Guitar Center

  www.guitarcenter.com
  www.guitarcenter.com

Guitar Center Reviews

Updated October 20, 2014
Updated October 20, 2014
339 Reviews
2.8
339 Reviews
Rating Trends

Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
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Mike Pratt
86 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • Great discounts on gear, awesome connections to be made, and a new focus on the employee (in 31 reviews)

  • Above all, the employee discount; especially when you can start getting things off of GAIN (in 41 reviews)


Cons
  • It's minimum wage DRAWED against your commission(Fading) (in 28 reviews)

  • Very high turnover rate for salesmen and constant micro-managing by upper management (in 13 reviews)

More Highlights

99 Employee Reviews Back to all reviews

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  1.  

    Guitar Center

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Medical
    Former Employee - Medical

    I worked at Guitar Center full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    Employees get great discounts on purchases

    Cons

    The pay rate is horrible!!

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Raise the pay and eliminate the fade/ draw commission pay scale. It is robbery!

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  2. 2 people found this helpful  

    Miserable place to work with little to no company morale.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Accounting Clerk in Westlake Village, Los Angeles, CA
    Current Employee - Accounting Clerk in Westlake Village, Los Angeles, CA

    I have been working at Guitar Center as a contractor (less than an year)

    Pros

    Casual and laid back work environment. Dress code. Employee discount for gear.

    Cons

    Put fires out all day. Reactive vs. Proactive culture. Low morale.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Take care of your employees! Pay more for the people who actually have a clue and care about the work they do. Offering a loyal employee of 20+ years an entry level position then laying them off is just ruthless...

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  3. 2 people found this helpful  

    Great discounts, poor employee morale but great co-workers.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Assistant Manager
    Current Employee - Assistant Manager

    I have been working at Guitar Center full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    To be around music everyday and others who feel the way you probably do is truly amazing

    Cons

    There is no possible way to carve out a decent living here. No way whatsoever. Even if somebody comes in with significant experience, amazing salesmanship, know how and years of experience as a respected touring musician, the system is oriented to keep the door revolving. There are lots of bodies out there that can sell music gear. Really too bad. I have friends ( co-workers), that stepped down from management back to sales because the financial rewards were not significant enough to compensate the increased responsibility. (not nearly).

    It definitely paints a very negative face on upper level management. I believe that they do not truly understand what their own potential is with great motivated professional people all on the same page store wide. For those reading this, I would seek out opportunity in smaller independent stores where you have the opportunity to make more of a difference. You won't make any more money at Guitar Center believe me. Also look at Sam Ash. I have several friends that have worked there for over 12 years, ( one over 15), doing great, respected and rewarded by management. Much better. I will probably stay here as I am entrenched for the time being, then go there myself! So see you at Sam Ash someday soon!!

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Employ well rounded professionals that can create significant ROI and pay them for there know how, experience, team leadership and mentoring, and ability to generate substantial revenues. Stop focusing your strategy on the revolving door! There is a better way, you can become more profitable, who can increase the efficiency of operation and logistics but you are blinded as to how to do it!

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
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  5. 1 person found this helpful  

    A Great Environment With One Major Downfall

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at Guitar Center full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    In my 3 years working with Guitar Center, I can easily say I've met some of the best people you could ask to work with. My Coworkers are people you never get tired of seeing everyday, which leads to an excellent work environment. Our store level managers are no exception, they have always been top notch and have always looked out for our best interests. The workplace has never been overly strict, and is always very relaxed. The benefits are solid and employee perks are just as good.

    All of my training from the time I began, all the way to becoming a manager in training, was always taught to me extremely well by my superiors. All of my concerns have always been heard and taken care of by my managers, even all the way up to our district manager who is just as great. I've never had an issue with needing flexible hours on certain days, and scheduling has always been phenomenal. I'm fortunate to not dread having to get up for work every morning of my life.

    Cons

    With the assortment of Pro's I've listed, you're probably wondering what leads me to giving Guitar Center a 2 Star rating? Well there is one major issue that GC has failed to address properly for years, Compensation and reward for store level employees. Before you dismiss my "typical" complaint, take a moment to read in full, the situation that this has caused for all of us.

    Guitar Center makes the vast majority of it's earnings off of money made at the physical retail store level. Employee motivation at the store level is the essential life blood of the company. Everything from selling gear, to credit cards, coverage plans, and more. Unfortunately the very poor compensation that Guitar Center provides these employees is what turns folks from hard working members of a team, to another statistic in the enormous turn-over ratio held by the company.

    I myself having been working for GC for 3 years, In that time I have received various awards, a promotion to manager in training and a few other accolades. My position requires me to be one of the most depended upon people in my store. I am constantly relied upon by my managers to complete tasks that unfortunately no one else in my department is qualified to complete. Where many companies properly recognize hard work, and motivation,Guitar Center essentially rewards you with nothing more than a pat on the back. In my 3 years, with the achievements I've gained,My time as an employee, and the store's overall reliability on my work, I make roughly $1.50 more than when I started.

    Looking at salaries of employees from various companies that work within the same fields as we do, It's no surprise that GC falls extremely short in terms of comparative compensation, all the way from new hires, to store managers. After a chain wide plan was generated in mid 2013 to restructure not only the compensation of employees, but the structure of store staffing, Many of us had regained some hope in the future of our company. After having been told in Spring of 2014 that this plan was to be expected in late summer of the same year, As soon as that time frame rolled around it was announced that the program had been delayed until 2015.

