an interesting read about Guitar Center.....

dmacc_2

Well-known member
......
The parents of these kids see no value in supporting the local business. And it's not like the prices are that much different. Are you really going to eschew the chance to help keep your local shop in business to save a couple bucks?

For me, the value of having a local drum shop is worth supporting. I get competitive prices, plus a whole host of services at no extra charge, because they're a drum shop run by drummers.

So in the long run, if GC's troubles mean mom and pops start resurfacing, then in the grand scheme of things, that would be fine by me.
Add me to this philosophy as well.
 

inneedofgrace

Platinum Member
Let's face it, there are a lot of beginner "musicians" out there, including youngsters who are having instruments bought for them by their parents. In many cases, the kids don't stick with the instrument and move on to some other fad in their life. The enticement of GC is the enormity of the merchandise they have in stock. For lack of a better cliche, it really is like being a kid in a candy store when you go to GC. And when you visit, even drummers are likely to go into other sections of the store to look at and purchase microphones, cables, sheet music, lighting, recorders, etc. The ability to one-stop shop cannot be overlooked.

While professional and experienced musicians appreciate the service they get in a mom-and-pop music store, a father buying his kid a $100 guitar doesn't really need that kind of help from a saleperson. It's shiny red, makes loud noise, it's cheap - time to buy.

Small stores, even if they had the space, would never have the capital to stock what a GC has on their floor and storeroom. It costs a TON of money to keep that much stock.
 

porter

Platinum Member
Unfortunately, my nearest (half hour away) Guitar Center has competent and friendly employees, and the next closest drum shop is an hour away, has an awful selection, and tried to give me $100 for a used Iron Cobra I wanted to trade in. GC also has awful trade-in, but if they were to go out of business I'd either have to order heads online or special order them through our local crappy guitar store that is also a dealer for a bunch of drum companies yet keeps nothing in stock.
 

Aeolian

Platinum Member
Personally, I would like to go to Pro Drum Shop for my drumming needs, but it's the LA traffic that keeps me from going. Their work hours are the same as mine, and I'm not going to spend my Saturday sitting in traffic on a freeway just to get a pair of drum sticks.
Noticed this, and think that this is a big point with independent small shops. If you start up your own small shop it might be nice to have 9-5 hours and be home for dinner, but it's not realistic. There's no reason to be open at 8 or 9 in the morning, but you definitely should be open as people are going to gigs and need to grab something. That builds clientele. And the folks with money to play around getting the shiniest new thing on the block also work for a living, often a bit past 6, so you need to be open when they are available to come in and buy. There were two independent specialty drum shops around here (one an offshoot of the other). The first one shut down recently. Neither were open after dinner unless they were running a special clinic. Meaning the only time you could get there was on Saturday, if they were close enough to work to swing by during lunch (not a time to make big purchases) or if you took time off. Maybe a few kids could get in there after school, but not that many of them buy top line/margin stuff.
 

Midnite Zephyr

Platinum Member
Noticed this, and think that this is a big point with independent small shops. If you start up your own small shop it might be nice to have 9-5 hours and be home for dinner, but it's not realistic. There's no reason to be open at 8 or 9 in the morning, but you definitely should be open as people are going to gigs and need to grab something. That builds clientele.
I hear you. If their hours were, say, 10-6, then going by the drum shop on my way home would be a possibility. It's a little detour, but do-able. Good point though. Even my credit union stays open until 6PM. They used to be open until 7PM. Even extending their hours one day a week would be nice...say Friday?

That was a great little video clip, Andy. Ya, maybe GC can do one next year and showcase all their rich history.
 

DrumEatDrum

Platinum Member
I hear you. If their hours were, say, 10-6, then going by the drum shop on my way home would be a possibility. It's a little detour, but do-able. Good point though. Even my credit union stays open until 6PM. They used to be open until 7PM. Even extending their hours one day a week would be nice...say Friday?
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I agree. Outside of the fact that I would have to drive by several GCs and a Sam Ash to get to ProDrum, their limited hours makes it really difficult.
 

evilg99

Platinum Member
I hear you. If their hours were, say, 10-6, then going by the drum shop on my way home would be a possibility. It's a little detour, but do-able. Good point though. Even my credit union stays open until 6PM. They used to be open until 7PM. Even extending their hours one day a week would be nice...say Friday?

