Would you work at Guitar Center?

Guitar Center

I’ve been very lucky in the music business to never have to get a “day job”. Making music is my day job. So what do others do? About two months ago my friend John told me he got a job at Guitar Center in New Jersey. I’ve always been curious how much the sales people make and with John’s permission here is the run down.

5:08:27 PM John: so here’s the skinny on the pay at guitar center
5:08:31 PM Oliver Chesler: do tell
5:08:35 PM John: it’s a commission draw
5:08:36 PM John: I get a base.. 7.15 an hour.. for 40 hours per week..
5:09:37 PM Oliver Chesler: what is commision draw?
5:09:39 PM John: if my commissions are greater than the amount I would get for 40 hours a week @ 7.15 per hour.. then I get paid the commission amount, and don’t get paid the $7.15 per hour
5:09:44 PM Oliver Chesler: hmm
5:09:55 PM John: the commission rate is 2% of gross sales, plus 10% of net sales
5:10:07 PM Oliver Chesler: ok
5:10:10 PM John: so, if I sold 1,000 dollars in gear I would get roughly about 45 dollars.. maybe more, maybe less
5:10:23 PM Oliver Chesler: $286 per week is your base
5:10:26 PM Oliver Chesler: $1144 per month
5:10:28 PM Oliver Chesler: are there any benifits?
5:10:31 PM Oliver Chesler: health?
5:10:38 PM John: yes, full benefits after 90 days
5:10:44 PM Oliver Chesler: ok well thats a big plus
5:10:46 PM John: heatlh, dental 401k
5:10:56 PM Oliver Chesler: I wonder how much they take out for taxes
5:11:58 PM John: well.. at 7.15 per hour, the tax % isnt that much
5:11:59 PM John: given that standard markup in retail is around 25%, if I sold 20,000 dollars in gear, in a week it would be roughly about 950 per week
5:11:59 PM Oliver Chesler: I guess really it depends a lot on if you sell a lot
5:12:01 PM Oliver Chesler: because if you dont beat the base your going to feel poor
5:12:09 PM John: yes I know
5:13:09 PM Oliver Chesler: Im really curious how you will do
5:16:08 PM Oliver Chesler: so the most important thing… how much discount do you get on gear?
5:19:12 PM John:
my discount is 10% above cost
5:19:21 PM John: I don’t get the discount for 30 days
5:28:11 PM John: I was looking at the battleboard there, the post it board that they use to keep track of everyones sales.. there are 3 or 4 guys in pro audio who have over 50,000 in sales for the week
5:28:23 PM John: so the potential to make money is there
5:28:41 PM John:
50,000 k per week is like 2500 in commissions roughly
5:28:58 PM Oliver Chesler: wow! I wonder if its competitive…
5:29:15 PM Oliver Chesler: That could be kinda bad
5:29:19 PM John: yes..its very competitive
5:29:23 PM Oliver Chesler: like oh new guy coming in, dont let him take my sales, etc..

Personally I’m not taking a stand here for or against Guitar Center. I think they get a lot of unfair treatment on forums. I think the major downside would be if traffic in the store is light. Nothing is worse than hanging around bored. So would you work at Guitar Center?

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Oliver Chesler

"Hello my name is Oliver and I'm going to tell you a story." I have been recording music since 1989 under the name The Horrorist. I have released over 60 singles and 4 full length albums. To hear my music please go to: thehorrorist.com

36 thoughts on “Would you work at Guitar Center?”

  1. I use to work at GC. Easssssssy… not for me man. The camp was way tough and commission wasn’t really part of the picture because there was only so much you could sell out of the place in a week. Just like John said… 3 or 4 dudes…

    I did hook them up with a killer sales dude though… i mean KILLA. Here is something to take into consideration that worked for my friend… MAKE CONTACTS OUTSIDE GC AND SELL OUTSIDE GC… call clubs, call event sound system people, etc… get these people to let you make a quote to beat their current reps… hoar out as much product in the beginning at cost just to get the sales… then later, the new customers get charged the regualr price… well, a discount of sorts but not much just to make them feel special…

    doing this made my boy the top seller or second to top seller real quick… like in short few months… he even went as high as making quotes in the 100k’s… go john go!

    as they say at GC – don’t clerk it man… get out there and SELL! lol

  2. I wouldn’t work at GC again. Go work at a studio or club instead.

    Shane- When I worked at GC I nearly had my ass handed to me for going onsite to a club and trying to consult/sell. Boss nearly killed me when he found I was doing business offsite, even though some of the other pro audio guys higher up did it. You’re right, don’t clerk it, but if you’re willing to work that hard- go work somewhere that will always reward you. That was a hard job, and now I work less, make far more and enjoy life a lot more.

