Why are you here?


June 29, 2009, 12:41 AM
Something I have run in to a lot while I have bought firearms. I am only 24 years old and when I walk into a gun store they almost never give me the time of day. I'll have 5 or 6 hundred dollars in my pocket to buy a gun right then and there and everyone just stares at me like I don't have any business being there.

Last time I walked into a gun store to buy some .45 ammo everyone looked at me like I was going to rob the place. I was wearing a polo shirt and khakis!!

Anyone have this problem?

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June 29, 2009, 12:43 AM
i open carry to the gun store so they know why im there, to buy ammo or to shoot on the range

im 26(but look 18-19)

June 29, 2009, 12:44 AM
I would do two things. One, look in a mirroe. If you see something wrong, change it. Two, shop at a different store.

June 29, 2009, 01:12 AM
Yes. I do.

To be honest, I understand your complaint all too well.... Im 22 and Iv been shooting guns my whole (however short) life. Im married with a child and Im a huge stickler for gun safety and Im decently well educated when it comes to firearms (much like every other gun enthusiast I know), but....

.... Never the less, I still get treated like some thug or idiot punk in some gun stores. Now, I will say that I have my gun stores/ranges in town that i frequent where Im treated great, known on a first name basis, and enjoy every visit, so its not every where (and even these places took a couple visits to warm up to me).

I dont have tattoos or piercings and I dont dress like a hoodlum (typically I can be seen wearing a button-down and jeans). Im polite and interested, but some gun stores that I dont regularly spend hundreds of dollars in definitely give me the freezing cold shoulder (unless of course Im with my beautiful wife, then they have all day to talk and shoot the breeze).

I will say though, the main place in town that pulls the "youre to young to know anything even though your considering spending $700 with me" crap, seems to be, for the most part, just people working for low wages, trying to cover up the fact that they cant answer my questions, and doing so with condescending remarks.

Dont let it get to you. Its just part of it. Think of all the people our age that come in gun stores like "lemme see dat gat 9 wit da clip dat holds 40". And all of the people who will look all day and take up their time without spending a dime.... It just sucks but thats our generation. Im not justifying the profiling and stereotyping but its not surprising to me.

Just do what I did and find a shop/shops that are just happy you are a young guy who is interested, safe, and spends money.

June 29, 2009, 01:20 AM
25 here, and am very familiar with that complaint. I simply don't buy from stores where the salesman knows less about everything than I do; if a casual hobbyist like me can find 15 minutes to google something that it's your job to sell, there's no reason I should have a larger and better knowledge base than you. Sad to say though, that means that out of all the stores/ranges I've come across, I was only comfortable buying from two, and one of those two got closed a few years ago :( However, the one that's still open is everything that a gun store should be, so no major issues :)

June 29, 2009, 01:30 AM
sometimes I really feel its because i look middle eastern. I went in to get some golden sabers at a store one time and I swear every guy was staring at me thinking "*** do you know about 45's and guns and ammo?" like i wasn't supposed to be able to have a gun. I try not to go there anymore and avoid it as much as possible even though it is right down the road from me, about 5 miles.
I will drive 15 miles to the place that respects my money, and to other locations that give good customer service. It isn't all about the businesses though, like my example above included the other customers too...
edit- i am 24

June 29, 2009, 01:31 AM
Some gun stores have a policy of hiring complete @sses. Find one you are comfortable with.

June 29, 2009, 01:31 AM
Are you a civilian in an area near a big military base going to a gun store that has mostly military patrons?

I've never noticed this in any of the 3 stores I go to. I was just at the one store today on my way to the range and the guy seemed more than happy to answer my question about an AR upper and sell me some ammo and targets even though I wasn't going to their indoor pistol range.

June 29, 2009, 01:42 AM
I am 25 and have experienced the disregard you can receive in a gun store.

I believe much of it stems from "kids" going into store and fondling every firearm and never finalizing a purchase; if you were a car salesman, you would get tired of young tirekickers quickly.

One time I got brushed from a salesman for asking about corrosive ammo; the best thing you can do is indicate that you are a serious customer and that you are ready to make a purchase today; you can say something like "I have spent a few weeks and have decided on something like this" (while you are holding their example)." If you identify yourself as a customer and are still mistreated, ply your custom elsewhere,

June 29, 2009, 01:48 AM
I get really nervous when purchasing a gun, not that I have any reason not to, I just get all tense. It really shows on me physically and the sales guys can really tell. Hopefully it will wear off soon. The place that I frequent has great sales guys and the more tense I get, the nicer they become. I am 21 years old, college educated, gun and safety educated, but I tend to ask tons of questions because there is always more to learn!

