A tale of two gun purchases.


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mrcpu
March 2, 2007, 06:03 AM
I have been researching some youth-appropriate rifles for my 2 daughters, who have gotten bit by the shooting bug. After a lot of reading, I had pretty much settled on a Henry mini-bolt for the youngest (8), and an acubolt for the oldest (11). IN addition, I was looking to purchase an XD9, or a compact 45 1911 for myself. Cash burning a hole in my pocket, just *waiting* to be spent.

I posted on THR for some recommendations as to gun stores in Portland, as I
had to travel up there for something, and had some extra time. After reading the PM's, and riffling through the web sites and PM's, I decided I'd head out to
Keith's sporting goods.

My W and I walked into Keiths, and I was suitably impressed, quite a few guns everywhere, looked like several staff, nice and organized, should be pleasant.

So we walked up to the counter, and kind of stood there. Somebody next to us was doing the paperwork for their purchase, and the other staff were distributed throughout the store, carrying on a conversation about one of the members homeowner association meeting, and who said what about who to whom.

SO we wait, we wait, and we wait. Finally, after several minutes, one of the guys, we'll call him R, yells across the room and asks if we need help. So I told him yes, we were looking for youth rifles, and if they carried any Henry's.

"Yes", R. said. And then sat there and looked at us. "Can we see one"? "Yeah", they're over there up on the wall". We we turned and look,and yes, 8 feet off the ground are 2 rifles, which are presumably the items in question. "Can we look at them", we asked?

Eventually he drug his carcass over there, and handed us one. So I looked at it, and it looked fine, but not having much experience with the youth models, and not knowing what to expect, I asked him if they were good starters. "Yes, they're fine". "Do you have any others you'd recommend"? "Yes, but I'd have to go get them". And then he just looked at us. No, "Would you like to see them", or "Hang on, and I'll get one", or anything, just stood there on the ladder looking at us.

"Do you have any acubolt's"? "What's an acubolt?" "The Henry... forget it".

"Do you have any XD's in 9?" "Yes". And then he just stood there looking at us. Didn't give us anythign like "Yeah, follow me, and I'll show you", or nothing. SO I asked if I could see one. And he heads off to another section of the store, and goes over and gets his *sandwich*, stuffs a bite in there, then while chewing it, walks down to the end, chews, chews, chews, then asks me if I"d like to see the 3", 4", or 5" models, after he's finally swallowed.

Long story short, repeat the same story wen asking about the 45 compacts.


As they were the only place that had the mini-bolt in stock, I bought it, but there was no way in hell I was going to purchase the XD or the 1911 from this store.

I will never purchase another item from them, and I can't stress strongly enough that if you're going to spend money in PDX, spend it somewhere else.

THen contrast that with 2 hours later...

I stopped at the Salem Sportsman's warehouse. What a *GREAT* experience. Salesman stuck with me the entire time, offered helpful suggestions, handed me probably 30 rifles, and 10 handguns, and was pleasant, polite, and courteous.

They ended up getting my other rifle purchase, and I bought a bunch of ammo, scope, benchrest stuff, and next time I'm headed up there, I'll pick up the XD there as well. Quality operation like that deserves the repeat business.

Can't recommend Sportsman's warehouse in Salem enough, can't say anything good about Keith's, except they had a lot of guns. Didn't want to sell any of 'em, but they had a lot. If I could've found the mini-bolt in stock elsewhere, I woudln't have spent th emoney at Keith's, but I needed it.

Note that none of the issues were with price, or location, or transfer fees (even though Keith's charges sliding scale based on value of the firearm, so that's another reason I wouldn't use 'em, but I wasn't going to use them before I found out about it), just plain old, good vs absolute crap customer service...

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redneck2
March 2, 2007, 06:06 AM
somebody that lives in the area needs to show this to the store manager.

.cheese.
March 2, 2007, 06:19 AM
actually, the sad thing is that the first store in the OP's post is similar to how I get treated at most gun stores.

The other day at a store I was asked if I'm looking for anything and I made a joke, "Yeah, I'm looking for a mouse-gun..... umm.... I mean a small/pocket gun.... not a gun to shoot mice or anything."

well, the salesperson wasn't paying full attention and he only heard the end part as "not to shoot or anything." and then interrogated me fairly rudely for a few minutes about what it is I expected to do with the gun, "You going to throw it at somebody or something?" The whole time I'm trying to politely just rectify the guy's misunderstanding and trying to explain that he was missing a word.

