have even shipped a piece of gear from store to store without me buying it, or charging me shipping, just so I could try it out. Of course, I wouldn't let them, if I wasn't in the market to purchase. About 80% of my gear came from GC... all used. When I order used gear, and it isn't as described by the store it was shipped from or I just don't like it, my local GC understands. . If that is the case, they don't make me feel guilty for not buying it or returning it. If your local GC is like mine, I am sure you can work something out. I love my setup, and I feel my local GC played a significant role in that.
    CTBassGuy and pigpen1 like this.
  15. CyberSnyder

    CyberSnyder Gold Supporting Member

    Jun 19, 2003
    I Endorse Alien Audio Basses
    I think your main problem is that you are 140 miles from your nearest Guitar Center. For used gear, it’s best to have it shipped directly to the store and then you can inspect it with the sales person there. No way to deny the condition.

    If you received it in damaged condition, you should have stopped at that point and contacted the store that sent it. Now that you’ve begun to do work on the instrument, it’s been modified and that makes returns more problematic. As far as the setup, you can’t complain about the setup on a shipped instrument not expect them to put $50 of free labor into a $300 instrument.

    When you receive an instrument in less than described condition, stop and contact the seller.
    obimark, ajkula66 and pcake like this.
  16. BrentD


    Jun 7, 2008
    Lansing, MI
    This is true, but it's made worse when you get different answers from different people. You can call the store with the item for an in-hand description, and you can't rely on what they tell you. I had this recently when looking for a guitar. The sales guy said it was in great shape, maybe one small scuff (this was new, not used). A later call landed me with a manager because the first guy left for the day. The manager told me what may have been more accurate, and it wasn't anywhere close to what the first guy said. That makes a BIG difference when the policy is no returns on clearance new gear.
  17. Eminor3rd

    Eminor3rd BLAAAAARRGGHH!!

    Feb 10, 2008
    Horse is dead. Please have mercy.
  18. MotorCityMinion


    Jun 15, 2017
    "Do NOT trust Guitar Center to give disclosure, be forthcoming, or honest in the condition of their used equipment."

    This can be said about any retail sales with used gear, not just the music industry.
    aborgman, Runnerman and pcake like this.
  19. Corevalay

    Corevalay Supporting Member

    Sep 10, 2009
    New Jersey
    Definitely try this OP, there were a few times I ordered used gear from GC which had issues. When I returned it, the store refunded my shipping.
  20. EatS1stBassist


    Apr 15, 2016
    So cal
    I bought a killer bass for about $85 shipped To California from GC Texas. It was an inexpensive lefty for my son in law. I called the store and was treated very well and the young man was very helpful. I asked him to look at a few key things for me and when it showed up it was exactly as he described.

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