Is this bad behavior in a gun shop


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Brockak47
March 30, 2012, 08:19 PM
A few things really pissed me off today at the gunshop, I like the place up until today. They have good stock on hand and fair prices. ( Bucky O' Neil guns in Prescott, AZ )

I walk in the gun shop with my girlfriend to check on a handgun I ordered and paid in full 2 weeks prior. This is besides the point, but when I went to order he said his dealer had them in stock, now all of a sudden he doesn't know when nor can he find one. ( really annoying since I wanted it yesterday )

I then notice an Arsenal SGL has in there that's 7.62x39, I ask if he has any in 5.45 he says no and tells me I could go to JG sales up the street. I ask why he doesn't have any he then tells me some crap about how that round isn't going to be around long, and that it's not proven ( as if it just came out yesterday ).

Then I looked to see if He had a ruger BX-25 round mag for a 10-22 he did, they were 30 bucks for 1. I said if I were to buy a couple could you come down on price a little since they are online for 20 bucks, and it's tax free. He then puts his arm around me as if I am some noob and walks me over to show me the 2 ruger BX-25 round mags he has that are used, that are still 24 bucks ( again I saw this since they are in the same bin as the new ones. ) I say alright then leave. He follows me out the gunshop and tells me I need to not act like that in there around his customers since it's a little shop and told me to think about it, i did, I don't see what's wrong with simply just asking if they could match a price. There was one old guy in there walked in as I was asking. Like really, I can't ask to if he can match a price

As if I am really taking away from his business since I said they have a sale at midwayusa for 21 bucks instead of his 30 dollars for the ruger mag. ( you may think it's not much , but I wanted to buy a few so 10 bucks difference per mag really adds up ) But anyway he has the nerve to say that, after telling me to go to the gunshop up the street for an Arsenal in 5.45 instead of offering to me he could order one if I wanted it.

IT REALLY PISSED ME OFF:fire:, I am thinking about calling my cc and canceling my purchase i put in the few weeks before for the handgun I wanted, and having a different shop order it for me, and not going back there again.

Am I in the wrong here, in the situations I posted?

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303tom
March 30, 2012, 08:24 PM
I would not go back............and I would tell others.

ObsidianOne
March 30, 2012, 08:24 PM
I vote with my wallet wherever I go. The fact that he treated you as such, I would definitely call and cancel the order, especially since he can't tell you when it's going to take place and I'd never return.
$30 for a BX-25 is absurd and you were completely reasonable to see if he would give you a deal on multiple to try and spend money in a brick and mortar instead of buying online.
Looks like he just lost two sales.
Take your money elsewhere bud, and keep an eye out for the 'Going Out of Business Sale' sign if he treats all of his customers like that.

The Lone Haranguer
March 30, 2012, 08:36 PM
He has some pretty poor social and service skills, all right. The only area that directly impacts you, however, is special ordering a gun, charging your credit card and then not being able (or willing) to get it. Put your arm around him and tell him to either get your gun or refund your card. (You have to give him a chance to do this first before involving your card issuer. Call them or visit their website for proper procedure.)

Another thought: is this an employee, or the owner? If an employee, you may want to suggest to the owner that he (the employee) needs more training.

blarby
March 30, 2012, 08:41 PM
I walk in the gun shop with my girlfriend to check on a handgun I ordered and paid in full 2 weeks prior. This is besides the point, but when I went to order he said his dealer had them in stock, now all of a sudden he doesn't know when nor can he find one. ( really annoying since I wanted it yesterday )

That is NOT besides the point.... did he have your gun ?

If not, did you get your money back ?

Any retailer in this biz who can't handle a haggle without "takin it outside" to someone who has allready plunked down a wad of cash for something he hasn't delivered yet....gets a "d-" in my book.

Rking1960
March 30, 2012, 08:48 PM
I think I would take my receipt and go ask for a refund and after getting it I would tell him that I found one when I went to the lgs up the street like he recommended.

allaroundhunter
March 30, 2012, 09:08 PM
I say get a refund....and go up the street to JG sales as he said to....and never return to his little shop...

Apple a Day
March 30, 2012, 09:15 PM
I don't see the logic in cancelling the previous order. You made a deal, follow through. When you pick it up let the guy know it'll be the last purchase you make there and tell him why, though.

writerinmo
March 30, 2012, 09:18 PM
If you're close enough to JG that you can walk up there, I'd ask why you were doing business with this other guy to start with. From what I've read across the multiple forums that I belong to and lurk at, JG has nothing but good feedback from buyers that I've seen, and very competitive pricing and clear cut policies.

Brockak47
March 30, 2012, 09:19 PM
The only logic in cancelling the order is how he treated me today...

Teachu2
March 30, 2012, 09:24 PM
The only logic in cancelling the order is how he treated me today...

when I went to order he said his dealer had them in stock, now all of a sudden he doesn't know when nor can he find one.

No, the only logic in cancelling the order is that he failed to hold up his end of the deal. He told you he could get one, and hasn't done so. End of story. Cancel the order.

youngda9
March 30, 2012, 09:29 PM
I agree. Cancel your order and buy elsewhere from now on.

danez71
March 30, 2012, 09:57 PM
He could have been more tactful for sure.

In regards to the gun, if your confident another shop will actually deliver and wont be faced with the same hurdles he MAY be having getting it and at the same price... sure.. cancel away.

But regarding the mags... you would have paid $10 in shipping and had to wait. A couple bucks more in shipping for two.


In general....
If the value of having a brick and motor shop is zero.... why did you go there to begin with? Because you needed to weather its his shop or someone elses.

Never hurts to ask is only moderately true. Maybe asking for $55 for 2 would have been more reasonable in his eyes rather than asking him to meet internet pricing and expecting store front convenience.

Omaney
March 30, 2012, 10:01 PM
The first two paragraphs of the OP are enough to turn me off to the LGS. The shop owner basically promised "in stock and ready for delivery". Two weeks later and no product? I call BS!!!

If a vendor is up front about availability I can wait. Make a promise and don't deliver? You better have your Chap-Stick ready cuz you need to do some serious <deleted>.

The-Reaver
March 30, 2012, 10:03 PM
Lol, undereducated LGS...gotta love um.

armoredman
March 30, 2012, 10:13 PM
Do exactly what that dealer recommended you do - go to J&G. Then come back to his shop, preferrably when crowded, and say loudly, "Hey, Jack, remember when you told me to go to J&Gs for that rifle? You were right! They have everything I need, and cheaper, too! Thanks for the recommendation amigo, you saved me a lot of money!"
OK, that might be a little low, but it would sure feel good...

The-Reaver
March 30, 2012, 10:15 PM
Armoredman; I like it. Great idea.

Brockak47
March 30, 2012, 10:17 PM
@ danez71

I waited to order the mags because I wanted to give him a chance to make a sale instead of just going directly online. I didn't ask him to meet their price, I said are you firm on it or can you come down a little since they have them for so much cheaper. He has them for same price as cabelas for crying out loud, not that cabelas is a bad place, but I find all their stuff to be WAY over priced. 29.99 vs 21.99 is quite a difference especially when every 3rd would mean you could have got 4 cheaper online. The tax alone would be as much if not more than the shipping cost.

