So what can you buy at Guitar Center?

taez555

Senior member
Messages
628
Like most of you, I get the monthly flyer/ad in the mail from Guitar Center telling me all their kick ass deals of the month with the latest interviews from some emo band that looks like they do all their shopping at hot topic.

Anyway, on the back cover is a 10% coupon.  Just in case you actually buy anything, might as well get a 10% discount.  Cool.

Of course.... there's this little thing called fine print.

10% off discount excludes.....

"used, clearance and vintage equipment, adam monitors, AKG, Ampeg, Apogee, Apple, Audix, Bose, Crate, Crown, dbx, Digitech, Edirol, Epiphone, Euphonix, EVH, Fender, Gibson, Gretsch, Jackson, JBL, KRK, Lexicon, Mackie, Marshall, Martin, Mesa Boogie, Mogami, Monster Cable, Morgan, some Roland/Boss, Royer Labs, Shure, Soundcraft, Squier, SSL, SWR and Vox"

Now, if you ever been to a guitar center, that is pretty much a complete list of what they sell.  So basically, the 10% coupon only applies to strings or picks only?

Seriously, that list is pretty much the only reason I'd go to gutiar center.

Just another reason they suck.  :)
 

Wana_make_a_guitar

Senior member
Messages
2,793
I don't have a Guitar Center here, but we do have a Billy Hyde. They have great stuff there for all levels of musicians but two things I hate about it.

1) Their 'May I help you?' Guys always insist on leading you towards the most inferior and expensive stuff, because they get commission off what they sell. It's how I ended up with this Marshall MG when I knew nothing about anything.

2) They inflate just about every item (even strings and picks) about 15% more than other independent stores which sell the same stuff (even their sale prices are ridiculous), yet heaps more people would rather go there then the independent stores where the guys there know what they're talking about and are happy to see you leave with great gear.

SO I lust over things that I can't have, then get nudged into buying something that I don't want (but don't know it yet).

As I read it back to myself, it seems a tad unrelated. Apart from the fact were venting about commercial musical instrument stores that suck.
 

crimethink

Active member
Messages
45
In addition to what has already been stated about Guitar Center, I have a few nearby...

1. Don't forget about all but getting frisked before you go out the door. Similar to how your mothers were with your Halloween candy, every customer gets their bag contents checked against their receipt. Even if you just bought a $4,000 Les Paul the case will be opened and your bag will be checked. The last time I went I told the manager that I bought a case of DR strings only to later discover one of their employees emptied one of the packs and suggested their employees should be patted down as well as their customers. It's not really being patted down but I've had less invasive treatment by the Secret Service before meeting persons under their protection.


2. Defects and returns by customers immediately go back out on the showroom floor.... at FULL PRICE. I have 3 examples of the practice occurring at 2 separate stores in 2 states thus proving that this practice is GC corporate policy...

My wife has been friends with the late-Dimebag Darrel and his brother Vinny since they looked like a glam band - before Phil the jackass and certainly before CFH - and when my little brother found out he went Dime crazy so I got both of us Dean MLs when Dean began making the tribute guitars in memory of Dime:

A. The Dean I bought I noticed cracks in the finish where the neck met the body on each side of the neck so I returned it. They tried telling me it was "cosmetic" and I informed them that having paid full price "cosmetic" isn't good enough... if I traded this in I'd be deducted on "cosmetic" so get me another one. I went to another GC location and got the replacement and when I came back in a few weeks later I see the guitar I returned out on the showroom floor..... AT FULL PRICE. I actually picked it up and looked at the neck to confirm it was my return and it was. So, GC is hoping the next person to buy a returned item at full price isn't as thorough as the last person. The manager, when I told him this story, tried to play it off using incompetence of employees et al but when you read part B below you'll see he was shoveling me some manure.