I only shop with cash and would not buy from somewhere that treated me like crap.

June 29, 2009, 02:02 AM
I mainly frequent a few places but do so regularly. I too am young (22). I have a beard though so some think I am much older then I am. My favorite gun shop/bait shop/sporting goods store is your typical small town gun store run by a typical old man in his late sixties. If you walk in, he will give you the time of day, 7 day weather forecast, show you pictures of his grand kids and talk for hours on end. He is a little spendy though but it is a small town in the middle of nowhere. I have had good luck at Gander and Fleet Farm.

Dick's Sporting Goods is the one that I always have trouble with. They really are dicks there. They refuse to special order guns or stock left handed guns (i am a lefty and always offer to pay up front). They will not let me handle a firearm at all. If I ask a question, they either don't know the answer or make one up to get rid of me. Needless to say I avoid them like the plague.

I recommend going somewhere else. This is the USA and gun shops are a dime a dozen in most places. If it is a big box store like Dicks, Gander, Sportsman's Warehouse, etc, complain to a supervisor. But do it politely and make sure the supervisor knows you have cash in hand. Chances are, he/she will be pretty nice.

June 29, 2009, 02:07 AM
Holgersen--I am 30 and until about a year ago had the same problem at shops that I didn't frequently do business with. It might be the knakis and polos because that is what I was/am usually wearing as well. The dealer I buy the most stuff from gets the bulk of my business because he treated me well when I was younger, broke and would wander into his store to drool over guns and BS on my lunch hour. It took a few years but he gained a good customer by not being a jerk. I probably shouldn't admit this but I rarely go over a week without buying a gun, add this to the fact I need rarer and neater (see more expensive) toys to feed the habit = I'm not a bad customer to have. The other local store that treated me like a moron and had the all knowing egos hasn't been able to sell me a gun since 2003.

June 29, 2009, 02:14 AM
19 here and I know what you mean, I have one shop I don't have the problem in, probably has something to do with being taken there all the time when I was younger with my father, and my father knowing the co-owner, so they just recognize me right off the bat.

However another shop I go into, I can't get help for the life of me, sometimes even when I ask they'll still brush me off....as such, I now just look around there, and won't even buy ammo from them....shouldn't have to struggle to get service afterall!

My appearance probably doesn't HELP, but I don't look like a hoodlum either (Longish hair, tend to wear carhartt tshirts and pants, and a pair of boots)...maybe they just think I'm a broke teenager they won't be able to get to buy something? I don't know....but hey, their loss I suppose.

Personally, I'd suggest just looking around for a shop where they ARE polite, even if you don't intend to buy that DAY, make sure they realize you DO intend to buy, just are undecided, and remember, also make sure you don't take up their time if they're busy and you're not buying that day, that isn't going to win you friends really...just wait around til it dies down a bit if you can, afterall you're in a gun shop, why rush out? :D

June 29, 2009, 02:21 AM
I don't care how I look. If you don't like my black pants, and my black shirt, or even my torn up jeans and tank top, I don't care. Sales/service is an acting job, I know from almost a decade in the restaurant business. I don't care if you are the ugliest guy on earth, I will smile at you and take your order and serve you whatever you want.
These guys don't get that. And thats why they go under. I won't support a shop that thinks I am a criminal or thinks of me in a bad light just cause they are old and I am young. Most people forget that old people die, and young people get old. And when young people get old they like to keep their habits. Meaning going to the same place over and over again, and avoiding the rest.
I will say I like having this type of consumer power. It is a very silent killer.

June 29, 2009, 02:43 AM
I'm 25 and I'm tattooed, pierced, have long hair, and usually wear a black band shirt with black or camo pants. There are several gun shops around me: Gander Mtn; Dick's; another larger, classier gun shop; and two smaller shops. You would imagine I'd get more attitude at the smaller, private owned mom and pop shops than I would at any corporate stores, but it's the exact opposite. I'm frequently ignored at the larger chain stores, and whenever I go into the smaller shops, I'm usually there for quite a while conversing with the employees.

The way I see it is this: If you're not going to give me the time of day, I'm going to reciprocate the same. The chain stores usually have slightly better deals, but I'm willing to spend(within reason) more money at a shop that I actually seem welcome in than one that I'm not.

