Guitar Center Used - My Experience After 12 Purchases

Discussion in 'Bad Dog Cafe' started by Lone_Poor_Boy, Oct 21, 2021.

  1. Lone_Poor_Boy

    Lone_Poor_Boy Tele-Holic

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    This isn't the first time I've mentioned Guitar Center Used but with all the folks posting here looking for gear I thought I would relate my excellent experience I have had with them over the past three years, buying twelve items and keeping ten, from a $156 Bugera tube head to a $2,000 1979 Gretsch.

    I try and stick to the 'excellent' and 'great' rated used gear as it will be easier to quantify if there is an issue. Also because the photos are typically poor and/or not thorough. I did buy a 'Good' item once or twice.

    I've returned two items; one a Fender Ramparte because the tubes were very loose in it and honestly, it was a poorly constructed amp overall. And a Line 6 Amplify, just because it didn't meet my needs once I tried it out. The one issue resolved was that the Gibson ES-135 that I bought in 'Excellent' condition had the pups replaced, and the originals in the case had one or two broken pieces as the person that replaced the pups in this hollowbody obviously forced them out or something. I liked the replacements and wanted to keep it so I called and no questions asked, since I had already emailed a photo, they gave me an ample discount on price.

    The return policy is great at 45 days and the fact you can just drop it off at a Guitar Center if you have one nearby. NOTE: Anything with 'Vintage' as the first word in the title has a THREE day return policy.
    https://www.guitarcenter.com/pages/return-policy

    I've never sold with them, but I might try that next as I do have some gear I want to move that I do not want to ship, such as a 2015 Boogie Mark V in perfect condition. If anyone has any experience with selling, let me know.
    https://www.guitarcenter.com/Trade-In-Trade-Up

    Latest purchase was this Vox Night Train I just received last night and although dusty, I was quite pleased with the packing and labeling.

    vox night train.jpg
     
  2. Bones

    Bones Telefied Ad Free Member

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    I have bought several used things from GC online. Most notably a rare Fender "Two Tone" amp that was "worth" about $1600.00 and they were selling it at $350.00. Had it shipped to the local store, you could hear the broken glass rattling around from the tubes being smashed. It had been packed into and over-sized box with absolutely zero padding, just bouncing around in the box from New Orleans to Long Island.It was DOA even after they threw in new tubes and I refused it. Second was an MIJ Burny Joe Perry with case. It arrived to the local store sans case. Took them about a month and a half to track down the case and have it shipped to me. Great guitar, play it almost daily.

    My advice is that if at all possible, have the used stuff shipped to your local GC and open it there so that there's no question about you getting stuck with an issue.
     
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  3. Lone_Poor_Boy

    Lone_Poor_Boy Tele-Holic

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    Everything has been shipped to my house and no questions asked on the returns. Have it shipped where you want, but my experience I related you can take at face value.
     
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  4. GGardner

    GGardner Friend of Leo's

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    Interesting. A few years back, I sold my 1980 135 watt Twin to GC. My wife hated it and I didn't want a bunch of strangers coming over and cranking it up. So I took it to GC and accepted their offer. But the guy wanted me to sign something that described the amp as "vintage." I said, "It's not vintage." The guy said, "It doesn't mean anything, it's just a marketing word." I said, "Yeah, sorry, I'm just not comfortable signing that." So he talked to his manager and they changed it.
     
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  5. naveed211

    naveed211 Friend of Leo's

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    Yup, I buy GC used whenever I can. You can sometimes find deals, and even if not, their return policy is generous if you get it and it’s not what you were hoping for.

    My advice for selling to them: Don’t unless you have zero other options. And at least try Reverb first. I think you’re lucky to get 30-40% of what it’s worth with GC.
     
  6. schmee

    schmee Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

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    My neighbor bought a Johnny A Epi this year and it was apparently new, although sold as used. Below most used sales value too by 15-20%.
     
  7. Lone_Poor_Boy

    Lone_Poor_Boy Tele-Holic

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    Your own common sense and judgment, and learning not to get rolled over, are always the best consumer tools you have.
     
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  8. gridlock

    gridlock Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

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    I’ve bought a ton of new, used, and vintage gear from GC over the last 10-15 years. With the GC’s return policy and a Nation wide selection, you really can’t go wrong.
     
  9. Lone_Poor_Boy

    Lone_Poor_Boy Tele-Holic

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    Thanks for the feedback.

    Yeah, most of the gear I want to sell is in great shape and I struggle picturing it get noodled with in-store. I'm in no hurry for cash so I'll likely post on Reverb as 'Local Pickup Only' and let it roll for up to a year. And I always post priced-to-move, but the local pickup only overrides that.

    My main hurdle is focusing and putting together the sell page. For multiple items.
     
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  10. P Thought

    P Thought Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    When you're a Takamine nut you shop online, because nobody carries a line deep enough you can find what you're looking for in a store, at least not within driving distance from my house. I've done really well shopping GC's used pages, bought several Taks and a couple really cool amps. It's reassuring to know that I can drive a purchase back to Eugene or Medford, where I have family to visit anyway, and be out only the shipping.

