Do you guys ever do this?


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STAGE 2
May 5, 2006, 11:14 PM
This is pretty much my standard operating procedure when it comes to car lots and salesmen, but I find myself doing this more and more when I go into gun shops.

I walk in, usually with a specific thing I'm looking for, a guy behind the counter walks up to see what I want, and I'll ask to see something in the case. With gun in hand, I will then ask him a question... a question that isn't overly technical, but not obvious either, but also a question that I already know the answer to. Yes I'm basically quizzing him to find out whether he knows anything or not.

7 times out of 10 I'll get a wrong answer. I don't know whether its because he's busy and I don't look like I'm there to buy, or because he doesn't know, but what I do find surprising is that I have yet to hear, "I don't know, let me ask/look it up/call the manufacturer."

I'm really nit picky with cars, mainly because I have 0 confidence in the intelligence of car salesmen, but I guess I kind of expect more out of gun dealers.

For example, today I walked into a local shop and they has a NIB Beretta M9 on the shelf for dirt cheap. The guy behind the counter had no idea that it was anything other than a regular 92. Are there huge differences, no, but the markings, dustcover and backstrap are different enough that a normal person should be able to tell the difference.

Needless to say I walked out with a new M9 for the price of a plain jane 92.

Anybody else or am I just a nut that expects too much.

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444
May 5, 2006, 11:30 PM
Well, that depends.
Personally, I don't care if he knows which way is up. If I am talking to him, it is because I saw something that I want to buy. 9 out of 10 guns I buy, I don't even handle. I just tell them I want it.
If it was a machine that could run the cash register, that is fine with me.



I have to say that most of the gun shops I go into, I know the people in there. I go to gun stores all the time, so I DO talk to them. But, if I want to buy something, I just tell them I want it. Bought two guns in the last week. Didn't look at either of them other than when they were in the case. Actually, one of them was a P1 in a German police holster and I never saw it out of the holster until the paperwork was done and I had paid him.

mnrivrat
May 5, 2006, 11:39 PM
Many gun shop counter employees are not firearm enthusiasts .

It's not easy to make a living with most gun shops as there is a lot of competition and narrow margins on a lot of the new products.

Sales persons are not paid much and this tends to bring people of less experience into the equation. There of course are a lot of exceptions also, and many are very knowledgable , but no one knows everything .

As long as you know what your doing with the purchase there is no problem - as a matter of fact there can be benifits , as you pointed out .

mbs357
May 5, 2006, 11:41 PM
Actually, one of them was a P1 in a German police holster and I never saw it out of the holster until the paperwork was done and I had paid him.
Not sure I'd do it like that... :scrutiny:
I guess you trust the guys to not sell you something faulty or full of rust though.

iamkris
May 5, 2006, 11:43 PM
No I don't do that.

I do think one of the big issues in our passion of guns/shooting is that there are a higher (?) or at least a sizeable percentage of "know it alls". Maybe I'm too sick of the Counterstrike-dweebs that think they understand but it certainly seems that way.

My theory is that to the uninitiated, there is a lot of machismo and ego associated with firearms. The people that are inclined to be know-it-alls for anything are more inclined when it comes to guns. It is an intricate sport/hobby and they don't want to appear wrong. Plus, many associate guns with power...mix all those elements together and I think you get a disporportionate number of people in the know-it-all category.

My opinion.

444
May 5, 2006, 11:49 PM
"Not sure I'd do it like that... "

Over the years I have pis.... ah, wasted a lot of money on guns and could count the times I have been burned on one or two fingers.

Kenneth Lew
May 6, 2006, 12:47 AM
I walk in, usually with a specific thing I'm looking for, a guy behind the counter walks up to see what I want, and I'll ask to see something in the case. With gun in hand, I will then ask him a question... a question that isn't overly technical, but not obvious either, but also a question that I already know the answer to. Yes I'm basically quizzing him to find out whether he knows anything or not.