June 29, 2009, 03:51 AM
I guess I've never had that sort of experience. Ever since I was old enough to be the least bit interested in guns(I'm 31 now), I've been treated quite well in most gun shops. My hometown gun shop has been "doing business" with me since I was 12, allowing me to handle any and everything (some days literally, I'm sure) in the shop, answering any questions, and always greeting me by name and with a smile. I've gotten this treatment for 18 years from this establishment, and its not at all because I've purchased a lot of guns there. I can only honestly remember purchasing two....about once a decade, LOL. Other shops have treated me similiarly, with adult supervsion (as a child/teen) or without. However, as seanie! pointed out, I'm more likely, it seems, to be ignored at biogger chains like Sceels and Cabelas thann I am in smaller shops. Then again, I'm never clamoring for too much attention in those stores anyway, knowing I can get a better deal on my gun of choice elsewhere

June 29, 2009, 04:37 AM
20 here, been there, done that. They've never gotten my business again.

June 29, 2009, 04:43 AM
Well, I've occasionally had this experience.

I hesitate to *assert* I know why, but I have some thoughts, so I'll just speculate for your amusement.

(1) age, (2) "other", (3) attitude for no reason
where "other"=race and "what culture they figure I'm from"

e.g. I go into a store with a couple of big fat older white guys who are grouchy and sit around all the time complaining about how everyone else is stupid for not agreeing with them. I'm younger (not as young as I look by far), in shape (for military work and for health), mixed-race, and very educated. I'm polite and friendly, but somehow I don't come across as "one of them".

Mind you, we haven't even talked politics yet! I just don't "smell right". I might be a terrorist, or gay, or worse yet... a liberal.

They people are shooting their own business and their own cause in the foot.

Thank god they are the vast minority!!!

Most gun shops I've gone into are friendly, interesting, and helpful. I've gone *miles* out of my way to patronize these places. Interestingly, a lot of small internet businesses are filling the gap with high-end friendly service. e.g. Rainier Arms, Bravo Co., (no personal connection to either)

As for #3, I do remember a place a few years ago that had so much moneyed attitude it was ridiculous. This was on the Eastside of the Seattle area, so lots of hummer-driving Microsoft conservatives, lots of money. The salesman was all wind (blathering on about a Sig to some yuppie) and clearly didn't think I was going to spend money.
This is just retail prejudice that happens to be in a gun shop. It rankles, but ultimately my money went elsewhere.

Now back in LA, I saw some guys come into gun stores that made me want to run or hit the deck. ;) So I guess we all have some prejudice...

June 29, 2009, 05:02 AM
I'm 24, a caucasian male, pretty big guy with a goatee and usually wear a t-shirt and cargo shorts. I don't look like anything, really. In fact, I try to be about as nondescript as a guy my size can be.

Most places I've been were pretty good, had some people try to sell me a story because they figure I'm dumb, but that's mostly it.

Only strange encounter I ever had was last year, I went into a gun store in Albuquerque looking to buy a box of 9mm hollowpoints (and this was back when stores still had them!). Older guy, he looks at me like I'm half a bubble off plumb, and asks "Why do you want hollowpoints?" like the word made a bad taste in his mouth. "We don't carry those..."

Oookay. I just nodded and smiled like this wasn't baffling to me, and left and never came back. Look at me like I'm some sort of troublemaker because I ask for basically the most common type of self-defense ammo in existence? Sure, pal. Maybe you ought to go back to selling fishing lures or whatever...

June 29, 2009, 05:46 AM
I'm 24 as well, from my experience it seems that some places just aren't very customer friendly while others are. How those people stay in business is beyond me. I have to admit though, I am not likely to walk into a gun store and purchase a firearm. All the ones I go to seem to have higher prices than at the gun shows. Also it seems to me that people at the gun shows are more willing to negotiate. I often feel that gun store owners don't want to negotiate prices due to my age. Oh and I don't dress like a hoodlum either.

June 29, 2009, 05:59 AM
I would do two things. One, look in a mirroe. If you see something wrong, change it. Two, shop at a different store.

I think being yourself is always the best bet.

It depends on the gun store. I go to one, and I get respect because the owner is a good business man. The other local gun store is owned by an old fart, has bar stools at the counter and all of his old fart buddies sit there all day because they are retired. At the later store, I do not get any respect.

I remember being 24 too... about 20 years ago... I used to wish for gray hairs... I was a commercial fisherman at the time and didnt feel as though I got the respect the "elders" got. Normal feeling.

June 29, 2009, 06:19 AM
Shoot. I'm 57 and I get that from some shops. The last time it was a bunch of "young un's" behind the counter. They were too busy chit-chatting with their buddies to sell me something. I could tell it was a real annoyance me being there.

I didn't let the door me on the way out. After I spoke to the manager about it.

June 29, 2009, 06:51 AM
Because gun stores are no different from other low level intelligence retail help.

