Guitar packages (either electric or acoustic) can be good deals for beginners who are looking for an "all in one" solution. The idea is that you bundle all necessary items (e.g. guitar, amplifier, cords, picks, strap, instructional video) into a low-priced package to make the purchasing decision much easier. While these bundles can be very helpful, there are a few things to keep in mind so you don't get ripped off or disappointed.
Before you consider buying a package deal, you should check the prices
of similar separate items to make sure that you really are getting a
deal. While it's not always the case, package deals sometimes include
unnecessary or unwanted items that artificially inflate the price of the
bundle. It's important to remember that items likes strings, picks,
cords, and straps are pretty inexpensive, so they shouldn't make a
significant part of your decision process.
The bottom line is
this: the guitar and amplifier are the most important components of the
package. If even one of these items is substandard, then it's not much
of a "deal," is it? So, before you purchase a guitar bundle, see if you
can try out the guitar and amplifier individually. If you are purchasing
for someone else and don't know much about guitars or amps, find
someone who knows about guitars and related gear and ask them to help
Fortunately, inexpensive guitars and amplifiers have drastically improved in quality over the last several years. It used to be the case that cheap guitars and amps were just that. Cheap. And horrible. They rarely played well or sounded well. But given advances in computer-guided building as well as increased offshore manufacturing, it's entirely possible to find a decent playing and sounding instrument for not much money.
One thing that makes a big difference is
whether or not the instrument is set up properly. You want to make sure
the action (i.e. how far the strings are off the fretboard) is playable
and that the guitar can be intonated and tuned properly. So, once you
purchase your guitar bundle, it's probably a good idea to seek out a
qualified repairman to set up the instrument properly. If you're
purchasing an electric guitar bundle, they can also check out the
amplifier for you, just to make sure it's working as it should.
There really are a lot of good quality packates out there. You just have to know where to look. Please feel free to ask me any questions if you have any concerns or would like some recommendations!