Walmart lost a sale...


Joe Demko
July 14, 2003, 03:36 PM
I was over to Wally World last week and decided to purchase myself a Marlin .30-30 along with a few other household items. I'm lucky I didn't have a stroke, instead.

4:55 pm- Golgo-13 tells the elderly gentleman behind the counter he wants a Marlin. Elderly gentleman gets out an inventory book and tells Golgo-13 he has to see if the store has one.

5:05 pm Elderly gentleman announces that he has found the display model.

5:10 pm Elderly gentleman pauses to make another customer a couple of housekeys.

5:15 pm A second elderly gentleman joins the first behind the counter and proceeds to worry about the location of his cigarettes, which he has lost.

5:20 pm Elderly gentleman I annonces that they have a rifle, but it is in the back and a manager will be required to get it. He totters off in seach of a manager.

5:30 pm Elderly gentleman I returns and declares that the manager is busy but will arrive directly. He gets out the yellow form and hands it to Golgo-13. Elderly gentleman II gives Golgo-13 instructions on how to fill it out that are noteworthy in the number of errors contained.

5:35 pm Elderly gentleman II tells elderly gentleman I that he has to charge Golgo-13 two dollars for the instacheck call and that the instructions are printed on a manilla folder by the phone. Golgo-13 pays the two dollars.

5:40 pm Elderly gentleman I puts down the folder, which he has been staring at in an uncomprehending fashion, and checks out some people who have brought in merchandise from other departments. Elderly gentleman II expresses joy at having found his lighter in his smock. No cigarettes, though.

5:45pm Elderly gentleman I is still staring at the folder, his lips moving slightly as he reads. No manager has appeared yet, with or without a Marlin .30-30.

5:55pm Elderly gentlemen I and II become engaged in selling a hunting license to another customer.

5:56 pm Golgo-13 bellows "Keep the &(^%&%$! two bucks! I don't want the *%$#@! gun anymore!" and leaves the store.

I'd just as soon they didn't pick their sporting goods clerks from the diminished-capacity population in the future. After I calm down, I'll give it another shot.

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Mike Irwin
July 14, 2003, 03:40 PM
And Walmart just...



that's the sad fact of the matter.

July 14, 2003, 03:41 PM
Good for you. I've gotten stick of standing around at stores waiting for service. Fire Wal-Mart an e-mail and let them know of your experience.

July 14, 2003, 03:43 PM
Buying guns from Wal-Mart is like buying a race horse from a glue factory...

Take your money to an actual gunstore...

You'll end up a lot happier...:D

July 14, 2003, 03:46 PM
Unfortunately, the vast majority of the populace is willing to be treated like cattle in order to experience the joy of saving $1.37 on their shopping bill, and that only tells MartMart that their business practices are acceptable.

I know Wally-World has cheap prices on ball ammo, but I'd rather spend a dollar or two more somewhere else where I get greeted by name and they at least feign happiness over my visit.

July 14, 2003, 03:47 PM
I was there yesterday. Again, no one in the department but found someone quickly this time....

Couldn't pay for the ammo there -- "No key"he said. had to pay up front and asked for my ID again...I said "I already showed it to the other guy." Still had to show it. "Ma'am this is expired." Me: "no it's not. Lady: ...oh no it's not, you're right." :fire:

Last time I waited so long, the guy before me left and after two efforts someone finally came -- but didn't work the department so I had to pay up front too. God I hate those people. Do they even care about an e-mail from an angry customer?

July 14, 2003, 03:50 PM
I resemble that remark :D

July 14, 2003, 03:51 PM
We get what we pay for....

As long as we (collectively) are willing to abandon service-oriented businesses at the first hint that we can save a couple of bucks, then the businesses that remain will inevitably end up at the lowest common denominator.

I have personally begun to make it a point to shop for non-commodity goods at reputalbe well established local stores where I get a fair price and good service. I will still buy groceries and general stuff at the Wal-marts of the world, as that is what they do best, but when it comes to firearms, furniture, electronics, etc. I make it a point to shop local and spend my money where I know I'll get the service I want.

I read another post today about a guy taking a box-of-Glock back to the gunshop to get it put back together. Try something like that at Wal-Mart.:uhoh:

I don't blame Wal-Mart for this, they are simply giving the public what it says it wants, the lowest price. Golgo-13, don't take this post as disparaging of you in any way shape or form. I went through the same experience at Wal-Mart on several occasions before I decided for myself it wasn't worth it.

