Used Gear from Gutter Center

This one of those BUYER BEWARE messages…

I have never ordered used gear from Guitar Center (Gutter Center) previously, but I wanted the Hall of Fame 2 Reverb pedal (it’s on back order everywhere), and found a used one on GC, so I ordered it. It was a decent price, so I thought it was a good idea (at the time).

First problem: I had to pay shipping cost, which negated some of the savings of buying a used one. It was still a decent deal (I thought), so I went with it.

UPS delivered it today, and I was delighted as I opened the box and examined my new baby. First thing I noticed, the back was caked with gunky sticky stuff left over from whatever the previous owner had used to mount it on the board. Why didn’t they clean it up? Oh well, I got that cleaned up with Goo Gone, no problem.

I hooked it up at the end of my pedal chain and fired it up. I went through the manual (which I had downloaded), but a few things didn’t match up. Some of the effects on my pedal were different from what it said in the manual. Then I looked at the photo in the manual and the photo on Amazon, and then at the pedal. Completely different!!!

Apparently they had sold me an OLD version of this pedal that someone had pawned off on them. This was never mentioned on the page when I ordered it. I immediately got on the horn with GC customer service.

This is where the real fun begins…

I told him I wanted to return it.
Why? he asked. I fibbed and told him was defective, dirty, and not as described on their site.
In what way is it defective? He asked.
It buzzes and cuts in and out. I lied.
Okay, I’ll start a return authorization. You can either bring it to a store for an instant refund, or ship it back to us at your expense. You’ll have to wait for the refund until we get it back.
WHOA!!! I said. You guys send me a defective item and expect ME to pay to return it?
Him: You can just return it to the store to avoid shipping cost.
Me: And stand in line out in the heat, and then have to wear a mask in the store? No thanks. I want to send it back to you but if you ever want to see another dime from me, you’d better send me a prepaid return label AND refund what I paid for shipping cost.
Him: Let me put you on hold for a minute.

After several minutes he comes back and says, We can refund the shipping charge you paid, but you’re going to have to bring it to the store if you don’t want to pay shipping.
Me: Not acceptable. You sold me a piece of rubbish and I should not have to pay to return it. I want to talk to your supervisor.
Him: Let me put you on hold for a minute.

He returns after a few minutes
Okay we’ll take care of the return shipping. I’ll email a return label.

I’m happy to have gotten the shipping charge sorted, but not happy that this happened in the first place. I seriously doubt I will ever buy used gear from GC again, and it’s unlikely I will buy anything from them again.


I am at the end of my rope with GC too. MOSTLY because of the attitude they have in the store since COVID, and re-opening sort of.
And it has not been just one store, I have been to 3 since they re-opened.
They walk you around the store and when they realize you may buy something, and may not, they treat you as tho you are not going to and do everything they can to get you to leave, other then say “you have to leave”

No, WAIT, they did that to my friend that was with me when I was trying to buy a BASS, and he was LOOKING at a drum set to decide if he wanted it, or the one online that was slightly different. After he was looking at and checking out all the details for 10 minutes, a guy went in the back, where the drums are and said “are you going to buy that today”, he said, maybe, I am trying to decide. he told him if he is not gonna buy it, then he had to leave.

All my purchases from them since Covid reopening, has been based around returns and store credit, so I didn’t have the luxury of ordering from Sweetwater, like my friend did, later that day.

I still have a few things I got from them that I am on the fence about, and I am almost gonna keep them, and not trade up, just cuz I don’t want to deal with them anymore, which is a shame, that I have to decide weather to deal with them or just keep what I got.
Thing is, I am not sure, I like what I have, just may want an upgrade, but keeping it is winning out at this point, and they didn’t score any points today after hearing about your dealings.


@T_dub I ordered that FLAMMA FS02 Stereo Digital Reverb that you’ve been raving about. I should have it by Sunday. At least with Amazon if I don’t like it or it doesn’t work, I just return it.
I’m so done with Gutter Center


So easy, what a concept.


So I listed something on REVERB, guess what, It sold.
I am guessing that in most cases, used gear from Reverb might be better then GC?
IDK, used gear is used gear, and people are people??


I just had to return a bass to GC and found it super easy and hassle free. He asked me if there was anything wrong with it, I told him. He asked me if I wanted his tech to look at it to see if he could fix it, I said no thank you just a refund. He handed me my receipt and apologized that it didn’t work out for me. On the other hand, I’ve had Amazon send me the entirely wrong product, and try to force me to go somewhere to ship their shit back to them for them to recieve before being willing to send me what I did buy or give me a refund.
So individual experiences will vary with all companies, but none of these huge places care about you. Shop local whenever possible, but read return policies always!


Of course, if you bring it to the store. I’ve had similar good experiences. However, ever since the paranoidemic started and they only allow a certain number of customers in the store at a time (and demand we wear a mask), I refuse to set foot in the store.
My original post was about an experience with a used product that had been shipped to me. The point is, (a) they should have included the fact that it was a previous generation of this product in the description, (b) they should not have shipped it to me in such deplorable condition, and ( c) there should never have even been a mention of my having to pay to ship it back to them.
I get much better service from Sweetwater or Amazon.

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yeah, in store, I have had no problems at GC, except the sales rep just being a tool of a guy, and Amazon I don’t have any issues, but that is also because I make sure to buy prime FREE SHIP / FREE RETURN. I have had them make up weird places to go to ship it or have to pay a boxing fee or some weird crap, but I just change my return reason to say it did n’t match product description or did not work (technically it did not work for my needs, so it is true) and then the options go back to normal, just bring it to the UPS store and they box and print the label.
I also go into the order knowing that I will be taking it to the UPS store. If they shipped something that was broken, or used and totally dirty and wrong, I would make them pick it up, and print and box and return it.
I am sure your reason for not loving Amazon is valid, but for me it is simple.
I am fed up with GC for other reasons besides hearing about this, cuz, like you said, they don’t care about me, thing is, they don’t even pretend to in the store.


Guitar Center can be unpredictable when it comes to ordering used equipment. If you go through their used gear you will find tons of stuff that is mislabeled.

I’ve found basses, pedals, and amps that were all obviously not what they were listed as.


Yes, same for the pricing of used gear, you can have
an excellent condition item, and it is priced at say $100,
and you have the same excellent condition item priced at $105.
Then another excellent condition of the same thing priced at $95
They list the same thing in Good condition and price it at $145

I see thin in pedals ALOT

with Amps, the prices are even more drastic.
3 great condition amps will price between $175 and $225, then you get one in Good condition for $449

Obviously, location for the item, and the local demand for that item will dictate how they price it, so nationally it doesn’t always make sense, but then you also have different people pricing things, and some of them get it WAY wrong.
You would think they could have a position for a person, or a team of people that just go over all the used gear and make sure they are priced accordingly so they match NATIONAL market, and are not affected by a person’s lack of value of an item. And have someone, or a team of people checking, or at the VERY LEAST, have the person packaging the item, make sure it matches the EXACT description and EXACT STATED CONDITION of the item sold before it is packed and shipped.
This foresight and the salary of the person / persons dedicated to doing this should save them enough money from the screw ups that the job security should be self sustained


Here’s an update on my experience buying a used pedal from Gutter Center…

It has now been a week since they received the pedal (I have proof of delivery from UPS), and I still have not received the refund. I have tried calling, but keep getting connected with people in the Philippines, who are difficult to understand, and quite frankly, clueless.
Today I sent an email to GC customer service informing them that if I don’t receive the refund by end of day tomorrow, I will file a dispute with my debit card issuer (Paypal).
I hate that it has come to this. I used to really love Guitar Center.


I feel ya.