anyone else hate Guitar Center as much as i do?

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iatemygoat
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Post Wed Apr 11, 2007 7:37 am

the people that work dont know shit from shit. i asked for some vater slick nuts once and the guy had no idea what i was talking about. he had to get out the vater catalog. also i once went in to pick up a pack of sticks, thats it. i was in there for 45 fucking minutes!

and now the kicker with GC happened yesterday. i ordered a new spring on thursday(supposedly). i call the guy yesterday and he says "oh yeah ive been trying to get a hold of DW but its really hard to get through to them" bullshit. he neglected to tell me i needed to pay for the part first before he could order it. so now im freaking out because im playing 3 shows on the weekend 2 of which are out of state.

anyway so i go in to order the things and i end up talking to someone i knew there about what i was getting. while the guy is looking up the stuff needed to order my part he overhears what were talking about and he says,
"oh you just needed a spring?" apparently he thought i needed an entire spring assembly. so i get my springs and fortunately everything turned out ok.

ive had nothing but bad luck with this store and the only reason i keep going back is because there convenient and usually have the best price.
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scrubs
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Post Wed Apr 11, 2007 7:56 am

I avoid GC at all costs. Every time I go in there, I leave feeling dirty and disappointed...not entirely unlike when I leave a strip club.

I only go to GC if I know exactly what I want and I try to avoid talking to anyone...especially if they call me "bro" or whatever.
Last edited by scrubs on Wed Apr 11, 2007 9:20 am, edited 1 time in total.
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m
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Post Wed Apr 11, 2007 8:04 am

we were fortunate enough to have had several pro drummers working in the drum Dept of our local GC for a while. Not that there was much there I wanted to purchase, but for the sundries and necessities, at least they knew what you're asking for.

Now those guys are long gone. The turnover rate with their staff is incredible; it's like a whole new staff anytime I go in there.

Strangely enough, I was stopping in to pick up some Vater Slicknuts too, last time I was in there. They'd never heard of them!
They let me slip behind the counter and point to them on the shelf.
yikes. These days I end up explaining things to them...

I do like to raid the discount bins for hardware and such, sometimes there's some decent stuff in there, but that's about all I'd buy there these days.
Most of the kits are abused, untuned, poorly maintained and I've even seen a few that were bled and sweated all over (sorry if that's TMI)
Rockula!
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Post Wed Apr 11, 2007 8:51 am

If you think it sucks to shop at GC then you should try working there
They never fucking leave you alone
Turnover?
That's what GC wants
The commission structure is so lopsided that only a couple of salesmen ever make any money
If you don't earn enough commission to "pay for your hours" then you are out
That's right
You have to sell enough merch to make up for the hourly wage
Normally, I wouldn't have a problem with competition
I worked at MARS and made tons of money
Unfortunately, due to the turnover, the alpha male salesmen have the clientele pretty much sewn up and it is pretty much impossible to build a customer base when the top guy keeps going "my customer dude"

Had enough yet?
There's more

You are required to keep a catalog of all your customers
They tell you that you are just keeping up with your customer's purchases so that you can give them service after the sale
What they really want you to do with that information is to cold call customers in order to entice them into the store again
Yeah, when I was at MARS, I did fill out some post cards and thank the customer for their large purchase and offer help afterwards etc....but that was a very non-invasive way to do it
I always hated "working my cardfile"
I never needed to do it at MARS and didn't really need to do it at GC

I was not only encouraged but instructed to engage in sales tactics that i was uncomfortable with
Upselling and "good, better, best" are staples of the sales world but I just had enough when I was told by my manager "You didn't upsell that kid!"
I replied "That kid had a handfull of 10s and 20s that still smelled like grass clippings from all the lawns he just mowed"
"He has been saving up for that for ever"
"You want me to harsh his buzz by telling him he he doesn't know what he wants?" (plus, he was a beginner)
He replied "Yeah, but look at those expensive Itallian shoes and that $1000 handbag that his mom had"
I quit on the spot
That shit goes on constantly at GC

GC used to be a great store
The pressure was there, I'll grant you (any retail store has sales pressure), but there was not the overriding sense of aggression like there is today
The "Wall Mart" plan of attack is working beautifully
They put a lot of independants out of business
Too bad Mark Beagleman was such a moron
No, GC did not put MARS out of business
The CEO of MARS did
But GC did threaten Ibanez and BC Rich with removal from their stores if they stocked MARS (I worked guitars there)
GC employees were telling customers here in Dallas that Elixir strings went out of business when, in rality, GC got dropped because they tried to muscle an extra 5% out of the company
AND
They wanted special packaging with the GC logo on it

One final thing
Do you notice the 3 or 4 different sources of music blaring from different parts of the store?
Why do you think that happens?
1-It keeps you off balance and distracts you when trying to think clearly when deciding on a purchase
2- It makes a lot of people uncomfortable and want to get out of the store as soon as they make their purchase (no lollygaggers taking up employees' time)
You just wait
Someday soon, you will see a shitload of video screens as well

I only buy from GC if there is absolutely NO ALTERNATIVE
Unfortunately, that list of alternatives is shrinking by the day
You say irritant, I say catalyst
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iatemygoat
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Post Wed Apr 11, 2007 9:14 am

Rockula! wrote:One final thing
Do you notice the 3 or 4 different sources of music blaring from different parts of the store?
Why do you think that happens?
1-It keeps you off balance and distracts you when trying to think clearly when deciding on a purchase
2- It makes a lot of people uncomfortable and want to get out of the store as soon as they make their purchase (no lollygaggers taking up employees' time)
You just wait
Someday soon, you will see a shitload of video screens as well

