Working at guitar center??

Discussion in 'General Music Discussion' started by broj15, Nov 5, 2017.

  1. broj15

    broj15 SS.org Regular

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    Sorry if this doesn't go here (not sure if it should go in off topic or not) so mods can move it if they need to.

    So I recently applied for a part time position at guitar center and I was just trying to ask about others experiences working there. I applied for both a sales and an operations associate position and sent them a pdf of my resume a couple days ago. I guess I just wanted to know:

    1. What's the hiring process like? What kind of questions will they ask in the interview, how many interviews are there (phone interview, 2nd interview, etc.)

    2. What was your experience like working for them? Was the company pretty chill?

    3. What was the pay like? I'm assuming minimum wage + commission for sales associates and then minimum wage for operations associates.

    4. What kind of discount did you get on new and used gear? My friend used to work phone support for musicians friend and got 10% above cost on new gear, and sometimes got free gear for bonuses (he got his squier bass VI as a Christmas bonus one year)

    5. Given my previous relevant experience (8 years in sales/retail. 5 as an assistant manager at a record store and 3 as a manager at the same store) how likely would they be to hire me?
     
  2. broj15

    broj15 SS.org Regular

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    Also, I currently work at a local vegan restaurant doing some back of house stuff (food prep, dishes, some grill) and front of house. It pays the bills and I absolutely love the environment, my co-workers, and the owners, plus it pays the bills so the GC job would just be something extra to help fund my gear habit. How willing would GC be to work with my current schedule considering the restaurant gives me 20-25 hours a week?
     
  3. Smoked Porter

    Smoked Porter SS.org Regular

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    I'm sure it depends on your store, but I've read a lot of not so great things about the work environment over the years from GC employees, often because of sales pressures from management. Probably just like working at any other chain- it usually sucks, but YMMV depending on the people at your specific location.
     
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  4. broj15

    broj15 SS.org Regular

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    That's kinda what I was thinking. Idk there's 2 locations that I applied to, as my house is right between both of them. I know they're in the same district, as the employees for one often fill in at the other as needed, and I'm a regular at both and know most of the people that work there just from coming in and shopping around. I'm no stranger to pressure from management as far as sales go as I've been doing retail for a long time now, and I actually enjoy the challenge of trying to sell something to someone so I don't think that would bother me too much.
     
  5. Jake

    Jake GAS Master

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    They're very flexible with scheduling so that shouldn't be a worry at all. I worked part time in operations a few years ago and it was really chill. The hiring manager literally hired me without an interview, not even kidding based on my resume so I can't comment there but I can comment on the discount portion. After 30 days I got everything at cost (which was the main reason I was there lets be honest). I've heard sales isn't great due to quotas but I actually would step in and handle sales from time to time and it was fine due to the fact I didn't have any of the above mentioned quotas :lol:

    Overall wasn't bad for some extra money and gear while I was in college though.
     
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  6. broj15

    broj15 SS.org Regular

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    ^^^ yeah that's mainly why I'm doing it. Just trying to get some extra money and some good gear on the cheap. And it's good to know about the hiring manager and everything. I feel pretty confident in my ability to land a retail job based on my experience, plus I've always felt like I can sell anything I'm knowledgeable about, and the 2 subjects I'm the most knowledgeable about are gear and music lol.
     
  7. broj15

    broj15 SS.org Regular

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    Tbh I can see myself cashing my check and then spending it all in the store :lol:.
     
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  8. Jonathan20022

    Jonathan20022 Engineer

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    I know two guys who managed the coconut creek store, and several classmates from my high school class worked there. It's a standard pay + commission sales job after you make your wage, so it's nothing that's uncommon but try to go for a management position if possible. It's definitely tougher, but the two guys I know who run locations couldn't be happier.

    The sales guys, not so much. Most of the people I know who just worked the floor aren't happy with it or left already.
     
  9. Dredg

    Dredg Insignificant Contributor

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    Fuck Guitar Center. I was OMIT (Operations Manager in Training - basically a fancy title for the Assistant Ops Manager) in my store - worked in the warehouse, helped open, count money, do inventory, etc. The problem is all on the sales floor. Because of the hard commission and faded hours the entire sales team was at each others throats. Just off the top of my head:

    There was a store-wide ban on putting ANY merchandise on GearOne stands because they had a propensity to malfunction and possibly damage instruments being displayed on them. We still sold the stands to customers.

    I've seen AMs (assistant managers) override a layaway so they could buy it for themselves or a friend, then tell the customer to their face that there was a system error. Yes, GC still uses 80's green screen for everything but its just obtuse, not glitchy.

    Return policies were only enforced if the customer didn't complain.

    Not a single sales associate knows where anything in the warehouse is. We had everything ordered by brand and even then it took an Ops guy to dig something out for them. Probably because if you're not on the floor, you're that much closer to being fired.

    Most of the manager overrides came from mismatched serial numbers on receipts and products, and the return process for them was horrendous.

    We had 2-3 church groups that would buy PA systems every Saturday afternoon and promptly return them Monday morning without fail. We know they were churches because they always bought it in the name of their church to avoid having to pay tax. We were instructed to repackage them and treat them as new.

    Speaking of returns, if one of your customers returns a product, you lose that commission.

