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Guitar Center Accused of Price-Fixing Guitars

Guitar Center has been accused of price-fixing guitars in a national class-action lawsuit that was filed in court yesterday, as Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro, a law office, is claiming that Guitar Center joined up with NAMM (the National Association of Music Merchants) to try to force guitar companies into not selling their products for cheap online, and to threaten boycotts of companies who did.

“Guitars and other fretted instruments comprise a multi-million dollar industry in the United States alone, and one that’s heavily influenced by a handful of industry giants like Guitar Center,” said Steve Berman, lead attorney and managing partner at Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro. “We contend that, even with its market domination, the company acted illegally to rig the marketplace to its benefit."

It wasn't publicized how much the suit is for, but it could seriously damage Guitar Center, essentially the Wal-Mart of instruments. [Daily Swarm]


But I'm guessing most Guitar Center employees don't care, since they're just working there until their bands take off*.


*- Am I right? Doesn't it seem like every person you talk to there has some band that is "about to take off?" I've only been there twice, and both times I talked to guys in "Nickelback-esque" rock bands who are going to be moving to California to get famous.

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I had a guy there recommend that, to get that "whiskey" sound on drums, I should, well, drink whiskey. And that was before he told me about his vaguely rock-type band. At GC, you're paying fixed prices for service!

/site_media/uploads/images/users/mfiander/profile.jpg mfiander

Except for a few shops they all fix their prices. Check the msrp and then see what 70% of it is. Bingo! I like the folks at my local GC and I know that on guitars I can and have gotten a better price from them. They have to sell a certain quota , so if you see an axe you like --bargain with them. I bought my Gretsch 5120 there and got almost $70 off their price.

Alan Eisenberg

Man Guitar Center and every other store can't survive much longer... Its like Record stores competing with iTunes. They have almost all closed down! And yes you can bargain with them and get a great deal, especially cause they have to compete with internet prices now. Dont let them tell you it has to be a website with retail locations in the US to price match cause thats BS! I got my Fender USA Deluxe Strat for $960 at Guitar Center and the tag was $1435.... Be firm and be willing to walk out. Speak only to managers as anyone else is just a waste of your time and money. But above all know that YOU are in charge when you walk in the store! They All Work For You!

John Anthony

I work for guitar center. Not all stores will bend over backwards for you. I'll let people walk if it doesn't make sense to do a deal. There are corporate policies that keep us from discounting. As far as us being on our last leg, that's just not true. Musicians need their gear, and we sell it to them for a fair price. Quit worrying about getting it for less than our tagged price and just realize that if you were paying MSRP or "retail," that you'd be worse off. We sell you gear for less than everyone else, and if you find a better price, we will usually beat it.


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