#1
I love my local guitar store and I prefer small local stores in general. They're two miles from my house, my daughter rents her guitar and gets lessons there, they service my guitar and and I've bought a lot of odds and ends there.

I've been playing guitars to find what I want to buy for my first (current guitar is borrowed) and I realize they have what seems to me, very little selection. They have a lot of fender, giannini, guild, seagull and loads of Taylor's. A few other smaller names. I may but a Taylor or a Seagull, but I'm leaning towards brands they don't carry.

I have a guitar center a half hour away but I am shocked that I would even think to buy there with a local store so close, even if GC was cheaper. What I want to know is, am I a half-decent customer if I buy at GC and have the local place do the setup and service and odds and ends? Obviously they would charge me more; I'm happy for them to do that especially if it makes it worthwhile business for them.

Am I crazy to worry that it's rude to bring a GC guitar to a local store for service? (Even if they don't carry it.)
Also, am I setting myself up for problems by buying at GC? (I trust a local store way more to stand by what they sell.)
Do folks typically try to limit themselves to what the small local place has, especially for a first guitar where they need the most help from the local place? Or is the most important thing that I get the ideal guitar?
#2
Question 1: Yes. You're giving the local store money it wouldn't be getting anyway if you choose to have service/setup done at GC. There's no way that store hasn't setup/serviced guitars from other stores.
Question 2: What are your qualms with buying at GC? Guitar Center will even let you refund the guitar for any reason within 30 days of the date of purchase. What does "stand by what they sell" mean? What do you think the pros are of buying at a local store as opposed to GC?
Question 3: GC will move oceans for customer service/sales.

I think you're putting way too little trust in GC, it seems like you think they're going to be dishonest and not be as helpful.
#3
Quote by chrismendiola
Question 1: Yes. You're giving the local store money it wouldn't be getting anyway if you choose to have service/setup done at GC. There's no way that store hasn't setup/serviced guitars from other stores.

Very true. I honestly know nothing about guitars or working with stores and my concern was that, for example in some other industries, a store will do certain things as a "loss leader" to help them get the business where they actually make their money. So if all you give them is the loss-leader, eventually they don't want to hear from you.

I guess you're saying they happy to service a guitar even of they didn't sell it. That's what I wasn't sure about.
And I said in my OP that I might be crazy or over thinking it.
Question 2: What are your qualms with buying at GC? Guitar Center will even let you refund the guitar for any reason within 30 days of the date of purchase. What does "stand by what they sell" mean?

I shouldn't have written "stand by what they sell" ... That's not really a concern. I don't have any qualms - I have heard people say their service and technicians are lacking - I know that doesn't mean anything. But I already have a good sense of the local place.
hat do you think the pros are of buying at a local store as opposed to GC?

GC is 30 minutes away, the other place is 4 minutes. I prefer to support small local business. Fear of the unknown (GC).
And the main one, which was the purpose of the thread, and which I guess you've answered: is it really not worth a store's time to service a guitar they didn't sell. You're saying yes. Again, to me that's a big one.
Question 3: GC will move oceans for customer service/sales.

That's good to know. I honestly don't have a well formed opinion of them - I don't necessarily presume anything bad, and it's good to hear good stuff.
I think you're putting way too little trust in GC, it seems like you think they're going to be dishonest and not be as helpful.

I don't expect them to be dishonest,.. Maybe less helpful. But it's more not knowing what to expect than expecting anything bad... And also knowing that I will still want to go to the local place for service.
#4
My two cents says, that a mom & pop operation is going to have to charge more for "X" guitar, than a large online Etailer. That's to be expected. However, I'm also inclined to believe the initial setup should be on them.

Manufacturer's setups are somewhat variable. I took my Epiphone EJ-200 out of the box and it plays fine. Perhaps I could tweak it a bit, but I won't bother until I change the strings......, er which reminds me. I guess it's about due, having bought it in June.

