How do some gun shops stay in business?


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fatelk
March 16, 2010, 07:11 PM
I don't post about stuff like this normally, but this worked me up a bit. I've never in my life been so rudely treated in my life, in a store. This particular business has a reputation for attitude. They have maybe half a dozen guys that work there, and most of them are jerks; the owner is the worst. If you live in Lane County, Oregon, I suspect you know who I'm talking about.

I go in once in a while to look around. I rarely spend much money, but once in a while I buy some odds and ends. I was in there today and did notice that the owner was being his usual loud-mouthed know-it-all bully self (PMS, maybe?), disparaging customers when they asked questions. I was looking through a box full of old reloading junk, the kind of rusty old stuff that people bring into shops like that, and the shop will sell cheap because, well, it's old junk and cost them nothing.

It wasn't real cheap, but I thought I could make some of it work, so I politely asked him if the price was firm. He got right in my face yelling at me and almost chased me out of the store!! I am by nature fairly quite and polite, and just don't get into it with people, so this took me totally by surprise. I left immediately, and will never go back.

Now that I'm cooled down a little I realize that it was not personal, the guy's just a complete nut. My friend who was with me said he'd seen him do that sort of thing to customers before on more than one occasion, and everyone I know that's into guns has the same opinion of the place and most of the guys that work there.

Mostly I'm posting this to vent, and if I'm out of line in doing so I apologize. They have been in business there a long time, and seem to sell a lot of guns (about the only real gun shop in town). I really find myself wondering how someone like that stays in business.

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KarenTOC
March 16, 2010, 07:19 PM
about the only real gun shop in town

I suspect that's the reason they're still in business.

rswartsell
March 16, 2010, 07:27 PM
It seems from my experience that there has always been an element of the gun community that exhibits "over the top" rudeness and hostility. Perhaps to a more noticeable degree in frequency and extreme than the community at large. I think it would be ridiculous of me to try and psychoanalyze an individual or a perceived "attitude" phenomenon amongst a group. Whether it is so that a few are drawn to gun culture because of poor socialization or if the gun culture appeals to the worst in some is immaterial.

I react to this kind of behavior the same for all merchants and others I interact with. That is to limit any contact with them to the barest minimum possible, which usually means I don't interact with them at all. Being a licensed gun dealer, 'smith, expert, trader, gun club member etc. doesn't get you a pass from civilized adult conduct in my book. It would be a cold day in Hades before he saw any more business from me and I have no answer to how his personal issues and commerce could be compatible.

Patriotme
March 16, 2010, 07:36 PM
It seems that you generally see this from the older gun dealers. The younger guys are either kind of redneck and knowledgeable or trying to appear yuppie and knowledgeable. The older guys may know their stuff but it does seem like a lot of them take it personally if you don't buy exactly what they recommend.

Arkansas Paul
March 16, 2010, 07:44 PM
It's a mixed bag Patriotme. Some of those older guys are also some of the nicest. I've seen a few that weren't though. The bad thing is that this problem is fairly common. There are several gunshops around here and luckily for us, most are great. I just stay away from the pricks. Sounds like the OP doesn't have that option.

wishin
March 16, 2010, 09:12 PM
I've often wondered the same thing. I worked for a very successful Volvo dealership whose owner treated customers badly if they said the wrong thing, or looked at him askance. Good thing he wasn't there a lot.

nathan
March 16, 2010, 09:13 PM
A lot of these small gunshops (moms and pops) dont make much money and barely do . THey are overtaken by big houses like Academy SPorts and internet sales. They overpriced their stuff not knowing they are turning off customers. Since they already owned the place and have little overhead costs, they dont give a rxt's a++ what new customers would say. The premadonna complex hangs over their head. Plus the fact most are plain yahoos and rude, they can go ballistic in the slghtest of things. BEst is stay away from entering their door of business..

JohnBT
March 16, 2010, 09:20 PM
' "over the top" rudeness'

I always figure it's just too many years of shooting without ear plugs. Makes a man grouchy. All that ringing in the ears and saying "What?" over and over will do it.

THE DARK KNIGHT
March 16, 2010, 09:22 PM
For a second there, I thought you were talking about The Bullet Hole in Belleville, NJ. If you ever want to get overcharged $200 on a gun by a nasty guy with skin disease who talks to you like you're a moron, that's the place to go!

Like most shops of their kind, they're only still in business and acting the way they do due to lack of competition.

nathan
March 16, 2010, 09:29 PM
I shy away from even buying from them except if i see a really good deal on a milsurp . As for ammo, no kidding . They jack them to the roof. Walmart is my next stop !

Skillet
March 16, 2010, 09:34 PM
I see this alot with younger guys (the younger guys are the customers), that are say, eighteen that are completely neglected because they might see them as too young or out of money. I see this with many younger kids as well, and I have to wonder to myself, if we are supposed to raise a community of responsible gun owners and enthisiasts why are we treating them like dirt in a place where they first might show a hint of interest in them?

