Gunstore Opinion


PDA






BikerRN
January 4, 2012, 04:12 AM
I'd like to get the opinion of the group.

I have a LGS that I have dealt with for over 25+ years and they know who I am when I call and know me by name when I go in. This year alone I have bought three guns from them.

Anyway, I called and asked them to order me a set of grips, a less than $50 item, for a gun. They have ordered stuff for me in the past with no issues. This time they wanted me to come in and make a deposit. From all indications they aren't losing money, as guns are flying off the shelves, and they have done this for me in the past and I have always paid for the items I requested.

When I got done, and phone routed to the Manager, whom I also have known for years, I was a bit torqued and considering not ever doing business there again or recommending them.

I am a repeat customer, have ordered stuff from them in the past, and never not paid for what I've requested. I have also sent multiple sales thier way, five .41 Magnum N-Frames, without a lock, alone in the past couple of years, and bring people to thier door. I'm loyal and request the same from them. I consider it like a slap in the face to be asked to drive down and "make a deposit" on such a small item. I called Pacmayer myself and ordered them.

I'm thinking of never gracing thier door again. What say you? I have another local FFL that handles all my transfers and buy most of my better guns online but I always give them first chance at matching any deal I find and sometimes buy from them if they are close in price, excluding taxes.

BikerRN

If you enjoyed reading about "Gunstore Opinion" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!
bannockburn
January 4, 2012, 05:59 AM
BikerRN

Probably the new policy of requiring a deposit for ordered merchandise is that the store has been stiffed one too many times, and are just trying to cover their expenses. You wrote that you talked with the store manager. What did they say about it? Is this for all special orders or are there exceptions, like items over a certain price point?

OARNGESI
January 4, 2012, 06:07 AM
If it was the manager and not the owner hes probally just trying to follow a new policy. Even though your a loyal customer if you ever worked retail youll understand how even loyal customers will eventually stiff you.

Bubba613
January 4, 2012, 06:10 AM
Goes to show a store can work years to win a customer's loyalty and he can get all pissy over nothing in 5 minutes.

Davek1977
January 4, 2012, 06:13 AM
I guess I've never understood having a gun shop...or any business...."order" something for me...usually at a premium.....when, like you ended up doing here, I can order it myself, not pay a middleman, and have it delivered to my door. Its one thing if its a hard to find item, but for your average grips/gun case/holster, etc it just seems to be FAR less of a hassle all the way around if I just take care of it myself. My first thought when someone offers to "order" it for me is that I can do THAT much on my own, and not pay extra for the "convenience" of having to drive across town to pick up the grips, at...as often as not it seems....they ordered incorrectly in the first place. Ordering accessories on my own is fun, usually far cheaper, and all around much more convenient that having someone else do it for me at what usually amounts to an added cost

BikerRN
January 4, 2012, 06:21 AM
They've special ordered ammo by the case for me in the past with no deposit.
To demand a deposit on a less than $50 item smacks me as foolhardy. The reason I wanted them to order it was to give them the chance to make a buck. It ain't much, but every little bit adds up. I can think of over twenty guns they have sold in the past year because of me and at least five repeat customers.

Davek1977
January 4, 2012, 06:43 AM
Maybe its a possibility that they too have found themselves at a point where custom ordering accessories has become cost-prohibitive. When every Tom, Dick, and Harry can order items themselves for less, the shop MAY have found itself in a position where the time and effort spent ordering these sorts of things has outweighed the "the buck" you wanted them to make, and has therefore adopted a policy that discourages people from such practices. I guess I'm just not charitable enough to place someone else's income as a higher priority than maintaining my own financial security, simply for the sake of doing so alone.

bannockburn
January 4, 2012, 06:48 AM
BikerRN

As Davek1977 posted, that would pretty much be what I would do if I couldn't find a particular item at my LGS. Either look for it online or else look for it at a local gun show. Maybe special orders have become a hassle for them and they don't want to be bothered so they try to discourage their customers by requiring a deposit.

At any rate it's up to you whether you still want to do business with them because of this new policy, or else take your patronage elsewhere.

Sav .250
January 4, 2012, 06:52 AM
Sounds like your feelings were hurt. I`m sure they know your a good customer and value your business but sometime things change, as in store -polcy. Maybe it`s a cash flow problem.
Better yet, why not just ask them ...."why the need for a deposit, when in the past, none was required?" Their answer might surprise you. J s/n. :)

BeerSleeper
January 4, 2012, 06:59 AM
You know, you could just be happy to have a shop willing to order something. Many stores will just say,"If it ain't on the shelf, we ain't got it."

bikerdoc
January 4, 2012, 07:03 AM
Biker RN,

Like you I am, a biker, RN, and a retired LEO. I work a P/T job in LGS. Good customers do not have to make a deposit on small stuff.

btg3
January 4, 2012, 07:08 AM
Why come to THR for opinions based on just your version of the issue? Perhaps you have so little confidence in your position that this is the only way to vent and not appear foolish? Either man-up and make an inquiry with the store or stop whining. (Ok, so you'd like to get everybody's opinion but mine :evil:)

Given, as you say, that guns are flying off the shelves at this store, you may want to consider whether you or the store will be hurt more if you take your business elsewhere.

And please report back as to how this works out for you.

Mp7
January 4, 2012, 07:12 AM
Part of a good relation with a store would be them telling ya why this "change" is taking place. If they donīt and simply donīt honour the long good customer relation - ... i would definitely be out of there.

Itīs like with places i eat & drink for a long time.
If they get new staff - i introduce myself and "tell" them
to put my bill behind the counter with my name on it.

If any1 ever makes me pay for every order like a stranger ( big city) and takes that privilege away ... i will never go there again.

(Happened recently, sadly enough.)

gamestalker
January 4, 2012, 08:09 AM
Having been a business manager for many years, with some of that background in the sporting arms industry, it has long been a sensible policy to operate with. Taking it personal is just that, personal, and in all respect to your personal status, you are still a customer to which the policy applies.

Policies not only protect the interest of the business, but as well pretain to our expectations as the customer. The policy establishes certain legal and ethical standards to which we as customers can also rely on. The hand shake and a person's word are about as worthless in today's business forum, as used toilet paper. Don't take it personal, but instead try to interpret it as a more professional business practice.

Ghost Tracker
January 4, 2012, 08:10 AM
Y'all forgive me if my opinion seems like I'm stepping on anyone's toes. What a bunch of sophomoric, self-entitled, elitists! We're a repeat customer of our own, personal, favorite LGS because we like their selection, price & service. They spend their money to put the latest & greatest in the case & on the shelf so we can fondle, critique and opinionate over it. But it's still a gamble for them as to the probability of us buying it. They like making their OWN bets (so do I). When they order something for you, they're not only still spending their money but they're no longer betting on their own judgement. They are betting on your judgement. If you don't have any "skin-in-the-game" then you can change your mind, buy elsewhere or forget about it, with no downside. But your LGS still must finance your decision...either way. Maybe their distributors are tightening the credit terms or return policies. Maybe the (universal) economic pressures are forcing your LGS to tighten their belt to remain in business AT ALL. But all this "I'm ME & you best remember who I AM!" is a load of bull. A non-stock order is a special request on your part to the owner of the LGS. If he is your friend, that's one thing. If you're a steady customer then HE'S been doing a good job running his shop already! Why would you get a burr under your saddle for a deposit request? Heck, I LOST my favorite LGS 'cause he had too many "friends" (who felt they did him a favor by hanging-out) and to few customers.

