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  #1  
Old 08-12-2017, 09:37 AM
VicFirthDrummer420 VicFirthDrummer420 is offline
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Default What is wrong with Guitar Center's used drum advertising?

Ok, so I saw a used Premier Cabria kit for $249.99 at Guitar Center, it says "great condition" but the wood hoops do not look like they're in good condition. In fact, it looks kinda damaged if you look closely at the bottom of the picture.


Here's the link:
http://www.guitarcenter.com/Used/Pre...t-113390725.gc
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  #2  
Old 08-12-2017, 11:30 AM
cutaway79 cutaway79 is offline
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Default Re: What is wrong with Guitar Center's used drum advertising?

Keep in mind, these ads are probably written up by Guitar Center employees, whom we all know are a little... um... "slow".
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  #3  
Old 08-12-2017, 01:26 PM
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Default Re: What is wrong with Guitar Center's used drum advertising?

Guitar Center may just accept the description written by the seller. If you read Craigslist Ads you will see the same thing. "Like new" means all of the pieces are there regardless of condition.
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Old 08-12-2017, 04:03 PM
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Default Re: What is wrong with Guitar Center's used drum advertising?

I started a best of GC thread a while back, but it didn't go anywhere. Up to this thread, I thought I was the only one finding great and excellent condition stuff that was anything but. The biggest issue I have with buying from them used is the shipping costs. If the item is anything but as described, good luck getting a shipping refund. I've had three items out of five arrive with rust, crack or scratches and only ever buy anything that says excellent condition. In all three cases, I was told verification before purchase was on me, so no refund on shipping.

I always call the store, before buying anything and have always been told, yeeeeah duuuuude, it's in awwwwsome conditioooon, so the sales staff is of no help. The last item I saw locally that was advertised as Excellent Condition was a Gretsch Renown set. It was 7 miles from me, so I got there at opening and ready to make a move. Both the BD and 12" tom were split on the inside from being dropped. The store manager told me it would sit as advertised, till corporate made a decision on it. Funny thing is, I've been told at other times that used was always the responsibility of the store manager, so I guess the story keeps changing depending on what argument or responsibilities they are trying to avoid!
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Old 08-12-2017, 05:43 PM
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Default Re: What is wrong with Guitar Center's used drum advertising?

As expected, there are no standards regarding condition on used gear, and each department manager is trusted to create accurate, enticing descriptions and photos. I don't think I need to point out the lack of experience of the vast majority of drum department managers, but what's scarier is that drum managers appear to be on the way out. Anyone else in the store will come into drums and handle sales, but there is no longer a lead in that department in most of the stores I've been. The trend/strategy has been confirmed by a number of company reps I know. So the problem with used gear assessment is going to get worse before it gets better.

There are so many things that GC upper management (and majority owner Ayers Group) could learn from the people who keep their business alive: the customers! But they don't ask... they won't ask... and they become less attractive in the marketplace as a result. Nobody is too big to fail.

Actually, several years ago I was asked by a high-ranking corporate employee to list the problems I have with the GC experience in stores, and #1 on the list was the lack of competent and consistent employees behind the counter. #2 was the disparity and inaccuracy in used gear descriptions and prices. There were several more items on the list including the relatively high prices overall, poor selection of commonly-needed items, noise in the departments and lack of concern from the employees, et al. The list was supposedly read in a management meeting, but clearly nothing had ever changed.

I'm not saying I have all the answers that will bring people (and more revenue) back to their stores, but... wait, yes I do! All they need to do is ask. If a company wants to know how to bring people into the stores, they simply have to ask those people what will bring them back into the stores.

It's the basic tenet of commerce: give the people what they want.

Bermuda
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  #6  
Old 08-12-2017, 06:08 PM
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Default Re: What is wrong with Guitar Center's used drum advertising?

I've emailed stores multiple times to inquire about used gear and I never hear back. I've sent emails explaining to them that an item is described incorrectly (new Acrolites and Supras labeled as vintage) and never receive any response.
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Old 08-12-2017, 06:20 PM
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Default Re: What is wrong with Guitar Center's used drum advertising?

Quote:
Originally Posted by bermuda View Post
As expected, there are no standards regarding condition on used gear, and each department manager is trusted to create accurate, enticing descriptions and photos. I don't think I need to point out the lack of experience of the vast majority of drum department managers, but what's scarier is that drum managers appear to be on the way out. Anyone else in the store will come into drums and handle sales, but there is no longer a lead in that department in most of the stores I've been. The trend/strategy has been confirmed by a number of company reps I know. So the problem with used gear assessment is going to get worse before it gets better.

There are so many things that GC upper management (and majority owner Ayers Group) could learn from the people who keep their business alive: the customers! But they don't ask... they won't ask... and they become less attractive in the marketplace as a result. Nobody is too big to fail.