Dentite
March 16, 2010, 11:35 PM
I've been shocked at the rudeness and lack of customer service I've seen in gun stores.

Now I will agree that customer service in general is degrading over time and I would expect poor customer service at the department of motor vehicles.

I just didn't expect to see it in small privately owned gun stores. Seems to me they are shooting themselves in the foot (no pun intended).

thorazine
March 16, 2010, 11:43 PM
How do some gun shops stay in business?

A lot of stores nearby have the same attitude and are overpriced.

I'm convinced the only way they stay in business is because they run a closed door backroom late night gambling operation in which the house makes a hefty profit. :D

CelticArmory
March 16, 2010, 11:53 PM
Sounds about like a few places around here. I can guarantee that if I ever get a store going (since smithing isn't exactly putting food on the table) customer service will be #1.

fireman 9731
March 16, 2010, 11:57 PM
I have been in a few shops that were like that.

Their attitude changes as soon as you spend enough money.

Its a shame, but I can't blame them that much...

Of course, I have a few favorites that I frequent the most, but all of them get a visit. There is no point in me missing out on a neat gun or cool deal just because the owner is a jerk.

acdodd
March 17, 2010, 12:23 AM
Sounds like Bear arms in Kent,WA
Worst customer skills I've ever seen.
Never went back even though they were only 5 miles from my house.
I drove a lot further to buy guns from other places after that.
He lost out on 6 gun sales and unknown ammo and supplies.

7.62 Nato
March 17, 2010, 12:23 AM
I've read a few rants lately about this and it seems to be not uncommon. I haven't run into it in a gun shop myself. I'm usually easygoing but will treat people the way I'm treated. Before I leave without buying they will get a piece of my mind. I've been an FFL among other things and never treated a customer this way whether they were buying or not. A friend just opened his store and business is booming. He's always got a smile on.

reckless carolinian
March 17, 2010, 12:32 AM
Let me tell you of the flipside. There is a very small store & range here in Asheville. The selection is small, prices are mid-high, shop is cramped, but the service is OUTSTANDING. Family run. These folks treat everyone well, because it's just the right thing to do. There are other shops in the area like what you have described. Most folks go there only out of need, not choice.

nathan
March 17, 2010, 12:33 AM
A smile and friendly words go a long ways. I always go back to businesses that make their customers feel at ease . To the original poster, write your review of the particular gunshop by googling . At least they will notice how it backfires on them. The internet age is wonderful, ehhh..

jl1966
March 17, 2010, 12:38 AM
I think the way to handle this is simple. Just don't go back. Buy from Wal Mart. Tell all your friends about the way he acts.

fatelk
March 17, 2010, 12:44 AM
Sounds like SM Guns in Eugene is not the only bad one. I can tell you I won't be going back in as long as Marv owns the place. For kicks I looked up reviews online, and theirs are not good.

I'm sure the world is full of jerks on both sides of the counter, and I sure don't mean to rip on gun shops all day. I know they deal with a lot of disrespectful, idiot customers day in and day out, and it's inevitable that some proprietors just start treating everyone badly in return. This subject has been hashed out from both sides here over the years, many times.

It's been a couple decades since I was 18, and I've stopped in there every couple months or so for the last decade, so they know me by face if not name. There's one guy in there that seems OK, must be pretty laid back to put up with the rest of them. I probably haven't spent much over $1,000 there in that decade, so I'm probably not a great loss to them.

There are a few other shops around, but they're either hole-in-the-walls or old-guy-hangouts. A friend of mine is in town so we made all the stops today. I've been busy with school, looking for a job, and pinching pennies, so I hadn't done that in a long time. I have to say, all the other places in town were friendly and professional, even if prices were on the high side.

Just don't go back. Tell all your friends about the way he acts.
That's what I'm doing.:)

cyclopsshooter
March 17, 2010, 01:21 AM
I try to be kind and helpful to my customers but I'm not perfect... It is a pawn/gun shop and it is a lot easier dealing with gun customers than the pawn...

Being a gun dealer can can be frustrating though- sometimes it only takes one jackass to ruin the rest of your day-

A kid that thinks he is an expert cause he is a crack shot with duck hunt (loud mouth)

People who do not watch muzzle direction

Big city folk passing through that think they can pull a fast one over on me

People who unwittingly dry fire at me

The kid yesterday that pointed a shotgun at his mom and pulled the trigger

But- I try

leadcounsel
March 17, 2010, 01:37 AM
I have also seen bad treatment and been treated rudely in a variety of gun stores. I'm not defending them, but I can UNDERSTAND it... most of the people that come in there handle dozens of guns and ask a lot of newbie questions only to go to walmart to save a buck on the same gun. It's the nature of modern big box stores and customer service.

I go in once in a while to look around. I rarely spend much money, BINGO!!!

