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View Full Version : Guitar Center's employess are bit uninformed (NUD Content)



Captain Simian
11-08-2013, 01:10 PM
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ohmless
11-08-2013, 01:20 PM
beautiful looking gear. I am surprised at his arrogance. Especially considering the reason he is working retail is because he is willing to work a slave wage and not because of his skill(assuming he wasn't the luthier which I doubt since he didn't even recognize it as a ukulele and not a guitar).

vanflynn
11-08-2013, 01:24 PM
Great story! Good to hear the flea finally found a home. I'm sure the lady is happy seeing it is going to someone who will appreciate it after an experience like that.

Hope you two make much good music together.

cigarfan
11-08-2013, 01:27 PM
Right place, right time. Love it when that happens.

Nice lookin' Flea. Congrats!

Bao
11-08-2013, 01:28 PM
That's shocking behavior. He should give the job to me ;)

iamesperambient
11-08-2013, 01:33 PM
Stopped by GC today to just see what they have and get some strings. While I was there a woman was trying to sell them a Flea Tiki King uke. I looked over and told her it was a nice uke. She told me she bought it for her husband years ago because he wanted to learn and in the long run it just sat in their closet for 7 years. Finally one of the kids goes to look at it. She then tells her, "Ma'am, this is obviously a custom made mini guitar. It's going to be impossible to figure out a price for it or if we can even sell it so we're going to pass on it." At this point I piped up and told the kid who made it, how much they go for new, and where to look it up. The kid then says, "Sir, I work here because I probably know more about guitars than you that's why I was hired and not you." Wow. So I just laughed at the kid and said OK whatever you say. The woman was shocked that the kid was so rude.

The woman then asks me if I was interested in it. I said yes but that we should go over to Starbucks to discuss it. I felt it was uncool to negotiate in the store even if the employee was obnoxious. We went over, had coffee, made the deal, and hung out for 1/2 an hour.

As for the Flea, it's got a couple of dings and needs new strings but outside of that it's in good shape. Even came with the Fleabag. One more uke is now off my wish list.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/0903/CaptainSimian/IMG_20541_zpsf2727290.jpg

i love the tiki flea want one too :) i just put tiki stickers on 2 of my ukes last night. anyway that employee is an idiot. "custom made guitar". Its sad all those guitar people seem to think everything is guitar-centric. ah well you made out well and in the end you and the lady you bought it from know the guy as GC was a total idiot.

ohmless
11-08-2013, 01:36 PM
BTW, I didn't mean to insult anyone besides that worker, that just would have been my response to him. sorry if it bothered anyone.

lakesideglenn
11-08-2013, 01:51 PM
Enough mystery...how much???
Great story!
Cheers!

Hikingstevo
11-08-2013, 02:02 PM
A few years ago I took a business trip to Orange County, California. I stopped by a Guitar Center to see if there were any ukes. There weren't. I asked a sales person, who was probably about 40, why that was. He told me nobody cares about ukuleles.

Newportlocal
11-08-2013, 02:32 PM
A few years ago I took a business trip to Orange County, California. I stopped by a Guitar Center to see if there were any ukes. There weren't. I asked a sales person, who was probably about 40, why that was. He told me nobody cares about ukuleles.

They actually have a bunch of ukes there now. I see them when I buy music stands, mic stands,amps,etc.

Skinny Money McGee
11-08-2013, 02:37 PM
The Guitar Center closest to me has many ukes for sale. They even have a sizable Lanikai showroom display. The employees there may not know much about ukes, but they at least know what they are. Very courteous people, and try to be helpful.

Radio Flyer
11-08-2013, 02:53 PM
my guitar center has been pretty helpful and knowledgable. they even have uke classes but i have to admit a limited supply of ukes. maybe someday there will be a Ukulele Center!

iamesperambient
11-08-2013, 02:59 PM
The Guitar Center closest to me has many ukes for sale. They even have a sizable Lanikai showroom display. The employees there may not know much about ukes, but they at least know what they are. Very courteous people, and try to be helpful.

different store but at sam ash i bought the martin soprano i used to have there and they guy kept calling it a 'mandolin' and kept trying to play it like a guitar and finally i got made and was like 'here this is how you play!" and started playing post cards from italy song by beirut and tried to explain the chords and he kept trying to play a G open chord like guitar and im like 'uhhh those strings dont exist play a d chord its a g" and thats about as far as it got. The guitar center by me did have a cordoba tenor and concert and some lanikais which was nice.

gringo
11-08-2013, 03:03 PM
Every time I go into a Guitar Center it's an adventure.

Nickie
11-08-2013, 03:12 PM
I would have fired him if he worked for me....there's no excuse for arrogance or ignorance like this....
Congrats on the uke, you just never know....

Kayak Jim
11-08-2013, 03:17 PM
I would have fired him if he worked for me....there's no excuse for arrogance or ignorance like this....