I wanted to cancel my order because he treated me like a dick. Not really about the speed issue, even though when I asked he made it sound like his dealer had them and it would only be a few days to week.

Husker1911
March 30, 2012, 10:27 PM
The tax may be an issue for you, but he's obligated to charge it. He doesn't have a choice.

CZguy
March 30, 2012, 10:30 PM
I can see that I'm in the minority on this one. I agree that the LGS didn't treat you well. But I wouldn't get angry over it, I would simply ask when he could get the pistol that you ordered. If the time frame wasn't agreeable to you, then ask for a refund, or cancel the order. Then in the fduture deal with someone else.

I guess that what I'm really differing with, is the way most people seem to take offense so easily these days.

bannockburn
March 30, 2012, 10:38 PM
This gunshop owner sounds something like every obnoxious used car salesmen I have ever met. I would cancel the order because he failed to deliver on the gun in a timely manner, and I would never go back there because he acted like a jerk in dealing with you that way. The one thing you can take away from this experience, in a positive light, is to follow his advice and go see if J&G has what your looking for, and if they're easier to deal with than this tactless owner.

newfalguy101
March 30, 2012, 10:44 PM
In defense of the shopowner, its entirely possiblethe gun WAS in stock when he priced it out to you, BUT, was sold out by the time he placed the order ( or was actually out of stock but showing as in stock... ).

That being said, I would cancel the order, head down the road and order it from somebody else, it sounds like you will likely be waiting on it anyway....

Beyond that, I wouldnt bother him with my money again

deadin
March 30, 2012, 10:51 PM
BX-25 at shop 30.00 + ? tax.

BX-25 at Midway 21.99
+ 3.00 special handling
+ 5.19 cheapest shipping
= 30.18 (and the mags are on backorder, so who knows how long to get it.)

On-line isn't always as great as some think.

Certaindeaf
March 30, 2012, 11:04 PM
Vote with your dollars and feet. It's pretty simple.

Grmlin
March 30, 2012, 11:26 PM
Its already been said "he sounds like a used car salesman". If he's already gone past the time he said it would take, then get the refund. I might have done that as soon as he talked down to you if not when he put his arm around around you. On the other hand if you realy like the store and can deal with an idiot just wait till it comes in.

nosmr2
March 30, 2012, 11:32 PM
His behavior was horrible. However, $30 for a BX-25 magazine that you can take home today seems like a good price. Most online vendors are more than that with shipping and that's IF they have it in stock.

danez71
March 31, 2012, 01:42 AM
@ danez71

I waited to order the mags because I wanted to give him a chance to make a sale instead of just going directly online. I didn't ask him to meet their price, I said are you firm on it or can you come down a little since they have them for so much cheaper.
...
...
The tax alone would be as much if not more than the shipping cost.

I wanted to cancel my order because he treated me like a dick. Not really about the speed issue, even though when I asked he made it sound like his dealer had them and it would only be a few days to week.

(edited down)

And that was nice of you to try to support local business. You made it his business to lose. And he lost it.

I dont know about your tax rate but at a hefty 10% on a $30 mag... no way youre getting $3 shipping or $6 shipping for 2 mags.

Like I said... he could have been more tactful. He lost business... and I wouldnt blame you for canceling your other order IF you can get the same deal else where.

BX-25 at shop 30.00 + ? tax.

BX-25 at Midway 21.99
+ 3.00 special handling
+ 5.19 cheapest shipping
= 30.18 (and the mags are on backorder, so who knows how long to get it.)

On-line isn't always as great as some think.

Thats what I'm saying right there. In reality, "special handling" means shipping. Thats $8.19 for shipping one mag from a large online retailer. I betchya its $10+ if it was two mags.

His behavior was horrible. However, $30 for a BX-25 magazine that you can take home today seems like a good price. Most online vendors are more than that with shipping and that's IF they have it in stock.

Another saying the same thing. Bad behavior... not really a bad price.


I'd guess he gets a lot of people asking/saying "I can get it on the internet for blah blah blah" and gets tired hearing it.

It doesnt excuse his attitude but I can see the frustration.

powell&hyde
March 31, 2012, 02:00 AM
I also would not go back and vote with my wallet and go some place else.

JohnKSa
March 31, 2012, 02:19 AM
I guess I'm going to go against the grain.

RE: The order. If he promised the gun by a certain date and hasn't delivered, then you're entitled to be disgruntled. If he didn't provide a delivery date but said something like: "I'll order one for you and call you when it gets here." then I don't know that I'd be upset about a 2wk wait in the current gun-buying situation.

RE: The 5.45 ammo. I've never run into a gun shop owner who didn't have opinions and most are proud to share. If you only buy from folks who agree with you on any topic that comes up, then don't buy from him anymore. Otherwise, he's entitled to any crazy opinion he likes.

RE: The mag pricing. Part 1. Was the price too high? As stated, $30 plus tax for an item in a brick & mortar shop that lists for $20 online isn't a bad price. By the time you pay S&H, you're probably barely breaking even.

RE: The mag pricing. Part 2. Haggling over price. I always ask if the seller can make me a better price on a gun or high-dollar item, but I don't usually haggle for price on accessories. To directly answer your question, yes, I think it's poor manners to made derogatory comments (or comments likely to be taken as derogatory) about pricing in front of a proprietor and his customers.

wishn4more
March 31, 2012, 02:22 AM
I wouldn't mind the guy saying, "Sorry, I priced them that way on purpose." or somesuch. It's another thing altogether for the guy to instruct me not to haggle in his store -- I would be gone, and I would take ALL my business and friends with me.
After he corrected me, I would have requested a refund immediately on the undelivered, PAST DUE, firearm and gone on down the street.

45bthompson
March 31, 2012, 02:48 AM
When things like this happen to me as they do from time to time i usually just get burned by the guy. I just try to stay positive and move on. I figure he will eventually self destruct. That thought makes me happy. Little things like this are not worth your anger. I would take the hit then politely let him know he is a d bag and unless he changes his dick head mentality he will soon be out of business. Then I would walk. And not go back again. I have done this a lot in my area. You prolly have already spent to much emotion on this situation if you took the time to post this. Here is a quick easy outlook on life in general.

Just think.... Nobody tried to kill you today.

Tex4426
March 31, 2012, 03:05 AM
i buy the bx-25 for 20-25 all day from lgs's and gun shows..some had it marked 28-32 but went down to 25 when they found out the guy up the street had them for 25...at my local gun shop i can walk in order what i want and he places the order right there while im waiting to make sure its all good...get your money back order it somewhere else plain and simple...dont reward somebody a sale when he didnt earn it

today at a gun show i asked a guy to run a bore snake through a gun cuz it had something in it..probably just lent but i wasnt dropping $550 until i knew..he crudely looked at it and said i dont see anything and handed it back..every comment he made in that 5 minutes was very rude and he acted like he had something better to do..,so i didnt buy it..the next guy is getting my business

Phaethon
March 31, 2012, 03:26 AM
BX-25 at shop 30.00 + ? tax.