You go to the expensive gun store where 'professionals' work to ask questions, then take your business elsewhere to save a buck. Over the years I'm sure that makes a gun dealer (or car dealer, or what-have-you dealer) annoyed. Sure it doesn't help his sales to annoy people but it's probably subconscious behavior.

cyclopsshooter
March 17, 2010, 01:43 AM
leadcounsel makes a very good point

Oregun89
March 17, 2010, 01:48 AM
I'm going to stop by there next time I drive down River Road. I want to experience this guy for myself. I'm new to Eugene, and have never been in his shop. Hopefully this will be fun. :cool:

nathan
March 17, 2010, 01:54 AM
Most of the time if i get into gunshops i try to smile and being friendly for im sure they are watching every move (those CCTV too). I dont ask a lot of questions and i try to target the guns i like to check out. Other than that if the owner tries to talk the talk i just listen and let him do thetalking.

Priz
March 17, 2010, 02:49 AM
I stopped buying at our local store after I went in to finish paying off my SIG 226. The clerk (who was actually one of the smiths, I think) left halfway through the transaction, because one of the other employees walked in with a box of icecream. I waited 15 mins for them to eat and come back to the front, explained I'd gladly drive the hour and a half to the next nearest store to buy things from now on, and took all my money back.

I've dropped over $4000 bucks there, a considerable amount for a minimum wage 20 something in Canada, where we can't buy anything really neat. That's fairly common treatment for myself and friends who go there, and I suspect Skillet is right and it's an age thing, but IMO, you can let your icecream melt a little for someone willing to spend that much.

fatelk
March 17, 2010, 03:02 AM
BINGO!!!

You go to the expensive gun store where 'professionals' work to ask questions, then take your business elsewhere to save a buck.
I knew someone would blame it on me. I don't go there to ask questions. I don't mean this to sound arrogant, but I'm sure I know more about the types of stuff I'm interested in than any of them do. I go in there once in a while to browse and see if they have anything interesting. I'm quite and polite, and don't bother the "professionals" with immature questions. IIRC, I've bought 5 rifles there over the years (and 0 at Walmart), and I don't buy a lot of guns, so it's not like I'm pestering them and buying cheap elsewhere.

You might have a point if they didn't treat most everyone that way. My friend said I was the third customer he yelled at during the time we were there; especially bad day, I guess. He said he's seen him at the gun club and he acts the same there; loud-mouthed bully, pushing people around.

I'm going to stop by there next time I drive down River Road.
There's one guy there who's nice enough. I don't remember his name and he's not in charge, but he's the one to talk to if you go in. You'll recognize the owner right away, loud and pushy.

OK, I'm done now. Fully vented. Simple solution, don't go back. The world is full of these kinds of folks, and the best thing to do is just avoid them. They make their own lives miserable, and tend to want to share their negativity.

cyclopsshooter
March 17, 2010, 03:17 AM
not making excuses for your guy (who sounds like ass) but often times private gun store workers have projects going (sometimes even for other customers)- they are in a mindset toward a certain problem/order/gunsmith repair- then to have to suddenly change gears toward someone else's problem or request... yes, we are in the business to help customers and make money but anyone here who is capable of deep concentration on complicated/technical problems knows how hard it can be to suddenly have to change direction...

complicated/technical problems are not something big box employees regularly deal with

WALKERs210
March 17, 2010, 03:20 AM
In no way would I ever defend store owners or their employees in any way. But I have learned to try to look at both sides. Back in the 90's I worked for a local pawn/gun shop,we had just as many new guns as we did used/pawned guns. I and everyone that worked there made every effort to make the customer that "THEY" were the only reason we were there. But every once in a while it always came out "You want way too much for that", or "I can get that cheaper at Wal-Mart. And some of the customers really thought their $150.00 wore out cheap made gun was a collectors item and we should give them 200% more than it was worth. After a while no mater how hard you try and dealing with other aspects of the business I would just politely take the firearm I was showing, return it to the show case or rack and ask if they needed driving directions to the nearest Wal-Mart. In fact I have flat out refused to sell to a couple and listened to the rants and cursing about how they would never come back, but I was never that lucky, some of them did come back. Like I said I am in no way trying to give excuses to why some do this but at least look at the other side.

thebigc
March 17, 2010, 03:49 AM
there was a custom gunsmith literaly 1/8 mile down the road anytime you went in there he would tell you oh that gun is crap and literaly every handgun i saw in the store was way way overpriced because he did a ''action job''.

the guy did design and try to market his own handgun but it never caught on it and i never bought a gun from them the way i was treated on 2 occasions going in therehe wanted 500 dollars for a nra safety class and tried to convince my mother it was a great deal when i was a kid



another time when i was 18 i had a store refuse to sell me and a freind ammo both of us had gun licenses and it was rifle ammo i was about to drop about 200 dollars he missed out and i will never go back he told me i had to be 20 to buy ammo for my mosin?

