Ordered a used snare from Guitar Center.

fess

Senior Member
I was looking for a titanium snare and found a Black Swamp Percussion one listed for $420 online at GC. Seemed like a good deal. There was just a hazy stock appearing picture with the listing that said it was in 'good condition" , so I called the store. I was told it was fine, some minor scratches and would probably need a new head. So I ordered it. It arrived and it did indeed need a new head. Seriously, it's a major music outlet and this is the head they send out? Charge $15 more and make the customer feel like he's getting a nice drum.

drum.jpg
Anyway, It's metal, but it's black. Can't find a picture anywhere of a black titanium Black Swamp Drum. So I called the company with the serial number. Nope, it's steel. I'll get my money back, but it was a pretty disappointing experience.
 

Push pull stroke

Platinum Member
$420 is kind of a rip for a steel snare, no matter who made it, even brand new. Gah. Does anybody have ANYthing good to say about buying used online from Guitar Center? All I ever hear are stories like this.
 

Acrolitefan77

Junior Member
I must be the exception. I got back into drumming after years of inactivity and vowed to buy all used equipment to keep costs low. I bought a lot of stuff off GC and some nice experiences. I got a DW 3000 snare stand that was listed as excellent that was brand new, still had the stickers and price tag on it. Also got a Ludwig Acrolite for $65.
 

Rattlin' Bones

Gold Member
Youn should have asked them to try a magnet on it. At least that would have ruled out steel.

I would not have worried about the head. It's a used drum and they told you it should probably be replaced.

The bigger issue is they mis-represented it as titanium. Titanium snares ain't too common - so who the heck is idiot at that store that picked "titanium" out of all the possible types metal snares. Really. The usual error is labeling steel when aluminum, or vice versa. But titanium? That is all messed up.

Too often GC doesn't staff the drum department with a drummer. Which leads to these errors. Which also leads to errors the other way: an expensive used kit or snare or vintage collectible being mis-identified and sold for way less than actual value. It goes both ways. You gotta do a lot of homework and research dealing with used drums from GC.
 

bermuda

Drummerworld Pro Drummer - Administrator
Staff member
The problem with used gear at GC is that very often the person at the store buying it doesn't always know what's what. There's no person of authority who checks/verifies used gear on even a regional level, and the stores suffer by not getting what they think they're getting, and not being able to sell it, or selling it for less than they could. Seems like there should be regional vintage/used buyers for drums and guitars in particular, they'd pay for themselves in wise purchases and avoiding bad ones.

The Sherman Oaks CA sto5re had a white marine pearl Ludwig kit that they were calling a '60s vintage kit for $1299. It was in fact an Asian Club Date kit from 7 or 8 years ago, with old keystone badges affixed to the existing vent holes. Club Date emblems removed, and clearly NONE of it should have suggested '60s to a semi-informed buyer: wrong rods, wrong BD claws, wrong hoops, wrong rail mount, wrong spurs, wrong fl tom legs & mounts, wrong BD hoops, and MOST obvious, wrong shells! Criminal. It's unlikely they could get $350 for the kit, although they shouldn't be selling it at all without a major disclaimer.

Bermuda
 

lefty2

Platinum Member
$420 is kind of a rip for a steel snare, no matter who made it, even brand new. Gah. Does anybody have ANYthing good to say about buying used online from Guitar Center? All I ever hear are stories like this.
Oh yes. I bought a 5 piece set of Tama starclassic performers. When they arrived I was pleasantly surprised. They look almost new they were made in 2003 still have the original heads with lots of stick marks. 750 with taxes what I paid. I think they must have been in someone's house the whole time and never got moved around. Also bought a zoom q3hd that I'm very happy with.
 

AzHeat

Platinum Member
I’ve either gotten gems or junk from GC. My current Brooklyns were a GC find. Arrived with stock heads in almost mint condition and absolutely no marks on the drums anywhere. I got a Starphonic Bubinga, Falcon HH stand, bass drum pedal and a Yamaha double pedal, which were all mint as well.
Other items were either broken, missing parts or just plain wrong.
I’ve called them to confirm every time. There’s just no consistency.
 

