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Warning: Buyer beware at Guitar Center

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

  1. bloobass


    Jul 10, 2012
    Louisville, KY
    Not to condone what happened to you, but in my opinion, it's wise to approach the purchase of anything used (instruments, cars, furniture, etc.) as buyer beware. The vast majority of sellers are trying to make some money, even if it's at the expense of someone else. It has become a somewhat sucky world we live in. Do as much homework and research and possible to limit the chances of a negative experience.
    DJ Bebop and pcake like this.
  2. Cave Puppy

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

    Jan 13, 2015
    Caveat Emptor!
    DJ Bebop likes this.
  3. pcake

    pcake Supporting Member

    Sep 20, 2011
    Los Angeleez
    to be fair, most used items on guitar center have a single, poor quality picture. there's no way to check anything except to ask someone at the store about the item, which the OP did.

    this is where the guitar center return policy comes in very handy. if there's a problem, instead of getting angry or trying to fix the issues, buyers have the option to try and either get a discount or return the item.
  4. obimark


    Sep 1, 2011
    Yes-- If you really don't know your way around basses, you should not be buying ANYTHING used at GC. Ever.
    I've pulled "NEW" basses down off the wall there several times where they are unplayable because the strings are stuck to the fretboard, do to the truss rod being completely whacked.
  5. Q24


    Feb 3, 2019
    The quality control of Guitar Center's used gear has definitely taken a bit of a nosedive for me over the past year or two specifically. I reached a breaking point when I got sent a wah pedal that sounded awful, only to realize later that there was a piece of it that was literally torn off of the pedal itself. Will not be ordering used there again.
  6. SlimBaixo


    Jan 23, 2016
    Los Angeles, CA
    I sold them a bass a few years back. They said, "We'd give $160 for it but some knobs and wires are loose. We'll have to repair that, so best we can give you is $130." I took it, whatever. A month later I see the bass hanging in the showroom at $260 with the knobs still loose and I'm 100% sure they didn't fix the wiring issue. They lack integrity. That's why I give my business to mom and pop shops or Sweetwater.
    DJ Bebop and Reedt2000 like this.
  7. B-Mac

    B-Mac Sorting Things Out Supporting Member

    I noticed you just joined TB about a week ago. Welcome to TB
    Did you also just buy this problem bass a week ago too?

    As I said previously I haven’t had any issues and actually got 2 real bargains
    Sorry about your experience
    DJ Bebop likes this.
  8. Yes, buying used long distance from a Guitar Center is perhaps the ultimate crap shoot. The only silver lining is they have a generous return policy, but your choices often come down to a fixer-upper or a return.

    If you just so happen to get a sales rep on the phone who knows what he's looking at and gives you a thorough, honest assessment before the purchase, you've beaten the odds.

    As with any sale, you can call and complain and hope for the best, but no guarantees there either. GC is just as likely to tell you to return it as give you a partial refund.

    I've had GC reps take a call about a used item, one minute they have it in their hands, and then suddenly they can't find it. I know for a fact they have hidden it away to buy it for themselves or a friend. I have even gone into the store and seen where an employee had hidden away an item still listed on the website in hopes no one will find it.
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2019
    DJ Bebop and Reedt2000 like this.
  9. WardEarth

    WardEarth Supporting Member

    Feb 18, 2010
    Anchormanville, CA
    Yeah used from guitar center, online, probably almost the worst way to go. And you were expecting a decent setup? Have ever played gc’s Basses?
  10. 2F/2F


    May 26, 2009
    Los Angeles, CA
    Why would you be out the return shipping cost if the employee told you the "only thing wrong with it" was the string height, but this is objectively untrue? If an item was described incorrectly, return shipping is on them. Just just have to call or write first to get it authorized. Hell, maybe the online interface will even let you return it postage paid for the reason of "item not as described." Bottom line, this is an easy situation to fix. Quit whining to us and just get on the horn and force them to do the right thing. If you had put half as much effort into doing that as you did into posting here, the problem would already be solved.
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2019
    2cooltoolz and happygilmour like this.
  11. My lesson: Bought an old Univox Hi-Flyer based on a listing from a very reputable (been around for ~40 years). My current wife happened to be in that city & picked it up. Upon playing it (it felt good in my hands) it had an UNbearable fret buzz. I drove the 4 hours to have them deal with it. The salesperson took one look & determined it was "unrepairable"... 4 hours & now, no bass.
    & yet, a few years later, I bought a Epiphone Viola off Reverb... (frets had been replaced but never filed down, an easy-ish fix)
    Can't teach an old dog anything, apparently
  12. 2cooltoolz