  3. It seems there maybe some long morning hours when the store is empty. Standing around bored would drive me crazy. Unfortunately I also think there are a lot of people like myself who go to Guitar Center or Sam Ash to check out all the stuff then just buy it online from home later. Twice the fun!

  4. No, my husband worked there a couple years ago before we were married. He only came home with about $400 a week. He was totally broke. GC sucks.

  5. I worked at Sam Ash for 6 years and I happened to learned quit abit about what its like to work at GC and i would never in a million years work there. GC is way to corporate for a slacker like me. Sam Ash is a family run business so its as relaxed as a chain retail store can be. Met alot of cool weird assentric people there though. I have a question for you Oliver though. Being a musician who has been able to live off his music is it a struggle because your not exactly mainstream, atleast not being big in the United States?

  6. Hi Sewn,

    I’ve been lucky with some good advice and management early on which I think has really helped me. Doing my own record label, having a publishing deal and being a computer geek has worked in my benefit. Although classified in the Electronic section most of my recordings are songs with vocals and that keeps the shelf life of them longer (and sales). With all that said of course it’s sometimes a struggle. I don’t think there is a musician alive who would say it’s easy street. You really have to adapt… live in your means, stay mostly sober, jump genres, cities, styles, software. What else? Keep having fun or your music will suck.

  7. i worked in south bay, CA for a few weeks.
    at the time there was a competitor down the street so emphasis was on getting as much product out the door as possible to poor unfortunates who rolled in not knowing anything about gear. i did pro audio and keyboards. the goal was 25,000 a month. bundling products was key…buy an item and stack the accessories…our boss actually said it was ok to hustle customers outside of GC like finding people who buy PA gear and instruments for churches. that was the key for me. in LA there are hundreds and hundreds of spanish speaking evangelical churches with bands…i would tell them to come see me because i could hook them up. they would buy drums and guitars and i would take 50% because it was from another department….then tack on my own pro audio and keyboard stuff. it eventually became a bore. i make more money now doing less in the IT world.

  8. Why would you try something at GC and then buy it online? In my experience, GC will meet or beat anybody’s prices. I’d much rather buy from a store.

    Sam Ash, on the other hand, does not discount as deeply as GC, in my experience. We have both GC and Sam Ash stores in the Miami area.

    GC seems quite cool about giving working musicians time off for touring. Nice to know one can come back to a job after a tour, no?

  9. I work @ GC631 here in Lexington, KY. Currently I’m 22, married, and living cheaply (but very happily!). My wife has her bachelor’s degree and works full time so that obviously helps with the bills. I’m still technically in school but work between 40-50 hours a week at GC when I’m not out on the road (which is approximately a total of 4 months a year).

    The benefits of working at GC are:
    – The obvious discounts (just purchased a Nord Electro 2 61 key, SKB case, Monster cables, sustain pedal, random accessories, etc. for $845)
    – Working in an environment of a field that you enjoy
    – The fact that they (the corporation) caters to their employees in terms of ‘musical understanding.’ By that I mean I get time off for touring (going on a national tour for the whole month of June this summer), recording, and the like. It is usually no questions asked. Obviously this hinders my paycheck at the end of the month, but that is my personal decision and most of the time I make more $$ playing out anyways ;)

    The disadvantages are:
    – The pay is average at best… you REALLY have to hustle to make money but the potential is totally there (we have guys who are in their early 20’s, college drop outs, making $30K+ a year as Assistant Managers. Store Managers make around $50K + benefits). I work in Pro Audio and the key to getting a good commission check is building up your clientele. In other departments (especially Accessories) it’s a little more about clerking as opposed to actually working deals. During an average day I’ll have probably a total of 10 to 15 sales but I’ll spend much more time with each individual customer (which means they will come back to specifically buy from me from now on) as opposed to the, “I can ring you up over here,” method of ‘selling.’
    – It is a sales job. You work on commission, you deal with asshole customers who want you to cut them a deal for no reason, etc. When it really boils down to it you are just another sleazy salesman out to make a buck… but hey, at least you’re selling stuff you actually have somewhat of an interest in.

