​​​​Is Guitar Center Legit?

If you’ve been searching online for guitars or other instruments, there’s a good chance that the targeted ads that pop up on your browser are starting to direct you to a site called Guitar Center, and if you’ve never heard of them, you might be wondering whether or not this is a legit business.

Is Guitar Center a Scam Site?

Guitar Center has the nation’s biggest chain of music stores. They have locations in almost every major city in the US, and they also have a huge online presence. So, if you’re wondering whether or not Guitar Center is legit, we can confirm that they are indeed a real business.

There is, however, a downside. While Guitar Center is not a scam site, their Truspilot reviews are fairly dismal, with just 1.4 stars from 201 reviews at the time of writing. Many of the complaints seem to center around customer service, and more worryingly, a large number come from customers who have received used, or in store demo items when paying for new products.

Things don’t get much better on Sitejabber, with a rating of just 1.8 stars from 91 reviews, indicating that customers are generally dissatisfied. The reviews tell the whole story, with comments like “You Guys Are Horrible!”, “stay away”, and “If I could give a zero I would”.

In slightly better news, Guitar Center boasts a 100% Trustscore on Scam Adviser, with over 270 positive reviews

Company Info

Guitar Center is, as we briefly mentioned, the biggest retailer of musical instruments in the United States. They operate an e commerce website, and have 294 physical locations across th country.

The company has always been California based. It was founded in 1959 by Wayne Mitchell in Hollywood, where believe it or not, they specialized in Organs, and at the time operated under the business name “The Organ Center”. In the late 60s, Mitchell’s suppliers began requiring that he sell more guitar amplifiers and guitar related products, and as this side of the business took off, the business was renamed as the Guitar Center. Today, Guitar Center is headquartered in Westlake Village, CA.

What Are Some of the Reasons to Buy from Guitar Center?

Top 5 Guitar Center Hacks

Physical Locations

Having physical locations in metropolitan areas across the country gives players a chance to try before they buy, which is particularly important when purchasing guitars and amplifiers.

Equipment For Almost All Needs

In addition to the benefit of physical locations, Guitar Center boasts a huge range of supplies for many different instruments, as well as pro audio, studio, and DJ equipment.

They Take Trades

If you’re looking for a new guitar, and you’d like to trade in an older instrument, you can do so by taking it to your local Guitar Center. They’ll inspect it, and give you a valuation, which can be used as credit against a new or used guitar. The valuation method they use is a little crude – they take recent eBay sales for the same instrument, and offer you 60% of that price. You can absolutely make more by selling it yourself, but this is the price of convenience

If you do trade in your guitar, they will also give you a 10% discount off a new guitar – note that the 10% discount does not apply to any pre owned instruments you might want to purchase.

They Sell Pre Owned Guitars

As mentioned, Guitar Center does take trades, and the instruments they buy in go to their preowned section. As the majority of guitars depreciate after initial purchase, preowned instruments can often be found in great condition for far less than the price of a brand new example.

They Offer Music Lessons

In Guitar Center’s physical locations, you are able to sign up and attend guitar lessons with professional teachers. These are perfect for beginners looking to learn the basics, or even more advanced players looking to sharpen their skills. They also offer online lessons if you’d prefer to learn from the comfort of your own home!

Good Return Policy

Guitar Center offers a 45 day satisfaction guarantee. If within the first 45 days since your purchase, you decide that you aren’t happy, simply return the item, either by mail, or to a physical location, in its original condition for a full refund. There are some exclusions to this policy, however, so it’s advisable to read the fine print before making a purchase you’re not 100% sure about.

Guitar Center Gear Card (Synchrony)

Guitar Center offers a credit card known as the “Gear Card”, which is processed via Synchrony Bank. They offer great interest rates, including up to 48 months at 0% APR on qualifying purchases. They also offer 5% back in rewards for purchases made on your Gear Card.

Guitar Center FAQ

Here’s some of the common questions people have about Guitar Center – if yours isn’t answered, leave a comment!

My First Time at Guitar Center

How long does it take for Guitar Center to deliver?

Guitar Center offers a number of shipping options including free ground shipping for purchases over $25. The free ground shipping typically takes 5 business days, but can sometimes come in as little as 2.

If you really need your items in a hurry, you can opt to upgrade (at a cost) to expedited shipping, with the option of 2 day, or next day shipping if you’re really in a hurry.

Does Guitar Center Have Coupons?

Yes, Guitar Center periodically offers discounts via coupons or discount codes that they either. Promote themselves, or via third party websites like Retail Me Not.

Does Guitar Center Deliver to Canada/UK/Europe?

Yes, Guitar Center will ship to over 100 countries around the world. They offer pricing in local currencies, and offer different shipping rates depending on delivery location and the size of the items.

Does Guitar Center Price Match?

Guitar Center does have a low price guarantee, but there are a number of stipulations, and they often require printed proof of the other retailer’s price before agreeing to discount the item. If you’ve already made your purchase, they will honor the lower price of a competitive retailer within the first 45 days.

Does Guitar Center Collect Sales Tax?

Yes, Guitar Center collects sales tax on online orders, with the exception of orders made from the states of Alaska, Oregon, Montana, New Hampshire and Delaware.

Does Guitar Center Ever Have Sales on Guitars?

Yes, and they’re often very good. Every day they offer their “daily pick”, which is typically heavily discounted, and frequently guitars are featured. Outside of that, they offer big sales for Black Friday, and many of the other major shopping holidays.


Guitar Center is one of the most well respected guitar stores in the country, and while they do have something of an up and down financial history, you should feel safe buying from them in person or at GuitarCenter.com!

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Simon Morgan

Simon is an Orlando based musician, but originally hails from Newcastle, England. He started playing bass and guitar in 1998, and and played the local scene throughout his teen years before life got in the way. Favorite Genres: Blues, Classic Rock, and he’s not ashamed to admit - Emo

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