That was a great little video clip, Andy. Ya, maybe GC can do one next year and showcase all their rich history.
That video was fantastic. Going to look for the full length video now - is there one?

The hours of operation. Yes, major gripe there and doesn't really make sense that ANY music store would be open at 8,9,even 10 in the morning. I think a music store should be open till 9 or 10 at night every night and not open till noon. That would put the most musicians in your store...from the professionals going in after work/evening to the working musicians who work late and get up late....or on the way to a gig.
That idea is really simple. Why does nobody get it? My local music stores are dead dead dead from 10-12 in the morning. Always. Every department. From 5-6pm, it's the busiest time and then every day at 6pm, people who are trying to rush there after work are greeted with a "sorry we're closed" sign. It's like they don't want customers.

Neal


Neal
 

rogue_drummer

Gold Member
If GC goes down, maybe we'll see a rise in more mom and pop shops fill the void in certain areas?

I don't like to hear of any business going down, especially since that usually means layoffs and lives directly affected. The GC by me has some good people working there and I've developed a good rapore with a few of them and would hate to see these guys loose their main source of income.

It's sad. But maybe corporate Amercia can learn a lesson or two fom this? Maybe not?
 

brady

Platinum Member
I don't think we're getting political here, just straight talk about finances, leverage, and the reasons so many musicians don't spend money at GC. I really don't wish anything ill towards Guitar Center, but they're reaping what they've sowed. If bringing more dollars into their stores is what's going to save them, then they need to change the way they do business in order to accomplish that.

About 4 or 5 years ago, I was asked by someone in "corporate" to list the reasons that pros don't shop at GC. I made a comprehensive list that dealt with pricing, selection, items in stock, and a special emphasis on hiring competent employees. But not one of my suggestions or observations was ever addressed.

I'm not suggesting that I could have solved GC's problems over the long term, debt and income aren't always mutually exclusive. But I could have made the drum departments more attractive for more drummers, and brought in more business from players at all levels.

Bermuda

Seems like excellent suggestions to me. This is why I probably won't shed a tear if GC goes away. Best Buy either for that matter. The most ironic name in business, ever.

The only thing that will suck about not having a GC near me is the only other music store I could go to for drum stuff is a few hours away...in Kansas City.

We actually do have a drum shop here but it such a joke. They recently moved locations (again) and took on even more of a pawn shop feel in their shop. I've had horrible experiences with them too. So I won't be sad to see them go either.

I used to live in Seattle a few years ago where I could find a couple good drum shops. To this day, I still place the occasional order with Donn Bennett's shop.

Plus, I've nearly always gotten better pricing that GC could have done.
 

bermuda

Drummerworld Pro Drummer - Administrator
Staff member
Seems like excellent suggestions to me. This is why I probably won't shed a tear if GC goes away. Best Buy either for that matter. The most ironic name in business, ever.
Yeah, sorta like Price Club... founded by a guy named Price. :)

Best Buy can fold as far as I'm concerned. There's nothing there for me in terms of audio or video gear, computers, media, cameras, appliances, or accessories. Selection is poor, pricing is poor, otherwise people would be shopping there. Last thing I bought there was a DVD maybe 8 months ago.

I have a bit more of interest in seeing GC pull through and change their ways, because I do occasionally source them for ordinary accessories and used gear when it's not overpriced (like it is 75% of the time.)

That was something else I addressed in my communication with GC about their drum departments - the wild variances in how used gear is acquired and subsequently priced. In case nobody knows, when GC pays for used gear, they then base the selling price on how much they're into it for. Sometimes that results in stuff being underpriced, which is great for the buyer, but the store has missed an opportunity to make a bigger profit. And sometimes they've paid so much up front that the item becomes so overpriced and will never sell, which is even worse for the store.

There are many things GC needs to get sorted out to become a viable choice for musicians again.

