Guitar Center Reviews

Updated May 16, 2021

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3.3
53%
Recommend to a Friend
51%
Approve of CEO
Guitar Center CEO Ron Japinga
Ron Japinga
289 Ratings
Pros
  • "Employee Discount was amazing and the people there were very fun to work with(in 179 reviews)

  • "Teaching is rewarding; discounts on gear is tremendous(in 102 reviews)

  • Cons
  • "Some micromanagement plus constant criticism from upper management(in 82 reviews)

  • "When people would return their gear though(in 63 reviews)

  • More Pros and Cons
    Pros & Cons are excerpts from user reviews. They are not authored by Glassdoor.

    Ratings by Demographics

    This rating reflects the overall rating of Guitar Center and is not affected by filters.

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    1. 5.0
      Current Employee, more than 1 year

      Good company

      Apr 16, 2021 - Finance Manager in Frederick, MD
      Recommend
      CEO Approval
      Business Outlook

      Pros

      Nice mission, laid back, a lot of visibility and direct access to senior management.

      Cons

      Benefits could be better - recommend higher 401K match and 3 weeks of paid vacation as standard

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    2. 4.0
      Current Employee, less than 1 year

      Good job, can be competitive

      Apr 23, 2021 - Sales Associate 
      Recommend
      CEO Approval
      Business Outlook

      Pros

      Great discounts, awesome coworkers, flexible hours, generally nice customers

      Cons

      Large focus on pro coverage, even when management knows you're selling it well, if people aren't getting it you get a long talking to which takes you out of the sales floor and reduces time with customers. It really is frustrating to have to death with. when sales are slow, dealing with other sales associates can get competitive and frustrating quick. Everyone knows the game of trying to help as many customers as possible to increase sales numbers. Some sales associates will lie about having helped other customers you were working with to get portions of the sale. Learning how to come to an agreement with the other sales associates is probably the hardest part of the job.

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    3. 1.0
      Former Employee

      Only join this job for the discounts

      May 11, 2021 - Lesson Lead in Totowa, NJ
      Recommend
      CEO Approval
      Business Outlook

      Pros

      Discounts on gear is the only good thing.

      Cons

      Horrible work environment, poor management that bullies sales associates to earn a commission by swindling naive customers to buy warranties or sign up on a credit card, the company doesnt care about the employees, very high turnover ratio as expected. Rumored to keep sales associate costs down since they don't want full-time employees, just 18 year-olds on part-time. The stores are made very cheap and they are all currently old and dirty. No one takes pride in working here. The floor model guitars are left out in lights in an unsuitable room that reeks havoc on the fretboards on the guitar. You can tell how long a guitar has been sitting out, baking in the lights and the dry heat that lingers towards the ceilings ( where the $2,000 guitars are) by the visual dryness of the fretboard the the frets jutting out farther than a railroad spike. Do not work here unless you want to be a lessons instructor.

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    4. 2.0
      Current Employee, more than 1 year

      Impersonal corporate micromanagement

      May 14, 2021 - Instructor in Evansville, IN
      Recommend
      CEO Approval
      Business Outlook

      Pros

      Employee discount is quite the boon. Networking with other musicians in the surrounding area is great.

      Cons

      Stores are not allowed enough hours to be adequately staffed. Turnover is high because of this. Employees are required to sell credit cards and item insurance EVERY SHIFT. The carpets and shelving units are old, broken and need replaced. There is no wifi for employees and the computers are dinosaurs, crashing multiple times every day.

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    5. 4.0
      Current Employee, less than 1 year

      Much better than I expected...

      Apr 24, 2021 - Operations Associate in Hollywood, CA
      Recommend
      CEO Approval
      Business Outlook

      Pros

      It really depends on how you look at it if you decide to work here. Although the pay could be better, you are given the opportunity to meet extravagant people and the discount on music gear is incredible. If you're smart enough, you really get to know what it takes to operate a business. It teaches people how to prioritize and realize what task is most imperative. Always take the opportunity for higher responsibility, and with that mindset, it will make your job easier at guitar center and it will eventually pay off.

