Guitar Center

  www.guitarcenter.com
  www.guitarcenter.com
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Guitar Center Reviews

Updated September 8, 2014
Updated September 8, 2014
329 Reviews
2.8
329 Reviews
Rating Trends

Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
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Mike Pratt
80 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • Great discounts on gear, awesome connections to be made, and a new focus on the employee (in 30 reviews)

  • Above all, the employee discount; especially when you can start getting things off of GAIN (in 36 reviews)


Cons
  • It's minimum wage DRAWED against your commission(Fading) (in 27 reviews)

  • The upper management is beholden to Bain Capital Partners (in 11 reviews)

More Highlights

Employee Reviews

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  1.  

    It is what it is

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Guitar Center Sales Associate  in  Mayfield Heights, Cuyahoga, OH
    Former Employee - Guitar Center Sales Associate in Mayfield Heights, Cuyahoga, OH

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

    Pros

    The employee discount is pretty nice, you can make connections by working in a place frequented by musicians and various industry people, and it might be a way for young musicians to supplement their meager incomes from music. The veteran sales staff are good and knowledgeable people.

    Cons

    The environment is internally competitive, potentially making the staff into sharks. Unless you work in a high-traffic store, the commission system (which is going to be replaced soon) is pretty unfair - you get 10% of profit and 1% of sale, and if that amount is enough to exceed your basic monthly wages (which are barely above the minimum wage), your wages for the month are then deducted from that 10% of profit; sort of like you're paying them back out of your wages for the chance to truly get your commision, which ends up being a small bonus. Aside from this, the commission introduces petty politics.

    Furthermore, in my store, I found too much of the management to be bullying narcissistic personalities. The store manager was notorious among some of the staff for being an intense and crass man who mainly cares about the numbers - a man who takes out the financial pressures that are on him from above, on those below him. To be frank, I felt like psych-ops games were being played on me and workplace bullying was taking place for my first 6 months or so.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Learn how to treat your workers with respect and try not to drink too much of the corporate kool-aid.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  2.  

    Best work environment I have experienced.

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

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

    Pros

    The atmosphere at Guitar Center is great. Despite the fact that the job can get busy, things are always laid back and comfortable both as an employee and as a customer. Service and product knowledge are the biggest parts of the job. Working for Guitar Center is great for anyone who loves music and wants to see people leave with gear that will help them do the same. Employee benefits are great as well (read gig leave).

    Cons

    The worst parts of the job are: old POS technology, when corporate mentality takes over management in store (tends to come and go), and the problem customers seen in any retail environment.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Perks and benefits are pretty much where they should be. Availability for upward movement is well instated. One area to grow in is training. Product knowledge and cross training should be pushed a bit harder.

    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  3.  

    Great place and vibe to work, but pay issues

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

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

    Pros

    Staff and customers usually great to work with, I have met some of my best friends from working at this place.

    Cons

    While I worked at GC, they were trial testing new pay structures for our district. Our base was 7.25/hr and commission, but we wouldn't receive commission unless we faded our hours. It is safe to say by the end of the month, those of us in Guitars would barely be able to afford taco bell for lunch.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Strong manager who is loved by his employees goes very far with the workers. Someone who is willing to do the dirty work, and lead his/her troops into battle.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
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  5.  

    HR is unprofessional. Hostile work environment.

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

    I worked at Guitar Center full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    Discounts on gear.
    Great customer loyalty to salesmen.
    Great inventory.

    Cons

    Hostile work environment.
    Not professional.
    HR doesn't follow up.
    Can't trust management.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Keep your employees based on sales skill.
    Allow you employees opportunities to advance in management.
    Provide better training in management.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  6. 2 people found this helpful  

    Sexist company, boys club. Lack of direction from upper management.

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

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

    Pros

    Company discounts on music equipment.

    Cons

    Poor leadership at the top which creates an overall atmosphere which lacks unity. No focus or direction long term. Lack of awareness at the top levels of the overall Management weakness. Very inconsistent levels of management practice at all levels. Some good managers and others behavior off the charts in terms of lack of ethical behavior, abuse. Because there isn't an environment that supports growth and development one mistake can get you thrown under the bus. The focus is not on developing talent. It's on holding on to your turf. Promotions, company values, pay is very low for the amount of work entailed, pretty sexist, men are hired for all the best jobs even if they are not fit for them.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Upper management doesn’t really listen and it seems they just like to hear themselves talk and take credit for someone else's work. Some people are intense and like to micromanage. Stop hiring lazy dispassionate/mediocre managers who take advantage of their title and work hardly any hours yet get salaried. Quality vs. quantity comes to mind. Happy employees equals better better business. Don't support bad managers. Get input from the lower ranks of the organization and evaluate were there are opportunities for changes.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  7.  

    Horrible Management

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

    I worked at Guitar Center full-time

    Pros

    people I worked with were nice

    Cons

    the company has the worst possible management anyone could have, across the board

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    a detailed clean-up is required in the management

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

    Customer Service Rep

    • 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

    Awesome discounts. Got off work for gigs

    Cons

    Everything else. Pay, benefits, clarity on commissions, work hours, store manager

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Pay your employees better and attempt to make an effort to get a decent health coverage

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  9.  

    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 for less than a 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
  10.  

    Unless you're 18 for the love of all things good do not work here

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

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

    Pros

    Like most of the reviews on this site the discount is good. You really aren't getting gear at cost because the real cost is averaged out across the country. I really enjoyed my coworkers.

    Cons

    The list of cons
    1. Pay does not = cost of living in my city. If you work here you will be poor
    2. No chances for moving up
    3. There is a lot of politics involved (at least my location)
    4. Things are never good enough even when the work you did was stellar
    5. Micro management. There are managers (regional and local) that should have never been promoted as such
    6. They run the mom and pop shops out of business. Buy from a local mom and pop shop! (GC's old moto was Total World Domination.)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion 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 for more than a 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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