Actually, several years ago I was asked by a high-ranking corporate employee to list the problems I have with the GC experience in stores, and #1 on the list was the lack of competent and consistent employees behind the counter. #2 was the disparity and inaccuracy in used gear descriptions and prices. There were several more items on the list including the relatively high prices overall, poor selection of commonly-needed items, noise in the departments and lack of concern from the employees, et al. The list was supposedly read in a management meeting, but clearly nothing had ever changed.

I'm not saying I have all the answers that will bring people (and more revenue) back to their stores, but... wait, yes I do! All they need to do is ask. If a company wants to know how to bring people into the stores, they simply have to ask those people what will bring them back into the stores.

It's the basic tenet of commerce: give the people what they want.

Bermuda
The problem is that expertise with used gear is not learned overnight, especially with drums/percussion, which means you have to pay more to get someone in the job with a decent level of expertise. How many 40+ year old guys do you know who would work for what GC probably pays for that job?
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  #8  
Old 08-12-2017, 07:02 PM
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Default Re: What is wrong with Guitar Center's used drum advertising?

I have searched some used cymbals on their site and some (same model, same size) that are in pretty bad shape are advertised at higher prices than those that are in pristine condition. That's great for the perfect cymbal, but terrible for the beat up cymbal. They seriously need some guidelines on how to properly list their merchandise.
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  #9  
Old 08-12-2017, 07:16 PM
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Default Re: What is wrong with Guitar Center's used drum advertising?

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Originally Posted by Push pull stroke View Post
The problem is that expertise with used gear is not learned overnight, especially with drums/percussion, which means you have to pay more to get someone in the job with a decent level of expertise. How many 40+ year old guys do you know who would work for what GC probably pays for that job?
Of course, and that's why Sam Ash had one guy that answered the hard questions about used gear, maybe even decided which store it should go to for the maximum profit. GC might have that in Guy at the Hollywood Store, at least he's probably available to answer questions from other stores.

I've often thought about going to GC and offering myself as a manager who knows what drummers want, knows used gear, and knows a lot of pros who might like to deal with me rather than a 'kid' behind the counter. I can't really afford to do that on a full-time basis at the moment, but maybe in a few years when the touring quiets down, I might settle back into a regular job. I'd just like to see things done right. There's not excuse not to. Doing things right doesn't cost money, it makes money.

Bermuda
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  #10  
Old 08-12-2017, 07:20 PM
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Default Re: What is wrong with Guitar Center's used drum advertising?

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Originally Posted by TheElectricCompany View Post
I've emailed stores multiple times to inquire about used gear and I never hear back.
I think I've only bought used online from them once, and I did call the store and talked to someone who knew the snare I was looking at, took sent extra photos as requested, and shipped the drum fast when I agreed to buy it. It was a very good experience for me, although it was in 2009 and the climate for employees has changed a few times since then.

BTW, it was a newish Ludwig 6.5" hammered bronze Supra in very nice shape!

Bermuda
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  #11  
Old 08-12-2017, 07:50 PM
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Default Re: What is wrong with Guitar Center's used drum advertising?

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Originally Posted by mmulcahy1 View Post
I have searched some used cymbals on their site and some (same model, same size) that are in pretty bad shape are advertised at higher prices than those that are in pristine condition. That's great for the perfect cymbal, but terrible for the beat up cymbal. They seriously need some guidelines on how to properly list their merchandise.
Exactly, and it's easy enough to establish some basic, workable policies, and also have a few key managers (and maybe some trusted, independent collectors?) who are willing to answer an occasional special question.

There are a LOT of things that GC could be doing to retain and even grow their customer base, and their revenues. But they don't, which is really baffling to me. They're growing their stores, and then complaining about the lack of business. The answers are obvious to the people who shop (or try to shop) there, but GC management seems blind to it all. They've done nothing to make the shopping experience any better.

The drum departments in 10 or their larger stores - Hollywood being one of them - were turned into Destination drum shops. It was supposed to be a BIG deal, and to offer the drum shop experience, I guess. I can't speak for the other 9 stores (Chicago and Manhattan among them) but the Hollywood store hadn't changed at all. At all. NOT AT ALL. It was identical in every way to the department it had been for years prior to that. I can't remember the last time it was different in any way. I made a special trip a few weeks ago, right after the big grand opening, and I was in & out in 5 minutes, maybe 4. No kidding. And it took that long only because I was really searching for what was different, but nothing was.

They're just doing things wrong, I don't know any other way to put it. And that's sad, because they're big enough to make changes they claim they want, and need. As I said, it's as simple as giving the people what they want. Customers will flock back to the stores, if there's a reason. And pros will spend their money there, if there's a reason. People will buy stuff there, on the spot, instead of going online, if the kid behind the counter was trained to say 'we're competitive with the online price, and you can take it home right now!' Basic sales technique. Bird in the hand.

