Guitar Center bought by Mitt Romney’s Company: No More Haggling Allowed

It came to my attention today as I bought a set of pickups from a guy at guitar center who usually gives me good deals, that he wasn’t giving me a discount like he always did. I felt it odd, but for what I was buying I figured maybe they couldn’t do it with accessories, despite getting pretty big discounts on a single pack of strings.  In my venture, I needed something from Radio Shack, and oddly enough, a former Guitar Center employee was there at Radio Shack. I asked him why he does work at Guitar Center any more, and he says:

“Mitt Romney’s Equity firm bought Guitar Center, and we’re not allowed to discount or haggle any more. All the prices that are on the tags are what you have to pay.”

I was taken aback, considering that’s my main reason for going to Guitar Center, is the thought of getting a better deal. I talked to the guy awhile, and I basically interpreted it as the commission guys can’t really make good money any more from giving people deals on gear, so what’s the incentive of staying at one of the most competitive companies with the highest turnover rate? Also, I hear that they might be doing away with commission altogether. At which point the guitarists, bassists, techies and everyone else with a specialty in music will have no reason to work at guitar center any more. If you don’t have to try to sell things to make more money,what’s to say Joe Everyman who’s doesn’t know jack about guitars doesn’t just come in for a part time job?

Commission was incentive to for musicians to work at Guitar Center. The more you know, the more convincing you sound, the more you sell.

As a background, Bain Capital, an equity fund that was founded by 3 people, including Mitt Romney (take that in whatever way you want), recently bought Guitar Center for 2.1 Billion dollars. Why people who own Burger King, Domino’s Pizza, Toys R Us, and Sealy mattresses (among a few other HUGE names in their specific markets) have anything to do with guitars is beyond me. I’m sure all of the companies felt the same way. Why are we all being managed by the same people? Bunch of marketing/financial geniuses who wouldn’t know a Squier from a Martin if you magnified the logos.

All of these companies started as small places, only to now be owned by some 50 Billion dollar equity firm. I’m sure they all originally had little secrets which customers knew. I knew that the prices at guitar center were flexible, while most others don’t.

What i’m thinking (dreaming?) is that this might bring back competition. I did find out that they are allowed to do price matching ,where they match/slightly beat a competitive price. It’s how I got my now retail 2089.99 SG Reissue for 1400 flat.

Will this be the return of the mom and pop stores? Will guitar competition return and prices drop naturally?

My guess is no. Guitar Center’s super management people will probably realize that this is a major screwup,  and return to normalcy.

But if they keep it this way, it’ll turn Guitar Center into Circuit City or Compusa. Stores with even more lackluster sales people with no enthusiasm for what they’re selling, and they’ll start to close down.

As for me, I really have no reason to go there any more. If there’s no chance that I can get a really good discount, I might as well just go to a mom and pop store and pay normal price and give it to people who actually need the money.

Excuse me if my Guitar Center post-apocalyptic thought process was a little difficult, but I found this revelation to be a big mind changer. Understood it’s a slippery slope, but damn if it aint greasey on that guitar hill.

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73 Comments

Filed under center, cheap, complaining, electric guitar, escapism, guitar, guitar center, guitar rant, Guitar store, mitt romney, money, music, Nay-saying, negativity, player, Rabble Rousing, story

73 responses to “Guitar Center bought by Mitt Romney’s Company: No More Haggling Allowed

  1. Boise Leon

    The reason these companies are bought is that they are not making any money. Someone is giving away the store. Kind of like what the Democrats do.

    • nameless

      only an idiot would bring stupid politics into this…….Democrats give everything away? Really…….while Republicans have no morals, while preaching family values, and spend all our tax dollars on War………’thou shall not kill”

      you’re a complete idiot

    • nameless

      Mitt Romney and all those Mormons need to go to Utah, and build a fort to stay inside of……We don’t want you involved in our politics, or our finances……

      • Thanks for the heads up about this store being bought by Mormons. Another good reason NOT to trade with them. They use 10% of your profit dollars to work against human rights and social justice and to cram a crackpot religious agenda down America’s throat.

        If you are a freedom-loving American you will boycott Mormon businesses and do your part to keep religion out of America’s political life. That’s what we came here for back in the 1600s… the chance to live our lives without having the state tell us what religion we had to follow.

        For more information about Mormons please visit my Glenn Beck website.

        Best to all,

        Wexler

    • Kevin McFeaters

      Is it a surprise that Music123, Woodwind & Brasswind, Music & Arts and Lyons is also part of the Guitar Center family?
      Guitar Center collects taxes in all states it has stores/offices/warehouses from internet sales while the others collect taxes in IN, UT, MO & WA. They all run off the same 13 million dollar web platform and ship from their huge Kansas City warehouse.
      As for the discounts and how the sales rep’s were able to work with customers that has to go through management and there is so many upper management monitoring every move a phone or store agent makes they can not afford to work with loyal customers as a sales agent use too do.
      The phone agents are treated with no respect except being a warm body to help manage the internet problems thus once good sales reps are now no more than customer service agents taking care of the internet for all the companies listed and probably many more that we do not know about.
      Seems Mitt being a politician would not go for this tax scheme but the rich do need to get richer by any means.
      Though these companies have lots of money backing them and can keep prices low on quality instruments they do prefer to sell Chinese products as the mark up is greater.

    • glenn edwards

      your a jack ass

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  3. I have seen this same tight-ar$ed behavior now as well and read more dark news at GuitarCenterSucks.com

    Sadly, these type chains come in like Wal-Mart, try and kill the locally owned music ops, do so many times and then they themselves go belly up like Mars ~ leaving the musician with no place but eBay, pawn shops and Craigs List to find gear.

    Musician’s Friend used to be okay years ago but they got snapped up by Guitar (off)Center and now Romney et al grabbedg GC because GC was nearly belly up.

    I predict, like Mars, Brook Mays, Pearson Music and the many other selling overpriced good gear and under-priced crap gear ~ Guitar Center will become a downsized dotcom only with no overhead and sadly no soul of the face-to-face music shop.

    Thankfully some small ops like Music Loft here in NC still will haggle. Where else can you find a Peavey Classic 30 tube amp in great shape out the door for 3 bills? Not at Guitar Center!

  4. Earlier today, I stopped at a Burger King in San Antonio and ordered a Whopper with everything only to discover (after the third bite) that there was no tomato on the burger.
    I took the sandwich back to the counter and complained about the apparent oversight, but the manager pointed to a business letter that was taped to the door that announced that BK would no longer be providing tomatoes due to recent reports of salmonella in the tart red fruit. “Isn’t this the place that used to say, ‘Have it your way’?”, I asked.
    Actually, I had already done some research on this salmonella thing and I knew that only 17 or 18 states were involved in less than 60 incidents, and that none of the reports were in Texas. In fact, all reports were tied to Roma tomatoes that were grown in Florida. Basically, BK, the company that used to say ‘Have it your way’ is following the lead of Mickey D in using a mostly bogus food scare as an excuse to screw its customers out of ten cents worth of tomato.

  5. Michael Jesurun

    I went to GC to buy a Gibson es 335 which has been in inventory in the store for well over a year. It is mis-labled, and thus priced $400 in excess of of the correct price for the same guitar which is on both Musicians Friend and Guitar Center website. I have called 3 different employees wanting to buy this guitar at the correct price. I was told by 3 different store employees that they would speak to mgmt. and call me back. None did. One I spoke with as I called the store for something else and I was informed mgmt would not lower price to what it should be. I have since ordered the guitar from another internet music company matching the offered discount from GC. Thanks GC for helping me get a great deal on this same guitar from another online music supply company that could make decisions.

    • Good for you. Some other business person is actually thinking and not just following a corporate dictum, and smart enough to sell the guitar you wanted at a decent price, which is what GC is allegedly in business to do. But GC is just using guitars as a means to rip off unsuspecting kids and moms, creating a bad reputation, and spoiling the mojo that guitar stores are supposed to have.

  6. Z

    I feel like I need to comment on a few things that were said. First of all…I don’t buy that 3 employees wouldn’t sell anES335 for the correct selling price. That’s a huge sale, and that’s what the employees are there to do. I also find it hard to believe that you found an ES335 in 3 different GC’s that were improperly tagged for over $400. GC employees have weekly T.O.’s (to insure every price tag is correct and to make sure all of your ‘one of’s’ are on the floor). Sure, sometimes a piece is overlooked…but I find 3 of 3 very odd. I’ll sell you one $100 cheaper than you paid at the ‘other’ online music supply company. My question is….what REAL guitarist would buy an amazing instrument such as an ES335 without playing it first?? No offense, but I rest my case.
    Secondly….yes….the prospect of the commission thing going away is quite probable. However, employees are and still will be REQUIRED to pass certifications on their knowledge. Also, despite not being a commission based job, you are still required to hit your goal (sales figures based on your skill/lenth of job/job title….all business’s have a daily goal people…not a huge industry secret). So, if you think that average ‘Joe Blow’ can just waltz in and get a job, think again.
    People can whine all they want about having to finally pay what the instrument is worth. If you want to go to a mom and pop shop, that is your business and your right. GC is simply trying to get away from that archaic way of doing business. Car dealerships have been doing away with it as well. There are many flaws in the “haggle” way of selling. Look at it from a different perspective…..Let’s say you own a business, and you have to pay rent, utilities, insurance (public, employment, property), overhead (cost of goods and the cost to maintain those goods) and so forth…..and then you get Johnny McDouchebag coming into your store…. occupies 3 hours of your time, and then when it gets down to the sale, he grinds the hell out of you until you are 5-10% above cost. That 5-10% will not cover your overall costs of selling that piece. You actually lose money. Do you honestly think that is fair? Is it fair to the business? Without income, the business cannot grow. Is it fair to the employee who is trying to earn a living? If someone feels the need to grind me on a price, I feel like that person doesn’t care about my time, my livelihood or my knowledge and it’s disrespectful.
    Obviously, I work at GC. I spend an enormous amount of my time learning all I can to insure that the information I give to someone is correct. I’m not very high up in the ranks (just an AM), but I do believe in the direction the company is taking. It will take some time to get all the bugs worked out, but believe me…I know what’s up the road and it looks good. Try not to be so negative people. GC is trying to make a change for the better. Yeah, sure, you may have to pay the tagged price now….so what? Do you haggle your groceries? Best Buy? Anywhere else? This is a business, and it has to be run as such. Why else do you think the company was in trouble before Bain bought it? We were giving away too much stuff below the price to cover our overall costs. I’ve seen the IBITA (your overall costs vs. profits…..that is if I spelled it right) reports, and it was UGLY. Cost was not outweighing our income.
    Hopefully, a few open minds out there will see where I was coming from with this and perhaps see reasoning.
    I’d be happy to discuss this if you have questions. Just post the comment here and I’ll check every few days.
    -Z-

