Gun Shop "Help"


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PacketStorm
September 10, 2007, 10:11 AM
Well it has happened again. I stopped by my local area gun shop and was amazed at the apathy and all around poor customer service. How is the service in other parts of the country?


Ignorant Salesman
I am in WNY and there is not a lot of choice as far as gun shops go. I stopped by the largest shop in the Buffalo area and was looking at AR style rifles. Now when I purchase a firearm, I always read up and do some homework before I go into the shop. When I get to the store I will often ask some questions that I know the answer too and see what kind of response I get. This often weeds out the salesman who are only interested in pushing a sale onto you and those that have good working knowledge of the product and can be helpful.

Somehow I ended up with the pushy salesman. He couldn't care less about helping me and showing me the difference between the 4 models of rifle I was looking for. I asked about shooting .223 ammo and 5.56 ammo out of various rifles and was told "Any gun in .223 caliber can shoot both .223 and 5.56 ammo". I looked at the guy and said are you talking the AR rifles or all rifles? He adamantly claimed this applied to any rifle. I mentioned that I have been reading up on this and am pretty sure you should not shoot 5.56 ammo out of a .223 bolt action hunting rifle. The guy then goes off about how there is so much mis-information on the gun forums and people on these sites don't know what they are talking about.

Well at this point, I decided there would be no purchase. I kindly thanked the gentleman for his time and that I would have to think about my purchase some more.

Pistol Permit
Here is a funny situation with Pistol Sales in the great state of NY. I have my pistol application in with NY State and am waiting to be approved. This is an interesting twist - You must purchase your pistol after approval, before you are issued your permit. That wouldn't be too bad except the gun shops won't let you touch the pistols unless you have your permit. Kind of a chicken/egg situation - which came first?? It will be interesting to see how everything plays out.

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highfive
September 10, 2007, 10:21 AM
Well I'm in Texas....and the gun shops I go like the local place here they're awesome, they already know me there. the other ones are big stores like Academy and Cabela's and they have been helpful, well that is if you know who to talk to. I'm talking about Cabela's there is sometimes they have some people behind the gun counter, you'll be amazed. But there is an old guy there that he is very helpful.... At least around here no complaints yet

22-rimfire
September 10, 2007, 10:27 AM
Is that a "permit to buy" a handgun? Same apply to rifles in NY? Assuming it is a permit to buy like some states have, how long do you have to purchase the firearm after you're issued the permit?

PacketStorm
September 10, 2007, 10:47 AM
Rifles and shotguns are much easier in NY. My first purchase in this state was the Beretta CX4 Storm. I wanted a handgun caliber carbine for HD purposes (and it looks really cool and shoos even better). I filled out some forms and showed my state issued ID. They ran an instant background check and I was out of the shop within an hour.

My second purchase was for a shotgun for the upcoming deer season. (Another note, this state has all kinds of restrictions on using rifles in different counties. You can shoot deer with say a Thompson Center .30-06 pistol, but can't use a .30-06 rifle. Who was the brilliant author of that one??) Sorry, I'm still coming to terms with this state. :barf: The shotgun purchase was even quicker after I was already on file with the shop.

I think there is a 30 day limit to purchase the pistol and get the permit printed. I just know that I have to make up my mind quickly when the letter arrives.

W.E.G.
September 10, 2007, 11:51 AM
Well at this point, I decided there would be no purchase. I kindly thanked the gentleman for his time and that I would have to think about my purchase some more.


Did you come to this decision because you thought the misinformed salesman might be right, or because you just didn't want to patronize an establishment that hires misinformed (and probably low-paid) sales clerks? If this sort of ignorance rankles you, don't ever buy a gun at a gun show... or god-forbid - WAL*MART.

PacketStorm
September 10, 2007, 12:15 PM
It is more than just being wrong about a few details on the product. There are those salesmen who just don't care any longer. When you walk into the shop and you get the impression that it is a burden that you need assistance in looking at a product, it just gets too me. Everyone makes mistakes, I can accept that, but when you have a attitude and are making mistakes... that is a loss of sale. I very well may be mistaken about a particular feature and would like to learn, just talk to people and interact with them on a professional basis.