    Pro coverage is literally worthless. Every product from a reputable manufacturer has a multiple-year warranty, and the crappy ones like Live Wire (a GC brand) have lifetime warranties anyways. You will be forced to sell this. You will be expected to sell this.

    I've overheard veteran associates flat out lie to customers just to get a sale. Had one guy return an amp after his sales guy told him that using a regular guitar cable as a speaker cable "probably won't do anything"


    If you've really got your heart set on guitar center, work in Operations and never go on the floor.
     
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  10. Jonathan20022

    Jonathan20022 Engineer

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    While I'm not pro GC, that sounds like a situation that might happen often but not every single GC is like that.

    I've been to the store in Anaheim, Coconut Creek, Glen Burnie, and a few of the Texas locations and have never had any issue like that. Sounds like shitty management/staff to me, which any store or franchise can fall victim to.
     
  11. chipchappy

    chipchappy SS.org Regular

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    that is a terrible thing to hear. Whoever does that should be fired and kicked in the balls.

    While everything else you describe sounds really shady/shitty - clawbacks in sales jobs aren't uncommon, nor specific to just GC. It does suck, but it happens
     
  12. Jake

    Jake GAS Master

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    The green screen thing is also a major problem as noted above. That shit is just plain awful and I have no idea why they still use it.
     
  13. marcwormjim

    marcwormjim SS.org Regular

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    My two cents are that the problem starts with the notion that working at Guitar Center is a good idea. There is no shortage of information outside this community of aspies to discourage you from shopping there, much less obliging yourself to them. You may as well be applying for a Walmart or Taco Bell position you’re overqualified for.

    I get the impression you just want to say you work(ed) at Guitar Center.
     
  14. Dredg

    Dredg Insignificant Contributor

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    Oh I'm not saying that its exclusive to GC, but when you have people exploiting the 30 day return policy on gear to the tune of tens of thousands of dollars weekly, its no wonder why the sales staff are always grumpy. I've borne witness to several bands walking out with halfstacks and top shelf guitars only to return them after their gig is over.

    If anyone wants to work for GC just for the at-cost gear purchases, its infinitely easier to simply make good friends with an employee, smoke them out, and have them buy the gear for you while you just pay them back in cash.
     
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  15. broj15

    broj15 SS.org Regular

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    Uuuuh your impression couldn't be more wrong (and maybe try not to come off as so condescending when assuming my motives lol). I'm looking for a job that will give me some extra spending money through the holiday season, and will net me a good discount on gear so I can get some nice stuff for myself relatively cheap. Of course I'd much rather work for a mom n pop music store, but if you've ever tried that you know it's damn near impossible to get yr foot in the door cuz people rarely quit those kind of job.

    Tl;Dr: you don't know me so don't act like it :lol:
     
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  16. iamaom

    iamaom SS.org Regular

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    Keep in mind most stores have policies where you must be an employee for X days before any discount kicks in, when I worked at wal-mart it was 90 days and its already November, so your get cheap gear for a month and quit thing probably won't work.
     
  17. Dredg

    Dredg Insignificant Contributor

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    It was a 90 day policy + District Manager and Store Manager approval when I worked there.
     
  18. coreysMonster

    coreysMonster So long, Germany!

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    Work someplace that won't make you want to kill yourself + earn more money there = screw the discount, screw guitar center.
     
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  19. Smoked Porter

    Smoked Porter SS.org Regular

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    This guy gets it.
     
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  20. Eptaceros

    Eptaceros Wayfarer

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    I worked at Guitar Center as a Sales Associate in the Accessories department at the Union Square location in NYC. Aside from the fact that all of my coworkers were great people, working there was pretty bad. I had originally applied to work in the Guitar department, but during my last interview, the store manager had spun me into the Accessories department, basically buttering me up by saying things like, "There's a lot more foot traffic in this department and you seem like the type that can handle a higher volume of sales." There was definitely a lot of foot traffic, but it was mostly a combo of homeless guys, little girls buying Beatles guitar straps, and randos looking to mess around with pedals for hours. The amount of foot traffic would actually be overwhelming at times with lines building up in front of us, but customers never bought in bulk in Accessories.

    I could only work 4 days of the week (the other 3, I was bartering work as a sculptor's apprentice for rent in his studio apt), so my check was abysmally low. The whole commission thing is a joke, because the store takes what you make in commission, until you make enough commission to exceed your hourly wage, then you get the leftovers, like a domestically abused dog. The highest selling associate in my department was a piece of shit human being who would shark sales and take commission on a deal you worked on, all because they claimed to have helped the customer. This person also stood closest to the entrance at all times (even though we were to stand at our registers, which we shifted daily) so that no other associate can get to a customer first. So I was making minimum wage for 32 hrs a week, and working 7 days a week. It was rough, I was barely making enough from paycheck to paycheck.

    The nail in the coffin for me was around the time I had to leave for tour. So GC offers "gig leave" for their employees, essentially granting you the right to keep your job while you're on the road; this perk is activated after your first 6 months of working there. My tour started up 5 months and 25 days after working there. My manager said I had to quit and then reapply after tour. Good riddance.


    Long story short--don't work at GC as a Sales Associate.
     
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