BX-25 at Midway 21.99
+ 3.00 special handling
+ 5.19 cheapest shipping
= 30.18 (and the mags are on backorder, so who knows how long to get it.)

On-line isn't always as great as some think.

Not really. The total shipping via UPS ground is about 9-10$ for several magazines, not for each one, which would mean about an additional 3$ per mag, or around 24$. They're not that big, and shipping is actually pretty cheap. I just ran a test order and it said 3 mags would have cost me $75 with shipping included. The OP indicated that at that rate he would have payed $90; I think it would have been reasonable for the guy to work with the price and maybe bring it down to 25-26$, particularly depending on how many he intended to buy.

Snowdog
March 31, 2012, 05:43 AM
It's quite easy to grow weary of typical gunshop/gunshow antics (pseudo machismo types that we're all familiar with). However, one thing that I have yet to do in a legitimate gunshop is haggle on prices of accessories. I can't see myself ever doing the same at Wal-mart either; their shop, their prices.

The whole "arm on the shoulder" thing leads me to believe he either thought you two were chummier than he should have or has an arrogant demeanor. Either way, perhaps avoid the shop if you have other options.

For me, I don't chew the fat like most others when in a shop, so there's little mistaking that I don't want to get chummy with anyone. I request a price on something I'd like ordered, listen to their price, express interest or offer a simple "I'll pass, but thanks anyway". Perhaps on-line shopping has made me antisocial, but I'm never in a gun shop for more than 15 minutes....

rspeters
March 31, 2012, 06:24 AM
Some might disagree but I don't think there's anything wrong with haggling in a gun shop (within reason). If you know that there's no way you're going to pay the marked price why not give them a chance to come down to a price that does work for both of you. If they can't do it, no problem, just move on.
I would definitely get a refund and go somewhere else...sounds like he lied to you to get you to give him money. He made promises that he was unable to keep, and every day that goes by without delivering on the gun he's basically using your money as a free loan.

Specs
March 31, 2012, 08:28 AM
I would hold off on the extra mags and look for free shipping. Many of the online suppliers have free shipping weekends or somesuch. I always try to scout out the free shipping, and will often increase an order to get it.

Gtimothy
March 31, 2012, 09:18 AM
I would have demanded a refund right on the spot! When he put his arm around you and walked you outside for a chat, it showed that he didn't want you in his shop! I personally hate it when someone touches me in a condescending manner and I certainly wouldn't take it from someone I was trying to do business with. If he feels that he knows you well enough to touch, then he should appreciate the repeat business and not have such a problem with cutting a few dollars off his merchandise. Go somewhere else!

theautobahn
March 31, 2012, 09:23 AM
I wouldn't have a problem if the owner simply said "I'm sorry, the price is the price, we don't haggle" and left it at that. What I really don't like is that he took you outside and basically admonished you for trying to haggle. The policy of the shop shouldn't matter, but how it is explained should. Taking you outside to explain the policy says to me that he has something to be embarrassed about.

As far as the ordered gun, I would go back, explain that because it did not arrive when you expected it (based on the owner's information), you would like your money back. His response to that query would tell you what you need to know about whether to frequent his shop anymore.

Fotno
March 31, 2012, 09:32 AM
I have zero tolerance for shops that don't treat me with respect. I'd cancel that order, take my money elsewhere, and tell others while I was at it. He obviously doesn't want your business.

Friendly, Don't Fire!
March 31, 2012, 09:43 AM
The arm around my shoulder as he is walking me to the magazines, then his "telling me how it is" - as I was leaving would be all that I would need to turn right around, walk in to the register and demand a refund on the gun he ordered that he said would be in whenever and it has not arrived. I would stand there in front of one (or even sixeen) of his loyal customers and would demand my money back on the gun that is not yet there.

Any hassle and I would tell him to make the credit because I am reporting this to my credit card company and I am treating it as a credit whether you do or you don't. I would also tell him that I am now taking his suggestion to go to the other gun store.

I would be quiet, polite, but to the point. The guy might think I am a jerk, what do I care, I will never be in his store again anyway, so who cares what he and his talking friends think??:barf:

deadin
March 31, 2012, 10:23 AM
The total shipping via UPS ground is about 9-10$ for several magazines

I'm sure that if you ordered a gross, you could get better prices all around and then sell most at gunshows to recoup your investment and get your "several" at no cost.:p

Friendly, Don't Fire!
March 31, 2012, 10:32 AM
I'm sure that if you ordered a gross, you could get better prices all around and then sell most at gunshows to recoup your investment and get your "several" at no cost.:p
YES!
Find out how many come on a palette and order the entire palette of them.
You will need a forklift to unload them from the tractor trailer!

At least you would never have to worry about loading another magazine in your life! LOL

Shovelhead
March 31, 2012, 10:51 AM
Quote "He follows me out the gunshop and tells me I need to not act like that in there around his customers since it's a little shop and told me to think about it"

I'd remind him that I was also 'one of his (now former) customers'......and don't look back.

fallout mike
March 31, 2012, 10:55 AM
My lgs before I recently moved was like this. I bought many guns from there. I was in there every other day looking bc they moved a large volume and daily had new inventory. I always dealt with the same guy. When I saw a gun I wanted I would tell him and HE would tell , the price will be xxx out the door, usually 20-40% lower. Now I would usually buy trade ins for those good deals. Point is, I never had to haggle bc they knew when I asked to look at a gun odds were I was gonna buy it, and he treated me the way you should treat a loyal customer. They offered a lifetime warranty on ALL guns in their store, new or used.

drsfmd
March 31, 2012, 02:12 PM
Bad behavior on both parts...

The shop owner didn't treat you with respect. That's a given.

You asked him to match online prices. If he wanted to sell it for less, he would have priced it for less. IMO it's rude to try to get prices dicounted (though appropriate to negotiate vigorously on trade ins)-- especially when you are comparing prices to non-bricks and mortar stores. Would you go to the groceryt store and try to negotiate a price on steak and milk?

Fishslayer
March 31, 2012, 02:18 PM
Lots of "gun guys" aren't "people guys." And a lot of "gun guys" aren't "business guys."

Personally, I make it a point to not mention Walmart, Big5 or online buying in a gun store. It just seems kinda tacky. They have bills the online people don't.

I've found some guns store people to be a bit irritating. I generally don't write off the store, but that particular store might move down my list of places to look for something.

I'm pretty lucky that the LGS in my little town is owned by a straight shooter. His prices on what he carries are usually competetive & I don't mind paying a little more to keep him in business. His shop is the first place I look for something.

And he's nice to my dog, ;)

Voltia
March 31, 2012, 02:28 PM
I don't say much in gun stores. Usually I'll get the 1 min of bs, which, if I try, I can usually counter with one line, which then gets them to shut up and leave me alone.