Mustion

Senior Member
I'm always amazed at the lack of information on their used listings. You're lucky if you get more than one photo and a description other than a one-word summary of the condition of the item. I regularly see drum kits with no sizes listed.
But as pointed out already, the person doing the buying and listing of these items isn't necessarily an expert nor are they going to be at all as familiar with it as the previous owner, so I get it. But is it asking too much to ask to break out the tape measure at least...
 

Mr Farkle

Member
At least there’s no risk with Guitar Center. I would be more inclined to order a used cymbal from them over eBay or Reverb just so I could hear it in store. Do they refund the shipping if you return it? Assuming you have it shipped to your local store.
 

MrInsanePolack

Platinum Member
The problem with used gear at GC is that very often the person at the store buying it doesn't always know what's what. There's no person of authority who checks/verifies used gear on even a regional level, and the stores suffer by not getting what they think they're getting, and not being able to sell it, or selling it for less than they could. Seems like there should be regional vintage/used buyers for drums and guitars in particular, they'd pay for themselves in wise purchases and avoiding bad ones.

The Sherman Oaks CA sto5re had a white marine pearl Ludwig kit that they were calling a '60s vintage kit for $1299. It was in fact an Asian Club Date kit from 7 or 8 years ago, with old keystone badges affixed to the existing vent holes. Club Date emblems removed, and clearly NONE of it should have suggested '60s to a semi-informed buyer: wrong rods, wrong BD claws, wrong hoops, wrong rail mount, wrong spurs, wrong fl tom legs & mounts, wrong BD hoops, and MOST obvious, wrong shells! Criminal. It's unlikely they could get $350 for the kit, although they shouldn't be selling it at all without a major disclaimer.

Bermuda
This makes me wonder how much money they lose on buying used gear that isn't what they think. Like how much did they give for that "vintage" Ludwig kit? I bet more than they get out of it.
 

trickg

Silver Member
The problem with used gear at GC is that very often the person at the store buying it doesn't always know what's what.

Bermuda
That right there explains a lot of what's wrong with Guitar Center these days. The level of employee that is working there this days leaves some to be desired - from what I can see it's typically young kids who are in bands who hire on to take advantage of the employee discount. I can't tell you how many times I've gone in there in the last couple of years and find that I know a good bit more about the products in the store than the kids who work there.

Case in point - I was looking for a specific drum stick, but at the time I had just started using it, and couldn't remember off the top of my head what the designation was - I only remembered that it was a thin stick that was made from maple. I ask the kid behind the counter about it, and he quite confidently proclaimed, "we don't sell maple drum sticks." I said, "ORLY!" and grabbed a set of Vic Firth SD2 Boleros off of the shelf, and pointed out that it was, in fact, made from maple. (I was looking for Vic Firth SD4 Combos in maple.)

I kind of scolded him and told him that if he was going to work in that department, it might behoove him to learn the products in the store.

Getting back to the subject of the thread, sadly, I can't say that I'm surprised by this - it's not the first time I've seen a used product listed on the Guitar Center used gear pages that wasn't what they said it was.
 

danondrums

Well-known member
That right there explains a lot of what's wrong with Guitar Center these days. The level of employee that is working there this days leaves some to be desired - from what I can see it's typically young kids who are in bands who hire on to take advantage of the employee discount. I can't tell you how many times I've gone in there in the last couple of years and find that I know a good bit more about the products in the store than the kids who work there.

Case in point - I was looking for a specific drum stick, but at the time I had just started using it, and couldn't remember off the top of my head what the designation was - I only remembered that it was a thin stick that was made from maple. I ask the kid behind the counter about it, and he quite confidently proclaimed, "we don't sell maple drum sticks." I said, "ORLY!" and grabbed a set of Vic Firth SD2 Boleros off of the shelf, and pointed out that it was, in fact, made from maple. (I was looking for Vic Firth SD4 Combos in maple.)

I kind of scolded him and told him that if he was going to work in that department, it might behoove him to learn the products in the store.

Getting back to the subject of the thread, sadly, I can't say that I'm surprised by this - it's not the first time I've seen a used product listed on the Guitar Center used gear pages that wasn't what they said it was.
Those guys barely make minimum wage. It's unrealistic to think any knowledgeable musicians would decide to work there.
If you know enough to be well versed in all of the products in a guitar center you probably know too much to work in a guitar center.
I think the US consumer expects too much from their retail employees.
 