+1 You would have done the store a favour if you'd reported the exchange to the manager

ohmless
11-08-2013, 03:21 PM
agreed. I have no tolerance for arrogance. even during my medical training. As with music, in medicine there is always a more knowledgeable person. Humility shows wisdom.

peanuts56
11-08-2013, 03:56 PM
There's a new GC in Southington Conn. and one of the dept. managers is primarily an uke player. He plays very well and knows his stuff. Nice to go in to the store and have a conversation with someone who knows and appreciates the uke. They don't have the greatest selection but they are not going to get rich selling ukes and I understand that.

iamesperambient
11-08-2013, 04:02 PM
There's a new GC in Southington Conn. and one of the dept. managers is primarily an uke player. He plays very well and knows his stuff. Nice to go in to the store and have a conversation with someone who knows and appreciates the uke. They don't have the greatest selection but they are not going to get rich selling ukes and I understand that.

Thats pretty cool. Well ukes in the past were more popular than guitar than guitar took over but ukes have been rising as of the last few years. I hope eventually there will be people who were guitarists who convert over to the uke like myself. Its such a kind, light non arrogant instrument I just feel more relaxed playing a uke than a guitar. It does kind of hurt my soul when i see videos of people 'shredding on their ukes butt rock style" I know their totally capable of doing so but i feel like the reason people start playing a uke is to get away from the flashy style of guitars...meh just my 2 cents sorry for changing the subject.

Nickie
11-08-2013, 05:17 PM
I would have, but I wasn't the customer....see the OP....


+1 You would have done the store a favour if you'd reported the exchange to the manager

kohanmike
11-08-2013, 09:22 PM
The two Guitar Centers I frequent are the Hollywood Sunset and WLA Pico stores, both have a selection of ukes, but limited (compared to McCabes and Island Bazaar), a lot of books, not much in the way of accessories or cases/bags. Never really talked the Guitar Center sales people, except to ask if they have tenor size gig bags (none).

I also go to Sam Ash on Sunset across from Guitar Center, actually bought my Lanikai quilted ash there. They also have a selection, and also limited, but do carry more cases/bags.

I've actually bought my other five ukes online (six, if I include the Mahalo soprano I sold within a few weeks). It's gotten to the point where most retail stores I frequent carry less and less variety, with more of their products only online. The way of the future it seems.

BigMamaJ40
11-09-2013, 05:09 AM
"Obviously custom made", even though there is a label inside that you can look up on the Internet? LOL!

Retail is not as simple as it looks. In my company, we have found you can teach employees what to do, but you can't teach them to be pleasant. You have to hire the right personality from the start.

Nice buy! My dream Flea is the surfboard one, with a wooden fretboard.

JedSmith
11-09-2013, 05:19 PM
Congrats to the OP on the new uke. - - I likely would have purposely negotiated the sale right in front of that kid because of his rude behavior - and ignored him while doing so.
His actions were completely unacceptable.

Chris Tarman
11-09-2013, 06:49 PM
I think I'd have whipped out my iPhone and shown him all the "custom mini guitars" that Flea Market Music makes and sells. THEN I would have negotiated the deal in front of him and ignored him while doing so.

iamesperambient
11-09-2013, 07:48 PM
I think I'd have whipped out my iPhone and shown him all the "custom mini guitars" that Flea Market Music makes and sells. THEN I would have negotiated the deal in front of him and ignored him while doing so.

I dont understand how they could not know about a culture that exist as a state in our own country....i really dont see the uke as that 'oddball' of an instrument ive always know what one is...seems very ignorant.

Mission Guitars
11-09-2013, 08:18 PM
Q: What sort of employee do you attract when almost all the compensation is commission?
A: Usually not very good ones.

I have steered clear of GC for 20+ years now, although I thought that Bain Capital was trying to move them in a better direction. Guessing I would be wrong on that, sounds like the same old same old... :(

greyghost
11-10-2013, 03:56 AM
I'm not surprised by this story at all. I was recently in the Manchester CT store (which has at least one full-on uke expert on staff, but he was not in the store this time), looking over the ukes they had, when I spotted one with friction tuners, which I haven't seen there before. As I picked it up to try, an employee came over and said, "I wouldn't bother with that one--its tuners are defective." I gave it a strum and replied, "the G's a little sharp," and started to tune it. He said, "it won't work" and then looked amazed when it sounded fine. He took it out of my hands and asked how I did that, because when he tries those tuners it goes WAY out of tune right away--he then demonstrated, and managed to break a string! I took a few moments to explain why these tuners require a much gentler approach. To his credit, he said, "I'm an idiot" and thanked me for the lesson.

bborzell
11-10-2013, 03:59 AM
The public record suggest strongly that Bain Capital loaded GC with debt, reaped short term profits and brought the company ever closer to the demise that is about its only option now. No evidence that BC did anything to improve business practices and certainly nothing to improve customer service.