The physical contact was way out of line. Especially being a condescending SOB while he's at it.

Buzzard II
March 31, 2012, 02:45 PM
My money spends good wherever I go, yours does too. Don't ever pay in full unless you're receiving the goods at that time. Leave a deposit. I would get my deposit back if he can't give a firm delivery date. He can cancel the order without any cost to him from his distributor. If he can't give a firm date, it's because HIS distributor doesn't have it in stock and doesn't know when he'll get one either. I worked in a gun shop for a few years, and the guy should have cut you a deal ,if he could, but not jerked you around if he could not. His cost price is not the same as some store which buys in large quantities, but you should get friendly knowledgable service from him. Good luck. Bob

gtom
March 31, 2012, 02:55 PM
You spent a decent amount of money with him and he treats you like that. Cancel and find a new gun shop.
These peeps forget that they need to earn your business and loyalty. He is a total fail on both.

Nullcone
March 31, 2012, 04:49 PM
I probably wouldn't have attempted the haggling on a small purchase.

Or paid in full for a gun that wasn't in stock; deposit, yes... full, no.

Go down to J&G and buy something. Anything. Just make sure you get a J&G bag/box.

Go down to other LGS and request your money be refunded (set your bag on counter nonchalantly). You paid via CC so get a printout from the register/swiper unit or, if they can't or don't know how to do that, a handwritten one on store paper.

If they balk or won't do that when politely requested, start a dispute/chargeback with the CC company. Merchants HATE chargebacks... if they get too many they can lose their processor or (more likely) have to pay higher transaction fees.

Luck!

Nushif
March 31, 2012, 05:05 PM
The haggling and not coming down wouldn't be an issue to me.

But the moment he puts his arm around me and "tells me how it is" he'd get angry Nushif. And angry Nushif is not cordial, laid back and happy Nushif.

Serenity
March 31, 2012, 05:23 PM
The touching you part is what bothered me the most. Of all the places for someone to get in people's personal space. :confused:

Ragnar Danneskjold
March 31, 2012, 05:36 PM
He would have lost me the moment he put his arm around me. Unless you're an actual friend or family, don't put your hands on me.

HOOfan_1
March 31, 2012, 05:36 PM
It's your money, spend it where you want to spend it. If you gave the whole story, then you didn't do anything wrong. If you feel he mistreated you and you are upset about your previous deal, if the gun hasn't come in and he can't give you a specific time...get a refund, if he won't give it, tell your credit card company to cancel the charge.

He can run his shop however he likes within the law, he can also watch it crash and burn as he loses customers. His shop, his choice. Your money, your choice.

tekarra
March 31, 2012, 06:37 PM
Very condescending behaviour on his part. Pick up your gun, then tell him you will never darken his doorway again and tell him why.

sig228
March 31, 2012, 07:41 PM
Sorry but I'm going against the grain on this one. You are willing to pay gunstore price on a gun (vs a Davidsons or Gunbroker deal) and then haggle him over a $30 magazine which another poster noted that you COULDN'T buy any cheaper online???

If I was the owner I would have thrown you out, refunded your deal (less a fee of course) and asked you not to return.

You probably embarrassed him in front of other customers. You disrespected him in his own house. You deserve everything you got plus more.

I'm not a gunstore owner but I would NEVER throw out the "cheaper online" argument. I would simply look elsewhere.

Local gunstores are a dying breed because of attitudes like yours.

Ragnar Danneskjold
March 31, 2012, 08:14 PM
Telegraph operators were a dying breed not too long after the telephone came out too. It's called creative destruction.

theautobahn
March 31, 2012, 08:18 PM
I'm not a gunstore owner but I would NEVER throw out the "cheaper online" argument. I would simply look elsewhere.

Why not? It never hurts to ask. You shouldn't own a retail establishment if you're going to be insulted every time someone makes you an offer. When I buy tires, I bring the tirerack price (with shipping) and most of the local tire shops will match it.

My LGS has extremely low prices on new and used guns. Most of his used guns are priced extremely competitively. Even so, my buddy will often throw out stupid, lowball offers on used guns. Sometimes they're met with a detailed description of what he can do with sand, but sometimes they lead to some haggling and an even better deal.

HOOfan_1
March 31, 2012, 09:36 PM
If I was the owner I would have thrown you out,
.

Wow...that is a great way to submarine a business....

THAT would be embarrassing. If I were a customer in the store and saw the owner throw someone out for asking for a reasonable quantity discount, I would walk right out the door

I worked full time retail management for 5 years. I heard a bunch of off the wall stuff. Yes some of it even offended me, but I certainly knew how to say no in a way that didn't run paying customers off. Sometimes if it was in my power I even worked out a deal with them.

GLOOB
March 31, 2012, 09:52 PM
If I was the owner I would have thrown you out, refunded your deal (less a fee of course) and asked you not to return.

You probably embarrassed him in front of other customers. You disrespected him in his own house. You deserve everything you got plus more.

So aside from being receiving false promises, paying higher prices, and getting thrown out AND ripped off if one were to unintentionally cause you to feel embarrassment over your uncompetitive prices, what would be the benefit of shopping at your store?

HGM22
March 31, 2012, 10:48 PM
1. You actually are supposed to pay the tax.

2. If a gunshop owner told me he couldn't order something, but the place up the street had it, he'd gain my respect for putting customer service ahead of profit.

rspeters
April 1, 2012, 12:11 AM
Wow, it's pretty apparent who in this thread gets good deals and who doesn't

Tex4426
April 1, 2012, 12:36 AM
i work in retail and the policy is the customer is always right.. period....you make them happy they come back...so what he sells you 2 mags for say 52 bucks then your back in there buying a gun..if i was a owner and i had to take a few dollars less profit on a magazine to keep someone happy then im gonna do it..its called business

JohnBT
April 1, 2012, 09:06 AM
"When I buy tires, I bring the tirerack price (with shipping) and most of the local tire shops will match it."

The tire store guys I know are already well aware of what tires cost on tirerack, etc. They hear it everyday and know what it takes to be competitive.

The gun store guys I know are well aware of what gun stuff costs on line. They have the internet at home, too. :)

At least the dealer took the conversation outside instead of saying his piece in front of other people. Maybe I'm just not thin-skinned enough to be bothered by some stuff. Maybe I'm just hard of hearing. ;)

S&W620
April 1, 2012, 09:30 AM
Attitudes like the one displayed by the shop owner are why LGS's go out of business.

Most of the smaller gun shops in my area are manned by mental midgets who seem to know everything about everything....except common courtesy and the difference between fact and opinion. Most of these guys seem irritated when asked to do anything other than spout off opinions.

The rare shop that does employ friendly, courteous guys gets my business every time, if for nothing more than a transfer fee if they can't match a price.

As far as asking to match a price, that's part of doing business. If the guy doesn't want people to ask for a better price, don't offer goods/services for sale. It's kinda part of the deal and certainly not "offending him in his own house" as has been suggested.