    • Skip

      This is the whole point of haggling. I’m not focused on paying the vendor’s rent, or utility bill, or unemployment taxes. I’m focusing onmaking a purchase at a price with which I’m comfortable (or, at least not overly uncomfortable). If they have a product and I can buy the exact same product elsewhere at a better price (also factoring customer service, quality control, and servicing availability), and if they want MY business, they need to come meet me somewhere. If they want to stand firm, then I walk. It;s really that simple.

      If I’m in the market for a vintage instrument, then the rules of haggling pretty much fly out the window and they can charge whatever they think the market will bear. But if it’s just something utilitarian like a PA brain or speaker stands or strings and whatnot, then if they won’t meet and beat their competitor’s price, then what incentive do I have to buy there

    • Buck Dashe

      Dude. I respect your opinion but as a customer, I need to come away feeling like I got a deal! Bought myself a Strat at the marked price at GC in Little Rock and haggled them into shipping it back to Calif for me for free. Felt good about the deal even after I came back and found better prices locally. So there..:) Hey, bro…GC is in hawk up to their ears with Fender…I forecast a bankruptcy by next year and a consolidation of stores to fewer metro areas…just sayin..

    • I agree and a great example of a company gone to far in the haggling fiasco is Circuit City, this company went to far and no investment bank was their to pick them up. Thus C.City is forever lost to us because they gave to much away at to low a cost to support the entire infrastructure during this most recent depression. Problem is people think they deserve things for free or close to it. Time to man up and quit being a pansy and pay the asking price or stay home and play with yourself if you can’t afford goods at reasonable profitable prices. Douchebags.

    • ivan

      whoa! you know how guitar center makes a profit too? fucking the costumer by taking their mony and send a total piece of crap, trusting them because they give a detail insight(DIRECT COMUNICATION BY PHONE WITH A SPECIFIC STORE IN CA) of what the gear is to take make the sale….ask for your mony back..”.sorry it a used item, NO MONY BACK” bullshit… and the costumer has no choice. i give to them 3k for worthlees intrument with a real value of half of what i paid for. all because there was no music store where i live. now i do bussiness with wildwood, willcutt, wild west…..(I WILL PREFER EBAY OVER GC) with real care for their costumers….maybe a litter more expenssive…but in return, a flawless intrument. SORRY GUITAR CENTER!…BUT YOU CAN GO TO HELL! JAJA

  7. Z

    Ah….I misread……you only found one ES335 at the same GC. I apologize for that Michael. If you want to tell me which GC it was, I can look into the problem, and I can insure you that you will get that guitar at the price it is supposed to be.
    -Z-

    • Matty Matt Matt

      So does that mean that he pays a deductible if he can’t get it for less? Is he assured to be insured? Will he receive a regulative poop assistance drink when the price is just to good to bear?
      I’m so curious to see how many of these guys waving the flag are still there 3 years out. I can ‘insure you’ that it ‘ain’t’ that many.. lol.. cheers.

  8. Pingback: No more Haggling at Guitar Center: Employee Comment Follow-up «

  9. Richard

    Will the person who wrote this article still be happy to shop at the mom and pop when he realises they dont have any kind of selection to choose from? When they try and charge him list (not map) for his instrument. When he has to wait for months until his instrument arrives only to find they screwed up his order because they aren’t a professional business. Then what if he wants to return it? They cant afford to have inventory of special orders so he has to keep it. I think i will stick with Guitar Center. Better selection, better standards, more knowledgeable staff, fair and competitive pricing, peace of mind in the buying process. I am a business owner and use their professional division (GC Pro) multiple times per week. Without their high standards and massive inventory i would not be able to run my business as effectively. If this change means they can become even more efficient then i’m all for it.

  10. joe kessel got a raw deal off that sob of a manager on his first day at guitar centre, dam , the guy drove 40 miles to work in the accessoire dept to be told to go home after a quick quizz and come back on the 28th of july.

    joe kessel may go postal over this.

  11. shawn

    Hey Z, I am glad you work at G Center, but I have spent over $15000 in the last 2 1/2 years there. I also work in the car business by day. We do not haggle on our prices when I sell a car, but we make sure we have a realistic low selling price that is fair. Guitar center has done nothing but continue to raise prices over that last year. I know some are to due to fuel costs. If they go no haggle they better be more realistic in there prices. I can get a Sennheiser Handheld 135 for $399 all day that they want $549 for. It’s Not realistic for me to shop there anymore. So ultimitely the pros at the store will be out of there. So you better stand up an ralley the troops. Get the a-holes at coorporate to set a realistic price everything then stop the haggling.

    • Irina

      Did you tell anyone at Guitar Center about the 399 sennheiser price? If they have it tagged at 549 then your price would be 385….so what is your actual issue? Because thats not it. You complain about no haggling but you still pay more elsewhere? Someone is confused.

  12. Tennessee

    I have had fairly good success with Guitar Center. When I bought my Yamaha 12 string, high G was broken. (You never really buy a “NEW” guitar from them, since a lot of people have played it – call it test guitars central…)
    Anyway, they started by saying they would replace the string, I objected, and they immediately gave me a whole new set of strings. I didn’t use them cause I went out and bought ultra light Martins, but the effort was there.
    When I bought my MIM Telecaster, it was on sale for $379 with a gig bag. I had read on the net that it would be the $19 junk bag, but to my surprise, the guy said they were putting the deluxe padded $49 bags with this one. They had about four units with that offer on the wall. All would get the deluxe bags. The Fender instruction manual and tools were in the gig bag, sealed in a bag and untouched. Nice…
    I caught a Yamaha keyboard on sale for $30 less than Music123 or Musicians Friend.
    My only complaint: The place is chaos. They allow every shredder within 100 miles to come in, pick out a guitar worth hundreds, maybe even thousands, plug it into the biggest Marshall stack in the store and just rail on. I asked a sales person one day how often these guys actually buy an instrument. He shrugged his shoulders and said, “About once a week one of these regulars comes in with $3-400 and buys the axe of his dreams, but comes in most weekends and tries out every $1500 guitar in the place”.
    I ALWAYS inspect very closely the stuff I pick off the wall there, and more than one has been put back because of minor scratches, fingerprinted finishes that are just hanging there, aging, and once, a dented back.
    But – I’ve bought two guitars off the net, and both of them…well, they just weren’t quite right. At least at GC I can try it out like all the other people there. And we all know how wooden instruments change – even within the same model.

  13. Leyla

    as a guitar center employee for the last 7 years i can say with great confidence that YES we still do deals, we will not however just drop the price because you exist and walk into a store.

    i hope all you disgruntled hagglers realize that every penny we do discount comes directly out of our own wallets. are you going to offer to buy my baby’s diapers? are you going to reach into your wallet and pay for my gas? no and no…..so why exactly should we feel bad that we can’t give you our paychecks as arbitrarily as we used to?

  14. Leyla

    just so its clear…..the sennheiser EW135 gen 1 wirelesses are the ones that were 399. the new EW135 gen 2 ones are now 549 up from 499 because of rising costs.

    you also can’t get 3 packs of string for 10 bucks anymore sorry…..they were 3.99 a piece to begin with and now (7 years later) they are 4.99 and 5.49.

    you name me anything else that has stayed the EXACT same price over the last 7 years…..gas (hell no), houses….(lol), groceries…..how about just look at candy bars.

    better yet why don’t the complainers work my shift for a few days and see how much profit (for your commission check) you can accumulate!

  15. Over the years, the market for guitars and basses has declined. Stringed instruments just arn’t that popular anymore. That’s the main reason why so many shops are in trouble. Sad but true.

  16. Frank

    As far as raising the prices goes – most vendors are raising their prices every week lately. Martin guitars are going up in October. Don’t blame GC, OK?

    And, for the record, Bain Capital had nothig to do with the no-haggle prolicy. The policy has been tried and tested since the 80’s. GC finally decided to make it national and give it a real go.

    If you’re the type to save your receipts, read the back of a receipt from years ago and you’ll see GC’s 30 Day Lowest Price Guarantee. That jargon was GC’s attempt to stick to firm pricing but they just never put a whole lot of effort into it. The idea was to stick to prices but guarantee that we’d protect your price for 30 days so you could feel comfortable with your purchase and that you got the best deal.

    We still have the same verbiage on our receipts now. The only difference is we’re attempting to hold firm to our prices for real this time.