That sir is a poor assuption about the knowledge base about people behind the counter of a gun store. The person's speciality may be on types of firearms for which you would not have a slightest idea or clue about. I personally do not care the difference between a M9, 92FS, 92G, or a 92F for which you care about. Can you tell the difference a fake Enfield Jungle Carbine and a real one. If not, please don't act all high and mightly.

mbs357
May 6, 2006, 01:08 AM
I've been thinking it over and I have to agree with Kenneth.
Shooting is a very broad hobby with a VERY broad assortment of weapons. Any 'one' model of weapon can have many different submodels and variants. You can't expect the guy who sells you things to know everything about everything...of course, he should know what's what in the store.

Zen21Tao
May 6, 2006, 01:42 AM
A gunshop dealer has so many firearms on hand that he couldn't, regardlesss of how gun knowledgable he is, know everything about every gun. I never fault someone for not knowing something but, like you, I am sometimes put off by people that think they do in fact know everything when they in fact don't.

I will admit that I too sometimes throw out "tester" questions to test the dealer's actual knowledge and to see if he claims to have knowledge that he doesn't. I do this especially if I find a deal that appears too good to be true. Is it that the guy doesn't know what good of a deal he actually has or does the deal look so good because there is a defect with the item?

As for the know-it-all that thinks he knows what he doesn't, sometimes this kind of person's ignorance plays out in your favor. For example, I had a salesmen tell me that barcode on a Sig P239 I was looking at was now standard on all Sigs and I could/should just wipe it off. He had no idea that what he had was a Sig that was actually used in the Depatment of Homeland Security's Testing and Evaluation program. Of course I immediately bought it for what was an average retail price for factory reconditioned Sig.

pete f
May 6, 2006, 01:46 AM
I do provide some sales people with the opportunity to fail...but usually if they are presenting me with something which i want, but they have priced to a level i consider ridiculous. the well worn series 70 that would be a good project gun that he is calling rare and collectable going for 1299.oo versus the 400 i would consider fair.

I do not presume to know all. I asked a nice guy at one shop about why a certain pattern 17 winchester made Enfield was priced at 1700.00? It was nice, nearly NIB for such a thing. It was the stamp on the stock that showed it had been accepted at some arsenal/armory in Utah by Elmer Kieth During the early days of WW2. I would never have known that, I have no idea how rare that stamp would be, but to own a rifle that has indelible proof that Saint Elmer handled and inspected and Passed as Good might be enough to pay that amount to someone.

KaceCoyote
May 6, 2006, 01:56 AM
I work retail at the moment actually, and one of my most used lines is "Well to be honest, I dont know but -insert name here- certainly does lets find him". I can build a relationship with a customer with my honesty, more than my store's prices.



I'd murder to work at a gunshop, thats my dream job as a college student.

bpisler
May 6, 2006, 02:02 AM
Nope,i don't need to at the shop i
get most of my stuff from.I guess
i'am luckey that all of the staff
have been in the gun business for
quite a while.If by chance they
don't know they have no problem
finding out,these guys aren't in
the habit of trying to BS people.

Diomed
May 6, 2006, 02:06 AM
I asked a nice guy at one shop about why a certain pattern 17 winchester made Enfield was priced at 1700.00? It was nice, nearly NIB for such a thing. It was the stamp on the stock that showed it had been accepted at some arsenal/armory in Utah by Elmer Kieth During the early days of WW2. I would never have known that, I have no idea how rare that stamp would be, but to own a rifle that has indelible proof that Saint Elmer handled and inspected and Passed as Good might be enough to pay that amount to someone.

I would hope it was pristine - I have an average Eddystone with the cartouche (OGEK in a box - the box being very important, as there was another EK at Ogden) that I probably paid too much for at five hundred.

Twycross
May 6, 2006, 02:46 AM
I think the test is a little unfair. Some us here may know everything about guns, but I for one certainly don't. I would probably fail your test. If you handed me, say, a Tikka T3 (just for example), I probably wouldn't even know how to remove the bolt. I don't know how it's action compares to, say, a Remington 700 BDL.

pattern 17 winchester made Enfield
I have no idea why that is special.