Captain America
11-10-2013, 04:32 AM
I guess I have never thought of going to Guitar Center to see the ukuleles. . . they just sell, in my area, the low end Lanikais, which pretty much underwhelm me. . . and I'm hardly a snob! But the thing that's off-putting---and you hear this in guitar forums---IS the under-knowledgeable staff and the Manic Saturdays at the place.

More than once I've been in a GC and have run into sticky candy residue on guitars. Just kind of kills the mood.

PhilUSAFRet
11-10-2013, 06:08 AM
Glad it was you. I'd have damaged his considerably fragile ego even more than it already was.

Hippie Dribble
11-10-2013, 07:45 AM
you made out well...

:stop: Pics or it didn't happen. :love:

OldePhart
11-10-2013, 08:31 AM
Guitar Center's employees are amazingly, stunningly, absolutely unbelievably, uninformed

There...I fixed it for you...

Brian W
11-11-2013, 05:20 PM
There is a Guitar Center located in Raleigh that I frequent from time to time, when I need to purchase strings, picks, or other other music supplies. I have always found the sales staff to be very friendly and helpful. Over the years, I have run into only one person who was somewhat rude and short with me, however I found out from the rest of the staff that he is like that with everyone. It isn't a place that I would go to to talk shop about ukuleles, though, as most the employees there are either guitar players or drummers in local bands; they tend to view the ukulele as a novelty, and not a serious instrument. Plus to be honest, their selection of ukuleles, apart from the occasional Nazareth built Martin, is pretty sad.

hoosierhiver
11-12-2013, 03:58 AM
"a custom made mini-guitar", that cracked me up.

Shazzbot
11-12-2013, 05:36 AM
Asking about ukuleles in guitar center is like looking for a Vespa at the Harley dealership.
Their priorities are elsewhere.

Jake Wildwood
11-12-2013, 06:15 AM
Ah, Guitar Center, the place where knowledge goes to die...

greenie44
11-12-2013, 07:55 AM
I think of Guitar Center like I think of Best Buy, which is also how I think about lower-end ukes. Lower end ukes are made in factories. Nothing says they aren't going to be decent, or even good, but the quality can vary quite a bit. For instance, I have a Lanikai that I absolutely love, both in sound and playing. But I would not necessarily expect that from every Lanikai - or Oscar Schmidt.

I would expect a higher and more consistent level of quality from higher end makers.

In the same way, these chain stores can be good, mainly depending on the individual character of the stores. For instance, the Best Buys in Chicago, where I used to live, had horrible sales staff. But down here in AZ, the folks are pretty knowledgeable.

There is one clear difference, though - you can usually get a better price on a mass produced item at one of the chain stores. So I got my 8 string tenor Oscar Schmidt at Best Buy (!) for $109 - which seemed like a smoking deal and is an pretty good uke. My rule of thumb is that if you are getting a standard item and don't necessarily need any help, go to the chains.

IMHO.

iamesperambient
11-12-2013, 08:12 AM
I think of Guitar Center like I think of Best Buy, which is also how I think about lower-end ukes. Lower end ukes are made in factories. Nothing says they aren't going to be decent, or even good, but the quality can vary quite a bit. For instance, I have a Lanikai that I absolutely love, both in sound and playing. But I would not necessarily expect that from every Lanikai - or Oscar Schmidt.

I would expect a higher and more consistent level of quality from higher end makers.



In the same way, these chain stores can be good, mainly depending on the individual character of the stores. For instance, the Best Buys in Chicago, where I used to live, had horrible sales staff. But down here in AZ, the folks are pretty knowledgeable.





There is one clear difference, though - you can usually get a better price on a mass produced item at one of the chain stores. So I got my 8 string tenor Oscar Schmidt at Best Buy (!) for $109 - which seemed like a smoking deal and is an pretty good uke. My rule of thumb is that if you are getting a standard item and don't necessarily need any help, go to the chains.

IMHO.

believe me if i was rich or even middle class and not one of the american working poor
id own only martin, kamaka and national resonators but I can't afford it. So i think brands
like lanikai who make a decent product that is affordable to the average person is doing
a huge service to the world by providing the poor an instrument they can afford and still
being forth on the world wonderful music. Just my opinion. I think sometimes people go
to these chains because its the only thing in their area. We do have some mom and pop shops
one of them around here only has one uke and it is a no namer. There is another vintage store which
has a lot of old vintage ukes (amazing but once again can't afford it).

Skinny Money McGee
11-12-2013, 08:38 AM
Guitar Center also owns Musician's Friend, Music123, Lyons Music, Woodwind & Brasswind, and Music & Arts.