    We still do deals on a daily basis. The difference is we’re not going to sell you a pack of strings at cost for no reason. If you make a large purchase, your salesperson most likely will be happy to throw in a strap or a cable, or put together a package price for something.

    Now you just can’t walk in the door, act like a hotshot, and say, “I always get cost on strings because I shop here a lot.” We’re glad you shop here a lot. Help us make money by paying the extra $2 for your strings when you make your weekly visit. Make another big purchase and we’ll show you some love right back.

  17. Dave

    As another GC employee trying to help customers understand the reason for the “no haggle policy” is pretty simple. Its not the “customer” vs. “the employee” anymore. GC has ALWAYS price matched and guaranteed the lowest price on new gear. There are many people in corporate who do online research to assure this. If there is something wrong with a floor model, there is always the option to get another identical piece.
    What the “average” customer gets from GC is customer service. Yes there are some “pro’s” out there who know what they need and need it asap, but on the whole regular GC customers need assistance in getting the gear they need. That is why the stores still physically exist. There are many facets to this business, but what are the odds of a customer who wants their 10 year old child to play guitar getting the everything they need to learn how to play without help from someone who knows the gear? Best Buy is starting to offer a lot of the same gear as GC… How much of a joke will it be when Johnny Bestbuy making 8.50 an hour tries to sell you a VOS Les Paul???
    I understand that are a lot of employees at GC who may not know as much as some techie customers, but on the whole I am confident with people shopping at the store level.
    As a career sales guy my commission checks have not suffered a bit since the price lock. My customers pay for my service andfor the most part I know they appreciate it. If you spend thousands of dollars with me, you will still be taken care of.
    Its the customer that come in and says “Ive spent hundreds of dollars at GC over the years” that wont get 20% off for no reason…whoever started this thread should have done WAY more research before starting this. Bain is not running the company. The original GC big wigs are still there calling shots. Bain is there to hepl the company be more profitable. GC has been run by musicians, they have just sought after some of the best retailers in the world to better the company…

    • Eric

      OK one point at a time. GC cannot guarantee the lowest price. They will beat any ADVERTISED price, or written quote. Almost ALL advertised prices or written quotes are at MAP so that guarantee is 100% worthless. And to say that the reason for the no-haggle policy is to eliminate the adversarial relationship is 100% BS. That policy was brought in by Bain, not the old GC. Their old policy was, any deal as long as it makes a buck. The new policy exists to insure a margin that will guarantee a return on Bain’s 2.1 billion dollar investment. And look out GC employees, if Bain doesn’t see their money coming back to them in spades, they will splinter the company and sell it off. They have ALREADY stopped opening new stores. The old GC never carried ANY debt. They never owed money to anybody. At the time Bain bought them, they had amassed a debt load of 650 million dollars. That’s DOUBLE what Mars owed when they went bankrupt. Moody’s has lowered their rating considerably. Fortune put them among Blockbuster and Eddie Bauer as large companies whose future is not looking good.
      Point 2, the reason the stores still exist is because they are profitable. They have a rep of having the highest profit per square foot of any music store in the world. How do they do that? By paying commission based on the profit, not the sale amount. Which pushes the salesman to sell the most profitable products, not the best for the customer. Also by having a very extensive marketing program. Bain has already messed with the tried and true old school methods by instituting new pricing policies and new ad campaigns.
      Don’t worry about Best Buy, they will soon realize that opening a day care center and putting Les Pauls in there for the kiddies to play with while the parents shop is NOT a good idea. I give it a year.
      Point 3, the original GC bigwigs are mostly gone. RS retired with a $110 million buyout. LT similar, is now on the board at Fender. Just about the same time that Fender had a roughly 25% price increase across the board. Coincidence? You tell me. MA is the only one left.
      Bain is NOT there to help GC. They are there to make money. And if it turns out GC does not do that for them, they will take the money and run.

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  19. Ned

    Hey GC employes. Sorry but I don’t feel bad for GC center if they brake even or even lose money on a deal… THATS BUSINESS! More often then not you get people who pay the sticker… Sometimes you have to fudge the price tag to make the sale… THATS CAPITALISM! And price guarantee my pasty white ass. The reality is GC is not offering a price guarantee to protect the customer or to to eliminate hostility due to negotiation… They due it because the own 38% of the industry, because they can, because they are the whore of the music industry, and because they value making a profit more then their customers or ethically sound competition with their competitors. As Wal-mart is to the average Jo so is GC to the average musician. In short you guys can take your crappy nicked up, scratched, dented, not set up crap guitars and shove em. To Hell with GC

  20. TML

    For example/I walk in to GC pick up a $1000 strat, plug it in-play it-fall in love and the only help I ask for is, “what is the best price out the door, where is the case and who will take my money?”

    Leyla, I have spent over $45,000 at my local GC over the past several years, and this is what is expected of me as a consumer in your eyes?? Maybe your employer should pay you and not the guy bustin his balls for a dollar to pay his own way……

    Leyla wrote
    “Are you going to offer to buy my baby’s diapers? are you going to reach into your wallet and pay for my gas? no and no…..so why exactly should we feel bad that we can’t give you our paychecks as arbitrarily as we used to?”

    *News Flash* My customers do none of the above and we do our jobs in the rain, cold, snow and don`t hold our hands out. You may want to consider a new career if diapers are out of reach as a GC employee.

    For the record: My son worked for GC so I know whats up.

  21. Eric

    Why would ANY musician EVER shop at Guitar Center? They are not musician owned. Their entire motivation is the bottom line, not the instrument quality. The commission drives the salespeople to sell the most profitable product. The customer’s best interest are NOT the goal. The turnover of salespeople is incredible. If you can’t sell enough, you get fired. Why would any artist support a chain that is owned by a Wall Street financial giant? Their weekly sales meetings do not focus on product knowledge. They focus on hard sales techniques! Just like car sales. Their prices are not great. They carry little to no boutique gear. They can only deal with manufacturers that can supply huge quantities.
    I own a mom and pop shop. We compete with them on a daily basis. People shop there because GC spends a mint on marketing and advertising. Any local shop worth anything will gladly meet or beat GC prices. Their prices aren’t that great!
    I know what I am talking about. I worked for them for 4 years. Ran one of their stores for 3 of those years. We averaged a turnover of about 100 employees per year, which was typical for the chain. And I made it my goal after that to provide guitarists with REAL service and product knowledge with my own shop. My average employee lasts about 5 years. Cmon people wake up already! Support your local shop. NOT Wall Street.

  22. Mike

    As a musician:
    Before my current job, I shopped at GC when I had to. I dislike being treated like an inconvenience since I’m not dropping $2-3 grand on a drum kit or a guitar. GC hires musicians to do the selling, which makes sense, kind of. Their knowledge base, for a majority, is good-great. Unfortunately their customer service skills, for most of the interactions I have had, are lacking. This makes it hard for someone who enjoys playing but is not a die hard, professionally gigging musician, such as my self.
    As a music retailer:
    I currently work for the #2 musical instrument retailer in the country (it would surprise you who it is). I approach my customers every day as I would want to be approached when I am shopping, with respect and a willingness to help. People appreciate that, a lot. I think this is where GC has gone wrong. Their pricing is what it is, lack of competition for decades has let them do as they like. They do train their employees, but really, when you run a 90%+ turn over rate, what good d0es that do? In the time that their employees work there, they work on product knowledge and closing the deal. Problem with this is, where is the training on customer service? You get some when you are hired and the rest is dependent on whether or not you are good at it. I don’t know too many retail industries that rely on natural talent, do you?

  23. I guess this is old news now, but its certainly news to me. I had no idea Romney’s company had bought Guitar Center out. That’s a shame about the room for negotiation, because that’s kind of how the old world, mom and pop joint works, and haggling is accepted in many cultures as the ONLY way to do business.

    I think this particular business move is a sure way to put oneself in the “corner” with no way out.

  24. William Carter

    WHY IS GUITAR CENTER LIKE THE HINDERNBURG? username: formerGCfan#1

    Big Box Music does not necessarilly suck. What is happening is that we are all sad and angry that a bunch of Guitar Center Corporate Genuises screwed up a flamingly beautiful marketing plan that worked for all of us for over 25 years. Those of us with balls to ask got Great deals. Some folks ran small businesses off the Great prices. Guitar Center’s volume went up, and their negotiating power flourished. Folks who didn’t know any better (most everyone) payed sticker price. What GC got for their kindness to us was appreciation. In my case, I referred in new customers, and when I hung out at the store, sold an instrument or two- just because I Like people, and LOVED Guitar Center. I had more friends who were Guitar Center salespeople than I had friends who were customers. Good Will begets Good Will.

    What happened to GC is quite simple- they overexpanded too quickly and then were hit with a bad business year. Most businesses have cycles, but because some Corporate Genius had depleted the backup capital with the overexpansion, they lost the company to Bain Capital. GC’s “cover stories” are always amusing. The overexpansion story was a hoot- “The Shareholders MADE US Expand Too Quickly”.

