Can't find the firearm you want?


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Barrel First
March 26, 2009, 11:59 PM
Don't blame your local retailer.

And, when we tell you that a regular stocking item is back-ordered, please don't ask us to:

-Estimate when the item will be available;

-Price an item when we have no idea what the delivered price will be;

-Put you on a 'waiting list' and/or take a deposit for a particular firearm when it is clear that the firearm isn't currently available from one of our distributors or direct from the manufacturer.

If it's on backorder, we don't *know* when it will be delivered until the truck backs up to our loading dock.

Call us...as often as you wish...but don't expect the impossible.

These are extraordinary times...we appreciate your patience.

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catfish101
March 27, 2009, 12:01 AM
Yes, Take it easy on the gun store guys.

Well, It's not their fault all the guns are in Mexico fighting the police.:banghead:

ThrottleJockey
March 27, 2009, 12:09 AM
OMG, you scared me. There it is, right where I left it......

ants
March 27, 2009, 12:20 AM
I own a business.

- I expect my customers to ask when an item is available.
I'll give the best answer I can.

- I expect my customers to ask about prices, whether I have a delivery schedule or not.
I'll give them the best answer I can.

- I expect my customers to ask about a waiting list, or to offer a deposit.
I'll work with them the best I can, or give polite refusal when appropriate.

Customers deserve to ask these questions. I always take the time to answer them.

You are right to ask for their patience and understanding. But it's a two way street.
If we wish to survive in challenging times, business owners need to be patient and understanding as well. These customers are our source of money, in good times or bad. Take care of them.

Rancho Relaxo
March 27, 2009, 12:34 AM
If you don't like answering normal customer service type questions, maybe you are in the wrong business?

Brian Dale
March 27, 2009, 04:24 AM
Thanks for the tips, Barrel First. It really does help customers to know which questions are reasonable, and for us to be aware of what your current situation is.

Just One Shot
March 27, 2009, 09:02 AM
In many cases the retailer has the answers to these very questions.

While the op may not have a close a relationship with his suppliers there are some that do and can give a general estimate on the backorder status on a given item. However, there are some items that even the supplier can't even ball park a time of delivery. Simply tell the customer this and move on.

In those instances where a cust. wants to make a deposit you simply inform the customer that you will accept it on the condition that they understand the nature of the current market and the current list price is not guaranteed. If they are willing to make a down payment and be patient why would you NOT accept their money?

I know of guns stores that are more than willing to put a person on a waiting list. One that I know of does so without a deposit and they don't hold you to the purchase if it comes in and you have changed your mind for whatever reason.

These are the kind of businesses that value their customers and as such treat them with the respect that insures that people will remember them as a customer oriented business. That makes them want to return to and support them with their hard earned money.

CoRoMo
March 27, 2009, 09:37 AM
Who needs these freaking customers anyway!?!:cuss:

chuckusaret
March 27, 2009, 09:50 AM
If I were to visit a gunstore to purchase a gun and the salesperson even just appeared to get upset over the questions that I asked, I would just walk out of the store to never return and take my business elsewhere. There is one store here in Palm Beach Gardens that started out great but rapidly went down hill because of their sales people. They have since made an effort to correct that problem but past action is hard to overcome. I am one of their "past customers" who has taken my bussiness elsewhere.

Barrel First
March 27, 2009, 11:46 PM
"I own a business."

And what is it that you sell?

"- I expect my customers to ask when an item is available.
I'll give the best answer I can."

Did I suggest otherwise? I quite explicitly state that we don't mind inquiries and encourage potential customers to call as frequently as they desire.

"- I expect my customers to ask about prices, whether I have a delivery schedule or not."

Same here. You aren't in the firearms business are you?

"I'll give them the best answer I can."

Same here.

"- I expect my customers to ask about a waiting list, or to offer a deposit.
I'll work with them the best I can, or give polite refusal when appropriate."

We don't have the staff to monitor waiting lists or do the paperwork necessary to take deposits, secure approvals from state and federal agencies and answer inquiries as to why a 'special order' item isn't available.