Bubbles
January 4, 2012, 09:03 AM
The hand shake and a person's word are about as worthless in today's business forum, as used toilet paper.
Sad to say that this is true. :(

My guess is that your LGS got burned one too many times by a "regular" who wanted a special order that never got picked up. Some things just don't sell very quickly - or else the store would stock them - and if you don't pick up the special order then the store owner has to decide whether to return the item to distributor and eat the return shipping and a restocking fee, or whether to put it on the floor and hope it sells, even if at a loss.

Double Vision
January 4, 2012, 09:26 AM
I would try to not take it personally.
It's nice to be recognized as a regular customer but taking a deposit on a special order is routine business in most places.

nofishbob
January 4, 2012, 09:43 AM
Successful businesses seem to be built mostly on two conflicting models:

1-Low price
2- Relationships and service

I have not seen both at the same time, sadly.

Unsuccessful businesses often have neither, that is, poor service and no relationships along with high prices. I have seen this often.

I read the OP as feeling that his relationship with this LGS was more important than merely getting the lowest price. This relationship was not valued by the shop enough to take a risk on ordering the grips without a deposit.

The op went back to the low price option.

The LGS lost a customer, but they sure didn't have to worry about getting stuck with those grips!

Bob

InkEd
January 4, 2012, 10:38 AM
It all depends on what you want them to order. If it's an odd item then a deposit isn't unusual to request. I am "a regular" at probably the biggest LGS in my city. If I want them to order something that's not a regular product or want it immediately then I don't have a problem paying a deposit.

If it's something small like grips (as you mentioned), I will just ask that the next time
they place an order with whomever, to please have them throw a pair on the order for
me. It's not a big deal to me.

ApacheCoTodd
January 4, 2012, 11:00 AM
Having had a shop and taking personalities or "bad days" outa the equation - I focus on the fact that you wan't to order a $50.00 sumpin with near to no profit in it (hold your horses now, I'm just giving a perspective) and meanwhile you note that "guns are flying off the shelves".

I recall being at a show once where a regular customer approached wanting to talk about a less than $70 component but there was a politically motivated buying craze going on at the time and I was dead swamped in 4473's and the cash that goes with them. Knowing full well that I had not attended to this fella in my usual fashion I apologized the next day when things had calmed significantly and he was the one to point out that it would have been silly to possibly queer a $800-$1,200 sale for some pissy parts that he could get when things slowed a bit.

If you really feel slighted and yet have a "history" with the shop - go talk to the fella. How else will he know? If he could read minds he'd be rich enough to close shop. Everyone's got bills to pay and their own priorities in how to do that.

stonecutter2
January 4, 2012, 11:13 AM
Goes to show a store can work years to win a customer's loyalty and he can get all pissy over nothing in 5 minutes.
To be fair, I don't think requiring a loyal customer to come by to put a deposit down on a $50 item to be "nothing." It's a hassle that neither the store nor the customer should bother with.

1894
January 4, 2012, 11:16 AM
I don't know anything about running a LGS, but I do have some experience with other industries. It is possible that the other items you've ordered from them came from vendors with whom they had an account and thus, would not have to expend the cash flow until the LGS was paid by you. If the LGS did not have a vendor account for the item you requested, they'd have to spend their money first. If this is the case, I see no problem with their deposit request.

But, in speaking with them, you should have (politely) inquired about the reason for the change. Until we know this, we cannot give you sound opinions. It seems silly to destroy a relationship formed over so many years and (I'm guessing) thousands of dollars on such a petty thing. If you're friends with the manager - or any other employee, call them and talk. If you've already blown up at them over this, start with an apology. A simple, "Listen man, I was having a bad day and wrongly took it out on you. etc." will go a long way.

Let us know.

TX1911fan
January 4, 2012, 11:33 AM
BikerRN, I disagree with almost everyone on this thread. I COMPLETELY agree with you. Because you CAN order it yourself, because you CAN go to another store, because you CAN order guns online, means the store SHOULD do everything they can to please you. There are too many options for stores not to please their customers. I would talk to whomever is your closest contact at the LGS and say that you are not pleased and they are on "probation." If they piss you off again, you are gone. It bugs me how often we hear how loyal we should be to the LGS and then they treat us like they are doing us a favor by being there.

1894--Why is BikerRN the one doing the apologizing? He's the CUSTOMER who was treated badly. He doesn't need the LGS, he can go to a myriad of different places. They are the ones who need him and others like him.

1894
January 4, 2012, 11:42 AM
TX - I said apologize IF he'd already blown up at them. Meaning: try to salvage the relationship. If not, no need. I also agree with your other points but would try to do it while everyone is calm and smiling. I've found things tend to work out better for me that way.

youngda9
January 4, 2012, 11:53 AM
They probably don't want to take the time to talk on the phone, get the order, order the part, inventory it when it comes in, then call you and wait for you to come and get it...if you do(probably been burned by some "regulars" in the past).

The profit they get from that $50 sale doesn't line up with their time invested into doing this special order for you. Therefore they are probably not that interested in doing it. But they would if they already have the deposit...that is their guarantee.

Sam1911
January 4, 2012, 11:55 AM
1894--Why is BikerRN the one doing the apologizing? He's the CUSTOMER who was treated badly. He doesn't need the LGS, he can go to a myriad of different places. They are the ones who need him and others like him.


Well, to be fair, NO ONE has been treated badly. BRN just didn't get the benefit he had expected. The shop hasn't stiffed him, lied to him, insulted him, or otherwise mistreated him. He just expected them to perform a certain service (freebie, nicety, favor, bonus, gift) that they didn't extend at this time.

There may be various reasons for this ranging from "brand new policy because of X,Y,Z..." to, "Well, the boss has been losing his shirt on ordered bits and pieces that folks never come get and has asked us to stop doing that," to even "Oh, shoot, what was I thinking...no, you don't need to make a deposit on that, I was thinking about something else, my fault, I'll have it for you Monday."

Either way, it's NO big deal. He's not out any money and he can probably get the parts faster with a mouse click and a credit card anyway.

Now the question comes to mind, is this perceived slight worth abandoning a store that is convenient and otherwise a great place to do business?

To me it seems more like the case of a pal not offering you a beer when you drop by his house. Maybe he was out. Maybe he just didn't think of it. Maybe he's on the wagon. Does it really hurt your feelings enough to end the friendship?

SharkHat
January 4, 2012, 12:46 PM
Expectations are often just premeditated resentments.

If I were the owner of a retail store, and a well-known regular requested a special order piece, I would certainly do what I could to order it for them without requiring a deposit. Even if doing so would be counter to a deposit policy. I would expect my managers to have discretion in applying exceptions like this as well. Counter clerks, not so much.

As a customer, I might be surprised if a courtesy that had previously been extended to me were to suddenly not be offered, but I would not cease to do business there for such a simple reason. Asking for a deposits for special orders is a reasonable business practice.

If the store had suddenly started becoming unfriendly, such as asking me to stop wasting their time by browsing and checking out prospective purchases - "Buy something or move along" - then I would certainly expect a drastic change in patronage.

Bubba613
January 4, 2012, 12:52 PM
To be fair, I don't think requiring a loyal customer to come by to put a deposit down on a $50 item to be "nothing." It's a hassle that neither the store nor the customer should bother with.
A deposit on a $50 item is nothing. Either he wants it and gives them the deposit, or he goes elsewhere.
Something would be like taking the deposit and claiming they never got it.