I went back to the shop later and did purchase my 870 deer gun, but worked with a different guy. He was friendly, helpful and it wasn't a bother that I was in the shop talking and looking at the guns.

I would rather support the local shops than Boxmart any day of the week (not to mention that our Boxmart dropped all but single shot shotguns and muzzle loaders).

I work with computers networks at a good sized company. We constantly have turnover in our help desk staff. The ones who make it in the end don't necessarily have the most CPU knowledge. They have enough to be helpful but more importantly they have people skills. No matter what you business is (gun shop, CPU support, airlines...) if you don't treat the customer with respect you won't stay in business.

Rock_Steady
September 10, 2007, 05:54 PM
Don't know why I go there, but I do.

I hit my local gun shop the other day - just was going in to see if they had any once-fired .357 mag brass. As I pass through, I see the Lee pro 1000's set up - for sale, in your choice of caliber. I ask the guy how much, he says "175 plus tax. You interested?" Probably put the guy on the defensive - I let out a low whistle and asked why so expensive - that retails for like $120 at cabelas, and I can find it for lower than that, shipped, online. "Well, $175 is what we sell them for - if you don't want to get one at that price, which is plenty low for a progressive, you can get the $%#& out!" - which I did, gladly. Same place told me I couldn't get a Bushmaster AR-15, in any configuration, for less than $2300. I feel sorry for anyone that buys anything there......

john1911
September 10, 2007, 06:03 PM
Now when I purchase a firearm, I always read up and do some homework before I go into the shop. When I get to the store I will often ask some questions that I know the answer too and see what kind of response I get.

I don't understand this. If you know the answer, why ask the question? The way I see it, you are wanting the salesman to goof up so you can show your superior knowledge.

I can understand why some gun shop employees always seem to be grumpy. Everyone seems to know more than they do.

nelson133
September 10, 2007, 06:55 PM
It's really pretty simple, you ask questions that you know the answer to to judge the value of the answers to the questions that you don'[t know the answer.

Zen21Tao
September 10, 2007, 07:13 PM
How is the service in other parts of the country?

I am starting to think that every individual gunshop acquires its own atmosphere. I mean here we have a gunshop owned by a group of brothers that,when you walk in, feels every much like a commercial gun-mart. This place is even complete with salespeople that think their mere position behind the counter makes them more gun knowledgeable than ANY of their customers. I really don't like shopping here.

However, a couple years ago, these brother bought a small local gun shop from a well known elderly gun dealer. The brother than runs this store has insisted on keeping the "old timer, mom and pops" feel of this store. This includes hiring knowledgeable counter folks that loves to exchange knowledge and admits when they do no know something. I love this place so much that I am in there almost every few days just hanging out with the owner.

So, two gun stores, both in rural areas about 20 minutes apart from each other and owned by the same family. Yet, two very different atmospheres.

ssfeldjager
September 10, 2007, 07:32 PM
The employees at most gun shops I've been to over the years can be divided into several categories:

Those who think know it all and won't hesitate to try and impress upon you their 'wealth' of knowledge, which is obtained from reading back issues of Guns and Ammo magazines [dispensing 'pearls of wisdom' like "I have a full auto .458 Winchester Magnum, and it shoots out to 200 yards and can hit a gnat"]; :confused:

Those who won't talk to you unless they know you and they act as they'd prefer to not know you; :barf:

Those who try to tell you that you're stupid for wanting whatever it is you're asking for, and then tell you what you should buy; :fire:

Those who have no idea as to what the product is when you ask questions; :eek:

Those who automatically think you're there to steal something because... well, you're there and they don't know you. :scrutiny:

There are some gun shop employees who act civilized and are friendly, but they are rare.

RNB65
September 10, 2007, 08:14 PM
Never talk to a salesman. Ever.

Do your homework. Research on-line. Read forums. Read magazines. Ask questions of people who appear to be knowledgeable and who have no stake in the eventual outcome.

Know exactly what you want before you go to the gunstore and how much you're willing to pay. Don't ask for the saleman's help. Don't ask for his opinion. Ignore anything he says. Remember, his job is to sell you you the gun that will generate him the most profit, not the gun you want. Salemen are like sharks, if they sense weakness, they'll immediately close in for the kill.