Firearms are serial-numbered by federal law. Understand? We can't speed up the process of acquiring a given item because the customer is inherently impatient or didn't understand that we don't control the production and shipment of certain firearms whether or not we buy directly from the manufacturer or from a major distributor.

Some of our lead times for shipment of high-demand items have been more than a year. Wholesale prices change weekly.

"Customers deserve to ask these questions. I always take the time to answer them."

Same here. Unfortunately, some potential customers don't understand the relationship between supply and demand.

For instance, if you can secure a firm contract for immediate delivery of .380ACP ammo in case quantities, please give me your phone number and e-mail.

"You are right to ask for their patience and understanding. But it's a two way street."

Well, yes...we are asking for their patience and understanding. When we tell a potential customer that we don't currently have in stock what they wish to buy and we don't know when said item will be available, we ask their indulgence.

The only alternative is to blatantly lie about when we will be able to take their money. That's the antithesis of good business practice.

"If we wish to survive in challenging times, business owners need to be patient and understanding as well. These customers are our source of money, in good times or bad. Take care of them."

>sigh< A simplistic platitude...and an unwarranted assumption.

Again, what is it that you are selling?

Barrel First
March 27, 2009, 11:59 PM
Brian...

"Thanks for the tips, Barrel First. It really does help customers to know which questions are reasonable, and for us to be aware of what your current situation is."

Thank you, sir. We are in an exceptional situation and are working as hard as we can to meet customer demand. Please believe that we would be delighted to have inventory-on-demand of all items...firearms, accessories and ammunition for same...but that's not the way of the world right now.

elkman06
March 27, 2009, 11:59 PM
Well, gotta go with Ants and One shot here.
The OP just oozes w/ disdain for the customer. However, I guess you need to vent somewhere. Probably better here than in the shop where the customers probably just walk out, never to return. Take a vacation my friend. While I understand that the average customer can sometimes be rather stupid in his expectations, you still need to remember that for the most part, you need him.
elkman06

crazy-mp
March 28, 2009, 12:08 AM
-Put you on a 'waiting list'

Sounds to me like you have a bad distributor. I was on a waiting list for the 2009 Remington CDL SF Limited http://www.remington.com/products/firearms/centerfire_rifles/model_700/model_700_cdl_sf_limited_edition.asp From the time Remington released the order number.....It came in Wednesday.

I am also on another waiting list for....well lets just say its a nice one.

Personally if you told me that your distributor didnít allow you to have a waiting list I would laugh in your face, and tell you that you must not want to sell many guns.

crushbup
March 28, 2009, 12:17 AM
unwarranted assumption

Like the assumption that all customers are trying to make your life more difficult by asking reasonable questions that can each be answered in under 10 seconds?

highorder
March 28, 2009, 12:45 AM
We don't have the staff to monitor waiting lists or do the paperwork necessary to take deposits, secure approvals from state and federal agencies and answer inquiries as to why a 'special order' item isn't available.

Huh. We just used a bound ledger and a pencil. The deposit goes in the till.

It doesn't all have to be computerized you know.

I feel for ya, but considering the state of things these days, it's a little tough to listen to someone that's frustrated with booming business.:rolleyes:

Kind of Blued
March 28, 2009, 01:03 AM
Who needs these freaking customers anyway!?!

You, me, and the Second Amendment, sir.

Do the words "common use" mean anything to you? They should.

rogerjames
March 28, 2009, 01:35 AM
Barrel First,
Mind posting the name of your business? So I can steer clear. Thanks. Hope they didn't put you in charge of sales or marketing.

Brian Dale
March 28, 2009, 02:50 AM
Barrel First,
Mind posting the name of your business? So I can do business with you. Thanks.

KarenTOC
March 28, 2009, 10:20 AM
It appears to me that Barrel First was giving an "insider explanation" as to why he can't give exact and positive answers to a customer's questions.

It appears to me that ants was giving a "customer-facing" view of how he handles customer service during a difficult time.

