Alright I'm off to Guitar Center in about an hour; and have heard numerous stories of people being able to get the customer service rep to "lower" the price of the gear they were buying. I'm looking to buy a new guitar and perhaps an amp to go with it.

What are some tips to ensure I save the most amount of money? ...teach me how to haggle the Guitar Center way!
Confidence and manners.

I also find that if you have a good prior relationship with the guys in the store.

I tend to find that I get good deals because I get on with the guys there and spend enough money in the store to get money knocked off.....

Also make it clear that you could get a better deal else where but really want to buy from GC etc etc etc

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Quote by Tom 1.0
I also find that if you have a good prior relationship with the guys in the store.

I tend to find that I get good deals because I get on with the guys there and spend enough money in the store to get money knocked off

This always helps. The place I buy all the parts for my truck stuff from, since I've been going there so long, and have bought a bunch of stuff from them, the guy that owns it always sells stuff to me for cost + 10%. And I get a fair bit off at the L&M here too.
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Strike up a rapport, tell the salesman when you go in "I'm looking to buy X today". I always find they're much more helpful when you do that. When they try and fob you off onto other things state clearly what you're looking for, the model(s) you are/have looked at, and general guitar based things to show you're not a mug and a careful purchaser.

Talk to the guy, a lot about what you think, issues etc. It makes their day more interesting as well which leans them towards giving you a good deal.

Don't be a smug ass obviously.

Mainly I think talking to the salesman at length/striking up some kind of rapport works best. Also as the guy above stated say things like "well i have seen it cheaper elsewhere but I want to buy from here".

Just my two cents but I went to a Guitar Centre in NYC and it had to be one of the worst guitar stores I've ever been to, with seriously inept salesmen. Also you should know that better stores tend to vet, and set up the instruments they get in more thoroughly. They take pride in their work.
Dude, i'll tell you. Every time i've ever been in guitar center they have been complete assholes and always try to rip me off. This is just this ONE particular Guitar Center store though. One particular time I managed to get a Mesa Boogie Tremoverb by just being a complete dick and not settling with them. They brought the manager out and everything and he was actually really cool and not like the peons working the floor.
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Play popular well known songs!!! And show off your skills!!
If you re good you ll probably get some reduction. CHEERS
Just be nice. Nothing's gonna ruin your chances like being a cunt to them.

If you can't get them to cut anything down on the price easily (not suprisingly either, I hear they don't take the prices down a lot), don't bother really forcing it on them, just ask them if you can get a few picks and a strap and whatever with it. They're always nice to get.
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Also if you can, try and go there often, and then make "friends" with a few guys who will know you by name and try to do decent deals for you

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2016 SE Holcolmb
Dude some guitarcenter guys are complete idiots, go to a guitarcenter that actually has people that actually know what there talking about, which is not that rare. Never go for their suggestions unless you really like it
It really depends on the Guitar Center you to go. The Guitar Center in my area, the associates really don't follow you around or anything unless you ask a question.

They pretty much let you wonder and mess with whatever you want as long as you're not being obnoxious.

If you tell them about a deal that they might be able to match, they'll jump on it and make it a pretty big priority to make sure you're totally satisfied. I've never walked into Guitar Center and walked out unsatisfied with a purchase.

If a store associate does come up to you and start talking to you, you'll want him/her to know about your playing styles/skills and what you'd be looking to buy/try out. Most of them are pretty much pro-Spider/Vypyr and EMG, if you don't really know your guitars well. Same goes for the Best Buy stores. You need to tell them you're not interested in modelling amps or active pickups, if that's not what you're after.

Also, keep in mind, they earn commission. They're going to want you to buy something expensive or lots of little things. They are pretty persuasive most of the time...

EDIT: When you play one of their guitars, be sure to inspect it pretty heavily. If anything doesn't seem right, if there's a few too many scratches or if something is missing (cap, toggle knob, etc) or if there's a blemish of some sort, be sure to point it out. There's no sense in spending the sticker price of a new guitar if that's not really what you're getting.

You can say "well, I could go order this guitar brand new, in a box from Musician's Friend for the same price," and they might get you a model from the back or might knock down the price on the guitar a bit. It's nothing ever too much, like 10%, 15%.
Last edited by r0ckth3d34n at Sep 28, 2010,
tom hit most of it in post one.

but a lot of good advice here.

bring in competitors coupons for the item you think you want, and a couple others if possible in case you change your mind in the store. most stores honor "price matching" if confronted with a valid coupon. (some are up to 20% off).

respect the gear you try.

if you don't understand how to use something, ask for help nicely. they are there to help you.

also, consider other local shops, sam ash, music go around, etc.
Quote by Tom 1.0

I also find that if you have a good prior relationship with the guys in the store.

I don't think he wants the money off *that* badly... o_O

EDIT: seriously, though, pretty much what tom and gregs are saying. Be nice, polite, don't be a dick when you're trying out stuff (if you want to crank it, ask, and be careful with the gear), but basically if you've seen a cheaper price elsewhere, that's the ace up your sleeve. You have to be willing to walk, and it's a lot easier to engage in brinksmanship like that if you know you can get it somewhere else- the guys in the store will know that too, if they're any good at all they'll be able to tell a hollow bluff from an actual honest threat to buy elsewhere. Playing competing stores off against each other can work too, but it'll probably work better for bigger items. Also don't be daft, you're not likely to get $800 off a $1000 item, it's all percentages (or at least that's a good part of it).
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Last edited by Dave_Mc at Sep 28, 2010,
lol i never heard of negotiating prices on new gear maby some of the used gear.and if ur gonna get used gear i suggest looking on ebay/craigslist for far better deals than youll get at any guitar center