Not really anymore. A couple years ago you could haggle with the sales reps and usually talk them down. But now GC has all of their stores structured so that the sales reps have no authority play with the pricing at all. Even if you have something like a 5% off coupon, they have to call a manager over just authorize it. GC is very bureaucratic like that.
So far the only way I've gotten a deal there recently was because a manager gave me a due to the fact that I waited almost an hour to check out. Incidentally, it was their new system that caused the wait. I waited almost an hour due to the sales reps struggling with a buggy computer pricing system and no authority to make necessary decisions to fix the problems.
Always ask to speak with the manager. I bought a nice orchestral snare with a case and a stand from GC. I said I'd like to talk to the manager. I said " I'm prepared to buy this now. Is this the best price you can do? It's been sitting here for three months." Well next thing I know he lowers the price another $30 which was enough to cover the tax. Talk to the manager and if you know how long it's been there remind them of it and that you're prepared to purchase now.
Yeah. Our band went to pick up a good mic and look at gear. We had a 10% off coupon which covered the tax. Our guitarist bought a 900$ amp while we purchased the 100$ + tax mic. They took the 10% off both items plus another 10% of the mic. Im not saying they will haggle for your set you want, i'm just pointing out that there is some chance of lowering the price.
It used to be GC never had set prices, and everything was haggled. Which for to many people made it feel like a used car lot.
So in the last few years they've gone to just setting their prices very low to begin with and leaving it at that. So while it may not feel like you're getting a "deal" there is a could chance the printed price is lower what you might have haggled down when starting from the original list price.
Some items may or may not have additional room. But keep in electronics have much smaller mark ups than acoustic gear, which means there is far less room to adjust the price. .
I can't speak for Guitar Centre specifically as I'm in the wrong part of the world to have ever dealt with them.......but if they are remotely similar to most of the music store retailers in the western world, then yes, you should definitely be able to bargain/haggle/negotiate for a better deal. In fact, I'm of the mindset that it is our duty as consumers, to aim for the best price possible.
Negotiating for a better price works very well here in Oz.......I see no reason why an economy with some 280 million more people, couldn't try to squeeze the retailer for a better deal.
Retailing, as we know it, is hurting bad. Especially music stores. Not sure about what the latest is with GC, but every time I've shopped in a store, I haggle with the manager to give me a break, and I've got a decent one.
The easiest way to haggle at GC is to go in with a price match from the internet. Find the lowest price and they match it. Just bring in a copy of the web page. No hassle, no haggle. Reminds me of that old circuit city commercial where the kid goes in for a refund on his Walkman because he found it cheaper elsewhere. What's a Walkman?
The other thing is that they run sales almost every weekend, so the big joke is that there really is no 'sale.' Those 'sale prices' are always negotiable. They have a price match, so if they lower the price on the weekend, they need to match that price if you had bought it the day before or come the day after. I remember when I bought my drum set and was shopping around for price, they had a floor model at $1,299.00. when I said I wanted a different color, they matched the floor model price on a kit still in the box. I still found it cheaper somewhere else, and got it there for $1,150.00. that was on a $1,599.00 kit. It's amazing the amount of room there really is to work with.
They often have 15% off coupons on a $300+ sale either in the store circular, through the mail if you're on their list, or in mags like Modern Drummer where they had a huge spread a few months back. I would suspect that even without the coupon, that 15% is negotiable.