    A scapegoat had to be found. One of GC’s problems has always been that they don’t get rid of people who have no business being there. (And this is probably especially true if your initials happen to be “M.A.”.). (the “word on the street” is that all-too-many GC Corporate execs got to their position because they were all friends when they played in “Glam” bands in LA in the 60’s, and 70’s). So since GC couldn’t blame their failure on a PERSON, The Marketing Plan that had been so succesful for so many years became the scapegoat. Thus the first “Price Lock”. No more Great Deals for customers like me who had been “junior staff members” for 10 years. No more good deals for the small businesses that were helping to drive up GC’s volume/negotiating power. Then GC vacillated back and forth with perdiods of Price Lock, and then times of “The Good Old days”: Oooops! Now it’s time to call off the “Price Lock”. Good Prices for all again!. OOops! Time for another price lock! OOOps! (and here comes another classic GC “Cover Story”). “There Never was a price lock- it was just a miscommunication”. Well, as of November ’09, The Price Lock is REAL and it is FINAL. They have taken out the monitor screens at the counters so a GC employee can’t even be tempted to treat a customer like he or she is appreciated. BUT! You can get a good deal if you bring in a printed ad by a competitor. (say! That sounds familiar! Isn’t that the Sam Ash “discount policy”?). I already didn’t shop at Sam Ash. Why would I, when GC gave me great deals without jumping through hoops?

    The saddest thing about the back-and-forth price lock is that it destroyed At Least One life. A good friend did Church installations with GC low prices. The (non-existant) Price Lock coincided with the last flareup of his dear Mom’s alzheimer’s and he wound up losing his shop. But what does that matter to a Corporate Genius? With an MBA, you are all-powerful- all-seeing.

    I’ve been yelling and screaming “go back to the old SUCCESFUL marketing plan” for two years, now. (God help you if you were unfortunate to be wearing a GC badge at last year’s NAMM). I finally gave up. And I found that the Mom ‘n Pop stores will treat you like a valued customer. All you have to do is ASK nicely. Tell them you are a GC refugee/orphan, and tell them what you are used to paying. Tell them you expect to be treated like a valued customer- like Gutar Center Used to treat you. They Will Work With You. They don’t have an MBA telling them they have to “hit a home run” with every sale.

    I finally gave up on GC saving itself. You have a guy at the top whose MBA tells him that he is so smart that HIS plan is better than what WORKED before. And under him you have a guy who apparently implemented all of the changes of the past year. HE emailed me yesterday, telling me he’d like to win me back as a customer. It’s too late! Guitar Center- WHAT made Guitar Center GREAT is Just A Memory. Gutted by Corporate Geniuses who were so smart that they changed things and changed things and micro-managed until they found themselves with Empty Parking Lots and Empty Stores.

    What was that marketing plan that they were too “smart” to see?

    Three Things: 1 ) treat everyone who walks throught the door like a valued customer. 2) do anything within reason to a) make the sale happen b) make the customer happy. 3) Trust the salsperson on the floor to Do The Right Thing.

    So, to answer my question- “Why Is Guitar Center like the Hindenburg?”. Answer: Both went down in flames. The kindness of the Hindenberg is that it was over quickly. Guitar Center is doing an MBA-powered, slow-motion crash landing. I thought it would be sad to see it when it happens. But (sadly) I don’t care anymore. Just Another Company Killed Off By Micro-Managing Corporate Geniuses……….

    seasons greetings,

    William

  25. tyson

    Ok, here’s my story which takes place over a few years but culminates in me registering my frustration- whether I’m wrong or right. Years ago (maybe 3 or more) I ordered an American Strat from MF. I know the stupidity of buying a guitar sight unseen and I agree completely. But there is no way ON EARTH I would ever buy a guitar from them that was not fresh from the back. This sentiment led me to send back my strat to MF about 7 times (always free shipping if you tell them there is a ‘malfunction’. Finally got a good one, and they come out with the new american standard. Now i know i will be lambasted for being so petty by some, but i wanted it because it had a more timeless and quintessentially strat character- via the saddles, mostly. I’m the type that wants to have his one good strat and one great les paul (which after 11 yrs. i finally broke the headstock/neck joint- costs me half what i paid for it- $2500) for the rest of my life until i die. So when they first came out i went to sell my brand new american series to them (with a chip on upper horn) and they offered me $600+ on a trade in. My god, i should’ve done it then, but got seriously sidetracked. Well, just 2 days ago I go to do the same thing again (after i find out the original guitar center houston moved). First, this little snot kid (who you can tell listens to all those three-word prepositional phrase bands) who gave off a very ‘deserving’ vibe- like he thought everyone’s an idiot but him- takes my guitar back to their appraiser, who quotes me a price of $375. That sucks, but after talking to him about particulars and what-not, i mentioned again “my american series” strat. Then it clicks in his brain- American SERIES. He takes it back to the appraiser, and comes back without a shred of lament or apology, and tells me they will now give me $275! Jesus, I should have stopped talking shouldn’t i have? Then I went outside and just happened to see him and his buddy walking out. They noticed me as they were leaving and didn’t say a goddamned word, I had to stop this little shit and ask him what the deal was. He said, “oh, well there’s like a guy in there who is fat with a really weird-looking face who will help you”. I swear im gonna stomp this kid. What’s worse, they ain’t gonna sell you a $999 guitar without tax any more. And that’s fine, I guess… but i had to talk to three employees just to get to the manager to tell me that GC didn’t do that anymore because of auditing and subsequent deficits. But let me tell you- I work in a small business and we are doing jobs at cost just to pay payroll and keep the lights on. So i don’t need to hear any of this healthy profit BS. I used my damn stimulus check to pay the difference and now I have to figure out how the christ i’m gonna pay for my LP (see above, takes 6-9 mo’s. to fix).

  26. i am always looking for cheap car sales show in our area and i always find a bargain,,;

  27. You covered many curious points here. I found this article by searching Yahoo and I’ve got to admit that I already subscribed to your site, it is quite great ;D

  28. Sudo Nimm

    If I were going to buy a guitar other than a student guitar I would try it out at Guitar Center and then find the cheapest price online that has free shipping and a generous return policy.

    As far as the rest of the stuff they sell, you can find better prices on all of it on eBay and if you want stuff like cables… watch out. They sell CRAP for cables unless you buy the very high priced stuff. If you’re going to buy those you can find them online. Cheaper.

    I have a box in my studio that I have thrown all my defective Guitar Center cables into and I keep it around to remind my customers and students why it costs money to do business in a quality environment. Nothing against the sales people at GC, but they do tend to be the prototype of people who are OK at retail but don’t know much about music or how to make it.

    For examples of this check this out…

    http://www.gearslutz.com/board/moan-zone/112000-stupid-things-youve-been-told-guitar-center.html

    Sorry boys.

  29. joe

    i’ve sold a bunch of my guitars to guitar center over the last few years and got what i would consider a fair amount of money for the items. until yesturday, i went down to sell my jackson dk2m blue bengal finish, with dimarzio evolution humbucker and seymour duncan jazz humbuckers in it.. “in excellent condition”. they offered me 200 bux and told me they would sell it for 500-550$?? come on guitar center that is 300+$ profit! wth? they wouldn’t even go to 250$. i think 300$ would have almost been fair. they gave me 350$ for my ibanez s 470 with garbage pickups around 5 months ago. and sold it for 400$. i paid 450$ for the ibanez new. i paid 650$ for the jackson new. i’m not going to guitar center anymore. i was thinking about selling my USA fender tele down there but after that no way.

  30. Guitar Center Sucks

    Guitar Center sucks. After we caught them committing fraud (not accepting their own discount coupons, misrepresenting product, bait and switch, not honoring quoted prices on line, etc, etc)several times we finally started reporting them to the State Attorney General. They put Jeremy Cole in charge of customer service and for a while it looked OK until he started hedging on his own home turf of a couple of California stores. At that point he got another Attorney General complaint and banned us from ALL the stores, even though we only reported a few. He also illegally banned us from their affiliates. He has no such authority since he is not an officer of the company or legal counsel. We continued buying used gear until he discovered we were still buying on line … he closed our open orders and voided ALL of our paid for gift cards. Crook should be in jail … a real doucebag. Now he has banned my wife as well. Our DJ friends in Florida (Rock Solid Pressure), Sweetwater Sound as well as Ed Roman in Las Vegas are just lapping it all up. Because they also know what douchebags GC really are. An attorney is currently looking looking into a large scale lawsuit against these douchebags. Hey whatta ya expect with a CEO by the name of Trojan?

  31. Kind of crazy that Bain way over paid for GC just a couple years ago. Now look at what kind of shape they are in. Everyone who hates GC should be jumping for joy after they disclosed their financials for this latest bond. ha ha.

  32. Danny G

    Guitar centers mostly sell cheap junk. Yes, if you got the scratch you can buy some nice PRS or Ernie Ball guitars that are still made in the USA. I’ll flat out say it, Gibsons are over rated. Fenders are all right because they’re simple and if you mess around with them enough you can generally get them to play good. I find most anything at Guitar Center is horribly set up, which makes me think they just get the stuff out of boxes and throw it up on the walls. As with anything you get what you pay for and buying the best you can is always the way to go.

  33. douglas lee

    March 1 – 2012 late night
    from Douglas in Minneapolis MN
    email replies are welcome
    macintoshsavant@gmail.com

    I stumbled upon this site more or accidentally. I started out 5 hours ago looking for graphic images of Moog’s on the web, and as usual when I’m bouncing around the web I ended up following various threads here, there, and beyond, and finally ended up reading about Bain taking over Guitar Center with a Leveraged Buyout (which I did not know about until tonight). Now that I’ve read for two hours about it, I’m depressed enough I’m going to take some Ambien, put on my iPod, and go to bed. I know a little bit about finance, just enough to “be dangerous” as they say. I’ve read all the above comments. Fascinating. It has motivated me enough that I am going to visit one of the the GC’s in my area in the next few days and walk around for a while and see what happens. If anything interesting, maybe I’ll post back here. I wouldn’t know a humbucker from a drumstick if you shoved them in my nose, but I’m real good at spotting salesman B.S. I do need some CAIG DeOxit and I’ve heard they carry it, so I’ll go “shop” for that. By the way, anybody ever used it, and their “tuner lube”? I do vintage audio gear repairs/resto’s (the GOOD stuff, from the 70’s) and I’ve heard these are THE two products to use for all those scratchy pots. Any input is appreciated.