There are several things they could be doing. It's mind boggling how simple it would be to bounce back. It really makes me sad, because it doesn't have to be happening.

Bermuda
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  #12  
Old 08-12-2017, 08:21 PM
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Default Re: What is wrong with Guitar Center's used drum advertising?

Same experience here.

There's no rhyme or reason to their descriptions, which hardly match up to the actual condition.

Shopping for a used 70s Acrolite, it was obvious the stated conditions for Used Gear Acrolites hardly matched up, easily seen from the 1 [out of focus] online photo, or verified further if I could get a few additional photos texted.

I finally lucked out a few months ago (after 2 years of on-off searching), finding a 9 out of 10 late 70s Acrolite stated to be in very good condition (it was excellent) for an almost steal compared for asking Acrolite prices these days on GC, eBay and Craigslist where I live (not many here ever go for sale).
I snapped it up quickly and was thrilled to get it in that almost immaculate condition, better than advertised.

I've had some decent success with Used Gear cymbals, but it requires a lot of screening since their used gear is so randomly classified.

Ironically (as Bermuda points out), its so obvious no one really cares, bad for GC's business reputation.

Besides online Used Gear sales, its now obvious in the stores there's hardly any employees at my local GC. They've cut back hours and most of the time, there's NO ONE working in the drum department at all. You must visit the front desk to ask for help- and sometimes the employee is not a drummer at all. Bleh!!
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Old 08-12-2017, 08:49 PM
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Default Re: What is wrong with Guitar Center's used drum advertising?

Here's (part of) the problem with used gear at GC.

Normally, in a profit-making scenario (and who doesn't want to make profits?) you buy low, and sell high.

At GC, they buy a piece of used gear, and there's generally a formula for determining the selling price based on what they paid for it. So if they pay very little for something, they sell it for an accordingly low price. If they pay a lot for something, they have to sell it for a higher price. Both of these scenarios can be problematic.

Sure, buy low, sell low... seems like a good deal for the end customer, right? Well, it is, but it's only good for that final customer. The person bringing the gear in gets very little money, and GC in turn makes less than they could if they had priced it more competitively with other used gear. So they both lose out. I bought a pristine Legend used snare at my local GC, for I think $79. I nabbed it immediately, and the guy behind the counter was an acquaintance, so I confided "You know, you could easily charge another $100 for this, maybe more." He replied that he knew that, but they were only into it for a small amount, so they only added a small amount. Again, a good day for me, but I don't have a problem if GC had been more fair with the original seller, and then charged a fair price. I would have paid $179 for that snare, and considered it a deal.

But when they buy high and try to sell high, the items usually don't move. That means they have real money tied up in inventory, and space tied up that could otherwise hold more saleable gear, and that they inevitably have to lower the price to the point where they've made nothing, or even lost money on the deal.

This all happens primarily because the people behind the counter don't know what they're doing. They don't need to be vintage experts, they simply need the authority to make smarter deals when acquiring used gear. And they need someone they can call when they're not sure what to do. Given that the vast majority of workers in the drum departments aren't very experienced in general with gear, I think that GC would be smart to set up a used gear department, just a few people at a time, who exclusively handle such questions from the various stores. It might be a contracted position with local collectors/authorities on drums, they could even work out of their homes. And have several to choose from, so that those people can maintain a regular life. Maybe they devote 1 or 2 days a week to make themselves available. Heck, I would do that!

The solutions are pretty simple. GC just isn't asking, or they're just not listening.

Bermuda
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  #14  
Old 08-12-2017, 09:00 PM
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Default Re: What is wrong with Guitar Center's used drum advertising?

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Originally Posted by bermuda View Post
As expected, there are no standards regarding condition on used gear, and each department manager is trusted to create accurate, enticing descriptions and photos. I don't think I need to point out the lack of experience of the vast majority of drum department managers
^ This. And keep in mind, many of the descriptions are not even entered by the drum department manager.

Not every store has a full time drum manager, or even a full time drum staff. So you get gear entered in by a non-drummer who's just making their best guess.

I had lunch a while back with a high-ranking corporate employee who oversees the drum department on a corporate level. This person is fully aware of the issues, but employees are hired and fired on the store level, and making sure a drum department has enough drum employees or even competent employees is left up to each store manager, not corporate.

And then there is GC's overall unwillingness to pay for employee training.

As a former GC drum department manager from a long time ago, and former employee of many of their competitors, GC doesn't put much stock into it's on the floor staff. Sales staff are hired in droves to see who might stick, and who doesn't is of little consequence. High turn over isn't viewed as a problem worth solving because it would cost the company too much to train and retain anyone competent.
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Old 08-12-2017, 09:16 PM
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Default Re: What is wrong with Guitar Center's used drum advertising?