The Lone Haranguer
January 4, 2012, 12:56 PM
This is probably some new policy, and is it really that big of a deal? He could, however, make an exception for a longtime customer, if you explain in a calm manner your displeasure.

chrt396
January 4, 2012, 01:12 PM
Sounds like your feelings were hurt. I`m sure they know your a good customer and value your business but sometime things change, as in store -polcy. Maybe it`s a cash flow problem.
Better yet, why not just ask them ...."why the need for a deposit, when in the past, none was required?" Their answer might surprise you. J s/n. :)
I agree!! The first thought I had was that it hurt BikerRN's feelings a bit. I can't say that I wouldn't have been offended a little myself as well. You feel good when you go in to a store and everyone knows your name and you can sit and BS about anything...and generally making you feel welcome! Kind of like the old sitcom.."Cheers". With that said..many of the gun stores don't even like carrying many accessories because they are constantly in competition with the internet. Their inventory sits and becomes obsolete..and then they have to blow it out at a loss to clear out their inventory. The deposit just insures them that the customer will definately pick up the item after it arrives.

I will digress for a moment here!

Down at a local reloading shop, the owner was complaining about a customer ordering a Hornandy case trimmer station. They sell for $315-$350 all over the internet. He had it priced at $459 and could NOT understand why the customer did not come in to pick it up. I carefully told him that he was so friggin' high..that price may have had something to do with it. He indignitly stated that he was only making a few dollars on it and that there was no reason to discount it any furthur. Anyway...unless this store owner comes to his senses..or some mullet walks in that doesn't know any better..that prep center is going to sit...a looonnngg time.

I prefer to buy at the local stores and support local businesses. However..the prices have gotten out of hand on many products and I have reverted back to the internet for price comparisons. The local stores in most cases will not back up the products they sell anyway..so don't feel obligated to buy it from them.

It sucks for the impulse buyer to order from the internet..but it sure is a lot cheaper.

CZguy
January 4, 2012, 01:16 PM
The hand shake and a person's word are about as worthless in today's business forum, as used toilet paper

Now that's what I call descriptive writing. I too am a fan of Hemingway.

LeonCarr
January 4, 2012, 01:59 PM
If you don't like the way a LGS does business, go to another one. Money is like your backside...it is yours and it is portable. If they talk down to me and treat me like garbage while I am patronizing their establishment, someone else will get the money. Period.

Just my .02,
LeonCarr

Sam1911
January 4, 2012, 02:11 PM
If they talk down to me and treat me like garbage while I am patronizing their establishment, someone else will get the money. Period.

Hold on, wait. They weren't rude to him, didn't talk down to him, and certainly didn't treat him like garbage! They just didn't extend a certain favor to him that he had expected.

If they had been rude or dishonest we wouldn't even be talking about this -- he'd be a fool to go back.

esquare
January 4, 2012, 02:15 PM
I don't understand, couldn't they have just taken the deposit over the phone with a credit card?

Besides, ordering grips and things like that is what the internet is for. I would never ask a LGS to order a grip for me when I can just order it myself and have it shipped directly to me.

Just my 0.02

CZguy
January 4, 2012, 02:32 PM
BikerRN,

Sir, with all due respect. I think that have over reacted to this situation.

We can't control the things that happen to us in life, but we can control how we react to them. ;)

mdauben
January 4, 2012, 02:35 PM
I'm thinking of never gracing thier door again. What say you?
I would have to say you are over reacting. One (admittedly annoying) event cancels out years of friendly service? If they continue down the road of providing poorer service I can see leaving them, but not for this one thing.

Ryanxia
January 4, 2012, 03:39 PM
It could also be that they can't buy on credit with that manufacturer and can't/won't pay out of pocket. I would find it irritating too but I wouldn't go to the extreme of never doing business with them again.

LeonCarr
January 4, 2012, 04:44 PM
Sam1911,

What I was getting at was if you don't like the treatment you were given go somewhere else, not that the LGS in question was rude or inconsiderate.

There is a popular gun shop in College Station, Texas (The locals know who I am talking about) who I had been doing business with since 1995 when they were selling SKSs and wooden crates of ammo out of their house. After buying about a dozen guns, including several special orders, one day out of the blue I call them to place an special order for a 600 dollar rifle, and they tell me they need a 15% deposit to order it. I ask them if I can put the deposit on a credit card over the phone, and they said no.

I have not darkened their door since, and that was 2005.

Just my .02,
LeonCarr

Sam1911
January 4, 2012, 05:45 PM
one day out of the blue I call them to place an special order for a 600 dollar rifle, and they tell me they need a 15% deposit to order it. I ask them if I can put the deposit on a credit card over the phone, and they said no.

I have not darkened their door since, and that was 2005.

There was a period of time there in the early 2000s where credit cards seemed especially vulnerable to hijacking and identity theft. Might have had something to do with them not wanting to take a card over the phone, but it's hard to say.

Obviously you have to do what you have to do. I sure hope you had other places you could go to get your gun needs met. Sure would be a shame to lose your connection to a good place over something as minuscule as that.

Batta
January 4, 2012, 06:08 PM
My guess is they are having trouble with other customers and have changed their policy. Its up to you weather you do business with them again but I don't think you were a cause for the policy change.

youngda9
January 4, 2012, 06:28 PM
Feelings...what's all this talk about feelings...

BSA1
January 4, 2012, 07:07 PM
BikerRN,

Just for the tally books (and to help prove how unreasonable the LGS was) what was the item and for what model of gun?

maskedman504
January 4, 2012, 07:27 PM
I am sure they have never heard:

"Come on, you know I am good for it!"

I think you are getting a little bent up about a common business practice. I mean, if you ordered it direct from Pachmeyer, did they not charge you the entire amount upfront or did they say "you can pay us upon arrival" ?

Hell, alot of places make you pay the full amount upfront for special orders.

signalzero
January 4, 2012, 07:37 PM
It's logical that they would want a deposit on an item that they are ordering on your behalf. Since it isn't something they have stocked (why else would they order for you), they have to pay to receive the item first. I could understand your frustration on something they regularly stock, but in this case I see it as a preventative measure to ensure they're not stiffed with an order, regardless of how long you've been a customer there.

788Ham
January 5, 2012, 12:31 AM
BikerRN,

I have to side with you on this, if I've ordered as many items as you have, and those 41 mag revolvers weren't give aways either, I'm afraid I feel the same way. If loyalty doesn't mean anything, they should have told you that when the first guy you brought in showed up with you, "You're only allowed one good deal per customer."

youngda9,

"They probably don't want to take the time on the phone, get the order, order the part......." "Feelings......... whats all this talk about feelings...... " If the LSG doesn't want to take the time to take care of a customer, then they're in the wrong damned business to begin with! If they are too wrapped up in themselves, can't be bothered to take care of a customer, then they deserve to shut out the lights and lock the door prematurely! If I'd been the one to bring someone in and had them buy a firearm from the LSG, then be treated this way, you can bet your next paycheck I'd go someplace else. Have you ever been good friends, customer with someone, then made to feel like you were a first timer and we can't help you without a deposit? You sound like they do, glad I don't need anything from you!

Chris-bob
January 5, 2012, 01:16 AM
I personally would visit a few more times and let those trips be the deciding factor. See if it was a one time inconvenience, or a recurring issue.

Skribs
January 5, 2012, 01:35 AM
I remember one time working at Albertson's, where (due to penny pinching) we were required by management to do plastic unless the customer specifically asked for paper. One man came through, and because "everyone knows I like paper" he didn't bother to mention it, and then he chewed me out for giving him plastic.

