A number of readers mentioned that the reason for the ridiculously large list of exclusions is because the manufacturers and distributors of these brands have blanket agreements that forbids their brand from actively being included in these sorts of promotions. However, these same readers claimed that Guitar Center would still honor the sale on just about every brand in that massive list of 319 names.
A couple people tried out the chat window that pops up when you go to the coupon exclusion page on the Guitar Center website, and reader Garry was able to get some pretty good responses from his queries.
Here is the transcript of Garry’s chat with “GC,” the Guitar Center rep.
GC: How may I help you?
Garry: Just curious, do you have a list of mfrs that ARE included in the coupon?
GC: Absolutely. The exclusion list online is extensive, however I can help you with most brands. Only 20 or so brands I can’t touch.
GC: What were you interested in?
Garry: But where is the list?
GC: Garry: Its on the website, I’ll get it for you.
Garry: Thank you.
Garry: It is easier to “impulse” shop when you know what brands are actually applicable!
[GC copy/pastes the mammoth list from the website]
GC: But like I said I can help you with most of those brands though.
Garry: Do you mean you can “bargain” on, for instance, Gibson USA?
GC: Absolutely. As long as the guitar is not already discounted I can help you with price.
Garry: Ok, could be interesting. BTW, I was looking for a list of brands NOT excluded, the one you sent is the exclusions. Do you have an “inclusions” list?
GC: I cannot give out the other list. Honestly though I can help you out with almost ALL brand new items. No restocks, no used and no already discounted product. I cant do Apple products, Bose and most boutique pedals and amps.
GC: Otherwise you are golden. Fender, Gibson, Marshal. etc.
Garry: Ok. Also BTW, you might be interested that the “Consumerist” website is roasting you rather thoroughly. You might want to respond [Copy/pastes link to yesterday's story].
Garry: Might be a wise idea to release the “inclusions” list, lol.
GC: Haha ok I’ll pass it on. Thanks Garry. Please feel free to contact us if you have any other questions or concerns, or if you are not completely satisfied with the service you have received from us today. We appreciate your feedback. Thank you for using Guitar Center Live Chat Assistance.
We have not heard from anyone at Guitar Center, but the transcript does reveal that these “exclusions” may just be a formality (with the few exceptions noted by “GC”).
It all seems very confusing and wink-winky to us, but we always bought our gear at the local music shop run by the guy who played sax in the band that used to play at the Fiesta Motor Lodge on the weekends. He never really had sales, so much as he would accept whatever amount got him closer to paying his rent that month.