Loudoun Guns


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Java51
July 18, 2009, 07:54 AM
I happened to be in Leesburg, Va. yesterday and stopped by Loudoun guns to see if they had anthing that I couldn't live without.
They had a good selection of everything (especially black rifles) and prices weren't too bad. Unfortunately, the three gentlemen working there could not seem to muster the energy to say "Hello", "May I help you?", "How's it goin'?",
etc. Zip, zilch, nada. Not that busy, either.
After walking around for about 20 minutes without anyone asking me if I needed any help, I figured that they did not need my business and I left.
Some might say that I'm being overly sensitive but it's a lot easier for me to spend my money in an establishment that at least acknowledges my presence.
Thanks for letting me vent a bit.
DRC

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JLaw
July 18, 2009, 08:00 AM
Customer service is first in my book also. I'll gladly pay a few extra dollars for the same product from a business that is pleasant to deal with and is happy that I'm there.

JLaw

Sav .250
July 18, 2009, 08:01 AM
You are the .........consumer. Don`t forget that !!

Rubber_Duck
July 18, 2009, 08:03 AM
Sounds like one of my local guitar stores. I guess musicians and gun owners are in the same boat when it comes to what kind of customer service they expect before spending money.

sernv99
July 18, 2009, 12:17 PM
I have been to that place a couple times. The people there are nice. Maybe you are over sensitive. I judge the customer service of the employees by the way the handle my transaction and can answer my questions on the products they sell, not if they say "hello" to me.

oh well....

ThrottleJockey72
July 18, 2009, 12:44 PM
How would you feel if they hovered over your shoulder offering unsolicited opinion every 30 seconds and pressuring you? I am the type of guy that wants to be left alone, if I want something I'll ask. But a "hello" is always nice.

rondog
July 18, 2009, 12:47 PM
Most Harley dealers are like that too. If you don't look like you're wealthy and wallowing in a mid-life crisis, they ain't got time for ya.

There's been more than once where I've been in a business and been ignored. I usually call them up on my cellphone. When they answer all friendly-like, and I ask for what I'm looking for and they say "sure, we have that", I'll say "well, can you come over here and give me a hand? I'm the fat guy over here waving at you, the one you've been ignoring for 20 minutes". That usually humbles them a bit.

I weigh 320lbs. and cast a pretty big shadow, I don't wanna hear any BS about "I'm sorry sir, I didn't see you over there". I'm kinda hard to miss.

conw
July 18, 2009, 12:56 PM
Combined with the fact that they can't spell, I'd say you're improving the quality of American commerce by helping them go out of business!

jfdavis58
July 18, 2009, 01:04 PM
Let's see; you were cordial, outgoing and fun to deal with; how? You showed real interest in what? People on a mission to buy something typically know where it is or march right up and ask. You came across as a browser, just looking, wasting some time.

You're lucky they didn't set the dog on you.

I'm from a retail family; "May I help you find something?", "May I help you?", "How may I assist you today?" All that seems to flow in the blood of my wife's side of things.

Pure drivel, if you ask me. They're in business to sell things, not hand hold silly people just browsing. Customers are not 'guests' to be entertained by the hired help; they should know what they want and go and get it--it's not rocket science. If the desired item cannot be located or if you have a question about the item, by all means ask somebody. But keep in mind they are salesmen/women, they may or may NOT use the item; they probably don't know much more than is printed on the side of the container.

Me? You wouldn't like me in retail; probably wouldn't like me anywhere. I'm as apt to say "what the he{{ do you want? (or worse)" as look at you. And don't ask something stupid unless you like risking your scrawny little neck foolishly. Guess that's why they keep me in the dungeon.

ljnowell
July 18, 2009, 01:15 PM
Let's see; you were cordial, outgoing and fun to deal with; how? You showed real interest in what? People on a mission to buy something typically know where it is or march right up and ask. You came across as a browser, just looking, wasting some time.

You're lucky they didn't set the dog on you.