June 29, 2009, 07:12 AM
Its not just an age thing, in many gunstores you have to fit the accepted profile of the people behind the counter, young & clean-cut isnt good, preppy definetly isn't good,asking the wrong type question or sometimes any question might put you on their unacceptable list. I've found more gunshops with attitudes than not, but like many of these folks I just spend my money at a place that makes me feel comfortable & doesn't try to treat me like an idiot.

Deus Machina
June 29, 2009, 07:59 AM
Because gun stores are no different from other low level intelligence retail help.

As a retail worker myself (I'm a student, and the tanking economy kept me there), I'd thank people not to generalize like that.

After all, I've been treated worse by bankers, mechanics, and computer techs than I ever have by retail workers, and I hope they know what they're talking about.

But let me tell you, even good workers get worn down pretty quick by retail, because for every one intelligent question that gets asked, they have to deal with ten people with suits on and their nose in the air, and fifty John Q. Durp-dee-Durr's. If anyone in retail still greets you with a smile and good service like I and many other hardworking Americans still do, they deserve an award--either a purple heart or an Emmy.

I'd just assume it's bad workers, in this particular case. But, what do I know? I'm a college student, graduated in the top five percent of my high school class, have placed in the ninety-ninth percentile of virtually every test I've taken since kindergarten, and design and machine parts and tools that run off of 800 PSI air--starting as blocks of steel and aluminum--in my spare time.

But I have a low-paying retail job, so obviously the time and effort I'm putting toward a mechanical engineering degree means absolutely nothing, because a few lazy kids and counter-jerks instantly bring everyone else to their level.

Air clear and general whining aside, specialty shops seem more prone to this than a lot of stores. I used to get this treatment in paintball shops, still get it in computer shops, and have had people in mechanics' shops pull their crap on me when I was picking up my mother's car while wearing my uniform from the garage I worked in at the time. It's because these places will hire people like that, and don't correct them from it until they're loosing some major sales.

Thankfully, I've found a couple good shops in my area and have no qualms about letting the bad workers at the other ones know that they can go somewhere else until I need their opinions.

The best thing you can do is let them know they lost your business, and why. One person walking out with $1000 isn't a major deal, sometimes. When they hear the same thing from a dozen people with $500, things either change or the lights get shut off.

June 29, 2009, 08:06 AM
I'm 47 and this happens to me and many others, in many type stores.
K Marts, Wal Marts, Lowes, Big Lots and a few smaller shops as well.
(To include one gun shop locally)...

I don't expect any clerk at any store to fall down over me
when I approach their department or enter their little store.
I would just like someone to acknowledge my presents and
'sometimes' ask me if there is anything they can assist me with.

I can't tell you the times I've walked out of major stores
because there I was, scratching my head,
looking high and low on their shelves for a product and the clerks
just sit there, or walk by with-out even asking if I needed any help.

I see that happen to a lot of people in a lot of stores
and usually when I'm in a store like Lowes (a home improvement store)...
I get customers asking ME advice and where this or that is.
Must be the tape measure on my belt. I happily assist if I can
and we end up commenting on the lack of customer service.

It's just the times guys.
Work ethic and common courtesy seems to be out the window in many locations these days.
It's hard to find good help and if it's a small mom and pop operation doing this.
They've just lost a potential life long customer.

Sav .250
June 29, 2009, 08:26 AM
Bummer. The way things ( the economy) are today, you`d think they would treat all their customers with respect.
Your the customer and if possible, take your business else where.

June 29, 2009, 08:29 AM
Some gun stores have a policy of hiring complete @sses. Find one you are comfortable with.

Sadly true, and especially of the ones staffed by the owner and his buddies. A lot of them seem more interested in BSing with each other than getting on with the business of making money by serving the public.

Having said that I was luck to have a really cool guy with a store when I was that age. He sold me several guns, taking my first handgun layaway when I was still 20.

I do not hesitate to vote with my wallet. I've even left stores when I've seen employees be rude to other customers. Occasionally after stopping off to see the manager and tell them why.

June 29, 2009, 09:03 AM
In the greater Cleveland Ohio area, we have 5 major Gun Stores (Dicks Sports, Gander, Atlantic Gun & Tackle, Northfield Gun), one good one with a range and people that know their tata's about firearms and the firearms Biz, it is called Stonewall Corp, especially Chanttal, when she talks Styer Aug's, she has me transfixed like a kid at a campfire and story time. Granted, they are very busy and do not have the time to chit chat, but they will answer your questions with the right answers.

The other 4 shops truly have the typical know nothing sales people that only know what they read in a Davidsons ad about a firearm, ammo or accessory.

There is one small shop .... that I swear, they have the best people... will bend over backwards and do what you need to get er done. That shop is Accurate Arms, just south of Cleveland off Ridge road at Bunker Hill Road.