Edited to add: Amusing timeline, by the way... :p

July 14, 2003, 03:58 PM
Good! I sincerely hope you get said Marlin from a local outfit. Heck, even getting one from Gunbroker is far better than going to the evil empire to buy your rifle :D

July 14, 2003, 04:31 PM
I think if Megalomart actually DID hire folks w/ diminished capacity, things would go more smoothely. So much for the idea that old folks provide better customer service.

July 14, 2003, 04:42 PM
Wal-Mart service is lousy.

But, I will still shop there. If I save $1.37 enough times, that's more money to spend on ammo.

And, if I can get ammo there cheaper, that's cash I save which I can eventually spend on things like a Gen 2 Mil Dot reticle for my Leupold. (Which I recently got, and which is lovely to behold, indeed).

I hate to sound crass, but for me, it's about the money. And that's it.

All that high sounding, well-intentioned stuff about shopping where they know your name is all fine and good.

But the ONLY reason those little shops "know your name" is because they use that as a selling tool to get you to drop your cash there.

In fact, knowing your name, knowing your favorite brand of ammo, etc, are all just "marketing ploys" which have the exact same goal as Wal-Marts buy it cheap and stack it deep philosophy.........Your cash in somebody else's pocket.

With that final reality in mind, what do I care if the person getting MY money in the end smiles or not? Just so long as I get the products I want for the price I can afford...............

That's why I buy most of my bulk ammo, etc, off the Internet. I know some "good ol boys" in the local gun biz.....but hey, my dollar usually goes farther when I shop online.


July 14, 2003, 04:50 PM
man, i feel bad for you people down there in the lower 48. our walmarts have what seems to be more competant employees in sporting goods than yours do. one, is an older guy who knows how to do his job and is always willing to show off the new guns or knives. he helped me decide which shotgun to buy, and although i bought it from a different walmart store, still had good customer service. the only thing they were uncertain of was whether or not they had to photocopy my DL and CHL. they decided they didnt, since all that data was written on the 4473 and in their logbook.

and it was purchased at 9:30 pm, they were grateful they didnt have to call in the NICS. the escort even apologized about having to carry the gun to the doors with me.

i might buy a colt 1991a1 from them, if i ever save up enough nickels and dimes.

July 14, 2003, 04:54 PM
If I want to seriously look at anything in a locked case at wally world I request a manager immediately.

Sorry you had a bad time.

July 14, 2003, 05:01 PM
In fact, knowing your name, knowing your favorite brand of ammo, etc, are all just "marketing ploys" which have the exact same goal as Wal-Marts buy it cheap and stack it deep philosophy.........Your cash in somebody else's pocket.

With that final reality in mind, what do I care if the person getting MY money in the end smiles or not? Just so long as I get the products I want for the price I can afford...............

Wal-Mart has been oddly unresponsive to my requests to stock .38 Super and 10mm Auto in Cor-Bon, Fiocchi and Georgia Arms flavors at any price. Hence my continued patronage of those places that do. You'll also note that I used the term "feign happiness" over my patronage. I don't know or care if the guys at Bubba's Gun Shack call me everything but a child of God as they see my car roll into the parking lot, and mutter "I thought that blankety-blank would never leave!" after I walk out the door, as long as they play Steppin Fetchit while I'm in the store and continue meeting my needs and requests in a timely and personalized fashion. ;)

July 14, 2003, 05:23 PM
What are you complaining about? Here in the PRCa, Wal-Mart does not *sell* guns anymore, only ammo.
As far as piss-poor service goes, I have a nice silver coache's whistle on a lanyard--it's one helluva attention getter, and when the manager comes running, service improves noticeably. (A whistle is more carryable than the compressed air horns, and harder to accidently trip.)

July 14, 2003, 05:51 PM
I must have gotten pretty lucky. The Walmart near my house has a pretty good guy in sporting goods. He already knows when he sees me, I'm buying up his 9mm 100 packs :D

July 14, 2003, 06:10 PM
Am I the only one that has had positive experiences at Wal-Mart? I bought a 10/22 there and I buy ammo on occassion, too. And the staff at the Manassas Wal-Mart has always been friendly to me and the few times I've had questions has answered them with either correct answers or an honest "I don't know, sir."

July 14, 2003, 06:36 PM
I'm with Tamara on this. Strongly I might add.