People just don't know every specification about every gun. Most have special interests. I really don't even have any area of specialty at all, just a gradually growing general knowledge.

DPB
May 6, 2006, 02:53 AM
Not to cause problems, but I have to ask:

Aside from roll markings on the slide, what, specifically, are the difference between an M-9 and a M92FS?

I only ask because I owned a 92FS for about 5 years, and carried an M9 extensively for about 7, I'm pretty sure they're the same gun.

The 92FS is the most common 92 I've seen in the U.S., so at least stateside, it would qualify as the "plane jane 92.

Also, there are 92 versions that are somewhat more expensive than the M9/92FS.

If I'm going to lay out more than $100, I've usually done enough research that I expect to know more than the individual behind the counter. If I'm buying a gun or car, you can bet the research has been fairly comprehensive.

Hey, it's my money I'm spending, not theirs.

STAGE 2
May 6, 2006, 03:15 AM
Interesting responses so far.

Kenneth, this has nothing to do about being high and mighty or demonstrating what I know to others. When the guy behind the counter gets the question wrong I simply nod and browse some more, him having no idea that I disapprove of his answer. This has to do with the fact that I have real legitimate questions and I want to deal with someone who has real answers, or the intellectual honesty to admit he doesn't know and will direct me to someone who does.

I should have probably clarified before, I'm not talking about knowledge of obscure or surplus rifles or handguns. I'm talking about mainstream, current production pistols and rifles. Its not too much to expect one who works at a gun shop to be able to tell me what calibers a beretta 92 comes in, or whether a XD has a magazine disconnect.

Answers like "I really dont know" or "I havent had a chance to check out this pistol yet" are perfectly acceptable. I'm just looking for honesty.

DPB, you are correct the roll marks are different. What I was referring to was the design change that came sometime in the early 2000's. New beretta 92's haev a slanted dustcover as well as a radiused backstrap. Its likely that your beretta and the M9 you carried were identical. Only in the last 3-4 years did they make these changes.

DPB
May 6, 2006, 03:22 AM
Stage 2, I bought my 92FS in 1999, so yes, it would have been before the changes.

I haven't looked at a commercial one in a while, are they selling them commercially with "M9" stamped on them? Also, do you have any idea why the changes on the commercial models?

Diomed
May 6, 2006, 04:05 AM
pattern 17 winchester made Enfield
I have no idea why that is special.

United States Rifle, cal. .30, Model of 1917. The rifle we fought WWI with. Winchester made the fewest.

444
May 6, 2006, 09:17 AM
"Its not too much to expect one who works at a gun shop to be able to tell me what calibers a beretta 92 comes in, or whether a XD has a magazine disconnect."

I don't work in a gun store, but I go to a least a few gun shops every month and have for most of my life. I am on the various internet gun forums daily. Sometimes for hours. I usually end up at least looking at the pictures in most gun magazines that come out monthly. I go to gun shows 3-4 times a year and have been attending gun shows since I was in grade school. I attend formal training as often as possible: usually at least 4-5 classes a year (attended a Glock Armor's class yesterday and am taking a two day "practical rifle" class today and tomorrow). I belong to two gun clubs and regularly attend as well as compete. I got my first handgun when I was 9 years old. By the time I was 21, I owned more than a half dozen. I personally own over 80 handguns right now.
I have no idea the answer to either one of those questions.
I know what a 1917 Enfield is, and own one, but the small details are not something I am familiar with.
I am not sure why you think a clerk in a gun store IS going to know absolutely everything there is to know about every single firearm they have in the store. I know this is going to get me in trouble, but I have to agree with the person that posted about being a know-it-all. Most of the people that do stuff like this are trying to boost their own ego while at the same time wasting a salesmans time. People wonder why people that work in retail stores are bitter. Imagine the jerks coming in and out all the time. It isn't bad enough that people come in and want to buy partial boxes of .22 ammo and want to have you buy their guns for twice what they are worth at full retail because they are broke and want to use you as a pawn shop. It isn't bad enough that your prices are never good enough and you can't stock every possible item to please every possible customer. But you also have people coming in and purposely screwing with you for their own amusement.
No wonder they are sometimes hard to deal with.
How would you like people coming into where ever you work and purposely screwing with you ?
I have worked at my job for 15 years and did something very similar in the same town for 7 years prior to that. People ask me questions that I don't know the answer to.