I don't see any conflict between the two. A proprieter who gives excellent customer service can be Barrel First in the back room and ants behind the counter.

Barrel First
March 28, 2009, 04:11 PM
crazy-mp...

"Personally if you told me that your distributor didnít allow you to have a waiting list I would laugh in your face, and tell you that you must not want to sell many guns."

I wouldn't tell you that because it's not so. Our decision not to maintain waiting lists for scores of different firearms has nothing to do with the distributors we use...unless, of course, you take into account their inability to supply all the inventory we want because mfrs. can't produce them fast enough to meet demand.

If, for instance, we wanted to use a waiting list for the Ruger LCP, we could easily add a hundred names in less than a week.


highorder...

"I feel for ya, but considering the state of things these days, it's a little tough to listen to someone that's frustrated with booming business."

Why not read my headline and initial post again? Your thought process seems to have gone astray.

Business is great; we'd like it to be even better.:cool:

Barrel First
March 28, 2009, 04:36 PM
Brian...

"Mind posting the name of your business? So I can do business with you. Thanks."

Sure. I work, in sales, at Coal Creek Armory in Knoxville, Tennessee. I'm not the owner; my name is Alex and I'm there most days thru the week.

865.966.4545

Brief summary of all our retail operations [including manufacture of select-fire weapons], range information, classes/training courses, etc. is at:

www.coalcreekarmory.com

Brian Dale
March 28, 2009, 04:46 PM
Thanks, Alex. Your shop has been on my list of "stores that I'd like to visit in person" for years.

Barrel First
March 28, 2009, 09:12 PM
Many thanks, Brian. We have a great staff, including some of the best gunsmiths in the Southeast.

By all means, when you're able to make it to our shop, let me know. The range time is on me. :cool:

Hungry Seagull
March 28, 2009, 09:17 PM
We appreciate the shops in our area who have been more than patient. First it's the gun, then the ammo, then smithing, then stuff for the range, then ....

never ends. But Customer Service without fail. Maybe once in a while there is a sort of a grimace as if we are about to step on that last nerve and it aint lunch hour yet.

But the shops in our area have for the most part unfailingly patient with us. And there were ALOT of overheard basic questions from first time buyers...

"What kind of gun can I buy for defense?" and this was from a shopper who was leaning on a case filled with big bores. The Shop keeper showed her a nice selection of smaller weapons suited to her choice. Great service all round.

Back home I doubt that I would have seen good service among the yankees who might be a tad worn out by all the incessant clamoring for this and that.

=)

N003k
March 28, 2009, 09:26 PM
Don't blame your local retailer.
Never do, never would. Just would see if it can be ordered/if they've ordered some.


And, when we tell you that a regular stocking item is back-ordered, please don't ask us to:

-Estimate when the item will be available;
THIS I may do, as depending on the place it's back-ordered from, they may have a rough estimation on when it would be available.


-Price an item when we have no idea what the delivered price will be;
Welllll, the current going price is able to be found relativly easily if you're willing to look, and if I'm going to the shop, I'm the one with free time, so assuming it's not something that just came up randomly while talking to a clerk, as opposed to something I'm looking for, I wouldn't.



-Put you on a 'waiting list' and/or take a deposit for a particular firearm when it is clear that the firearm isn't currently available from one of our distributors or direct from the manufacturer.
This may be true for you're shop, however my local shops DO have waiting lists, so I may do this one (Though I haven't had need to yet)

If it's on backorder, we don't *know* when it will be delivered until the truck backs up to our loading dock.
Easily understandable.


Call us...as often as you wish...but don't expect the impossible.
I wouldn't even call that often, maybe once a week tops to see if the shops heard anything in regards to it, I'm not even likely to do that. I'm far more likely to show up around opening time saturday, browse what's there, and when someone's just stopped and is standing around, ask.


I think the MAIN problem here is some people are misunderstanding what you mean. The way you wrote that comes off a bit rude if it isn't read correctly. Heck the first time I read it it came off rude also. That's why I waited a few hours til I had time to read it through again and realized you were just trying to give an explanation for some things, and let everyone know that there are some clear limitations.