    As I mention at the bottom of my comments, I’d be very happy to hear comments from others in more detail about the Bain thing and how it affected the stores/business, expecially from those who know more from the “inside”. Leveraged Takeovers are one of the worst aspects of American Business (if you ask me, which you didn’t).
    I am hoping to learn how to play synths (hardware) in the near future. I’ve goofed around with software synths on my Mac, and have found it to be lot’s of fun. But after reading everything here, and a few other sites tonight, when I’m ready to buy hardware, I’ll buy it from companies that have better reputations than GC. I’ve heard that Sweetwater is great, but that’s only anecdotal. If anybody has recommendations about them or anybody else, I’m all ears. And by the way, Musicians Friend is part of the Guitar Center empire. Besides all of that, I’ll never ever, ever buy so much as a guitar pick from GC now that they are owned by Mitt Romney and his boyz. Bunch of barnacle humps is all they are.
    Doesn’t matter to me where I buy a hardware synth from, because they’re all the same no matter who sells it to me. Not like buying a guitar at all. Same with a software synth package. It’s a box with a DVD and a manual. Who could screw that up? So what I will care about is price and customer service. As is mentioned above, Customer Service is what it’s all about in business. I spend a lot of money, on all kinds of stuff. I gladly pay 10% more if I am dealing with a person or business who takes the time to find out what it important to me, and then tries to meet that need, rather than selling me what will make him the most profit AT THE MOMENT. Smart sales people know that people go back to the store and person that gives them the “warmest feeling”.

    My appeal to all of you who have had negative experiences with GC; please tell your friends who might lean toward voting for a republican (not that very many musicians would be around many repub’s) everything you’ve told us here and everything you have read here and everything you know. This is real life, and people should know this story for real. I’m not meaning to be overly political, since that’s not what this site is about, but really, Romney is worth $250 MILLION DOLLARS. And this story with Guitar Center shows exactly how he got that way. And what has he done, excuse me, what has he done that is CONSTRUCTIVE, except wreck companies. Over the past four weeks he has just made one “blunder” after another after another showing how disconnected he is from the life of the “average person”. He keeps sticking his foot in his mouth. Kinda reminds me of ole’ George Dubya.

    Anyway, here is my set of comments, which I actually wrote tonight for a different website, but they seem appropriate for this forum. Just a warning, it is a very long article.

    >>>>>>>

    commentary: I’m not really a musician (but I would love to learn to play synth’s-hardware version). I’ve been in the Edina MN GC a few times. There is also a new one in Maple Grove Minnesota, but I have not visited it yet, probably will soon. I’m not particularly interested in working in a sales job, of any kind -I think I’d be a HORRIBLE sales guy. I’m too honest. One question from above-what is the “GAIN” program that was mentioned? Some kind of super salesperson competition program? Or some kind of “rewards” program? Or discount buying for employees?
My main comment though; I was surprised to learn that Bain Capital bought GC. Bain Capital is the place where Mitt Romney was a partner. Mitt Romney has a personal fortune of $250 million. Bain Capital is what is currently called a “private equity” operation, but that is just a different name for what used to be called (back in the 1980′s) a “Leveraged Buyout” operation. LBO got such a bad rep that they had to start calling it something different. What an LBO place does is to buy a company or corporation, and they use the “assets”, or “worth” of a company to “leverage” (hence the name) the entire company. In simpler terms, what they do, is they “buy” a company, but to finance the “purchase” they BORROW as much money as they possibly can against the value of the company. Why would they do this? Simple. There is a POTENTIAL to make a MASSIVE AMOUNT OF MONEY on the deal. There are a lot of very complex economic and finance aspects I could describe, which would just bore everybody. But the essence of the whole dynamic is, that they rarely put very much of their OWN money in to the deal. It is mostly a paper exercise of determining what a company is “worth”, say 100 million dollars. That’s just an example number, I have no idea how much the whole Guitar Center company was worth before they were sold. Then, the LBO company goes to a huge bank or other finance company-J.P. Morgan, Goldman Sachs, etc, and they BORROW $95 million, and they put up $5 million of their own money. That’s another part of where the word “leverage” comes from. They are “controlling” a $100 million company but they are only putting up 5 mil of their own money to do so. So that is “Leverage”. Then, and THIS IS WHERE IT GETS REALLY INTERESTING, is that once an LBO has control (ownership) of a company, they start dissecting every single number within the company and they try to figure out every single thing they can do to cut costs and expenses, to improve the monthly cash flow. They also examine a company to see if they can “break it into pieces” and sell off some of the parts, for a profit. You can see descriptions of this in the first Wall Street movie (Gordon Gecko), and also in the movie Pretty Woman (Richard Gere). So, the underlying dynamic is that an LBO company ALWAYS enters a transaction with the ultimate goal of SELLING IT later, for more than they paid. Very often, the “changes” they start making are changes that CAN NOT LAST for more than a few years, because the changes usually result in the business “going down hill”, because money is not being INVESTED in the company any more. You can make any company look better if you stop doing things like Marketing, taking care of the physical store building, firing a bunch of employees, etc. There is no shortage of things you can do on a temporary basis to make the books look better, but most of those can not go on forever. So the strategy for an LBO company is to make things look good enough that they can find some sucker to buy the company a few years after they buy it. But AFTER they sell it, sometimes one or two or three years later, only THEN does the buyer realize they have bought something that only LOOKED good, because there was no re-investment. Then THEY have to start doing the things that weren’t done, like fixing up the buildings, or adding inventory, or doing real Marketing, or improving pay to get higher quality more professional salespeople, etc. Think of it this way: You can buy a good condition used car, like a car that has been leased for three years. You can drive the car without ever changing the oil or the spark plugs or the tires. Never get it aligned, don’t wax it, etc. So you can save all those costs for a couple years, and you can have a worksheet that shows how you’ve been able to drive the car for two years without spending anything and it looks like a very economical car, right? But you can only do that for so long, because eventually the implication of not changing the oil becomes clear (the engine wears out), etc etc. THAT is what LBO companies do. Then they sell the car and let the sucker who buys it worry about the fact the oil hasn’t been changed for three years.
So quite often, in fact almost always, one of the things they do very early is they start eliminating employees (firings, sometimes mass firings). Another thing they do is to look at every single penny that is spent, to see what they can “eliminate”. And sometimes this comes down to absurd things. At one of the companies I worked at that was taken over, they removed the change machine from the lunchroom. What can they save by that, maybe $10 a month? The other thing, and one of the things they do that is really destructive, which is why they are really a barnacle on society, is that they don’t really care about GROWING the company, and they rarely intend to invest very much into it. This is really despicable. LBO company’s often, ALMOST ALWAYS look for companies that are going through “weak” periods, in terms of financial results. That is why they can buy them for very low prices. You’ll almost never see an LBO operator trying to buy a real healthy company. They look for the very weakest. Then they put in their own management, who they think are smarter (or at least more ruthless and less moral) than the current management. So, as I said, I don’t really know anything about the history of the Guitar Center company, who started them, how long they have been in business, what their financial results were like before Bain swallowed them, or anything else about them. All I really know is that when I went to visit our local store a few years ago is that they had a LOT of guitars (and drums and lots of other stuff). I was not the least bit impressed by any of the employees. So, there are a lot of posters above who who have commented on what it is like to work there. But it would not surprise me at all to find that working there after Bain got them is probably a lot worse than working there before that happened. For any of you who are old enough to have been adults during the 1980′s (probably very few of you, Guitar Center people and musician types in general probably tend to be younger, in their 20′s and 30′s), but if you were adults in the 80′s you might remember hearing about the scandals on Wall Street about people like Ivan Boesky, Michael Milken, Kohlberg Kravis and Roberts, Dennis Levine, and many many others. These guys were all Leveraged Buyout guys. They pretty much invented this whole genre of financial shenanigans. MANY of those guys ended up in prison. The morality (or more accurately the LACK of morality) that leads people into that kind of life also tends to mean they don’t mind doing very illegal things, like Insider Trading, which is GROSSLY illegal and which is what most of them actually went to prison for.
Another thing about the
Leveraging” of the business they buy, is that the company is then LOADED TO THE GILLS WITH DEBT, which has to be paid every month, from the operations of the company. The LBO people might be willing to pay the debt every month for a short time, but they almost always PLAN that they will cut expenses so deep that they will have enough money from operations (sales) to be able to pay the debt. BUT, a lot of times they don’t which is why you hear of a lot of these companies going bankrupt. But it is THE COMPANY that goes bankrupt, NOT the LBO people who took them over. THEY loose very little, it anything, when their victim company goes bankrupt. They just do the same thing with another company. And THAT, ladies and Gentlemen, is how Mitt Romney ended up with 250 million dollars. What a swell guy.
So, overall, I’m sorry to hear that working at GC is such a drag, but it doesn’t surprise me. Here in the Minneapolis MN area we are fortunate enough to have a LOT of great musical instrument shops, many of which are independent and owned by people who actually care about music and instruments. We also have a very lively music scene in every way, more bands per square foot than probably anyplace but New York and Nashville. We have recording studios, labels, recording engineering schools, lots of independent record/cd stores,and lots of other places where people who love music can work. We even have a few people who build guitars. If anybody reading this is in the Twin Cities MN area (Minneapolis-St. Paul), or you anticipate moving here, I would strongly encourage doing a LOT of homework, exploring everything this town has to offer to those who are really into music. There are a huge number of opportunities (although I suppose there are a lot of difficulties breaking into some of them), but there is no shortage of jobs that can be found working in and around music. Even being a waiter/waitress in a cool night club can lead to meeting other good music people, and getting leads, ideas, etc. This is a good place to live (if you don’t mind cold winters).
Best of Luck to everybody. If you wish to comment, or if you are on the “inside” and would like to provide me with any more details, feel free to email me at “macintoshsavant@gmail.com”.
Douglas in Minneapolis March 1 – 2012