I spent too many years " in retail", customer service and product selections the foundations of practice.

Wally World and others have proven they can make the consumer drive out of their way, traffic, parking headaches coupled with this is "what" we define what you "will buy" with "no service".

These people used to advertise "American Made" , Wally just opened a Bejing super store--they are the "largest business" and "buyer from China".

Its a free society , spent what you want where. Just don't get upset about the degree of insensitivity these "mega-marts" show. All they want is your money. they care not about you or the employees. I also find it strange on can be out of town and write a check...and besides getting approved with no ID, you later get mail , food, junk mail form another states locality.

Just whom does Wally sell your ID , SSN and CC to anyway?

And don't gripe when the local "Mom and Pop " gunstore closes, the one whom did all that service, free advice, and knew your name.

Its a matter of principle -bottom line-just like my RKBA-don't screw with my principles,- leave my guns the hell alone.

You have a choice on how you teach people to treat you.

July 14, 2003, 07:50 PM
Last time I was in the Walmart gun dept, I noticed a "Sam Walton Signature Model" shotgun on display. Had to smile, reminder of days gone by when Ted Williams put his signature on all the "deluxe" sporting goods in the Sears catalog. Somehow, Mr. Walton's name doesn't have the same sporting cachet as did the splendid splinter! Sign of the times, perhaps?

Standing Wolf
July 14, 2003, 08:19 PM
Wal Mart has too much junk from communist China to suit me.

July 14, 2003, 08:23 PM
Hey, check this......
a few days ago at my local Wally World, they did not even have shopping
carts inside the store. Sheeple were actually going out into the parking lot where the carts are stored and getting one for themselves.
I stood in amazment for several moments watching this strange behavoir.
When I asked the greeter if the manager knew about the situation, the answer was "yes". When I asked why the manager was not bringing carts into the store, I got a blank stare.

July 14, 2003, 08:31 PM
and I've never been happier.

And I used to run a Mom and Pop music store, and I knew everyone by name, but not as some marketing ploy. These were the people who chose to come to me rather than buy off the internet. These were the people I played with and BS'd with. These are also the people I took care of personally when something wasn't right with their purchase. Any business that doesn't put the bottom line first isn't long for this world, but treating your customers like people instead of herd animals is the best way to boost that bottom line.

rick newland
July 14, 2003, 08:39 PM
And the real kicker is that both of these elderly gentelman have prob done more things in their life that you would never have the balls to do yourself.
I'am not trying to be a troll, but when I hear some idiot like Barry Bonds say he does't have to be in the home run derby because he is a grown man, I just have to smile.

July 14, 2003, 08:43 PM
I must be a most lucky guy-local wal-mart sporting goods hand is also a serious shooter-never a problem on any weapon related sales or questions

Silver Bullet
July 14, 2003, 08:46 PM
As far as piss-poor service goes, I have a nice silver coache's whistle on a lanyard--it's one helluva attention getter, and when the manager comes running, service improves noticeably. :D :cool: :D

Are you serious, or being facetious ? You don't get "invited" to vacate the premises?

July 14, 2003, 08:56 PM
Overall service in most stores and companies has like quality control been
left behind in old America the new america we are building will at sometime
more resemble Mexico.:cuss:

Joe Demko
July 14, 2003, 08:58 PM
And the real kicker is that both of these elderly gentelman have prob done more things in their life that you would never have the balls to do yourself.

Given that you know neither them nor me, we'll leave that comment as emmanating from your nether orifice, since you have no basis for making it. Whatever doughty deeds they may have done in their youths, all that was required of them on that day was to be competent retail clerks. A task that was clearly beyond them, in my experience.

July 14, 2003, 11:24 PM
Well I worked for Wal Mart for couple of years part time mainly. It wasn't bad when I was in a department I knew SOMETHING about.

Their philosophy is cheap not service.

You also should know that just because they throw someone in a department (electronics, sporting goods, etc) today doesn't mean they were ever trained for that department or that they will ever work in it again.

I met more than one person, while I worked there, that had worked full time at that store for over 10 years and still didn't know how to make a key. Not to mention anything about guns, hunting, or fishing. Yet they would often be working in the sporting goods department.

One trick for getting service at Wal Marts is to ask for assistant or Store Manager they don't get paid by the hour. They have a real $$$ incentive to make store profitable. They get real bonuses if their store does well, if can be more than half their income.