    The bottom line is that for now this job works out well. I really have no intention whatsoever to make GC my career. It does take a bad rap but I mean, it’s totally understandable… we are the Wal-Mart of music stores who put Mom & Pop out of business on an annual basis. It sucks and I hate it just as much as the other guy… but GC does more good than bad, in my opinion. There are genuinely awesome salesguys/girls who work there and believe in what they are doing. The prices are honestly the lowest you can possibly find and 99% of the time they’ll match as long as it’s from an authorized dealer. Buy from GC if you’re a realistic person living in the real world… if you can manage to avoid huge corporations and feel as if you’re making a difference then more power to you.

  10. I’ve worked for GC for several years now. I started selling guitars at age 19. I quit college to try to make it with my band and got the gig at GC to pay the bills.

    It has been said that commission sales is the Hardest, Highest paying job, or the Easiest, Lowest paying job. This is true at GC as it is anywhere. I know sales guys that make over $100k a year selling pro audio or guitars, I know other sales guys that cant seem to make more than their 6 dollar an hour draw. It all depends on how hard you work, how focused you are, and how much you thrive in a competitive (in a good way, the shark tank days of the past are gone at GC) environment.

    I cannot vouch for anyone who works at GC, but I made the progression from sales, to assistant manager, to store manager within 4 years. I feel like I have a fantastic career ahead of me with a company that is moving in a positive direction.

    Like any other job, it is what you make of it. The potential for a high income and a great work environment is there for the taking… but it is not given away freely, you have to earn it as you do in ANY job.

    If you go into guitar center with a passion for music, gear, and helping people…then you will be successful. If you go in thinking you can play guitars and talk shop all day, you probably wont make much money.

    Commission sales is not for everybody, but no job is. You can do great things and make a positive impact on the musical lives of countless people, all while making great money…if you want it, are driven, and are focused every day.

  11. Hi T. Thanks for your comment. I agree with what you say. Sales- commision jobs are what you make of them. My mother sells plumbing supplies. Sounds lame maybe right? Well she sells them in a nice showroom in Westchester to rich people and she makes over six figures a year. In fact she is the leading sales woman in the North East. She absolutely loves her job. So go figure! As an update my friend who is interviewed above is still enjoying his time at GC.

  12. I worked in a GC store for just over a month. It was my third music store job, and by far, the WORST job I’ve ever had. There was NO sales training, and if you asked a question, you were treated like a complete idiot. I heard the phrase “fired” used about 50 times a day. The inventory was completely a mess. If the system said we had 2 of a certain item in stock, it was about a 50% chance we even had one. After 2 weeks, I knew I had to get the hell out of there.

  13. I’ve worked for GC for 10 months. I agree, it does get a bad rap sometimes and yes inventory can be a issue… that said, if you can tough it through the first 30 days of outsider initiation, the discounts are great and after 3 months you are eligible for GAIN membership which can help you get phenomenal deals (although, with the base pay, you may or may not be able to utilize either). I’ve gotten tons of great advice on production and gear. I’ve also been able to return the favor on several occasions. depending on the crew your working with, GC can be a very rewarding job with good opportunities. It’s definitely not the best paying job I’ve ever had but it has greatly impacted my life in a short period of time. I can’t lie, there are days where I seriously think about grabbing the classifieds but for the most part it has been a job that I don’t dread getting ready and sometimes look forward to in the morning. In my experience, this is something that is very hard to find.

  14. I work at gc right now I have been there for almost an entire year where I have been nothing but lied to. I have been number one in my store for a long time and I still don’t make any real money. I have a family and I left a job that paid well to go to gc which did nothing but blow my life savings and leave me filing for government aide. My store manager has offered me an assistant manager job that I am unable to take until I “Get my Finance together Bro” because they have strict credit standards for management. You can’t take a job if you have bad credit, which in my case has been a bi-product of working for these jerks. I also scoff at the idea of an employee discount that is impossible to use when you make no money. I hate this place and I hope to open another retail chain that makes it’s money making fun of that shit hole. If you are thinking about working there don’t if you just started quit I am probably going to take any position anywhere just to get out.

  15. You can always go work for Sweetwater. 20% gross commision, 13-week intensive training, equipment at COST! New facility with mall, restaurant, free arcade, free virtual golf, free video rentals, free gym, concierge service, huge theater. Yes, you still have to work your tail off, but beets GC.