yet another store had a gun in their display case we wanted to look at it because it looked like a steal it was for 200 it said japanese luger 9mm after some google searching i thought they just had the wrong name on a nambu of some kind.
i quickly scrounged my saveings and convinced my mother we really really needed it for our collection.
ask to have it pulled out to look at and the guy goes OH THATS FAKE NO LUGER WOULD GO FOR 200 DOLLARS WHAT DO YOU THINK THIS IS and made out like we were idiots loudly in front of the entire store because they put a fake pistol in with the real ones
then i went to go get a nef single shot for hunting at another store with the money havent been back...



the other shop down the road had an old man family buisness who would tell you stories about hunting and would acualy give me verey good deals.

when i was about 14 or so with my mother oh you really like that .22 let me knock 30 dollars off the price for you so you can afford some ammo. dont buy that used parnder i have a nib one in back same price for you.

the polarizeing moment was when we went in there when i was about 15 we went in there to get a new mag for a 1911 that had a really bad one we did not even buy it at that store.

i told him i needed a magazine he pulls out a minty old colt usgi one with a 20 dollar sticker on it i go to pay and he says no take it if it doesent work come back to me with it and i will give you another one just dont tell the boys they would kill me for doing this.

now many years after he has passed and 9 guns purchased in that store by me alone and many more by family members and freinds on my recomendations i still miss the old man sitting there when i go in the gun store

his son runs it now and i still get some deals sometimes it was a sad day when i went in there and the old gun man wasent sitting in his chair we told him the story about the 1911 mags and and he started laughing and was like thats my dad.

jcwit
March 17, 2010, 05:09 AM
If I already have gone so far as to know I will never frequent that business again I usually fly off the handle in like manner. I can get into anyones face as much as they do mine and can make a drunken sailor look like a choir boy at the Vatican. May not be very high road but sure makes me feel better when an idiot attempts to show off his ignorance. Actually has never gotten me thrown out of a business as the idiot is completely baffeled by someone with a better command of the language then they have.

2Ais4U
March 17, 2010, 08:28 AM
I have the same problem with a gun shop where I live. the problem here is that they don't care how the customer feels about them they are the closest of two gun shops, they know they will make enough to keep open, so why bother being decent to the customer.

cskny
March 17, 2010, 08:40 AM
It's amazing to me how many folks have the same issue. 2 of the stores here would be in this category. Absolutely obnoxious and unacceptably rude.

earlthegoat2
March 17, 2010, 08:44 AM
Ive had many experiences with rude sales folk in numerous gun shops. But here is the shocker, I dont care.

I have worked within the industry enough to understand it is one with many opinions. The average customer and worker alike will believe quite a few fairy tails about guns. Generally speaking they are older. In recent years the average age has been falling though. Generally speaking they are all cranky about guns because of the current political climate and are pissed because of the polical climate they dont have their run of the guns anymore like in the past when older guns were more available at better prices.

The cranky owner/worker can most likely be explained by having to deal with the public for too long and compound that with in recent years a million and a half people buying their first gun and not knowing a lick about guns or shooting except for what they read in the rags which is usually exaggerations and general over the top praise for a gun which really is not all that good. Then the customer believes the magazine is supreme knowledge and a menial gun store lackey has no experience whatsoever.

I guess I am not really defending gun shop rudeness but I can see why they might be so surly having to deal with greenhorns all the time.

In short though I dont care if they are being rude to me. I expect it in fact. A few years in the military and hanging out with a-holes have given me the thick skin. I usually will laugh at their rudeness which just usually confuses them and I continue to ask my questions like they dont exist and look at their guns in the impossible quest to find the items that are not so oridinary.

TheWarhammer
March 17, 2010, 08:49 AM
LOL! I moved from Oregon to Texas in 1998, and I instantly knew which gun shop the OP was talking about! SM Guns in Eugene has been making a tradition of acting like jerks to their customers for decades. That shop was well known for being filled with loudmouthed blowhards even back when I lived in OR. Well, at least they're consistent.

Just One Shot
March 17, 2010, 11:15 AM
This is a problem that should be addressed at every business (not just gun stores) where attitudes are less than desirable.

One possible solution would be to photograph every gun and ammo purchase you make over the next 2 years. Take the photos and put them into an envelope with a small note (be respectful) pointing out their lost sales and why. Mail them anonymously to the gun shop each time you make a purchase. I would even go as far as to recruit others to do the same who have had the same bad experience at this business.

By sending the pics and not including a return address or any personal information the owner doesn't have anyone to aim his anger at. If you type the note he won't know if it's the same person or a group of people that he has ticked off. He may come to understand that his attitude is hurting his bottom line, and as a result start offering good customer service to his customers.