Personally, (assuming the second reading was right) I thank you for posting it, though it doesn't really affect me much as I try to be as polite as possible to shop owners/employees as I know I would go NUTS having to deal with the public every day...

PT1911
March 28, 2009, 09:38 PM
seems to me the OP is very appropriate in what he is saying... I spend quite a bit of time in my local shop and see the same customers coming in day after day (not a problem, they are welcom), but, take the kel tec 3 at for instance. Jack comes in monday and asks if they have any or will be getting any... "no jack, we havent had more than 5 come in since the election and those didnt even make it to the shelf, spoke to my retailer today, just laughed at me when I asked about the kel tecs. next day, Jack asks about the kel tec, next day, jack asks about the kel tec, this goes on for a couple weeks, finally jack walks in just as the truck arrives, "any kel tecs?" "actually, we just got one in on this truck." "what is the price?" "270.00 (ish) "is that the best you can do on it, how bout 260?"

these customers, though they are welcome, must learn to be patient, the market is just not allowing for the availability of ample guns... my local shop is regularly attempting to get 30+ guns each week and are successfully getting between 1 and 5!!!!

Phydeaux642
March 28, 2009, 09:42 PM
please don't ask us to:

-Put you on a 'waiting list' and/or take a deposit for a particular firearm when it is clear that the firearm isn't currently available from one of our distributors or direct from the manufacturer.


I have a shop that will do exactly those things and I really appreciate it. I don't bug them about time lines or expected delivery dates or even what then new 'panic' price from the wholesaler will be. I either ask to be put on a list or give a down payment on the item. I asked them awhile back to put me on a list for some 7.62x39 ammo. I wasn't in a hurry and they knew that. They had it for me yesterday when I went in to look around. That's one reason I spend so much money there - they treat their customers well.

TRGRHPY
March 29, 2009, 02:19 AM
I worked in sales of motorcycles, atv, jet skis, etc...things that are "wants" and not "needs". Certain items which would be very hot sellers would have people coming in and calling non-stop all day. It gets monotonous (sp?) but that's the business of sales and if you don't like something that basic then change jobs. There is more to selling than just pocketing the cash and it's called customer service. Salespeople get very lazy and only want the green and avoid the "time" that has to be put into the job. Answering these questions that you seem to have a problem with is part of that job...at least if you want repeat customers and/or a loyal customer base. This panic buying will cease at some point and how you act now will dictate who comes back to you when they "want" something rather than feel the "need" like they do now.

Salespersons get burned out on things of this very nature and it ends up showing in how they deal with customers...customers pick up on the smallest inconsistency with their salespeople which is why there is so much training out there. This is also why in vehicle sales, that a very common practice is to rotate/fire salespeople who have been there between 2-3 years....that's about how long it takes for sales people to get burned out and their sales degrade/lose customers regularly.

This isn't to be insulting because I've been in that type of situation. I will say that it isn't healthy for you if you're at the point of venting this frustration on a public site. These types of "rants" really need to stay behind closed doors. When I say health, I mean it literally. It is obviously causing you stress, which leads to all kinds of health issues. Take a vacation, or find a new hobby to occupy your mind...something besides work that will interest you.

Good luck.

crazy-mp
March 30, 2009, 11:30 PM
Barrel First

please don't ask us to

What part of that didnít I understand? You say that you donít want people to ask you to put them on a waiting list. I understand you cant sell what you donít have but wouldn't you TRY to make someone feel you cared and actually wanted their business?

Do you only carry the guns you like in your store, or will you special order a gun for someone?

Our decision not to maintain waiting lists for scores of different firearms has nothing to do with the distributors we use...unless, of course, you take into account their inability to supply all the inventory we want because mfrs. can't produce them fast enough to meet demand.

By that quote you would not have ordered my rifle because when I told my local FFL dealer to get me one it was not being shipped yet. But he likes selling guns to one of his best customers. <---I can back that comment up.

Why would anyone want a Ruger LCP? Get a Kel-Tec! No recalls :neener:

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