The salesman is NOT your friend.

TheFringe
September 10, 2007, 08:22 PM
About 2 years ago I purchased a new Thompson 1927A semi-auto from a well known gun store located in Bellevue, Washington; an upscale Seattle suburb. I didn't get a great deal on it, but wanted one badly after shooting a friend's original full-auto 1921 Colt version.

A couple months later I was in the market for a Benelli M4 12-gauge. salesman at the same store tells me "you can't get those anymore, very hard to find." No problem, I ordered from the Internet and paid the $35 transfer fee. Same comments when I inquired about a Kel-Tec PLR-16. "Nobody has those in stock, Kel-Tec can't keep up. Sorry." Again no problem. Found one on the Internet and transferred it again. I'm noticing their attitude is growing worse and worse with each transfer.

Finally about a year ago I inquired about a Saiga 12-gauge. New Saiga 12s were very scarce in 2006, so I received the same line: You can't find those anywhere. Everyone wants one and we have not had one in store for a long time." Although not present during my initial purchase, the same gentleman has handled all of my transfers. This time as I am paying my $35, the chump has the nerve to mumble to me "ya know, we do sell guns HERE as well...." What ? "So the thousand dollar Thompson I bought here a year ago doesn't count ?! " I retorted, then stormed out with my Saiga.

I have since switched to making purchases and doing transfers at a smaller, friendlier mom and pop store in the vicinity. I am the type that will pay a little more and buy from the local gun store even if I find a lower price for the same gun online. I however will not tolerate the attitude displayed at the previous store, which by the way has a reputation for being snooty. Now I know why.

Tharg
September 10, 2007, 08:35 PM
Heh my 2nd gun was bought from a gun shop of of 20 in East Texas... great shop if you know the area and (if you live there or passed by there) have HAD to see the sign for the store.

I bought a .40 HK USPC ... pretty much knew what i wanted so it wasn't that big a sale... as we were ringing it up (Mind you this "gun store" at that time was in the same building as the county constables office) i mentioned that my girl was gonna kill me for how expensive it was. (it wasn't that expensive... i just don't make loads of dough) He said there was an easy fix ... i looked askance at him and he said "Surely there is a 7-11 between here and there" hehehehehe for the haters... of COURSE he was joking... and thats what makes it funny.

I've bought at least 3 more guns from that store... and its well out of my way. Customer service has always done me well in my job (IT), in my experience, if you can make the person feel good that you are trying to address their issue, then it doesn't matter if you can fix it or not. I'm lucky in that i can 95% of the time fix it... but those 5%'ers are almost always important (aka - can scream loud, not necessarily more important than us non important people)...

Should be the same w/ sales people at a gun store. The hard sell will never get me, prolly chase me away, after all i probably already know what i want. Friendly will do it every time... low pressure w/ me all the way. Still if i don't like the price i won't buy it :) as a good consumer shouldn't. :)

Either way there are those out there that will try to test someone's customer service skills just because. Thats why its important if you are the face of the business to be the best face. If you are not... then what do you (or the person who hired you) expect if you don't sell your product.

J/Tharg!

EDIT: TheFringe - Should have said, well if you'd have ordered it for me when i inquired about it i might have bought it from YOU instead of the guy who had it in stock.

bleh. *IF* i had a gun store (and i wouldn't mind... hehe) i'd be sure to ALWAYS mention i could order it for you. Its Bad Business to say "oh that gun can't be found" (cept on the internet where you found it and bought it and then x-fered it through me blah blah) hehe

Onmilo
September 11, 2007, 10:40 AM
Why are most gun shop employees so rude,,,,,

The sales clerks in small shops are not making much money.

The ones in the chain stores have to work under azzbag managers that think they should give their heart and soul to the store while he does them the favor of scheduling them 16 hours a week if they're lucky.
Again the hourly rate is better but they still aren't earning enough money to actually buy any of the stuff they are selling.
Most of these guys do not have additional jobs either.
Internal theft is a fairly large problem in gun shops, kind of like hiring a drug addict to be the local Pharmacist.