      Cons

      You might have to do some physical labor, and might be exhausted after your shift. I recommend to live a healthy lifestyle.

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    6. 4.0
      Former Employee, more than 1 year

      A Solid Employer, Despite Disorganization

      Mar 4, 2021 - Gear Advisor in Draper, UT
      Recommend
      CEO Approval
      Business Outlook

      Pros

      Discounts, potential to make a lot if you've got a natural talent for sales, and a great network for musicians to get connected with other musicians.

      Cons

      Management was vastly inconsistent. I worked under two different managers, and three different team leads, in less than a year. Around my 6 month mark, just prior to remote work being implemented, my department (outbound sales) was merged with our inbound sales and service department, effectively doubling my job responsibilities. There was no increase in pay for the outbound department, and, concurrently, our expected minimum sales goals were also increased by more than double their previous values. The justification for this, was that we would have "more sales opportunities." It resulted in a cast majority of my department quitting within a week of the announcement. I stayed on another six months before being terminated due to low sales performance.

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    7. 3.0
      Former Employee, more than 1 year

      A Mixed Bag

      May 10, 2021 - Director, Human Resources in Los Angeles, CA
      Recommend
      CEO Approval
      Business Outlook

      Pros

      Let's face it - it's fun to work at a music store. Beyond just the gear - which is cool for musicians - the culture was focused on the joy of making and consuming music. I had the opportunity to work at the corporate headquarters and to spend a lot of time in stores and that vibe was prevalent everywhere. People at GC are united in their love of music. As a musician myself, I loved the employee discount on gear. It's real and it's significant. And it was awesome to spend time with other musicians at HQ and in the stores. The HQ (the "Support Center") has a practice facility that employee bands can use and even holds a quarterly employee band night at a local bar/venue. That was a blast!

      Cons

      Retail is tough. The industry is in a tough place and everyone knows it. There is a lot of pressure to do a lot with a little and while staff at GC do their best, they often do not have adequate resources to do their jobs well. This ranges from basic issues (like internet speed at stores) to bigger challenges (limited funding for staff development). The frontline retail staff in stores are not very well-respected by senior leaders or staff at headquarters. There is a mutual distrust between the field-based retail employees, who view HQ (the "Support Center") as an out-of-touch ivory tower, and the Support Center staff who are skeptical of the field's ability to execute corporate initiatives and are concerned about theft from field staff. At the Support Center, there was a draconian prohibition on remote work while I was there that successive CEOs had maintained. Their claim was that this was to improve collaboration but that didn't seem to help. It severely hamstrung their ability to operate when the Support Center was shut down due to nearby brushfires in 2018, and I can only imagine the challenges that they would have had to overcome in getting staff ready to work remotely when COVID-19 struck. Also, the location of the headquarters (40 miles outside of the core of Los Angeles) limited their applicant pool - why not be more open to remote work candidates? Compensation is an issue, though this is more reflectively of the nature of compensation in the retail industry than just at GC. When I left (as a Director), my next position paid me $30k more to be an individual contributor in another industry.

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    8. 3.0
      Former Employee, less than 1 year

      Decent job

      May 16, 2021 - Store Lead in Detroit, MI
      Recommend
      CEO Approval
      Business Outlook

      Pros

      Good discount and great coworkers

      Cons

      Second shift and need to keep up with sales quota while not being a sale person

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    9. 2.0
      Former Employee, more than 5 years

      Just as you'd expect..

      May 11, 2021 - Customer Service Representative in Danbury, CT
      Recommend
      CEO Approval
      Business Outlook

      Pros

      -Discounts -The people & coworkers - Interaction with customers

      Cons

      -Upper management has no idea what happens to each of the stores - Serious disconnect between store level and upper management - Zero appreciation for their good employees= high turnover rate.

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    10. 5.0
      Current Employee

      I like it

      May 10, 2021 - Operations Associate 
      Recommend
      CEO Approval
      Business Outlook

      Pros

      I like it because it is a fun place to work at

      Cons

      It is a great place to work at

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