As I found myself wondering if the Guitar Center in Sherman Oaks (the 'flagship' store of the San Fernando Valley) will have a VM Telecaster Custom there for me to try out, I was reminded of the term 'showrooming'. I haven't really seen it mentioned here, but on other guitar and bass forums - where there's more of a tendency for certain people to admonish the practices of virtual strangers, for their own edification - it seems to be a more frequent topic of conversation. I haven't even thought about it in a long time, since this is pretty much the only forum I spend time on anymore, but I thought it might be interesting to get everybody's take on the subject. For those who are unfamiliar with the term; 'Showrooming' is when you go to a guitar store, without any intention to buy, for the sole purpose of trying out a guitar. Then buying the guitar elsewhere (usually online, where you can get a better deal). I do this all the time, and I'm not ashamed of it... I'm not a big fan of buying a guitar without playing one first, and the only way I can do that is to go to a Guitar Center or a Sam Ash... Sorry, but that's where the guitars are... If there were another way for me to try out guitars, I'd be all for it! Because I hate trying out guitars at Guitar Center and Sam Ash! (especially the Sam Ash closest to me... I can't play more than three chords in that store without a salesman trying to chat me up). I reject the notion that because I played a guitar that I liked in a store, that I'm somehow obligated to buy the dinged up, shop-worn example at that store, and pay too much money. Don't ever mention on a 'normal' guitar forum that you tried out a guitar at GC, then found one for a killer deal on ebay... Guaranteed, some self-righteous defender of capitalism will ride up on his high-horse to shame you for being the source of GC's financial woes (and the woes of brick-and-mortar guitar retailers everywhere!). Then there are those who will tell you that if you play a guitar at a guitar store, you should feel compelled to buy something... anything.... to compensate for the privilege of touching their merchandise.. I roundly reject that notion too! Guitar Center gets plenty of my money. I've bought two guitars and two amps (used) there in just the last two years... Not to mention strings, straps, gadgets and other peripheral accessories. I don't owe Guitar Center a damn thing, and I'm certainly not going to buy a set of strings, or pack of picks that I don't need because I noodled on one of their guitars for twenty minutes. Some people don't seem to mind throwing money away, and think you shouldn't either. Or they think that we should all cow-tow to our corporate overlords and always have their best interests at heart. Because after all, we are ultimately responsible for their success, right? I'm sorry, but I can't afford to shrug off paying $50 or $70 more for. guitar, when I know I can get a better deal online. Guitar Center is responsible for their own success or failure. Whatever financial struggles the big box stores are going through, they did not come as a result of me playing a guitar in their store, and then buying it from Sweetwater, or somewhere else. In fact, if GC would negotiate with me on prices, the way that Sweetwater does, then maybe I'd buy more guitars there. Maybe if GC would give me a discount on a scratched, dinged up, floor model, I'd buy more guitars there. Maybe if GC had more of what I wanted in stock then I'd buy more guitars there. Oh yeah, and 'showrooming' didn't kill the mom and pop guitar stores either... Guitar Center did! Ok, rant over... what do y'all think?