At other stores I get the cold shoulder. I'll ask if I can see something and I'll just be told that I have to wait, the whole time they'll go from customer to customer skipping me.

Or, I'll get the whole, "Yeah we have that." and then nothing else too. No offers to help me.

A lot of stores have lost out on a sale because of that type of behavior. What they don't know is that I've come prepared to make a purchase, and I'm not just going to start waving that in their face, they have to actually treat me like a customer for me to buy something. I've walked out before, gone to another store, and then bought whatever it was I wanted because I was treated poorly.

Gun stores seem to often be very cold places with a very cut-throat attitude of, "Hey buddy, you gonna buy something already? You've already taken up 3 seconds of my day and you're consuming my air.""

I don't get it. It's not like I look like a kid or anything. If anything, I look older than I am. I'm mid 20's but I can easily pass for late 20's to early 30's. I'm always dressed well too.

I guess the OP and I just don't look like "gun guys"?

fattsgalore
March 2, 2007, 07:16 AM
Well I won't get into any debates on children and guns but will add for cheap fun.
Hi-point carbine in 9mm is easily manable for all whom have fired it. Also what about a Ruger 10/22

As for the stores themselves, I don't care of their rude call me by racial slurs or what. It's about price, period.
The people that won't budge on sticker price don't get my buisness. The guys who knock 50 to 100 off the sticker get my buisness.(or throw in mags and holster)

I don't think badly of these people. I don't doubt they have a bunch of looky lou's coming and going wasting time. Or the ocasional"Why do i have to wait or i don't have ID".
I just hate going to the store and them standing there saying "there's nothing we can do about price." or "well work on the price of used guns but not new" also adding they make less money off new then used. When in truth they just want to move that product.
Come on!!!! Your store is filled with new guns not used.

JoseM
March 2, 2007, 01:14 PM
Whittaker guns..

http://www.whittakerguns.com/

Wish they were local. But I bought a CZ .17HMR American "birth gun" for my second son and called them up (rimfirecentral.com turned me on to them). The lady was beyond helpful. I told her that it was for my newborn son and hopefully it would be in the family for generations and wanted a "pretty" one (i.e nice stock).

She looked at the ones they had out and then went into the back and started opening boxes to find a nice one. She told me "if anyone asks, don't tell them I did this because we're only suppose to open boxes if we are out of stock".

And they have Henry rifles. Oh, they're prices are pretty darn good as well. The order went smoothly, and it came within a week to my FFL.

I HIGHLY recommend Whittaker guns for rimfires (and as a side note...recommend Bud's Guns http://www.budsgunshop.com/catalog/index.php for pistols, which is where I got my S&W Gunsite and S&W M&P40)

mattw
March 2, 2007, 01:30 PM
I just hate going to the store and them standing there saying "there's nothing we can do about price." or "well work on the price of used guns but not new"

Normally I would agree with you but I have come to realize that some places actually work off different business models. They put their best price on the sticker, upfront, no BS. I do not mind someone not willing to work with me on the price of a gun if it is already at a fair price. I don't expect them to let me haggle with them over $10 or $20 dollars when it is already at a decent price. I will also bay a bit more for a gun at a place that I like, just to keep them in business and to keep their employees happy. Sure I like to save as much money as possible but I'm not going to piss off the guy behind the counter of my favorite gun store by arguing because he won't knock $20 off the price of a new pistol.

AndyC
March 2, 2007, 01:51 PM
The salesperson's response is either insolence or idiocy and I don't put up with either; I worked behind a gunshop counter for 3 years after leaving the military and I can assure you that there's no hardship in proactively helping customers.

obxned
March 2, 2007, 01:57 PM
:cuss: I spend where I get good service. Any gun shop that hires idiots with no manners does not need my hard earned dollars!

SSN Vet
March 2, 2007, 02:10 PM
Some people just weren't meant to talk to customers.

I see this same "scenario" in all kinds of retail environments....but agree it does seem to be all to common at gun shops.

bogie
March 2, 2007, 02:15 PM
Most people who work in car lots are salesmen. Whether they're predatory hard sell artists, or they're hoping that you buy your next car, and the next one, and the next one from 'em, they're salesmen.

A large number of people who work in gun shops are hobbyists. They know SQUAT about selling. And since the gun culture is so fragmented, he probably didn't give a damn about what you wanted to buy unless you wanted to look at something that interested HIM...