    Needless to say that in my entire time as an employee, I have never seen store wide motivation so low as it currently is. Hardly anyone is pushing to sell gear, or make any kind of goals that have been set for us.After talking amongst ourselves I've come to learn that at least 50%, if not more of our staff are currently seeking new employment. Usually this would present a problem to upper management correct? Wrong, Guitar Center has a extremely high turn-over ratio for a reason. It's not hard to imagine how many people would love to have a job at "Their favorite music store", so there is a huge pool of people who are willing to work for this company at any given moment.

    In a 3 year span I have seen countless hardworking people be forced to quit a job they love due to financial issues. Guitar Center may be a great place for you to work if you need a fun part time gig, without too much worry about money. If you're looking for a job to build a career, unfortunately this is not the place to do such. It's a shame that many employees (myself included) are having to look for new work, instead of continuing to do the work that we love to do on a daily basis, simply because we can't afford it, and feel under appreciated by a company that we have worked so hard to help succeed.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Take care of those who work so hard to help your company succeed, Plain and simple

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  6.  

    Guitar Center

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Elite Sales Force in New Brunswick, NJ
    Current Employee - Elite Sales Force in New Brunswick, NJ

    I have been working at Guitar Center full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    The discount is nice and the benefits are decent along with a 401k. The other sales associates are usually pretty cool as long as they aren't sharks and stealing your business.

    Cons

    There is really no management to speak to. They listen to what you have to say, but at the end of the day what ever corporate office has to say is what is law. There is a serious disconnect between sales people and upper management. Basically all they care about you selling is credit card applications and insurance. No one really cares about the gear, and no one appreciates you. The idea they have is well what have you done for me lately.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Stop focusing so much on selling insurance and focus on the music. Thats why people used to shop there in the first place.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  7. 5 people found this helpful  

    VP Marketing

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Vice President Marketing in Westlake Village, Los Angeles, CA
    Current Employee - Vice President Marketing in Westlake Village, Los Angeles, CA

    I have been working at Guitar Center full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    Guitar Center has built a well known Brand. If you are into the Music Industry you will get good exposure at the industry level

    Cons

    Getting killed by Amazon and online music retailers who better understand the space. Organization is managed day to day instead of for long term health. The current retail strategy of constant expansion has limits. Look at what has happened to Best Buy and other retails who begin to cannibalize their own markets.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    The model is broken and Guitar Center will fail in the long run unless they embrace change. They are turning into a Best Buy, where people try a product before they buy it on Amazon. Stop advertising huge sales where 90% of the products are not subject to the sale terms, you will just upset your potential customers.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  8.  

    Not what it's made out to be.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Sales/Operations Associate in Beaverton, OR
    Current Employee - Sales/Operations Associate in Beaverton, OR

    I have been working at Guitar Center full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    Some fun coworkers. You get to work with music all day if that's your thing. You can buy gear at cost with your employee discount.

    Cons

    Management only cares about the salesmen who make the most money. The rich get richer and the poor get poorer. It's extremely difficult to move up. The pay is terrible and if you're not on commission, you won't make much more than minimum wage.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    You need to hire more professional, trustworthy, mature, and knowledgable staff. You need to make sure that your leaders are willing to lead. Your company is failing and it has such a high turnover rate because you don't pay your staff very well.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  9.  

    Good for musicians that have a pre-existing source of income.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Guitar Center Sales Associate in Indianapolis, IN
    Current Employee - Guitar Center Sales Associate in Indianapolis, IN

    I have been working at Guitar Center full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    Good friends. Nothing else.

    Cons

    Bosses do not know a single thing about music. Also, you see a lot of people kiss-ass to get into management. I'll just stay where I am.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Um?

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  10.  

    Not as fun as you'd imagine

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Accessories and Guitars Sales in Winter Park, FL
    Former Employee - Accessories and Guitars Sales in Winter Park, FL

    I worked at Guitar Center part-time (less than an year)

    Pros

    Employee discount was pretty good, you get items at cost-price meaning you pay what the store pays for the product. For the most part the employees and management were genuinely friendly and well-meaning people.

    Cons

    They encourage the "Make the sale at all costs." attitude, pay was pretty bad, even with the commission. Management kind of turned their backs on me when I told them about a senior salesman stealing my sale on a $700 bass and gave the guy a slap on the wrist.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  11.  

    Get your gear and get out

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Assistant Manager in Raritan, NJ
    Former Employee - Assistant Manager in Raritan, NJ

    I worked at Guitar Center full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    Discounts on gear are great, employees on the sales floor were friendly and like-minded musicians, can play guitar/keyboard when the store is slow, hour breaks

    Cons

    High stress, commissioned job where you have to fade against the hours you work. Store managers are cooped up in the office running reports and going on call-meetings and don't appreciate what you do unless your numbers are good. Very high turnover rate for salesmen and constant micro-managing by upper management. Poorly outlined promotion path. Most promotions are twice the responsibilities for a 5-10% raise in your potential commission. If you're a department or assistant manager and you don't fade you are making the same or less than people you are in charge of. Also the company is buried under massive debt and has been losing money for a number of years.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Restructure hierarchy, micro manage less, and show your employees you appreciate them rather than telling everyone that they are replaceable if their numbers aren't up to par.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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