A good chunk of customers come in and want to grill these guys just hoping and praying they will screw up or give the wrong answer so they can go tell all their friends what idiots work in so and so's shop.

Another group of customers will hit every shop in a one hundred mile radius searching for the absolute cheapest price while gathering all the information they can while fondling every shops merchandise, and then driving to the shop furthest from their original location to buy the product because they 'got it for five bucks less at so and so's.'

By the way, so and so's Lee Pro 1000 is assembled and ready to go for $175.00.
Can you say the same thing for the big box stores Lee Pro 1000, or better yet the one you will get from the 'net for fifty bucks less?
If you haven't assembled and adjusted a Lee Pro 1000 you are in for a treat.
If you have, you understand why spending that fifty bucks is a better deal.

I am the gunsmith, if you call me out of my work area it better be for a darn good reason or you haven't yet seen the true meaning of rude, so give the counter help a little bit of a break.
Treat the hired help with a modicum respect and you may be completely suprised at just how well you will begin to be treated.

Rock_Steady
September 11, 2007, 10:46 AM
Oh no, the lee pro 100 is not assembled. The press is still sitting in the box, the assembly and testing fee is a cool extra $75. Right there on the tag.

If they have to call the gunsmith out from behind the counter to answer a question about a repair, a problem with a gun, whatever - I don't see why I will be treated with contempt. If you work in retail, you will have people ask dumb questions, or too many questions. You work with the public.

I work with the public too - I'm a nurse and nurse manager in an emergency department. I have people complain about the things we do, and we are trying to save lives. Sometimes the life of the person complaining! A modicum of respect indeed!

PacketStorm
September 11, 2007, 11:12 AM
Quote:
Now when I purchase a firearm, I always read up and do some homework before I go into the shop. When I get to the store I will often ask some questions that I know the answer too and see what kind of response I get.
I don't understand this. If you know the answer, why ask the question? The way I see it, you are wanting the salesman to goof up so you can show your superior knowledge.

It's not quite like that. When you just meet someone for the first time, do you automatically trust everything they say? I don't. I try to get a feel for how knowledgeable a person is on a subject, do they listen to you before responding... By asking questions that I am already familiar with, I can get a quick feel if someone is a "straight shooter", knowledgeable or someone who really just likes to talk out their posterior.

I found a guy at the regional chain Dicks Sporting Goods. He was great. Happy to talk about the selection of rifles/shotguns and was fairly knowledgeable. When he didn't know an answer just stated that he wasn't sure and would guess that xxx is true.

ya know, we do sell guns HERE as well...."
I love it. I asked the same guy I was having trouble with at this local shop to see if they do FFL transfers. He said "Only from family members. Otherwise you can buy it here from the store." I could just smile and shake my head. I've spent over $1200 there in the past year alone. A few bucks more on a sale, no problem - they have the shop overhead but there has to be a balance.

I'm a working guy with a family and a limited budget and some of the prices at this shop a on the high end. Especially on accessories. Just bought an ATI collapsable stock for the Remington 870, matching ATI forend, 8 shot tube magazine extension, and 1" flashlight clamp for the same price as the stock in the shop. Now that is a little ridiculous. The Internet has become the great leveler of the playing field in retail sales. Especially for specialty items. There are a lot more products available now that the web has linked the smaller shops together. Gunbroker is my friend. ;)


Keep up the good work!
In reading other posts on the High Road, there are a lot of intelligent people who put a lot of time and effort into the forum and have lots of good things to share with the community. To have the salesman dismiss all of you with a single comment "those people on the forums don't know what they are talking about" is pretty arrogant. Keep up the good posts. I've been learning a lot here and hope to continue.

TheFringe
September 11, 2007, 11:43 AM
J/Tharg!

EDIT: TheFringe - Should have said, well if you'd have ordered it for me when i inquired about it i might have bought it from YOU instead of the guy who had it in stock.

bleh. *IF* i had a gun store (and i wouldn't mind... hehe) i'd be sure to ALWAYS mention i could order it for you. Its Bad Business to say "oh that gun can't be found" (cept on the internet where you found it and bought it and then x-fered it through me blah blah) hehe

You are absolutely correct J/Tharg, that is what I thinking. I did inquire each time if they would/could order the item but he simply stated "order from where ? -We just can't get them."
Took me 5 minutes to locate one online at Buds, Impact, etc.