Leif Runenritzer
March 2, 2007, 02:36 PM
My experience with Keith's was mixed. I was at a gunshow at the Expo Center, at the Keith's tables, looking at some AKs that were marked down to $350, but had that gray parkerizing. The woman at the tables was attentive all the while, and i asked what could be done about "this gray finish". She called a young man over to answer, who bitterly told me that it would have to be taken off and done anew. It felt like i'd insulted him. Later, i happened to buy a lovely, beat-up Vz-24 from them, and he didn't look much happier.

I get home and find that the safety on the Vz-24 is stuck, so i call them up and i'm told i can bring it in for repair at no cost, best done before hunting season. But, Keith's was too far away, so i never ended up going. I lately brought it to the nearby H&K Gunshop (not Heckler und Koch) instead.

CNYCacher
March 2, 2007, 03:39 PM
"Do you have such and such?"
"Yeah."
. . . .
"Can I see it?"


That salesman reminds me of a guy I knew.
I was laying pipes for a lawn sprinkler system once and had a new helper assisting me. All the pipes were laid out in the trench, and we were going from end to end, doing the joints. 1" PVC pipe. I get down in the trench and ask him, "Hand me this, hand me that" etc. And he gives me everything I ask for. We go to the second fitting, same proceedure, like he forgot how we did it the first time. The third one went like this:
He doesn't hand me the first couple parts i need so I ask
"Okay, same as last time, hand me that coupler and the purple can."
- "Okay, here."
He doesn't pick up the pipe to hold it so I hand it to him.
"Hold this pipe up here."
- "Ok" -grab-
"Now wipe the dirt off the end while I prime this fitting up"
- "OK" -wipe-
As he's watching me prime the fitting and pipe. . .
"I am going to need the silver can next."
- "OK"
"Now the silver can."
- "OH!" -rummages in his pouch- "Here"
"Okay I got this, get that other pipe wiped off and I am going to need the purple again"
- "OK"

Same proceedure, and every single time he is standing there like a robot staring at me until I direct him what to do. It's getting very irritating. Finally on about the 10th fitting I lay it out:
"Dude, we are doing the exact same thing every time, it's not gonna change and we got about 100 more to do, so help me out here, hand me stuff before I ask for it, pick up the pipe when I am gonna put the fitting on, you can even wipe the dirt off the pipe while I am applying the glue and primer. Lets go!"
- "OK"

We get to about the 10th one, and I am standing there staring at him, waiting to see if he will hand me the fiting and the primer, and then pick up the pipe and wipe the dirt off. After about 10 seconds he just goes "What?"

So I did what any rational man at the end of his rope would do, I placed one hand on his forehead, raised the other one to the sky and shouted:
"You're HEALED!"


It didn't work :rolleyes:


Try it on a salesman, maybe you have the touch.

hrgrisso
March 2, 2007, 04:00 PM
I bought my first gun at a Gun show on my birthday. The lady behind the counter (shop at the show) was very helpful and answered all my questions (+she was cute!). I went to the shop when I was ready to buy my next gun. This time instead of the cutie it was a guy who was none to friendly. He questioned me about what I wanted the gun for, what my experience level was, then tried to convince me I didn't want a Sig. I was shopping for my 2nd Sig at the time and knew that I in fact, did want a Sig.

I kind of gave up when that happened. A few months later after leaving my Doctors office I noticed a sign "GUN SHOP" down a side street. It was a shop called Arizona Sportsman. I bought my next three guns from them. They were ok on the prices. Not great, but good.

They excelled at answering questions, giving me an honest opinion. And better, showing me all their new toys when I went in (I did so weekly). Sadly they closed a few years ago.

Then Sportsmans Warehouse opened here. WOW! So much fun stuff to play with. Great selection (even if they don't carry anything in .357 Sig they do carry the ammo). Always helpful. One guy even showed me how to use a boresnake ( don't laugh, I'm a traditionalist ). I wouldn't mind finding another local non big box store, but outside of my gun club (SGC) and Arizona Sportsman which no longer exists, No on matches Sportsmans Warehouse on the customer service. And so I give them my money.

morcoth
March 2, 2007, 04:37 PM
to the OP, sorry to hear that, and I share your pain.

on the subject of price, Ill pay a bit more where I get good service.

I often return to the poor service location, with my new gun, and inform the manager, why I paid more for it, and where.

There is one shop her in Las vegas that I have gotten great service from, and several that rather suck.

Morcoth

Cliff47
March 2, 2007, 04:59 PM
A big +1 on Whittaker's Guns. I must have talked to the same lady the other night when I ordered my CZ75 Compact in the gloss finish. Sweeet voice, I wish I had an image to go with the voice. Verified the CZ SKU and description for me (twice!!), just to make sure, then took my information, and set it aside for the payment and FFL to arrive. Should have my hot little hands around the grip next weekend.

