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Slylock Fox
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« on: December 02, 2012, 08:24:58 PM »

I finally walked out after 6 long years of faithful service after being denied the raise I deserved.  Still made minimum wage until my final hour.

If any employees of the company wish to know why such a valuable investment left, you're more than welcome to ask me here.  I won't belittle you or attack you, but I'll sure as **** tell you like it is and why your company is headed down the drain. 

To anyone thinking of working there, you're more than welcome to ask questions too.

If your a customer, PLEASE ask me anything.  I'll be more than happy to tell you why that "deal" you got isn't really a deal.  After all, with 6 years my main goal was taking care of you, the consumer, and I'll still try to do that after my demise of working for GC.
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SalesAss
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« Reply #1 on: December 14, 2012, 12:30:11 AM »

Welcome to our board.   Enjoy a nice relief from retail.    I went from retail,  to working at a horse barn...  shoveling poo was actually a better paying effort.   Seriously.   I then got into  I.T.,  which is where I wanted to be in the first place.
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NightOwl
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« Reply #2 on: January 04, 2013, 05:53:22 AM »

I've spent a lot of $ at GC over the years. I would LOVE to get some honest answers about how things work at GC.
1) Are there any "secret" numbers on the price tag that will tell me the wholesale price or how long the guitar has been hanging on the wall.
2) How long does a guitar have to hang on the wall before GC starts marking it down?
3) Is there a standard percentage of "negotiation discount" that GC managers will approve? (ie: GC will never give more than 20% off marked retail- or whatever?)
4) Do you know the approx. markup on Guitars, amps, pedals, effects, cords, etc.?
5) Is there a better time of the month to strike a deal?- I heard the end of the month is best, salesmen start thinking about their commision checks.
6) What is the best way to get the best deal at GC?
7) Is Musician's Friend a GC company?
Cool I am toying with the idea of applying for a part-time job at GC- what kind of benefits (if any) and discounts do employees get?

I would really appreciate your honest answers- I'm sure lots of musicians would like to know how GC REALLY works, Thanx. Smiley
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terror
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« Reply #3 on: January 07, 2013, 06:25:56 AM »

What a troll Roll Eyes  All this time and I still can't recall ever seeing Noah post something that wasn't meant to insult somebody. 
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thegreatgazoo2
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« Reply #4 on: January 07, 2013, 11:13:47 PM »

You worked for 6 years for minimum wage. You're not a 'valuable investment' you're a worthless monkey who was paid peanuts. I suppose now you're making six figures, right?

The sad thing for you (funny for me) is that Guitar Center had another carbon blob to replace you and nobody remembers you were there for six years.

Namaste.

What's hilarious is how you lack any semblance of understanding of how the use of the word "namaste" after such a ****ty arrogant and insulting commentary makes you look like an absolute poser tool.
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macrosssaga
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« Reply #5 on: January 09, 2013, 05:49:42 PM »

Do you mean you worked at GC for 6 years without getting a commission check?
Why?
If you did get one, why say you say you made "minimum wage"?
It's a performance based company(draw vs commission).
At my store we were paid up to 3% gross and 10% profit(GP), so if you sold 50k in gear and made 10k in profit off of it in a month, you would make $2500.
That would be a average month, Xmas and August(anniversary month) were substantially greater, say 80-100k Xmas and 65-75k August.
So i averaged about 40-50k a year(I worked in Pro Audio/Keyboards) and i was in the middle of the ranker.
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thegreatgazoo2
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« Reply #6 on: January 09, 2013, 06:25:11 PM »

Do you mean you worked at GC for 6 years without getting a commission check?
Why?
If you did get one, why say you say you made "minimum wage"?
It's a performance based company(draw vs commission).
At my store we were paid up to 3% gross and 10% profit(GP), so if you sold 50k in gear and made 10k in profit off of it in a month, you would make $2500.
That would be a average month, Xmas and August(anniversary month) were substantially greater, say 80-100k Xmas and 65-75k August.
So i averaged about 40-50k a year(I worked in Pro Audio/Keyboards) and i was in the middle of the ranker.