If these type of owners want to take the "my way or the highway" approach, that's fine, most folks will ultimately take the highway.

Gtimothy
April 1, 2012, 09:51 AM
I support my LGS as much as my wallet can tolerate. If I'm looking for something in particular and my LGS has it at a reasonable price over an internet price, I'll buy from them. Reasonable price translates into; price of the item + sales tax + 10%. If this price does not fall within five or ten dollars of the cost to do an online purchase, I pass. I work hard for the few dollars the government lets me keep and I have to spend wisely. If that means I take my business to the competition, so be it!

buck460XVR
April 1, 2012, 09:57 AM
1. You actually are supposed to pay the tax.

2. If a gunshop owner told me he couldn't order something, but the place up the street had it, he'd gain my respect for putting customer service ahead of profit.

That and the fact that because most LGS's don't charge full MSRP for new firearms, they make little profit on new guns. They need to make a profit somewhere to stay in business. Folks claim they want to support the local mom and pop shops, but then whine when they charge what they do to make enough profit to stay in business. Don't matter how nice they are to customers if they don't make a profit. Many times small LGS's can't buy accessories like mags for the price the big internet store can sell them for. Hard to blame a business man for not wanting to sell an item at a loss or zero profit. Gettin' in his face and tellin' him that you can buy it cheaper on line is not news to him.....it is just plain rude.

I always wish when I read these types of threads that we could hear the store-owners side of the story.......

W L Johnson
April 1, 2012, 10:18 AM
I ask if he has any in 5.45 he says no and tells me I could go to JG sales up the street. I ask why he doesn't have any he then tells me some crap about how that round isn't going to be around long, and that it's not proven ( as if it just came out yesterday ).

It only been in front line service for, what now, 38 years. Actually longer than the 7.62x39 was in front line service with SU/Russia.

Calhoun
April 1, 2012, 10:30 AM
The second he made physical contact with me he would have lost all future business, as well as getting a polite but firm elbow to the ribs. Being a condescending <NOT NICE GUY> is one thing, crossing into one's physical space is completely different.

DarkswordDX
April 1, 2012, 12:19 PM
I manage a gun store in the midwest.

I have to resist a burning itch to slap customers in the face when they start talking to me about "online prices." Two things:

A: If it's a new gun we don't run that much of a markup on it, and I don't have any wiggle room unless you're buying a bunch of stuff or placing a big order. We have bills to pay, and if you want us to stick around and have cool stuff to sell you, then we need to be paying them.

B: The internet is a PISS POOR price reference on guns. The majority of the websites that sell firearms on the net all do the same thing: They will list the inventory of one of their big distributors, like RSR, as their own inventory. Then drop-ship the firearms to your FFL from the distributor. These guys have no overhead. No storefront, no warehouse, just a couple jerks with a website and a shipping computer or ten. They pay a fraction of what we pay to stay in business, so they can sell the same gun that I'm selling with a 3% markup and still make money on volume. I have to mark it up by 12% to make the same relative profit after overhead costs.

C: Some online sales, like new guns on Gunbroker, will be posted by other dealers who have been sitting on that gun and are unable to move it, so they'll blow it out on an auction at their wholesale cost to get their money back and clear the shelf space. Yes, I'm going to price match the guy who is selling it at (sometimes even below) cost. I don't like food or gasoline or paying the electric bill or anything.

If you want to haggle with me in our store I'm amiable a lot of the time. But like most shops, the rules of etiquette are:

1: Bring cash. Not debit cards, but paper bills.
2: Be nice about it. Even if I have to shoot you down I'm still cool with you as long as you're a nice guy about it, and if I can I'll try to hook you up with something we can make a deal on.
3: Make your offer reasonable. I'm a lot happier to nibble a chunk of that sales tax off for you than telling me you want my $1100 Sig for $900 because someone online has it cheaper. That extends to:
4: The first time you say "Blahblahblah has it cheaper!" in front of my other customers expect to be told "Then you should go <deleted> buy it there. Don't bother coming back you rude little <deleted>." If you're polite enough to ask me in private I'll be happy to give you an idea why our prices are higher. If you seem like a cool guy sometimes I'll even recommend places you can go that I KNOW can beat our prices, just to help you out. Once in a blue moon I'll even show someone who doesn't believe me our distributor catalog and they can SEE what our cost is for themselves.

We have a sign in the corner of the shop that says "Prices and Availability are subject to change according to customer's attitude." Your demeanour and our wholesale cost is what decides if I can make you a deal or not. If you wave someone else's prices in my face, expect them stuck somewhere and to have to find a new store. Customers can vote with their feet, gun shops can vote with their boots. It's all about attitude.

S&W620
April 1, 2012, 12:51 PM
Darksword, it sounds like you are a bit upset at the fact that those guys have a better business model than you, or so it seems anyway.

You say the price reference is PISS POOR, but that's not true. The only thing that sucks about using internet pricing is that it doesn't benefit you.

No offense, and this isn't personal at all, but I don't give two you know what's about your electric bill, food, gas or store front. That's for you to worry about. I'll worry about my own food, gas and electric bill and order the product online, as you (and those like you) suggest. Then I will find a COURTEOUS LGS owner/manager to make a few bucks on the transfer.

But yeah, you really showed us a thing or two by telling us to <deleted> off.

Nushif
April 1, 2012, 01:07 PM
Darksword, it sounds like you are a bit upset at the fact that those guys have a better business model than you, or so it seems anyway.

Not neccesarily a better business model. He may be catering to buyers who actually like going home with their gun, who like walking into a store, comparing products or even like actually holding a gun and getting *that one.*
Is it a cheaper business model? Sure! But does it provide the SERVICE that a brick and mortar shop does? I could buy a gun online for cheaper. But I want SERVICE with that gun, but I do pay for that.
"Better" "Worse" "Always" "Never" ... harsh words that aren't very useful coming from the human condition, I like to think.

PRM
April 1, 2012, 01:17 PM
We have a sign in the corner of the shop that says "Prices and Availability are subject to change according to customer's attitude."

Nuff Said


LGS... I quit going to them in our area years ago. Got tired of the condescending "know it all" attitudes. Seems to be a reoccurring theme in the smaller stores. My shift away from the LGS to the internet was twofold. First: better prices, Second: was an ordered gun. My LGS ordered a new firearm for me and when it came in, it was defective. It was a breech loader, that would not lock up correctly. I had a pretty heated discussion with the owner's 19 year old son over the sale. He was upset because I would not accept the gun. Even stated in "his time" he had shot lots of breech loaders that were loose and did not lock up tight. I'm always amazed at the lack of people skills some people have and stay in business.


I'd get my money back ~ and not darken their door again. Too easy to get what you need these days to put up with attitudes.

