Guitar Center Employee Reviews

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3.0
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Great if you're fresh out of high school.
Operations Team Member & Sales Associate (Former Employee) –  Marietta, GASeptember 2, 2018
If you are 18 or 19 years old and looking for your first job, Guitar Center would be the place you would want to work. If you were playing in a band, the benefits open for employees are amazing.

I will say management above a store level seemed fairly clueless regarding setting goals for stores (just because product "A" sold well in NY doesn't mean it will sell the same in Atlanta), and wouldn't take the effort to know who was working for them. At the store-level, my experience with management on the whole was very fair. The GM's and STM's genuinely were interested in how an employee was doing inside and outside of the store.

When I was moved to working for the Operations/Warehouse team I became part of a smaller unit, which gave me a stronger sense of dependability to my fellow coworkers and the warehouse manager.
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1.0
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A once great company is slowly rotting from within
Operations (Current Employee) –  New YorkAugust 12, 2018
This is a company that has forgotten that's it's just a music store. They have been clawing their way out of bankruptcy for so long that they now have the company run by non musicians. Quite problematic for a music store. They have placed too much emphasis on profits and sales at the detriment to its employees. If you work in ops, expect to do the work of every other dept including sales (worth no commission). Guitar Center is festering in a culture of micro management and poor financial decisions. The pay is horrendous for the amount of work we do. And now that they're in financial trouble, they're even more stingy with pay. This past year my whole ops team were denied raises due to various "infractions". But we read between the lines. We can see which way the wind is blowing. With $1.8 Billion in debt and a downward sloping retail economy, expect this store to not last much longer.And I say the end can't come fast enough.
Pros
Excellent discount
Cons
Micro managers ruining the company from the inside
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1.0
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If you’re a musician. Don’t work there.
Lead Music Insructor (Former Employee) –  Denver, COSeptember 7, 2018
They will take your love of music and USE you for it. There are no benefits. Sales people had to collaborate with each other in order to make quota often forming cut-throat alliances like in Survivor. They use commission goals like a shark tank, not going into effect for the first three months, making it hard to be the new guy. As an instructor, they will take 2/3 of what they charge for your talent. They sell more cookie-cutter $150 guitars than anything else and are impossible to want to play for long (thanks for my first guitar guys!). It breaks my heart. Oh, and they’ll fire you in the fall to hire someone cheaper for Christmas.
Pros
Discounts (they take your paycheck that way too, watch out!)
Cons
No benefits, unlivable wages, disgusting businesses practices
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2.0
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Not the greatest feeling on earth
Sales Associate (Former Employee) –  ConnecticutDecember 9, 2018
My time at Guitar Center was not the best, but not the worst. As a sales associate, there is little compensation for the amount of musical knowledge of the equipment, especially in smaller stores that don't get much traffic for "commission". No growth is available within the company unless you want to give up all your time for it with very, VERY little compensation. After being offered a ridiculously small "raise" to basically run the store on some days, I decided it was not a place I could stay for growth. Managers push certain statistics more than sales, which seems nice, but instead it's forcing credit cards/insurance plans down customers throats. Most of the co-workers I met along the way worked really well together, were quite fair with sales, and overall friendly. I would only recommend this job to folks who don't need to pay for much of their living expenses. If you're looking for a well paying job with proper compensated growth, look elsewhere.
Pros
Musical equipment, good co-workers
Cons
Pay, no growth, under compensated for knowledge needed to sell
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3.0
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It's retail, don't expect a career from it
Sales Associate (Former Employee) –  Fayetteville, GAAugust 9, 2018
Working at Guitar Center is fine if you're looking for a sales job. The commission isn't that great, hourly is decent. Management could be better, when I started I had to rely on my coworkers to train me rather than managers, and scheduling is always staggered and non consistent. Some weeks I would work 25 to 30 hours while others I would only work 12 to 15. If you're looking to get your foot in the door for a career in music then look elsewhere, this is strictly a retail music shop and not a job to gain experience of you're a musician or an engineer.
Pros
Employee discount, okay benefits
Cons
Poor management, non consistent schedules
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1.0
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Funky culture, low pay, commission is low even after reaching beyond target goal.
Drum Department Manager/Sales Associate (Former Employee) –  Highland Park, ILJuly 19, 2018
Employee discounts for employee purchases are fair, and limited, but that is all the positive here. Get ready for a Funky culture with low pay. Note: commission is low even after reaching beyond regional targetdepartment goals. Repeatedly, holiday and seasonal commissions were very low even after improved sales target. False sense of job security and benefits package offering. Not recommended corporation due to ongoing and sustained poor financial stock position for a corporation that touts its brick and mortar business model. Clients shop with online price competition knowledge, therefore closing deals in these common situations make for further low commissions payout as well.
