Support your local music store. Help the little guy. If you’re a musician, you probably already do this. But if you’re not a musician and maybe you’re buying your kid his or her first drum set, or buying your spouse a ukelele on a lark, please try to avoid Guitar Center.
Clearly, at least once, I’ve shopped at this behemoth, because they have my email address. I don’t find them to be particualrly evil or unworthy of my business. I don’t hold it against them that they’ve clearly out-businessed other music retailers. That’s called success. I have happily purchased items from Guitar Center because they happened to have had EXACTLY what I wanted at a decent price. I have also begrudgingly purchased items from Guitar Center when there hasn’t been much of an alternative: They’re omnipresent here in LA, and sometimes necessity, location, convenience or a combination of those things wins out over supporting the little guy.
All in all, I’ve made a mediocre at best effort to cut GC out of my life. That may have changed for good, because I do have a problem with all of that success getting to a business’s head.
Yesterday, I received an offer in my email to save 15% on my total purchase at Guitar Center with a store credit card. This is not uncommon. They’re constantly sending offers.
Humor me- Spend some time with this list. I apologize for the fine print. Zoom in and get an eyeful. I’ll wait.
You’re back. If you’re a musician, this list should make you sick. If you’re not, let me fill you in: This list is essentially every manufacturer in the music industry. Guitars, drums, amps, DJ gear, home recording, keyboards… essentially, everything Guitar Center sells isn’t part of the deal.
This deal is like a Toyota dealership telling you can save 15% on any car on their lot, as long as it’s not Toyota, or a car, or a truck, or an SUV, or a van. This is like Subway telling you can save 15% on your total purchase as long as it’s not a sandwich, chips, a drink, cookies, bread, meat, cheese, apples, food, or anything associated with the Subway Sandwich corporation.
I racked my brain to find a product from a manufacturer that Guitar Center sells that isn’t on this list. Hosa. Check out their website: hosatech.com. They sell cables, primarily. I don’t really need to save 15% on an 8 dollar cable. I will I guess, but I’m much more interested in saving 15% on a major purchase. Sure, they have some high-end items, but not a ton of folks are in the market for a 16 XLR channel, 100 foot stage box snake.
Pure and simple, it’s dishonesty. While I should have drawn this line in the sand with Guitar Center a long time ago, this list really shook me. It’s just not right- promising savings on your entire purchase, only to exclude nearly everything you sell is revolting.
Support your local music store. If your local music store is Guitar Center, use their warehouse of non-sale merchandise to find the instrument you love, the one you just have to own, write down the make and model, and order it direct from the manufacturer. Join me in never buying anything from Guitar Center again.