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1 person found this helpful  

Fun, but have learned I am only good at selling a product if I really believe in it.

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

I worked at Guitar Center part-time for less than a year

Pros

- They hire a lot of working musicians and are willing to work with your schedule for gigs and tours.
- The employee discount is great, something like cost plus a small percent. This can mean anywhere from 15% to 70% off.
- There are some benefits, like health care for full timers.
- There is a lot to learn and a lot of on line training is available.
- My manager was a first rate, unflappable, patient individual.
- With a couple of exceptions, the staff were a dedicated group of characters, mostly musicians.
- At least at my store, management constantly kept the staff informed of how store performance was going.
- The company has extensive E-learning courses on various products and sales methods.
- Customers are the most interesting bunch of folks you will ever meet.
- You will always keep learning new stuff.
- In theory, you can make a fair amount of money. The way you do this is by selling high end gear, especially professional sound systems. The trick is getting to that point..

Cons

- Compensation is initially miserable for sales staff, sales people earn the larger of absolute minimum wage or your commission. People who are paid commission are said to have “faded”.
- Salespersons have to do 2 things if they want to keep their jobs:
1. You have to sell enough stuff so that the commission is greater than your minimum wage.
2. You have to meet your target for selling extended warranties.
Sales employees are responsible for sending contacting customers weekly. They are also expected to maintain client lists, complete training modules on new products, stock shelves, clean each area daily, read all information sent out through the mail system and answer phones. All of these activities take you away from selling to customers, and make it harder to make commission.
- Many activities such as E-learning would best be done at home, away from the store. I have worked on other jobs that offered a small bonus for E-leaning on your own time.
- If you only have 90 days to “fade”, and you are on a reduced commission until complete certain training goals. SInce you have to spend work time taking the courses to become qualified, it is very hard to survive the cut unless you come into the job with a lot of selling skill and experience.
- You will be competing for sales with all the other personnel.

Advice to ManagementAdvice

I am probably not the guy to critique retail jobs. I am a novice at selling, and although my sales numbers were improving, I have a lot to learn. I do have a lot of experience as a manager, and there are areas some areas where GC struggles.

Unfortunately GC has a personnel model that continually generates disgruntled ex employees, due to their compensation plan and cut-throat performance standards. The music world is full of ex GC employees who swear never to shop there again. Something should be done about this, and I do not have a good answer. GC also loses a lot of promising employees (like young folks with marketing degrees) who bail for jobs paying a few bucks more rather than go through the several month training at minimum wage.

The IT system was a mix of brand new, obsolete and unsynchronized apps running on an archaic network with little bandwidth. Upgrading all aspects of this system should be a top priority, it actually reduces sales.

Since everyone at GC is authorized to sell anything (and get the commission), this means that management makes big ticket sales on their own. There is a belief among staff that management keeps the best deals to themselves, especially vintage deals.

Floor staff should have their own bank of terminals so they are not hogging the department registers when things get busy.

GC has added some excellent client applications as it has partially upgraded its systems.
GC expects sales staff to maintain a mini website, including links to products. GC needs to find a way to legally reimburse staff for off the clock web work with clients and training.

GC should make their product E-learning base public. There would be better informed customers and employees. Stewart Macdonald already does this.

Neutral Outlook

329 Other Employee Reviews for Guitar Center (View Most Recent)

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  1.  

    Could be so much better.

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

    I have been working at Guitar Center full-time for more than 5 years

    Pros

    -Getting to check out the latest gear.
    -Working with knowledgeable and friendly coworkers.
    -Networking with other Musicians/Producers/Reps

    Cons

    -Workload vs Pay is completely unbalanced.
    -Management places the majority of daily responsibilities on a select few.
    -Poor Training and Development.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Cultivate a more humane and communicative management style.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  2.  

    good experience but a lot of work

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

    I worked at Guitar Center

    Pros

    chill environment as long as you do your job

    Cons

    the work you do does not equal to your paycheck

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