Hazwaste
May 6, 2006, 09:32 AM
I do the same thing, though I don't know why. Before making a major purchase such as a gun or car, I do my own homework.

MFL Jim McLoud
May 6, 2006, 09:57 AM
I personally meet many like you,but don't understand why you feel that you need to "out wit" people like us. I have thousands of guns,but don't claim to know everything-and learn something new every day. I'm sure I could ask you many questions that you would not have answers for-but why?? Does it make you feel good to make others feel less than you? I'm not slamming you personally here,I would just like to know the value of what you do at the gun stores or car lots :confused:

I have twelve employees between my two stores. I try to hire people that barely know much at all - just so they don't pretend to "know it all". People that I hired in the past that were "experts" broke many firearms to include expensive machine-guns because they thought they knew it all,or didn't feel they should ask how. I don't hire "gun experts" I hire clerks.

I'm not an expert - I'm a (RKI)
Jim

STAGE 2
May 6, 2006, 01:00 PM
DPB, the "official" word from beretta on the changes is because they are trying to streamline production, so all frames are made on the same machines regardless of whether its a vertec model or a 92. There have been a few special runs of M9's but aside from those, everything else is a 92.

444 and Jim, I don't know what is getting lost in translation so let me try and spell it out. This isnt about knowledge, either mine or the guy behind the counter. Its about weeding out the people who are going to tell me that an SKS is great for 1000 yd target shooting or that the only gun really good enough for self defense is a desert eagle.

By analogy, these are the guys on the car lot that will tell you that a mazda miata is perfect for towing in the snow. Some do it because they are trying to make a sale, and some do it because they just dont know any better.

I don't know everything abut firearms and don't pretend to. However I don't think its ridiculous for me to expect someone who has chosen to make firearms his livelihood to have generally more knowledge than me.

That isnt even my point however. What I said at the beginning and what is completely satisfactory to me is an honest salesman. "An I don't know" or "let me find out" is worth as many points to me as a correct answer. Why? Because when I ask him the real questions I need answers to, I know that he will be able to help me, if not personally knowing the answer then pointing me in the right direction.

guy82901
May 6, 2006, 03:03 PM
I do this with anything that costs a few hundred dollars or more, doesn't matter the product. I think that MORE people should do it. Not mind-numbingly difficult questions, but something that shows you know SOMETHING about the item.I have worked in retail for a whole lot of years now, and that is the thing that makes me madder than anything. It is called product knowledge. I REQUIRE all of my employees to know the basics of what we are selling. If they don't know, they need to ask. I have had to get rid of several employees who I spied on. They decided to feed the customer a line of BS instead of asking someone else about something. This has nothing to do with guns. It is just good customer service.

Rexrider
May 6, 2006, 04:23 PM
Technical knowledge of a product does not always equal customer service.

As a buyer, I would rather have a salesperson treat me like a preferred customer then try to impress me with their all-encompassing knowledge of every product in the store.

The worse salesperson to me is the one that tells me what I should buy instead of helping me make my own choice.

Here is an example. Years ago when I was starting out in this hobby, my knowledge of firearms was of course very limited. But even then, when I walked into a gun shop I still knew what I was looking to buy.

There was a shop back in my hometown in PA. Three times I attempted to buy a handgun there but never got out the door with one thanks to the overbearing and very opinionated sales people.

First time, I wanted to buy an AMT .22 mag semi-auto. The salesman told me I should buy a .22lr revolver. Not recommended to me, but told me what I should buy (in retrospect, I don't blame him for trying to get me away from the AMT).