OP, is it an inconvenience to have to go down? Yes. Is it something they are going out of their way to make YOU do, or is it a standard policy? I'm guessing they aren't out to get you, but they want you to follow the same standard as everyone else. If I were you, I'd just buy those things you can order yourself online, but still use the store for the big stuff.

BikerRN
January 5, 2012, 02:09 AM
I'll pick up the last gun, already paid in full, and probably never grace thier door again or recommend them.

I have seen the store change over the years, to three times the price of another FFL's transfer fee, refusing to be the receiver of Glock pistols because he's a Glock dealer and wants you to buy from him, to having an attitude of not caring if you buy or not as someone else will. There are enough people in and out the door that if you don't buy it rest assured somebody will be filling out a 4473 for that item.

One of the reasons I like to frequent local businesses is for the personalized service. If I want impersonal I can get that from the internet and probably a lot cheaper to boot. I'm not foolish enough to think that my purchase of a set of rubber stocks for the already paid for revolver will make or break them. The gun I paid for, but am waiting on, is the one I wanted the stocks for. Since they are unwilling to do that I'll just take my business elsewhere and recommend others do the same.

Even with shipping and transfer fees I can get things cheaper online. Lots of businesses talk about "support your local stores" but when push comes to shove they make it hard to do so by thier attitude and lack of personal service. I have a local Gunsmith I use that is known for his work, more than one in fact. While I may have to wait my place in line to get guns worked on, I've always appreciated the personal service and attention to detail. That is a factor that seems to be lacking in this store. By the way, these 'smiths don't ask me for a deposit, or accept one, when I drop something off to be worked on and they are famous names. In some places a man's word is still good I'm glad to see.

BikerRN

Skribs
January 5, 2012, 02:13 AM
refusing to be the receiver of Glock pistols because he's a Glock dealer and wants you to buy from him

That's like asking a girl who likes you if she'll hook you up with her friend. It's also why when I order something online that requires an FFL, I'll be using a pawn shop instead of a store.

Davek1977
January 5, 2012, 04:42 AM
As always, you are free to shop where you please. As you said, the place does enough volume that your dollars won't be missed. You are free to find another shop, and they are free to continue running their business in the manner they see fit to do so. Everyone wins. Thats the great thing about choices....we get to DECIDE where we spend our money. If you were being singled out, or otherwise somehow directly "victimized" by the shop to any measurable degree, I'd be right there with you, ranting and raving. However, you didn't get singled out or picked on. In fact, quite the opposite....you were treated just like everyone else, and THAT fact seems to be causing you the most stress. Get over it. Loyal patronage should be appreciated by businesses, but it DOESN'T mandate special treatment or becoming an exclusion to their policies and practices. Times change, and so do the ways a business operates. The economic reality of today is different than that of the last decade, and businesses do what they can to make ends meet. Sometimes, that means less consumer convenience. Sad, but thats the realities of running a business....adapt or die.

x_wrench
January 5, 2012, 08:06 AM
if it is a one owner store, where the owner is also the manager, you have a legitimate beef, and you should sit down with him and tell him exactly how you feel. if it is a chain store, with off site upper management, the store manager may have his hands tied by some idiot book smart know it all who brown nosed his/her way into a position. in either case, if you like the shop, i would go sit down with the manager. if you can not work things out, you will either have to accept it, or find a new store. but at least you will have done everything in your power to save the relationship with the store and its crew. most managers, even in chains, have some leeway.

Sam1911
January 5, 2012, 08:19 AM
... but at least you will have done everything in your power to save the relationship with the store and its crew

Except, of course, for accepting their request for a deposit as not worth losing the relationship over.

We shouldn't lose sight of the fact that the specific "beef" is actually a pretty small issue in the larger picture.

But maybe in the OP's area it's a "buyer's market" for gun stores and he can be as picky as he wants when choosing which to patronize. Heck, if you can convince a shop that you'll give them your business as long as they always pick all the green M&Ms out of the bowl they leave for you on the counter -- go for it. :)

I have seen the store change over the years, ...Honestly it sounds like BRN is unhappy with the direction the shop has taken as it's gotten bigger and busier, and this really minor issue has given him the "out" he was looking for to stop dealing with them.

I just don't believe a relationship of 25 years ends entirely because of a tiny thing like a request for a deposit. If they'd stolen from him, or cheated him, or refused to honor an agreement, or called his dog ugly and stepped on his blue suede shoes -- yeah. Wanting a deposit on a special order item? That's really not the sort of thing that would be worth griping about on an on-line forum, even -- unless there are broader problems and this is the proverbial "camel-breaking" straw.

Remllez
January 5, 2012, 08:33 AM
I agree in principle to the sentiment Biker expressed in post #48. Unfortunately the full service gun shops have been disappearing slowly over the last 20 years or so. Most of those that are still around have learned to do business as times dictate to survive. I'm sure as others have said it wasn't personal, just business.

Ghost Tracker
January 5, 2012, 09:13 AM
Go to the McDonalds where you "always" get coffee & see if they'll feed you before you... pay 'em.

SharkHat
January 5, 2012, 11:42 AM
McDonald's may not let me eat a $4 hamburger before I pay for it, but I've never had to pay for a $20 steak up front.

I agree with Sam that it sounds like a straw breaking the camel's back scenario.

psyork22
January 5, 2012, 11:38 PM
I have had similar experiences to RNBIKER. I had a a LGS that I could walk into and they knew my name and my preferences. I spent thousands of dollars in there every year. They actually would give me a price break because of my loyalty and then it happened...The Phenomenon known as Y2K. That is the time at which the buying frenzy happened and has continued since. I personally hate going to gun shops anymore. They are arrogant and act as though they are doing me a favor. I found a gunsmith to do all transfers. He carries no inventory and is a real nice guy with very fair prices. I consider the internet to be my LGS. If I need to pick up a gun I just go to a brick and mortar and fondle to my liking and walk out with my money. I have also been told to not open carry in a store. In PA it is legal and they should support my right to carry. Their shop is on 2nd Amendment Lane...You might know them. Sorry so long, I think gun shops will fail if the buying craze goes away. Any real gun enthusiast uses the internet and builds at home.

Lex Luthier
January 6, 2012, 12:53 AM
This is all very interesting, and I believe every poster here means well.

That being said, I have learned over the past few years to expect minimum service all the time. Servers, salespeople, bankers, whatever. The transaction between me the customer and whoever the employee is a probable essential function in me accomplishing a personal goal, whether it be a hobby or a necessity.

Most employees don't want to work there, wherever it is. Some employees believe they have autonomy and act like the owner, while some exert attitude to make a transaction more personal, and I don't usually care which it is. My bank tries way too hard to be nice and it is annoying. The restaurant server will probably have another job in six months. Every store is in competition so of course the salesclerks all act like they are doing you a favor.

My favorite LGS has new employees just spinning through a revolving door. There is one guy I know and remember to say hello to, and that's just because we share an avid interest in WW2.

It is up to us as individuals to be hypersensitive or accept retail reality and let it go.

john wall
January 7, 2012, 01:31 AM
A savvy gun dealer will know what stuff is going for on the Net, and will be close to their prices.

A savvy gun dealer also knows what to NOT stock, as these items can indeed be bought over the Net, often near the price the dealer will pay.

This is strictly a customer service issue. A SMART gun dealer will cultivate new customers and go the extra mile to keep regular customers.

A good part of the reason I got my FFL was arrogant, ignorant @$$holes working in or running gun shops.