I'm from a retail family; "May I help you find something?", "May I help you?", "How may I assist you today?" All that seems to flow in the blood of my wife's side of things.

Pure drivel, if you ask me. They're in business to sell things, not hand hold silly people just browsing. Customers are not 'guests' to be entertained by the hired help; they should know what they want and go and get it--it's not rocket science. If the desired item cannot be located or if you have a question about the item, by all means ask somebody. But keep in mind they are salesmen/women, they may or may NOT use the item; they probably don't know much more than is printed on the side of the container.

Me? You wouldn't like me in retail; probably wouldn't like me anywhere. I'm as apt to say "what the he{{ do you want? (or worse)" as look at you. And don't ask something stupid unless you like risking your scrawny little neck foolishly. Guess that's why they keep me in the dungeon.

Of course this opinion will always emerge in a thread like this. I suppose he should have walked straight to the counter and thanked them profusely for allowing him to spend his money in the store? Perhaps brought them some coffee so that they would, maybe, offer some help?

Nugilum
July 18, 2009, 01:25 PM
Some people don't belong in sales.
I'm as apt to say "what the he{{ do you want? (or worse)" as look at you.
This is why jfdavis58 is in the dungeon. :eek:

And don't ask something stupid unless you like risking your scrawny little neck foolishly.
How are you supposed to learn?

gunnie
July 18, 2009, 02:13 PM
based on what you said, it sounds like my kinda place. if i want help. i'll ask a sales rep for it. otherwise, i prefer being left to browse in peace. some [like itself here] do NOT like high pressure sales pitches. maybe they just want to give you the option?

did you ask them to look at a certain piece? did you stand at one spot for quite a while, to give them an indication you were interested in one?

maybe they are just lazy, but give them another chance and make it obvious you are doing more than window shopping. if no action after that, you are most likely correct.

no cronyism, haven't even been to the store mentioned. about ten hours too far for my shopping.

>$0.02

gunnie

Java51
July 18, 2009, 05:37 PM
I should have added that this was not my first visit and have purchased several firearms from them. I have met the owner several times and he is a very pleasant man. I cannot say the same for the folks working yesterday.
I'm not saying that I'm never setting foot in there again, just saying that most of the other gun shops in Northern Virginia are a bit more cordial.
As far as being overly sensitive, I am an in business-to-business field sales and have a pretty thick skin.
DRC

THE DARK KNIGHT
July 18, 2009, 05:49 PM
Honestly I think you're just being a baby.

Who cares if they didn't say hello to you? You looking to buy a gun or find a boyfriend?

No offense. I'd rather browse on my own without a sales rep breathing down my neck.

Mags
July 18, 2009, 05:54 PM
Who cares, I hate being pestered by salespeople. If I want to handle an item I will ask until then I like to let my eyes do the looking. Now if after I ask for assistance and noone will help me then I will let my feet do the talking.

Archie
July 18, 2009, 06:03 PM
I think there is a happy medium.

The sales people at least nod at the potential customer and ask if he's wanting something. If he's browsing, they smile and say, "Let me know if you find it" and leave the potential customer alone.

I've walked into stores where the employees were obviously busy: customers, phone calls, and carrying stock. I don't expect them to ignore everything else and come running to me. On the other hand, I've walked into places where the one or two employees (or owner, perhaps) were sitting, doing nothing, and they glared at me silently as if I was interrupting their solitude.

To be fair, I've seen customers who were complete nincompoops, as well. Whereas no retail store wants a reputation of discouraging paying customers, the mall-ninja expert who demands to see a Deagle .50 BMG pocket pistol can be - um - trying.

