Sweetwater

  www.sweetwater.com
  www.sweetwater.com
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Sweetwater Reviews

Updated September 7, 2014
Updated September 7, 2014
17 Reviews
3.6
17 Reviews
Rating Trends

Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
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Chuck Surack
14 Ratings

Employee Reviews

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  1.  

    You are responsible for your own success here

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

    I have been working at Sweetwater

    Pros

    For anyone in the audio field that has an outgoing personality that doesn't mind calling strangers to talk about music gear, it's fantastic. You can play video games during your lunch break and management for the most part does not micromanage. They will guide you to tell you what will help your business, but as long as you do your job and make enough commission to cover your base pay, you'll be fine.

    Cons

    They do charge for coffee, and it's not that great of coffee.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  2.  

    Unbelievable facility!

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

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

    Pros

    Beautiful facility! Great people! Nice cafeteria!

    Cons

    Corporate waits until the last possible moment to add necessary staff. At the breaking point of the current staff!!

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Your fabulous vision needs to move forward before the breaking point!

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  3. 2 people found this helpful  

    Don't drink the coolaide

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Sales Engineer  in  Fort Wayne, IN
    Current Employee - Sales Engineer in Fort Wayne, IN

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

    Pros

    Cheap and sometimes free gear, mostly good coworkers, free turkey during thanksgiving.

    Cons

    Insurance is pretty poor. Constant up and down sales. If you don't make 90+ calls a day for your first 3-5 years, then you're not going to do well. Senior SEs watch younger SEs like a hawk. Sales management does not listen to the ideas of their employees. They don't tell the staff the true wholesale cost of items, so you're not really getting the percentage of commission you expect. Long hours. Boring meetings 3 times a week. No advancement. Management monitors you very closely. Even the food at the "Diner" is incredibly underwhelming. Very low base pay, so if you don't sell a lot, then you're going to have issues paying your bills. Very little time off. They just finished a huge expansion of the sales department, but won't expand the support staff, so many of the things that make Sweetwater better than the competitors is starting to become less reliable. The corporate atmosphere is very much cult of personality. If you don't follow the word of Chuck, you're done.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    More support employees, give a higher base pay, and listen to your employees. Stop making people work late shifts, then requiring them to come to 7:30 meetings. Crack down on employees not checking referrals, and quit shoving the name of their highest-earning employee down our throats.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
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  5.  

    Great Place to Work

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Sales Engineer  in  Fort Wayne, IN
    Current Employee - Sales Engineer in Fort Wayne, IN

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

    Pros

    The company really takes care of their employees. There are great opportunities to grow as a sales person. If you put in the effort and work how they recommend, you will make money and grow a business. Not to mention you get to talk with people around the world about your ultimate passion. Not having to work Sunday's is a huge bonus for me.

    The database and infrastructure is the best I have ever used in the retail industry. The amount of information at your fingertips makes you feel and look like an expert in all areas of music. This tool also allows you to grow in your knowledge of audio and lear more about your customers more quickly.

    Cons

    You will read some reviews that say you are required to attend meetings twice a week. Lets me honest, any professional work place is going to require you to attend meetings. The advantage here is many of these meetings are entertaining and quite informative. You aren't technically getting "paid" for these meetings but you will be paid strictly on commission anyway's, so this is irrelevant.

    The only other disadvantage comes with the retail/customer service territory; hours. You will be required to work late days and weekends for your first 5-6 years here.

    You will also feel pressure by senior sales staff for the first couple of years to work ethically and honestly, which can sometimes feel like it it tipping the scale in their favor. Stick with it and do the right thing and it will pay off, but one mistake can make for a week of uncomfortable situations internally.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Keep doing what you are doing. Stay approachable and never take this too seriously. We are working with musical instruments and things people do for joy. You are doing a great job now

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  6. 2 people found this helpful  

    It's a call center, cube farm in the worst part of the country BUT...

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Sales Engineer  in  Fort Wayne, IN
    Current Employee - Sales Engineer in Fort Wayne, IN

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

    Pros

    You get gear at cost and the facility is state of the art. They have a lending library to try out gear. The training is great and I like the mgmt. They are there to help and Brad and Dave give great advice. If this company were located anywhere else or we could do our job remotely (totally doable), it would be tolerable.