No.  You are totally exaggerating.

Suppose you work 22 days a month at say $7.50 an hour. That equals $1320 a month in min wage pay that you have to cover via selling before getting a commission check.
"Paid up to 3% in gross" should read that ONLY Asst managers make that percentage.
Most regular employees make 2%, maybe 2.5% as a dept manager.
So, we'll split the difference and say 2.5% of the supposed $50K in gross, which equals the $1250 you'd make... haven't broke even yet.
Then 10% of the profit off of $50k in gross on Pro Audio Gear is likely to be around $10k in profit, so you'd get another $1000... minus the $70 you still have to cover to fade your hourly rate.  
So that's $1250+$930, or $2180, and you haven't even been taxed yet on either amount or moneys taken out for health insurance.
Of course, commission checks are taxed at a higher rate , so you'd maybe personally see $550-600 of that $930 portion.
Not to mention that if you don't sell enough GC phony ass insurance with all the gear, then your pay could get docked.
But, in total, you are probably looking at $1500 or so take home pay a month for a massive amount of work and BS.
Basically a buck or two over minimum wage... and that's assuming you were given a bump up from 2% of gross sales.
(At 2%, it's $1000 in gross+$1000 in commission-$1350in hourly rate, or a $650 commission check BEFORE taxes.  So you'd see $ an extra $300-400 after working for min wage all month)
Anyone starting out, good salesman or not, needs to understand that at 2% they are basically making minimum wage and that's why the OP puts it in that light.
If you're just out of high school, or otherwise have no other marketable skills, then you are probably in the right place.
Otherwise, looks like a crap deal to me.

While there is a month or two when you have the possibility of making a decent check, you get hammered by those taxes at around 50% and you fail to mention that there are just as many, or more, months out of the year when GC can be a desert and you are likely to get nearly nothing in commission.
Couple that with the movement towards smaller stores in smaller markets where it is MUCH harder to make a living wage (I worked for GC in multiple locations), and the manipulation of hours by managers, price manipulation by the company, deal splitting due to approval needs, etc.
I was a top salesperson in the districts I was in and can tell you that I found the commission to be ****.
I also worked so many hours at a time that a $50k month meant nothing.
Go ask your GM how much he is making off of you for almost zero work and see if you feel as proud of your checks afterward.
« Last Edit: January 09, 2013, 06:37:10 PM by thegreatgazoo2 » Logged
macrosssaga
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« Reply #7 on: January 09, 2013, 07:08:07 PM »

They changed EVERYBODY over to 3% gross at my store in 2001(770).
I heard after '06, they started hiring at a lower rate(I quit in 2006).
I am not exaggerating my pay, as you know, NOBODY says "Oh I make 30k take home a year" when you state your pay, you state GROSS not AFTER TAXES.
When you apply for a loan,credit card etc, you write your gross pay.
They taxed my commission checks fairly sparsely(38-35%).
I'm not "proud" of my checks, I just think you are either lying to people about "Working minimum wage" or are a total masochist to stick around a job for 6 years making McDonalds money.
I quit GC because I found a better opportunity( one that i would not have had without working there).
GC sucks, yes it does, but it sucks because of the ****ty hours, the bull**** PG crap you had to sell, and they occasional evil AM or worse..GM!
I guess because i worked there so long and never ****ed over a customer, i had a solid clientele that was loyal to me(I.E. they went home when i was not there).
I always had a commission check.
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thegreatgazoo2
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« Reply #8 on: January 09, 2013, 08:56:52 PM »

They changed EVERYBODY over to 3% gross at my store in 2001(770).
I heard after '06, they started hiring at a lower rate(I quit in 2006).
I am not exaggerating my pay, as you know, NOBODY says "Oh I make 30k take home a year" when you state your pay, you state GROSS not AFTER TAXES.
When you apply for a loan,credit card etc, you write your gross pay.
They taxed my commission checks fairly sparsely(38-35%).
I'm not "proud" of my checks, I just think you are either lying to people about "Working minimum wage" or are a total masochist to stick around a job for 6 years making McDonalds money.
I quit GC because I found a better opportunity( one that i would not have had without working there).
GC sucks, yes it does, but it sucks because of the ****ty hours, the bull**** PG crap you had to sell, and they occasional evil AM or worse..GM!
I guess because i worked there so long and never ****ed over a customer, i had a solid clientele that was loyal to me(I.E. they went home when i was not there).
I always had a commission check.