Lenny and that crew have a TRUE clue, they are nice, they know from experience....people in this area go to the large shops to handle the pieces and stuff, then they go to Accurate Arms to order and purchase, NOT because of price, their prices are fair market value, but because they treat ALL the way people should be treated. They do not judge on looks, gender, religion, race.... etc. Heck if they judged on looks, I would not be allowed on the same street.

It is my true opinion that all shops employee's should do 3 weeks training at Accurate to get a clue.

Now........ on the other hand.......

I had one of the sourest experiences recently at the Bass Pro Outdoor World in Orlando. Went there and went straight to the firearms department. I was looking at the pieces in the used display, the guy behind the counter spoke loudly that they allow 10 minutes for gawkers and if I was a tourist to just leave now that he WILL NOT (not cannot) sell me a firearm or ammo, nor can he TRANSFER firearms or ammo to my FFL dealer (me).

I left and when I got home, I wrote Johnny Morris (creator and owner) at the Springfield, MO Bass Pro about the experience. I actually got a call from an employee. They explained they are going to close that store and that people are sour about it. So, the impression I got was, it was OK, closing or not for those employee's to treat prospective customers like pure crap. For this reason alone.... I have vowed to never shop at, with or mail order with any Bass Pro or affiliate.

Guys & Gals, if you are ever in the Cleveland area, stop by Accurate Arms and say hello to Lenny and crew.... you will be very very glad you did.


June 29, 2009, 09:10 AM
I don't think age is the defining factor here. It just seems certain types of businesses exude an "attitude".

Many gun stores for sure, but also motorcycle shops (specifically a certain brand, but others to a lesser extent).

Maybe salespeople in male dominated sports feel they have to prove they're macho, and think ignoring or talking down to customers is a way to show it.

Hard to figure out why in this economic climate they think they can get away with intentionally alienating potential customers.

Ignore me or talk down to me once and I'm not spending or coming back.

Added: Oh I forget the store where they asked me if I was ready to buy now, otherwise it was too much effort to take it out of the showcase and show it to me. No way it was going to happen there.

June 29, 2009, 09:50 AM
Sad to say, but IMHexperience, older shooters/gun fanciers very very often tend to be extremely arrogant towards younger or less experienced ones. (I think it's a macho-thing)

I've had the same thing happen to me when I started out 25 years ago, and have seen it happen again & again.

Not only does that kind of attitude turn potential new shooters away, it reflects badly on "all things gunny", and goes against common basic manners.

June 29, 2009, 10:20 AM
Man seams all the shops around here are pretty good that I go to. The two I frequent the most they are very helpful, friendly and remember me. Last week at the gun range/shop, the gunsmith took me on a tour of my newly purchased Glock, no charge and gave me some grease for it. I didn't buy the gun from
them. The other is a church buddy and even though he is the only one in there and sometimes there is a wait, the deals and service are top notch. I am 30 and usually are wearing slacks, button up, and sometimes a tie.

June 29, 2009, 10:24 AM
Being 21 I don't really have this problem much at least in this area. By the time I walk into a store the majority of the time I know EXACTLY what I'm looking for and what questions I'm going to ask. So sometimes getting an intial contact takes a few minutes but once I get talking to a sales guy I usually get respect. The fact is that when you walk in and ask for "What do you have in 12-gauge target loads in 2 3/4", Do you have any 7/8 oz. shot?"

Asking very specific questions right off tends to get respect quickly because they know you are there on a mission. There is also a local store I was in and out of alot when I was looking for a shotgun, the first time in I told them what I was doing and when I was planning to purchase which was 3 months down the road. Every time I came in I asked for specific models and was able to discuss the pros and cons of each, then they would talk intelligently to me and make some recommendations if they didn't have what I asked for.

Basically sometimes its hard to get contact but if you prove you are knowledgeable and have a purpose right off the bat people tend to be helpful. Just dont walk in and say "Ya got anything in 9? Im looking for a handgun?"

June 29, 2009, 10:29 AM
yup, felt it too (19) but I have my gunshop where the guy knows me by name and will be helpful and friendly. But there is another one down the road that wont even talk to me when I stand at the counter for 20 minutes

June 29, 2009, 11:01 AM
This has come up before, I posted the following in a previous thread:

I have a wallet full of cash that goes to the establishment that treats me with respect, period.

Brick and mortar gun stores already have a tough time competing with internet sales and alienating potential customers with their bad attitudes. There have been hundreds of threads on THR about this very problem. The market will weed out those establishments who are unable to meet the needs of the customer. Any store owner who takes pride in the fact that they provide crappy service to customers who don't meet some arbitrary standard of appearance will have to try to pay their rent with that pride.