B. My brother is a lefty so I had to special order a Far Beyond Driven because that's all Dean offered for leftys that had a tremolo. I ordered it months before Christmas to ensure there would be NO F' UPS with my brother's present... fat chance. I opened the box it was shipped in FROM DEAN at Guitar Center a few weeks later and it appeared fine under the craptastic lighting at GC. I got it home and was about to set it up to ship to my Mom because I wasn't going to be in town Christmas morning and that's when I noticed a 2" long gash in the flame top just below the switch. With time being of the essence I called GC and spoke to my salesperson who assured me that he'd order a replacement and that I didn't even need to come in and show him the defect and that it would take 2 weeks. 2 weeks later I call to get a sit. rep. and the guy must have thought I was kidding because he didn't order jack.

Cutting to the chase... I ended up having to ship the defect guitar to my Mom's so my brother would have SOMETHING to open and because GC jacked around the shipping was more than outrageous to ensure Christmas Eve delivery. GC shipped the replacement to Birmingham (AL), arriving after Christmas, and they did the return. A few weeks later Mom and Bro go back to GC Birmingham and lo and behold the returned Far Beyond Driven is hanging on the wall listed at over Dean's list price while my "friend" price I paid was $999.

C. I have a radio studio in my house and I bought 4 new mixers at GC recently because time was of the essence as I didn't have the time to wait for shipping. Of the 4 mixers one of them, once I got home, appeared to have been opened and retaped and when I got it open, having opened 3 other immediately before this, I noticed the power supply box inside had definitely been opened and not closed and repacked correctly. I plug this one in and it's DOA so I plug this mixer into another one's power supply and it works. DEDUCTIVE REASONING along with the precedent I outlined in A & B above says this mixer was sold and returned for a defective power supply where someone at GC re-taped the box and put it back out on the sales floor.


At Guitar Center... BUYERS BEWARE... don't be any less fastidious with your GC purchase than you'd be buying from some E-Bayer, individual or what have you. I think I've illustrated that reselling returned merchandise at GC is and can only be corporate policy.

On the Deans I told the manager that there's an E-Bayer who sells B-Stock Deans at about half price and the manager proceeded to tell me that as a Dean dealer they can't return defects to Dean? WTF? Even if it was Dean who shipped the defective instrument! So I informed him they should drop Dean and any other manufacturer who sticks them with defective merchandise but this doesn't excuse selling returned items at full price hoping to get over on one of their customers which they apparently do at more than one location in more than one state.

Since the last episode at GC I've boycotted patronizing Guitar Center EVEN IF it is very convenient. I've spent thousands with GC but their "ethics" or lack thereof has terminated my support of their business practices because it's crystal clear as to their position towards their consumers. PERHAPS I'd have been more lenient with GC for small items like strings had the manager offered to comp me on the $6 empty pack of strings but all he did was make excuses for the theft from his employees who aren't frisked on their way out the door as are their customers. I could have even gone so far as insisting on a SEALED case of stings verses the opened case their employee handed me - probably the same employee who pilfered the strings thus disposing of the evidence - but the manager's decision on this small, $6, issue made it very easy for me to stand on principle.

Food for thought:
What does it say about a corporation who will "deal with" a defective $900 guitar as to not make waves with Dean, their supplier who are clearly at fault, and sticking it to unsuspecting GC customers, as opposed to insisting their consumer, me, "deals with" being compromised from a thieving employee over $6.00?
 

Nick Ellingworth

Senior member
Messages
217
No guitar centers over here in the UK although I did hear rumours a couple of years ago that they wanted to move over here. We have had an equivalent organisation though. Academy of Sound (later Soundcontrol) they were just as bad as GC and thankfully they went bust a few years ago but they've been resurrected as Reverb, I've not seen what a Reverb store is like but I bet it'll be exactly the same.

To be honest I don't support my local independent stores either as their range is too limited and the staff are all arrogant arseholes. All my guitar related shopping (even picks and strings) is mail order and web based now.
 

hannaugh

Senior member
Messages
4,230
Yeah that certainly doesn't leave a lot for you to purchase, though they do have a few acoustic brands that aren't listed there.  