The second time I came in to buy a Glock 17. The salesman told me I should buy the 10mm, not the 9mm. Once again, not a recommendation, but told me I was foolish to buy the 9mm. Left the store empty handed.

Third time I came in to buy a Berretta 92. This time I got the renowned .45 expert who actually laughed at me. He proceeded to give me his speech and "expert" knowledge on the Colt 1911 I why that is what I should buy. He may have been right, his knowledge may have been technically correct, but his attitude was nowhere close to good customer service. That was the last time went into that shop.

I left that store and drove almost an hour to another shop. Walked in and asked to see the Beretta. I was greeted with a smile and enthusiasm. The salesman let me handle the Beretta and talked to me about shooting in general. Probably trying to get a feel for my experience and tastes. He told me the Beretta would serve me well. His only concern was that I was able to get a proper grip on the handgun (due to it's size), which was not a problem. He let me know they carried spare mags, holsters and had various plinking and defensive ammo in 9mm. I left the store with the Beretta, 2 spare mags, and 4 boxes of ammo. I don't know how knowledgeable the salesman was, but he provided me with great customer service and that is all I wanted (and the 92). He earned my money. I made that hour drive to that shop many times to buy guns and accessories.

I will always prefer a sales person who tells me they do not know the answer but will help me get the information I need. That is customer service.

aerod1
May 7, 2006, 01:00 PM
No, I'm not out "hunting boogers" at every turn. Every gun shop employee can't know everything about every gun. There are a few things I don't know about my business and I have been at it for 40 years.
All I ask is for people to be fair and friendly.

Mortech
May 7, 2006, 01:13 PM
Most of the counter people in gunshops I know are like me 9passing firearm enthusiasist) or they are close friends of the owner or family , and a good deal of the time they are also retire LEO . On the 2 occasions worked in a gunshop it was to work there long enough to purchase a firearm from such shop (Just straight trade , labor for the firearm) . Most of the time I would say I'm not familiar with the variations . The most annoying customers were the younger guys who saw something (whether it be some pimped up weapon or wacky tactical shooting manuever) in some movie or on a TV show and wanted to know where they could buy such a firearm or learn such a 'cool' move . :cuss:

Texshooter
May 7, 2006, 01:15 PM
A real salesperson will try to find out about their customers needs. Once established it becomes quite obvious when the customer starts to ask questions that they obviously know the answer to. More often than not, they will cut the salespersons answer off, mainly in an attempt to show how much they know.

It then becomes a matter of can that customer truly be helped or are they just there to make an ass of themselves.

A true salesperson, if they don't know the answer, will say so directly. It will again become quite clear if the customer is really a customer or not.

Kenneth Lew
May 7, 2006, 01:27 PM
Do you guys ever do this?

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

This is pretty much my standard operating procedure when it comes to car lots and salesmen, but I find myself doing this more and more when I go into gun shops.

I walk in, usually with a specific thing I'm looking for, a guy behind the counter walks up to see what I want, and I'll ask to see something in the case. With gun in hand, I will then ask him a question... a question that isn't overly technical, but not obvious either, but also a question that I already know the answer to. Yes I'm basically quizzing him to find out whether he knows anything or not.

7 times out of 10 I'll get a wrong answer. I don't know whether its because he's busy and I don't look like I'm there to buy, or because he doesn't know, but what I do find surprising is that I have yet to hear, "I don't know, let me ask/look it up/call the manufacturer."

I'm really nit picky with cars, mainly because I have 0 confidence in the intelligence of car salesmen, but I guess I kind of expect more out of gun dealers.

For example, today I walked into a local shop and they has a NIB Beretta M9 on the shelf for dirt cheap. The guy behind the counter had no idea that it was anything other than a regular 92. Are there huge differences, no, but the markings, dustcover and backstrap are different enough that a normal person should be able to tell the difference.