I would wait until I (we) had sent a number of photos that amount to a significant amount of lost revenue and then venture back to the shop to see if anything had changed. If it has then you now have another business to patronize. If it hasn't he probably won't be in business long enough to matter anyway.

Just an idea.

:)

Bubba613
March 17, 2010, 11:41 AM
Everyone who complains about gun shop service ought to spend a month behind the counter of one and then come back.
Everyone who complains about customers ought to spend two weeks visiting different gun shops as mystery shoppers.
There is no excuse for rude behavior. On both sides of the counter.

Personally I'm happy with customers buying their first guns and needing extensive walk throughs. I feel like that's a big part of my job and why people should buy from me and not from Academy etc. But when they visit several times and spend 45 minutes and then come in the next time with their purchase from Academy because "they ran into a real deal" and want me to show them how to take it down for cleaning, etc it's hard not to get rude and cranky.

Bubbles
March 17, 2010, 11:49 AM
Everyone who complains about gun shop service ought to spend a month behind the counter of one and then come back.
Everyone who complains about customers ought to spend two weeks visiting different gun shops as mystery shoppers.
There is no excuse for rude behavior. On both sides of the counter.

Agreed. Dealing guns means that, like it or not, you are working in retail and dealing with the public on a daily basis. The only difference between you and someone selling Beanie Babies is the level of government oversight (which is enough to drive anyone batty, but that's a whole 'nother topic).

Personally I'm happy with customers buying their first guns and needing extensive walk throughs. I feel like that's a big part of my job and why people should buy from me and not from Academy etc. But when they visit several times and spend 45 minutes and then come in the next time with their purchase from Academy because "they ran into a real deal" and want me to show them how to take it down for cleaning, etc it's hard not to get rude and cranky.

Training is $65/hour, the clock starts now... ;)

Carl N. Brown
March 17, 2010, 11:57 AM
Some gun shops I have gone to are run by gun buffs for gun buffs.

I recall one, though, that was run by a miserable old crank (who actually gave me a discount after I paid his attitude off with some of my own--this was back in the 1960s).

It is a big world full of all kinds.

I do pay a bit extra to a shop owner/operator who offers service after the sale and is a real gun buff with patience for newbies. (And if I have problem with a "bargain" bought elsewhere, I don't go to him to complain. :) )

Omaha-BeenGlockin
March 17, 2010, 12:07 PM
There's a place here that was the only show in town for years---they developed a monopoly mentality--nothing over the top--just a general bad attitude and out of line high prices.

Now Scheel's--Cabela's--Bass Pro have come to town---I haven't been there in years---might even be out of business by now---don't know--don't care. Between the big stores and online I can find whatever I want/need at good prices and zero attitude.

NMGonzo
March 17, 2010, 12:54 PM
Buying ammo in the store before even looking at guns has given me nice treatment lately.

murdoc rose
March 17, 2010, 01:47 PM
My trick to be treated with respect at gun shops is simple walk in with money in your front shirt pocket. Everyone's real nice to you then.


Id like to second carls post ^ the real gun shot is often more expensive but for the extra 20$ your gun actually works right.

Occam's Razor
March 17, 2010, 02:22 PM
The OP's description of the shop owner's attitude reminds of the
"Soup Nazi" episode of Seinfeld. NO PARTS FOR YOU! :D

Golden_006
March 17, 2010, 02:40 PM
Guess I'm just lucky. I've been to 3 gun stores in the NY area and everyone was really nice. They actually showed me what a free floating firing pin was and gun safety and everything.

Justin
March 17, 2010, 02:46 PM
I have also seen bad treatment and been treated rudely in a variety of gun stores. I'm not defending them, but I can UNDERSTAND it... most of the people that come in there handle dozens of guns and ask a lot of newbie questions only to go to walmart to save a buck on the same gun. It's the nature of modern big box stores and customer service.


If you own a gun shop, and the majority of what you stock is the same thing that can be had at Walmart, your shop sucks.

NMGonzo
March 17, 2010, 02:56 PM
I feel like that's a big part of my job and why people should buy from me and not from Academy etc. But when they visit several times and spend 45 minutes and then come in the next time with their purchase from Academy because "they ran into a real deal" and want me to show them how to take it down for cleaning, etc it's hard not to get rude and cranky.

Oh ... boy!

Don't get me started on that one.

Werewolf
March 17, 2010, 04:17 PM
Personally I'm happy with customers buying their first guns and needing extensive walk throughs. I feel like that's a big part of my job and why people should buy from me and not from Academy etc. But when they visit several times and spend 45 minutes and then come in the next time with their purchase from Academy because "they ran into a real deal" and want me to show them how to take it down for cleaning, etc it's hard not to get rude and cranky.

I can understand the frustration one would experience in that situation but still I have to ask:

Why not poli9tely tell that customer to go back to Academy and ask them how to take it down for cleaning? Unless the customer is stupid or completely insensitive he/she will get your point pretty quickly.