S&W620
April 1, 2012, 01:21 PM
Nushif, if you have no problem paying for that service, more power to you. I'm more of a bottom line type of a guy. My problem with the gentleman's point of view is while he may not be able to compete with internet pricing for a slew of reasons, he (and those like him) may still offer those customers, such as myself, who are more bottom line driven than others, the option of transferring the gun. Sounds like a better option to me that alienating a customer with a good ole "<deleted>"

As far as the "better", I was referring to the fact that the business model requires less overhead/capital/risk to make the same profits. That is, in fact, a better business model. Whether or not that is the type of business that a business owner chooses to use is up to them, but the facts remain the same.

JohnKSa
April 1, 2012, 01:22 PM
Darksword, it sounds like you are a bit upset at the fact that those guys have a better business model than you, or so it seems anyway.
It's a different business model. If you want to do all your business online, you're welcome to do so, but not everyone wants that and those that don't need to understand the reality that the same things that can make an LGS preferable to an online dealer in some respects also make it more expensive to operate.

What Darksword is upset about is people who want it all. They want all the service/interaction they've come to expect from an LGS AND the prices that they see online. It just doesn't work that way. It CAN'T work that way....LGS owner/manager to make a few bucks on the transfer.If everyone thinks that way, it will soon get pretty hard to find an LGS to do transfers. And the ones that do stick it out won't be doing transfers for "a few bucks."

S&W620
April 1, 2012, 01:32 PM
John, I'm not disagreeing with you when it comes to different folks wanting different things from their LGS. I do disagree that you can't have both from a gun store. If folks care to do internet shopping, cater to them. If folks want to come and and do things face to face, cater to them as well. Obviously the selection and prices won't be the same for both parties, but both parties will get what they want. There are two LGS's in my area that do just that. They are more than happy sell you a gun from off the shelf as well as happy to do the transfer. They get my business because of that.

As far as transferring guns becoming more difficult, I'll take my chances and cross that bridge when I come to it.

JohnKSa
April 1, 2012, 01:38 PM
If folks care to do internet shopping, cater to them.Got to keep perspective here. The internet shopping complaint came up over ACCESSORIES, not firearms. There's no way a brick & mortar shop can cater to someone who wants them to price match internet sold accessories. They might be able to do it once in awhile if they get a screaming deal from their wholesaler, but it's not going to happen often. And no one's going to pay them to do transfers for accessories.Obviously the selection and prices won't be the same for both parties,But that's what the OP wants. I want service/interaction/etc. AND I want you to match the prices I get online when I order through an automated system.I'll take my chances and cross that bridge when I come to it.If it does come to it, there won't be any easy or cheap way to cross the bridge. It often pays to plan ahead.There are two LGS's in my area that do just that. They are more than happy sell you a gun from off the shelf as well as happy to do the transfer. They get my business because of that.Next time you're in there, point out an accessory they sell and tell them that you can buy that $5 cheaper online. Be sure to do it in front of another customer.

See how happy they are then.

Serenity
April 1, 2012, 01:39 PM
I guess your method of customer service works for you, or you wouldn't still be in business.

S&W620
April 1, 2012, 02:02 PM
As far as accessories, simply explain the situation, politely, to the customer. Internet prices on any product aren't exactly hidden, anyone with an internet connection can find them so the presence of other customers shouldn't be an issue.

If someone is in the store and is purchasing a particular item, chances are they know what the cost is online and have simply chosen to purchase the item in person for one reason or another. I guess my point to this is that you probably aren't going to be unleashing earth shattering info to anyone who happens to overhear your conversation.

Why should they be upset if someone says "so and so has it cheaper"? Should every car salesman go off on a tirade to every customer who tries to leverage a better deal? Folks are always going to try to work a price down on anything they think they have a shot at. Is that a reason to be insulted? I think not. Simply explain the situation respectfully and allow the customer to make whichever decision is right for them. It may not work out for the LGS in that particular instance, but the customer will probably appreciate the honesty and look their way in the future if possible.

As far as what the OP wanted, he ended up with neither really. The LGS was unable to provide the product (gun previously ordered and ammo), the price (magazine) or the service (attitude, follow up on previous order). Sounds to me like the OP simply wanted a halfway competent individual who would follow through with his order after accepting his money (in full), keep opinions regarding desired ammo to himself and keep his hands off of his person. Doesn't seem like irrational requests to me.

For some reason the LGS seems to be the one place where the the employees seem to think the customers should cater to them, instead of the other way around.

theautobahn
April 1, 2012, 02:46 PM
Do you know what I take from all this? That I'm DARN lucky to have the LGS that I do. I live in Southern Maine and am about 30-45 minutes from both Cabela's and the Kittery Trading Post. I still would try to buy from my LGS as he displays all the traits I'm looking for (and is only five minutes down the road):

He does not charge a transfer fee. He simply asks that you give him first crack at whatever you're buying and if he's within $10-$20, you buy it from him.

His prices on new and used guns are super low (I am always tempted to walk out of there with guns that I have no use for, just because they're such good deals). When ordering a new gun, he throws his wholesale catalog at you and tells you to grab the stock number, whereby you also see the price. I have no doubt that he probably gets a discount off of that, but it makes me feel better that he's so open about it.

His prices on ammo are SUPER low (beats the big stores, including WM on any caliber I'm interested in).

He's knowledgeable. We might not always have the same opinions / tastes, but he always justifies what he says.

His customer service is absolutely top notch. A buddy bought a pistol, had multiple failures to go into battery with both magazines. Instead of sending the new pistol back under warranty, he swapped it out with another brand new gun (after doing new paperwork) and dealt with the factory himself so my friend wouldn't be without the gun (a carry piece) for however long. That right there was reason enough for me to continue patronizing his establishment.

And if you want to look at a gun he has? You just grab it out of the case or off the wall yourself (and yes, I asked - in 20something years nothing has gone missing).

DarkswordDX
April 1, 2012, 04:36 PM
Nushif has the right idea. The old-fashioned mom and pop style gun stores are an endangered breed, but we're also the only place when you can go in and talk to an actual person and handle the actual gun you're thinking of buying.

And when and if you have a problem, we're not a faceless robotic answering machine or cold text in an email, you can actually come in and we'll talk to you face to face and do our damnedest to help you. We appreciate people who appreciate us, and we'll stop just short of doing backflips for our good customers.

Think of it like this: You go into the little mom and pop grocery mart on the corner (if your town even has any of these left) and in front of everyone you hand the owner a Wal-Mart sales flyer and say "Well their eggplants are cheaper, why can't you price match? They must just have a better business model!"

Think the owner would be out of line for thinking you're a disrespectful retard? I get irate when I see people defending that kind of behaviour. It's what is killing, and has killed, many family gun stores over the last two decades.

theautobahn
April 1, 2012, 04:46 PM
And when and if you have a problem, we're not a faceless robotic answering machine or cold text in an email, you can actually come in and we'll talk to you face to face and do our damnedest to help you. We appreciate people who appreciate us, and we'll stop just short of doing backflips for our good customers.

I agree 100%. As an old boss of mine so eloquently put it... "you have someone to grab by the throat when there's an issue". :)


Think of it like this: You go into the little mom and pop grocery mart on the corner (if your town even has any of these left) and in front of everyone you hand the owner a Wal-Mart sales flyer and say "Well their eggplants are cheaper, why can't you price match? They must just have a better business model!"