June 29, 2009, 11:07 AM
I'm 18, and I hate people who have jobs selling guns who obviously don't know anything about them.
Also, I hate owning a pistol because I can't even purchase ammo for it.
What a dumb law.

June 29, 2009, 11:11 AM
Sounds like a case of Profiling!

June 29, 2009, 11:15 AM
So the story goes;

In Scottsdale, there was a kid at the local Nissan dealership who was doing pretty good on the sales floor, so the moved him upstairs to the Infinity floor, with the guys in suits and pinky rings. They didn't take him seriously at all. One day, they looked out, and there's a guy on a mountain bike with a ponytail riding between the cars, looking at stickers. He looked a bit nasty, so they said; "Hey kid! There's one waiting for you down there." The kid went down and talked to the guy on the bike for almost two hours. He finally came back up and said: "Alice Cooper's only problem is, he doesn't know how he can buy one car for himself, a matching one in a different color for his wife, and still get his bike home. I told him we would arrange something." The moral of the story, DON'T PROFILE YOUR SALES CONTACTS. Every single person is rich, willing and able to buy until proven otherwise. If that gun shop is doing so well that they can afford to pick and choose customers, they are too good for your money. Go somewhere else.

June 29, 2009, 11:27 AM
Another example from the car dealer arena. Buddy of mine was the finance manager at an Acura dealership in Colorado Springs. It was middle of winter and everyone was up in the 2nd floor "observation deck" where they could see folks coming in. A 15 year old Ford station wagon pulls in and an old fella (farmer's dress) gets out and immediately slips and falls on the icy pavement.

My buddy saw not one saleman even budge so he went outside to help the older fella. The guy proceded to buy 2 new Acura Legends at full sticker price - and paid with a check. When my buddy called the bank, the fella on the other end told him the guy could buy the whole dealership if he wanted.

Yeah, stupid to judge a book by it's cover...

June 29, 2009, 11:30 AM
I just love my local shop,besides haveing a huge stock of weapons,they treat people well.The are located in a bad part of town,and have thugs come in regularly and they treat them just like anyone else.Spending as much time with each customer answering and helping as long as you need them.They stay so busy they actually have to have customers take numbers to be waitied on like the BMV does.
I went in to return 2 box's of ammo for a caliber i needed more of and i didnt have a reciept as i couldnt find it.They did the exchange no questions asked and then ended up showing me about 8 guns even tho i told them i wasnt prepared to buy at that moment.

Stirling XD
June 29, 2009, 12:00 PM
I've had that problem a few times. In some places I just couldn't wait to get out of there. In other places I just left while thinking "their loss". Keep in mind that knowing a lot about a subject and running a business are two seperate things. I've seen people go into a field they know a lot about and fail because they know little about running a business. On the other hand, I've seen people that are good at running a business start a new business that they have little knowledge or experience in and do quite well.

Another factor that we should consider is how we come across to people. Do we appear friendly? I was once introduced to a new co-worker with the following statement. "This is Stirling XD. You'll think he's mean at first, but he's really not." That was an eye opener. But at work, I was usually focused on the task at hand and didn't always make the normal small talk that gives people the warm fuzzies they like. I also decided that the "look of determination" on my face might also be interpreted as a "scowl of contempt". I have worked hard to make adjustments in those areas and I think that has helped.

So you might want to take a close look in the mirror. Doing that occasionally is always a good idea. But sometimes the problem is the someone else. There's nothing you can do about that .

BP Hunter
June 29, 2009, 12:17 PM
I used to get that alot when I was younger, when I didn't know alot about everything. And my body language showed it when I walk in any store. But now at 43, and much wiser...I think, they seem to pay more attention to me. Their attitude changes when they see you handle the gun right, rechecking the chamber, looking into the chamber, finger off the trigger and aiming the pistol with the standard 2 hand hold.

BP Hunter
June 29, 2009, 12:20 PM
Another thing. It's a gunstore. They are like motorcycle stores, the employees are the most polite people. It's not Disney, where their ultimate goal is to make your stay as ther Walt Disney said, "The happiest place on earth".

June 29, 2009, 01:27 PM
I found gunshops and the attitudes their workers/clientel communicate are as different as fingerprints.

Local shop here is great, with good guys behind the counter. As long as they're not too busy, the guys will let you hold the guns, answer questions and make good recommendations. They do all this without assuming you are stupid, and make great effort not to make you feel stupid. My wife actually doesn't mind going in there with me because they make her feel comforatble.

