The Truth About Guitar Center
I have worked in sales at Guitar Center for about 2 and a 1/2 years now. Let me give everyone the true run down on what this company is about.
When I was hired I was told that it was minimum wage plus commission of 10% proft, 2% sales. I had to find out the hard way about "FADING". How it works is You have to cover all of the hours that you work with this 10 and 2 percent before you get to see any "Commission".
An example would be:
You make $1200 dollars a month from minimum wage. Now you make $1300 dollars a month from the 10% gross proft and 2% gross sales. You're now thinking, "oh that's not bad, I'm going to make $2500 for the month..." NO, how they have it set up is you have to cover that $1200 with the $1300! $1300 minus $1200 equals $100. So you end up with your minimum wage of $1200 for the month and a $100 "BONUS"...if you're lucky. This is just a big loop hole in the law that Guitar Center is getting away with. Do waiters and waitresses have to cover their tips? Does the pizza delivery guy have to cover his tips? NO, so why the f*ck do we have to cover ours?
Technically it's not even really commission, it's really just a bonus on top of minimum wage! Everyone else that has been hired since I have hasn't been told about fading either, They are hiring people and misleading them into thinking they are getting something they aren't.
Because of this fading system they have set up Guitar Center gets to tell you how many hours they want you to work without having to worry about paying you anymore because you have to cover those hours anyway. These hours include staying late usually past 1am having mandatory merchandising "parties" preparing for sales and making the store look good. During all of these hours that they have you work as a sales person, you are expected to not only sell AND FADE, but also to mercandise, clean (including the bathrooms), take out the trash, count your draws/money before and after your shift, inventory control and be security to name a few. Basically sales people are running the store for minimum wage, oh and did I mention that Guitar Center still expects you to FADE your hours? At most locations a sales person will be fired if they don't fade after three months from what I hear, but I have not faded for over a year and I'm still employed!
Why havn't I been fired even though I'm not fading? Because it doesn't cost GC anything to employ sales people since they have to fade! If you think about it the only employees GC has to actually pay are the warehouse/operations staff and management!
Since they can't keep coverage and the turnover rate is so high the people that have to suffer are:
*The empoyees that stay because they now have to cover the hours that were being covered by the person that just quit or got fired!
*The customers because now the new people that are being hired are not knowledgeable and hence where most of the customer complaints come from!
If GC actually was legit and didn't try to think of every possible way to screw their sales staff this problem with not having knowledgeable employees wouldn't exist! Most of the sales staff at GC have less than a month experience because of this! I know my district sales manager wanted to fire me but they wouldn't because they knew they don't have enough help as it is.
Now on top of this FADING BS you have to deal with stuff like this that makes it even harder to fade:
*If you're opening shift you have to come in an hour early before open which is pointless! These are extra hours that you have to fade against!
*If you're closing shift you have to leave "as a team" with all of the other employees even though it usually means standing around for an extra hour and a 1/2! These are extra hours that you have to fade against!
*So you work @ GC and you think your going to still be able to perform at your gig on Friday night? NOPE, You have to work Saturdays, they are mandatory!
*GC makes their sales staff work 6 days a week during March, August and December on top of even more extended hours every day! These are extra hours that you have to fade against!
*They extended store hours! We get the same amount of business compared to before having extended store hours, it's just spread out over more time! These are extra hours that you have to fade against!
*When you are doing all of the stuff that GC requires you to do like be a telemarketer and call customers, merchandising, cleaning ect...your "managers" are the ones taking the sales because they don't have to do these things.
*Customers saying "what's the best deal you can give me" after spending a 1/2 hour with them and you're now at the
register...Do you say the same thing to the pizza delivery guy or girl?..."What is the best price you can give me for that pizza...oh and is it ok if I don't give you a tip?"
*Marty Albertson creating a letter that goes out to "Only our most valued customers"...(Everyone that has ever purchased even a pack of strings in the past). The first time it was 20% of your entire purchase and the last one was 10% off your entire purchase! WTF! That's all of the profit margin right there and they still expect you to "FADE"!
Guitar Center lies to their employees! COST on the green screen ISN"T really GC's COST! GC makes more profit than what's displayed on the green screen! This is profit we make the company that we're not credited on! On top of this what exactly is the "St Ad Pack" in between "COST" and base cost? I was told numerous exuces such as "That is what pays the bills like rent, electricity, heat..." If that's the case then WHAT THE F*CK DOES GC DO WITH ALL OF THE PROFIT? BULL SH*T... "AD PACKS" are just another way for GC to make profit without giving the proper percentage to the sales person that busts their ass merchandising, being inventory control and the janitors!
Why do you think GC plays 90% of the sh*ttiest f*cking music on earth in the store on Guitar Center radio? Because they are looking for the songs with the cheapest licensing fees! This also brings me to another point. GC recently setup a program for employees called "GAIN" where empoyees have a chance to get their music on GC radio. This is just way for GC to not have to pay licensing fees for the music being played on GC radio!
Oh I'm sorry, I forgot to mention for those that didn't know that the Green Screen is just what Guitar Center calls their sales terminal computers. They look like Microsoft DOS from 1980! What the hell does GC do with all of their profit that WE make for them?
When I quit Guitar Center I'm going to send most of what's here in a Green Screen email to everyone in the chain so that I can open most of the employees eyes that are brainwashed!
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