#1
Hey guys, I was wondering the best techniques to talk a sales rep at a guitar center to down the price. Any helpful hints? Also what does it mean when you tell them you take it for whatever amount of money out the doors. Dont you normally take it home with you when you buy it.
#3
"$600 out the door" means you give them $600 and you walk out the door with it. Generally it just means tax included.
#4
depends entirely on the sales rep. also generally the more you're willing to spend, the more haggle room you have. if you're trying to haggle a $100 guitar down to $70 don't expect it. but if you're trying to talk down a $700 guitar down to $550 or so you might be able to do it depending on how you talk to them, who you talk to and generally what kinda mood they're in.
#6
I would love to be able to do this but I get so nervous and sweaty and self conscious. He could look at me immediately and see how easy it is to bowl me over and take advantage of me
i have explored the sea
#7
^ hah, then don't let him. approach it like a "if you don't do this for me then thats fine, i'll go somewhere else that might" i've walked out of guitar center several times before and not bought something and either gone back later and talked to someone else or if i got the same guy often he might not gimme the exact price i want but he'll knock the cost down a little. they'll end up remembering you as "that a$$hole that tried to haggle but didn't buy it" next time you come in they want you to buy whatever even if that means knocking the price down a little. generally when i don't haggle they throw in some freebies (i got a mobile preusb without haggling and they threw in a couple guitar cables, some picks, a set of strings and a guitar strap, prolly about $30 - $40 worth of stuff)
#8
Send your GF in to buy your strings then she gets a discount card from the horny manager and gives it to you then you go in with the card and get 20% off your next purchase thanks to the manager wanting your woman.

EDIT always shop around or threaten that you have a good deal on a used one lined up and its not really worth it too you unless ..... Like "oh i want a new lp but theres a real nice one for like 500 less and its older but if you can give it to me for x dollers i would definatly buy it hear.

I got my last used car for 2000 all included they wanted 3400$ plus dealer fee. Just rheaten them with a different deal that you have. Thye have to think you could leave and buy somehweres else or else you wont have any bargain power.
Last edited by /-\liceNChains at Nov 24, 2008,
#9
I'm not a good haggler or sales man by nature. But if you have some amount of prestige (for lack of a better word), or if they're just REALLY impressed by your playing, they usually knock it down and give you freebies to. My friend Brennen is an amazing drummer and has instructional videos out and about, and he gets noticed at GC. When I was in a band the other guitarist and I played harmonized bits and people would sometimes gather around. Those occasions usually get you some good deals.
We're only strays.
#10
I find guitar center's prices to be inline with the competition. There really isn't much room to haggle unless you risk going the ebay route, which is a crapshoot plus no warranty and almost always no returns. Plus those GC guys work hard for their wages, they have to fade their base salary before they get a chance to make above minimum wage. Something worth thinking about.
#11
I thought some corporation deal put the smack down on special offers with guitarcenter? a friend of mine after he bought 3 grand of stuff one day they said that to him that they couldnt throw in freebies or drop price... sounds like bs but ya.
#12
Quote by Martyr's Prayer
I'm not a good haggler or sales man by nature. But if you have some amount of prestige (for lack of a better word), or if they're just REALLY impressed by your playing, they usually knock it down and give you freebies to. My friend Brennen is an amazing drummer and has instructional videos out and about, and he gets noticed at GC. When I was in a band the other guitarist and I played harmonized bits and people would sometimes gather around. Those occasions usually get you some good deals.


I agree with this advice, learn some savage tapping licks or something, I tapped eruption once and several sales reps gathered around and gave me a short applause. another thing to do is research, know exactly what you want, if you seem like an expert on the subject it'll give you the extra edge.
I am a Rocker; I Rock out!
(Semicolons ftw)
#13
You gotta look disinterested, look at a guitar, and just put it back, and just keep on moving. You can look like an idiot, but I think it's effective if you ask the sales rep what the item costs (even though the tag is on the item) and when he tells you the price, dismiss it and act like you don't have the money.

I gotta work on my hagglin skillz, bro.
If you play guitar, please don't waste your time in The Pit, and please instead educate yourself in the Musician Talk forum, where you can be missing out on valuable info.
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I got meself a self-approving sig. Kick. Ass.
#14
Do a bit of research. Find out what they wholesale for if you can. Find the cheapest on the market and the best secondhand so you know what is reasonable and what is not. A lot of retail shops have pretty big margins you can cut into.