    The vintage thing did surprise me once--that 3-day return window--when a solid-top "lawsuit" F-340SD needed more work than I knew how to do, but now I know. Someday I'll attempt the "hippy reset" I've heard about. Or not.
     
    Last edited: Oct 21, 2021
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  11. Lone_Poor_Boy

    Lone_Poor_Boy Tele-Holic

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    Relatable.

    I was lucky enough to stumble onto the info before getting stuck. Take this feedback with a grain of salt and I recommend calling to confirm 3-day return policy or not if 'Vintage' is in the title.

    UPDATE: So I tested on their site and for 3-day return vintage gear;
    1) 'Vintage' will be the first word in the title
    2) There will be a box above the title with the word 'Vintage' in it

    I searched GC Used for the word 'Vintage' and this is what came up;

    One 'Vintage' piece with two that just have it in the title. 3-day return on the first. 45 day on the other two.

    not vintage.JPG

    And then I filtered by 'Vintage' and this is what came up;

    All with the box above and first word as 'Vintage'.

    vintage gc.JPG

    Solved. Whew, I can sleep tonight.
     

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    Last edited: Oct 21, 2021
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  12. Jon C

    Jon C Tele-Meister

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    how do you handle payment to cover yourself for confirmation of delivery and Payment, etc., to avoid issues after delivery for local pickup? I’ve stuck to CL and cash payment but am interested to hear more.

    Thanks.
     
  13. Lone_Poor_Boy

    Lone_Poor_Boy Tele-Holic

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    I have not done local pickup yet so I can't say. I'll always use Reverb, or a system and never Craig's List, and I am going to have some requirements on ID before anyone is coming to my house or if I'm meeting them in person. If you don't like my rules, move along.

    As for payment, by using Reverb I assume it's the same as if mailing; they pay me before they come to pickup.

    This isn't an easy road to navigate and stuff can go south for many reasons. Use your best judgment and always err on the side of safety, and trust your gut.

    EDIT: I have the luxury of not being in a rush but it is understood the faster you need to move something the more risk you may decide to take on.
     
  14. Dismalhead

    Dismalhead Poster Extraordinaire

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    I recently bought a used Mesa Subway Rocket and it got sent to Roseville, MI instead of Roseville, CA. Had a nice guy at my local store go out of his way over a couple of days to find it and get it to me. Great amp for a great price.
     
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  15. 985plowboy

    985plowboy Poster Extraordinaire

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    I have bought used gear from them.
    I have sold/traded gear to them.
    Do prior research regarding the realistic value of the item in question.
    Leave your feelings at the door.
    It’s just business.
     
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  16. El Serio

    El Serio Tele-Meister

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    I've had them forget to ship a case too. That said the guitar was well packaged and when I called them they got it out to me quickly. I've had issues with an included case on an in-store purchase too though. I had to run around to three stores to get it. Another used order is on the way, fingers crossed.
     
  17. Alex_C

    Alex_C Tele-Holic

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    Never had an issue buying from GC. Recently, I started going to MusicGoRound. They seem to take good care of their gear. Guitars are clean, amps all work, etc. They also will negotiate on items, unlike GC which doesn't allow that anymore.

    https://www.musicgoround.com/home
     
  18. mtglick

    mtglick TDPRI Member

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    I've bought more than a few amps and cabs from GC used. The shipping is SO much cheaper that it makes larger items (like 4x12's) much more affordable than would be available through other sources. Deals can be had, especially on little-known stuff. One of the things I've noticed is that the staff doesn't always match up the item with the appropriate description--on occasion, higher-end items have been miscategorized (and therefore mispriced), like a combo being sold as a head, etc. The opposite happens as well. All of the used listings are created off of an internal price list, all the staff does is pick the appropriate number to list the item, add the serial # to the internal listing, and post a pic.
     
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  19. Jon C

    Jon C Tele-Meister

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    no one ever comes to my house for gear deals, public on- camera spaces only… I’ve done it a long time, just misunderstood and thought you had done Reverb + in person. Reverb payments can be reversed after a pickup (I’ve read of one at least), so cash only in person, please. Thanks. :cool:
     
  20. NoTeleBob

    NoTeleBob Friend of Leo's

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    That's just odd... when you first posted "vintage", I figured you meant what we'd all call vintage and selling for $6000, etc. Something to watch for - thanks for the heads up.

    I've had mixed results with service and stores at GC. Some are outstanding and some of their people are great to work with. Others clearly don't really give a hoot. I suppose that doesn't make them much different than other retail stores but considering the ticket on musical equipment vs., say, a bottle of shampoo at Walmart... they should all be of the outstanding variety.

    Agree with the earlier post: Don't sell them anything. At best you get half what it goes for in the used market. I don't have issues with that... they need to complete with the same market and make a profit... and cover potential returns, overhead, etc. But, you can sell equipment fast in the used market and still get a lot more than GC will pay you.

    OTOH, when you buy used, you can get some good deals. They also make mistakes and if you find one, you can get some amazing deals. I only found one in the wrong direction - they thought a guitar was a much higher model and priced it at twice what it was worth. They agreed. I liked the guitar and was willing to pay what they'd normally mark it, but they showed limited interest in working it out, so they lost the sale.
     
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