1. Please take 30 seconds to register your free account to remove most ads, post topics, make friends, earn reward points at our store, and more!  
    TalkBass.com has been uniting the low end since 1998.  Join us! :)

Whats the deal with GC Trade Ins?

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by bassmastan, Jan 20, 2012.

  1. bassmastan

    bassmastan Guest

    Jun 25, 2011
    I'm not looking to get money for the instrument, but to trade for something of equal value, or do they just try to avoid that?
  2. tedsalt

    tedsalt Supporting Member

    Aug 5, 2010
    Kansas City
    They're in business to make money. That being said, since they probably do buy used items at a low value, if it sits around long enough, they reduce their asking price. You can find some pretty good deals on GC Used Gear, and have it shipped. I don't think I'd sell or trade there though. TB or CL or flea bay for that ...
  3. 73jbass

    73jbass Supporting Member

    Apr 17, 2004
    Just like anywhere else. You'll get about 50% of what they will sell it for. Thats just the way it is.
  4. Febs

    Febs Supporting Member

    May 7, 2007
    Philadelphia, PA
    A few years back, I was able to negotiate a trade where I got a Guild X500 archtop guitar from GC for a Heritage Eagle archtop guitar + $200, which was about the difference in the fair market value between those two instruments at the time. It wasn't easy and it is definitely not the way they typically do trades.
  5. bongomania

    bongomania Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Oct 17, 2005
    PDX, OR
    owner, OVNIFX and OVNILabs
    +1, please do not imagine for even a second that it will work any differently than that. Say your bass cost $500 out the door brand new; their used price will be something like $380; so they will give you about $190 for it. It doesn't matter if you just bought the bass a month ago and it's in "mint" condition.
  6. Staccato

    Staccato Low End Advocate

    Aug 14, 2009
    If your instrument looks good, and you will accept half what they are selling for on popular auction sites...as long as that amount is equal to price tag of the instrument that you want, you're might be okay.
  7. GBassNorth


    Dec 23, 2006
    +1 again.
    I sometimes do trade stuff in at Guitar Center and I frequently buy used gear there. If you're interested in trading something in at GC and want to get a feel for what they'll give you just jump out to eBay and look for a used version of what you have (as long as it works and isn't beat to heck condidtion rarely comes into play unless it's vintage stuff). The max you'll get from GC is about 60% of the "buy it now" price listed for a similar used item on eBay (frequently closer to 50%). They in turn will set their asking price near the eBay buy it now price and go down a little bit from there.

    So, you can get more money if you sell it yourself on TB or eBay or Craigslist but then you'll have to hassle with ads and callers and deadbeats and shipping and insurance all the other crud that goes along with selling used gear. If you're good with that - fantastic, you'll come out ahead in $$. If you're like me, I rarely have time or patience for those games and am willing to "give" gear to GC for less than I could sell it for myself (I just don't do it very often and I don't do it with high value gear).

    Recent example of a GC trade in...
    Yesterday I took a used Ashdown MAG300 evoII 2x10 combo to GC for trade in on a new GK MB210 combo on clearance. Got $250 for the ashdown and paid $450 for the GK. Yep, I could have sold the ashdown for $400 myself (and dealt with the hassle of placing an add, putting up with schmucks and deadbeats and jerks, and selling it for $375, then going thru the pain of making all the shipping arrangements and $50 cost for that and then hoping it made it to the buyer undamaged and then again hoping the buyer was a reasonable person and not one of the nitpick jerks that wants to renegoiate after the sale because it wasn't everything he thought it was going to be...you get the picture). I value my time for all that grief at more than $125 to $150 that I "lost" in the trade with GC. Besides, the item I was buying at GC was a clearance item and marked down more than $150 from its normal pricing, so if my sale didn't happen right away I'd have run the chance of paying about $150 more for what I wanted to buy which means I'd have done all that work on my own for free. Not my cup of tea. Sometimes GC trade ins are an ok deal just depends on how you value your time and what you're doing with the trade in money.
  8. klejst


    Oct 5, 2010
    This is usually correct. Sometimes a little more and sometimes a little less it all depends. Sometimes some places will give you a little more in a store credit because they want your business and to spend at their store, however that is not always the case or offered either. If you are looking to get what you believe you should (granted it is a reasonable price) then I too would look to selling on Craigslist, TalkBass's classifieds and/or perhaps eBay as well before taking it to Guitar Center.
  9. mpdd

    mpdd neoconceptualist

    Mar 24, 2010
    one cool thing i noticed recently is that guitar centers in so cal seem to not want to pay anything for gibson basses, so if you want a gibson bass they are sometimes available between 400 and 700 bucks (which is a pretty good deal with case)
  10. echoSE7EN