Also, to be fair, I'm a slightly over middle aged fat guy who can be easily mistaken for an overaged mall ninja. When I know more than I should - perhaps more than the employee - I'm not always welcome. Further, I ususally know what I seek; if the store has it - and it's within the price range I can manage- I'll buy it. If the store doesn't have it, I'm not buying what they have simply because they want to sell it. Life goes on.

ndh87
July 19, 2009, 01:22 AM
They may not have looked that busy. You sure they weren't working on ordering something for another customer online, doing paper work, ordering inventory, etc? When Im in there they always seem to greet people.

hinton03
July 19, 2009, 01:56 AM
jfdavis58 "Let's see; you were cordial, outgoing and fun to deal with; how? You showed real interest in what? People on a mission to buy something typically know where it is or march right up and ask. You came across as a browser, just looking, wasting some time."

This is complete BS; it is a wonder your retail family stays in business; I certainly wouldn't give you mine.

What happened to the gun store where the employees were genuinely interested in guns, a place where you could just stop by an say hello and they were glad to see you. A place you could call and ask a question and they would be glad to help. When did buying guns become a fast food transaction where you have ti know what you want when you get to the front of the line?

Java51
July 19, 2009, 06:35 AM
hinton03,

You hit the nail squarely on the head!

DRC

Blue Line
July 19, 2009, 08:44 AM
Its sometimes a fine line between being ignored and pestered. I hate to go to the car dealership or gunstore and they swarm on you before I can look around but when I'm ready I want a salespersons full attention.

krs
July 19, 2009, 08:58 AM
I weigh 320lbs. and cast a pretty big shadow, I don't wanna hear any BS about "I'm sorry sir, I didn't see you over there". I'm kinda hard to miss.


Yeah, but Ron....you're so short they probably go in back to ask where the new beanbag chair came from.

And besides, who talks to beanbag chairs? :D

toivo
July 19, 2009, 09:02 AM
Sounds like one of my local guitar stores. I guess musicians and gun owners are in the same boat when it comes to what kind of customer service they expect before spending money.

+1. I've done a lot of guitar shopping in my life, and the parallels to gun shopping are pretty strong: something to do with (a) being ignored and then (b) being condescended to and treated like an idiot by somebody who knows much less than I do about what I'm looking at. Oh, and the pure lies and BS that pass for "facts."

kbellis3
July 19, 2009, 09:07 AM
I would rather be left alone when looking for a firearm.

MAURICE
July 19, 2009, 12:22 PM
Blue Line nailed it. I know when I go into the local shop just to browse I don't want to be bothered by a constant stream of "Can I help you?". When I go looking for something specific and looking to make a purchase, I make it clear that I am doing just that.
Don't get too offended. They may have been trying to not pester you.

chris in va
July 19, 2009, 12:49 PM
Aaaand this is why Virginia Arms is so popular. Very helpful, not all serious-because-I'm-wearing-a-gun-on-my-hip attitude like other stores.

If they see you looking around, a guy will come over and ask if they can help you, then not pester the rest of the time.

hinton03
July 19, 2009, 03:45 PM
Where is Virginia arms located?

Phydeaux642
July 19, 2009, 04:18 PM
Pure drivel, if you ask me. They're in business to sell things, not hand hold silly people just browsing. Customers are not 'guests' to be entertained by the hired help; they should know what they want and go and get it--it's not rocket science. If the desired item cannot be located or if you have a question about the item, by all means ask somebody. But keep in mind they are salesmen/women, they may or may NOT use the item; they probably don't know much more than is printed on the side of the container.


And, for those of you that know everything and never need any help from anyone, I'll take a moment to inform you that customer service is important. I work in a retail store and I DO know the products that I sell. I AM there to answer questions and do so every day. We are in business because a lot of folks are tired of shopping at the box stores where customer service is non-existant and questions are never answered. For those of you that hate the sales people in stores, we eventually figure out who you are and usually walk the other way when you come in. You see, we don't like talking to you, either.

As for friendly gun shops, I usually shop at a store where almost everyone there knows my name and says hello to me. They don't hound me, but they are there if I need them. They have received many thousands of dollars from me over the last couple of years. On the other hand, there is another shop down the road where I have never purchased anything. Everytime I go in there they act as if I am a second class citizen because I am not law enforcement and am not dressed as a Mall Ninja. I guess they don't need my money. The store I shop at is always busy, the other not so much.

