Another Beware of Guitar Center Tale

Discussion in 'Bad Dog Cafe' started by deytookerjaabs, Dec 12, 2019.

  1. deytookerjaabs

    deytookerjaabs Friend of Leo's

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    Ooof, I've had some doozies with them over the years but mostly good apples in the bunch. Still, lots of good stories about the bad apples.


    This one stands out. Last night I go to scope a custom shop strat I really was diggin' and I bring in my '97 CS relic strat just to see what they would offer. Otherwise known as "Cunetto era" or whatever. Great guitar but I wanted to A/B'em, slow night.


    So, the fella at the Nashville Guitar Center who is the "Vintage and Platinum" expert begins to critique my guitar. He says, it's not a "real Mary Kaye" "It's just a regular '54 Relic" and then asks multiple times "what else has been changed on this guitar?" I tell him it's just the fret job that I know of. He continues to tell me that since it's just a regular '54 he might be able to sell it for $1900 and offers me $1100 with no room.

    Then he interjects again "I've seen REAL VINTAGE Mary Kayes, same deal, yours has the wrong parts."

    Huh, I say "I really didn't see Cunettos for that cheap around here...?" He says "Those are real Mary Kayes because they have gold pickup magnets and gold truss nuts, yours aren't gold so it's just a regular '54."

    I don't do the deal, confused I am.

    Today I call up a guy who has sold 100+ of these Cunetto guitars and ask him about those details. In his Jersey accent, Moe (owns a guitar story in NJ) tells me everything that I was told was "Either someone who has no clue what they're talking about, or is trying to rip you off, or worse...both."

    He goes on to say they (the Cunettos) were never genuine Mary Kaye reissues, that was just the term for the finish option. He tells me beveled magnets are correct for the '54 Model, no gold magnets, no gold truss cover, verifies the COA says '54 Strat Relic, he asks me some other questions and says "No, your guitar is straight." Then he says ball park sales depending on details, condition, COA, etc is $3,000 to $4,000.

    I then look at all ones listen online and sure enough...no gold truss cover, magnets, etc...

    Ooof, sigh of relief as I traded into the guitar for that value. Two other shop in Nashville have nearly the same guitar for 4K.


    I mean, if I croaked and the missus walked that Strat in she'd have been ripped by at least $1,000 bucks or so, lol, and I was thinking about a trade!!

    So, beware. Don't take anything you hear there at face value. They are so unbelievably unreliable, especially for higher end non-floor model stuff and even more so for Vintage gear.
     
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  2. Frodebro

    Frodebro Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    Expecting expert advice from anyone at GC is about as futile as expecting expert advice from anyone at Home Depot. If you go into it knowing this, you’re much less apt to be disappointed or misled.
     
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  3. deytookerjaabs

    deytookerjaabs Friend of Leo's

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    I worked at shop for years and if I didn't know something...I didn't know. I was at least straight about it. I never pretended to be an expert in an area I had no business lecturing on.


    It's just sad you can't get "there" depending on who you talk to.
     
  4. nojazzhere

    nojazzhere Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    EXCEPT.....Home Depot often hires genuine experts to work in their stores.......the only problem is the plumbing expert works in the lumber dept......the electrical expert works over in the garden shop.....and the paint expert is out in the parking lot bringing in the shopping carts. ;)
     
  5. Danb541

    Danb541 Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    Guitar center..UHG. I've probably been through 100 guitars in my life and have about 20 right now. I have never once bought a brand new guitar. Luckily we have a great guitar shop in my town (Eugene,OR) with excellent vintage guitars and honest people.
    Mckenzie River Music
    https://www.mckenzierivermusic.com/
    check it out
     
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  6. Rockinvet

    Rockinvet Tele-Afflicted

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    Shame that’s a nice GC. Too bad the employee doesn’t match the potential of that store. He’s acting like he’s a big expert and actually hurt his own location. They could of had a nice guitar.
     
  7. MattyK-USA

    MattyK-USA Tele-Afflicted

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    I wonder if this isn't just fundamentally a cautionary tale for any retail establishment, period? I think it may have less to do with nefarious policies on the part of GC, and more about the unfortunate truth about cut-throat merchants regardless of the venue. Caveat Emptor was coined long before there was ever a Guitar Center, and with very good reason.
     