  16. Guitar Center is a cult. Period. Look up the hallmarks of a ‘cult’ in Webster’s Dictionary, then compare that to your experience as a GC employee – it’s astonishing, really. They invite you in, gushing with praise, and stories of how great GC is; then try to break you down and rebuild you in their image. They have their own ‘jargon;’ and you can’t accept as much as a free t-shirt from a vendor, without having to get a store manager to approve. They refer to themselves as being part of the ‘music industry’, which is disengenuous at best – it’s ‘auto parts’ as opposed to ‘auto racing.’ Beware…

  17. i have worked ofr G.C. for about 6 years and i have seen alot of things. Many things were different before we were sold to Bain capitol almost a year ago i guess. But working for G.C. is whatever you make it. all of the people complaining about not making money at G.C. either dont have the knowledge of the gear to earn the clientel or just dont have the motivation to earn a paycheck from selling instruments to people. Its not the perfect job, its not easy, you dont get paid more than you rightfully earn, you dont get to show up late and leave early and there is a ton expected out of you. But it is whatever you make it. I disagree with G.C. on many many things now like our discount management policy, our warranty policy and a few other things but it is still better than working behind a desk welling insurance or something boring that you dont enjoy. Honestly all i do everyday is open guitars, arrange some boxes, print price tags, and talk about guitars and amps. Its not always easy but its not bad. Yes, working at guitar center is not for everyone but for those that are willing to make it work it can be great. Ive been there for 6 years and i hate it alot of days but on my worst day, i have to open a few guitars or listen to some suit ask why im not selling enough warranties. So what! What do you do for a living

  18. You know, I applied to work at GC, having been a musician my whole life I figured it would be fun. I was told to take the online test. I didn’t pass, strangely enough. I applied for their financing card, and was turned down cuz I guess I didn’t make enough for them. They are a corporate pariah, existing only to make money off musicians, yet they don’t really cater to the regular musician-on-the-street. I’m not giving them my business ever again.

  19. Poster BN says “GC is what you make of it.” That’s a pretty bland statement. If GC is what you make of it, what isn’t what you make of it? Everything is what you make of it. My experience working at GC was that the manager of our store had no problem being an evil person toward the employees. He was a human bag of dirt. After I left this person was promoted to the next level of management. He was award for acting like a Nazi. GC is pure evil. If you can’t see that, you’re blind.

  20. i just started at GC and it seems cool…. im excited to tackle a sales job where i get to hang out near guitars and music all day. Im excited about it!

  21. I’ve been at Guitar Center for 4 months now. I’ve been shopping there since I was 16 and I’m 21 now. I’ve been to some stores, before I worked for them, that I didn’t like very much. The way I look at it there are always gonna be certain places in this country where the sales team isn’t your favorite. But the store in my town is great man. They may be a part of a chain but they’ve helped local business here. We sell keyboards and guitars all day long and suggest teachers we all know personally. We cut deals for schools in the area that need different pieces. I worked in the hotel industry before I worked here and I worked harder for less and got run over as a person. At my store at least, I get treated with respect and am encouraged by my manager. A job is what you make it but I find far more benefits here than other jobs I have worked. And not to mention the management here really goes out on a limb for our customers. Honesty is something I can get behind and there’s plenty of it here, at least at my store. And of course it’s a number’s game as with any other sales job and there are always gonna be inner conflicts and politics but that’s life right?

    Just if someone is interested in another inside view and opinion of the place.

  22. As theghost mentions above, the importance of management standing behind the employee is essential in creating a positive environment within which both the company and the employee stand to benefit.

  23. 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

    1. I would not be surprised to see Guitar Center out of business within 5 years. The inetory of good guitars there is now almost a joke, and the local Gibson dealer here has better prices on Gibsons than GC does. And he includes the setup with the price. Also GC now charges $25.00 for a string change, No kidding! You used to be abl to get some good deals, but not any more.

  24. Since my last post i have left Guitar Center. Guitar CEnter after the Bain buy out is completly different than it was before. Now, they force you to sell extended warranties on items with lifetime warranties and threaten you with termination if dont comply with deceiving people, they send out coupons that come directly out of the salesmans commisions, pay salespeople substantially less than before, and on the first day of the Bain buyout FIRED 84 homeoffice workers that had been there for multiple years. I had many profitable good years with GC, but the entire culture of the company has changed into something I disagree with and wanted no part of. I still have friends that work there and still go in there sometimes. But i will never make a large purchase there and try to stear people clear! Just my 2 cents

  25. BN;

    Try to spread the word about what you described above amongst anybody you know who is inclined to vote for republicans. What happened at GC , with BAIN, is exactly what republicans think is fantastic.

    Best wishes to you.