Make sure you're talking to the right guy. A newbie will be just as nervous as you so easy to walk over but won't be able to make the call without the manager's approval. It's better if you can figure out to some degree who's who and who will give you the best deal.

Tell them what you like and are looking for. Tell them you are going to buy a guitar. If they know for sure you're buying then they know it's from them or from someone else and sales people generally get paid on commission.

Get them to show you the guitar you want - preferrably they will match you up with it on their own by you dropping clues about what you are after. Part of their job is finding the right guitar for the right person. If they feel they made a good match/ suggestion they will feel more inclined to have you buy that guitar.

Don't look at the price. Play the guitar talk to them about what they like. Keep the feeling positive and smile. Compliment the guitar. Try a couple amps out - his eyes will light up "possibly new amp too". You want him to feel that you're a repeat customer. Tell him about the other kinds of equipment you're hoping to buy over the next year or two. Even if you're just dreaming. Make all this small talk while you're trying out the guitars. - Get him to play with you if you can. Hey the guy I play with has a Les Paul - you wanna jump on that so I can see how these guitars will sound together? He'll love it.

Afterwards compliment his playing and tell him wow man this is the one. What's the asking price? $1200!! oooh man. frown a lot and pause. Wait for him to say something. He'll probably ask how much you were looking at spending. Tell him something like...I was looking to spend around $600. I might be able to scrape together a few more bucks and stretch out to $750 but 1200!

If he tries to show you a different guitar kill that idea dead quick. No it doesn't matter now. This is the one. This is the guitar for me. If I can't walk out with it now I'm going to have to find one somewhere else maybe a secondhand job or save for another six months and see what I can do then.

No finance thank you. I don't do finance.

See how low he will go. When he gives a price don't say anything. The tension is part of the fun and in good for confidence. When you're negotiating and one party offers a price and the other party responds with silence if the first party is the one to break the silence it's a sign of weakness.

He will either go lower, offer sweeteners, or wait for a response. Don't respond to any further offers straight away unless he hits a price you like. After a long enough pause, tell him you're just trying to think where you can come up with the extra money. Ask questions - does it come with a case? does it come with a guitar strap? a lead? new set of strings? picks?

Tell him you'll just check your bank account. Pull out your phone and check your bank account or your messages or just press buttons and look like you're listening and thinking.

Tell him you've got about 890 but you'll be cleaning out your bank completely. If he still says no. Then sit down and think for a short time and jump up excited and tell him you have an idea. Tell him you want to make sure he gets the sale and ask for his card of if he will still be there in an hour. Then take off for a bit. Go to McD's and get a feed. Hit on some hot chicks try get some numbers, kill an hour.

Leaving gives him time to think it over and talk to his boss or get further approval if he needs it. Then come back and offer a little under what his lowest price was before you left. If he says no tell him how he ruined you by pairing you up with this guitar because now nothing else will do. Tell him you've come up from $600 and are now willing to offer 950 or whatever and he just has to drop another $50 bucks.

If he doesn't budge buy the guitar and let him know you have no idea how you're going to make rent that week.

Don't be nervous about it - It really is just a game. It's fun. And if you get a great deal you will feel really good about it later on.

Good Luck and be sure to let us know how you get on.
Si
Last edited by 20Tigers at Nov 24, 2008,
#16
I'm usually cool with settling on most prices, i mean here at GAK they usually drop between 20 - 50 quid off or if they are stiff on the price i just go for freebies [cables, pics, my mate got a free boss delay out of his amp buy]
#17
Couple of ideas....

Go to GC in the morning or mid day on a weekday. You could get a better deal then than on the weekend when the place is crowded and there is a lot of purchasing going on.

Always ask for a deal and don't be afraid to walk out. You can always come back and try another salesperson. If you do walk out they may change their minds.

I am a 40 yr old VP of sales for a manufacture in another business but we go to market like GC. So my guess is that if there is a product on their shelf for $500 they paid at most $250 for it. They have to cover overhead and pay commission but they have the room to make a deal that is how they have sales in the store when they are overstocked. Believe me they are asking Gibson, Fender, and every other manufacturer for a better price everyday.
#18
A 2X markup? That is impossible in the days of internet e-sellers.

Quote by McG5-0
Couple of ideas....

Go to GC in the morning or mid day on a weekday. You could get a better deal then than on the weekend when the place is crowded and there is a lot of purchasing going on.

Always ask for a deal and don't be afraid to walk out. You can always come back and try another salesperson. If you do walk out they may change their minds.