    Last edited: Dec 12, 2019
  8. 68tele

    68tele Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    Agreed. Do your homework BEFORE buying/selling.
     
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  9. Danjabellza

    Danjabellza Friend of Leo's

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    I misread the title as “another beware of guitar center tele” and i was waiting for the part about a telecaster to come up... it never did... then I re-read the title, and it made a lot more sense.
     
  10. beyer160

    beyer160 Friend of Leo's

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    Guitar Center is like any other big box retail- you go there for selection and price. If you want to talk to someone who knows anything, you have to find a specialty shop and expect to pay more.
     
  11. CalebAaron666

    CalebAaron666 Tele-Holic

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    I can’t stand Guitar Center. They are soulless jerks in a big box.
    I don’t blame the employees, everybody’s gotta eat. I just prefer mom & pop musical establishments.

    I have a big problem with any store that makes their employees try and talk you into a charge card the second you make make the mistake of making contact with them.
     
  12. Frodebro

    Frodebro Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    And “Pro Coverage”. They really try to push that, too. The last time a salesman tried to push that too hard on me I told him that if the product was so questionable that I needed to augment the manufacturer’s warranty with theirs, then it wasn’t something I wanted. I unwound the sale right then and there and walked out on him.
     
  13. String Tree

    String Tree Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    I LOVE GC!
    I get more laffs-per-visit than any other Music Store.

    They were hired to sell, sell, sell.
     
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  14. graybeard65

    graybeard65 Tele-Meister

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    It’s been a long time since I’ve had a great experience at GC - and I hardly go into one anymore because of the atmosphere and service.

    I recall years ago when GC opened in Arlington Texas - it was like the Taj Mahal of Guitars - seemed like there were hundreds of gorgeous examples of anything you could imagine. That was mid to late 80’s -

    cut to 18 months ago when I went to one in the Twin Cities, and there were just a few American made fenders and a couple of Les Pauls off to one side, and a wall of entry level stuff that was dusty and banged up.

    I understand that they gotta stock what sells - fair enough - but what was once a wonderland of eye and ear candy is now more like a KMart of scratch-and-dent cheap stuff.
     
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  15. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Telefied Ad Free Member

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    You good sir are a freak of nature.
    No offense intended, we could use more of your kind...
     
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  16. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Telefied Ad Free Member

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    Right, basically if we value money we buy where it's cheap and sell where it's expensive.

    If we value convenience we might choose to do both in the same place at the same time.
     
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  17. beyer160

    beyer160 Friend of Leo's

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    In that span of 30 years though, music performed by musicians has gone from the norm in popular music, to a rarity. It won't be long before they change the name to "DJ Center" to more accurately reflect where the business is going. I would NOT want to be in MI retail these days.
     
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  18. 985plowboy

    985plowboy Poster Extraordinaire

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    It happens.
     
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  19. Flat6Driver

    Flat6Driver Friend of Leo's

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    Aren't there like 9 good vintage stores in Nashville? Why go to GC?
     
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  20. deytookerjaabs

    deytookerjaabs Friend of Leo's

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    That's why it ain't so bad, for me. But we have the resources and foundation to do the homework.

    I've seen people walk in guitars right to their counter top who clearly couldn't begin to research what they have and are at the mercy of the fella/lady making them an offer.

    It's not like they just move new-in-box items, they widely advertise that you should "sell us your gear" as if they're doing fair, at least above pawn shop grade, business. In most instances they are but boy I can't believe how many times I've seen GC employees get it way wrong on my part.





    I did this experiment on two amps: 67' Twin Reverb and '62 Tuxedo Princeton:

    Thanks to this forum, the original dealers and some online resources I knew every detail of what was original/replaced that was corroborated. At Guitar Center they call "Hollywood Vintage Experts" to assess vintage gear.

    Two times I took the Twin to GC and first time they incorrectly said the OT was replaced, second time iron was all original, one offer of $800 one of $1300. The Princeton? Three trips to GC, first offer $700, second $800, third offer $1500 all within a few months time. Each time, a separate conclusion on what was and wasn't replaced. The third time they got it right, lol. Again, no changes at all to either amp in between trips.


    I can think of two pawn shops that I would 100% recommend over GC because the guys behind the counter know their stuff..but when they don't know they won't just make things up!






     
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