Guitar Center Reviews

Updated July 1, 2015
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474 Employee Reviews

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  1. It's a fun job, but it's not a career.

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

    I have been working at Guitar Center full-time (More than 8 years)

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

    Pros

    It's fun to work with music gear. The employee discount is good, although it recently changed. The coworkers are all fun to work with.

    Cons

    Can't get their policies straight. Pay is decent for a job but you can't make a career out of it. Good job for someone in college, but not an adult. I've held multiple positions, including salaried positions and they're all underpaid, especially operations staff.

    Advice to Management

    Invest in your employees more. Having stores full of disgruntled, underpaid and confused employees does not lead to good customer service. Stop flip flopping back and forth on policies.


  2. Rentals Manager

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Branch Rental Manager in Tampa, FL
    Current Employee - Branch Rental Manager in Tampa, FL

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

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    Pros

    Nice culture awesome gear, laid back atmosphere.

    Cons

    Not advantageous promotion

    Pay is ok, hours are terrible.

    Advice to Management

    Find successful people from within, and expand corporately


  3. Guitar Center

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

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

    Pros

    The community at Guitar Center is very helpful and open. The systems and resources in effect for helping associates get their clients what they want are great. Scheduling is rather flexible.

    Cons

    It's difficult to really do well at Guitar Center. The commission structure has become confusing and it isn't easy to excel unless you have been at the store for years. The environment is also very aggressive.

    Advice to Management

    Management at Guitar Center does a good job. Everyone is pretty cooperative and available, even though there is often a lot for managers to get done in a day. Maybe the management could be broader and more present.


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  5. GC

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

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

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook

    Pros

    You learn a lot about current and past musical technology, My store is like my second family, GAIN need I say more?

    Cons

    Retail Hours don't leave much room for the rest of the day


  6. Front Door Staff

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

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

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook

    Pros

    -Great work environment

    -Awesome Coworkers

    -Great discounts on in store products

    Cons

    -Little pay
    -Lunch hour structure is very unorganized
    -Management didn't offer much help

    Advice to Management

    Allow your employees to make suggestions. Create a more organized schedule to cause less confusion among staff. Lead by example.


  7. HR nightmare

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

    I have been working at Guitar Center part-time (More than a year)

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

    Pros

    Getting gear just above cost, that's literally about it. Actually we get some awesome customers time to time as well. Although I could just be a customer and be able to just come in and meet other musicians.

    Cons

    Terrible pay, one week you are slammed with hours but if you don't sell enough pro coverage insurance plans for products you sell or sign customers up for the gc credit card say hello to 4 hours a week. They don't have a training program, they put you on the floor and basically say good luck. Top sellers are only top sellers in the store because they run from customers with returns, avoid everyone that isn't buying immediately, and disappear for breaks when no one is in the store. Managers will tell you clean the store and organize but don't do it, this means the top sellers will watch you do it, and then you will scolded for not selling enough while the top seller is praised and their lack of cleaning or merchandising is ignored. Seriously if you get a job here the only way to succeed is to take everyone's sales, annoy customers until they buy something, and call managers over to talk to your customers about why they should get pro coverage on heir item. You'll do great if you're a pushy jerk.

    Advice to Management

    If you want higher pro coverage in your store you're going to have to walk around the store and get involved with employees who have trouble getting customers to buy it. Also understand your top sellers are terrible retail workers and anger people at least every hour, maybe make sure they clean and merchandise as well so that it is fair to everyone trying to sell and keep the place looking great. District managers, I've seen a few come and go and please stop coming in and treating the sales associates like we're worthless, we literally sell the gear that profits to write your check, we are a representation of how well your district does as well.


  8. My REAL Review

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Former Assistant Manager/Downsized to Salesperson in Ipswich, MA
    Former Employee - Former Assistant Manager/Downsized to Salesperson in Ipswich, MA

    I worked at Guitar Center full-time (More than 8 years)

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    I met a ton of cool people here. Both customers and fellow employees. I learned a lot about the business. I learned about about the gear. Good advancement opportunities if you are willing to move around to other stores and are willing to play the "game", something I was never good at.

    Employee discount is good, but is going to not be as good once June comes. Still good, but you know....

    Opportunity to try out the newest equipment, and see stuff in the works from the reps (the ones that are still around, that is).

    Cons

    Somebody took the liberty to write a fake review to make it appear like me. I'm sure this was the actual cause of my dismissal and not the manufactured reason they gave.

    In my nearly 10 years, I had 5 different store managers, one of which reacted to anything like a 14 year old girl, 1 had major temper issues, 1 that was a bully (but I got along with) but he was passionate and did good by the employees, 1 that was a really good manager but I didn't agree with personally, and 1 that was really awesome (the one who hired me). So, that was 5 different people I had to keep proving myself to.

    If you have any problems that you need to go to HR, getting results can be difficult. I've been trying to get help from them for nearly a week and from upper management, and with little results. Some seem to be trying I guess, but I'm very much in the dark. They simply don't appear to care. You would think that a company this large would want to make their foot soldiers happy and well looked after.

    After they switched from Blue Cross, the health insurance is kinda a joke. Price tripled and benefits dropped.

    Employee benefits are slowly being taken away. Soon (June), employees can no longer make employee purchases whenever they like. It will change to one purchase per pay period, and the cost is going up another 10% in June.