I work part time for a fellow that has good sense when it comes to customers. He KNOWS there are other shops, and makes a big effort to make them have to compete with HIS prices.

He KNOWS the Net has guns, and that there are shops that will transfer for a few dollars. A lot of his merchandise is priced at or under what they can be obtained for on the Net.

There is a huge shop a little ways out of town that has changed their customer service, and is getting a terrible reputation. Some folks are just their own worst enemy.

ShawnC
January 7, 2012, 04:07 AM
I have seen the store change over the years, to three times the price of another FFL's transfer fee, refusing to be the receiver of Glock pistols because he's a Glock dealer and wants you to buy from him

If I ran a gun store, and if I did transfers at all I'd charge more, because you make less money from that then on the sale of inventory. It used to be a transfer was a an irregular thing, your dad needed to mail you your old shotgun, etc. Now you have online stores that use your store as a dealership, but don't let them set prices, so they up the fee. Gotta keep the lights on and family fed somehow. Suppose you're a relatively new customer, and know the Glock policy, and sure enough you walk into that LGS and there is some guy at the counter picking up his Bud's Guns Glock. "Hey he's a regular customer." How would you feel then? Would we see a post about how the LGS treats new customers like crap and Good Ole Boy customers can get whatever they want? Shop wherever you like, but if you decide not to order your product through them, then they're out what little profit they would have made from it, but if you stiff them, and I'm sure you wouldn't, then they're out the price of the whole item. You got expenses, why take unneccesary risks?

Mike1234567
January 7, 2012, 04:55 AM
IMHO, you're experiencing one of FOUR things:

1. NEW ownership or management.
2. Owner/Manager being scrood by OTHER customers.
3. GREED.
4. MORE than one of the above.

Krusty
January 7, 2012, 06:26 AM
I have three stores (lgs) in my area I patronize. One is all business, friendly and professional, but you are a customer. If you order it and it isn't a normal in stock type of item they require a deposit.
The other two have over the years become friends, when I order there I always offer to pay a deposit. Probably 95% of the time they say not needed. I don't know why they sometimes take a deposit, but when they do I just pay the whole thing if it isn't back ordered. I don't allow it to change our relationship. They are never rude or unfriendly and always go out of their way to be helpful.
It isn't personal, it's just life. :neener:

captain awesome
January 7, 2012, 10:26 AM
Bikerrn,
Express to them your displeasure with this new development. I have been treated shabbily myself at no less than 3 gun shops I visited regularly and spent a lot of money at in the past. Only one of them will I ever return to, and that's simply because I still need a good inexpensive ffl to transfer through and they attempted to make good on their folly though they really didn't do well on that. It seems customer service is no longer a concern for many shops out there, they frankly no longer "give a damn about your 15$" , yes one of the shops said those exact words to me when telling (yelling at me) me their policy on transfers, after I asked them to do something hey had done no less than 7 times in the past. So if they don't care, I won't come back, and depending on how your gun shop reacts to your concerns, neither should you.
I will use a big online retailer with good customer service over a local mom and pop shop that gets nasty with me EVERY TIME.

royal barnes
January 7, 2012, 11:31 AM
I don't know why your particular dealer decided to ask for a deposit on a set of grips but I can look behind the counter at the LGS where I work and see all the items that were special ordered for customers that have not been picked up. Some have been there for several weeks and were for regular customers. If I don't know you I ask for complete payment up front. You have not stated what kind of grips you were trying to order but most firearms related distributors do not stock grips other than Hogues or Pachmayrs. As far as your analogy about your gunsmiths not charging a deposit to work on your gun the answer is very simple and should be evident. They have your gun!

BikerRN
January 7, 2012, 12:23 PM
Royal Barnes,

The stocks were for a Ruger Super Blackhawk that I already paid in full for, and was waiting on.

The stocks were a set of Pacs for THAT revolver. They knew I was going to be in to pick up my already paid for handgun and were aware of that as I pointed it out to them. So I do think the analogy of the Gunsmiths was appropriate and a good comparision.

BikerRN

Serenity
January 7, 2012, 12:27 PM
I have a feel good story about a gun shop :) When I bought my traded-in P226 last year, there was an extra magazine in the case. I knew NOTHING about autoloaders, so I thought it was larger capacity mag because it was longer. When I tried (months later) to put it in the gun I couldn't make it work but thought that I was just dumb. Then I forgot about it. When Hubby and the Boy went to the store to get a magazine for me for Christmas, they told the owner and he said "have her bring it in". When I did he said it's for a 229 and went to the shelf to get a new magazine for the 226. I said "but it wasn't new" and he just waved me off over his shoulder. :cool:

Mike1234567
January 7, 2012, 01:53 PM
^^^ Fairly cheap insurance that you and your family will shop there often.:)

Pyzon
January 7, 2012, 05:57 PM
I have noticed that as business at my local dealers got better the past few years that service has gone down hill, also due to new sales folks and what have you.....

BUT, I recently found a new source that treated me with respect and a smile before I spent the first dime with them. Now that is worth remembering.

Once you complained to the right person, BikerRN and it goes ignored, seems to me you answered your own question, buddy. Time to move on.

Serenity
January 7, 2012, 11:58 PM
He has the only gun store (including counters in a sporting/hardware stores) where I haven't been ignored until I went directly up to the salesperson and asked for assistance. There have only been a couple of gun counter sales guys who have seen my son and I and thought "KA-CHING" instead of ignoring us.

Notice to gun counter sales guys Women spend money on guns. Unless they get ignored, in which case they will never come back.

BeerSleeper
January 8, 2012, 06:24 AM
This is just another consumers opinion here, but when I'm shopping, I prefer to be left alone. If I'm walking the aisles or looking through the display case, don't bother me. When I want help finding something, or have a question, or would like to handle something from inside the display case, I'll ask for it. Meanwhile, the ninth person to engage me with, "Can I help you with something?" in the last 10 minutes is starting to get on my nerves.

Serenity
January 8, 2012, 09:23 PM
I agree about that; I'm talking about trying to engage eye contact with someone with the "ready for help" expression. Ah well, I get the same thing in the better clothing stores. Maybe I should just dress better on weekends.

Nashville Slim
January 8, 2012, 09:32 PM
2 Thoughts on this:

1) Retail stores are in business to serve customers, not the other way around. Sometimes retail shops forget his. When I walk into a store and they do not have what I am looking for, they usually say " I can order it for you". I want to tell them "I can do that myself, what the heck do I need you for?"

2) When a retail shop worries more about saving dimes than making dollars, they usually have a short life expectancy.

ColtPythonElite
January 8, 2012, 09:42 PM
I guess I'm lucky...I ordered a new rifle a few days ago with no deposit down. Heck, I've even made a deal on the gun, told the owner I was headed to the bank and had him tell me not to worry about it and bring in the money the next time I come in...However, I do not expect all businesses to operate this way....FWIW, I don't have a problem putting down a non-refundable deposit for special orders, regardless of whether I've been a customer for 25 years or 25 minutes.

JohnKSa
January 8, 2012, 09:56 PM
...refusing to be the receiver of Glock pistols because he's a Glock dealer... I consider it rude, or at the very least, poor etiquette to ask a gun store to handle the transfer of an item that they have in stock or that they normally stock. I won't do it.By the way, these 'smiths don't ask me for a deposit, or accept one, when I drop something off to be worked on...

So I do think the analogy of the Gunsmiths was appropriate and a good comparision.It's a terrible analogy and there's no comparison at all. They don't need to ask for money because they already have a several hundred dollar "deposit" in the form of your gun.


