Gibson LP with defects returned to GC store and later listed in the same condition

RMLamey

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I bought a few used amps from GC online and they all exceeded my expectations. Never tried getting a guitar from them online, however. In fact I've only bought one guitar from GC in my entire life: a spontaneous, off-the-rack purchase which turned out to be one of the best Pauls I've ever owned.

That aside... seems like they have a fast and loose grading system for online guitars.
I had the exact opposite experience with amps from GC, bought a Blues Cube Hot. Was assured it was in near new condition, far from it... tears in the tolex wich I could have lived with. The part I couldn't live with is the amp wouldn't power up, at all.

The second amp from them was a Pro Jr, wich at least worked but had to go through entire amp and tighten every screw. Was rattling and buzzing until I did that.

I don't wish I'll on GC, I just wish they would get there shit together, especially online... maybe take a lesson from Sweetwater un that department.
 

InTheEvening

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Yeah, some very poor practices. I've had mostly good experience buying used from them.....maybe 5 guitars over the years.

But I just shipped back a Wolfgang Special Stealth on Monday. Price was pretty fair and when I looked closer at the pics, it was a MIJ model that came with a hard case. Listed as good condition, but no major cosmetic problems.

When I unbox the guitar, there's no case, no Floyd Bar, a chip by the tremolo and a major chip on forearm binding and it's a MIM 2015 model.

This is the first time I've sent a used guitar from them through UPS, but I'm guessing I don't get the $20 shipping/handling returned. I'll see.
They’ve occasionally refunded the $20 shipping if the guitar came no as described or with blemishes not pictured. I’d ask them if they can do that.
 

FingerLakesFan

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Yeah, they are always hit or miss. Last year I brought in two older guitars I never played and didn't want to deal with the hassle of selling online. Got a fair offer of $500 each and I asked if they had any other trade ins I could look at. Guy brought out a Gibson Les Paul Jr. that had just been traded in that he said he would offer for the $1000 they were giving me. He said it was all scratched up and not worth the $1300-$1400 they would sell it for in perfect condition. I jumped at the chance because they didn't look closely enough. It wasn't scratched at all, the person just never took off the plastic and the plastic had aged. It had never been out of the case or played. So, sometimes you win with GC.
 

darkvoice

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That was the Fry's Electronics business model (not Fry's food, different company)
Sell 1000 units that were 50% defective out of the box.
50% of those 50% don't come back because A) They were so cheap and B) Nobody wanted to wait 45 minutes in the return line for $25

Go to the shelf, probably 50% of the stock had a sticker indicating that it had previously been opened by a Fry's customer.

Ya... I stood in the return line and watched employees take returns from customers and immediately place that sticker on the package, then toss them into a bin for re-stocking.
This model works for $25 items, certainly will not work for gear costing thousands of dollars. No one is going to forget to return their Gibson guitar :)
 

SMNT

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I've bought a used bass for my daughter from GC that was listed in Excellent condition, had it shipped to the local GC, and when it arrived there were a couple big gouges out of the back. Talking to the guy there when I picked up I said this shouldn't have been listed as Excellent condition. His reply was basically you're getting a really good deal on it. I knew they had it priced at half the current market rate so made me wonder if maybe they have some pricing model they have to follow and purposely rated the condition high to offset the fact they didn't have the model priced correctly. I've asked how they price used and have never been able to get a straight answer.

On the other end of the spectrum, I bought a bass for myself a few years back from them and they had it listed in good condition and I was totally blown away by how nice it was when I got it especially considering it was a 95. Just some light finish scratches and a little crack in the plastic on one of the pickups. I wouldn't have thought twice if it was listed as Excellent based on how nice it is. On top of that I got it for a steal of a price.
 