Pros
Networking
Cons
Funky culture, poor business model with history, see stock market history.
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2.0
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Strategically avoiding paying you what you're worth
Sales, Repair Tech, Chain-Wide Repair Coordinator (Former Employee) –  Lawndale, CAAugust 28, 2018
I worked both at the store level and at the corporate offices in my time at Guitar Center. If you do well in a workplace, you'd except to advance. This is not the case at Guitar Center. They routinely keep your hours low enough that they aren't required to give you benefits. If you excel in sales, they will limit your hours to avoid paying you the top tier commission. Discounts and commission rates were adjusted regularly to limit the amount you can earn and minimize your ability to use your discount. If you utilize their "Gig Leave" policy too much, they will fire you. The list of discount-exempt brands is constantly growing. They've halved the amount of "Friends and Family" coupons you're allowed per month. The culture is cut-throat and if you're not willing to step on your friends and coworkers, you will not advance. If you don't suck up to managers, you will not advance. Stores are regularly restricted to skeleton crews and workers are run ragged to pick up the slack.
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3.0
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An okay place to work
PSI (PREMIUM STRINGED INSTRUMENTS) ASSOCIATE (Current Employee) –  Kansas City, MOOctober 7, 2018
I enjoy working with musical instruments and applying my knowledge to help people make music. The opportunity to work with high quality guitars is especially interesting to me as I play guitar in my free time and I appreciate the craftsmanship and seeing and working with these beautiful instruments. The pay and benefits leave much to be desired and are the main reason I wish to find something else.
Pros
work that genuinely interests me, good hours
Cons
low pay, low quality benefits
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3.0
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Fun Work, Poor Pay
Repair Technician (Current Employee) –  Grand Chute, WIAugust 7, 2018
I love what I do and I love seeing my coworkers every day. If you're a musician, the employee discount is fantastic. I recommend working part-time with other jobs, as you will make a very low salary. The commission structure is only beneficial if you work in a high traffic area. As a repair tech, you must generate at least $12/hour in business or you will not see a commission check. This works just fine in big cities with lots of expensive repais to be done but it is impossible to make commission in a small market and it's hard to eat on $10/hour.
Pros
Employee Discount
Cons
Low Wage, Poor Comission Structure
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5.0
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Fun, not bad place to work!
Assistant Manager (Current Employee) –  8390 Westheimer RdJuly 25, 2018
Pay is not bad if you're a natural born sales person and don't mind the retail hours, excellent benefits and management is always great. They give you a lot of flexibility too, independence in completing your tasks and goals on your terms as long as they're done in a timely fashion. No one is ever breathing down your neck. One of the best jobs I've ever had.
Pros
Super fun environment, very laid back place to be in general
Cons
Pay can be rough if you don't make an effort to sell, Working here as a shy person would be difficult.
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2.0
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No future
Retail Associate (Former Employee) –  Dallas-Fort Worth, TXMay 24, 2018
This company has gone from okay to terrible. They change upper management every other year making it hard to understand the direction in which they want to go. Over the years I have seen product quality decline at a concerning rate as well as a decline in employee appreciation. The path to advancement changes with every management change making it hard to have a clear and defined path to excel. Great place for part time workers looking for discounts on gear but not a place to have a career. Who knows if they will even be around in the next couple years due to high debt.
Pros
Discounts, health benefits, paid vacations
Cons
only the top three sales associates will earn enough to live
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1.0
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An unhealthy company constantly pressuring and micromanaging underpaid employees
Sales Associate (Former Employee) –  Braintree, MAJune 20, 2018
If you're smart you'll apply as a part-time sales associate so you can reap the benefits of a (possible) discount on a desired piece of gear while standing around your register all day dodging any obligation to maintain the sales floor or provide timely service.
Apply for an operations/warehouse role and you're basically going to be told to run the entire store, man-handle about 87 new wildly bright and physically taxing ideas the district or regional managers (and their bosses) have for your store that they bother checking up on at about once or twice a year, all at 6 a.m. for minimum wage -- only to receive complaints from them that your actual priorities are not getting done fast enough, all because they wanted you to go around and test all the guitars for E. Coli or something stupid like that (not literally). They do not care if your spine collapses before the sun rises for a wee $11 / hr.
Pros
Discounts on gear
Cons
Awful wages, No room to grow, Raises are a hassle, Management does not care, Disorganized priorities and communication in the company
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1.0
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Bring Your Life-Jacket for the Sinking Ship
Assistant Category Manager (Current Employee) –  Westlake Village, CAOctober 9, 2018
I've been here nearly 2 years, and my purchasing knowledge is imperfect, inaccurate, and obsolete.

