Does GC ship display inventory when ordering New online?

Tim Bridge

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Hey all,

I just (hours ago) pulled the trigger on a new 2018 Standard from GC online. I'm not committing until I spend a few hours with her and plan to take full advantage of the 45 day return policy as needed. But I had an interesting exchange with a Craiglist seller shortly after.

I cancelled a meeting to go and check out his used 2018 standard tomorrow since I'd just made a purchase and he was asking $75 more for a used than a new is. Not much of a difference but there would be no way I would buy his if I went to see it tomorrow -- so I thought it best to cancel the meeting. He was amiable and said no problem. Then he said:

"Just a heads up, for the most part the inventory has been dwindled down. Especially Guitar Center is pulling from store inventory that is hanging on the walls. The stuff sold online gets sourced from the stores when the warehouse is sold out."

I'm curious as to the truth of this statement. Does anyone have any idea?

If it makes a difference, I am in Northern NJ.

Thanks for reading.
 

cherrysunburst00

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I do not know. However, remember a few things:

1)he just lost a $ale, so he probably wants to place doubts on your mind
2)coming from GC, it will have the manufacturer's warranty if you should need it; used, it will not
3)you can return it if it's not "the one"
4)more $$$ for a used one? :rofl:
 

sputnik

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I bought a “new” Les Paul Classic last year from Guitar Center. It was obviously a store display model or maybe a return. Had multiple scratches and a small ding or two. They didn’t give me any trouble returning it though.
 

Tim Bridge

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This is what I was thinking, too -- and you make some great points. I'm not really worried. I know there's risking buying online no matter what and it seemed GC has a pretty good return policy that should be pretty hassle free if it arrives not up to snuff. Thanks for taking the time to respond.
 

cherrysunburst00

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This is what I was thinking, too -- and you make some great points. I'm not really worried. I know there's risking buying online no matter what and it seemed GC has a pretty good return policy that should be pretty hassle free if it arrives not up to snuff. Thanks for taking the time to respond.
It IS hassle free to return gear to GC, including a very expensive (and overpriced) R0 I bought from them
 

crashintou

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Hey all,

I just (hours ago) pulled the trigger on a new 2018 Standard from GC online. I'm not committing until I spend a few hours with her and plan to take full advantage of the 45 day return policy as needed. But I had an interesting exchange with a Craiglist seller shortly after.

I cancelled a meeting to go and check out his used 2018 standard tomorrow since I'd just made a purchase and he was asking $75 more for a used than a new is. Not much of a difference but there would be no way I would buy his if I went to see it tomorrow -- so I thought it best to cancel the meeting. He was amiable and said no problem. Then he said:

"Just a heads up, for the most part the inventory has been dwindled down. Especially Guitar Center is pulling from store inventory that is hanging on the walls. The stuff sold online gets sourced from the stores when the warehouse is sold out."

I'm curious as to the truth of this statement. Does anyone have any idea?

If it makes a difference, I am in Northern NJ.

Thanks for reading.
GC does ship from store inventory hanging on their walls. Sam Ash is now starting to do this as well.
 

dspelman

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You CAN request a new-in-the-box never touched by human (or GC) hands. Have it shipped to your favorite local store and unbox it there, exactly as you would with any used item you'd order online. You should find factory packing inside. I've ordered a pair of Variax guitars this way and both arrived in perfect condition.

Otherwise, GC can ship from store inventory and returns. GC inventory is at an all-time low (their financial condition hasn't been great for years, and some vendors won't ship without payment up front). So you may have to wait for a specific item to be shipped from the manufacturer to their fulfillment center and then to the store, but I think it's worth the wait to get a new one rather than take a chance on whatever they've got lying around.
 

Rob the Photog

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Unless you’re a collector, if it plays great to you I wouldn’t worry about a thing etc
I 100% agree with this IF buying used gear. If you’re buying new, then you’re paying a premium, and you should absolutely get what you pay for- NOT a demo model, etc.

My own personal experience: I was, admittedly, very late to the game buying a 2016 Traditional, and the one I bought from Guitar Center that was supposed to be a brand new guitar (nowhere on the website did it say used, demo, restock, floor model, etc.) was a floor model from San Diego (I live in Michigan). Luckily, they called me to confirm before shipping, so I canceled that order and bought a used one for much less $$. It’s been an amazing instrument, and I’ve never looked back :thumb:

Long story short, yes, GC will sell floor models as new instruments when their inventory is low, and you won’t always know until you see it. It’s kind of like buying a “new” car; even though it already has a few hundred miles on it and other people’s asses have been in the driver’s seat, as far as the dealer’s concerned it’s still “new” because nobody else has officially bought it yet.

OP, good luck with your purchase, I hope it all works out for you!

EDIT: As others have said, GC does have a very customer-friendly return policy. I’ve never had any hassle at all with returns. On several occasions I’ve bought both new and used gear and had it shipped to my nearest store, and I never had any problems returning them on the spot if I decided it wasn’t right for me.
 