If you're unhappy with the direction you perceive the store to be taking then just stop going there. But this particular incident, in my opinion, is not a sufficent "affront" in and of itself to justify your boycott.

drsfmd
January 8, 2012, 10:05 PM
Unfortunately the full service gun shops have been disappearing slowly over the last 20 years or so.

Blame that on the Internet. Many customers want fire sale & Internet pricing while getting a bit of good old fashioned bricks and mortar boot licking, and you simply can't have it both ways.


Retail stores are in business to serve customers, not the other way around. Sometimes retail shops forget his. When I walk into a store and they do not have what I am looking for, they usually say " I can order it for you". I want to tell them "I can do that myself, what the heck do I need you for?"

Uhhh... isn't offering to order it for you an attempt to provide service? Not saying you need to take them up on the offer, but at least they are trying.

Bikerrn... you weren't treated badly, you were asked for a deposit on a special order. That SOP in the gun business.

Trunk Monkey
January 8, 2012, 10:52 PM
After 3 pages I don't think I have anything earth shattering to add to this discussion but I will say this; 25 years of good service should at least earn the shop they right to explain why the asked for a deposit before I just drop them for another gun shop

One_Jackal
January 8, 2012, 11:46 PM
I can understand the shop wanting a deposit on the grips. Even though BikerRN is a loyal customer he might find the grips for $25 before they arrive. I doubt he would find ammo so much cheaper he would break his word or feel like he was being ripped off - so the was no problem ordering the ammo. The part I don't understand is why they couldn't take his CC info over the phone to secure the deposit. Demanding that he drive into the shop to place the deposit was a bit much. It's possible the shop employees just had a bad day. I would do business with them again.

Hokkmike
January 9, 2012, 10:10 PM
If you decide not to do business there that is fine but you only spite yourself.

BeerSleeper
January 10, 2012, 07:06 AM
My takeaway is the opposite here.

A customer so easily upset over such a trivial issue, and this store was able to retain such a customer for 25 years of repeat business?

If I had that kind of relationship with any kind of business, and over a 25 year period of dealing with them, my biggest complaint is prepaying on a special ordered item, I'd be well pleased.

Ghost Tracker
January 10, 2012, 07:29 AM
Yep, seems like a tempest-in-a-teacup to me as well. The LGS owner is free to run his business with any (legal) set of policies. The customer is free to shop anywhere he chooses. The deposit wouldn't cover the cost of the item. Likely not even the return freight and/or restocking fees if the purchase didn't happen. I've got no problem with a customer having a little "skin in the game" on a special order request.

GoWolfpack
January 10, 2012, 10:41 AM
If I ran a gun store, and if I did transfers at all I'd charge more, because you make less money from that then on the sale of inventory.

Transfers are like free money to a gun store. File a piece of paper and make a phone call, then take money. No up front investment needed, no cash tied up in inventory, no storage space taken up with stock for weeks or months until it sells.


I just bought a Taurus 82 from J&G Sales for $150. With shipping and transfer fees I still strolled out with a new-to-me gun for under $200. The store that handled the transfer for me couldn't even come close to that price on something comparable. You don't want to do transfers, insist on a huge fee ($75 one pawn shop quoted me), I won't buy anything. Make your few bucks for virtually no work on a transfer, or make nothing.

drsfmd
January 10, 2012, 11:27 AM
Make your few bucks for virtually no work on a transfer, or make nothing.

Those few bucks don't pay the staff, keep the heat and lights on, generate cash flow for more inventory, pay the mortgage or feed the family.

Don't bemoan the loss of your LGS when you have this kind of attitude. Refusing to let them make a living is driving them out of business.

Sam1911
January 10, 2012, 11:46 AM
Transfers are like free money to a gun store.That's one way to look at it if you aren't a dealer.

If you are, chances are you have a different view. If two pals walk into the store with a firearm and want to do a transfer, yeah, that's about the size of it.

But when the gun is being shipped in, things get to be more of a hassle. They have to store the gun, have to find and contact the buyer, or wait for a buyer to show up and claim it. There are plenty of times when boxes arrive in the mail with no mention of who the gun is for, or other critical info. So, eventually the buyer is found, or comes in mad that they didn't get a phone call. Then they have to run the NICS call, which the buyer may or may not pass. If the buyer doesn't pass, they have a gun on hand that isn't theirs, can't be given to the buyer, and (if the seller isn't an FFL dealer themselves) can't be shipped back where it came from. Or the buyer looks at the gun, finds some damage that wasn't disclosed, and refuses it. Now what?

To sort out any of these things takes more time, and possibly money to ship things back across the country, all the while dealing with a buyer who isn't actually their customer, but who will feel free to behave as though he/she is. (Being "always right" and such.)

Then there are the folks who want to transfer in firearms which you already have sitting on the shelf, because they think they'll save a few bucks, and who actually may end up paying more by the time their done, but who are just happy not to have had to pay your markup ... which keeps your lights on and employees paid. That one's just rude.

Yes, I do feel that a transfers are part of the business that an owner signs on for when they become an FFL. They should provide that service as it helps keep the whole gun community humming along. But it is NOT a "free money" deal that they should be grateful to get.

If you use a dealer for transfers, try to do your homework so it goes well, be patient and polite, and tell 'em thank you when it's done.

GoWolfpack
January 10, 2012, 01:11 PM
Those few bucks don't pay the staff, keep the heat and lights on, generate cash flow for more inventory, pay the mortgage or feed the family.

Don't bemoan the loss of your LGS when you have this kind of attitude. Refusing to let them make a living is driving them out of business.

So, given the choice between making $25 for a transfer and making nothing, the nothing is going to pay the staff, keep the heat on and feed the owner's family? $25 won't keep the lights on for long, but it comes closer than irritating me by saying you don't do transfers.

What happened to all the moaning about the tiny profit margins on new gun sales?

I love my LGS, but I've got to feed my family too. Let's take the case of the Ruger LCR. My favorite store is a Ruger dealer and sometimes has them in stock for $450ish. CDNN also has them, but for $350. I usually figure shipping and a transfer add $40 or so to the price of a gun online. I can order from CDNN and come out $50 better, and the store still made $25 on the transfer. I don't know if they would have made more or less selling me one from their stock, but I also know I wouldn't buy it for $450.

CZguy
January 10, 2012, 01:55 PM
One other thing to remember, is that you don't pay sales tax on a transfered gun that you bought on line.

Sam1911
January 10, 2012, 02:04 PM
One other thing to remember, is that you don't pay sales tax on a transfered gun that you bought on line.


Actually, what you pay is a state usage tax instead. You may skirt the law and not report it, but that's technically illegal. Some states are now requiring that a usage tax be collected if the purchased item came from out-of-state.

porchdog
January 10, 2012, 02:09 PM
Thought I would throw in another opinion. When I have ordered anything on line I have had to pay upfront with plastic. Could you have not offered the gun store a credit card number?

the_hustleman
January 10, 2012, 02:21 PM
That's one way to look at it if you aren't a dealer.

If you are, chances are you have a different view. If two pals walk into the store with a firearm and want to do a transfer, yeah, that's about the size of it.