I am a 40 yr old VP of sales for a manufacture in another business but we go to market like GC. So my guess is that if there is a product on their shelf for $500 they paid at most $250 for it. They have to cover overhead and pay commission but they have the room to make a deal that is how they have sales in the store when they are overstocked. Believe me they are asking Gibson, Fender, and every other manufacturer for a better price everyday.
#19
Try selling them a piece of gear, see how much they post it for, it's usually about twice as much as they paid you.
I am a Rocker; I Rock out!
(Semicolons ftw)
#20
I've done some haggling in my day. some good advice here,
What I generally say to them is. 'hmmm, to be honest I found it online for 'x' but if I can walk out with it now that's even better'
kind of sends a message like he is going to get the thing for x, and I get to choose where.
#21
Well, you can't get discounts at GC anymore unless they're having a sale. I've tried. They got bought out by Bain Capitol, which also owns Burger King and was founded by Mitt Romney. They now refuse to give discounts or freebies and they supposedly don't pay commisions anymore. They also raised the age you have to be to work there to 18. Buy local, it's typically cheaper even when you don't haggle. I've seen Soldanos for 400-500 less at local stores and even stuff like slides and strings are cheaper too. I bought a Dunlop slide at GC for 10 bucks and it broke a few days later when I forgot I was using it and dropped it. I needed one while I was rehearsing so I went to the store in the rehearsal space and they had the same one for around 6 bucks. Just shop around.
#22
Quote by GaijinFoot
I've done some haggling in my day. some good advice here,
What I generally say to them is. 'hmmm, to be honest I found it online for 'x' but if I can walk out with it now that's even better'
kind of sends a message like he is going to get the thing for x, and I get to choose where.

If I were the sales rep I'd call your bluff "really we like to keep a good eye on what our competition is doing and that's a crazy price - what was the site?" He probably can jump on the internet in store and look it up if he felt like making you feel like an ass - and some sales reps will. You could of course reply that you're not sure but you bookmarked it on your computer blah blah spin a line. But at that point your credibility is shot at least as far as the sales rep is concerned.

Only a sucker would fall for that line. But if you really did find it for that price online you can give him the site and jump on the net in store and show him. Then he will be backed into a corner and have to find ways to justify his price and why you should buy from him and pay more.

People don't mind negotiating but they hate being lied to. If it backfires you have no shot.
Si
Last edited by 20Tigers at Nov 25, 2008,
#23
They won't mark stuff down anymore. They lost too much money with mark downs and some new corporation bought them out that also owns a bunch of other chain businesses, so shop somewhere else that isn't Guitar Center.
12 fret fury
#24
what i always find that works is most of the places including guitar centers that i have been to in the states sell you a used guitar really. i say this meaning you find a guitar on the wall and play around with it.... your not the first person to do that so really its used. if you dont mind this just tell them "hey, ill take this one but what kind of price are we talking being that its used?" i have purchased 2 guitars doing this. got some ibanez 42dxfx for my bro think it was like 500 bucks or something and i just took the wall model for 350$. then i got a BC rich KKV for a cousin that was like 300 bones and only payed 180 for it. it also never hurts to just be friendly with the people and talk about music and what there into and just agree with them lol.
Nothing has it all

Bury the place Ive been

I fear theres a way out

Touch Of Red

In Flames

#25
Saturday November 22nd 2008

Me : I want this mustang, how much is it?
Salesman : 875$ + Taxes
Me : Can you bring it down to 850$ taxes included?
Salesman : Probably not.
Me : You sure...?
Salesman : I can bring it to 850 taxes included
Me : Steve's (other guitar shop) is getting one in for 799$ + tax...
Salesman : Okay, I can do that.
Me: Dude I have 850$, I can buy it right now if you lower it to 850 taxes included.
Salesman : Lemme talk to the owner and I'll let you know.

*** 5 minutes later ***

Salesman : Alright 850 it is.
Me : Can I have some strings and picks with it?
Salesman : Yeah sure, take 5 picks, and pick any strings you'd like, but you have to put 'em on yourself.

the guitar came with a gig bag, they didn't have the trem arm or allen keys for the guitar but they ordered it and they'll gimme a call when it comes in.

It took me about 5 minutes to get the price lowered 150$, and it was my first time trying to haggle.

My mom was in shock of how quick I was able to get it knocked down from 1,000$ (taxes included) to 850$, and still get a bunch of accessories.