    Jul 1, 2010
    Balto., MD
    This subject comes up way too often...
  11. So you're saying a huge conglom like GC won't trade straight across, making no profit, and basically throwing the 20-30 minutes of their time in the toilet for me because I'm fickle? Those insensitive, corporate BASTARDS.
  12. Stumbo

    Stumbo Wherever you go, there you are. Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 11, 2008
    Cali Intergalactic Mind Space - always on the edge
    Song Surgeon slow downer software- full 4 hour demo
    Equal value to whom?
  13. That seems to be trades at about anyplace car lots, music stores, video game stores. Again they need to make a profit, if they just kept trading their gear there wouldn't be a GC. That's why Ebay is so popular your cutting out the middle man!
  14. Hevy T

    Hevy T Supporting Member

    Jan 11, 2011
    Lethbridge, AB Canada
    Well I guess if you want to trade a say MIA Fender Jazz for a Ibanez SR300 you would get an even trade, along with some weird "why are you doing this!!" looks
  15. GBassNorth


    Dec 23, 2006
    If you walk into the store with a Warwick bass you value at $1000 used (the going buy it now price used on ebay) GC will give you about $500 (give or take $100) which you can use to purchase anything in the store or online or just pocket. So if you really fancy that new Fender Blacktop Precision which sells for $500, yes you can trade your Warwick that's worth $1000 for it. No you can't trade your Warwick that's worth $1000 for that new MIA Fender that has a $1000 sale price on it unless you cough up another $500. Sound crazy? That's life, used gear resellers rarely give you more than 50% of the value of your gear, how you spend that money is your choice. If you don't like that model feel free to cut out the middle man and sell it yourself for full market value then go to GC and buy that $1000 Fender you wanted all along.
  16. curbowkid

    curbowkid Guest

    Jun 27, 2011
    Brooklyn, New York
    They give you a 10% off discount on trade in trade ups
  17. Yes, with the naive assumption that GC and other companies are charities.
  18. kaputsport


    Nov 14, 2007
    Carlisle, PA
    Atypical, not a typical...
    I actually have pretty good luck with GC and trade ins.

    Hell I just traded my Fender Jazz Deluxe into the NYC store and got $305 for it. I bought it off ebay for $350 shipped 8 months back, and told the guy I would take no less than the difference of $100 for the pedals I was looking at.

    I paid $100 and the bass and walked out with a B:assmaster and Mastotron.

    I have also had really good luck trading in pedals. It is possible I trade some odd stuff in, but I can assure you I deal a little bit.

    I will say GC gets cooler the more north you go, and more horrible the more south you go. I walked into an MD GC, and attempted to trade a Status in, and the people there asked why I wanted to trade a broken bass (missing headstock). Needless to say, they looked it up, found out it was legit and offered me $600 for a $4000 bass. I laughed at them, told them they were probably the most worthless group of idiots I have ever met and walked out. I got a call from the manager who was not there at the time, who personally apologized for the mixup and said come back in, and he'll give me $3000 for it. I told him I was out of state, and was never coming back to his store, unless he was present. He gave me his personal number, and told me to call and verify he was present if I was coming in, and if not, he would do everything he could to get there.

    NTC/Mass GC has always been good to me. Hell, Harrisburg is most times great, but never have a selection of what I like.
  19. Pilgrim

    Pilgrim Supporting Member

    There are many discussions on TB about how trade-in valuations work. GC will trade, but the instrument you trade will have to be worth more than what you buy, unless you want to add cash as well.
  20. I would run into this alot at my old store (Daddy's), where people think they are going to get retail value for their gear. I used to use a simple math formula that was pretty good for figuring out the trade value of a piece. Take the going new market price of the piece and multiply it by .7.. that is the going used price of the piece. Now that the used price and multiply it by .6.. That is your trade in value. This worked well for most common pieces I would see through the door.

    For example:
    Mexican P-Bass = $580
    Used price = $406 (round up or down per condition.. mint would probibly get $420 tops)
    Trade in value = $244 (again, round up/down per condition).

    Easy as pie, pure math so there is no "your low balling me" scenerios, and it usually work out fair. Where these formulas deviate is Vintage gear and high tech items. Vintage gear we would pay more for because the price will usually just keep going up on the piece. High tech we would pay a bit less because the value depreciates FAST (think keyboards, digital recorders, multifx units).

    The worst thing you can do when trading in your gear is attach a sentimental value to it. A store doesn't care that this was your first guitar and its been through your entire music career with you. To a store it's just a numbers game. How can I make you happy while still making enough of a profit to keep the lights on.....

    obviously, Daddy's didn't do so well on that last part... :bag:

Share This Page