Is Guitar Center Legit? | Reasons for Reliability

Buying online today has never been easier, and trust is at an all-time high. Most people have their credit card number saved to at least one retailer. But it’s still a great idea to do your due diligence when you’re about to buy from a business you haven’t before.

Some musicians spend a lot of money all in one shot. So it’s important to know, is Guitar Center legit? Will you have a decent sales experience?

It’s a good idea to check the reliability of retailers. Guitar Center is one of the biggest in the US and has more stores than anyone else. But can they be trusted to be reliable?

is guitar center legit

Is Guitar Center Legit?

Yes, Guitar Center is a reliable retailer for both online and in-store purchases. You can feel safe when buying from them as they have a good reputation when it comes to customer satisfaction. But with any sale, it’s always best to know what it is you are purchasing and understand the sales agreement fully.

But it’s best to get to know a retailer, or any website, that you plan to buy from. This article is designed to touch on their history and who they are as a company.

Company Information

While most musicians in the United States are quite aware of the brand, many people don’t know much about them. So is Guitar Center legit? Some people deal with them every day. Most have great experiences and some have poor ones. 

But you are more likely to leave negative feedback of a company should you have a bad experience, and this is what we find. So it’s probably a good idea to look at them from the base up.


Guitar Center had a humble beginning in 1959 when an entrepreneur named Wayne Mitchell took a chance on a passion. With the rise of bands like the Beatles and the Rolling Stones, Mitchell knew that the guitar would be a pretty popular instrument.

His store originally started out selling organs in Hollywood, California, but he quickly opened the first brick-and-mortar store at the rise of new music.

His gut feeling was right and the next thing he knew, it was time to expand across the US! Guitar Center grew and would begin to sell all sorts of musical instruments and create relationships with musicians.

Today they nearly have a store in every US city and are selling just as much online like any other retailer. They also serve musicians in other countries internationally.


The brand is now a very large entity owned by a corporation still located in California. Guitar Center Holding Inc. incorporated in 2007 not only owns it but other brands like Musicians Friend and Woodwind Brass wind among others.

With over 290 locations across the country and over 10, 000 employees, the company is focused on serving musicians with great products and customer support.


Not only do they sell instruments to musicians, but they also help people get established. Guitar Center has created a Music Foundation that helps get music and instruments to those in need.

Since 2005, their mission has been to provide education, gear and more as they believe in the power that music brings and the community it can form.

How Is Their Customer Service?

Ever since the beginning, Guitar Center was not only focused on selling gear to musicians, but also bringing them together. They were one of the first places to connect famous artists and beginners.

With many instrument clinics and educational programs, there was something for everyone. Customer service is very important to them. But let’s explore some reasons to believe this. Starting with the bad news first.

The Negative

The first thing a person will normally do is look for reviews on a company or product. While it can be very helpful, depending on the circumstance, sometimes it’s also not an accurate representation. If you look at trust pilot, you will see that Guitar Center has a rating of 1.5 out of 5 and 216 reviews at the time of this writing.

Site jabber also has a poor rating of 2 out of 5 from 101 reviews. So far, you would think that this makes Guitar center a bad place to deal with. But these are 317 responses from potentially the thousands of people who they deal with weekly.

Anyone who has a poor experience will normally want to lash out. Those who have a good experience normally don’t say much. At Least not to sites that are not Guitar Center

The Positive

People who have good and bad experiences are more likely to leave reviews on the actual company website. So is Guitar Center legit, it’s better to visit them directly. When we do, we can see that people who have bought have left reviews under each product. They are not all good, customers do have issues. 

But when we dig in and take a look, we can see that most people had issues with the products, not the company themselves. We see customers also mentioning how well their issues and problems were dealt with. This tells a different story, and from verified buyers!

 It looks to me like Guitar Center treats their customers well. Will they win it every time? No, but they get it right more than they don’t.

Is Guitar Center Shipping Good?

When it comes to shipping, Guitar Center does a good job at making sure the items are packaged well. In most cases, when buying new, the items are already in the manufacturer’s packaging. This is normally quite robust, designed to take a beating when shipped.

Depending on the service level you paid for, the items are shipped pretty quickly. They offer different options provided by the carriers they use, but if you really want something fast, you can normally have it the next day if you live in the USA.