  26. GC has always been a misogynistic chauvinistic place to work, regardless of who owns it. There management is outdated, lazy and couldn’t manage their way out of a paper bag for the most part. Just stick some pretty dimwit door greeter up front so all the moronic sales people can hangout and chat with her all day – in the guise of getting gum balls and/or smoking. Their logo has a coke spoon for crissake! And really?!?!?! , . . ” . . . . in order to get good sales you have to be able to give good ‘phone’ . . ” . . ?!?!? really?!?!?

    Everyone is high or getting high in their cars. How serious can you take the friggin place anymore? And all the “don’t I sound cool” slang, bro, dude, etc . . . . what ever. The pay sucks so I guess you get what you pay for. Drunks. Druggies and losers.

  27. I’ve never worked at GC, but I do stop in and shop there mostly for strings and cabes, etc. I’ve bought quite a few used guitars from the store where I live. I’ve never really met anyone there I could honestly calla salesman. I worked in sales and sales management for over 10 years and was a trainer for a large insurance company. The staff is nice, patient and polite, and helpful but actual sales ability is not there in anyone I have bought from. I think that a person who knew how to actually sell could do ok there, but let’ be honest, when I sold Property and Casualty insurance a bad week was making $1,200 a week. I you want to work in any sales position then go out and get yourself a bookby Zig Ziger or look up the term “Don’t sell the steak, sell the sizzle.” Sales is really all about fulfilling need and making people feel good about what they buy. Last guitar I bought at GC a newer salesman who I had never seen before said “Oh, chicks love those guitars.” It may have sounded corny, but the truth was if I were 20 and not 50, I would have bought the guitar just after hearing that. GC sales people hit thier emotions, and if the say no, ask ONE question. “What is it about this guitar that you don’t like?” Have them tell you what they are opposed to listen and use thier answer to sell them what they want. Do you realize how many people walk into a car dealer with a limit of 20K and buy something for 25K? Happens all the time. EMOTIONS play a strong part in when we buy!

  28. I worked at GC about 11 years ago. I hated it. They pushed everyone to make those sales goals and kept raising the goals when you made them. GC is the Evil Empire in MI retail. I am certain that you will find some good people here and there, but they mainly like to take advantage of the youth who think that $30,000 a year is a lot of money (see above).

    $50,000 isn’t a lot of money these days. Certainly not worth selling your soul.

    They also own Musician’s friend. I won’t buy from either now.

  29. I went in to a local GC recently as an end consumer to purchase a small Mackie mixer to compliment my personal studio. 3 salesmen later and I had to wire the thing up myself for the demo. I am so sick of kids and salesmen lacking product knowledge at GC nowadays but being so quick to offer other items to bulk up the sale. GC needs intensive product training or at least more people who know what the F they’re selling. I can’t even go to GC nowadays with a technical question and get a 1/2 way intelligent answer. This may be a bit off topic but whenever a GC topic arises, or I need to go to my local GC to pick something up in a pinch… I cringe! Just sayin’.

  30. I just got hired at GC in Glen Burnie, Maryland. The managers seem really laid back but I’m sure that will change. I’ve done sales for big sticker priced sports merchandise with Golf Galaxy. Yet another Big Box chain, that is structured not that different from other Big Box stores.

    But how often do you get to sell what you love. I’m a rock musician, and am off tour for about a year or two. I’ve been busy gigging and took some time off.

    One thing though is that the manager told me about the fade system getting phazed out. Whew.

    He was quick to hold my employee discount from me. I had heard that it’s retro after 30 days.

    But other guys have warned me watch out. They’ll hold it over your head til they figure out how to use it against me.

    All in all. I’m not even on the floor yet.

    I have alot of gear knowledge, keys, keys amp, live sound, guitar, guitar amp.

    When a bass player comes in and starts asking questions about bass amps, I wonder what I’ll do.


  31. I work for Guitar Center. I hope they don’t read this. But Guitar Center Inc. uses alot of ploys to get people to buy things they don’t need. Further, they sell incredibly chessy garbadge accesories that are not going to help musicians improve. In fact, theirs a rumor going around the the CEO of guitar center is a bad guy. That has a grudge against legit musicians who are serious and successful.

    He tries to sell crap items like “Fender Bar Stools.” These are tricks of the trade to sell idiots crap. They are not going to become successful at music. They are going to stay drunks.

    We run into alot of those type of pushed sales. You ask other salesman. They will tell you. They’re forced to sell GC pro coverage warranties when the instrument has a lifetime warranty.

    Yeah. I don’t know of nice people . Guitar center certainly isn’t nice.

    A GC salesman

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