JohnBT
July 19, 2009, 05:03 PM
"they should know what they want and go and get it"

Jeez, you don't know anything about successful retail sales, do you? All it takes, at a minimum, is a friendly, "Hi, can I help you find anything?"

Sheesh.

John

MAKster
July 19, 2009, 05:36 PM
Virginia Arms Company is located in Manassas on Route 28. I think just about everyone agrees it's the best gun shop in the Washington, DC area. They mostly sell handguns, ARs, shotguns and they also have cosignment guns. Although, if you're interested in a large selection of hunting rifles or double barrel shotguns it's not the place to go.

asknight
July 19, 2009, 09:12 PM
I prefer to be left alone when I'm shopping. I'm not there to be interrogated by some salesman that wants to make his commission, and I'm not there to buy what some stranger thinks is going to be best for me. I make my own decisions about what I buy, so if I dislike it, I have no one to blame but myself.

If there's going to be questions asked, it's going to be me asking the questions about the product I'm looking at. I've got to browse the inventory before I have any questions to ask anyway, and if I can't be left alone enough to do that, then I'm wasting my time.

wojownik
July 19, 2009, 10:31 PM
Four shops in the broad No. VA area show the spectrum of attitudes towards customer service.

Dominion Arms in Manassas - they don't jump to help you, one guy doesn't like answering a lot of questions. They other can be very talkative. Not much in stock - odd place. Part gun shop, part army-navy store, part check-cashing business.

I've been to Loudon Guns in Leesburg a number of times - yes, they don't hop up to serve you, but when you have a question, they have been more than accomodating. Like many shops, they seem to get a lot more browsers than serious shoppers, so I can kind of see their attitude. OK priced hardware, rather pricey accessories.

Blue Ridge Arsenal in Chantilly - you generally get a tired "can I help you" (one salesman there poses it more of a challenge). They do try to help if you've got some real questions. Hardwar seems to be priced a bit on the high side, but their accessories are more competitively priced.

Virginia Arms in Manassas consistently has a can-do happy-to-see-ya attitude. Very friendly, very helpful, very knowledgable. Great prices across the board too. Top notch.

rbernie
July 19, 2009, 10:57 PM
You forgot to mention Clark Bros. in Warrenton. :)

wojownik
July 19, 2009, 11:34 PM
RBernie - Not so much forgot about, as mentally blocked them out. Some like them, but I've not had good experiences there - inattentive staff, rather high prices (black powder almost 3x the price as elsewhere tore it with me last time I was there). On the other hand, some of my friends give them fairly high marks. YMMV...

hinton03
July 20, 2009, 03:06 AM
Here is something everyone needs to know who has a retail business; customers receiving a good experience tell about 3-4 people about it, customers receiving a bad experience tell 8-10 people about it. Being pleasent and helpful is a no brainer.

If I had a retail business and one of my salesman came across as unfriendly or not helpful it would be his last day on the job, you can't be unfriendly or not helpful at McDonalds and keep your job.

MovedWest
July 20, 2009, 03:28 AM
I left a Land Rover dealer with cash in hand and bought a new car at the Honda dealer down the road for this exact same reason. If you want my business you at least need to acknowledge me in your establishment.

-MW

glk40
July 20, 2009, 03:30 AM
+1 on Clark Brothers

sernv99
July 20, 2009, 06:25 AM
+100 for VA Arms in Manassas.

Yeah they don't sell hunting rifles or sporting double barrel shotguns but they don't mind and will be happy to do transfers for you OR you can stop in or call and ask Bernie to see what he can get from his distributors. If you are looking for a high end shotgun like a Blaser, Perazzi, or Krieghoff, you need to have it transferred in from somewhere else. But most of the regular Beretta and Benelli sporting shotguns he can probably order for you. I have transferred a ton of sporting clays guns through them and for $20 a transfer, it is a real bargain compared to the other shops that charge $50 and up.