I only buy from GC if there is absolutely NO ALTERNATIVE
Unfortunately, that list of alternatives is shrinking by the day


haha i never thought about that. yeah the one near me already has tv screens playing nickelback on a loop. many times ive thought of taking my business elsewhere but so far everywhere else ive gone i have to order everything i need. no one has what i need in stock...ever.
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m
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Post Wed Apr 11, 2007 9:23 am

Rockula! wrote:
One final thing
Do you notice the 3 or 4 different sources of music blaring from different parts of the store?
Why do you think that happens?
1-It keeps you off balance and distracts you when trying to think clearly when deciding on a purchase
2- It makes a lot of people uncomfortable and want to get out of the store as soon as they make their purchase (no lollygaggers taking up employees' time)
You just wait
Someday soon, you will see a shitload of video screens as well



huh, that's interesting~
I had to leave one GC that was giving me a headache BEFORE I even purchased anything.
Is that the Noriega Boombox Technique?

"I give up! I'm coming out now!"
andybfrank
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Post Wed Apr 11, 2007 9:57 am

I like Guitar Center because it is one of the few places you can go where they have a bunch of different stuff that you can actually see and play side by side all at once. I will agree that the employees aren't necessarily very knowledgable, but who cares when you can look at everything and try it out yourself? People at smaller shops might know more, but their inventory sucks and a lot of them, in my experience, talk down to you and like to make you feel stupid if you have a question about something or demand more out of them. Also, the smaller shops have usually overcharged me for everything. I've been able to get discounts on display models at Guitar Center. Smaller shops would tell you to get lost if you asked for that.

I will say all the noise in there is pretty obnoxious. Do your research online before you go in. Then, just concentrate when you go into the store and you are comparing items or whatever. Be assertive with the clerks and don't let them push something on you that you don't want. It can be done. Show me an alternative to Guitar Center that has as big of an inventory, is close to my house, but less of the negatives, and I will gladly shop there and never go back to GC. Until then, I'll keep shopping at GC.
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Gaddabout
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Post Wed Apr 11, 2007 10:37 am

You live in St. Paul and you don't do business at Ellis Drum Shop?

The secret to getting a good price at loyal drum shops is to show your face often, do all your business there, and get to know the owner. If they know you're a working drummer who's loyal to them, you usually can negotiate the price you need.
xsongsofselfx
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Post Wed Apr 11, 2007 10:42 am

Mom and Pops drum stores 8)
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mute
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Post Wed Apr 11, 2007 10:44 am

scrubs wrote:...especially if they call me "bro" or whatever.



hahahaha. so true.
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PatternsInTheIvy
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Post Wed Apr 11, 2007 10:50 am

Gaddabout wrote:You live in St. Paul and you don't do business at Ellis Drum Shop?

The secret to getting a good price at loyal drum shops is to show your face often, do all your business there, and get to know the owner. If they know you're a working drummer who's loyal to them, you usually can negotiate the price you need.


Completely right, thats how I get all of my good prices. I buy certain types of things from two individual stores that have better prices on the two, am loyal, and get awesome frickin' deals. For example, once they had a bit of trouble with overstocking on Pacific racks, I got one with 5 extensions, but a mere price of 250$
Benhamin
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Post Wed Apr 11, 2007 10:50 am

gc is alright around here
most local shops
wont let you touch anything
gc alteast you can feel free to touch
and yeah the whole bro thing is true
but atleast they arnt hounding you
xsongsofselfx
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Post Wed Apr 11, 2007 10:51 am

I play loud and fast so they never let me play. They always seem to feel like they think they're better than me as a person.
Rockula!
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Post Wed Apr 11, 2007 11:53 am

Gaddabout wrote:You live in St. Paul and you don't do business at Ellis Drum Shop?


Ellis Drum shop is THE COOLEST!!!!!!!
Mr Ellis (Bob?) and I have bonded several times over our roto tom fixation
As far as indie shops being stuck up and/or having no inventory
That is a result of most indies having to specialize in high end or band/orchestra equipment
GC has pretty much priced the indies out of competition

I'm not trying to shill for my store but...
Here at Larry Morgan Music (just north of Dallas Tx) we generally concentrate on high end instruments but we understand that there needs to be some amount of low end
As far as acting like jerks goes
Even though I may be a total prick here on the internet (whoda thought someone would be a prick on the internet?) I make absolutely sure to have as much patience and friendly/hgelpful attitude towards the beginner
I can remember bveing treated like shit as a kid by The Melody Shop and swore I would never do that if I got a music store job
We encourage people to play anything and everything (as long as we are there or you are a regular)

I will concede that a lot of indie store guys are difficult
A lot have a superiority complex
That is usually fixed by a visit with the owner/manager
If you are not satisfied with your customer service then please feel free to tell them that you will go somewhere else
You say irritant, I say catalyst
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Post Wed Apr 11, 2007 12:05 pm

I have never been to, nor do I plan to go to, a Guitar Center. I can't stand stores that follow the Wal-Mart business model. There's a damn GC grand opening in Harrisburg, PA, about 2 hours from me, and I'm afraid for Dale's Drum Shop, which is also in Harrisburg. Dale's is a 5-star store, and one of the most respected drum stores east of the Mississippi River. I hope that GC doesn't hurt them.

I fully support Dale's Drum Shop and my in-town music store, The Music Emporium. Hell, I haven't set foot in a Wal-mart in almost 8 years.
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