Werewolf
March 17, 2010, 04:22 PM
If you own a gun shop, and the majority of what you stock is the same thing that can be had at Walmart, your shop sucks.Which is exactly what's wrong with a lot of Mom and Pop gun stores.

They're not business oriented. They're not in tune with the market place and if they're small they don't realize that they cannot compete with the big box stores and the only way they can survive is to provide customers with a product and/or service that the big box stores don't.

Just One Shot
March 17, 2010, 04:29 PM
Everyone who complains about gun shop service ought to spend a month behind the counter of one and then come back.
Everyone who complains about customers ought to spend two weeks visiting different gun shops as mystery shoppers.
There is no excuse for rude behavior. On both sides of the counter.

Personally I'm happy with customers buying their first guns and needing extensive walk throughs. I feel like that's a big part of my job and why people should buy from me and not from Academy etc. But when they visit several times and spend 45 minutes and then come in the next time with their purchase from Academy because "they ran into a real deal" and want me to show them how to take it down for cleaning, etc it's hard not to get rude and cranky.

I have been in customer service for more than 28 years and I understand your point. Some people will try your patience. The problem is when sales people treat EVERYONE poorly because of their past experiences with those type of people. That's just bad business and there really is NO excuse for it.

DMK
March 17, 2010, 04:54 PM
Let me tell you of the flipside. There is a very small store & range here in Asheville. The selection is small, prices are mid-high, shop is cramped, but the service is OUTSTANDING. Family run. These folks treat everyone well, because it's just the right thing to do. There are other shops in the area like what you have described. Most folks go there only out of need, not choice. Are you talking about On Target reckless carolinian? That guy has always been polite and helpful whenever I went in there. He's 70mi from me, yet I have bought more guns there than I have in any of my home town shops. Another one is Collector's Paradise in Waynesville. Nice folks there too.

danprkr
March 17, 2010, 05:58 PM
That he's
(about the only real gun shop in town)
is the reason that he's still in business. Open a clean, well stocked, professionally and courteously staffed store and he'd be gone in side of a few months most likely.

Skillet
March 17, 2010, 06:23 PM
I have also had alot of good experiences. Impact guns in Boise has some decent customer service, and the one in Ogden has really good C.S.

I laugh, because I'm sixteen. When I walk into a gun store they pay no mind to me and only pay attention to my dad. But it ends up with him asking me what this or that gun is, and how good of quality it is. I end up knowing more about the guns then most of the gun shop employees do! I generally notice though that when you treat the employee nicely, they will treat you the same. Having a good laugh in between really lightens up the atmosphere.

fatelk
March 17, 2010, 06:53 PM
The OP's description of the shop owner's attitude reminds of the
"Soup Nazi" episode of Seinfeld. NO PARTS FOR YOU!
I like it!:)

Hellbore
March 17, 2010, 07:38 PM
I'm sure it gets really annoying to the serious gun store owners when someone comes in and handles a bunch of guns, asks a bunch of questions, then goes to Walmart to buy.

However, there are gun stores that somehow beat this situation. For example there is a local place around these parts called Bear Mountain Sports that has been reasonably polite, maybe a little guarded, and seems to have decent customer service, but somehow their prices are ALWAYS lower than the big stores when I compare. It's pretty much the only place I buy guns, but if their prices were high AND their service was bad, I wouldn't even think of going there.

I do think customers care about service though, not every customer is a penny-pincher, if the mom and pop gun stores can't compete price-wise with the big stores, then they need to think of a way to offer something you don't get at the big store. It's simple business, their service SHOULD surpass that of the big stores to make up for the higher prices. I have paid more for a purchase if I liked the place I was giving my money to, and would do it again, and I'm sure I'm not the only one who thinks this way... within reason. I'm not going to pay an arm and a leg for something just because the service is good, but I'll eat a little extra cost if it is worth it from a service point of view.

AcceptableUserName
March 17, 2010, 07:56 PM
did a little searching regarding SM guns. This kind of stuff would've flown better before the information age. The forums usually keep the crooks and the jerks in check, be they online retailers or storefront. :neener:


http://www.northwestfirearms.com/forum/showthread.php?t=323


"Gecko45's ghost is alive and well behind the counter. "


"My experience has been okay here, but I do know that they don't generally treat women very well. Since I'm an instructor and I buy a lot of guns, they don't give me a hard time or treat me badly. I've heard horror stories from other women though. "

"One of the guys there pulled the whole "girls can't shoot anything bigger than a .38 revolver, and autos are too complex for them" on a couple young women last time I was there. "

"One time there, won't go back. Maybe I caught them on a bad day, but I don't need a whole lot of attitude from people getting my business. "