    Cons

    No room for advancement. You will be a salesperson forever so a lot of industry talent is overlooked. You have to make at least 80 calls when you "roll out" or you will get warned and then fired. You have to come in for 3 early morning meetings that somehow do not show up on your time card. Senior sales guys will try and steal sales with no intervention from mgmt. They will also dig through your sales and try to find referrals that have no or insanely vague connections. If you've dealt with referrals, get ready to be shocked what they consider a legit referral. Eg. A college kid attends a university, the sales guy who "has" that university will try and take the kid. Yes, it's insane and mgmt will not define or clear this up. Also, occasionally the CEO will ask us to do strange things, like walk faster into work. He parades everyone by his Bentley (yes, a Bentley in Fort D'wayne is hilarious) or whatever ridiculously expensive car he drove that day so that's a real moral booster when you're cranking out 28k a year. My poor family probably resents me for moving them to a frozen tundra full of religious zealots and just flat out mean-spirited people. Boy, were we duped,

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    PLEASE make referrals black and white. Don't let senior sales people get away with murder. They use intimidation and bullying to throw the new guys off and to steal business. Utilize our talents and at least hang some sort of possible advancement in front of us. Like, getting an office at a certain tenure. Money is great but I'm there to enjoy what I do and take pride in my job as well.

    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  7.  

    Sales Engineer

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Sales Engineer  in  Fort Wayne, IN
    Current Employee - Sales Engineer in Fort Wayne, IN

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

    Pros

    Extensive training, autonomy, solid company, the more you put in, the more you make

    Cons

    Commission sales; up and down.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  8.  

    Fast paced

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Sales Engineer  in  Fort Wayne, IN
    Current Employee - Sales Engineer in Fort Wayne, IN

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

    Pros

    The campus! Plua, the people are incredibly smart, like-minded, musicians who are genuinely good people.

    Cons

    The pace. Many thrive under the pressure but some can't keep up.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    There are some positions that could pay a bit more to hold onto quality employees.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  9. 3 people found this helpful  

    Not so sweet

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Distribution Center  in  Fort Wayne, IN
    Former Employee - Distribution Center in Fort Wayne, IN

    I worked at Sweetwater full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    Good Discounts on gear.... that's it.

    Cons

    The distribution center pays very poorly. There are some who have work their buts off for years and still make only $8.50 an hour. Managers work 60hr weeks and make less than $30k a year. Compared to sales the distribution employees are treated like second class citizens. There are no opportunities for pay increases or any encouragement for being an outstanding employee. The Distribution center also severely lacks safety. People use old broker pallets as platforms to get items down, many times heavy items break through. There is no training for forklifts or any equipment, management doesn't care who operates equipment. Management does seem to care about anything. As for Chuck Surack he flaunts his money with his expensive cars and even one took out a $100 bill and ripped it in two as her argued with a employee about pay raises. The company has poor values and business ethics. Even with the discounts they are paid so little that employees can't afford anything. Also they sell people demos all the time as "new" items. And odds are your next order will be wrong or broken.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    I don't even know where to begin. The distribution center is ran god awful. There is literally zero training for anything. Items break, items are sent out wrong or broken.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  10.  

    Great Company!

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Sales Engineer  in  Fort Wayne, IN
    Current Employee - Sales Engineer in Fort Wayne, IN

    I have been working at Sweetwater full-time

    Pros

    You get to be around the newest and greatest gear, you're one of the first in the country to find out about new product releases, the on-site lending library lets you take home gear and try it out, on-site dry cleaning, DVD Library, cafe, and game room.

    The systems used at Sweetwater (database) is a phenomenal asset, quick and easy workflow and integration makes our job a lot easier. You can make as much as you want to make and the work seriously isn't that hard....simply stay on the phone as much as possible and your business will grow.

    You aren't micromanaged at all, meaning it's up to you to make your business grow. You set the prices and margin (within limitations) and you handle the customer as if you were the manager.

    Cons

    The database goes down pretty regularly, it can put a damper on your productivity. Even though Sweetwater is a great company, it's still sales...meaning some people are still cut-throat and some senior guys will try to steal your sales. In fact, some senior guys will go through all the shipped invoices and call you up about it...pretty sad when management warns you that will happen (and why aren't you, management, doing anything about it)?

    I'm not a huge fan of the cafe, it's overpriced and the food is mediocre at best.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Don't straddle the fence...when there is an issue, make a decision. Also, when you know more senior SE's aren't working hard and trying to stir up issues, please don't turn the other way. You are in management to improve the company, not to sit idly while these older guys make it difficult to have a healthy work environment.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  11.  

    Sweetwater is a great place to work. I've loved my time here.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Sales Engineer  in  Fort Wayne, IN
    Current Employee - Sales Engineer in Fort Wayne, IN

    I have been working at Sweetwater full-time for more than 10 years

    Pros

    I am surrounded by some of the smartest people on the planet, and management that consistently makes good choices.

    Cons

    If you aren't comfortable with making lots of phone calls and have a deep knowledge of music gear, this isn't the job for you.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Stop using the "pricelist costs." Base profits and commissions off of the real wholesale the company pays.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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