What bugs me are the following types of "businesses":
- Gun store packed with the know it alls that like to make folks feel stupid.
- Gun stores filled with townies. You know, the ones that have been around for centuries...filled with old grey beards smoking cigarrettes on the stools next to the counter. Since "you ain't a regular" they don't have much time for you.
- The stores that give you curt service; they act like "don't bother us if you aren't gonna buy."
- My least favorite: May fall into the townie reference above. I'm a 37 year old Army guy, which means reasonably clean cut in civies, or I may enter the store in duty uniform on the way home from work. Either way, I've been in some establishments where the help would rather BS with the wanabee dude in the 'wife beater', long hair, and BDU pants (he bought at the adjacent surplus store), than assist me. Probably b/c wife beater guy is more likely to line the pockets of the owner buying tacticool stuff for the AR he strokes every night and takes pics of; than the guy who is shopping in an informed way and may/may not buy today.

Incidentally, you'll often find the same types as above, at any local shooting range.

Sorry for the hot air...but this subject has tweaked me since I started shooting 30 yrs ago.:fire:

June 29, 2009, 02:37 PM
I was 25 once and I've got the pictures to prove it.

Be thankful you're young enough to have older people diss you. You'll look just like them soon enough. What kills me is when my wife and I get carded to buy beer in a restaurant by someone a lot younger than our adult children.

June 29, 2009, 02:56 PM
Wow....I can relate to that. I am 21, and I've had multiple experiences where gun shop employees literally did NOT want to sell me anything :mad:

It is saddening to see that some (not all) gun owners are turning away the younger generation instead of enlightening them.

If more people from the older generation would give us a chance, I think we could surprise them! We're not all idiots :D (I can only speak for myself)

June 29, 2009, 03:21 PM
Aw, quit picking on the gun stores. Bad service with an attitude is everywhere. The clerks at the local 7-11 hand you your change and then wait for you to say thanks. I blame it on the owner never being around. Maybe she doesn't know.

Gun store owners must know that 64.7% of gun shoppers are just looking and will later buy on line to save $8.93. Okay, I made those numbers up, but it's still true.

I've been shopping and buying at one gun store since 1972. Even when I don't buy a gun I buy something - every visit. Don't I deserve to be treated well compared to the newcomer? :)


June 29, 2009, 07:54 PM
John, is it too much to ask that they treat EVERYONE well? I don't work sales or retail anymore, but when I did, I would HAMMER my guys if they didn't treat everyone with full respect and assumption that they were a viable customer.

I have had plenty of bad experiences at gun stores. Lack of knowledge, sneering attitudes towards beginners, unlicensed practice of law. (That's a big one.) But what I seem to see is that people don't stay in these jobs for long. The few times I have sniffed into a job in such places, I was offered less than $8 an hour. When I had VASTLY more knowledge than their existing employees. I suppose that the owners of these stores have decided that good knowledge really isn't necessary. You don't have to pay a smart guy $14 an hour when you can pay a mall ninja $8 an hour to watch the store and hand the paperwork to a manager for review before a purchase.

June 29, 2009, 08:07 PM
+1 w/ mljdeckard.

John- Not picking on you, but you raise an interesting point. 2 counterpoints:
1) Should I really have to buy something everytime I go in the store to ensure I receive satisfactory customer service? :scrutiny:
2) We always talk about sticking together as group to stand-up to the antis... you would think Gun Store managers/owners would want to stand with us, regardless of experience or buying power, to solidfy that front. Frankly, with exception of my local shop, I very seldom get anything besides greed, condescension, and sometimes, flat out ignorance of product features.

June 29, 2009, 11:46 PM
I don't agree with "its just the times"
I have been in the hospitality business since 16, that is 8 years straight. from restaurants to retail, to customer service, to blah blah. Tonight I was at my job cooking. This couple came in with their 2 kids. They took literally 20 minutes to decide what they wanted, and the cashier was dying. I came to help. Got them what they needed. They wanted alternatives to what the menu had in the combos. Done. They wanted more of something and none of something else, done. After the order was given, complaints were given about how the food was made. They wanted sauce on the sandwiches on the side, and wanted to change their drinks, and many other things. All in all, they were a TIME SINK to my job. Thank god it was a monday and not busy, because the million people behind them would have killed them for what they did.
In the end, I made it all better with a SMILE on my face. And the couple complimented me to my manager when they left saying I was "personable" because I took care of them, even though I wanted them to go away.
The "times" haven't changed. There are people who get what it takes to get paid. I am one of those.

June 29, 2009, 11:53 PM
22 here, and because there are so many younger people who walk into the stores around me and ask about "Glock .45's" while not even knowing the slightest thing about guns is the reason I haven't been given the time of day sometimes.