In addtition I bought a few handguns and tactical rifles/shotguns from them as well. Their prices are really good too. NIB Glock 17 goes for $535 last time I checked at their store last week IIRC. Some of the other local shops are selling this gun for over $600.

sorry to sound like a commercial for them but after visiting all of the area shops in the noVA area (when I first relocated to VA), VA Arms gets top spot in my book, hence why I spent over $6K at that store within the last year and a half.

another option is Bruce Furr, in Vienna, VA. He is a home based FFL and is a Sig and Glock dealer IIRC. He does stock some EBRs here and there. His transfer fee was $30 last time I did a transfer with him (last Oct.). My only gripe is that he charges you some sort of shipping fee on any gun he sells. It's like a few bucks. I don't know why he charges this but overall his prices seem fair. He also stocks mags and accessories. Google Furr Supply Company to get his contact info.

Madcap_Magician
July 20, 2009, 09:55 AM
Another thing to consider here is that not everyone who walks into a gun store looking for a gun knows something about them. A lot of first time gun buyers would probably appreciate a salesperson helping them out, and it would behoove a business to at least ask people wandering around if they need help.

ezypikns
July 20, 2009, 10:17 AM
At least you're not a gun salesman.

Jolly Rogers
July 20, 2009, 01:01 PM
Gilberts Small Arms in Newington has treated me well.
Joe

conw
July 20, 2009, 06:38 PM
of course this opinion will always emerge in a thread like this. I suppose he should have walked straight to the counter and thanked them profusely for allowing him to spend his money in the store? Perhaps brought them some coffee so that they would, maybe, offer some help?

lmao. +1

Working Man
July 20, 2009, 06:51 PM
I did not read all responses so if this has been said my apologies.

I have been in the customer service business in one form or another for many years and one thing has always remained true. "If I don't take care of my customer someone else will". I did not say it first but it does ring true. In that type of situation (face to face as apposed to a call center) the associates should always be scanning for people that need help. One thing I always brought to any job that might have direct contact with the public is if any eye contact is made, then that associate must approach said customer in a helpful way.

lot21
July 20, 2009, 06:56 PM
I'm a casual plinker who is returning to shooting after nearly 20 years away from the sport. Anyway, I had an afternoon off work one day and decided to check out a well known shop nearby. Since I just left the office I was fully yuppie-fied in khakis and a golf shirt. When I walked through the door it was like those scenes from the movies when an out-of-place stranger enters a bar and the music instantly stops and the whole place glares at the stranger with a "what the hell are you doing here" look on their faces. Classic.
They did ask me if I needed help but they had this look of disdain on their face.

nitetrane98
July 20, 2009, 08:29 PM
One thing I always brought to any job that might have direct contact with the public is if any eye contact is made, then that associate must approach said customer in a helpful way.

A lot of customer service folks like yourself must be teaching this theory also. There is simply no other way to explain the way some salesclerks, waiters, etc avoid eye contact at all costs.

BHP FAN
July 20, 2009, 08:37 PM
I like Rondoggie's cell phone trick,I only have a tracphone,and that's only for road trips/emergencies,but if I were in the store and had a cell phone,I would SO try that trick!

rs999
July 20, 2009, 11:06 PM
Gilbert's is great but I am turned off by their range member/non-member pricing on guns. However, two big thumbs up on their range.

rs999
July 20, 2009, 11:17 PM
VA Arms is probably where I will do all my purchases while I am living in NoVA. This store has to be one of the friendliest, cleanest, and efficient stores I have ever been to (short of one store I went to in Christiansburg, Miller's Gun Shop(?)). Bernie and his sales associates really go above and beyond to get your business, two big thumbs up for Bernie's store.

LRaccuracy
July 21, 2009, 11:30 AM
Sounds like the La-Z-Boy store that I went to. I left and bought two chairs someplace else.

