Guitar Center -- selling floor model as a new guitar

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KVRist
130 posts since 1 Sep, 2006

Post Tue Mar 30, 2021 9:58 am

I'm probably just blowing off steam here... there's nothing I can do about this, and it's really more of an inconvenience than anything else.

I bought on guitarcenter.com an expensive guitar -- a $1,400 Schecter. It's a new guitar -- the website says new, and the receipt says new. My daughter unboxes it and notices that there are indelible scratches on the back plate covering the electronics and some strange residue under the volume knobs. It didn't come in a factory box. It's clearly not a new guitar.

So I called customer service. The customer service rep confirmed that the guitar was a floor model, not new, and said I should return it to my local GC. Which I found irritating. So I wrote a polite, respectful missive to GC customer service. Basically, you advertised a new guitar, but sent me a used one in the hopes I wouldn't notice. Then, when I did, you inconvenienced me. Now I have to drive to the GC to return it. At a minimum, I said, you send me a pick-up label and have Fed-Ex come get it. Or offer me a discount that might be worth my while. Or let me keep it until you get a new one, then we can exchange. But the response was - take it to the store to return it.

It's not the end of the world, but it is super-frustrating. I have bought a lot of gear from the Guitar Center over the years. But not any more. For that much money, it's not reasonable to bait and switch. My guess is that I am going to return it, and they will turn around and sell it as a new guitar to some other rube, hoping that he/she doesn't notice or care.

Thanks for listening to my first-world problems. Sweetwater, you have a new customer.

KVRist
423 posts since 14 Aug, 2012

Post Tue Mar 30, 2021 10:59 am

Yup. I had a similar experience at GC several years ago of being sold a product (microphone stand) that, knowing their reputation, I specifically requested be factory sealed (and had received assurances it was), only to open the box and see it clearly was a return that not only had been very haphazardly repacked, but was completely bent somehow and missing pieces.

To GC's minimal credit, they didn't give me any hassle when I immediately returned it for a full refund, so I didn't lose anything but a bit of time. But like you, I gave up on GC in favor of Sweetwater (and B&H Photo) at that point. I just don't trust GC at all any more.
Last edited by SirkusPi on Tue Mar 30, 2021 11:34 am, edited 1 time in total.

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addled muppet weed
76877 posts since 26 Jan, 2003 from through the looking glass

Post Tue Mar 30, 2021 11:24 am

for any money, bait and switch isn't right.
new means new. bstock is not "new".

KVRAF
1856 posts since 30 Aug, 2012 from Sweden

Post Tue Mar 30, 2021 11:44 am

Thomann has done the same, sold b-stock products as new. At least in the past and ppl have complained. I've read ppl buy a new cellphone and find pics on it. One even found porn on it. I wouldn't complain about porn as long as its good porn. :hihi:

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addled muppet weed
76877 posts since 26 Jan, 2003 from through the looking glass

Post Tue Mar 30, 2021 12:07 pm

Daimonicon wrote: ↑
Tue Mar 30, 2021 11:44 am
Thomann has done the same, sold b-stock products as new. At least in the past and ppl have complained. I've read ppl buy a new cellphone and find pics on it. One even found porn on it. I wouldn't complain about porn as long as its good porn. :hihi:
good reason to buy second hand handsets, even when you delete stuff, it's still in there somewhere...

(it's why i dissolve my old phones/laptops/hard drives in boiling lead).

KVRAF
2524 posts since 15 Feb, 2020

Post Wed Mar 31, 2021 12:01 am

Definitely ok to be lied to and overcharged if there's pr0n involved, f'sure. My Fender was obviously not new but had a 70s mag in the case so I didn't mind.
FKA samsam. PMs from likely lecturers deleted without reading :party:

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KVRian
1213 posts since 10 Oct, 2018

Post Wed Mar 31, 2021 12:17 am

Why I pick up things from the shoppe. Before purchasing I want to see the product first. Because return policies..

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KVRAF
5728 posts since 31 Aug, 2013 from Far From the Twisted Reach of Crazy Sorrow

Post Wed Mar 31, 2021 5:20 am

Afaik, this is sop. Unless you ask for a factory fresh unit. THEN it should be unhandled by other mere mortals. Even going in to play guitars in some shops...point out a very obvious ding, they shrug and sell at the new price.
"In this world, you must be oh so smart, or oh so pleasant. Well, for years I was smart. I recommend pleasant. You may quote me."
Elwood P. Dowd

KVRer
20 posts since 28 Jul, 2020

Post Mon Apr 05, 2021 10:37 am

I had the same experience with GC and a ~1400 USD Schecter (SKorea model) - Tried buying it 3 times and found faults with it, simple stuff that could have been caught at Schecter's or GC's QC. Thankfully GC's return policy allows for returning these. I gave them a fair chance before giving up on both brands!