    Advice to Management

    Have HR react properly to claims. Treat the people that make you your money right. Don't wiggle out the veterans to save money, we are the ones who have the long term relationships with the customers and know the business. It's not all about the money, it's also about the people and the customer experience. Good customer experience will bring in repeat business, hence making more money. Lastly, look closer at the drum guy compensation. I'm not a drum guy, but I know they struggle for the most part because the business is lacking most in that arena. Also, your OPS crew. They bust their butts day in and day out, and are underpaid as well (this includes the OPS Manager!).


  9. Ok to work for, but going downhill.

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

    Pros

    Great coworkers, ok benefits, interesting work environment, good managers.

    Upward mobility is there if you work for it.It'ss great to work for a place where you get to talk about what you love all day.

    Cons

    The benefits were great when I first came on and they always had a contest go in that you could get free stuff, but a few months in they killed all of those. The great things that were a part of working there slowly disapeared and they expected more for less over and over.

    Advice to Management

    Respect your employees and they will respect you. Don't hide things from your employees and blindside them down the line.


  10. Pro Audio Sales Associate

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Sales Associate In Professional Audio in Southfield, MI
    Former Employee - Sales Associate In Professional Audio in Southfield, MI

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

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

    Pros

    Some very cool and notable people came in the store fairly often. Most of the guys I worked with were great and knowledgeable. In fact, I would say most of them were far too overqualified to be working there. You get a lot of great gear at cost, with prices even lower than that through the program called GAIN. Working with the reps was great too, and you got to see a lot of products as soon as they came out. I truly believe you can learn a lot by working here.

    Cons

    The knowledge level you need to be successful in pro audio is extremely high for how little you are paid. You aren't just convincing people to buy things, you are also their tech support, and often the customers are incredibly rude or short with you about it. 90% of the things they call to ask you about specific programs or errors could easily be solved with a simple Google search.

    The pro audio department was very competitive. At one point we had eight sales associates when no other department had more than three. Of those eight, three of them were assistant managers with special privileges, and another was a department manager with special privileges, which makes things hard to compete with for someone coming in from the outside. The veteran salesmen have the ability to discount prices and new salesmen do not, which makes things unfairly slanted in their favor because the customers would rather work with someone who can give them a better price.

    One of the assistant managers in my department routinely stole deals from me and diminished my cut when I helped him out. I have made the store managers aware of this but no action was taken because they favored the assistant manager as he was a veteran and higher up the chain that I was. After a while I stopped reporting it and just accepted it as paying the price for being free of drama, though over my year and a half there, I estimate that he took about $1,000 of my sales from me. I don't see this as any different from pulling cash right out of my pocket.

    The pay for the veterans is not outstanding, but I was hired in right when the commissions became less. The veterans (employees hired before 2012) get 10% of gross profit and 2% of gross sales. Employees hired after that time can only make a maximum of 9% of gross profit and 1.5% of gross sales, and that's after completing a lot of computer training. Unless your training is complete, you don't get your full percentages. My first month of the sales floor I did great, I was actually a top ten sales associate in our entire region, but because my computer training was not complete (which you do on the clock, instead of selling things), the commission check was for a little more than $700.

    For those who don't know, the pay structure is set up so that you get two checks per month. The first is your hourly check (minimum wage) and the second is your commission check. Your commission is your sales MINUS your hourly wage. You must cover your own hourly pay in sales. For most audio folks this was never an issue, but there were good drum salesmen that would go months without "fading", meaning they were basically making minimum wage. Many times the job was far too stressful for minimum wage.

    Your Pro Coverage warranty attachment is a curious metric as well. It's not about how many you sell, but your attachment percentage on qualifying items. If your percentage is the highest in the store you usually get an extra $100 which is nice, but again that doesn't mean you sold the most PCs, it just means your attachment percentage was the highest. If your attachment is under 30%, you get written up, and if it's low enough, they take it out of your pay.

    I'm not sure if it's an issue at most stores or not, but scheduling was a factor where I worked. I eventually took on another job teaching at a local college so I decided to reduce my time at GC to 4 days per week. At first they told me this wasn't possible and tried to guilt me into more, but eventually we agreed on 4 days per week. After several months I picked up more classes and had to quit GC because I couldn't give them 5 days per week despite the pressure from management. During this period they denied giving me my requested days off, including my birthday. The hours you are given have a huge factor on how much you get paid, because since you are covering your own time with commission, you're out of luck if you are scheduled long hours on a slow day. You're also out of luck if you aren't scheduled on busy, high-traffic days. Sometimes there are entire months where foot traffic is relatively low, or perhaps there is hazardous weather, but none of this is factored into your sales goals. Also, there were monthly all-store meetings that required everyone to be present and clocked in, and this time is also subtracted from your commission.

    Advice to Management

    Do what you can to get rid of the fade-based pay structure. Strive to make things fair for newcomers, because they get lower percentages on commission and also don't have discount abilities like many others in the store do.


  11. Cool in theory

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

    I have been working at Guitar Center (Less than a year)

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

    Pros

    Fun place to work, get to play with gear and listen to music all day, good discount at least when I was working there

    Cons

    Competition for commissions can be cutthroat, not enough pay for the quality of work expected, expectations for up selling not necessarily realistic

    Advice to Management

    Treat your employees with a little more respect, without your sales people you have nothing.



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