I saw 3 employees standing around talking to each other and having a good time and not one of them approached me in 27 minutes. The store was virtually empty except for myself and my Mom.

Finally I approached them and asked "Is there anyone in the store that can help me?" When I got an attitude from the one that opened her mouth. I said I told here never mind I'll go someplace that appreciates our patronage.

I thought they worked on commission. Apparently these people were just drawing a paycheck to stand around and socialize.

This really makes you wonder if some stores really wants to stay in business.

CoRoMo
July 21, 2009, 11:35 AM
Low prices win my business. If I need help with something in their store, I'll let them know.

conw
July 21, 2009, 03:26 PM
Low prices win my business. If I need help with something in their store, I'll let them know.

This is a valid consideration, but sometimes the *quality* help you receive is factored into the price of the gun. Sometimes it isn't. But there is certainly nothing wrong with looking for low prices and good customer service. Or at least low prices and a clerk who doesn't make the customer feel like a bum.

conw
July 21, 2009, 03:31 PM
Thinking about something coromo said, another thing that is often overlooked in these boutique type markets is building a relationship through customer loyalty. The way to build a relationship is by buying several things from the same guy. I have noticed that guys with 3-5% higher prices who are friendly seem to be much, much more interested in cultivating your business - then they will bend over backwards for you once you are on board. You can probably save your additional expenses over the guy who acts like a jerk but happened to have one gun you wanted that was slightly lower-priced, over the long term, with a guy who understands the value of a relationship with a repeat customer.

tdowell
July 21, 2009, 08:54 PM
Let's see; you were cordial, outgoing and fun to deal with; how? You showed real interest in what? People on a mission to buy something typically know where it is or march right up and ask. You came across as a browser, just looking, wasting some time.

You're lucky they didn't set the dog on you.

I'm from a retail family; "May I help you find something?", "May I help you?", "How may I assist you today?" All that seems to flow in the blood of my wife's side of things.

Pure drivel, if you ask me. They're in business to sell things, not hand hold silly people just browsing. Customers are not 'guests' to be entertained by the hired help; they should know what they want and go and get it--it's not rocket science. If the desired item cannot be located or if you have a question about the item, by all means ask somebody. But keep in mind they are salesmen/women, they may or may NOT use the item; they probably don't know much more than is printed on the side of the container.

Me? You wouldn't like me in retail; probably wouldn't like me anywhere. I'm as apt to say "what the he{{ do you want? (or worse)" as look at you. And don't ask something stupid unless you like risking your scrawny little neck foolishly. Guess that's why they keep me in the dungeon.
And this, is why I will out sell you 10 - 1, doesn't matter how disinterested a customer is, they will ALWAYS feel more welcome when they are engaged by a friendly and polite sales person. They are 80% more likely to buy from that person as well. Statistic is from National association of Sales Professionals.

oneounceload
July 21, 2009, 09:10 PM
What happened to the gun store where the employees were genuinely interested in guns, a place where you could just stop by an say hello and they were glad to see you. A place you could call and ask a question and they would be glad to help. When did buying guns become a fast food transaction where you have ti know what you want when you get to the front of the line?

Sometime last year in the first week of November and the resulting mass panic buying..


If you're a sales person, the last thing you'll ask someone is "Can I help you?", it can lead to a simple "no", and that ends the conversation and the chance for a sale. You ask something more along the line of "What can I help you find today?" or similar, so it's not a yes/no answer. It also, IMO, shows even more interest in trying to help the customer

Blue Line
July 22, 2009, 12:22 PM
I saw a sign, this past weekend, in a door of a gun shop in Bolivar Heights, WV (near Harpers Ferry) that there was a $2.00 admission fee which would be applied to anything you may purchase. Talk about driving business away!

wojownik
July 22, 2009, 12:52 PM
Ah, that would be good old Zimmerman's shop in Bolivar Heights. Among Civil War reenactors, his eccentricities and demeanor are legendary..

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