Zen21Tao
September 11, 2007, 12:57 PM
bleh. *IF* i had a gun store (and i wouldn't mind... hehe) i'd be sure to ALWAYS mention i could order it for you. Its Bad Business to say "oh that gun can't be found" (cept on the internet where you found it and bought it and then x-fered it through me blah blah) hehe

I agree. The owner of the local store I frequent only carried a few Sigs that he took in used. But, because I wanted a specific Sig, he applied for credit with Sigarms and became a factory direct Sig dealer to get me the Sig I wanted at the best cost possible. It is this is kind of service that keeps me willing to paying a little bit more for something in the store than I can find over the internet.

El Tejon
September 11, 2007, 01:06 PM
Everyone, all together now, "People in the gun business do not want to make money, they become gun dealers to tell other people 'NO!'".

Correia
September 11, 2007, 02:04 PM
I would invite any of you guys to come in and be "mystery" shoppers at my store.

Everybody I've got under me is helpful, and relatively knowledgable. We might not know everything, but we've all got our areas of expertise.

And our rule is, that if you don't know the answer, don't make something up. If you're going to make an educated guess, tell them that it is your best guess. If you just plain don't know the answer, tell them.

You guys may laugh, but sometimes customers come in and want to know if the left handed threads on their 1884 Serbo-Croation Artilery carbine is the same as the Mk14 Model 0 they picked up in the Spanish Inquisition and if the 54mm dies will work with the chrome lining of the YankeeLaTroy front sight base.

Of course, somebody on the internet will know the correct answer is 4. In my shop, the guy helping you might be one of the top rated collegiate pistol shooters in the nation, and an encylopedia of knowledge, but he would have to honestly tell you, I have no friggin' idea.

Sometimes people get mad at you. I had a fellow (who I had never seen before) come in a little while ago, and I'm not making this up, asked "Do you have any original wood grips for a Colt 1917 in stock?" No, I don't. He goes "Hrrmpff!" and walks out, all angry.

And for the dealer that didn't have the Saiga or Kel-Tec in stock. He wasn't lieing. Keep in mind that dealers don't buy stuff onesie twosie off of auction boards, because they have to be able to mark the product up to pay their overhead. The dealer is buying those items from a wholesaler.

When you buy from the internet, you're finding that one good buy, and cutting out the middleman. The dealer is the middleman. If he bought that one unit off of gunbroker, then marked it up, you would get mad at him because of his absurd prices. If he buys it from the wholesaler for 10% less than what you bought it from an individual on the internet, then sells it, you're happy.

But sometimes guns are out of stock at the source. I've had 50 Saiga 12s on backorder for the last year. I get a couple at a time, and last month I got 20. They were all already presold.

ArfinGreebly
September 11, 2007, 02:13 PM
Everyone, all together now, "People in the gun business do not want to make money, they become gun dealers to tell other people 'NO!'".
Yeah, I know.

I called Correia's shop a few months back to see if they would have a problem getting a few Saiga rifles in 5.56 NATO. He said, "No."

:D

BHPshooter
September 11, 2007, 05:40 PM
Never talk to a salesman. Ever.

Do your homework. Research on-line. Read forums. Read magazines. Ask questions of people who appear to be knowledgeable and who have no stake in the eventual outcome.

Know exactly what you want before you go to the gunstore and how much you're willing to pay. Don't ask for the saleman's help. Don't ask for his opinion. Ignore anything he says. Remember, his job is to sell you you the gun that will generate him the most profit, not the gun you want. Salemen are like sharks, if they sense weakness, they'll immediately close in for the kill.

The salesman is NOT your friend.

As a person who works at a gun store, that is frickin' hilarity, right there.

My goal has nothing to do with selling what makes the most profit -- which is really nonsensical because we make the same percentage regardless of what sells. Our top selling guns are Hi Point pistols and carbines :barf: , Taurus Millennium pistols, and Savage rifles. Yep, big money! :rolleyes:

I frequently tell people who are hunting for that "perfect gun" not to rush a decision, to do their homework, and that they will be much happier with whatever they end up with. You know what? Because I didn't try to fill 'em full of hot air, they come back when they find out what they want, and we order it for them.