But when the gun is being shipped in, things get to be more of a hassle. They have to store the gun, have to find and contact the buyer, or wait for a buyer to show up and claim it. There are plenty of times when boxes arrive in the mail with no mention of who the gun is for, or other critical info. So, eventually the buyer is found, or comes in mad that they didn't get a phone call. Then they have to run the NICS call, which the buyer may or may not pass. If the buyer doesn't pass, they have a gun on hand that isn't theirs, can't be given to the buyer, and (if the seller isn't an FFL dealer themselves) can't be shipped back where it came from. Or the buyer looks at the gun, finds some damage that wasn't disclosed, and refuses it. Now what?

To sort out any of these things takes more time, and possibly money to ship things back across the country, all the while dealing with a buyer who isn't actually their customer, but who will feel free to behave as though he/she is. (Being "always right" and such.)

Then there are the folks who want to transfer in firearms which you already have sitting on the shelf, because they think they'll save a few bucks, and who actually may end up paying more by the time their done, but who are just happy not to have had to pay your markup ... which keeps your lights on and employees paid. That one's just rude.

Yes, I do feel that a transfers are part of the business that an owner signs on for when they become an FFL. They should provide that service as it helps keep the whole gun community humming along. But it is NOT a "free money" deal that they should be grateful to get.

If you use a dealer for transfers, try to do your homework so it goes well, be patient and polite, and tell 'em thank you when it's done.


Well, if the gun stores would offer some decent prices we wouldn't have to do this.

I saw an lc9 for 420 in one, not including the 8% sales tax.

Yet I found it on buds for 340.

Factor in the 25 dollar transfer fee, I paid 365.

The online store has to pay employees, keep lights on as well.

Free market.

I don't feel sorry for anyone gouging prices.

It's a free market and they either get it right or get gone.



*swyped from the evo so excuse any typos*

GoWolfpack
January 10, 2012, 02:28 PM
I don't feel sorry for anyone gouging prices.

It's a free market and they either get it right or get gone.



There is no gouging in a free market. There is only a price someone will pay, or a price so high no one will pay.

ErikO
January 10, 2012, 02:34 PM
If doing an internet-based transfer, I'd suggest contacting the LGS before you offer them up as the FFL you're recieving the firearm through. That way you know how much they charge, they have an idea who 'belongs' to said firearm when it comes in and you can arrange for them to perhaps have some goodies on hand when you pick it up. That's exactly what I am doing with a lower reciever I have on lay-away with an internet dealer. I plan on having the LGS order in the parts kit and will pay for that before I come to get the lower when it arrives. They're ok with that, especially since I will be buying an ammo tim of .223 from them the same day.

Then again, this is a gun shop that I have visited and they recognize me when I come in. I haven't made any large purchases there but they are glad to have me as a repeat customer and they appreciate that I have sent a few folks their way that have purchased a few things as well. This shop's bread and butter is the level of gunsmithing that the owner does, he is very good, well priced and very efficient with his time.

the_hustleman
January 10, 2012, 03:03 PM
If doing an internet-based transfer, I'd suggest contacting the LGS before you offer them up as the FFL you're recieving the firearm through. That way you know how much they charge, they have an idea who 'belongs' to said firearm when it comes in and you can arrange for them to perhaps have some goodies on hand when you pick it up. That's exactly what I am doing with a lower reciever I have on lay-away with an internet dealer. I plan on having the LGS order in the parts kit and will pay for that before I come to get the lower when it arrives. They're ok with that, especially since I will be buying an ammo tim of .223 from them the same day.

Then again, this is a gun shop that I have visited and they recognize me when I come in. I haven't made any large purchases there but they are glad to have me as a repeat customer and they appreciate that I have sent a few folks their way that have purchased a few things as well. This shop's bread and butter is the level of gunsmithing that the owner does, he is very good, well priced and very efficient with his time.


What is thee online place that lets you put parts on layaway? Pm me if you'd like.

*swyped from the evo so excuse any typos*

drsfmd
January 10, 2012, 03:32 PM
$25 won't keep the lights on for long, but it comes closer than irritating me by saying you don't do transfers.

I'd rather not do transfers at all than to put up with the entitlement mentality of customers who think they have a right to $25 transfers when I have the same merchandise behind the counter for just a few bucks more. Do you have ANY concept of how many transfers would need to happen to pay the bills?

Markups in this business are in the range of 10-12% or so on new guns (I'm talking about street price, not MSRP). The $25 transfers are done as favors to good customers who are buying items that the shop doesn't have or can't get, not as an entitlement to PITA Internet shoppers who have no loyalty to you or your shop.

When your LGS is gone, why don't you try going to your local Dick's or Walmart and asking for a transfer? Truth is, you don't know how good you have it... and if you think you can do better, open your own shop. Fill it up with a couple million dollars worth of inventory, hire staff, pay outrageous insurance, a mortgage, taxes, and pray that there's enough left over at the end of the month to feed your family... THEN tell me if that $25 transfer is worth putting up with.

Bubbles
January 10, 2012, 04:16 PM
One other thing to remember, is that you don't pay sales tax on a transfered gun that you bought on line.
Four states now require FFL's to collect sales/use tax on transferred guns. I expect more to follow as legislatures realize that there aren't a whole lot of ways their constituents can argue against it, as speaking out against the law is advocating tax evasion.

CZguy
January 10, 2012, 06:49 PM
Actually, what you pay is a state usage tax instead. You may skirt the law and not report it, but that's technically illegal. Some states are now requiring that a usage tax be collected if the purchased item came from out-of-state.

I don't think that Missouri is one of those states yet. We're not real fast at making changes.

Birch Knoll
January 10, 2012, 07:20 PM
Personally, I'd be happy to do nothing but transfers all day long at $25 a pop. While certainly not "free money", transfers don't require me to tie up any capital in inventory costs. Taking that LC9 mentioned earlier, dealer cost is about $300, plus shipping to me. If I sell it for $340, my gross profit is less than $40. But I had to tie up $300 for however long in order to recover my money and make < $40.

With a transfer, on the other hand, it's $25 in my pocket right now, with no investment at all, no time spent showing the customer this gun and that; pure fee-for-service. I'll take that any day of the week.

ShawnC
January 10, 2012, 07:39 PM
Personally, I'd be happy to do nothing but transfers all day long at $25 a pop. While certainly not "free money", transfers don't require me to tie up any capital in inventory costs. Taking that LC9 mentioned earlier, dealer cost is about $300, plus shipping to me. If I sell it for $340, my gross profit is less than $40. But I had to tie up $300 for however long in order to recover my money and make < $40.

With a transfer, on the other hand, it's $25 in my pocket right now, with no investment at all, no time spent showing the customer this gun and that; pure fee-for-service. I'll take that any day of the week.
There's a place that just opened locally that's doing just that. Little or no inventory and almost all transfers, with a few other services. I'm going to stop by there and check them out here soon.

drsfmd
January 10, 2012, 10:32 PM
I don't think that Missouri is one of those states yet. We're not real fast at making changes.

Yes, Missouri is one of those states. They don't collect it at the point of sale, but you are obligated to pay it anyway:

http://dor.mo.gov/business/sales/

Unlike sales tax, which requires a sale at retail in Missouri, use tax is imposed directly upon the person that stores, uses, or consumes tangible personal property in Missouri. Use tax does not apply if the purchase is from a Missouri retailer and subject to Missouri sales tax.

Missouri cannot require out-of-state companies that do not have nexus or a "direct connection" with the state to collect and remit use tax. If an out-of -state seller does not collect use tax from the purchaser, the purchaser is responsible for remitting the use tax to Missouri.