Point taken, but look at the overall picture. It sounds like the OP frequents this shop. He has a gun on order. If I were a shop owner, I would occasionally make a "break even" deal, or even one in which I lost a couple of dollars to keep a regular customer happy.

And while I certainly would probably consider the customer a disrespectful retard, I would still treat them with respect and explain why I couldn't make the deal they were looking for, not tell them they were an idiot for asking in the first place.

S&W620
April 1, 2012, 05:04 PM
Darksword, the mom and pop shops aren't being killed off by people telling other people about others stores lower prices (the behavior that makes you 'irate'), they are killed off because the other stores actually have lower prices.

As far as the LGS handling problems for me, what is that worth? If I'm spending the money on a new AR and I'm looking at a couple hundred dollar price difference between the internet price and the price from the 'helpful' LGS, I'll go ahead and make the phone calls to the CS rep myself on the CHANCE that I need to do so, and in the process keep the difference for myself. But then again, I'm not sensitive enough to care about cold, faceless emails and answering machines.

rspeters
April 1, 2012, 05:31 PM
I truly believe that a mom and pop shop can survive if they have good enough customer service to make it worth it for people to go to them as opposed to buying online. When a shop has that level of service, their customer base is more loyal, and those customers tell all their friends, who in turn also become loyal customers.

The problem is most gun enthusiasts that open up gun stores have no idea what customer service is, and then they blame their failure on something other than their customer service (such as overhead).

Most online gun shops don't have great customer service either, but they don't need to because of their prices.

happygeek
April 1, 2012, 05:33 PM
I support my LGS as much as my wallet can tolerate. If I'm looking for something in particular and my LGS has it at a reasonable price over an internet price, I'll buy from them. Reasonable price translates into; price of the item + sales tax + 10%. If this price does not fall within five or ten dollars of the cost to do an online purchase, I pass. I work hard for the few dollars the government lets me keep and I have to spend wisely. If that means I take my business to the competition, so be it!


Ya'll must make more money than I do. I wouldn't, and don't if I can avoid it, pay 10% extra on anything. I'm a recreational runner and weightlifter, but I don't patronize the local supplement store. I'm a computer guy as my screen name indicates, but I don't patronize the local computer or video game store (I prefer Newegg and Amazon). Ditto for books.

Indirectly everything competes with everything. If I pay 10% extra for mags, ammo, or books for that matter that's $x less of my disposable income that can go to another book or video game. Why should I pay extra to a re-seller when the Internet enables me to buy directly from the distributor? Some want service, or just want to hang out at the Barnes & Noble coffee shop, it's their life and their money. All I really want is reviews and low prices, and Amazon and Newegg are very good at that.

That said I wouldn't haggle with a LGS owner over a magazine price; chances are I wouldn't be in the store to begin with. I don't bother driving around to 3 or 4 physical stores to price compare, gas isn't exactly free right now, and I can price compare various online stores from the comfort of my recliner without giving OPEC a penny (which also cuts into that aforementioned disposable income).

Edit to add: ordered two used books and a Hex receiver Mosin yesterday, all three items shipping straight to my front door. God bless the Internet.

HOOfan_1
April 1, 2012, 08:17 PM
Think the owner would be out of line for thinking you're a disrespectful retard?.


No, but he is out of line when he chases a guy outside, puts his hands on him and tells him how he should act

The old-fashioned mom and pop style gun stores are an endangered breed

Retail is retail, this is a free market economy, if you want to survive then you learn to deal with competition and you learn to deal with customers you don't agree with. Customer service is as much about how you handle customers you disagree with as it is with making something right when someone has a legitimate beef.

I have been in a few "mom and pop" gun stores that give the frosty attitude as soon as you walk in the door. They don't get my money, and from the people I talk to at the range, they don't get much money at all. I go to the "mom and pop" stores that have a customer friendly attitude, and know how to run a business. There are several great "mom and pop" stores in my area and they are always wall to wall crowded. I'll go to the big box stores where corporate managers demand customer service with a smile before I go to a "mom and pop" where the owners glares at me as soon as I walk in the door. I'm pretty sure if it weren't for the Firearms act of 1968 keeping just anyone from selling a gun, these "mom and pop" stores with condescending attitudes would have been gone long ago.

As a retail manager who has had to swallow my pride plenty of times, I get irate when gun shops, or "mom and pop shops" are given some sort of free pass on the being polite to the customer front.

Some people are acting like the OP was trying to make a 5 finger discount. How hard is it for the owner of the store to say "I can't match that price because I will lose money"...That isn't tough at all...and it certainly isn't out of line. I personally think asking for price match at a retailer short of a car dealership is a little tacky...I wouldn't do it myself, but I am not going to go into a rage because someone does it in my store. If he went in and started loudly stating "your prices suck, I can get better deals there there and there", then it might be time to ask them to leave.

JohnKSa
April 1, 2012, 08:40 PM
Why should they be upset if someone says "so and so has it cheaper"? Should every car salesman go off on a tirade to every customer who tries to leverage a better deal?This describes two different things and neither of them is exactly what the OP did.

It's pretty clear from the original post that what upset the store owner was NOT so much the fact that he made a comment about someone else having it $10 cheaper but the fact that he did so in front of another customer.

Asking/leveraging for a lower price/better deal is one thing. That's generally acceptable although it's a bit out of the ordinary on relatively inexpensive items like accessories. Telling a store owner that someone else sells it cheaper is a bit rude but still within the realm of barely reasonable. Doing all of that in front of another customer is going to make any store owner unhappy. He may be able to handle it constructively, he may not, but either way he won't be smiling inside and I think that we should all be able to understand why.No, but he is out of line when he chases a guy outside, puts his hands on him and tells him how he should actYou might want to read the post again. He put his arm around the guy to lead him to the area with the magazines he was inquiring about, not after "chasing him outside".What I really don't like is that he took you outside and basically admonished you for trying to haggle.Ditto. 1. He did NOT "take the OP outside", he followed the OP outside as he was leaving. 2. The owner did NOT admonish the OP for "trying to haggle", he told him not to tell other customers where/how they could buy stuff for less while in the owner's shop.But the moment he puts his arm around me and "tells me how it is"He did no such thing. He put his arm around the OP to lead him to the area with the mags he inquired about.Telegraph operators were a dying breed not too long after the telephone came out too. It's called creative destruction.Witty... So what's your equally witty model for getting guns once "creative destruction" has eliminated the folks who can do transfers for you?If I were a customer in the store and saw the owner throw someone out...No one was thrown out. Read the original post again. The OP LEFT the store and the owner followed him out, told him that he shouldn't act that way "around his customers" and asked him to think about it.Darksword, the mom and pop shops aren't being killed off by people telling other people about others stores lower prices (the behavior that makes you 'irate'), they are killed off because the other stores actually have lower prices.What kills them off is NOT the lower prices, it's that customers don't understand why it's important to have a few LGS in their area even though an LGS can't match the big box and online store prices.