Sounds like a real winner. If I move to Oregon, I know where NOT to go. This guy just lost a local customer and a domestic one just in case. I love The High Road. A vendor gets one chance - they do things right or at least back up their mistake and they'll get another one. They do me wrong and not only do they lose ANY future business, I'll hop right on here and make the discrepancy known loud and clear. This is large CHAIN stores stress customer service. It's cheaper to back up an item that was defective or a mistake on the stores part by a WIDE MARGIN than it is to have the person and the 10+ friends they told to NEVER shop there again. :D


If I had someone YELLING in my face like the OP stated, I'd probably tell the guy where to go and what to do with himself and heckle him a little bit in front of customers and then never go back. People like that are just bullies and they're not worth the time or effort to engage with, beyond some embarrassing terms and forceful send-offs.

arizona_cards_11
March 17, 2010, 08:01 PM
If you want to experience some horror stories with rude people, go work at a country club. I worked in the pro shop at a couple of different golf courses when I was in high school and you'd see the most arrogant, ignorant, and demeaning people in the world. They'd walk around like they owned the place. If you messed something up, didn't get the right bag out of the bag room, or wouldn't knock the price down on shop items, you were going to get yelled at. They didn't care if you were new or had been working there for 30 years.

One time during an outing, while we were hauling clubs from the parking lot to the parked carts, I had a guy throw his golf shoes into the back of my 'hauler' when I wasn't the one taking his clubs. The parking lot was packed so the employees are hurrying back and forth as fast as humanly possible. About 5 minutes later, this guy comes walking over to me and yells "Where the **** are my golf shoes?" in front of about 80 people. I had no idea what he was talking about because I didn't even take his clubs. So I looked in the back of my 'hauler' and there were a pair of shoes. I apologized and tried to make light of the situation. To that he yelled, "Learn to do your ****ing job."

Needless to say, that pretty much ruined my day.

I just don't understand how some people can be so rude and attempt to embarrass a customer/employee they don't even know. Now, 6'5 and 50 lbs later......I wish I could have given him a piece of my mind by way of fist.

AcceptableUserName
March 17, 2010, 08:06 PM
I'm sure it gets really annoying to the serious gun store owners when someone comes in and handles a bunch of guns, asks a bunch of questions, then goes to Walmart to buy.


They should probably sell their shop and start a flower store instead then if it's so hard. Anybody doing what they love for a living has no license whatsoever to complain about the negative aspects, let alone take it out on their customers. It's life. Tough titty. These are middle aged individuals not Kindegartners!

The Lone Haranguer
March 17, 2010, 08:15 PM
I had a "'tude" copped on me by a gunshop owner. I asked to see a gun (nickel 6-1/2" S&W Model 29-2) in the display case and he replied, "You just wanna look?" I said, "I've got cash in my pocket, and if you want to see any of it you're going to let me inspect that gun. If I like it" - i.e., it passed my inspection - "I'll buy it, if not I'll go somewhere else." He was much more pleasant after that. Frankly I should have just told him to go **** himself, but I really liked that gun. But I never went back.

(X-Caliber Guns on Beach Blvd. in Westminster, CA - yes, I'm naming names.)

nitetrane98
March 17, 2010, 08:43 PM
The Bible says that Samson killed 1,000 men with the jawbone of an ass. I suspect that many sales are killed every day with the same weapon.

Skillet
March 17, 2010, 09:01 PM
^ haha!

RyanM
March 17, 2010, 09:01 PM
I guess I'm lucky that the "only store in town" here is actually pretty good. There's one guy who grates on some people the wrong way (my dad hates that guy), but he's not rude or unhelpful or anything. He'll point out where stuff is, answer questions, get handguns out of the case for you without complaint, etc. He's just not much for small talk or pleasantries, I guess.

kentucky bucky
March 17, 2010, 09:38 PM
There was a shop around my area and the owner acted like he hated guns, talking to people,selling guns and his life in general. He stayed in business for many years. He was never really mean and folks would deal with him, but I always came away thinking to myself, "why does he do this...he hates it so much?". Years later I ran into him and he had had a heart by-pass and had closed his shop. He acted really nice and seemed really friendly as if we were long lost pals. I guess the sudden illness had changed his outlook on life.

Bubba613
March 17, 2010, 09:53 PM
Why not poli9tely tell that customer to go back to Academy and ask them how to take it down for cleaning? Unless the customer is stupid or completely insensitive he/she will get your point pretty quickly.

If they weren't stupid or completely insensitive they would have bought it from me in the first place. :)

That actually happened to my gunsmith when he was working at a different store. Customer came in with a 10/22 that malfunctioned. Smith asked him where he had bought the gun. Told him Wal-Mart because it was $20 cheaper. Gunsmith quoted price to fix. Customer asked why didnt he fix it for free. Gunsmith suggested he take it back to WalMart because they would do it cheaper. Customer cussed out gunsmith.