I regret having come here to learn a new skill set, I have mostly useless knowledge that can't get me another buying job, and the salary range for buying here is about 40% lower than just about any other corporate / government entity.

Please keep looking, or make sure you have a life-jacket with you when you arrive.
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5.0
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Competitive pay with room for improvement
Lead Customer Service Associate (Former Employee) –  College Station, TXSeptember 3, 2018
Working at Guitar Center is a great opportunity. You get out what you put in: if you do not work hard you can get by but you will not see significant pay in commission and raises. If you work hard and act as a team player, you will see large commission checks and lots of room for promotions.
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2.0
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Great local coworkers, terrible corporate management
Grand Opening & Special Operations Team (Former Employee) –  Whitehall Township, PAMay 7, 2018
For working musicians, Guitar Center can be a nice place to work. You're constantly surrounded by gear and people who love to talk about gear. Your coworkers a the local level are typically good people, and it's easy to develop fast friendships. The corporate overview, however, is another matter. They do not offer a livable wage for the front-line employees, and most requests for raises are laughed off. A supplemental income, be it from gigs and performances (if you're in a band), or from a separate part-time job, is most likely required. They also don't value their employees much, and invest more in their PROCESSES rather than their PEOPLE. As such, their turnover rate is fairly high, and opportunities for advancement are few and far between, and typically require relocation.
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3.0
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Loved the job and fellow employees.
Warehouse Associate (Former Employee) –  Kansas City, MODecember 4, 2018
I loved working for Guitar Center.. I parted ways with the company due solely to financial obligations.. My time spent at the store I miss dearly, especially helping customers.
Pros
Team work was encouraged, working with shipping / receiving, inventory managing, fellow employees, spending time around music equipment, meeting new people..
Cons
Pay / Benefits
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3.0
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Fun cool job, Awful pay, bad company, doesn’t care about its employees
Assistant Manager (Former Employee) –  Reno, NVSeptember 5, 2018
The Job can be fun, working in a guitar shop is a great experience.
Lots of rude and hard to deal with customers. Corporate doesn’t care about their employees. They’re treated awfully and like they’re disposable. Awful pay. Horrid commission rates. Terrible benifits. Employee discount always seems to be raising up.
Pros
Guitar shop, employee discount.
Cons
Awful company.
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4.0
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Great store. Low compensation.
Professional Audio Associate (Former Employee) –  Mishawaka, INAugust 20, 2018
The management team that I worked with was outstanding. They truly had customers needs as a priority while balancing employee development and needs. However, I feel their hands were often tied by inefficient and out of touch corporate policies.
Pros
Management, discounts, schedule flexibility
Cons
Low compensation
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1.0
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Working with fellow musicians made it worth while
Employee (Former Employee) –  MassachusettsApril 4, 2018
In all honesty, Guitar Center was not that bad of a job. Working with fellow musicians and customers that were either learning to play or of a professional level, was delightful. Management, on the other hand was a sad and scary experience. Lack of staffing, due to the store manager not hiring adequately. Promises of career advancement that were basically lies. Employee theft of physical items and a salary mangers tardiness which amounted to thousands of dollars in monthly shrink. If you really like being a musician, I would recommend working a normal job, and buying your instruments from a local music shop. You can get paid more at a supermarket than at a Guitar Center "management" position.
Pros
Musical connections
Cons
Lack of staff. Compensation. Poor management.
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2.0
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Don't Expect Great Treatment
Sales Associate (Former Employee) –  ColoradoJuly 24, 2018
Worked for half a decade at this company with less than a dollar raise to show for it. I was a full time employee, but worked an average of 25 hours per week. Some great people work here, but expect upper management to cut you out to suite their needs. Does not take care of it's people.
Pros
Gear discount
Cons
Everything else
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3.4
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