Fair enough, then... I stand (slightly) corrected.
You have to be aware though, if you are going to post on here, that if you quit in 2006 you left at just the right time (I did, too).  Things are different (worse) now.

Firstly, I never heard of a store hiring everyone in at 3%, so you were lucky. I have heard of stores hiring people at just a low hourly rate since, zero commission, however. Hiring everyone in at 3% would not happen today.

Secondly, my remembrance of commission checks, in my state, was that they were taxed at somewhere around 45%.

Thirdly, it's not unusual for employees to hang around GC for long periods of time making zero commission.  They may either not really have any other skill set, may truly believe the BS they are being fed, may have some deluded idea of what they can make (ever work in drums?), or may not be able to get another job due to economic conditions and location (2008 recession ring a bell?).  The recession is something GC used masterfully as a way to keep employees on without paying raises for years ("well, in this economy"...  "If you can find a better paying job then do so"... etc), even doing away with Christmas bonuses.  Even though, those of us in the know were aware that GC was still highly profitable on the corporate side at the end of the year.

Also, let's not forget everything changed once Bain became involved.
It is exponentially harder to make a commission check in 2013 as it was in 2006.

Fourthly, I will revisit my take on market.  If you are working for GC in Chicago, you have far more opportunities to make more money based on clientele, as well as numerous other employment options to push back against management than someone working in Iowa. If you don't have many other options in your podunk town, you're gonna buy into the dream up until you realize that you've cornered yourself in a dead end job that you can't even make enough cash to move to another city on.  Living paycheck to paycheck, it's hard to take chances... now imagine you have kids.

And finally, I'd add that the fact that you got another job due to your connection with GC is great, but not necessarily BECAUSE of GC, more because of your own personal motivation. Motivated people move on regardless of whether or not they get positions from their relationship as an employee of GC.
 
All that being said, just doing the math in my head, your numbers are still likely high, with 40K being the top end, especially when you factor in the number of hours most people worked in Dec and August in the early 2000s.  
People do use gross to define their salary, I'm fully aware, and people also exaggerate their salary fairly regularly, too.
During roughly the same time period, I made 40K a year in sales in a secondary market, but had no life outside of the store.
Working 60 hours a week was fairly normal in my store... when anyone actually clocked in.
If I was to break it down my checks to an hourly rate (including my commission), it would have been dismal.
« Last Edit: January 09, 2013, 09:02:28 PM by thegreatgazoo2 » Logged
Slylock Fox
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« Reply #9 on: January 15, 2013, 09:02:11 AM »

I was wondering if people still came here, and now that I see some replies:  It's my turn.

First, I'm going to answer the customer questions (nightowl), because he is the important one:  A client who deserves the truth and the respect of being a consumer.


I've spent a lot of $ at GC over the years. I would LOVE to get some honest answers about how things work at GC.
1) Are there any "secret" numbers on the price tag that will tell me the wholesale price or how long the guitar has been hanging on the wall.


It depends.  The first thing you can look at is the date on the price tag (GC employees call it a POP).  ****ty employees will rarely change them, good ones update them weekly.  If you notice in one of the corners a number, it will indicate the date that the price tag was printed.  For example, if today's date is 01.15.13 and you see 10.01.12, that means the price hasn't been changed since October.  If your GC has a GC Garage with a guitar technician, it is his responsibility to work on instruments over $999.99.  If he has worked on it, there is a tag he places inside the plastic sleeve that sits with the price tag to indicate when he last inspected it, changed strings, etc.  The retail price has always been correct when I've done the research, so GC is doing it right.  As far as a "cost", of course that is hidden.  It is a business for profit, and all items have a lower cost.  This cost depends on many things.