A local drum shop, what's left of it now told me two years ago GC was going to get out of the drum business altogether. I really wish they would. Either do business the right way, or get out of it. Had they done that two years ago, I would have had at least two more local shops to hit up, but only one limping one remains. I think they will be gone before long, and GC will finally decide to pull the plug, leaving most communities with no drum shops. Hell, GC doesn't even carry my sticks anymore, so I'm having less and less reasons to go in.
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Old 08-12-2017, 10:04 PM
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Default Re: What is wrong with Guitar Center's used drum advertising?

I've found in general, no one at GC knows anything about drums. And only half know half of anything about guitars! New or used.

I've had some second hand experience on their "training" because the guitarist in my band started working at one. Since he started, he is always trying to tell me what is "good" and that me and my tastes are wrong because of what they sell in store. He also "knows" what's best in everything based on his "training".

I've been dealing with guitars and drums long before him, but since he started I've heard things from my (very mid heavy) amp not having enough mids and that Orange amps don't cut, or how I should have bought K custom darks from them when the (much better deal from Sweetwater) AA and AAX cymbals I got fit my sound and the bands style better. Only because Ks sell better in store. And they really only sell A custom and Ks followed by HHX at this store. Other lines are mostly effects or beginner cymbals.

I also had him pick up a snare side head for me. Asked for a 14" hazy ambassador snare side, and he brought me an ambassador x because "hazy meant coated".

I have asked why their kits on display are set up crappy. Its because "we just throw them together for people to try them". But all it does it make the drums more difficult to play and gives the drums rashes. They lock everything to a rack with drums bumping each other and heads tuned beyond jazz ranges, or JUW (just under wrinkle)

Now with GC being the only store around with any half decent drum gear, ive been trying to teach him that it's the players preference that rules, and how things really work to hopefully make a difference. I've also explained that he needs to set aside his brand biases and help the customer. Not just push things they don't want on them. That doesn't make for a happy customer. I can work with ignorance, but I can't fix stupid.

TL:DR idiots training idiots make for an idiotic employee base.
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Old 08-12-2017, 10:06 PM
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Default Re: What is wrong with Guitar Center's used drum advertising?

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Originally Posted by DrumEatDrum View Post
...GC doesn't put much stock into it's on the floor staff. Sales staff are hired in droves to see who might stick, and who doesn't is of little consequence. High turn over isn't viewed as a problem worth solving because it would cost the company too much to train and retain anyone competent.
But, those are the employees responsible for generating revenue. They're the face of the company to everyone who walks in with money to spend. The quality of those employees makes all the difference in how successful a company can be, and it's definitely showing.

Bermuda
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Old 08-12-2017, 10:18 PM
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Default Re: What is wrong with Guitar Center's used drum advertising?

The name of the company doesn't even have drum in it?

Seriously though shopping for drums at a place called guitar center is about as cool as Fender owning Gretsch.
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Old 08-12-2017, 10:21 PM
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Default Re: What is wrong with Guitar Center's used drum advertising?

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Originally Posted by AzHeat View Post
A local drum shop, what's left of it now told me two years ago GC was going to get out of the drum business altogether. I really wish they would. Either do business the right way, or get out of it.
That would be unfortunate for a lot of drummers that rely on them for certain items on short notice, like a fresh snare head for tonight's gig, set of rods, drum key, etc. But GC has done this to themselves. I think that just about every problem with them is fixable and reversible, at least at the store level. Not sure what to say or do about being leveraged too much, that's an all-too-common plight for unrealistic companies, and/or their unrealistic parent company that doesn't understand the musical instrument business. To them, selling drums and guitars is the same as selling paint. Or a pair of jeans or shoes. Or a bag of Lay's potato chips.

Sad and baffling that they don't get it, and don't seem to want to get it. Otherwise, they'd sit some players down and ask some questions. Seriously, a focus group of maybe a dozen players at different levels, at a decent restaurant with dinner provided, would be money well-spent and really beneficial for getting useful information. It could be done for under $500, way less than fee for a smartypants consultant (who doesn't shop at GC anyway.)

It's just maddening how they can continue to screw things up.

Bermuda
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Old 08-12-2017, 10:29 PM
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Default Re: What is wrong with Guitar Center's used drum advertising?

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Originally Posted by SmoothOperator View Post
The name of the company doesn't even have drum in it?

Seriously though shopping for drums at a place called guitar center is about as cool as Fender owning Gretsch.
Putting drums in the name wouldn't change anything. I don't really care about the name anyway, but if someone with an MBA fresh out of college suggested changing it to Music Center... I guarantee it wouldn't change a thing. Then Ayers would be mad about the expense of having to change signage and everything else with the GC name on it.

If GC would be allowed to research outside of their upper management, I guarantee that some real-world, fresh perspectives would do wonders for strengthening their customer base and generating more revenue.