Needless to say I walked out with a new M9 for the price of a plain jane 92.

Anybody else or am I just a nut that expects too much.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------

444 Response

[/i]"Its not too much to expect one who works at a gun shop to be able to tell me what calibers a beretta 92 comes in, or whether a XD has a magazine disconnect."

I don't work in a gun store, but I go to a least a few gun shops every month and have for most of my life. I am on the various internet gun forums daily. Sometimes for hours. I usually end up at least looking at the pictures in most gun magazines that come out monthly. I go to gun shows 3-4 times a year and have been attending gun shows since I was in grade school. I attend formal training as often as possible: usually at least 4-5 classes a year (attended a Glock Armor's class yesterday and am taking a two day "practical rifle" class today and tomorrow). I belong to two gun clubs and regularly attend as well as compete. I got my first handgun when I was 9 years old. By the time I was 21, I owned more than a half dozen. I personally own over 80 handguns right now.
I have no idea the answer to either one of those questions.
I know what a 1917 Enfield is, and own one, but the small details are not something I am familiar with.
I am not sure why you think a clerk in a gun store IS going to know absolutely everything there is to know about every single firearm they have in the store. I know this is going to get me in trouble, but I have to agree with the person that posted about being a know-it-all. Most of the people that do stuff like this are trying to boost their own ego while at the same time wasting a salesmans time. People wonder why people that work in retail stores are bitter. Imagine the jerks coming in and out all the time. It isn't bad enough that people come in and want to buy partial boxes of .22 ammo and want to have you buy their guns for twice what they are worth at full retail because they are broke and want to use you as a pawn shop. It isn't bad enough that your prices are never good enough and you can't stock every possible item to please every possible customer. But you also have people coming in and purposely screwing with you for their own amusement.
No wonder they are sometimes hard to deal with.
How would you like people coming into where ever you work and purposely screwing with you ?
I have worked at my job for 15 years and did something very similar in the same town for 7 years prior to that. People ask me questions that I don't know the answer to.[/i]

MFL Jim McLoud's response

I personally meet many like you,but don't understand why you feel that you need to "out wit" people like us. I have thousands of guns,but don't claim to know everything-and learn something new every day. I'm sure I could ask you many questions that you would not have answers for-but why?? Does it make you feel good to make others feel less than you? I'm not slamming you personally here,I would just like to know the value of what you do at the gun stores or car lots

I have twelve employees between my two stores. I try to hire people that barely know much at all - just so they don't pretend to "know it all". People that I hired in the past that were "experts" broke many firearms to include expensive machine-guns because they thought they knew it all,or didn't feel they should ask how. I don't hire "gun experts" I hire clerks.

I'm not an expert - I'm a (RKI)
Jim


--------------------------------------------------------------------------
STAGE 2

444 and Jim, I don't know what is getting lost in translation so let me try and spell it out. This isnt about knowledge, either mine or the guy behind the counter. Its about weeding out the people who are going to tell me that an SKS is great for 1000 yd target shooting or that the only gun really good enough for self defense is a desert eagle.

You did not state that in the beginning.

MFL Jim McLoud
May 7, 2006, 03:16 PM
Maybe you should read your original post again!

It wasn't about far left field stuff like the 1k SKS or Desert Anchor stuff....it was about clerks not knowing about product the way I read it :banghead:

No matter where I shop-I do my own homework before going. I don't expect sales people to know everything about product- but also not tell tall stories about the product. When it's your hard earned dollars,do your own research before buying anything-but don't fault others for not knowing it all - that's what we don't like right?? :barf:

Zen21Tao
May 7, 2006, 04:08 PM
While the argument over whether an employee should have knowledge over the items he (or she) sells or not is valid there is also another issue. Too many clerks like to offer up opinions as if they are facts (e.g. you don't want a 9mm you want this .45) and too many clerks like to pretend they know something about a product when they don't or out right lie about what they do or do not know just to get a sale. For an example of the latter consider an average Romanian AK priced for $700 in a local gunstore and when someone asks the clerk why his is more expensive than an AK you saw in shotgun news the clerk says "those in shotgun news are old military weapons that may not even work, plus they are only sold to gun dealers (without mentioning the possability of FFL transfers) and we don't buy such low quality." I faced a similar clerk that told me that CDNN's certified pre-owned Sigs were "crap" because they were "beat up police trade-ins that have been put through hell." Tester questions can be a good way to root out these unreputible clerks.

nplant
May 7, 2006, 06:22 PM
Although I think I perfectly understand the intent of the original question, I'll phrase my answer more carefully than normal.

I always do AS MUCH homework on the gun I want to check out before I go to buy it. Period.

If I'm casually browsing (or accompanying a friend looking for a gun to do some particular job), I just let salespeople talk. They're talking, I'm listening, it costs nothing, and I can later go and check facts. I made one and only one gun purchase on the recommendation of the salesperson (my first gun), and won't do it again. Not because it was a bad purchase, but afterwards I felt like I didn't have enough control of the situation.

As for the resident know-it-all, yeah, I must admit, when I come accross an overtly arrogant store employee, preaching to me about why a gun is the best or worst for a given purpose, or telling me a gun flat-out doesn't exist, I enjoy letting them run on the leash, then proving them wrong. But that's because I can't stand it when arrogance and ignorance attempt to pass for experience and familiarity (like the 16 year old son-of-the-owner saying anything with an air of authority about "carry guns" in California - suuuure, you know all about all-day concealed carry, don't you?). I freely admit to getting some measure of joy out of allowing someone like that to make a fool of themselves.

As someone once said, "Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to open one's mouth and remove all doubt." For what it's worth, I also truly, really appreciate it when a clerk says, "You know, I don't know the answer." I must be lucky in that a majority of the clerks that I've dealth with have said that at some point when a particularly tough question comes up (especially as was pointed out by 444 - nobody really knows EVERYTHING about EVERY gun/car/computer/washing machine...).

STAGE 2
May 7, 2006, 07:28 PM
It wasn't about far left field stuff like the 1k SKS or Desert Anchor stuff....it was about clerks not knowing about product the way I read it.

Ok, I'll take some of the blame. I guess what I should have originally stated was "do you guys put out tester questions to see whether the guy behind the counter is going to be helpful or not". Thats what I'm trying to get at.

Again this isn't about what I know versus what he knows. Its about whether he's gonna be honest and helpful, or if hes gonna replace his lack of knowledge with something he heard or thinks is true.

I don't think its too much to ask for gun shop guys to know stuff about what their selling. I'm not expecting you to tell me the differences in the spring weights between a 1903 colt pocket and a makarov. What I am expecting is that you be able to explain MAJOR differences in CURRENT MAINSTREAM production pistols.

But as I stated above, if you don't really know and are honest about it, then I'm just as happy as if you did. Honesty goes much further for me than knowledge. But for some reason, lately I've been finding a lack of both in many of the stores I frequent. Maybe its just me, but if I was running a gun shop I would expect more from my employees than just being able to work a lock and hand over a pistol. But then again different strokes for different folks.

Cacique500
May 7, 2006, 07:33 PM
I agree with Texshooter - you have to probe and find out exactly what the customer needs/wants. If you give any incorrect information and the customer checks the facts you're dead in the water. It's *much* better to state that you don't know the answer, but will find out and get back to them (or find somebody there that does know). It's all about credibility and your ability to 'bond' with the customer...that's what makes people come back.

As far as gun knowledge goes, I know a fair bit about 1911's and a lot about M39's. I also know that revolvers have those little round things on the side where the rounds sit and have very heavy trigger pulls. :uhoh: I won't get into a pi$$ing match with somebody over revolvers, because I really don't know a lot about them. If you start comparing model numbers (A S&W 642 vs a S&W model 64) my eyes glaze over. Start spouting crap about an M39 and chances are pretty good I'll call you on it. Nobody in the firearms field knows everything about everything...nobody.

