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Guitar Center Reviews

Updated January 18, 2018
255 reviews

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Guitar Center CEO Ron Japinga
Ron Japinga
16 Ratings

255 Employee Reviews

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Pros
Cons
  • Upper management is often very disconnected from reality (in 50 reviews)

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

More Pros and Cons

  1. "OK if you are a driven salesperson with good managers."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Guitar Center full-time

    Pros

    Store level employees will become your good friends.

    Cons

    Corporate is the absolute most stunted group of people I have ever worked with.

    If they couldn't pay you, they would.

    Advice to Management

    Retain your best people. I was a nationally ranked vet who had the audacity to ask for a raise to match a competing job offer and you declined. Silly.


  2. Helpful (1)

    "Dropping the Ball in Lessons"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Store Manager in Woodland Hills, CA
    Former Employee - Store Manager in Woodland Hills, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Guitar Center full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    Employee discount for gear.
    Able to keep up to date on the latest gear.
    Some really great co-workers.

    Cons

    Some lessons policies were ill-conceived, resulting in unhappy customers and loss of student count.
    Lessons Support leadership was inconsistent to poor with regard to keeping promises.
    Inconsistent training of instructors.
    Disconnect and resentment between Lessons Support and field management.

    Advice to Management

    More emphasis on student retention vs. student aquisition.
    Better training of instructors.
    Policies that are consistent with best practices of mom and pop lessons facilities.
    Field Management needs to be fully supportive and involved regarding lessons. Lessons are intended to help drive repeat business, so sales associates need to be involved.
    It is critical that all members of the lessons support team have backgrounds in music education as well as sales.
    Intensive review of policies that may be detrimental to the overall growth and health of the business.

  3. "Part Time Sales"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Part Time Sales Associate in Fairfax, VA
    Current Employee - Part Time Sales Associate in Fairfax, VA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook

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

    Pros

    Excellent to be in a passion job helping others purchase their passion for music!

    Cons

    Having been requesting Full Time and Promised it; but didn't get it

    Advice to Management

    Really look at what your employees are doing; say thank you, and stop putting us all down. The days of negative motivation are over.


  4. Helpful (1)

    "Office Space in GC Corporate"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Accounts Receivable in Westlake Village, CA
    Former Employee - Accounts Receivable in Westlake Village, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Guitar Center full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    its a laid back environment, relaxed dress code. depending on the department , you can get away with a lot of slacking like i did the last couple of years i was there because I grew to hate it,. If you have kids, you wont get grief if you have to leave early to pick them up or whatever.Its a good place for people who are good at pretending to work harder than they actually do, and don't need to make much money.

    Cons

    excessive workload due to delegating by micromanaging supervisor who was very book smart but really needed to work on her people skills . Some of us had to do additional tasks that were not the responsibility of the department, but no one to stick up for us. very Low Pay Vs the workload . High turnover , lack of training in many areas causing upset customers and loss or revenue.

    Advice to Management

    They need to pay people what their worth and train them. Maybe there should be a training team. Stop bringing in high level execs from other industries, Groceries, Hardware and defunct corporations are nothing like music retail. fix the website, its not 1999.


  5. "Fun but not lucrative"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at Guitar Center full-time (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    Usually there's a great crew of people who end up being the reason you even want to come to work in the first place. Great employee discount.

    Cons

    They don't really pay out. Not for the type of money that flows through your hands. Company doesn't appreciate their employees and it becomes a tiring job really quick.

    Advice to Management

    Have some backbone and don't throw your associates under the bus.

    Guitar Center Response

    Jan 2, 2018 – VP Human Resources and Diversity

    Thanks for the note.


  6. "Sales Associate"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Sales Associate
    Current Employee - Sales Associate
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    Discount, being around a team who's passionate about music

    Cons

    Compensation, Customers can get very angry, schedule

    Advice to Management

    In my opinion, sales associates shouldn't be responsible for performing customer services activities like returns, buy-ins, answering phones. It can get extremely overwhelming when you're sitting there on the phone answering questions about how to hook up a mixer when you have someone staring at you in person because they want to buy something. In my opinion that is poor customer service from the get-go and my advice to management is HIRE CUSTOMER SERVICE associates so sales associates can sell and be attentive to all customers.

    Guitar Center Response

    Jan 2, 2018 – VP Human Resources and Diversity

    Thanks for the review but your job as a sales associate it to help all customers. The person who bought that mixer might well come back and ask for you for their next purchase!


  7. Helpful (2)

    "Fun place to work, but not fun for you're wallet"

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

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

    Pros

    great environment, fun coworkers, flexible hours

    Cons

    Failing company and it shows

  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. Helpful (3)

    "Staff Accountant"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Staff Accountant in Westlake Village, Los Angeles, CA
    Current Employee - Staff Accountant in Westlake Village, Los Angeles, CA
    Recommends
    Negative Outlook

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

    Pros

    Laid Back Atmosphere, easy going

    Cons

    Tiny yearly raises, huge turnover, awful managers

    Advice to Management

    Try to care about your employees


  10. Helpful (2)

    "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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