Buying used from guitarcenter.com

Mattyxxl

Member
Does anyone have any input about buying used on guitar centers site? I have found a few acrolites on there in the 100 dollar range, but of course the pictures shown look to be taken with the worlds worst cellphone camera. That is a good deal for a great snare, but also want to get one that doesn't look like it was drug from behind a truck across country. Has anyone had luck good or bad with buying used from GC? If I wanted to return it could I take it back to a store? I know quality acrolites can be had for the 200 range but my drumming budget is on the low end at the moment. I have bought 2 kits and about 13 cymbals this year!
 

zarrdoss

Gold Member
Your taking a gamble, if you have a GC close by have it shipped there so if it sucks you can return right there.
 

B-squared

Silver Member
I just bought an Acro from Music-go-round after looking at one of their website listings. That was dicey enough. Fortunately, I was able to drive to the store. I found one, that they had listed on their website as having "wear", that was mostly just dirty, and one they had priced higher, had crappy 40 wire snares added that sounded awful. There was no telling any of that from the ads. If I had trusted their website, I would have paid more for a drum I would have liked a lot less.

If you are looking at GC, it's an even bigger gamble, IMO. My recommendation would be to take your time and shop around. Acros are as plentiful as they are incredible.
 

NerfLad

Silver Member
The only thing I can say is don't. I think every person here could tell you at least one GC horror-story and all you have to do is stand in your local GC drum department on a busy day to see how much of a cluster it is. Good luck
 

Mattyxxl

Member
Thank you guys, that answers my question. I will not be buying anything from them. I don't shop at GC at all now, I prefer to do the majority of my purchasing from a couple of mom and pop type stores, amd will keep it that way.
 

RockNGrohl

Senior Member
Mom and pop stores are awesome. I used to live in Memphis, TN and the guys at the Memphis Drum Shop were awesome. I was just a kid starting out but they helped me fix my cheap beginner snare drum like it was priceless. And they showed me how not wreck it again the future.. haha.. and later they helped patch up the hardware form my cheap set with parts they took right off a new kit they had in storage for sale! They sold them to me for next to nothing! They were the best. Plus I got my mind blown by autographed photos and cool vintage drums.
 

NerfLad

Silver Member
Mom and pop stores are awesome. I used to live in Memphis, TN and the guys at the Memphis Drum Shop were awesome. I was just a kid starting out but they helped me fix my cheap beginner snare drum like it was priceless. And they showed me how not wreck it again the future.. haha.. and later they helped patch up the hardware form my cheap set with parts they took right off a new kit they had in storage for sale! They sold them to me for next to nothing! They were the best. Plus I got my mind blown by autographed photos and cool vintage drums.
I visited the MDS in August. It may be family owned and operated, but it is head and shoulders above a mom and pop store. Most of the small music stores I've been in a have desparate, skeezy pawn shop vibe. There's one here in Jacksonville and the dude will absolutely take you for a ride if you let him. No returns, everything marked way up, used no-name snares in awful condition that are probably 25 years old priced at $100, Remo heads at double the map price, the list goes on... he was literally selling his 2 year old Catalina Maple kit for more than you get them new... it's real life Craigslist in there.

We are sorely lacking a great drum shop in North Florida.
 

JesusMySavior

Silver Member
I have had mostly good luck with guitar center used online. But some have not been the greatest. This goes for before the sale and after. Usually I will call and speak to the guy and ask him to give me the total down low on the gear. You wouldn't believe the varied responses I get from different stores. Some guys can't find the piece of gear let alone know that it exists in their store; others are extremely helpful right off the bat and tell me every inch of the piece's condition. Some guys are deceptively vague and you know it's a clunker but they're trying to move it. If I can sense that I'll just thank them for their time.

The type of gear varies greatly as well. Shipping can kill a transaction though you can almost always bargain with them. When a guitar pedal that is normally $20 gets a quoted total of $54 with tax and shipping, I walk immediately. Some folks will not argue a word with you about haggling and bluntly tell you that's our price, take it or leave it. Others will check with their manager or offer to step in and throw an offer back your way. It really just depends. It's like a lot of other chains, each store is managed differently. I've seen some stores online that sell gear for ROCK BOTTOM prices...in fact I saw a Yamaha S-80 with no known problems (I called about it when it disappeared) that went up and was gone the next day for $150. That's a $1,200 keyboard. Seriously. I told that store to call me any time they had anything remotely like that for that low!!

Some tell you that shipping to a store is a better method but make sure you check the shipping cost to your home first. That's done by hovering over "USED GEAR" and selecting the type of used gear, then finding the piece you want as opposed to only clicking on USED GEAR. You then add it to the cart and check shipping with your zipcode. One guy told me it was free to send it to another store and the store you send it to eats the shipping. Another store quoted me a shipping charge, and an additional handling charge to pack it and send it there. The second answer seems to be more popular than the first with stores, so make sure you are not getting gouged by checking your shipping cost to home first.

If you are looking at a piece of gear that has been well used such as a drum set or guitar, haggle your hind end off until they budge. Use every dent and scratch to your advantage unless it's priced to move. If they won't budge, walk if it's not something you absolutely must have.

A couple bad experiences include a drum set that was not as advertised (got a 7000 series Yamaha instead of a 9000, you can see my thread on "identify this recording custom" here). I ended up eating it and taking a gift card for my troubles. I had a hard time selling that drum set and GC would only give me $150 for it. Unfortunately that's the way it works. But my GC guys are pretty nice and understanding most of the time. The guitar I bought this weekend was the only piece of used gear I paid full price for in a LONG time. Reason being it was only 10 days old.

Another thing you might ask before you haggle is - how long has the piece been sitting there. Most guys don't know but will check for you. You can use that as leverage if it's been there for more than 30 days.

Either way it's a fun experience but it can be taxing, so pick your battles and make sure the item is described in detail to you :) Happy shopping
 

slowrocker

Silver Member
I've had good luck at guitar center buying used stuff. The only problem I had was with a set the said was a superstar. I went in and they were rock stars with one superstar Tom. I would just say if you can't see and hear them first to call and ask for pictures and a detailed description of the drums.
 
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