When you buy from the internet, you're finding that one good buy, and cutting out the middleman. The dealer is the middleman. If he bought that one unit off of gunbroker, then marked it up, you would get mad at him because of his absurd prices. If he buys it from the wholesaler for 10% less than what you bought it from an individual on the internet, then sells it, you're happy.


This man knows what he's talking about.

A couple months later I was in the market for a Benelli M4 12-gauge. salesman at the same store tells me "you can't get those anymore, very hard to find." No problem, I ordered from the Internet and paid the $35 transfer fee. Same comments when I inquired about a Kel-Tec PLR-16. "Nobody has those in stock, Kel-Tec can't keep up. Sorry." Again no problem. Found one on the Internet and transferred it again. I'm noticing their attitude is growing worse and worse with each transfer.

Finally about a year ago I inquired about a Saiga 12-gauge. New Saiga 12s were very scarce in 2006, so I received the same line: You can't find those anywhere. Everyone wants one and we have not had one in store for a long time."

I hate to be the devil's advocate, but the dude is right. Benelli is a PITA to deal with, Kel-Tec can't even pretend to keep up with demand -- we've been waiting on guns from them for about 4 months -- and Saiga's are very hard to come by.

Just because you can find it doesn't mean that the gun shop can find one through a distributor. The dealer could buy them off of gunbroker just like you, and then mark them up to pay his bills, but then you'd be pissed about the price he's asking for it.

No matter what, the gun shop is the bad guy.
Wes

rritter
September 11, 2007, 06:11 PM
I understand that a gun dealer might not be able to get a gun through his normal channels. But if a person goes to the dealer and asks, gets told that the dealer doesn't have it and can't get it, then it makes perfect sense for the customer to get it from somewhere else and have it transferred through the gun shop. For the gun shop to then complain about not buying it from them is a bit rude, though. At least they got the transfer fee after telling the customer that they couldn't get the gun to sell to them.

Monkeybear
September 11, 2007, 06:21 PM
I find that often if you present yourself to the gun dealer honestly -

"I am just looking/window shopping"

"I am looking to buy"

"I know nothing about this"

"I am pretty familiar with these"

"Can I look at that, just out of curiosity?"

- that you will get a much better response from them. Sometimes they are just jerks or they don't think you smell like money. Sometimes they just know/like one thing and think everyone should get a Glock/870/Savage/ect. In the end they are just people and as such most are pretty decent, don't let the few that aren't ruin the world for you.

Although not present during my initial purchase, the same gentleman has handled all of my transfers. This time as I am paying my $35, the chump has the nerve to mumble to me "ya know, we do sell guns HERE as well...." What ? "So the thousand dollar Thompson I bought here a year ago doesn't count ?! " I retorted, then stormed out with my Saiga

Sounds like he could have just been ribbing ya about not buying from his shop, and as you said he wasn't there when for your purchase, so why be rude? I had a local store rib me a bit about not buying a suppressor from him and instead buying one from out of town. It could have sounded rude if I wanted it to but I have him the benefit of the doubt and we ended up having a big laugh over it.

Cougfan2
September 11, 2007, 06:33 PM
Never talk to a salesman. Ever.

RNB Where did you get such a hard on for salespeople. Yes there are some bad ones, but there are some very professional ones as well. As far as them just wanting to make a commission I suppose you work for free?:scrutiny:

BHPshooter
September 11, 2007, 09:08 PM
As far as them just wanting to make a commission I suppose you work for free?

I don't know of ANY gun shop that pays its salespeople on commission. I don't get commission on anything I sell, and I like it that way. I'd rather be a helping hand, and paying salespeople on commission just makes that harder.

Wes

30-06 lover
September 12, 2007, 12:42 AM
I hate the gunshops in my area, but what can I expect in CA? My biggest complaint is when I go into a gunshop and they can only talk about how stupid their last costomer was, how that cop don't know S, or how people need to be more involved. Go home and tell your wife about your dumb customers. I am there to pay you money to hear your complain about your day.

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