But still, I hate shopping there and I usually only go there if 1) someone has given me a gift card or 2) there is something I need that I can't wait a few days to order that they don't carry at Rockit Music or Mo's (which is almost never).  I do go in and look at things all the time, but I almost never buy stuff.  I hate the atmosphere and the dudes who work there treat me like I'm a moron because I'm female and therefore must not know anything about guitars.  Plus I usually find that most of those guys who do that know very little about guitars themselves, because I rarely get decent answers if I have questions.
 

Soylent

Senior member
Messages
1,416
I love going to guitar center and messing with the sales people.. asking them what the fret board radius is, the numerical size of the frets.. really easy stuff for us warheads.. but you know.

They had a little bass amp on sale I wanted a few months ago.. I walked in, looked at it (had already played it previously) and grabbed the closest sales jerk and told him I wanted it.

He tried to upsell me.. as I'm in sales, I saw it right away and told him to be quite or his comission could go to someone else.  He didn't like that, but it sure did make my day.

I will still get my slinky's from there, and the occasional box of picks.. (I buy those in bulk)

Not a great store.
 

Superlizard

Senior member
Messages
2,514
Heheheh that reminds me of something I did once when I was younger.

Went to a GC once and there was this one particular sales dude who was a *real big* jerk to me.  This was back in the day when
hanging out at GC was (relatively) fun.  Of course, I know better now.

So, what I did was a month later I took out a bunch of cash (thousands) in 100s, put it in an envelope, called up the other guitar
player and our bassist, and we jumped in the car and headed for GC for our "monthly visit".

We got there and I scoped the scene for that jerk salesman.  I saw him and then what I did was stand near him so he could see us,
and I flashed the cash like I was showing my bandmates all this money I had.  And I told them (out loud), "go ahead and pick whatever you want, it's on me".

The little sh!tweasel salesguy ran right over after he heard that, and started sucking up.  We told him (as I had the cash in plain view) that
we needed instruments, and he was more than happy to oblige.

We made him get the instruments waaaay up at the top of the wall, etc... we'd try them and then hand them back to him and say, "naw, not good enough"... and made him run and get more.  We did this for about an hour, and then finally told him, "sorry, we don't see anything we like today... see ya".  LOL

Justice was served that day.   :laughing7:
 

crimethink

Active member
Messages
45
taez555 said:
Like most of you, I get the monthly flyer/ad in the mail from Guitar Center telling me all their kick ass deals of the month with the latest interviews from some emo band that looks like they do all their shopping at hot topic.

Anyway, on the back cover is a 10% coupon.  Just in case you actually buy anything, might as well get a 10% discount.  Cool.

Of course.... there's this little thing called fine print.

10% off discount excludes.....

"used, clearance and vintage equipment, adam monitors, AKG, Ampeg, Apogee, Apple, Audix, Bose, Crate, Crown, dbx, Digitech, Edirol, Epiphone, Euphonix, EVH, Fender, Gibson, Gretsch, Jackson, JBL, KRK, Lexicon, Mackie, Marshall, Martin, Mesa Boogie, Mogami, Monster Cable, Morgan, some Roland/Boss, Royer Labs, Shure, Soundcraft, Squier, SSL, SWR and Vox"

Now, if you ever been to a guitar center, that is pretty much a complete list of what they sell.   So basically, the 10% coupon only applies to strings or picks only?

Seriously, that list is pretty much the only reason I'd go to gutiar center.