Business problems are common. But GC complains about their problems, and won't do anything (useful) to alleviate them!

Sorry, it's just so maddening to see how they're p*$$ing it all away, and the result will be even fewer places to go in and pick up a head or sticks, or try a new snare.

Bermuda
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Old 08-12-2017, 10:32 PM
VicFirthDrummer420 VicFirthDrummer420 is offline
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Default Re: What is wrong with Guitar Center's used drum advertising?

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Originally Posted by newoldie View Post
Same experience here.

There's no rhyme or reason to their descriptions, which hardly match up to the actual condition.

Shopping for a used 70s Acrolite, it was obvious the stated conditions for Used Gear Acrolites hardly matched up, easily seen from the 1 [out of focus] online photo, or verified further if I could get a few additional photos texted.

I finally lucked out a few months ago (after 2 years of on-off searching), finding a 9 out of 10 late 70s Acrolite stated to be in very good condition (it was excellent) for an almost steal compared for asking Acrolite prices these days on GC, eBay and Craigslist where I live (not many here ever go for sale).
I snapped it up quickly and was thrilled to get it in that almost immaculate condition, better than advertised.

I've had some decent success with Used Gear cymbals, but it requires a lot of screening since their used gear is so randomly classified.

Ironically (as Bermuda points out), its so obvious no one really cares, bad for GC's business reputation.

Besides online Used Gear sales, its now obvious in the stores there's hardly any employees at my local GC. They've cut back hours and most of the time, there's NO ONE working in the drum department at all. You must visit the front desk to ask for help- and sometimes the employee is not a drummer at all. Bleh!!

Haha, one of the employees at my GC doesn't know what cymbal sleeves are.
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Old 08-12-2017, 10:34 PM
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Default Re: What is wrong with Guitar Center's used drum advertising?

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Originally Posted by SmoothOperator View Post
The name of the company doesn't even have drum in it?

Seriously though shopping for drums at a place called guitar center is about as cool as Fender owning Gretsch.
Putting drums in the name wouldn't change anything. I don't really care about the name anyway, and if someone with an MBA fresh out of college suggested changing it to Music Center... I guarantee it wouldn't change a thing. Then Ayers would be mad about the expense of having to change signage and everything else with the GC name on it.

If GC would be allowed to research outside of their upper management, I guarantee that some real-world, fresh perspectives would do wonders for strengthening their customer base and generate more revenue.

Business problems are common. GC complains about their problems, yet won't do anything (useful) to alleviate them!

Sorry, it's just so maddening to see how they're p*$$ing it all away, and the result will be even fewer places to go in and pick up a head or sticks, or try a new snare.

I try to buy stuff there, because they're the closest music store to me. But 90% of the time, I walk out empty handed. I'm very serious, it's pretty rare that I find something I need or want there.

Bermuda
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  #23  
Old 08-12-2017, 10:40 PM
VicFirthDrummer420 VicFirthDrummer420 is offline
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Default Re: What is wrong with Guitar Center's used drum advertising?

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Originally Posted by AzHeat View Post
I started a best of GC thread a while back, but it didn't go anywhere. Up to this thread, I thought I was the only one finding great and excellent condition stuff that was anything but. The biggest issue I have with buying from them used is the shipping costs. If the item is anything but as described, good luck getting a shipping refund. I've had three items out of five arrive with rust, crack or scratches and only ever buy anything that says excellent condition. In all three cases, I was told verification before purchase was on me, so no refund on shipping.

I always call the store, before buying anything and have always been told, yeeeeah duuuuude, it's in awwwwsome conditioooon, so the sales staff is of no help. The last item I saw locally that was advertised as Excellent Condition was a Gretsch Renown set. It was 7 miles from me, so I got there at opening and ready to make a move. Both the BD and 12" tom were split on the inside from being dropped. The store manager told me it would sit as advertised, till corporate made a decision on it. Funny thing is, I've been told at other times that used was always the responsibility of the store manager, so I guess the story keeps changing depending on what argument or responsibilities they are trying to avoid!
That's a shame, a Gretsch Renown is my dream kit. Did the store manager drom the tom and bass drum?
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Old 08-12-2017, 10:46 PM
VicFirthDrummer420 VicFirthDrummer420 is offline
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Default Re: What is wrong with Guitar Center's used drum advertising?

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Originally Posted by AzHeat View Post
A local drum shop, what's left of it now told me two years ago GC was going to get out of the drum business altogether. I really wish they would. Either do business the right way, or get out of it. Had they done that two years ago, I would have had at least two more local shops to hit up, but only one limping one remains. I think they will be gone before long, and GC will finally decide to pull the plug, leaving most communities with no drum shops. Hell, GC doesn't even carry my sticks anymore, so I'm having less and less reasons to go in.
The only music store near where I live is GC, so I have no choice but to go there. We had a used music exchange store, but sadly, it closed down after 20 years. That store was cool, I wasn't into drums in that time. Also, they were the only musicians store with people that know their stuff.
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Old 08-12-2017, 11:24 PM
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Default Re: What is wrong with Guitar Center's used drum advertising?