The hourly employees at Wal Mart are not expected to be intelligent, they are supposed to be warm bodies. So the ones with skills, motivation, intelligence, or whatever go into salaried management or leave.

I do think it is funny though that people go to Wal Marts or MCDonalds and expect service. If you want service you need to go to a service focused business.

BTW I don't think that many of the smaller gunshops are really into service. Try to buy something a little different and they often say "We can't get that." When it is something any FFL can get within 2 or 3 days.

July 14, 2003, 11:29 PM
Try this, it works well for me:
1. Try to see if any of the 'associates' are around.
2. Of course not.
3. Pick up black intercom telephone.
4. Press 'announcement'

Wait for some one to show up.

six 4 sure
July 15, 2003, 01:37 AM
I have never purchased a firearm from Wal-Mart, and never intend to especially after hearing (recent?) rumors about the quality of firearms sold there. I've been told that the Wal-Mart specials sold there are of cheaper wood and parts to keep the cost down and are listed as such in certain catalogs. I don't know how much truth there is to that statement, but it's enough to keep me from buying one.


July 15, 2003, 02:46 AM
Yeah, the not selling guns thing was supposed to be temporary while they make sure their procedures are "CA Approved" or whatever.

3 or 4 months later, the cases are still empty.

This state is so pathetic.

I dont really like buying from Wal-Mart - I used to work for them and can say that I believe every singe bad thing I hear about them.

That said, I was trying to buy a Handi Rifle from Wal Mart and they were like $209 - I go to the dealer near where I (used to) work and he wats like $329 for the same gun! I can handle 10 or maybe even 20% difference, but thats just crazy.

Also - was looking at lever 45-70s and Wally World was under $300, while another shop was just under $400ish. Of course, the "shop" said that Marlin sends all their lower grade guns to Wal Mart... whatever.

Lone Star
July 15, 2003, 07:30 AM
A related gripe-

I was in a Kroger grocery store last week, and had forgotten my checkbook. Had only a couple of dollars on me, but remembered that I had a roll of dimes in the glove compartment.

All I needed was a 12-pack of bottled water, which was priced at $2.50 with my preferred customer card. (Those cards are another story!).

Anyway, the clerk wouldn't accept payment in dimes. I left, and have complained to Kroger's national office, which is supposed to get back to me as to whether this is corporate policy, or just a store that doesn't want to fool with change. That was last week. So far, I've heard nothing more.

Is it even legal to refuse payment in US funds? That stuff is supposed to be legal tender for all debts public and private, I thought.

Guess what: that Kroger store will do without my business for the next month or two, costing them at least a couple of hundred dollars in revenge for their refusing my dimes on a $2.50 purchase.

Lone Star

July 15, 2003, 08:14 AM

Or better yet: Say loudly, "Code white, sporting goods." You'll be surrounded by every manager in the store in 30 seconds! ;)

Carlos Cabeza
July 15, 2003, 11:00 AM
I quit purchasing guns at wal-mart years ago. I went to buy a no frills 870 express "beater" and filled out the paperwork. For some reason I was delayed, so I told them to call and I left the store. TWO WEEKS LATER I call to ask WTH can I pick up my shotgun? The reply was " we lost it" :fire: WHAT ~!!!!!!!!!!!!! Turns out a wally world associate put it into the wrong box of a different manufacturer and they only discovered the mishap when another customer had gotten the same treatment with his purchase. SOOOOOO, I pay a few more dollars and get better, more educated service from a local gunshop nowadays.

July 15, 2003, 11:25 AM
We have a local gun shop across from the WalMart. The local gunshop is run by a fat arrogant craphead and staffed by tough guy wannabee commandos who know crap also. Their price on ammo is twice the WalMart price.

All this support the mom and pop store is baloney. Mom and pop are usually disfunctional loonies. I have had terrible service and advice from several of the Mom and pop stores where I live.

July 15, 2003, 11:47 AM
I have found great amusement in observing the 'complainers' in the store here in my area.

If you've been there once, you already know service is terrible. If you go in expecting terrible service, it's not so bad. But, there are always the more 'vocal' type people mouthing off with stuff like 'we NEVER wait this long at K-mart' 'Target's customer service is MUCH better than here' etc...

I'm thinking: why the HAIL are you here and not there?

It seems that they think they will cause change by complaining with their mouths instead of their wallets.