    Douglas in Minneapolis
    March 1 – 2012

    • I would suggest you browse GC but not buy there. Its up to you. You can save yourself some cash by buying Deoxit from another retailer like Sweetwater or Zzounds and not have to pay sales tax or shipping. GC will charge you both … even on line regardless if you live in the same state as the store or not. And they will not warn you not to use it in some vintage gear. They will probably not know how to advise you which Deoxit to use (see Caig.com or better yet call to find out what they suggest for your application). For example … do not use any Deoxit in faders on the vintage ARP Odyssey or Mackie Spring Reverb or EQ. It will freeze the faders up … not compatible. You may not have problems with your GC … at least not initially. I’ve actually had few GCs that provided excellent (one in Illinois, one in Utah, one in Florida) and competent service. But unfortunately not in Ohio … not in California … not in Arizona to name a few. And they literally stole $60 of gift cards from my wife. They will no longer do business with me and in fact have extended their ban to Musicians Friend, Music123 and their other affiliates … but actually a good thing since service there has actually literally gone down the toilet. Yep … that got Bain Capital two Attorney General complaints … one from the Ohio AG and one from the AG in Boston. Bain just forwarded the complaints to GC who blew those complaints off as well … I still have to OCR the immature letter their “legal counsel” sent as a reply. I may do a Youtube video as well going through some of my GC nightmares. My DJ friends at Rock Solid Pressure in Florida broadcast one of GC’s letters … and their corporate offices in California still have an F rating through the BBB (way to go Jeremy Cole!).

      • douglas lee

        wow. thanks for the fast info.
        if I go to the local store (about 5 miles away) I’ll check the prices. I have the complete set of downloadable ad materials and “handbooks” from CAIG that describes each product and what it can and cannot be used safely for. I have heard a lot of good things about it.

        I will print those materials and take them with me to the store. It would be fun to walk up to the counter and ask them what the recommend for that purpose, just to see if they know anything.

        I learned the hard way. I tried to clean the push switches on my 1970’s Kenwood 3500 Integrated Amp, and the plastic started melting. That one is still on the shelf waiting to be fixed. I also have about 8 other pieces of gear here that I want to cleanup and get in perfect condition so I can start using them all.

        Thanks for the info, and best of luck on the legal thing. If the story is as you say, sounds like you have a good case.

        -Douglas

      • Cool! Thanks Douglas! Don’t get me wrong … there are some good GCs and even some decent sales people out there but unfortunately not that many. My first experience with GC? I bought a “new” Korg Triton from GC in Middleburg Hts, OH … it was a floor demo … I needed it for my CD project and “Dave” apparently would not budge on the price … it was their last one for some time (another ploy). So I paid the big bucks and went home and spent the day cleaning it up from all the pizza, grease as well spending the week buffing out a deep key mark all the way across all the keys. Jerks all the way. I have used Deoxit succsessfully in my Sansui rack cassette deck to get some noise out of the plastic tracking gears, Roland System 100M (four racks) worked great in the faders, ARP 2600 … worked great in the few faders that were dusty from a seller that sold it to me all the way from dusty Texas. Marshall blue anniversary combo … did not help with cleaning out the volume control. Chandler Tube Driver rack … yes … worked great to clean out the static in the controls. But you are absolutely correct … Deoxit may react with some if not all plastic controls adversely. I am still at odds on how to restore the faders on my Mackie spring reverb and ARP Odyssey (after an idiot “electrician” friend gave me some “fader” cleaner). Can’t wait to hear what you encounter … maybe one day all of us can compile a book of our “capitalist” dealings with GC.

      • douglas lee

        Pete,
        Again, thanks for all the extremely useful info.
        As for pots, as you know most of them are “carbon” impregnated onto a plastic or fiber disk. As they wear (and I’m very sure you know this), the very thin layer of carbon can get “streaked” where the tiny slider or sliders ride against the carbon, in effect wearing a “groove” in the carbon, and eventually getting down to the plastic. Also, as I understand it, the carbon that get’s dislodged is in a very fine powder form, and it get’s scattered across the rest of the carbon surface. SO, I THINK in essence, some carbon pots (what you’re calling faders) can be cleaned (flushed) and then “lubed” with special “fader lube”, at least that is what CAIG call’s their product. So there are two separate fluids involved in restoring the pots (potentiometers). And I guess sometimes it works, and sometimes it doesn’t.
        I have quite a number of vintage audio receivers, amps, and tuners that all need this kind of treatment. In some cases, it might be necessary for me to buy a new potentiometer, but it’s worth trying the products first. I’m very confident that the fluids will work for at least *some* of them. I’ll buy the right size can that seems appropriate for the amount of hardware I have to work on.
        I used to spend a lot of time hanging out in some vintage audio forums, and everybody there swore by the CAIG products. They all agreed it was the best thing available.
        As I think I mentioned, I have some fairly complete marketing materials from them, and they seem to be pretty forthright in which products are safe for plastic and which aren’t. They are also quite clear as to what product to use for what purpose, They make a whole BUNCH of different products, so choosing the right one is important. But I will be VERY careful with any component I use them on, probably will dab a bit of fluid on a part of the plastic with a Q-tip, and let it sit, and see what happens. I’m excited about being able to get all my gear running. I also have two R-R tape decks, a good Teac 1230 (has one flaky channel but seems intermittent, don’t think it will be hard to fix) and I have an old Sony R-R that has some kind of mechanical problem with the linkage inside. I’m leaving that for a time in the future, when I can allocate a bunch of days or nights to spread it out over the kitchen table and slowly go through it and see what I find. It does not look like a very high quality deck, so I’m not too concerned about that one.
        If I remember, after I work on a few pieces of my gear with the CAIG products, I’ll TRY to remember to come back here and report. My organization ability and my memory are both close to useless, but I’ll write it down on a piece of paper. Thanks for your in depth comments. Before I go to GC I will read the CAIG literature very carefully. I’ll walk into the store knowing exactly what I want. Nobody can screw up a spray can of cleaner.

        We used to say back in the 70’s that if you had a Reel to Reel in your bedroom and couldn’t get laid, you just weren’t trying. Well, it’s 35 years later, so some factors are different, but we’ll see. I also bought a Chrysler Sebring convertible ten years ago, which everybody said was going to be a “babe magnet”. Huh. Turns out, maybe you have to actually have a PERSONALITY in order for the whole babe magnet thing to work out. Not giving up yet!

        -Douglas in Minneapolis
        March 1 – 2012
        11am

      • Cool comments … can’t wait to hear the results!
        PS: My friend in Washington, DC thinks his PT Cruiser with flame decals running down the side is a babe magnet …. LOL …. peace ….

      • douglas lee

        PC Cruiser a “babe magnet”? I d o n ‘ t t h i n k s o ………
        One of the uglier vehicles on the road. Also grossly underpowered.
        I would only buy the DeOx if I bought it in person over the counter at my local GC, which is like 5 miles from where I live. If I was going to buy it mail order, I would get it someplace else. Also, if I knew of some other place locally where I could buy it, I would do that. I’m just not sure what other kind of store would carry it. Radio shack has similar products, but of a different brand, which I would not buy.
        Don’t worry about which CAIG products I buy. I have read the CAIG website extensively, and have their entire catalog, which is extremely detailed. And like I say, I would test it first, on an external surface of the plastic parts that I would plan to spray. Just dabbing a little on the outside surface with a Q-tip and let it sit for 20 minutes, and see what happens. The CAIG products that are “supposed” to be plastics safe are clearly identified as such. That’s no guarantee, but a good sign. My impression from reading a LOT of forums about vintage audio is that CAIG has an excellent reputation, both for honestly describing their products, and also for the effectiveness and quality of the products. Many of the forums and the vintage audio experts say this is the ONLY product they would even consider.
        Also, for the many vintage receivers and reel to reels I have, I’m fairly sure that what I would find is that SOME of the potentionmeters (faders) would be fairly easy to find replacements for, and OTHERS would be nearly impossible to find replacements for. I care enough about these pieces of gear that I will be willing to take them apart VERY carefully, making notes as I go, and then ordering any parts that I would need to get them back in Mint condition. There are MANY professional electronics suppliers, (Newark, Stark, MCM, Jameco, Mouser, and many others that can supply nearly any potentiometer or switch in existence. MCM in particular is great for parts for old equipment, expecially things like belts, etc. The ohms, the “audio taper” (versus linear taper) pots, and many of the “physical” dimensions can be fairly common, HOWEVER some manufacturers, (such as Kenwood) used somewhat “proprietary” parts that are not easily replaceable with new parts.
        They just don’t make quality audio stuff like that any more (unless you spend MANY thousands of dollars. You can spend $20,000 a piece for mono amps (so you need two) if you want to (Mark Levinson, etc), and I would think they would definitely sound fantastic, but for that kind of money……….

        So, you are a synth player? (ARP 2600?)

