Guitar Center Reviews

Updated March 27, 2015
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2.8
417 Reviews
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Guitar Center CEO Darrell Webb
Darrell Webb
26 Ratings

Pros
  • Great discounts on gear, awesome connections to be made, and a new focus on the employee (in 33 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 29 reviews)

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

More Pros and Cons

Employee Reviews

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  1. Only one mode: Reactive

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

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

    Pros

    Nice coworkers. Decent discounts on equipment.

    Cons

    Bad communication, high turnover, no budget, a lot of incompetence and mediocrity at all levels, poor insurance and 401k offerings

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  2. Decent company at the time, but was overworked, under-supported, underpaid and under-appreciated.

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

    I worked at Guitar Center

    Pros

    Cool business to be part of, good culture, decent benefits.

    Cons

    Did not provide the proper staffing support to my particular function and department, making my job stressful, difficult and setting me up for failure. Took advantage of my willingness to do whatever it takes and perform the jobs of what should have been about 4 four people.

    Doesn't Recommend
  3. Fun place to work

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Greeter/Security/Check Out Line in Covina, CA
    Former Employee - Greeter/Security/Check Out Line in Covina, CA

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

    Pros

    You meet a lot of cool people with great tastes in music & style.

    Cons

    They've recently gotten rid of my job position. I worked at the desk greeting people & preventing equipment from being stolen. Without this extra security they may lose a lot of merch.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
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  5. Tough but enjoyable with the right people around

    • 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

    Great discounts after 90 days

    Cons

    Tough pay scale with commission

    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
  6. Fun Job for College Kids

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Guitar Center Sales Associate in Albany, NY
    Former Employee - Guitar Center Sales Associate in Albany, NY

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

    Pros

    It's a fun environment with a very laid back management, working with music gear of all kinds. A good experience for a retail job, as you'll have the ability to learn a decent amount about gear.

    Cons

    Music is a skill you must craft on your own, by practice, mentoring, and networking. Many people I worked with at Guitar Center were barely musicians at all, but talk as if they are experienced industry experts. The employee atmosphere is very pompous, entitled, and difficult to fit into having just come from a University Music Program.

    Low Compensation (even after 5-6 years), Uneducated/Unprofessional Staff, Little Room for Growth (unless you want to waste 10 years of your life). CEO changes frequently. "GC University" prepares you for Guitar Center, and not much else. The job is ok for a year, no more than that.

    The pay structure is known as a "fade" system, which is confusing on purpose. According to retail compensation studies, this system is implemented to get as much work out of employees for as little pay as possible. Ultimately, the pay structure does allow you to make a decent commission check during busy months (so...December), but I recommend getting in, buying some gear, and getting out before you've been there for a year. If it takes you more than a year to get all you can out of this job, you're doin' it wrong!

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Grow Up. Run the store more efficiently and convey your employee's concerns to upper management. Find answers, and communicate these things with staff. I see the difficulty in this, as no store manager has any actual say over what happens in their own store.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  7. I left before the company went downhill.

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

    I worked at Guitar Center part-time (more than a year)

    Pros

    It's like a fun factory for musicians and music enthusiasts.

    Cons

    No room to grow unless you are in sales, but that is minimal. Pay is minimum wage. It's a starter job, but don't think of it as long term. The best perk was the company discounts, but I think they have really taken that away. I worked back in 2010.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Hold more company meetings to improve work environment.

    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  8. Fast paced inspiring interaction between employees and customers. Constant learning and growth in the company.

    • 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

    Room for growth in the company with many added benefits for anyone in the music industry.

    Cons

    Potentially tense work environment for over staffed locations.

  9. Good Learning Experience

    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at Guitar Center

    Pros

    - The discount
    - Being around people who truly care about music
    - Good opportunity to learn different facets of the business by working with people in different departments.

    Cons

    - Employees are overworked.
    - Not enough people to do the necessary jobs.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Be open to change in the evolving retail landscape.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  10. 2 people found this helpful

    The discounts are amazing, but the constant change in policy and corporate structure puts stress on employees.

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

    I worked at Guitar Center full-time

    Pros

    Ability to network in the music scene. Good discounts on gear. Fun people to work with (for the most part). Can have tattoos, weird hair, whatever as long as you don't smell or have a wrinkled shirt. You get to be around what you love: music.

    Cons

    Benefits suck. Unclear path of advancement. Poor leadership skills on the part of corporate. Sexual harassment of females by customers and sometimes staff members.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  11. Laid back environment and lot of dedicated workers

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

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

    Pros

    Great product discounts, laid back environment, and great for acquiring experience shortly after college

    Cons

    Not much career growth and benefits are not that great

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Take bold approaches otherwise company will keep operating as non profitable

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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