If wally world didn't have WWB, I'd never go. They know me by name, and they know what I want, and yes, I want ALL of them. :cool:

Carlos Cabeza
July 15, 2003, 12:09 PM
Well Mr Smith, The idea is to seek out the reputable, friendly staffed shops. And, the research you do prior to going in to the shop makes all the difference. I didn't say support the Richards, I said I found a nice, freindly, informed shop in my area.

July 15, 2003, 12:11 PM
I have found that owners/employees of small-medium gunshops are feeling the inevitable "Pac-Man" effect of being eaten by the "Big Boys", hence they tend to be desperate and desperate people tend to lie, exagerate and act in the own worst interest. I grew-up in the 50's-60's and it saddens me to see "MegaWorld" destroying the corner market, gunshop, candy store(that's WAY-back!), etc. If "Mom & Pop" can get the message that enough of us like-minded consumers will help them stay afloat IF they treat us honestly, I think we will be willing to split the difference in the disparity of prices at their shop versus "MegaWorld."

As usual, it's just my opinion:)

Malone LaVeigh
July 15, 2003, 02:57 PM
The reason they have "diminished capacity" help at Wally world is they pay minimum wage and select workers who are too docile to demand more. What do you expect? They charge less for cheap garbage, and put less back into the local community while driving honest retailers out of business.

I find I actually get better deals at local gun shops because they have good used firearms on consignment. And I don't have to pay sales tax, which is significant at 7.5%. And I can find good deals on bulk ammo at the nearby surplus store or just wait and stock up at a gun show.

Example: I bought a very slightly used 870 Express on consignment for $215, and I probably could have talked them down if I had wanted to bother. No tax, and I saved on the DROS because I was buying 3 long guns. Big 5 and Wally World sell that one for $219 + tax occasionally on sale, normally about $250.

Buying anything at Walmart is penny wise and pound foolish. For chump change, you and your town get screwed.

NRA Instructor
July 16, 2003, 07:23 PM
Sorry some of you had problems at certain Wally World stores. The "gun" manager, not sure of his correct title, at the one store I shop at is not only knowledgeable but very people oriented. He made a complaint to me recently that when the store was remodeled he lost display space for all of the long guns he wanted to show. And
I know of a couple of hunters who got good deals on their rifles there at prices below what was shown in the display cases.

Suggest a complaint to the store manager would be the thing to do if not treated well.

The only independent gun store were I live the owner is just that, independent. It's his price and no dealing. Not overly knowledgeable but tries to overcome his lack of knowledge with a loud mouth. And as a gunsmith, which he claims to be, he can't even mount a scope with the eye piece to the rear let alone put mounts on that have the screws tightened correctly.

Oh yes, I complained to him. I no longer go in his store.

Silver Bullet
July 16, 2003, 08:06 PM
I've been told that the Wal-Mart specials sold there are of cheaper wood and parts to keep the cost down If you're talking about firearms, I'd be very surprised if this is true.

July 16, 2003, 09:44 PM
I used to love to shop at Wal mart & SAMS CLUB, but their service seems get worse along side wal mart. I now go to COSTCO here in GA. SAMS CLUB in Atlanta had one of the worst customer service, with 30 minutes wait just to exchange something. Their employees & manager treated me with indifference and rudeness, not even in good English!

This is not true for all large stores, I still find Meijer good place to shop, but Walmart & Sam's seems to stop caring from their apparent market domination.

So, does Mr. Sam Walton still care about his customers?

Rick Blaine
July 16, 2003, 10:25 PM
Last year I purchased a Mossberg 500 at Wal-Mart. After the five day mandatory wait, I showed up at the sporting goods counter, paid my money, and then had to wait thirty minutes for the store manager and the store security guard to get free from their other duties so they could both escort me and the boxed shotgun out of the store. The woman store manager grilled me to make sure I hadn't purchased any shotgun shells from her store that same day, and kept asking me on the walk out to the parking lot why I found it necessary to buy a shotgun since I lived in an urban area. They handed me my shotgun at my car, then stood there and watched me until I had exited the parking lot. The whole act gave me the creeps. I'll never buy a firearm from them again. I'd rather pay twenty bucks more at a dealer where I'll be treated like a human being instead of like a menace to society.

July 16, 2003, 11:19 PM
I have never had a problem with Wal-Mart or their guns.:rolleyes:

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