SailingUke
11-12-2013, 09:40 AM
I understand GC is not a ukulele store after all the name is Guitar Center.
The selection of other instruments is also slim with the exception of drums and keyboards.
There is in my opinion no excuse for a rude employee. I remember my early working days in retail, I learned as much from customers as I taught them.
I once had a young kid spout of to me as to his knowledge. I asked him how old he was, his answer 24. I told him I had ties in my closet older than 24.
I then proceeded to the store manager to complain.

Rick Turner
11-12-2013, 01:50 PM
Guitar Center and its associated retailers are owned by Bain Capital...of whom one of the major owners is Mitt Romney.

They have one hell of a debt load, too. That's how it works in venture capital. Follow the money.

No further comment...

Skinny Money McGee
11-13-2013, 05:18 AM
Yup, Bain bought GC out in 2007 for 2.1 billion, which included a large debt that had already accumulated. Not sure what the current debt load is since it is a private company now, and not privy to that info. Mitt has not been an "owner" of Bain for over 11 years. He relinquished his shares in 2001 and his exit was finalized in 2002. He actually left Bain in 1999 to organize the 2002 Olympics in Salt Lake City, but remained on the board until 01.

Captain America
11-13-2013, 05:28 AM
. . . re: Rick Turner's above note. It is an ongoing interest of mine to see how Wall Street/large pots of investment cash, find themselves ways to nationalize specific kinds of retail.

I was very surprised by the Big Tall mens clothing chain, and surprised by the success (?, never went there) of Men's Wearhouse. How many guys "go shopping"?

gitarzan
11-13-2013, 10:53 AM
A couple years ago I went to the GC on Morse Road in Columbus. I played them all and ended up liking a Ibanez UEW10QMEW, flashy looking, nice sounding and very easy to play uke, it felt like a little guitar. Over built but too much fun to play. The salesman was a nice guy, used to work at an extinct guitar shop in town, and I remembered him, my having bought a Cedar A&L Dread' from him about 10 years ago. I even joined a little Blue Grass session going on. I'm happy all the way around and ready to head home with it. So we rang it up.

I'm walking out the door, and the door goon looked at it, checking receipt, and he said, "I would have bought the Codoba. I have the Cordoba and it sounds so much better because... blah blah blah." My thoughts were what an idiot putting down a sold instrument.

If I had not really wanted it so much, I should have turned around, asked for my money back, and when they asked why, tell them that the guy at the door said it wasn't a very good instrument.

But I took the high road and said, "Sure thing" and left.

Chris Tarman
11-13-2013, 02:26 PM
A couple years ago I went to the GC on Morse Road in Columbus. I played them all and ended up liking a Ibanez UEW10QMEW, flashy looking, nice sounding and very easy to play uke, it felt like a little guitar. Over built but too much fun to play. The salesman was a nice guy, used to work at an extinct guitar shop in town, and I remembered him, my having bought a Cedar A&L Dread' from him about 10 years ago. I even joined a little Blue Grass session going on. I'm happy all the way around and ready to head home with it. So we rang it up.

I'm walking out the door, and the door goon looked at it, checking receipt, and he said, "I would have bought the Codoba. I have the Cordoba and it sounds so much better because... blah blah blah." My thoughts were what an idiot putting down a sold instrument.

If I had not really wanted it so much, I should have turned around, asked for my money back, and when they asked why, tell them that the guy at the door said it wasn't a very good instrument.

But I took the high road and said, "Sure thing" and left.

That was kind of rude, buy, hey... at least he knew what a uke is, which is more than can probably be said for MOST "door goons" at GC!

wayfarer75
11-14-2013, 02:17 AM
A couple years ago I went to the GC on Morse Road in Columbus. I played them all and ended up liking a Ibanez UEW10QMEW, flashy looking, nice sounding and very easy to play uke, it felt like a little guitar. Over built but too much fun to play. The salesman was a nice guy, used to work at an extinct guitar shop in town, and I remembered him, my having bought a Cedar A&L Dread' from him about 10 years ago. I even joined a little Blue Grass session going on. I'm happy all the way around and ready to head home with it. So we rang it up.

I'm walking out the door, and the door goon looked at it, checking receipt, and he said, "I would have bought the Codoba. I have the Cordoba and it sounds so much better because... blah blah blah." My thoughts were what an idiot putting down a sold instrument.

If I had not really wanted it so much, I should have turned around, asked for my money back, and when they asked why, tell them that the guy at the door said it wasn't a very good instrument.

But I took the high road and said, "Sure thing" and left.

I wonder why the guy wasn't working the floor! :rolleyes: I've worked in retail, why would you put down a product someone is buying? It would have been better if the guy suggested the Cordoba in a friendly way, as something for you to try on another visit.

I've been to that Guitar Center recently. They didn't have much by way of ukuleles, Sam Ash down the road had many more. But they obviously don't get touched much at Sam Ash--all but one was out of tune. Still, it was definitely a better selection.