Bermuda
 

Aeolian

Platinum Member
That was something else I addressed in my communication with GC about their drum departments - the wild variances in how used gear is acquired and subsequently priced. In case nobody knows, when GC pays for used gear, they then base the selling price on how much they're into it for. Sometimes that results in stuff being underpriced, which is great for the buyer, but the store has missed an opportunity to make a bigger profit. And sometimes they've paid so much up front that the item becomes so overpriced and will never sell, which is even worse for the store.

There are many things GC needs to get sorted out to become a viable choice for musicians again.

Bermuda
I think there was more of this pre-Bain. When the sales people and managers had more flexibility. They might give more to someone on a trade in so that they can keep the sales price of the new item, and therefore the commission, higher. While still giving a favorite repeating customer a good "out the door" deal. This runs up the inventory cost of the used item. They should have paid (and posted) the typical 50% of used BlueBook and taken the hit on the margin of the new item. In independent shops, the manager has the option of lowering the store's margin while still paying a good commission to a sales person who's bringing in the revenue. And in these trade in instances, keeping the used inventory costs down. Or even blowing out a used piece below cost just to get it off the books. In a big corporate environment, everyone's hands are tied by the rules in the 3 ring binder.
 

bermuda

Drummerworld Pro Drummer - Administrator
Staff member
I think there was more of this pre-Bain. When the sales people and managers had more flexibility.... In a big corporate environment, everyone's hands are tied by the rules in the 3 ring binder.
No, they're still making bad purchases, especially on what they think is vintage gear.

Most people at the store level just aren't savvy. I don't know who approves the disbursement on that stuff, but they obviously don't know any more about what's vintage & valuable than the guy behind the counter who got suckered by the original owner.

There was supposed to be some standardization a few years ago to prevent those kind of overpayments for used gear, but it's obviously not been implemented. Seriously, I just saw a Ludwig 4-pc, maybe it was mid-'50s WFL, and not in particularly good shape, for $3600!! It's maybe worth $1200, I might have offered them $750 but it's just a player's kit, definitely not collectable. And either opposite that kit, or maybe in another GC I visited that day, there was a Slingerland Radio King large kick & two toms, and I think a snare, for $1200! definitely underpriced for what it was.

I'd just like to see some consistency and fairness in pricing, so that both the store and customer win. It's just one aspect of how to run a store that needs to be sorted out. there are GCs with thousands of $ tied up in used gear that will never sell at the prices they're asking.

Bermuda
 

boltzmann's brain

Senior Member
when i was a kid, growing up in santa barbara, we had a cool shop called mike's drum academy, and i bought everything from him. he moved a couple of times (one block away each time), and over the years, i purchased several drum sets, tons of cymbals, and consumables from his fine establishment. he always had numerous drumsets and cymbals on display, from entry level, to top of the line, from numerous manufacturers. i assumed that that was the way it would always be. i ended up moving far away, to a musical wasteland, which actually had a well stocked music store. too bad the proprietors are buffoons, truculent and hard to work with. "they don't make that" is a standard reply to my various queries. i tried. "show me a catalog, and i'll show you that that is available". well, whaddaya know it IS available. i ended up spending thousands of dollars with m/f, because their service and willingness to please were a refreshing change from this ma and pa hellhole i had been trying to deal with. fast forward 10 years, and my beloved drum shop in cali has changed hands, bought by my good friend george. i stopped by whenever i was in town, and i noticed his stock dwindling with each visit, finally down to a couple of gretsch kits, and that was it. he said all the major manufacturers had unrealistic minimum orders anymore. interesting. and depressing. so, here you have a well established small shop that can't do business because the drum makers are demanding large minimum orders, further strengthening the internet giant's domination, and now, maybe the giants aren't doing so well. my friend's shop survives now solely as a teaching establishment. i feel a pang of guilt, having contributed to the situation, but the small shop here gave me little choice. i still avoid them like the plague, as do almost all locals up here, which makes me wonder how the heck they stay in business.
 

AxisDrummer

Senior Member
So to sum it up.....

When purchasing at GC in their present state...... it's better NOT to get the 3 yr. Pro Coverage Service Plan?

I kid, of course.
 
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