My Ibanez AEL10, OTOH, has had a couple of saddle, "sand me downs", and could probably use another little tweaking.

"Sweetwater Music", (an online store), claims they setup every instrument they ship. I can't say, as I haven't had occasion to purchase a guitar from them as of yet.

But, I"m a lefty. So, I'm pretty much at the mercy of the internet when it comes to having a decent choice of available instruments. But it does free me from great, "weeping and gnashing of teeth", as it attaches to the unknowns of guitar buying. Either the UPS guy brings you something decent, or he doesn't....
#5
I've taken guitars and amps I've bought elsewhere to a local tiny shop to have them serviced and the gentleman who owns the store was more than happy to help and charged me very little. In fact he didn't want to charge me at all the one time for adjusting the floating bridge and intonation on a semi-hollow body I bought on-line but I insisted on giving him a few bucks for his expertise and time. He said he gets guitars all the time for adjustment that people bought on-line. Like you I felt a little bit funny at first since I didn't shop for my guitar there, but I'm sure he understands that his selection can't compete this day and age with the big box stores or internet shops. The mom and pop stores still left are struggling and I'm sure they'd be happy to help you. They'll be happy to order you any gear you want too but they're probably shopping the same place...on-line. I guess each experience could be different but the elderly gentleman that owns my local shop was extremely nice and helpful and and the dude can really wail on the guitar. I'd be happy to give him my business any time no matter how small. Judging by the amount of guitars, amps and other instruments that were sitting in his shop for adjustment and repair; I'd say that's a BIG part of his business these days.
#6
Quote by Captaincranky
My two cents says, that a mom & pop operation is going to have to charge more for "X" guitar, than a large online Etailer. That's to be expected. However, I'm also inclined to believe the initial setup should be on them.

Manufacturer's setups are somewhat variable. I took my Epiphone EJ-200 out of the box and it plays fine. Perhaps I could tweak it a bit, but I won't bother until I change the strings......, er which reminds me. I guess it's about due, having bought it in June.

My Ibanez AEL10, OTOH, has had a couple of saddle, "sand me downs", and could probably use another little tweaking.

"Sweetwater Music", (an online store), claims they setup every instrument they ship. I can't say, as I haven't had occasion to purchase a guitar from them as of yet.

But, I"m a lefty. So, I'm pretty much at the mercy of the internet when it comes to having a decent choice of available instruments. But it does free me from great, "weeping and gnashing of teeth", as it attaches to the unknowns of guitar buying. Either the UPS guy brings you something decent, or he doesn't....


Yeah, the best bet is to learn how to set-up a guitar yourself. It's a small investment in tools and time but I think it's worth it. It's not rocket science or anything. On an acoustic there's only 3 moving parts - the saddle, the nut and the truss rod.
#7
Guys, thank you so much for these responses.. I'm sorry to no have replied until now - I apologize if that was rude.
Quote by Rohash
I've taken guitars and amps I've bought elsewhere to a local tiny shop to have them serviced and the gentleman who owns the store was more than happy to help and charged me very little. He said he gets guitars all the time for adjustment that people bought on-line.


This anecdote helped a lot - I feel better about it, .. I just know that in certain industries they can be a bit snooty about it .. it might be different with instruments.

Like you I felt a little bit funny at first since I didn't shop for my guitar there,..

That's exactly it!

Quote by Captaincranky
My two cents says, that a mom & pop operation is going to have to charge more for "X" guitar, than a large online Etailer. That's to be expected. However, I'm also inclined to believe the initial setup should be on them.

Yup, .. unfortunately that's the sad truth,..

Quote by rohash
Yeah, the best bet is to learn how to set-up a guitar yourself. It's a small investment in tools and time but I think it's worth it. It's not rocket science or anything. On an acoustic there's only 3 moving parts - the saddle, the nut and the truss rod.


I love to learn how to do these things myself,.. right now I'm just at the stage of changing my strings with confidence, LOL!! The truss rod scares the CRAAP out of me!!