Guitar Center..we all love to hate them...but .............................

vyacheslav

Senior Member
I know, I know. I don't like them either. However, I'm here to remind everyone that they will sometimes have absolutely AMAZING deals when they put stuff on clearance. These are items that are not advertised on the web, because it varies by store. One location may have any item on clearance at a ridiculous price; another location across town might have the same exact item at regular price. It seems totally random. The key is, when you are in the store, look for the special pinkish/orange "Clearance" tags that replace the normal price tags. They are easy to spot. Check all the stuff behind the counter, check all the cymbals, kits, stick bags etc for the clearance tags. Basically everything. Sometimes, they have just a bunch of random tags lying on the drum counter (that's happened to me a couple of times). Look through them, and then find the product! In the past few years, I have gotten the following clearance deals on brand new items (not store demos that have been beat to death):

16" Paiste Signature Fast Crash for $123
20" K. Zildjian Custom Dry ride for $145
Vic Firth Deluxe Stick Bag (the one with the embroidered logo and is faux leather) for $20
Agazarian Cymbal Stack Pack (12" China and 8" Splash) for $9.99 (Bonus: Both cymbals actually sound awesome by themselves)!
Just yesterday, I picked up a 22" Sabian Big & Ugly AA Apollo Ride that didn't have a mark on it for $149

My all time greatest find was a brand new, still sealed in the box Trick Pro V1 Pedal for $29.97. Yes, more than 90% off the normal price. That was my lucky day!

So, as much as crap as we give them, check out their clearance deals. Look for the special tag (in store only). Sometimes, you will find an absolutely true gem.
 

PorkPieGuy

Platinum Member
I'd love to do this, but the two closest to me are an hour away. There's also two more 1.5 hours away. I'll definitely be stopping buy though whenever I'm close by. Thanks for the tip! :)
 

newoldie

Silver Member
Good tip. My closest GC has been "unmanned" in the drum dept. for some time now, so looking behind the counter should be no issue... :cool:
 

bermuda

Drummerworld Pro Drummer - Administrator
Staff member
Agreed, GC has its moments with some amazing pricing from time to time. But mostly, their everyday prices aren't very attractive at all, which is odd since they command ridiculously low pricing from manufacturers who clamor to be in the largest (brick & mortar) instrument retailer in the states. They very easily could pass along savings and increase traffic and sales, making-up discounted profits with volume, no pun intended. But they choose to not. Same problem with other giants such as Best Buy, Petco, Office Depot, etc. Consumers fall prey to the big chain, box-store concept of lower prices, but the deals just aren't there. Well, except when there's a special of some kind, and those deals can be irresistible. I always keep my eye out for them. :)

Bermuda
 

MrInsanePolack

Platinum Member
Good tip. My closest GC has been "unmanned" in the drum dept. for some time now, so looking behind the counter should be no issue... :cool:
Same here. Heads and sticks are behind the counter. No one had ever stopped me from getting my own. I try to get help first, but if no one can or will I get them myself.
 

dboomer

Senior Member
But mostly, their everyday prices aren't very attractive at all, which is odd since they command ridiculously low pricing from manufacturers who clamor to be in the largest (brick & mortar) instrument retailer in the states.
That’s a common misconception but having been involved with selling them over $40m a year in goods, they almost always get the same price offered to everyone else. They do get some other considerations, but I’m sworn to secrecy.
 

bermuda

Drummerworld Pro Drummer - Administrator
Staff member
That’s a common misconception but having been involved with selling them over $40m a year in goods, they almost always get the same price offered to everyone else. They do get some other considerations, but I’m sworn to secrecy.
Major manufacturers offer different pricing levels based on volume, and GC enjoys better pricing than an independent shop is able to get (on those brands.) However, GC doesn't pass along those savings with everyday prices, and the independents often beat GC's price. So why not visit the local mom & pop? Because in many cities, GC outnumbers the independents, and the better prices are harder to find, or simply more inconvenient and expensive to make the drive (like in L.A. where gas is $4/gal.)

I happen to live about 2.5 miles of a GC. There's a particular accessory that I use, and they charge $23. But there's an independent shop* about 30 miles from me that charges $17. I don't mind the drive, but the gas adds about $10 to the trip, so I give-in and pay more at GC.

Could GC charge less? Of course.

Bermuda

* one of only 3 shops in Southern California, and only Pro Drum is a fully stocked shop.
 

TomR

Junior Member
When the closest GC to me was new, I was offered great deals on gear, especially on cymbals. I bought a rather large used Tempus drum kit over the phone from a GC in Cali for a smokin' deal that included free shipping to my house in another state. Since then I occasionally check used drum and live sound gear online, but the pricing isn't very good.

I haven't seen a great deal in store for at least 6-7 years now. I actually try to avoid visiting the stores because 1) I rarely can get help, and 2) the assistance I do get is of no actual help.
 

TK-421

Senior Member
As of two weeks ago, the GC nearest me was blowing out a brand new Gretsch USA Custom 4-piece kit (10/12/16/22) in satin walnut for... wait for it... $1600 (I believe, or something right around that). I just bought a new kit over the summer, or I would have been ALL over that!
 

slhanks04

Member
And then there are the useless coupons they email out to customers. In the small print it usually says "Products from the following manufacturers do not qualify for this offer:" followed by an alphabetical list of nearly every brand they carry. So the only thing that qualifies is the pink plastic hello kitty tambourine.
 

bonerpizza

Silver Member
The GC that I work at had a pair of brand new Sabian 14" Artisan hats for $220 ($109 each) a few weeks ago, they are normally $600 for the pair new, not sure why they were on clearance but they didn't last long!
 
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