        -more later, perhaps……

      • I apologize in advance for the lengthy post but this is a matter of public record. Here is my last 2011 Ohio and MA Attorney complaint against GC escalated to Mitt Romney’s Bain Capital. there will be three sections … the complaint …. the AG’s view of GC’s response (Bain Declined to respond) …. GC’s response. as a sidelight … many that have seen GC’s response expressed an opinion that GC’s response was extremely unprofessional ….
        ========================================
        Complaint:
        I registered Attorney General complaints for Guitar Center fraud (failure to honor discount coupons, misrepresentation of product, failure to provide tracking for paid shipping, etc) Guitar Center’s customer
        service prohibited me from contacting Guitar Center and its affiliates & ownership entities Dec 2010 however the letter was not notarized or endorsed by an officer of the company or legal counsel. By May
        2011, I was buying again until Sept 2011 when I received a defective pedal. I attempted a return to a local GC and they refused the return in violation of GC’s documented and advertised procedures. The
        Louisville, KY store that sold me the pedal refused to pay for return shipping, again in violation of GC procedures. My wife attempted to use three gift cards totaling $60 at the Columbus, OH store via online. GC canceled her orders and my orders and invalidated the $60 gift cards. Complaint is now escalated to ownership management at Bain Capital as GC has refused communication.
        =====================================
        Ohio Attorney General comments regrading GC’s response … note specifically “has not agreed to resolve the complaint” …..
        Dear Mr. ___________:
        We have been corresponding with the above-named supplier regarding your complaint. A copy of the response to your complaint is enclosed.
        As you can tell from the attached letter, the supplier disagrees with your version of the facts and has not agreed to resolve the complaint. Unfortunately, we are unable to take further action to resolve your complaint through our dispute resolution program. Many times our inquiries provide a favorable outcome. Unfortunately, not all complaints can be resolved in this manner. When a factual dispute occurs, a decision (or judgment) must be rendered by a judge or referee
        through a court of law. The Attorney General cannot act as judge.
        You may wish to contact a private attorney to determine what civil remedies may be available to you. If you do not have an attorney, your local bar association lawyer referral service may be able to help you locate one. We regret we cannot assist you further, but hope you will feel free to call the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Section should you have problems or questions in the future. Respectfully,
        MIKE DEWINE, Attorney General of Ohio
        ===============================================
        GC’s response … (I blocked my last name) …. note that they blatantly disregarded the fact that they had cancelled my wife’s transactions and her $60 gift cards … note also that they erroneously addressed this as Joseph Hudach, Ohio Attorney General when in fact Mike DeWine is Ohio Attorney General and Mr. Hudach is a Consumer Protection Specialist with the Consumer Protection Section.

        VIA EMAIL
        December 15, 2011
        Re: Ohio Attorney General Complaint #735131
        Attn: Joseph Hudach
        Ohio Attorney General
        Consumer Protection
        30 E. Broad Street, 14th Floor Columbus, OH 43215

        Dear Mr. Hudach:
        I am counsel to Guitar Center, Inc. and was recently forwarded your letter to Bain Capital regarding Peter __________’s complaint.
        As the complaint details, Guitar Center clearly and unambiguously notified Mr. __________, in writing, that we do NOT want to do business with him and do not want him to have any contact with us. We took that unusual step of “banning” Mr. __________ after experiencing repeated difficulties and complaints around what should have been routine transactions, from numerous Guitar Center store locations around the country. These transactions typically included a purchase of some “used” equipment; followed by complaints over blemishes, wear and tear or some other characteristic typically found in used equipment; resulting in a demand for some additional concessions from Guitar Center. Mr. __________ usually did not want to simply return the item, but rather to keep it and to escalate the demands for customer concessions. In each instance, Guitar Center, in good faith attempted to satisfy Mr. __________ at the store level. Each of these different stores had no idea that Mr. __________ was a repeat unhappy customer across the country, with similar approaches and demands that followed this common pattern. Once these numerous issues escalated to our corporate office and the similarity of these numerous matters, increasing demands, hostility, and aggregated customer accommodations were evaluated; executive management made the decision to, and did notify Mr. __________ that he was no longer welcome at Guitar Center. Mr. __________ then undertook a negative public campaign to criticize Guitar Center and to himself publish and broadcast the letter we sent him, in numerous places. Sometime later, we discovered the Mr. __________ began, despite the full knowledge that we did not want him as a customer, to slip back to our stores and again begin the same pattern of purchasing merchandise, expressing unhappiness and demanding concessions. Keep in mind that Guitar Center has approximately 10,000 employees, so it is difficult to determine if any one individual comes in to, or calls any random store. At the point that management became aware that he was back, we reversed all his pending transactions, took his last return and told him that we still don’t want him back.
        Now Mr. __________ has made at least three consumer complaints to various city and state consumer protection attorneys, including your office. He has also made these complaints naming Guitar Center’s owner, Bain Capital. It is our contention that Guitar Center has done nothing wrong and that Mr. __________ is fully aware that we have lawfully informed. him to stay away from us. We maintain our insistence that he stay away from Guitar Center.
        If you have any questions, please feel free to call me.
        Sincerely,
        Daniel M. Smith
        Counsel

      • douglas lee

        Pete,

        1. Where do you live?

        2. Do you have a better email address I can send to? I hate this wordpress thing.

        3. If you feel like telling me about your synth playing experiences, I would be fascinated to hear about that. I have had a lifelong dream of learning to play synth’s, ever since I heard Lucky Man on the radio back around 1974 or so. I can’t afford to buy hardware synth’s (at least not at the moment, maybe in the distant future) but I’ve goofed around with a LOT of different software synth’s on my Mac. It is not quite the same. There is a lot of stuff you can’t do on a software synth that you CAN do with a hardware piece (such as the ah-ooh-ah-ooh-ah-ooh that ELP (Emerson) used toward the end of Lucky Man. Maybe there is a way to do that in software, but the software Moog programs I’ve used so far have not allowed me to be able to do it, even with the pitch bend wheel. I think you need an actual mechanical knob to be able to rotate back and forth to get that sound.

        On the flip side, it IS REALLY, REALLY cool to use something even as simple as Garageband to create multitrack recordings on my computer (one track at a time). I’m not a musician of any kind whatsoever, but even I was able to create “pieces” that were at least listenable.

        Of course Logic is a whole ‘nother world, but I tried to learn how to use it and found so incredibly complicated that I never made ANY progress with it.

        A few years ago I bought a bunch of magazines like Future Music, Sound on Sound, etc. I have probably a couple dozen different issues (total) of probably 4 or 5 different magazine titles. I find all this gear, both hardware and software, to be just so TOTALLY GROOVY, I get a woodie (sorry) just looking at the pictures and reading the articles.

        4. This whole world of software instruments, software synth’s, software recording software and tools, and all the different TYPES of programs seems to me to be an extremely complicated subject. I am familiar with a lot of the Brands and the Program names, but I have a VERY difficult time trying to understand WHAT each tool does. For example, I have read about Ableton (LIVE??), Reason, Cubase, Pro-Tools, and many dozens of others. But trying to figure out which ones are “recording and digital editing and digital workstations” programs, which one’s are “synth’s, which ones are “effects”, which ones are actually Instrument Library’s etc—-My mind gets numb just trying to figure all that out.

        And then there is the whole issue of trying to figure out how much the software can do versus what you really need a piece of hardware can do.

        Example: You can buy a hardware pedal that can provide nearly any kind of “effect” you can imagine (mostly for guitars, I would imagine). Typical prices run $50-$100 PER PEDAL! I suppose for a pro player who actually gig’s and gets paid for playing, that kind of thing is both necessary and worth it. However, you can also find various software tools that can do an awful lot of that kind of thing (effects) also, so I get confused about that. The only piece of hardware I have is a 4 octave (49 key) M-Audio Midi keyboard I bought new for $100. I don’t have guitars (don’t know how to play) or any other musical “instruments”. I have a very vague idea of what it takes to run several physical instruments into a computer (usually some sort of Firewire “mixer input box”? but that sort of thing is years away for me.
        Also, my Mac is very old (MDD G4) and does not have the CPU power to handle very much simultaneous processing. I found that when I was making Garageband multi track pieces, once I got past about 4 or 5 tracks, the playback would start to break down, because the computer just doesn’t have enough processing power (and memory) to do the job. I AM hoping to get a very modern (but probably not brand new) Mac in the next few months, particularly because I *might* have a new job that is going to require me to spend ten hours a day 6 days a week using my Mac (the situation is up in the air yet, I won’t know for at least a month or two if it is going to work out). I should be making enough money with that job to afford a much more modern and powerful Mac within a few months.

        5. Please send me another email in about 4 to 7 days so I REMEMBER to get back to you. My life is so harried and busy (and my day to day memory is TOTALLY worthless) that I forget half of the stuff I am SUPPOSED to remember.

        peace out

        Douglas
        Minneapolis

      • ivan

        It is sad for them, they stole me to. i will never spend a cent again. It happens in one of the california stores. One comon way to rob to clients is with the use in store instuments.They will charge you fot the complete used equipment(of course they doit on shipping orders/ not online orders, is dealin with a store in particular) and keep everything they can.

  34. Thanks Douglas … some great advice.

  35. Thanks Douglas … the only secure way would be on Youtube … I plan on doing a Guitar Center review sometime soon. Just search “trashbay!”.

    • Marvin K.