Anything more affordable will be a few days. They do try and get everything out the same or next day, depending on when the order was placed.

What Services Do They Offer?

One thing we can be sure about, Guitar Center is not the new kid on the block. Because they have been around for so long, they offer a musician many services that make life easier. 


If you are looking to purchase instruments, they offer many kinds, both new and used. Plus, they have a great trade up program that really helps players in a pinch!

  • Guitars
  • Amps
  • Drums
  • DJ Equipment
  • Recording gear
  • Software

Those are just to name a few. And with as many locations they have throughout the USA, you can have what you need pretty darn quick.

When in a pinch, most musicians will run to Guitar Center to get what they require because they know it will more than likely be there. And if you’re paying for a recording studio, every second counts.


Guitar Center offers a few services that can help a person out. No matter if you are having instrument issues or need something, they can help you.

  • Repairs
  • Lessons
  • Rentals

These services are used at least once by a person, so it’s great to have them close by. Their repair services are done by experienced techs, and you can always get lessons from a professional teacher.


They have some great financing programs through special offers, participating brand incentives as well as a Gear card rewards system! This system allows you to collect points and earn cash back with all purchases.

Sometimes they do promotions that allow you to dodge any interest for a number of months, too. So it’s a good way to get into the gear you want right away!


Another reason to deal with Guitar Center is its return policy. They offer a 45-day satisfaction guarantee that will give a customer peace of mind. You can try it out and if you have issues or just don’t want it, send it back. Just another reason why they can be a great place to buy gear.

Is Guitar Center Overpriced?

While some people feel that Guitar center is overpriced, they actually have little control over what they ask for items. Most manufacturers set MSRP values that they ask their dealers to use when selling to customers.

Guitar Center honors this and is competitive with other retailers as a result. If you are looking for a new item like a guitar, you will see that most online stores are asking the same price. This means that they are using the sales price requested by the manufacturers.

If you look at the other services that Guitar Center offers, they are very competitive. This means that they are well priced because they want to continue to have customers use them when needed.

Problems With Guitar Center

One of the biggest issues with Guitar Center is that they have been bordering bankruptcy for quite some time. They carry a level of debt that is continuing to have them go down this road time and again. This doesn’t really affect the average musician like you and me, but it has been news for a while.

Guitar Center BBB

Another issue that they currently face is a terrible better business bureau rating. It’s nearly 1 out of 5 and will cost them a lot of business. The amount of complaints is pretty small considering they do a tremendous amount of business each year, but the rating stinks.

This will turn off anyone who goes looking for this statistic, and most people won’t look at the small number of complaints that set this rating. The truth is, they do drop the ball sometimes, but over all they are a pretty good company to deal with.

Do They Price Match?

Yes, Guitar Center offers a low price guarantee. But like any other price match offer, it is necessary to bring proof. So if you have bought an instrument and find it lower at another store, just get the advertisement and bring it to them.

They will want the receipt for your purchase as well, but you will get 100% of the difference back.


Yes, Guitar Center is a very legitimate company and a fine retailer. We have had some great experiences with them and have been able to get many items in a pinch. When looking to buy an instrument online, always do your due diligence.

It isn’t always about the retailer, sometimes it’s about the quality of the gear you want to buy as well.


Looking to deal with Guitar Center? Here are some frequently asked questions.

Is Guitar Center trustworthy?

While most things you read online about Guitar Center will seem bad, they are actually pretty trustworthy and decent to deal with. They sell to millions of customers each year, and a majority of people are quite happy.

It’s the ones who are not that go online and make sure you know about their experience. It isn’t always great, and they drop the ball sometimes, but over all you can trust that they will do their best to provide a good experience.

Is it safe to order from Guitar Center online?

Yes, ordering from Guitar center online is safe. You can expect that your item will arrive well packaged and timely, as they strive to provide a good experience. Most people have a good experience online as it is well automated.

In store purchases are also quite good, but it seems that online is a better option for most people who have used this method.

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Don East

My name is Don East, I'm the editor for Killer Rig. I've been playing guitar for over 20 years and have designed and manufactured products like guitar amps, effects pedals, and more. Over the years I have played in many bands and have a deep love for quality gear.I am an electrical engineer and have a passion for music gear, and now want to share what I know with the community!