Just another reason they suck.  :)

Before I got off on my previous tangent about GC (tangents happen lol) I meant to say that coupon you got is the ol' "bait and switch"... on the premise you don't read the fine print you are baiting by saving money and switched on being limited to what you can save on once you actually get in the store. I have one here like yours but you made me aware of the fine print... not going to buy anything anyway being under a personal boycott it immediately went into the recycle bin after I thumbed through the eye candy which there wasn't much of. I'd say it's KNOWINGLY MISLEADING, a.k.a. false advertising, for GC to show Strats and LPs on a piece and have coupon for 10% omitting the items depicted in the ad from the 10% off... if it were not for this small print it would be false advertising but GC's marketing department is betting no one reads the fine print before one of their employees had to read it to the customer in the store at the cash register as they deny the 10% off the customer assumed they were going to get.

I ordered some strawberries from an online nursery and got one of these type coupons and you wouldn't believe the negative reviews this nursery is getting for that bait & switch. If GC had a rip-off report somewhere like Dave's Garden has for online nurseries I bet there would be some negative reviews posted over this ad campaign.


Thus far my experience with Spike at Warmoth has set the bar very high for going somewhere else for my next purchase. I'm not dealing in absolutes but there's nothing about this experience that doesn't make me want to come back... and SOON!!! It will be the 6th when the bulk of it arrives and so as long as that is good to go, which I have no doubts, the circumstances would have to be pretty unreal for any other vendor or manufacturer to even have a shot at competing for my dollar. I haven't even held what will be my guitar and I'm impressed beyond words. You couldn't ask for anything more with the website - BRAVO - and Spike was highly knowledgeable, charming, professional, concerned about my satisfaction and "someone you'd like to have a beer with"... and I quit drinking, so... lmao (headaches) Add to all of this is yet another bonus of knowing your dollars stay in the U.S.A. keeping Americans working as so many are being laid-off - IOW supporting our economy 100% - you get to feel really good that your dollars support well paying jobs in what's left of America's manufacturers. Maybe it's going too far to include patriotism or economic self-interest but we all know "Made in U.S.A." on a guitar triples its value compared to imports. Compliments all around, Warmoth!
 

exalted

Senior member
Messages
723
Notice how the three brands they push HARD aren't on there - Egnater, Bogner, and Acoustic.

Funny how that works.
 

crimethink

Active member
Messages
45
Adding to my previous anti-GC rant in this thread.... here: http://www.unofficialwarmoth.com/index.php?topic=7949.msg101263#msg101263 ... the precedent I posted about continues...


I get my Warmoth Strat yesterday and start building and then it dawns on me that I need a case.... with a 18-month old baby, 2 Rottweilers... yeah, better safe than in tears...

So I headed down to see Gary at The Guitar Shop in Dallas this morning to get my OFR stud inserts put in and I swung by GC on my way home to pick-up a case. I bought a NOT CHEAP SKB case and checked out the inside, ok, done. I wasn't going to get it out of the car until I picked up the Strat tomorrow but I decided to look at it further...

Guess what... the damn case is cracked through the ABS plastic just under one of the latches - about a 4" crack - so, AGAIN, every damn thing I have bought from GC has to be returned. What in the sam hell? Is GC Plano the defective merchandise capitol of the music retail world or am I just that damn lucky?
sarcasm.gif


Thanks to Google leading me to call Brook Mays who has nothing I need their employee told me about Charley's Guitar Shop in Dallas who thus far has evaded my Google searches. Obviously if the SKB case is damaged I don't want their case... I have polymer Magpul M-16 magazines that can be run over by a pick-up and loaded into my weapon and fired without any feed problems so apparently SKB isn't all that... double the thickness as the Magpul mag and weak as hell, apparently. Charley's is higher than GC on their Gator case they have but I'm done with GC... even if Charley's is twice the distance from my house I'm done with GC. There's nothing "convenient" about having to return every damn thing you buy even if it IS closer.

* holds up the straw that broke this camel's back *

Adios GC
loser.gif
 

m4rk0

Senior member
Messages
5,383
is that 'the guitar shop' on beltline in Richardson? He's great, and does good set-ups!

what part of Dallas do you live ?
 
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