      Pfft…Pete, clearly your agenda was to be a pain in the ass. And you post it on a public forum. Its obvious you are trying too hard. When you called the lawyers in on a business you threw customer service out the window….anything you lost was clearly your own fault…..I don’t blame gc for covering their ass in this situation. Pete, there is a big difference in “just being right all the time” and getting your way. Obviously your way is to be a little b!*$#. How’d that work out for you? Cost your wife $60. I wouldn’t want you to shop at my hardware store for fear that you would look for crap to make issues out of and sue me over. You are a terrorist.

      • Pete

        Marvin, clearly you are a complete idiot … your agenda is to troll the internet and promote yourself as a holier than thou b!*$#. The attorney general and BBB are clearly legal and valid methods to resolve issues when an company like GC has committed fraud and refused to work with the customer. Apparently I am not the only one since they hold an F rating with the BBB. And for an employee of GC to come onto this forum and take cheap shots speaks mounds of the organization. We are all not dumb unintelligent sheep like you Marvin the K….. no Marvin … you are the terrorist … behind the scenes and afraid to show his face … trolling the blogs and propping up their own ego for a flawed character that obviously has no clue. Sheep!

  36. Charles Jones

    Is it possible for you put a Guitar Center in Indianola Ms.We are a small town surrounded by other small towns and the drive to Jackson is pretty long

  37. A new GC just opened up in my backyard about three weeks ago and I feel that it does the area small guitar shops good because most of the stuff carried at the local stores isn’t carried there. I work at a local boutique guitar store, I run the website, post pictures, descriptions, etc…, everything we have, well almost everything, you will never find at GC. People will get frustrated with them as stated on previous posts and come to our smaller yet personable store which doesn’t need millions in sales to stay open, or think only $$$…Myself and the management welcome GC to our area as they will drive traffic here looking for instruments/deals and when they get frustrated with GC they’ll Google music stores in the area and find us along with other local stores! Funny cause just this morning we had a customer that did just that, after driving to GC and realizing the only thing there was “china” he gps’d us and found us…GC will prob be around for those that need something no one else has or the newb, but with time people learn and decide to deal with real professionals!

  38. Kirk Bruner

    I started shopping at GC in 1973. There was ONE store, on the south side of Sunset Blvd. I’m a drummer who also plays guitar, violin, trombone, I conduct, and sing. There was a young British guy named Michael who always remembered his customers’ names and what gear they preferred. If I got in a jam on the road ANYWHERE in the country, he would mail me my beloved ProMark oaks or whatever else I might need with great dispatch. I would send the store a check and everyone was a hero. Once Michael left the store and moved on, that was the last customer service I got from Guitar Center, despite my still shopping there for EVERYTHING I ever needed. Now, I can’t even get a store to stock the sticks I like (still ProMark oaks), even when I call the home office and talk to upper-level management. They are corporate. They have not been the Guitar Center for a very long time. They over-expanded. They built too many stores. They over-extended their reach, just like the ancient Aztecs, and now the system collapses. No surprise should be registered here. I got to a point, long ago, where I stopped caring about “customer service” anyway, once the dweebs working in the stores showed no interest in the gear other than the manufacturer-approved press releases. The idiotic crap written for the monthly catalogs becomes more laughable every year. Look, you’ve got to know yourself what you want and why. You’ll have to research it yourself and when you’ve made up your mind, just go to GC for the prices-which, nobody mentions, are low anyhow. If you can beat the price somewhere else, then GO SOMEWHERE ELSE! What is this-difficult? With guitars, it’s different. After seeing, over the years, the abuse heaped on some pretty amazing instruments in these places, it’s a wonder a decent guitar can be even found. Guitar Center is what it is-a place that used to be a great music store that became a Big Box store. Oh, so your kick pedal broke a small part? Well, no problem, all you need is a new drumset. Do your own research and homework, go in and get what you want, then get the hell out of there. It’s a very unmusical environment.

  39. Swisstone Music

    I hear that Guitar Center is going to be selling wind up music boxes along with a reduced selection of guitars and basses since Romney’s business corp. purchased The San Francisco Music Box Co. There seems to be a growing demand for mechanical music boxes and less of a demand for guitars and basses. Most of the music boxes will contain Sankyo musical mechanisms, others will have Toyo and Happy Tune units. There will even be an exclusive selection of Thorens music boxes imported from Germany. Would be great if they started making musical powder boxes and liquor decanters again.

  40. WOW!! You had to pay retail? You were spoiled?? Too bad, grow up!

  41. The only reason to visit a store is not simply the price. If that’s what you are after then any store is not for you. Craigslist or ebay is more your speed. It’s not always the deal on the current item you’re buying that makes it worth it. I just bought a PRS p22 from guitarcenter and they threw in the normal stuff, but they also setup my other PRS and did some repairs on it for free.

    My sense is that it’s one of those things you wont miss until its gone.

    Good luck in that price hunt though.

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  44. douglas lee

    Guitars Minneapolis Minnesota area—I’ve been reading this thread since around March or so. I just want to mention I went to a Guitar Store in Maple Grove Minnesota (very close to where I live) that was a REAL guitar store. I have not bought my guitar and amp yet (not enough money right now) but when I do I know exactly where I am going to buy it. I walked into the store this last summer and the salesperson spent nearly an hour with me, answering every single stupid question I had (I have almost ZERO knowledge about guitars, I wanted to buy a bass and amp). The name of the guy is Tim O’Brien, I believe. It is a small shop, very warm, very friendly, clean, organized, not lit with bright blinding sodium lights. I think the name of the store is American Guitar and Band.. They are about 2 miles away from a Guitar Center. The person I talked to works there full time, and has been there ten years, I think. He REALLY knew guitars. He was magnificent and did not laugh at my stupid questions (“do all basses have the same number of frets?”)! I have nothing to do with the store, this a totally unbiased review. So if you’re looking into getting a guitar, I would stop in there and see how they compare. They’re a small shop, with only one or two people there at a time. I didn’t sit down and play a guitar, but I’m sure I could if I wanted.

    Douglas Lee
    Osseo MN (close to Maple Grove)

  45. Irina

    4.5 years after the acquisition of Guitar Center by Bain, and a little over 4 years since the “Discount Management” initiative was set in place….Lets take a look at what the “greedy money hungry wal-mart of music stores” aka Guitar Center has done with all that extra money they have made by ripping off haggling customers by making them pay normal prices.

    1. They are creating hundreds of new jobs by opening new stores all over the country…I believe something like 15 new stores just in 2013.In each of these new stores has a new innovative department called GC Studios, in an effort to help people make music they now offer lessons to aspiring musicians and in some locations: rent practice spaces for bands. Oh How horrible.

    2. They have restructured their Sales Manager position to incorporate better training of their employees while cultivating strong store mangers to run the new stores they open. How horrible.

    3. Have you ever wanted to try out some software to see how it works or maybe hear some sound samples from a virtual instrument before you get ripped off by paying normal price for it? Now you can! Plus in an effort to help people make music they offer free home recording classes every Saturday morning where you can spend valuable time with an associate that offers you his/her training (not selling) absolutely free of charge. Where else can you learn Pro Tools for free? There’s no such thing as a free lunch people….enjoy.
    How horrible.

    4. In an effort to help people make music they have rolled out several new programs to facilitate both customer service, support, and sales followup. Now your own sales associate will shoot you a friendly thank you email and make sure that you are happy with your purchase and proactively ensure that you get your moneys worth out of the gear you got ripped off by paying normal price for. What a shame.

    5. When this thread was first written in 2008, guitarcenter.com wasn’t nearly the resource that it has become. As of 2012 guitarcenter.com now boasts more used mi than ebay. You can now purchase any piece of gear, new or used from any store in the company while sitting in your underwear at home, and if you have questions about said piece of gear you can visit the direct web page of your local store or the store that houses the piece you have your eyes on and email any associate directly. So you can now shop online AND still interact with a trained human being that gives a shit about your business and wants to help you make music. Can you get that kind of service from say….. Amazon? Hell no. Amazon drops their pants on all of their prices to move mass quantity without the customer experience and community outreach that Guitar Center is striving towards. And if its Amazon’s price that you’re after, they will beat it….yeah discount management is really about being smart about what they discount, its not discount refusal….it just puts a damper on all of the sport grinders and hagglers that think they deserve a better price than everyone else. Ya see, Guitar Center wants to be an equal opportunity ripper offer and force everyone to pay normal price.These are but only a few things that discount management has allowed Guitar Center to accomplish since the hagglers got their panties in a wad over this back in 2008. They still will not be undersold if price is your issue, print out a sheet from Amazon, or just pull it up on your phone inside the store and get it for less right there and go home with your new stuff. They still make commission by the way….which almost invalidates this entire thread….they have spent every dime helping people make music and they do care about you. And if anything written on this post doesnt line up with an outstanding customer experience in the store I assure you they would be honored at the opportunity to make things right if you give them the chance.

  46. Dave L.

    i had no idea that warlord romney owns guitar centers! i will never buy at guitar center again! i bought my fender bass and got a way sweet vintage ampeg 1×15 bass amp for a good deal 10 years ago at guitar center but i wont support any business run by a cult leader, bigamist mormon who is a warmonger. man this really blows. im against all religions and offended at any suporters of religion. romney is evil he thinks nothing of trashing the planet with building his huge houses driving huge suvs and buys everything new. mormons are a danger to society secret societies who would overrun are government if romney got ellected. were darn luck obama got reelected. we need to keep intelligence and science in society like obama’s doing not fairey tails romneys and his cronnies would force on us.

  47. Interesting post and the follow-up discussion involved with it.
    Is it better to simply do business with a different company?
    Or
    Do business where there is a local store to deal with follow-ups on products?
    I’m really wanting to know.
    Thanks!
    -L

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    same niche. Your blog provided us beneficial information to work on.
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