Luckily, every gun shop near me is used to seeing my face and I've purchased at least one gun from each of them and have been in the stores several times. Usually if they stand there and won't help me, I'll just throw out a question to show them I actually know something. That, or go with someone else and tell them the pros and cons of a certain gun. That gets their attention sometimes, and they'll chime in.

June 29, 2009, 11:55 PM
I'd go to a different spot Holgersen, I'm only 23 and I always shoot the ***** with the old guys at my shop.

Unless you're buying a .357 sig or .45 Gap, then you're probably gonna get the "ur an idiot" look no matter what.

June 30, 2009, 01:45 PM
When I picked up my converted Saiga from a transfer, the guy looked at me in shock and was like "You're only 19 years old?!!!"

I'm 21 now. Whenever they open up my case to make sure I'm not smuggling green-tip in with my AR, there is always someone there who feels like asking how old I am and how I managed to afford that kind of gun.

June 30, 2009, 10:40 PM
Yeah, I have the same problem with one local gun shop here in cali.

I was looking to buy an M1A scout. The sales guys just kinda looked at me and didn't give me the time of day. I was even wearing my Iraq war veteran's t-shirt!! I guess it was the fact I looked 25.

After standing there for 15-20 min while they helped others and put them ahead of me, I took off and left. I bought my rifle at another shop later that week.

I guess that's the kind of service that TURNERS gun shop wants to be known by.


P.S. that was sarcasm!!

Old Guy
June 30, 2009, 11:05 PM
So all you young guys have to get old to be treated with common courtesy!

WRONG, no you do not!

I ran my own training company for 23 years, you needed one of my Diplomas to get your License to work in the Security, Armored Car/ATM Company's.

My best students... Young people, Boys and Girls, I can say boys and girls! Note I am 73!

They approached the problem of drawing and firing a Double action Revolver at man sized targets, with two hands with the correct attitude, "I don't know, show me" Then did great.

I have waited my turn in some gun shops, not a lot, and listened to a sales person talk utter drivel to a customer! Try to sell the gun they get the best commission on... totally wrong for the customer, and the application.

Working in a gun store, or any place of business, you are there for a more or less fixed amount of time, you had better have a good time doing it, that minute you wasted being not nice, has gone for ever!

June 30, 2009, 11:18 PM
Old Guy-I've seen Older folks treated fairly badly in gun shops as well. I once saw a WWII vet I know treated like a complete idiot when he asked where he could find a GI .45.

June 30, 2009, 11:34 PM
turn this around.. I frequent a local shop on nearly a daily basis, the guy who owns/runs the shop is 25 and knows more about firearms in general than I could hope to. This includes specifics on certain makes and models to the details of company's origins and recent changes. I often see customers in their 50's to 60's who will not take him seriously about even the most basic information regarding a gun. Even to the point of getting rude and angry. It is hilarious in such cases to see them denied further service from the shop and instructed to never return.

June 30, 2009, 11:47 PM
Any store owner who takes pride in the fact that they provide crappy service to customers who don't meet some arbitrary standard of appearance will have to try to pay their rent with that pride.

Sad part is they run their brick and mortar one way then sell on the internet or go to gun shows and act completely different. I guess the people it the gun show could never be seen again where the locals will come back when they realize you sold them a over priced broken gun.

I will stay with my small local gun shop that is only open 20 hours a week (unless there's a holiday, doctors appointment or the fishing is REALLY good) Don't worry he be back in a day or two ;)

July 1, 2009, 12:30 AM
Heck I am 38 short and non descript, and this happens to me everytime! Even if its a store I occassion more than my 6' Canadian bud. They flock to him and he never buys squat! Me I have money for what I want and of course I get what I want, but I also make them show me respect when I pull out the cash! I will never forget showing up the ole timer who thought he knew more than I did about guns! Laughed all the way out after the owner looked it up on the internet and sided with me! I often feel like Rodney Dangerfield," I cant get no respect!"

July 1, 2009, 12:38 AM
im 32 and i sell more guns to young guys than the old ones- the older store employees look down on the perceived inexperience of the youngsters and the older customers that dont know me pass me up for the older clerks-

when the younger guys come in im first to say whats up? care to take a look? whats your flavor :)

July 1, 2009, 02:33 AM
I know someone who always visits gun stores but never buys anything. I like to do thorough research before I go in and I always know what I'm going to get and what I'm willing to pay for it. It is a bit daunting though because I always think my age means that I won't be respected by the gun store employees or taken seriously. So far it hasn't seemed to be a disadvantage.

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