A seller not engaged in business is not required to collect Missouri tax but the purchaser in these instances is responsible for remitting use tax to Missouri. A purchaser is required to file a use tax return if the cumulative purchases subject to use tax exceed two thousand dollars in a calendar year.

drsfmd
January 10, 2012, 10:36 PM
There's a place that just opened locally that's doing just that. Little or no inventory and almost all transfers, with a few other services. I'm going to stop by there and check them out here soon.


That actually makes some sense. My objection is rooted in "customers" who come in and fondle the inventory, then want to transfer it in from somewhere else to try to save a couple of bucks.

whetrock
January 10, 2012, 11:19 PM
I gave up on my LGS as soon as they opened they have a very nice selection and store front however the prices are .... well a bit outlandish. I do most of my shopping online now ( with the exception of used guns ).

tkaction
January 10, 2012, 11:40 PM
I had a great relationship with a LGS and they even let me use my CCard to buy and ship to them. $10 transfer on everything. Boom! one day they said no more and charged $20 transfers. You are never "special" to anyone ....maybe to the wife Even though I would order several a month they didnt care. They started buying from Century themselves and stopped me from it. The old mosins and sks sat on the shelves for months. I was the only one who wanted them and rarely bought at their retail $s again. There should be loyalty but there isn't. Buy the best price no matter where.

rori
January 10, 2012, 11:49 PM
There is no way I would ever buy anything from them again!!!!!!!I have a real problem with stores that only want to sell the high dollar items but not the little stuff that is what really makes the world go around. I could understand if you had never done business with them before but as an established customer I would consider it a slap in the face and never talk to them or go thru their door again. I would also do all I could to smear their name. FRJ

Davek1977
January 11, 2012, 02:37 AM
I would also do all I could to smear their name. You would resort to such immaturity over being asked to pay the same deposit they ask of all their other customers? On what basis? You would actually attempt to ruin a business's reputation because they asked you to make a small deposit on a pair of say $25 grips? Seriously?? You have a right to your opinion, but I think causing such a ruckus over being treated like they treat every other customer is a bit much. don't shop there if you don't want to, but badmouthing a business to anyone who will listen over something so genuinely petty amazes me. You have a right to complain when you've been genuinely wronged....not when you are treated in the same manner as every other customer. If their policies offend you, shop elsewhere, but your reaction seems extreme considering the situation outlined by the OP

B!ngo
January 11, 2012, 02:59 AM
I'm a bit surprised that so many seem to be aligning with the LGS rather than the perspective of the OP. Seems to me that he is a customer in good standing for more than two decades. Has gotten to know the staff and management and has brought many times his own purchases to their firm via referrals and the like. So, as before, when he asks to have a small part ordered, as before, he should continue to expect that no downpayment (in person no less) is required.
I understand that their policy may have changed. And for new customers, so be it. But it's well known in business that the cost of maintaining a customer pales in comparison to the cost of acquiring new customers. That's why in my business (enterprise software/hardware) when a good customer needs a shipment and their business depended on it, we'd put in on the trucks and pay overnight Fed Ex air to ensure their business continuity. This could be a repair, some upgrades or add-ons, new software licenses or whole racks of loaded servers and storage. It's value could be in the millions. But so what? They're a good customer who depends on us. Some weeks later when the urgency subsided, the account owner would meet with them to figure out how much it all was and when it should be payed. No big deal. You do this for your good customers and it has to be a key difference between face to face transactions at a LGS and internet dealings where these things are a lot harder to support.
So, if I were the OP, I'd calmly meet with the manager, ask for his/her perspective and remind he/she of his long-standing relationship with the LGS. If the answer is a dogmatic 'it's the new policy', then I'd call that relationship done with, and only shop there if or when they had a lower price on some desired item. No emotion, no demands. Just understanding the new rules by which they want to play and how it will affect their business and the customers behavior henceforth.
B

SwampWolf
January 11, 2012, 05:09 PM
Actually, what you pay is a state usage tax instead. You may skirt the law and not report it, but that's technically illegal.

Crap! Now I learn that I've been a technical crook. :D

Ghost Tracker
January 16, 2012, 11:30 AM
I'm a bit surprised that so many seem to be aligning with the LGS rather than the perspective of the OP. Seems to me that he is a customer in good standing... Seems to me that if he is such a long-time customer held in such high regard by the staff & owner of the LGS, responsible for multiple referrals, etc. then this thread never would have started to begin with. They would have bought him the grips for his birthday. I don't know the OP or the LGS. But I DO know we've only heard one side of the story and have spent 103 posts guessing wildly at the rest. ;)

natman
January 16, 2012, 11:34 AM
There's not much to take sides about. Taking at a deposit before making a special order is SOP in most gunstores. The only thing that's unusual about it is that the OP's store took so long to make it their policy.

22-rimfire
January 16, 2012, 11:56 AM
Policies not only protect the interest of the business, but as well pretain to our expectations as the customer. The policy establishes certain legal and ethical standards to which we as customers can also rely on. The hand shake and a person's word are about as worthless in today's business forum, as used toilet paper. Don't take it personal, but instead try to interpret it as a more professional business practice.

As a small business owner, I have been stiffed more times than I want to even put on paper and this isn't for $50; I'm talking thousands. A person's word isn't worth much anymore. I still do a fair amount of business on a handshake, but I try to judge one's character on such things and I miss sometimes. MY word is worth more than any written and executed "contract" and I will pay for what I ask other people to do even to the point of restricting my ability to put food on the table.

I think in your case, a $50 order should not have required a deposit. But, if the item is something that they are likely to never sell once they receive it, a deposit at least insures some responsibilty on both ends.

A few stories.... about "business".

I have seldom purchased guns on line. It is not something that I want to do even if I pay more at the local gunshop. But I recently purchased a collector grade gun and a local dealer was going to do the transfer. Everything was upfront-fees etc. But after I agreed to the deal, I was in another local shop who would have done the same transfer for almost half of what I paid. I have purchased guns from the LGS in question, but not the "new" one. This has kind of tilted my thinking about this shop a bit. I am borderline between not doing business with them anymore and forgetting about it competely. But it still affects any personal decision I make when I am driving by to even stop and browse what they have in stock... business...

I have ordered several guns at one LGS and they have not requred me to make a deposit even though I thought it justified. Their trust resulted in my picking it up and paying for the firearm as soon as they notified me the gun came in. I technically could have put the guns on layaway after they came in and paid over time with no interest charge.

Another LGS was supposed to order a gun for me and I never heard anything from them. I called several times and they didn't seem to know what I was talking about. Then a week or so later I drop by and the gun I had them order was in the glass case being handled by other customers... I was very irritated. I bought the gun, but never set foot in their store again. They are out of business now.

Ghost Tracker
January 16, 2012, 03:37 PM
They are out of business now. Right there's the capitalist, free-market system in it's purest form. Let's revisit this a year from now. If the OP's LGS is still doing a brisk business without his patronage, then they don't miss him or his money. If they're a yoga studio/coffee shop then they should have changed their policy & ordered his grips.

NinjaFeint
January 16, 2012, 03:46 PM
The biggest LGS near me has terrible service but great prices. I am not sure about there policy on orders but I can tell you plenty of customers have stopped going there.

I can also tell you that finding a parking spot anytime after 5 or on a weekend is almost impossible. Low prices trump all.

As for your situation, you have to do whatever you are comfortable with. Having been in small business, you get screwed by the regulars just as much as the walk ins. It's worse with the regulars because you want to maintain that relationship yet still get paid for the item you have obtained, not a fun tightrope.

If you enjoyed reading about "Gunstore Opinion" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!