Kali
March 18, 2010, 12:03 AM
Seriously man I feel you on this one. I took my dad to the range about a month ago. The only gun he owns is an old 20 gauge he got from his dad. After an hour or so of shooting he was say "you know, it would be nice to have a handgun around the house for the times when I go out of town and your mom is alone". I take him to the counter, hes asking to see various guns and asking the guy all sorts of novice questions. Im not even kidding you when I say the guy didn't even look up from his text messaging to make eye contact with my dad when he was answering questions. And a lot of questions he answered like a hot shot-know it all, like everyone should know what they are talking about before they ask a question. "You know the glock actually has 3 safeties dude". I work in retail and if my manager saw me treating customers like that I would get canned on the spot.

72IH
March 18, 2010, 01:19 AM
Here is my SM experience.

First time I was looking for a .260 Rem. I was told that was stupid and I was wasting my time it is a dead cartridge. I didn't have a clue about what I wanted and that I should just buy a 270 instead. I said thanks for the help and left.

Second time I was looking for a holster for a full size 1911. I had mentioned that I would like to see what they had for IWB and three slot holsters. Dan (I think was his name) was very helpful. Took down just about every one they had. I went back a week later and he was busy so I talked the their so called AR expert while he was slurping on biscuits and gravy on the glass counter. I told him what I wanted to see ( brought the 1911 this time) and he said as loud as he could " You'll shoot you d@@k off. Are you stupid. Ask that guy over there, he saw some stupid gang banger shoot his left nut off with a glock. I cant believe you would want to do something that stupid. So I said "Oh I guess I will order what I want somewhere else" and then left.

Third time I looked at an LC Smith. It was a field grade 12ga with 30" barrels. I looked and took it to the counter and asked to take it apart. At first they said no until I explained I wanted to see barrel and water table markings. They wanted 650 for it. I noticed that the stock had a BAD crack length wise behind the side plates that went clean through to stock to the back side of the grip. I pointed it out and offered 500 and they said no. I said thanks for your time and started to walk away. I as I turned and after saying thanks he says " Yeah and thanks for wasting my time".

I will not go back. Ever.

They stay in business by pushing someone new into buying what they have or can get for them. Prices suck there. They also cater to law enforcement. I know several Eugene officers and thats where they buy most of their stuff. They get discounts. They are not supported by the general gun buying populace who knows which end the bullets come out.

twofifty
March 18, 2010, 01:36 AM
72IH - what are water table markings ?

Zack
March 18, 2010, 01:45 AM
Quote:
The OP's description of the shop owner's attitude reminds of the
"Soup Nazi" episode of Seinfeld. NO PARTS FOR YOU!

I like it!


uh it was NO SOUP FOR YOU! not no parts for you. :)

Yes it does remind me of that episode.

navyretired 1
March 18, 2010, 02:08 AM
Hey there's one in Nixa ,Mo. I won't use his name but his initials are Steve. He knows everything and will tell you so emmediately. We call his shop Hitlers place. There is no looking in his shop I've seen him through people out who were looking and I've been thrown out. Luckily his shop is hard to find.
If your not a decorated combat vet or a cop you ain't ****. But he never asks. I'm a decorated combat retiree and my business is completly down


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Nematocyst
March 18, 2010, 02:27 AM
SM Guns in EugeneFrom the OP, I knew immediately which shop he was talking about.

I bought some guns from them. I didn't like but dealt with the ***** who owned it then. Even the employees hated him. Apparently, his employees bought him out. Then, after one of the new owners copped a seriously condescending attitude with me when I asked politely about a problem with an accessory I'd bought there - which was later resolved by the company that produced the accessory, which said the shop sold me the wrong model - I walked out, haven't returned, and will never go there again.

HB
March 18, 2010, 03:16 AM
I was in one in the city of St. Louis. Its basically a hangout for cops but they are so rude. Constant racial slurs (I honestly don't care if you are a racist, but folks, please keep your ignorance inside your own head) and poor service to almost everybody in there. Whats worse is when we walked out of the range section, the guy tried to charge us twice! So we walked back to the counter to pay. While walking back into that section, we hear another employee say "Damn, you should of let them go. We finally may have got a chance to shoot some one."

Needless to say, I wont be stopping there again.

HB

AzBuckfever
March 18, 2010, 03:36 AM
Had the same type of experience in Flagstaff, AZ. Asked about a certain rifle (Remington SPS .243) and told him what I was going to use it for. Then he pointed out the Remington Varmint whatever in .223 and I said that's not what I wanted. Right then is when he just put the gun back on the shelf and ignored me. Haven't bought a thing since. What this "gun expert" didn't know was that I bought the gun I wanted, from one of his workers when he wasn't there. Sure, he still got the money but I also got the gun I wanted :)
I imagine stores like this stay open because #1, with their mark-up they don't have to sell as many rifles as you think. Plus, think about that a lot of stores make money not off gun sales, but merchandise, internet business, etc. I try to support mom&pap stores but if you're going to give bad service, then I'll go to a big box store and save money.

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