2) How long does a guitar have to hang on the wall before GC starts marking it down?

Once again, it depends.  On used gear stores handle the pricing differently.  Some mark the price down after 90 days, some 6 months.  On new gear the price will only change if the market price changes.  If it is a "floor model" (worst thing to call the gear, ever btw) then damage and other cosmetics can cause a price to be marked down as well (aka scratch and dent).

3) Is there a standard percentage of "negotiation discount" that GC managers will approve? (ie: GC will never give more than 20% off marked retail- or whatever?)

This is where the problem is.  When I started the % was never to go below 32%, meaning I'd give you a deal as long as I still made a 32% profit margin.  My store has seen 7 different STORE MANAGERS who have all had different numbers for making "deals".  Some said 50%, some said 20%, some didn't take off the price at all.  Why is this a problem?  Well, for you pro-GC dumb****stains, this causes inconsistency with the customers, which causes frustration and bad CSAT's (CSAT's are GC mumbojumbo for "bad feedback")

4) Do you know the approx. markup on Guitars, amps, pedals, effects, cords, etc.?

Yes.  Not everything will have the same markup.  Gear that is made SPECIFICALLY for GC will have higher prices.  ANYTIME you hear an employee use jargon such as "you can only get this at Guitar Center" means it proprietary, and the markup is higher.  PM me for specifics if you'd like, and I can tell you why proprietary=crap.

5) Is there a better time of the month to strike a deal?- I heard the end of the month is best, salesmen start thinking about their commision checks.

Black Friday.  In the days of "Take Every Deal" any employee could make you a deal.  I miss those days.  Now, Black Friday is the only time EVERY SINGLE EMPLOYEE can change the price without approval from a manager.  It is usually restricted within a timeframe, and this past year those rights only lasted until 11a.m.  Otherwise a regular joe salesguy cannot make you a deal without approval from a manager.  Don't blame him if he tries to sell it at the price it is, afterall you generally CANNOT find it cheaper. 

6) What is the best way to get the best deal at GC?
Find it cheaper or complain.  Seriously.  If you confront a manager and tell them you don't mind contacting corporate they can usually give you what you want.  They still don't?  Go to the main website and leave feedback, or even better CALL THE NUMBER.  To the CORP. this is called a CSAT that they use to rate your shopping experience.  I promise the store manager will be more than willing to help you get the best deal possible, even if it means selling it for the same price GC buys it for.  I should note this does not give you the right to be a douchebag to the sales guy.  Don't waste his time by trying to get him to make the deal, and worse you're wasting his time if all your intention is to complain to get free ****.  That's the Store Managers job to deal with you if you are unhappy about the pricing.  I REPEAT, LEAVE THE SALESGUYS ALONE.

7)Is Musician's Friend a GC company?

Same Entity, as well as a few other music companies.  A quick google search can answer which particular ones.  Like Sam's isn't a Wal-Mart.

Cool I am toying with the idea of applying for a part-time job at GC- what kind of benefits (if any) and discounts do employees get?

Don't apply.


It isn't worth it in the long run if the company stays owned by BAIN.  If you do, start as a person who checks in gear and checks receipts at the front door.  It allows you to become familiar with gear and the system.  Just because you think you know gear doesn't mean anything, you need to know it all AND the computer system.  It is a very in depth system that can cause lots of pain to the newbie who thinks he can sling some gear.  If you do get hired for this position, do the job by the book and keep your opinions in your head and your mouth shut to any and all topics that have nothing to do with work.

The benefits used to be decent for medical, but they have changed providers since and it has gone to **** and become very expensive.  Discounts usually get you gear at the same price GC paid for it (cost).  Used gear usually has no deals, but then again that's just from my region.

Now, I hope I've answered your questions as best as possible.  As a customer, you deserve it.  

