Guitar Center Reviews

Updated July 30, 2015
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2.7
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Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
Guitar Center CEO Darrell Webb
Darrell Webb
57 Ratings

Pros
  • Great discounts on gear and decent health coverage (in 33 reviews)

  • You can buy gear at cost with your employee discount (in 41 reviews)

Cons
  • basically minimum wage as a regular salesman your first year (in 29 reviews)

  • Several Layers of Middle to Upper Management (in 13 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

489 Employee Reviews

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  1. The COULD be the best place for a musician to work...

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

    I worked at Guitar Center full-time (More than a year)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Strong sense of community and team within the store, you get to work with some great people and meet a variety of people as clients. Good for a working musician with sales chops, gear knowledge, and connections.

    Cons

    Big disconnect between corporate and retail sides of the business. They seem to be constantly re-stacking the odds against you and it's much harder to earn a living now there than it used to be. The bottom line, not the customer, is their main concern.

    Advice to Management

    Start treating your employees like assets and not liabilities, stop messing with people's pay scales, and make it a great place to work instead of just a so-so one.


  2. Helpful (1)

    Too much responsibility for the pay

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Sales Associate in Richmond, VA
    Former Employee - Sales Associate in Richmond, VA

    I worked at Guitar Center

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Get to do what you love Employee discount Tour leave for gigging employees Decent training modules to help learn products

    Cons

    Commission system needs to be restructured Stop hassling employees about the warranty attachment rates Unorganized mid level management Pay is very low

    Advice to Management

    Don't hassle sales associates on all of their metrics if they are surpassing their goal, it is demoralizing and makes you seem nitpicky.


  3. Helpful (4)

    A once great company with a major identity crisis.

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - District Manager in Westlake Village, Los Angeles, CA
    Former Employee - District Manager in Westlake Village, Los Angeles, CA

    I worked at Guitar Center (More than 10 years)

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

    Pros

    A company once full of energetic and passionate musicians and fans was turned inside out and upside down by outsiders brought into the fold to do the job.

    Cons

    Paranoia, ego-centric leaders, too much focus on the numbers, not enough trust.

    Advice to Management

    Remember what made you a great company and try to find that sprit again. Be careful not to sacrifice the key players in exchange for profit.


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  5. Pros & Cons

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

    I worked at Guitar Center full-time

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    - Fun work environment -Great people, great merchandise -Room for advancement -Great employee discount - PTO & Benefits for full time

    Cons

    - Non particularly competitive pay -High turnover -Constantly changing direction - Large focus on pushing company incentives - Consistently dealing with customer service issues

    Advice to Management

    Needs to work on a better compensation plan for line-level sales and operations associates. Not as much room for growth on the operations side


  6. Helpful (4)

    Upper Management not connected to workforce

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

    I worked at Guitar Center full-time (More than a year)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    The people are great. I always enjoyed coming into the building everyday. The gear perks were nice even if you weren't a musician. Casual but business appropriate attire. You could wear T-shirts, but not with a print on it unless it had a music theme. Decent pay. A few decent meeting spaces.

    Cons

    The corporate office. Every floor creaks like you're going to fall through. Most of the office furniture is 20+ years old. Cubes are ok, but too many silos between departments. Horrible vacation policies when you start, no matching 401k, ok health benefits. Massive cost cuttings across the board is a pro and con. Lots of waste that needs to be cut in order to remain cash positive. No personal development training.

    Advice to Management

    People are more valuable than a 1959 Strat. Treat them as such. Invest in your people. Break down the silos between departments.


  7. Great atmosphere for musicians and a fun place to work.

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

    I have been working at Guitar Center full-time (More than 5 years)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Fantastic way to learn and stay informed about the latest gear for musicians.

    Cons

    Lack of traffic and a generous return policy make it difficult to earn consistent wage.

    Advice to Management

    Move to an all hourly higher base pay. No commission.


  8. Sales Associate

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Sales Associate in Los Angeles, CA
    Former Employee - Sales Associate in Los Angeles, CA

    I worked at Guitar Center

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Autonomy - you aren't usually told what to do unless you aren't doing anything People are great - of the 100-200 people I met while I was working there I liked 99% of them. Everyone is into music (Obviously) Holidays are busy, but it is great knowing you are giving that kid their first instrument I worked in Houston, then in LA. Loved both. In LA there is more opportunity to advance into corporate if you want to since the corporate HQ is in Woodland Hills

    Cons

    Pay isn't great - it's all commission You will have to sell stuff you don't believe in You will definitely have to work holidays, especially Christmas time

    Advice to Management

    They were bought out awhile ago and are implementing more 'Best Buy' type practices, I would be careful not to become Best Buy, customer service is the only thing to bank on in the online era


  9. It's Not For Everyone

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

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

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Employee discounts and dealer perks (It has changed some since I was there). Free merchandise and training from vendors. Networking Steady income Learn how to be a salesperson, which is a skill that works in different industries. Get to see and learn about the latest gear (sometimes before it's even released)

    Cons

    The commission formula is terrible (it has changed since I was there). The Internet vendors are big competition not only in pricing but financing options too. Seems like the perfect job for a musician, but it's not really. When walk in business is slow you have to call and email customers to try to get them in the store. (Not sure if they still have to do this) Schedule is usually rough and can make it hard to do other things like gigs or rehearsals. You work on holidays. Not all employees are knowledgeable.

    Advice to Management

    The pay scale needs to be adjusted to make it more appealing for better employees and provide a sustainable income for everyone.


  10. Wouldn't recommend

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

    I worked at Guitar Center full-time (More than 3 years)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook

    Pros

    Cool co-workers, service to musician community, gear discounts and sometimes free stuff.

    Cons

    TERRIBLE commission rates that occasionally drop further, corporate mentality does not care about the people on the sales floor, the company is after the profit.

    Advice to Management

    Increase commission rates for sales associates.


  11. Helpful (3)

    Organizational Structure Flaws

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

    I worked at Guitar Center full-time (More than a year)

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

    Pros

    Great discounts on gear Wonderful opportunities to help people learn about music Massive inventory Opportunity to meet and work with interesting people

    Cons

    The structure of the organization is trying to evolve to keep from going bankrupt and stop losing high quality employees. These changes seem misguided and unfocused. 3 CEOs in 3 years. Very low employee appreciation and pay rate.

    Advice to Management

    Instead of opening dozens of new stores, focus on the hard working people keeping the current locations afloat. Build a strong and proud culture from the bottom up and then look to expand.



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