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?