As others have stated, when I'm out shopping I do my research before I buy and I may ask questions to see the salesmans knowledge as well. If they don't know the answer and tell me they don't know...no problem. If they start spouting opinion as fact then they've lost all credibility and most likely the sale.

People do business with people they like - bottom line in sales. Nobody likes an arrogant jerk who pretends to know everything and is frequently wrong.

444
May 7, 2006, 11:16 PM
I once drove about 200 miles to buy a 1917 Enfield that was spotted in a pawn shop in rural Nevada. Someone saw it, told me about it, and I drove up there to get it. My friend had already looked at it, told me it's condition, and I knew what the guy wanted for it.
When I got there, the guy working there (owner?) had more BS than Carter has liver pills. He tried to sell me every POS in the store. Some of the stuff he was telling me was an out and out lie. I knew FAR more about guns in general as well as the guns he had on display than he could ever hope to know.
So what ?
That meant absolutely nothing to me.
I listened to his line of crap, told him I wanted the 1917, paid him and drove home.
I can't imagine why anyone would care what the salesman says. Why even pay attention ?

Shotgun12
May 7, 2006, 11:23 PM
Stage 2,
I also tend to do this as a matter of course, regardless of what I'm buying .... if it is of any substantial value. It's just simply good business. Also, it doesn't appear to be too difficult to see who the "salespeople" are here. Any salesperson, that would feel "offended" by, or would consider being asked a perfectly legitimate question by a customer, as being "screwing with" .... is in the wrong line of work.

It may be due to all the years I spent working in a field where accuracy wasn't "optional" - it was "first, and foremost" .... but I also tend to be a stickler for accuracy, honesty, and attention to detail (where it counts). I think anyone that would be willing to accept less, is lookin' to get screwed. This is not a personal matter, and has nothing whatsoever to do with trying to "out wit" anyone. I feel in most cases, it would be immature to even consider the thought. Are folks are just supposed to take-in any 'inaccuracies', and/or lies .... and blindly accept it? Then if you do make a purchase, and lay down your "cash".... you can bet they'll be checking the "validity" of those $100 bills you just laid out - to make sure that YOU aren't being "dishonest". But this is just 'good business'. Some might take THAT as an insult .... I do. Works both ways guys.

If someone doesn't at least have the honesty to admit they don't know the answer to an important question; but rather try to BS their way to a "sale".... without regard to the customer's needs or wants, possibly to the detriment of the customer's best interests .... this is not a place that will be getting any of MY business.

This also, IS NOT a matter of knowing "all" the answers, NOBODY does .... or is expected to, regardless of the 'field', or subject matter. It's simply a matter of whether a person - or place of business has the integrity to admit that they don't know-it-all, but does however show the initiative, and willingness to 'make the effort' to FIND the correct answer to a question that is asked by a potential customer. Not too much to ask .... IMO.

We've seemed to have become a country where mediocrity, incompetence, and outright deceit, has become the 'norm' .... and is considered by some, to be 'expected', and is tolerated much too often. I've worked hard for what I have, and don't appreciate it when some 'moron', thinks they can BS their way into my wallet. Not gonna happen. I simply don't like to reward stupidity, laziness, or arrogant indifference.

MechAg94
May 8, 2006, 12:02 AM
I tend to agree with 444's recent post above. Usually, if I am looking to buy a gun, I have already identified the one I want and I could care less what the salesperson says as long as he doesn't stand in the way of me buying my gun. I have bought most of my new guns at gun shows so I guess that is the kind of service I like. Handle all the different models and see how they feel. I only talk to the sales guy when I have decided. Questions asked if necessary, but maybe not needed.

There have been times when I was trying to decide between two different models (high capacity 9mm). However, I made the decision. Very little said by the saleman or anyone else would have meant much to me.

Some of the stories I have heard would get under my skin. I would not appreciate a salesperson telling me what to buy unless I directly asked the question. I haven't run into any of those yet.

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