PorkPieGuy

Platinum Member
If you know enough to be well versed in all of the products in a guitar center you probably know too much to work in a guitar center.
Absolutely. I'm not going to bust a GC employee's chops because he doesn't know the difference between an old Tama Rockstar and Imperialstar. The employee is probably running about 3 departments at a time and is just trying to keep his/her head above water.

I'm perfectly fine with GC sending me a used drum with and old head. I'd rather them do that than charge me for a kind of head I wouldn't use anyways.

I'm thankful for their return policy. My problem is I live 1.5 hours from the closest GC, so I'm just out of luck.
 

EhhSoCheap

Member
I remember a thread where one of our community was nice enough to check on a kit at their local GC for another user. I bet there’s nearly enough of us to cover most GC’s in the US, but I could be wrong.

If anyone sees something in the Memphis/Bartlett GC, I’ll drop by and take better pics for you!
 

trickg

Silver Member
Those guys barely make minimum wage. It's unrealistic to think any knowledgeable musicians would decide to work there.
If you know enough to be well versed in all of the products in a guitar center you probably know too much to work in a guitar center.
I think the US consumer expects too much from their retail employees.
I'm going to disagree with you on that - it doesn't take long to become versed in the products that are on the shelves - at least to be able to know the difference between sizes on drum sticks, various lines of products for a certain manufacturer, and that kind of thing. I'm not even a guitar player, and yet I find myself knowing more than the kids who work there for what's what when it comes to the specifications of guitars. Maybe I'm just a gear head, but I can tell you without a doubt that within 2 weeks of starting to work there, regardless of the department, I'm going to at least know enough to know the basics ins and outs of what's in stock in the store. That's just part of working retail, and well within the expectation.

Also, we have the wonderful world of Google for anything else - how long does it really take to look something up to be able to verify what a product is when it's coming in the door to be traded or sold by a customer?

I never said that I know everything about everything in Guitar Center - I just know more than the average employee there, which is mostly due to the lackadaisical attitude of the current average employee there. It didn't used to be that way.

When I got my first drum kit in 2003, there was a kid who was about 19 or 20 at the time, working at the Guitar Center where I was getting my stuff. I had a budget I needed to stick to, and I needed to get out the door with the best sounding setup I could get that was within the budget I had allotted. I'd done some research on my own prior to going in, so I had an idea of what I was looking at, but this kid took the reins and hooked me up - he knew the products and knew what he was talking about. You'd be hard pressed to find anyone who cares that much in Guitar Center these days - they're still around, but they are fewer and further in between.
 

MrInsanePolack

Platinum Member
I remember a thread where one of our community was nice enough to check on a kit at their local GC for another user. I bet there’s nearly enough of us to cover most GC’s in the US, but I could be wrong.

If anyone sees something in the Memphis/Bartlett GC, I’ll drop by and take better pics for you!
This is a cool idea. I'm near the Fayetteville, AR location.
 

Rattlin' Bones

Gold Member
Good point. I've never had luck with GC either a too-good-to-be-true was sold before I could buy it, or it really was too-good-to-be-true and I returned it. I can buy it on-line from GC store in LA and with their return policy just return it for full refund at store a mile away from me. So yes it is much less risk and much less hassle than Reverb or eBay. Good point.

At least there’s no risk with Guitar Center. I would be more inclined to order a used cymbal from them over eBay or Reverb just so I could hear it in store. Do they refund the shipping if you return it? Assuming you have it shipped to your local store.
 

Destroyer772

Gold Member
Those guys barely make minimum wage. It's unrealistic to think any knowledgeable musicians would decide to work there.
If you know enough to be well versed in all of the products in a guitar center you probably know too much to work in a guitar center.
I think the US consumer expects too much from their retail employees.
I agree, a year ago I took a sales clerk job at a plumbing/ electrical store. They knew I had no experience in the field but I was confident I could where stuff is and whats what. Within two month's they expected me to be a supply house expert, people come in wanting advice on rigging up water lines. If they dont know what they need or even what they got, how am I gonna know. But back to the topic, I got a Mapex Sledgehammer in great shape used for a decent price and a Zildjian A Custom China. But they could do a lot better on the description and pictures of their used gear.
 
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