Last time I was at GC they asked if I found everything I was looking for. I said yes, except a cashier. I buy online from now on.
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Old 08-12-2017, 11:37 PM
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Default Re: What is wrong with Guitar Center's used drum advertising?

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Originally Posted by cutaway79 View Post
Keep in mind, these ads are probably written up by Guitar Center employees, whom we all know are a little... um... "slow".
You happen to be right.
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Old 08-12-2017, 11:49 PM
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Default Re: What is wrong with Guitar Center's used drum advertising?

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Originally Posted by VicFirthDrummer420 View Post
That's a shame, a Gretsch Renown is my dream kit. Did the store manager drom the tom and bass drum?
Who knows, but they were the RN2 model and even more upsetting, it had 2 FTs, which is close to impossible to find. At the time a store in another state had a 3pc in the same color, with 22, 12, 16 configuration, which would have been a good way to replace the broken pieces, but the two stores couldn't work things out. The second set was priced at $1,000, which was outrageous and the broken set at $900. Had I wanted to pay $1,900 for a used Renown, I'd be playing them now. Only problem, I could have gotten them new for $1,600, but why would the store managers listen to me. I'm just an idiot customer who knows nothing!
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Old 08-13-2017, 01:42 AM
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Default Re: What is wrong with Guitar Center's used drum advertising?

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Originally Posted by Steady Freddy View Post
Last time I was at GC they asked if I found everything I was looking for. I said yes, except a cashier. I buy online from now on.
Lol, epic. So true. I had a pretty rough time at the Guitar Center in Lawndale and Lake Forest but I happened upon the Fountain Valley location while buying a cymbal from a craigslist seller and (voila) a wild sales rep appears. The one time I really don't need help with anything because I was just finishing up my build with this last cymbal I bought in the parking lot... Poor guy will probably never help another customer again because of me :(
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Old 08-13-2017, 03:35 AM
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Default Re: What is wrong with Guitar Center's used drum advertising?

Not drum related - but GC related. I play bass too, so browse there often.

Anyone know what's wrong with this picture?

http://www.guitarcenter.com/search?N...t=mustang+bass

Fender has a P/J Mustang bass currently in production, available in 3 colors.

A new one sells for $574.99 It's the red one.

They have one used one listed at $449.99 which is reasonable.

They also have two used listed, one at $599.99 and one at $649.99 - both more than a readily available new one in any color.
I thought about writing to them to let them know what a boneheaded mistake they've made, but it probably wouldn't do any good.

Used, older Mustangs usually go for higher prices, and I'm thinking someone there didn't do their homework when taking it in.
It's not really my problem or my place to deal with it, but seeing stuff like this gets a bit frustrating at times.

EDIT: since this post, the price on the one for $649 was dropped $200 to $449. Maybe someone woke up.

Last edited by wildbill; 08-15-2017 at 09:53 PM.
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Old 08-13-2017, 07:59 PM
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Default Re: What is wrong with Guitar Center's used drum advertising?

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Originally Posted by DrumEatDrum View Post
As a former GC drum department manager from a long time ago, and former employee of many of their competitors, GC doesn't put much stock into it's on the floor staff. Sales staff are hired in droves to see who might stick, and who doesn't is of little consequence. High turn over isn't viewed as a problem worth solving because it would cost the company too much to train and retain anyone competent.
I worked in the drum dept. at the Hollywood GC store for six whole weeks back in 2002. It was nothing short of a nightmare.

It was commission-based at the time, so we were paid $3.35 per hour, and then had to "break the fade" in order to pay back our salary. Anything above that was paid. I've heard that they have since gotten rid of commissions.

There was an insane amount of back-stabbing and trickery among the drum dept. employees. I had a few sales outright stolen from my by others who were more aggressive and manipulative.

But there were others stealing from me, and it was all systematic. The customers were trained to engage in it, and management considered it just a case of how they did business.

One way was that they had trained their customers to haggle. Even when I'd get the price low, there was a GP [pronounced "gip"] that could be crossed via a manager. For example, I had a guy come in wanting to buy this throne that was selling for $170. He said he could get it for $90 at Sam Ash, and produced no ad for proof. The GP was about $115. I tell the guy that the lowest I can go is $115. My manager gets on my cash register, lowers it to $90, and gives it to the guy. I asked him how I was supposed to make money like that, and he had no answer.

