Got a Mandolin for Christmas...and GC is awesome.
First of all, I got a bunch of GC gift cards for Christmas and about 2 weeks ago walked out of there with an Epiphone MM30 Mandolin. Sunburst, solid top. $180, nice mandolin overall.
It was the only mandolin in the store, and as such it looked to be a little dusty and in need of a set up. That didn't bother me, as I always clean and set up a new instrument anyway. Plus I was in a hurry (the baby was getting cranky), it looked decent, sounded decent so I bought it.
When I got it home...wasn't so pretty.
What I thought was dust was caked-in dirt that took 3 tries to buff out. The tuners were so stiff they barely moved. The dirt in the fretboard turned my fingers, and the rag I used to clean it, black. The metal parts were so dirty they never did come to any sort of shine. And the neck was very, very badly bowed. The finish had a few chips and scratches and little swirls. My decent Mandolin was suddenly a clunker.
I worked on it for a few days because GC is so far away a return would have been a pain, plus I was sure I could rehabilitate it. Well, I did. I got it playing and sounding really good, especially for a cheap Mandolin. Still looks a little worn, but that's ok.
So I called GC to complain. I wasn't happy that I paid a "new" price for what really amounted to an "old" instrument. So they gave me some of my money back! I wasn't expecting it at all, but I'm really happy about it. They said they usually give a 15% discount for "shopworn" stuff, but instead gave me 25% because of all the work I put into the mandolin. Dunno if that's a line or the truth, but it's pretty cool anyway.
BTW, Mandolins are COOL!!!