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Rocco Crocco

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Of course they ship out display guitars as new once inventory runs out at the warehouse. What else would they do with them? If you get one that isn't in perfect condition, then return it.
 

stringbender11

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Of course they ship out display guitars as new once inventory runs out at the warehouse. What else would they do with them? If you get one that isn't in perfect condition, then return it.
^Exactly. And this is true of many retail & brick and mortar operations - not just GC, nothing wrong with it.

I often think, imagine if some people worried about their playing as much as they worry about getting a guitar with a blemish on it. What amazing guitar players we'd have..
 

Tim Bridge

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Cool. Thanks for all the info, everyone! I mean, if I were to buy from a BM store, I'd _rather_ take the one off the wall because I would know how it feels.

To your latter point, it's a lot of money! Need to make sure you get what you pay for, at least. Coincidentally, just last night I was saying to my wife how happy I was that I've made a decision because the search was seriously cutting into my structured practice time.
 
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wmachine

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Yes, they absolutely positively do ship "new" from store floor models. Personal experience on a number of occasions.
But never ever a problem making a return to store from an online order, no matter what the reason.
My most interesting experience with this, copied from another recent thread:

My "hard to believe" (long) story:
This was with an LP on closeout in 2016. Shipped to me (from another store) one with some minor nicks, but a pot that didn't work. Took it back to the local store, decided to get another one. Returned and they ordered another one to ship to store. Went to store, it came from another store. Was all scratched up, top was bland, didn't even try it. Sent it back, the store manager said they still showed in the warehouse, so he reordered specified from the warehouse. This time shipped to me. When it came, it was once again from another store (across state). As I opened the box, I couldn't believe my eyes. The guitar was loose in the box with no case with only insufficient packing material, no bubble wrap or anything else! There's a headstock break just waiting to happen! I just about didn't take it out of the box, thinking it would be another return, no doubt. But I wanted to see how bad the damage was. Now here is when things really got interesting! I took it out, and to my absolute amazement, there wasn't a scratch or nick on it. And it was beautiful to boot. The top look much better than its "A" grade. Setup was decent, but only needing tweaking. Played great, super resonant unplugged. Plugged in, it sang. Wow.
Took it back to the store as I was still w/o a case. Manager went to bat for me again, checked with the store that sent it, they said they had the case and sent it to my store. Manager also ordered another one "just in case", but at this point I was quite reluctant to give up the one I had. I returned when the case and new one showed up. Amazingly, the case *was* for that particular guitar and was complete with matching inspection report and inspection pic.
I took a quick look at the new one, and it looked fine, but I knew what I had, and that was that.
GC online was not willing to give me anything for my trouble, but the Store Manager gave me $170 in store product (on sale no less).
What I went through was no where near as important as what I ended up with.
Worth every bit of the trouble, as it turned out.




You CAN request a new-in-the-box never touched by human (or GC) hands. Have it shipped to your favorite local store and unbox it there, exactly as you would with any used item you'd order online. You should find factory packing inside. I've ordered a pair of Variax guitars this way and both arrived in perfect condition.
You can try, but that is no guarantee to get one. Again, happened to me. GC over-rode the store managers specific request for a new one, and yes there was still warehouse stock.

Overall note: this situation occurs most frequently on closeouts, limited stock, etc. Of course that is where the best deals are, and that's why I've had the experiences I've had.
 

Tim Bridge

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That's a great story. Thanks for sharing. Glad it had a happy ending and gives me confidence that, even if it takes some time and effort, by the end of this, I'll have a quality LP.
 

Rob the Photog

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What I went through was no where near as important as what I ended up with.
Worth every bit of the trouble, as it turned out.
This is exactly how I feel about my experience. Even though I ended up buying a used one, it’s in really excellent condition (seems like it was barely played; incidentally, the case candy included the wrong warranty card and bench photo for a 2017 model, so my guess is the previous owner traded in my ‘16 Trad after only a year). According to the code under my bridge pickup, I actually got a LPTD+ for the price of a used Traditional :thumb: Other than GC’s practice (sure, they’re not the only big box store that does it) of selling floor models as brand new “came from the warehouse” items by shipping them to an unsuspecting customer at a different store, I’m completely happy with my outcome.
 

irocdave12

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Yes the stories of guitars shipped from GC are legendary. Guitars with other guitars cases and paperwork mixed up. Damage etc. Things aren't great with GC currently as has been said already but I think if Gibson is going to be sucessful turning their problems around then they need GC to survive as I imagine that even with GC on their knees financially still probably sell the most guitars for Gibson.
 

wmachine

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That's a great story. Thanks for sharing. Glad it had a happy ending and gives me confidence that, even if it takes some time and effort, by the end of this, I'll have a quality LP.
And I should have added that as much as it is to go through anything like this, at no time do you stand to lose any money, you're risking nothing. Not that your time and efforts are not worth anything, but you don't have to pay to play. You can walk away at any time with your money in your pocket. They don't make a dime until you are happy.
 

jstarr823

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Yes. If it's no longer available at MF, but shows as in-stock at GC, you can bet that you'll get a floor model. Happened to me twice. It did however result in a healthy additional discount.
 

Tim Bridge

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How'd you go about getting a healthy discount id you received a floor model?
 


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