The absolute worst were the celebrities who would come in. I will leave out names. One person, who was drumming with an act that was big at the time, complained about the big discount that I gave her, $700 worth of percussion and peripherals for $300. I sweat her attitude for two hours and got paid nothing for it, beyond the $7.00 before taxes.

This was when she would ask to "talk to Ransom Comfort." I think his title was Artist Relations. What happened here was that, every single time, I'd spend a few hours helping out some celebrity drummer, and at the end they ask to talk to Ransom Comfort. Guess what? NO commission when that happens. Ever. The manager would SAY that you'd get it. Words were also cheap.

So I wasn't making any money working there, my feet felt like they were bleeding, everyone who shopped there would complain until you made nothing on a sale, and the parade of celebrity drummers [most of which are people whom I no longer respect] were not only demanding to talk to Ransom Comfort at the end, but most of them were out-right abusive. I was their dog, and they'd always talk down to me. There is nothing harder than being talked down to and treated like crap by someone you used to admire.

The last straw for me came when another big-name drummer came in. He asked for some sticks, so I gave him a pair of what we called the "audition sticks." They're used, and sorta matched. He demanded a NEW pair of sticks. I told him they were $7.50. He says, "Don't you know who I am?"

To that, I replied, "Yes, I know exactly who you are. Make it $8.50."

By that point, I had become disappointed myself and knew that I couldn't stay there. I dragged myself downstairs and forced myself to quit that job that I so desperately needed. It was the job that I thought I'd love, because I would be working with drums and drummers. But the hard reality was that this was the absolute furthest thing from the truth.

Maybe things have changed now. But at that time, no self-respecting human being would have ever worked there.

If there's some damage to a new or used drum kit that I'm buying, I might reference it for a bit of a discount. But I won't haggle, even to this day. I can't even consider it without feeling like dirt.

My only sources for drum gear are GC or online, which is sad because I used to have what I called "MY drum shop." When they went away, I never found a replacement.

So when I go to GC to get something drum-related, it's because I need it. I get the item, pay, and get out as fast as I can. I hold my breath. The stress I get from being in a GC, even 15 years later, is still too overwhelming.
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  #31  
Old 08-13-2017, 08:37 PM
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belairien belairien is offline
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Default Re: What is wrong with Guitar Center's used drum advertising?

DrumWild, that is terrible! It would ruin the experience for me too.

I've tried getting a job at GC on a few occasions. They would be hiring for the drum department, I would go in and apply and show that I knew what the heck I was talking about. Yet every time, a week later I would go in for something and someone that didn't know anything about drums got the spot.

I would ask simple questions like "you have any performance 2s?" And the guy would respond with " I don't know what that is, I only started drumming last month".

Kinda glad I never got the job. I make more now as a quality auditor in a cabinet shop than I would be making trying to sell an almost non-existent inventory of drums to the metal kids that want the "best china for break downs under 200".

I watched them screw over one of those metal kids. Can't remember the exact model name of the kit he was trading in, but it was one of the good older maple PDPs. The more coveted Mexican shells. Gave him maybe 20% of what they would go for if priced on the great deal side of fair market value.
I felt bad for him, but didn't say anything because he was a complete jerk to my fiance and I at the few shows we shared a stage at. The were nice drums in great condition and I could have given him more then GC did, but you don't treat my family like crap.
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  #32  
Old 08-13-2017, 08:48 PM
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Default Re: What is wrong with Guitar Center's used drum advertising?

I thought that I would never want to shop at Guitar Center less than I did before reading this thread.

Boy was I wrong!

Thanks for all of the stories and insight.
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  #33  
Old 08-13-2017, 08:54 PM
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Default Re: What is wrong with Guitar Center's used drum advertising?

While I steer clear of most GC locations, I'll say that one near me seems to be an exception to the rule as far as staff interaction with customers. I chalk it up to the store manager who makes herself visible and can be seen giving staff direction and her willingness to help customers. I've scored a handful of incredible deals...both used and new there. That being said it's not a store I go to find latest equipment...I'll go with something specific in mind.

I was once interested in a used Renown set being sold at a GC across the country and couldn't get anyone via email or phone to answer basic questions about it...such as sizes and condition. One of the guys at the local GC called the store for me and got some info for me.

As far as inventory goes, some stores just aren't located in areas where big ticket or specialty stuff sells. For example, the local GC had a new Ludwig BB they couldn't sell for the life of them. It was constantly being marked down to where I picked it up for $350!
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  #34  
Old 08-13-2017, 09:20 PM
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Default Re: What is wrong with Guitar Center's used drum advertising?