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darkvoice

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Here's an example of honest description from another GC store. Buyers know exactly what they are looking at, all defects described in details and good res pictures are uploaded too:

"OK START OUT, THIS HAS HAD A HEADSTOCK REPAIR AND THE WORST PAINT JOB OYU CAN IMAGINE. THERE IS NO SERIAL NUMBER, IT WASN'T WHITE OUT OF THE FACTORY, THE BODY BINDING IS PAINTERS TAPE THAT IS STARTING TO PEEL. IT COMES WITH A CASE BUT BUYER BEWARE THIS GUITAR IS IN TERRIBLE CONDITION. TWO VOLUME KNOBS ARE CRACKED.. This product comes with a case."
 

CB91710

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Ha! This is an all star reply. Yes, they need to hurry up already. What’s taking so long.
No kidding.
Guitar Center sucks so badly that they can't do anything efficiently... even going out of business seems to be too hard for them!
 

Jack Hammer

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I recently bough a pre-owned Gibson LP guitar, which was listed in GREAT condition. Pretty much bought it unseen, as listing had only one low res frontal photo in which no details were visible.

When guitar arrived, I discovered several serious defects, guitar clearly was not in Great condition. In addition to wear scratches and dings there there were areas with finish loss (to bare wood), paint overspray, etc. It was in decent player condition. I took it to a GC store, explained the issues, the person who processed return agreed, even refunded shipping.

Then later I see this guitar listed by the store in the same Great condition with same single bad photo.

I understand that grading used guitars is subjective, but to me this is a recipe for another return. Why details of the defects not added to description? Why not take few more decent photos, so the potential buyers can decide for themselves?

I bet next person will buy the guitar and return in when they see condition.

Don't get get me wrong, most of my purchases from Guitar Center have been successful and if there are issues - their employees are quite accommodating and always resolve to my satisfaction.
My comment is about how they list their gear - there is certainly room for improvement here.

What do you think?
Had the same experience with GC regarding an Epi LP I bought from their website based on their standard one low res pic and a "good" condition rating. I had the guitar delivered to my local GC rather than my house because I don't want any question about whether I inflicted damage after receiving it. When I went to pick it up, it had numerous flaws. I would have rated it "fair" at best. My GC made me eat the shipping. It colors my attitude about shopping there in the future.
 

gibsonofabitch

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i returned what was very obviously a resprayed guitar - they listed it in the same condition and same price. its part of the gamble of gc, thankfully theyve got a good return policy

i wish more gc listings were this honest:
OK START OUT, THIS HAS HAD A HEADSTOCK REPAIR AND THE WORST PAINT JOB OYU CAN IMAGINE. THERE IS NO SERIAL NUMBER, IT WASN'T WHITE OUT OF THE FACTORY, THE BODY BINDING IS PAINTERS TAPE THAT IS STARTING TO PEEL. IT COMES WITH A CASE BUT BUYER BEWARE THIS GUITAR IS IN TERRIBLE CONDITION. TWO VOLUME KNOBS ARE CRACKED.. This product comes with a case.

ps. - i see @darkvoice and i have the same saved searches for GC :)
 

DECEMBER333111

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I bought a used Epiphone Les Paul Studio E1 from Musician's Friend. Goes new for $269 now but was $249 at the time. I got it used for $189, shipped from a GC store. Listed in Excellent condition, it was physically in perfect condition, but the intonation was terrible and I could not get the G string to intonate. So I returned it in-store at GC, got a full refund including shipping.
A week later I went into the store and they had put new strings on the guitar and had it on the wall, for sale, as NEW, for $249! I know it was the same one because all black Epis were on backorder and it wasn't there until I returned it. It also had a slight dark spot on the fretboard that I recognized.
And someone actually bought it for that price, because the NEXT time I went in, it was gone. If I'm buying a new guitar, they better have the box for me and everything that came in the box, or provide a significant demo model discount. So whoever bought it paid the 'new' price and was the 3rd owner!
 

jstarr823

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I don’t waste my time or money with GC anymore. Period. Everything they sell can be found in better condition at a better price elsewhere. For new gear, it’s Sweetwater. For strings and accessories, it’s Amazon or PLS. I haven’t spent a penny there in years. F*ck Guitar Center.
 

