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Guitar Center Reviews

Updated October 18, 2017
908 reviews

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2.7
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Guitar Center CEO Ron Japinga
Ron Japinga
54 Ratings

908 Employee Reviews

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Pros
Cons
  • Upper management is pretty counterproductive (in 48 reviews)

  • Pay is disgustingly low (minimum wage) for workers with specialized skill set (in 46 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. Featured Review

    Helpful (1)

    "A fantastic decision"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Westlake Village, Los Angeles, CA
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Westlake Village, Los Angeles, CA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    My experience with GC has been fantastic -- smart, engaged, and driven teams; cool vibes; strong management; and a commitment to the community and our people.

    Cons

    No serious challenges you haven't encountered anywhere else in your career

    Advice to Management

    Keep communicating, continue to be authentic, and keep developing us

    Guitar Center Response

    May 4, 2017 – Vice President Human Resources

    Thanks for the review and finding your sound with us!


  2. "Fun place to work, just no competitive pay structure"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Sales Associate in Salt Lake City, UT
    Current Employee - Sales Associate in Salt Lake City, UT
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    Great place to network with industry professionals and be in an environment where people share similar interests and passions.

    Cons

    Pay structure is horrendous. $9 an hour with an added 0.25% - 3% commission rate.

    Advice to Management

    Change pay to be more representative of associates specialization ($10-$13 an hour). Help associates who make the experience beneficial for Guitar Center's customers feel like the company appreciates their effort, (Bonuses based on OSAT scores). Make the commission rate higher, (1%-5%).

  3. "Low pay, great discount"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Operations Associate in Edgewater, CO
    Current Employee - Operations Associate in Edgewater, CO
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    Great discount and store management. The management do their best to care about your situation and the discount is great.

    Cons

    The pay is low for the job needing done, and the corporate management is a mess, getting in the way of what is being done.


  4. "Okay for music retail"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • 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

    Pros

    Good people working with you, plenty of customers to take care of, and employee discounts are always nice

    Cons

    Constantly changing management practices (due to GC corporate) and the commission is capped at 3 percent of gross sales.

    Advice to Management

    pay more attention to the needs of your employees, as well as to the needs of the customer. Hard to keep people on if they can barely afford to work there.


  5. Helpful (1)

    "Decent enough job if you're a young musician and a good salesperson"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Assistant Sales Manager in New York, NY
    Former Employee - Assistant Sales Manager in New York, NY
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Guitar Center (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    I was a salesperson and asistant sales manager. I left the company in 2013 so this may no longer be relevant, but here we go anyway:

    -Potential to make decent money for a retail job
    -Good employee discounts
    -Employees are usually great people. I remain friends with some of my co-workers to this day

    Cons

    -Commission based pay means that slow months result in a low paycheck
    -Customers can be difficult
    -Upper management is often very disconnected from reality

    Advice to Management

    Focus more on creating an environment where employees are given the tools to be helpful to customers


  6. "Fun Place, Great People, Abysmal Pay for Surviving in Chicago"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Lead Sales Associate in Chicago, IL
    Current Employee - Lead Sales Associate in Chicago, IL
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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

    Pros

    The sales associates are wonderful, working to support independent creative projects and motivated to do well. I love that there's a place in many cities where people can come and demo music gear

    Cons

    Management has a very top-down communication method from Corporate, leaving many of the sales associates' concerns - such as the store's appearance and integrity, unrealistic ratio of stress to pay, and roadblocks to the store's effectiveness - unheard and unaddressed

    Advice to Management

    Store management, especially in a larger store, faces more stress than is healthy. It would almost be worth it if the pay was at least decent. Not a chance


  7. "Very cool people, very cool work environment. Company doesn’t care much for their employees."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    Pros

    Meet amazing people and talk about what you love everyday. There’s not a lot of places that allow you to talk about music all day.

    Cons

    You feel overwhelmed more than anything. The company doesn’t like to staff their stores very well. So that doesn’t help a lot of the time

    Advice to Management

    Better staff your employees.

  8. "11 Years of experience at the same location"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Sales Associate in Englewood, CO
    Former Employee - Sales Associate in Englewood, CO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Guitar Center full-time (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    Hands on interaction with music equipment, work with fellow passionate artists

    Cons

    Unrealistic expectations of multiple jobs from a single retail sales associate, poor training and coaching from a corporate standpoint, botched communications and issues with rolling out new company plays, lack of empowerment and respect for front-line staff


  9. "Operations Associate -"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    Former Employee - Operations Associate in Florence, KY
    Former Employee - Operations Associate in Florence, KY
    Recommends
    Disapproves of CEO

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

    Pros

    GC is a really fun work environment. I was challenged and pushed to achieve everyday. I received the most experience and most support from the company then I have anywhere else.

    Cons

    The pay is a big issue as is how moving up in operations is basically impossible. You can really only move up back there if your OPs manager or someone else leaves.


  10. Helpful (1)

    "You're never safe."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Lawndale, CA
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Lawndale, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    No opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    -Fun place to work
    -Meeting interesting people
    -Making genuine connections with customers
    -Awesome coworkers
    -With genuine, real effort, you can make good money
    -Great employee discount
    -Get to play some awesome gear, new and vintage

    Cons

    -Large percentage gaps between commission tiers which results in a BIG pay gap from the top employees and the "bottom" employees. If you're in the drum or accessories department, good luck. The commission scale is not in your favor - at all. (foot traffic is just not terribly high at this location) Albeit, with some effort you can still squeeze SOMETHING out of it
    -Heavy and often unwarranted pressure from sales managers
    -You cannot trust anything management tells you
    -No real guidance, and when the managers do give guidance, it was usually entirely counterproductive

    Your job is never safe at this location. I even witnessed seasoned, long-time great employees get dropped without warning. If management wants you gone, they will find a way to get you out at the flip of a switch, even if it means blatantly lying. Thanks to the arbitration agreement you must sign, this makes wrongful termination entirely possible without much recourse to the company. You can be a consistent top employee, meeting and exceeding expectations, never having a single issue regarding behavior or attendance, being looked up to and respected by your coworkers, and even being groomed to be a sales lead/manager - and they will still quickly & wrongfully turn their backs on you in a heartbeat. Before I worked for this company, I was very aware of this possibility due to negative reviews literally everywhere about working for Guitar Center. Guess what, they're true.

    Advice to Management

    Keep a close eye on upper management here. They do not work for the company's benefit, and will lie and abuse their rights as managers simply because they "have the power". Inappropriate relationships between some management and employees also exist, and there is always the feeling among all sales associates that management is being very sneaky behind our backs. It went from a great store to a bad one real quick due to the frequent upper management shuffling and bringing in new, undeserving and/or inexperienced managers.


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