Attempt # 1: * I bought the floor Model they had hanging there and went home and as soon as I unboxed it noticed a large ding at the bottom where the lacquer had come off - returned it and they ordered me another one from online.
Attempt # 2 - This second one - that was "new in box" had a visible chip right between the pickup and neck - returned it and they ordered me another one.
Attempt 3 - The third one also "new in box" had a bent tone knob and a crack where the neck meets the body :( - returned.( I contacted Schecter to replace the replace the tone knob - they told me to just return the instrument and order another one)

At this point, I gave up on GC and Schecter and bought an Ibanez Prestige from another place for about the same price. That instrument is a masterpiece. I cannot find a single fault with it and I have been enjoying it for several months.

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KVRAF
6418 posts since 7 Sep, 2006 from Roseville, CA

Post Mon Apr 05, 2021 10:52 am

I can't even tell you how many times I've gone to GC and had the salesperson emerge from the warehouse with a banged up, obviously open box item. I've even had experiences when the box looked factory sealed/unopened, but I've gotten home and found that the inner bags were opened, cables were untethered, parts were missing, etc. and it was obviously a returned item. This is why I'll never order anything from their website and I always tell the employee to bring me an unopened item, or give me a discount if all they have left is an open-box item. Even then, I'll usually just say no thanks and go order it from Sweetwater.

KVRAF
20601 posts since 12 Jul, 2003 from West Caprazumia

Post Mon Apr 05, 2021 3:22 pm

Daimonicon wrote: ↑
Tue Mar 30, 2021 11:44 am
Thomann has done the same, sold b-stock products as new.
tbh I have a hard time believing that. It never happened to me - nor to anyone I know - except of course when I purchased something that they sold to me as b-stock.

https://www.thomann.de/gb/search_dir.ht ... a475c_4759

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KVRAF
2275 posts since 13 Jun, 2008 from Napier,New Zealand

Post Mon Apr 05, 2021 3:36 pm

That's funny. Where I live (in New Zealand), there's no stock "out the back", there's the one on display that gets touched and played by customers... And that's it. This whole concept you speak of is alien to me.

KVRAF
27796 posts since 11 Apr, 2010 from Germany

Post Mon Apr 05, 2021 3:46 pm

jens wrote: ↑
Mon Apr 05, 2021 3:22 pm
Daimonicon wrote: ↑
Tue Mar 30, 2021 11:44 am
Thomann has done the same, sold b-stock products as new.
tbh I have a hard time believing that. It never happened to me - nor to anyone I know - except of course when I purchased something that they sold to me as b-stock.

https://www.thomann.de/gb/search_dir.ht ... a475c_4759
I never had that with Thomann as well, but, I saw some B-stock items being sold at the biggest German electronic market (Media Markt).

TBH, I'm kind of split regarding stuff like this. I can understand that someone wants to have a brand new, unopened product, after all, that's what we pay our money for. On the other hand, stores have to be very accomodating these days. I remember days where they told you to f**k off when you returned items. At least, I experienced times where it wasn't a given that you can return your goods. Nowadays, most stores are so accomodating that you can return everything, without explanation, in the first 2 to 4 weeks. That way, stores get loads of returns, and some people even abuse that system by ordering 10 competing items, testing all of them, and keeping the one which they think is best, and return the other 9 (no joke...).

The way it is, if stores can't sell the items anymore, they go into the combustion oven. Or are repackaged and sold on third world markets (maybe). Some stores, like Thomann, explicitely sell them as B-stock items, which I consider the best way. The question is just if they can really sell those at a large scale. If they can't, it's basically waste. Not so good.
Plugins and a DAW. On an operating system. Which runs on a computer.

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KVRAF
5728 posts since 31 Aug, 2013 from Far From the Twisted Reach of Crazy Sorrow

Post Wed Apr 07, 2021 12:01 am

Thomann does fine with their B items. I barely trust them, though, especially on B stock. A few years ago I bought a VOX AC-15 head 'with slight traces of use.' The reverb was DOA. So, recently, there's a model of guitar there I was looking at, new and B stock. I held off because I didn't trust them not to sell me the B stock. It probably wouldn't happen, but doubt has been placed in my mind, now.
"In this world, you must be oh so smart, or oh so pleasant. Well, for years I was smart. I recommend pleasant. You may quote me."
Elwood P. Dowd

KVRAF
20601 posts since 12 Jul, 2003 from West Caprazumia

Post Wed Apr 07, 2021 4:19 am

Some spring tanks are lockeable for transportation, the one in the AC-15 however is not, so I would guess it ships with other means of security fixation (styrofoam or so) and perhaps the guys at Thomann forgot to put it (or an adequate replacement) back in place before shipping (and after testing)? Did it arrive secured or unsecured? My bet would rather be on an honest mistake that should not, but can happen.

Nothing that should make you wary of future purchases from them. If in doubt, you can also always talk to them on the phone - they are very nice and helpful and you will be able to speak to someone really competent. So in a case like this you could call them and ask them what happened and how this is possible and whether you should be scared of making further purchases with/from them.

They are Germans, so they will value frankness and pointedness and repay you with the same coin.

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