Ronaldo

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This post had me wondering.
Think about all those new or used guitars that have passed through many players hands only to be rejected and returned for not being perfect that eventually land on somebody’s front door to be un-boxed, excepted, loved and cherished by its new owner.
You or I may be one of those people.
 

CB91710

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This post had me wondering.
Think about all those new or used guitars that have passed through many players hands only to be rejected and returned for not being perfect that eventually land on somebody’s front door to be un-boxed, excepted, loved and cherished by its new owner.
You or I may be one of those people.
I don't disagree that far, far, far too many guitars are returned for miniscule BS because today's buyers look at everything under a microscope.

But Guitar Center has a very well earned reputation of shipping products via Musician's Friend that has been extremely abused floor models, or returns with serious problems.
Last time I was in a Guitar Center, there was an Ibanez hollowbody on the sales floor, and at first look I thought "Oh, Ibanez is doing relic now?"
No... This guitar was trashed, including a large crack in the top from the F-hole to a volume pot.
You could see this crack from 10ft away.

But there it was, on the hanger on the sales floor with a "new" price tag on it.
It was an Artcore AF55, which has a matte finish to begin with, but this one was beaten to hell and back.
 

whatshisname

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It's the same thing that's done with products that are sold on television(or the internet now)- guaranteed satisfaction and full refund if not satisfied. They bank on the fact that the vast majority of people end up not bothering to return anything, or cancel subscriptions.
 

darkvoice

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Well, the guitar is sold and disappeared from the GC site. Let's see if buyer keeps it or returns.
 

danzego

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Yep, that’s GC for ya. I’ve had quite a few issues with them over the past couple of years and won’t buy from there anymore.
1) a “brand new” pedal that shipped to me with no box and their UPC sticker plastered on it

2) A used Strymon Zuma R300 that had all the screws taken out of it, so the innards were rattling around so much, you could hear it outside the shipping box (the guy I called to check condition said it was in brand new condition and included everything, which it didn’t).

3) a Used Belle Epoch Deluxe with a faulty preamp. If you flipped the inside dipswitch to always on, the pedal would go into instant self oscillation even without the pedal being turned on.

4) a used Friedman Smallbox combo in “great condition” that was clearly dropped, going by the large ding in the cabinet

5) a “new” Friedman Smallbox head that came looking like a garage sale special, with dings all over it and the tolex hanging off in spots (my salesguy had the nerve to try saying “you knew it would be a floor model”, as if that made it excusable)

6) a “new” BE 100 Deluxe that arrived missing the footswitch and cable

7) a brand new PRS S2 Custom 24 with a crack in the neck pocket. I emailed a picture of it to PRS and they said they felt it was a stress fracture, so return it. I told the manager at the local GC and he took the return, but then the guitar was back up on the hook next visit. I pointed that out to a salesguy and he pulled it down saying they would RMA it, but guess what was back up on the hook next visit?

I had a lot of patience with them because I like getting gear bucks by buying with my GC card (and paying it off the same month, which ended up paying for half of my Ox Box), but no more. These past two years were just out of control. They simply don’t give a flying feck. It’s one of the reasons why they’re on their way out.

Btw, every single one of those things were returned by me. I did get them to let me hold on to the Smallbox and BE 100 Deluxe heads until new ones arrived, then did an exchange (that took like 6 months or more). Unfortunately, the assistant sales manager who allowed that has since moved on to work as a sales rep at Strymon. Fair enough- GC didn’t deserve him.
 
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jamhandy

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Welcome to Guitar Center... I really don't understand why people keep buying stuff from these guys... learn your lesson and move on... reporting it to management will do no good... you must vote with your wallet and promise never to do business with these hacks again... hopefully they do go bankrupt soon as has been threatened for years... good riddance I'll say...so many better businesses to work with, why do business with these slugs???
 

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