    2cooltoolz Supporting Member

    Nov 12, 2009
    Lake Conroe, TX
    I'm fortunate (?) enough to live about 30 minutes from a GC in Houston. I ALWAYS have the items shipped there and when they arrive I try them out before I accept them. I've been really happy with what came home with me, and on the items I've refused, I've only payed the shipping a couple times, and that was due to a change of heart. When there was something wrong with the instrument, or I felt it was misrepresented, they've eaten the shipping.

    Doesn't sound like you have that option, but if you call the 1-800 number and tell them what you told us, I'll bet they make you whole.
    B-Mac likes this.
  13. Tvrtko


    Dec 27, 2002
    South of the USA
    The only thing, I've got from them was used was Acoustic cab from Portland, shipped to Atlanta for $12.00 described as "fair" conditions. It was delivered to the store. When I arrived, guys in the store looked at me like I screwed up myself with this one and expected of me to return it. It was dirty and in very sad state. I expected everything and happily took it home for $100. With a little of work and cleaning (all together was around $40 investments in wheels and dust caps). The biggest issue was the front board, which was unglued and the whole thing rattled like powerful f*rt machine. I was the only one to see what was the issue on the first exam... Right now, cab is looking clean, great, almost like new from 1974 when was manufactured.
    B-Mac likes this.
  14. Bass V

    Bass V

    Dec 11, 2008
    Honolulu, Hawaii
    I've been outright lied to so many times from distant sellers of all ilks that it's automatically expected the item will be far less than was detailed and proper shipping protection will be laughable at best. if it works out ok you're lucky, and over the decades I've been lucky with only a handful of horror stories. GC like other so-called professionals are often the worst culprits and seem to care not about bad press, at least with a store you may have some recourse. I try to enlist someone nearby to drop in and test drive the piece and spy on the place to help ease the risks or even handle the transaction for me, it's a hassle but way better than some kind of disappointment. plus, I always have the neck popped off to reduce costs and chance of damage when shipping.
    as far as GC sending an item to another store, I'm wondering if they'll do that via our new store on Oahu from Wherever USA, especially used basses? that would be awesome!
  15. Very little competition.... that's how.
  16. B-Mac

    B-Mac Sorting Things Out Supporting Member

    Here are my GC used purchases
    Not a single issue
    The Dean USA and Gretsch Thunder Jet were real steals.
    001. IMG_8740.JPG IMG_9275.JPG IMG_7301.JPG IMG_2436.JPG
    pcake and alaskaleftybass like this.
  17. alaskaleftybass

    alaskaleftybass Will Hanbury, Jr. Supporting Member

    Mar 21, 2012
    Sitka, Alaska
    Oh boy! Another GC bashing thread! :hyper: Brownie points for the OP!
    Send the !@#$!#$ bass back. You have 45 days and GC will pay for return shipping. I've bought three of my last four used basses from GC and they were as described. If you keep the bass that's on you, not them.
    mesaplayer83 and B-Mac like this.
  18. And all the Edmonton area ones.
  19. dbsfgyd1


    Jun 11, 2012
    Richmond , Va
    Actually they do. When you are on their web site, the look below the price. It tells you what condition it is in. Here is their definition of conditions:

    This product is in "like new" condition and shows little to no signs of use. Free from blemishes, scratches, and user wear. All controls are completely functional.
    This product shows little signs of use and all controls are completely functional. It may have minor surface scratches.
    This product is completely functional and shows some signs of use. It may have surface scratches and/or dings and dents.
    This product is functional but shows signs of heavy use that could include, but not limited to; scratches, dings, dent, chips, and worn parts/controls.
    This product shows significant cosmetic and functional wear. It may need repair and/or part(s) replaced.

    The OP’s bass based his description , arrived in poor condition by GC’s definition. I’ll stand on what I said. If that bass was listed as any other than poor, he is due a full refund including shipping costs.

    Using this list for leverage is the smart thing do to negotiate a settlement that has saved me hundreds over the years.
    B-Mac and pcake like this.
  20. B-Mac

    B-Mac Sorting Things Out Supporting Member


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