Noah,

sure, bud.  Whatever you say.   Kiss

macrosssaga,

I'm not a masochistic person, just someone who actually gave a F U C K about my store instead of commission money and had faith that it would rise to the level of expert that I hoped it would.  It didn't.  I've realized that it never will, because the only ones who rise are ones who only give a SHlT about the green.  I did everything I could for every single customer I came across, but still got flattened out by workloads that outweighed the amount of hourly pay.   F U C K COMMISSION.  Here, let me say it again for you:  F U C K COMMISSION.  F U C K COMMISSION.  F U C K COMMISSION.

I could give two squirts of PlSS for making money off of people.  I DID do it to help people make music.
« Last Edit: January 16, 2013, 12:24:50 AM by Slylock Fox » Logged
Slylock Fox
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« Reply #10 on: January 15, 2013, 09:06:27 AM »

Welcome to our board.   Enjoy a nice relief from retail.    I went from retail,  to working at a horse barn...  shoveling poo was actually a better paying effort.   Seriously.   I then got into  I.T.,  which is where I wanted to be in the first place.


I believe it, haha!  Since I've left my resume has had lots of hits.  Being a veteran will do that.  I'm enjoying life a lot better, not to mention getting back into music.  Odd, working there killed all of my music.
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macrosssaga
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« Reply #11 on: January 19, 2013, 08:48:07 AM »

That sucks that you were dumped on for so long at GC.
Even though it was not the best place to work, i had a lot of friends in my dept, and we covered each other( added on to each other's layaways if the customer wanted something extra, without putting ourselves on the ticket, saving negs ext..)
I made money at GC, helped people make music(I loved analog synths and seeing a pristine Prophet 5 one day before i worked there lured me in..)and I guess I treated my customers so badly that to this day, i'm greeted by them and their  laments of my absence, and it has be 7 years since i quit!
I guess you picked a horrible time to start GC( was it '06), that was the time i got out(ALL retail music sucks...GC just sucks the hardest), but I wouldn't of stayed there as long as i did if it was just year after year of bull****.
I know of no music store store that does not have it's employees on some sort of commission.
The only viable model for a store like that would be one that dealt in only used gear with 2 or 3 employees.
I cant see how someone could get a better deal on a high end guitar at a tiny store vs a huge chain like a Sam Ash or GC, that's why they're ALL gone in my neighborhood, and soon Sweetwater and Amazon will destroy Sam Ash and GC..
Maybe after that no one will be able to "touch" an instrument until it's UPS'd to them.
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« Reply #12 on: August 16, 2013, 06:08:17 AM »

Not only that but a certain retail store my friend works at, the SM leaves for lunch and comes back 3 hours later almost every day, or so he says.
Not to mention belittling in condescending manner  at meetings.
WE GET IT EMPLOYEES ARE COMPLETELY 100% REPLACEABLE!
Retail sucks!





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« Last Edit: August 16, 2013, 06:20:28 AM by draft » Logged
terror
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« Reply #13 on: March 26, 2015, 06:10:09 AM »

Still trolling the forum even after all these years, eh, noah?  Smarmy and condescending as ever, I see.  Are we still touring with all the famous people and collecting all '59 bursts? Cheesy Cheesy Cheesy Grin Grin Cheesy Cheesy
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Matthias1730
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« Reply #14 on: April 05, 2015, 07:04:29 AM »

I would like to add another perspective as a forme employee who actually did the math at the end of the year.
I worked as a department manager for a long time so my personal percentages were precisely 2.5% gross, and 10% profit.
At the end of the year working FOUR days a week, when I took the number on my W2 and divided it by my TOTAL hours worked for the year, I made precisely $14.37 per hour worked. And excluding Christmas, I never made sold more than $30K worth of gear (gross) in a month.
Side note: I worked in one of the smaller market stores in the Pro Audio/Keyboard department. And was only ever in the top 5 two or three times in a year.
So to see someone whowas sellng $50k in gear a month and not taking home more than minimum wage, I think there might be some errors in your calculations.
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