They have my future business on anything they have in stock. Prices beat my local purveyor of fine firearms (even with shipping and transfer fee on my end). My only complaint about the web site is that the inventory list is over 30 days old. Guess you can't have everything.

lotus
March 2, 2007, 06:24 PM
Once this pattern begins for me in any retail situation I tend to ask for a manager and explain to them exactly how dissatisfied I am with the customer service I'm receiving. If they proceed to blow smoke up my butt I ask to speak with their manager or get a number for corporate and follow up with it.

I can't stand bad service.

Doggy Daddy
March 2, 2007, 06:35 PM
morcoth

There is one shop her in Las vegas that I have gotten great service from, and several that rather suck.



Is there a reason you're not naming names? :D

AmbulanceDriver
March 2, 2007, 06:39 PM
I can, with pride, say that I have NEVER purchased a firearm from Keith's. Rude, inconsiderate staff, high prices, and just a general elitist attitude that rubs me the wrong way. Another place w/ the exact same problem is The Gun Room.

On the other hand, I've had nothing but positive experiences at Gun Broker, NW Armory, and Sportsman's Warehouse.

mrcpu
September 6, 2007, 05:38 AM
The gun gods are smiling on me... A Sportsman's Warehouse is opening in my town, not 5 miles away, in a couple months. Shell is up, parking lot's being worked on, Couple that with a Bestbuy and a home depot, and Bang! Trifecta!

crankshop1000
September 6, 2007, 08:44 AM
Put a few mexicans or Indians behind the counters and you will see a big difference in salesperson attention. We get too comfortable with our jobs here and forget that we can probably all step it up a notch or two without any problem. Chuck.

MisterPX
September 6, 2007, 04:44 PM
How many people were in the local store versus teh SW when you visited?

Gist is, if I walked into a SW, and they had 8 customers, and 2 employees, I'd get treated just like you did at the local gun shop.

Wheeler44
September 6, 2007, 07:55 PM
There is a great little gunshop in the Portland area just off the I-205 at 82nd. Can't remember the name but sales staff were prompt, courteous, helpful and knowledgable. They treated my 15 yr old son with respect and I am sure he will be goin' back. With dad in tow, fer paperwork and such.

Pigspitter
September 6, 2007, 08:07 PM
On the subject of Great gun shops, anyone in the Georgia are should take a stop by Ingleside gun works in Macon. The staff is knowledgeble and they are always ready to help you. I've bought all my guns except for one from them and I still regret that decision(they had the same gun, but alot cheaper). BTW they will order guns from the factory for any customer and put guns on layaway for you.

AmbulanceDriver
September 6, 2007, 08:09 PM
Wheeler, it's Gun Broker. That's one of my favorite shops to go to. And that is exactly the experience that I've had there. And they don't mind if you go into the shop and just fondle the guns a little bit to see if they have anything that you want. I purchased my very first gun from them, and more since then. They really do understand the concept of customer service. And I've *NEVER* seen one of the staff there be anything but professional. And they have pretty good prices to boot.

NAK
September 6, 2007, 08:17 PM
I had liquidated most of my guns prior to filing for divorce a few years back. So about 2 years ago, I started filling in that void. I made a lot of small shops and all the big ones. The biggest in town, Cabelas, has won 100% of my business, even though they are not always the cheapest. I have bought 7 guns from them in the last year or so.

They seem to have almost no turnover and are always helpful and courteous. I've been in looking at a particular gun and gone back a week later to have them remember me and what I was looking at. I cannot imagine how people working in a place so big can remember individual customers.

crebralfix
September 6, 2007, 09:41 PM
I actually pay $30-75 more at the store I go to because they offer 100% satisfaction guarantee ("No sale final until you're satisfied") and great service. Everyone who works there is a shooting enthusiast and they all know their stuff (some work it as a second job just for fun). If you're in Virginia, take a look!

www.virginiaarms.com

rkh
September 6, 2007, 10:40 PM
I've have had very few positive experiences with gun store sales reps. As a result, I don't patronize gun stores anymore.

I suggest that people check out their local kitchen table FFLs.

You potentially sacrifice the ability to browse through a large stock of firearms, but if you know what you want before you go shopping, you can frequently get it without a huge markup--particularly if you meet a FFL that sells guns simply as a nod to the BATF in order to keep his or her license.

Provided the FFL has his head screwed on straight, you'll never shop at a brick-and-mortar store again.

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