The longest part was waiting for them to try and find the trem arm for the mustang, which they couldn't find in the end.
Last edited by Swap-Meet at Nov 26, 2008,
#26
Quote by 20Tigers
Then take off for a bit. Go to McD's and get a feed. Hit on some hot chicks try get some numbers, kill an hour.
Nice.

*I can do things you guys can't to get prices to drop, so I can't comment on this too much. I will advise you to look for all kinds of sales at major stores or online, even if you're just going to use that information to say, "Gee, Store X sells this for $80 less." Stores aren't required to drop prices down to internet or sale prices when they say they'll match any price, but that doesn't mean they won't try to get a sale their competitors would otherwise get.

*For the record, I've never had sex to get a guitar or amp, though I may have used the (which won't work for you guys) "I'll probably fuck you," look to get $20 off my phaser.

Edit: Spelling.
Last edited by bangoodcharlote at Nov 26, 2008,
#27
Quote by bangoodcharlote
Nice.

*I can do things you guys can't to get prices to drop, so I can't comment on this too much. I will advise you to look for all kinds of sales at major stores or online, even if you're just going to use that information to say, "Gee, Store X sells this for $80 less." Stores aren't required to drop prices down to internet or sale prices when they say they'll match any price, but that doesn't mean they won't try to get a sale their competitors would otherwise get.

*For the record, I've never had sex to get a guitar or amp, though I may have used the (which won't work for you guys) "I'll probabky fuck you," look to get $20 off my phaser.


I use the I'll probably **** you look on this hot chick at a guitar store near my house all the time, trouble is i've never bought anything from her besides strings.
#28
Quote by Swap-Meet
I use the I'll probably **** you look on this hot chick at a guitar store near my house all the time, trouble is i've never bought anything from her besides strings.
But you're not using the look to get discounts you're using the look cause "you'll probably **** her" if she gives you the go ahead.

Nice job swap meet!! It's not that hard is it, and kind of satisfying too.
Si
#29
only time I have ever successfully haggled at gc was when the price was cheaper at musiciansfriend.com vs the gc price. if you can find it on mf for cheaper than it is marked at gc, then they almost always give you the mf price
#30
Quote by 20Tigers
But you're not using the look to get discounts you're using the look cause "you'll probably **** her" if she gives you the go ahead.

Nice job swap meet!! It's not that hard is it, and kind of satisfying too.


One day she will give me the go ahead !!!

and yeah, it is pretty cool to know that you just got a guitar lowered by quite a bit.
#31
Yeah - it's best if you have cash too. If you finance they generally won't budge. And if they are offering interest free terms then you know there's some wiggle room if you pay cash cause they have built part interest cost into the sticker price - dirty rat bastards.
Si
#32
Quote by 20Tigers
If I were the sales rep I'd call your bluff "really we like to keep a good eye on what our competition is doing and that's a crazy price - what was the site?" He probably can jump on the internet in store and look it up if he felt like making you feel like an ass - and some sales reps will. You could of course reply that you're not sure but you bookmarked it on your computer blah blah spin a line. But at that point your credibility is shot at least as far as the sales rep is concerned.

Only a sucker would fall for that line. But if you really did find it for that price online you can give him the site and jump on the net in store and show him. Then he will be backed into a corner and have to find ways to justify his price and why you should buy from him and pay more.

People don't mind negotiating but they hate being lied to. If it backfires you have no shot.

Generally it really is cheaper on the internet, it wouldn't be a bluff in my case as I do 70% of my shopping online. I'm just a customer who wants the best deal he can get.
Especially guitar stuff, I know you can't test it but you can send it back.
#33
Quote by McG5-0
Couple of ideas....

Go to GC in the morning or mid day on a weekday. You could get a better deal then than on the weekend when the place is crowded and there is a lot of purchasing going on.

Always ask for a deal and don't be afraid to walk out. You can always come back and try another salesperson. If you do walk out they may change their minds.

I am a 40 yr old VP of sales for a manufacture in another business but we go to market like GC. So my guess is that if there is a product on their shelf for $500 they paid at most $250 for it. They have to cover overhead and pay commission but they have the room to make a deal that is how they have sales in the store when they are overstocked. Believe me they are asking Gibson, Fender, and every other manufacturer for a better price everyday.

HAHAHAHA wrong.


On most guitar manufacturers if a retailer is making 30-45% they are over joyed.


I would suggest the OP become a regular customer at the establishment and show them some loyalty and chances are they will return the favour.