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Originally Posted by Traditional Grip View Post
I thought that I would never want to shop at Guitar Center less than I did before reading this thread.
What's confusing to me is that they're big enough to get it right, and make even more money, yet they can't manage to do either. I don't begrudge a company for growing and making money, but I fault them for screwing things up and then complaining about how bad it's become for them! They're in trouble mostly because of leveraging/debt, but their problems run deeper, at least at the store level where most of the revenue originates. So many things being done poorly, and at the top of the list is the hiring of unqualified and uninterested staff. No motivation and little training from store management or above. It might as well be McDonald's, although at least the employees are trained there! :O


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Old 08-13-2017, 09:25 PM
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Default Re: What is wrong with Guitar Center's used drum advertising?

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Originally Posted by lepigpen View Post
Lol, epic. So true. I had a pretty rough time at the Guitar Center in Lawndale and Lake Forest but I happened upon the Fountain Valley location ...
Funny, I was in the Fountain Valley and Lake Forest stores yesterday! No GC employees in either drum department. Happily, and unfortunately typically, I didn't find anything I needed anyway.

I also live near the Lawndale store, and the few times I've needed to buy something, I get the store manager - an ex-drum guy - to help. That's not his job anymore, certainly he has other stuff to do than ring up a drum part.

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Last edited by bermuda; 08-13-2017 at 09:35 PM.
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Old 08-13-2017, 09:27 PM
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Default Re: What is wrong with Guitar Center's used drum advertising?

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Originally Posted by lepigpen View Post
Lol, epic. So true. I had a pretty rough time at the Guitar Center in Lawndale and Lake Forest but I happened upon the Fountain Valley location while buying a cymbal from a craigslist seller and (voila) a wild sales rep appears. The one time I really don't need help with anything because I was just finishing up my build with this last cymbal I bought in the parking lot... Poor guy will probably never help another customer again because of me :(
The Fountain Valley store SUUUUUUCKS! There's never anyone working in the drum dept, and the stick rack is just a disorganized crapfest.

I remember one time, a few years ago (when they actually had someone working in drums), I was in there getting something, and the kid behind the counter was putting new wires on a snare. But he was running the straps OVER the slots in the hoop instead of THROUGH, so the wires weren't even touching the head. When I mentioned this to him, he said something to the effect of "oh yeah, I know, I just forgot".

On a positive note, I once bought a used Paiste Sound Formula 20" ride at the Brea GC for $79. Great condition except that the logos had been almost completely worn away.
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Old 08-13-2017, 09:31 PM
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Default Re: What is wrong with Guitar Center's used drum advertising?

I went to Guitar Center when I was looking to buy my drums, and the guy there didn't even want to sell me drums. He literally recommended another store and suggested I go there. He didn't even want to talk about any of the drums they had for sale in the store, just said, "you should go to ____ store in (next town over)". I was a little confused but I didn't want to argue with him. I'd be amazed if that store ever sells anything.
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Old 08-13-2017, 09:33 PM
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Default Re: What is wrong with Guitar Center's used drum advertising?

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Originally Posted by cutaway79 View Post
The Fountain Valley store SUUUUUUCKS! There's never anyone working in the drum dept, and the stick rack is just a disorganized crapfest.

I remember one time, a few years ago (when they actually had someone working in drums), I was in there getting something, and the kid behind the counter was putting new wires on a snare. But he was running the straps OVER the slots in the hoop instead of THROUGH, so the wires weren't even touching the head. When I mentioned this to him, he said something to the effect of "oh yeah, I know, I just forgot".

On a positive note, I once bought a used Paiste Sound Formula 20" ride at the Brea GC for $79. Great condition except that the logos had been almost completely worn away.
I did get a great deal on a NEW cymbal because of their poor training. A Paiste T20 Prototype ride for 95 bucks. If I recall correctly, its a proto of a Twenty series ride. It was marked down because it was a prototype. No issues with it and I still have it. Probably the best deal on a b20 cymbal new you could ask for.
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Old 08-13-2017, 09:39 PM
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Default Re: What is wrong with Guitar Center's used drum advertising?

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Originally Posted by Channing View Post
I went to Guitar Center when I was looking to buy my drums, and the guy there didn't even want to sell me drums. He literally recommended another store and suggested I go there. He didn't even want to talk about any of the drums they had for sale in the store, just said, "you should go to ____ store in (next town over)". I was a little confused but I didn't want to argue with him. I'd be amazed if that store ever sells anything.
At least my store lets you set up the drums and go ham to see if you like them, even without a drum guy there. Ive gone in to test a kit and they handed me a drum key and said have fun!

Then again I am a regular there...
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Old 08-13-2017, 09:39 PM
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Default Re: What is wrong with Guitar Center's used drum advertising?

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Originally Posted by cutaway79 View Post
On a positive note, I once bought a used Paiste Sound Formula 20" ride at the Brea GC for $79. Great condition except that the logos had been almost completely worn away.
Great deal!

That's one of the problems with their used gear, the prices are either really good, or really bad. If they'd just price everything more fairly and consistently, they could sell it all more quickly. They really need some guidelines on how to buy and sell used gear.

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