Serenity
April 1, 2012, 09:50 PM
But customer service is somewhere that they CAN compete and BEAT the big box stores. Instead of taking advantage of that level playing field, apparently some have an adversarial relationship with their customers :confused:

My local LGS is awesome. :cool:

Onward Allusion
April 1, 2012, 10:08 PM
Heh, 2 day old thread and it already has 4 pages. Shop with your wallet. I no longer shop locally because of LGS attitude.

Did you know that CDNN has specials every other week on the Ruger OEM 25 round 10/22 mags? They usually go for $19.99 with a qty 3 limit but shipping is $5.99. Even at Midway, you'd come out ahead if you order 2 or more.

CZguy
April 1, 2012, 11:07 PM
I enjoyed post #87. Good examples of how rumors get started.

I patronise my LGS because I primarily buy used guns, and being able to carefully inspect a gun is very important to me. On the rare occasion that I buy new, I let my LCS do the transfers for me.

I like my dealer........but I'm not related to him.

BSA1
April 2, 2012, 08:05 AM
I walk in the gun shop with my girlfriend to check on a handgun I ordered and paid in full 2 weeks prior. This is besides the point, but when I went to order he said his dealer had them in stock, now all of a sudden he doesn't know when nor can he find one. ( really annoying since I wanted it yesterday )

Apparently you have not been paying attention to the current political situation. Gun and ammunition sales are at record levels with both often out of stock with no backorders. I am reguarly encountering products being listed for sale only to find they are out-of-stock when I call the distributor. I don't see intent on the LGS to defraud you. Your admission is he gave you a good price on the gun. What you don't mention is whether any other LGS have or can get the gun.

I then notice an Arsenal SGL has in there that's 7.62x39, I ask if he has any in 5.45 he says no and tells me I could go to JG sales up the street. I ask why he doesn't have any he then tells me some crap about how that round isn't going to be around long, and that it's not proven ( as if it just came out yesterday ).

I don't see the problem here. He not only told you he didn't have the product in stock and referred you to a competitor that does.

As for him not stocking your favorite ammo it is always easy to criticize when it isn't your money tied up in inventory.

Then I looked to see if He had a ruger BX-25 round mag for a 10-22 he did, they were 30 bucks for 1. I said if I were to buy a couple could you come down on price a little since they are online for 20 bucks, and it's tax free. He then puts his arm around me as if I am some noob and walks me over to show me the 2 ruger BX-25 round mags he has that are used, that are still 24 bucks ( again I saw this since they are in the same bin as the new ones. ) I say alright then leave.

Well kiss my rebel backside. The nerve of him to sell a product at suggested retail. I know if I was him I sure would appreciated you coming into my store and telling my customers how overpriced I am. Gee, here is another store having the to charge retail price;
http://www.cabelas.com/product/Ruger174-BX-258482-Magazine/1229746.uts?Ntk=AllProducts&searchPath=%2Fcatalog%2Fsearch.cmd%3Fform_state%3DsearchForm%26N%3D0%26fsch%3Dtrue%26Ntk%3DAllProducts%26Ntt%3Druger%2Bbx-25%26WTz_l%3DHeader%253BSearch-All%2BProducts%26x%3D24%26y%3D10&Ntt=ruger+bx-25&WTz_l=Header%3BSearch-All+Products

He follows me out the gunshop and tells me I need to not act like that in there around his customers since it's a little shop and told me to think about it, i did, I don't see what's wrong with simply just asking if they could match a price. There was one old guy in there walked in as I was asking. Like really, I can't ask to if he can match a price

He had the courtesy to talk to you in private whereas your idea was to criticize him in the presence of his customers. Maybe the old guy which you look down on had a wallet full of cash. In my part of the country old guys like that are often farmers with lots of disposable income.

As if I am really taking away from his business since I said they have a sale at midwayusa for 21 bucks instead of his 30 dollars for the ruger mag. ( you may think it's not much , but I wanted to buy a few so 10 bucks difference per mag really adds up ) But anyway he has the nerve to say that, after telling me to go to the gunshop up the street for an Arsenal in 5.45 instead of offering to me he could order one if I wanted it.

IT REALLY PISSED ME OFF, I am thinking about calling my cc and canceling my purchase i put in the few weeks before for the handgun I wanted, and having a different shop order it for me, and not going back there again.

Am I in the wrong here, in the situations I posted?

You are doing your best to get even for your hurt feelings by bad mouthing him on discussion forums (I see you had no problem posting the name and location of his shop) and putting him out of business. You absolutely should cancel your order as part of your effort to get even with him.

AND WE WONDER WHY MORE AND MORE LGS's ARE GOING OUT-OF-BUSINESS.

Friendly, Don't Fire!
April 2, 2012, 08:07 AM
I called my LGS a couple years ago, asked for the price on a certain pistol. The guy told me the price, I felt it was reasonable and told him to go ahead and order it.

The gun came in about a week later, I get a telephone call to come in and get it. I go in and find that the price quoted me is not really the price, as "the new guy behind the counter" didn't know that he was giving me the wrong price.

So, I have the opportunity to buy the gun for about $29 more than I had planned (that is, $29 more than was quoted to me), or I can refuse to purchase the gun altogether, or I can demand that the gun be sold for the price quoted me.

Since I took the time to drive over to the store and since the store now had the gun sitting on the counter, I preferred to go ahead and buy the gun, however, I demanded that the gun be sold for the price quoted me. I did this in front of several other customers who hang out there.

Yes, the gun store OWNER was upset and angry, however I cannot control how his workers treat customers when the OWNER is not there:uhoh:. I also cannot control just how the guy behind the counter figures the price of a new gun:o.

I would not have even ordered the thing had I known beforehand that it was going to be that much more expensive, as I had been shopping around and was aware of what the going rate was of that particular gun in my area.:)

Ragnar Danneskjold
April 2, 2012, 10:10 AM
AND WE WONDER WHY MORE AND MORE LGS's ARE GOING OUT-OF-BUSINESS.

I don't. It's an outdated business model. No one wondered why the Pony Express went out of business.

ForumSurfer
April 2, 2012, 10:37 AM
The nerve of him to sell a product at suggested retail. I know if I was him I sure would appreciated you coming into my store and telling my customers how overpriced I am. Gee, here is another store having the to charge retail price;

You're right. That makes it totally OK to charge %20 more than competitors. We all know suggested retail is the suggested "you paid too much price." That being said, many accessories are hard to find and suggest retail is becoming more common place.

My LGS can't beat online prices on accessories. I still buy from them if they have what I want in stock because they are good people. If he were to put his arm around me and walk me over to something I'd already looked at, then follow me outside (without properly asking "Hey, could I have a word with you alone?)...yeah, we'd have a problem. That's rude if you ask me. A simple "Bud, these are getting hard to get my hands on...the price you see is the price you get" would have sufficed. Don't put your hands on me like you're my long lost brother (unless you are)...a hand shake and a pat on the back will do...and don't follow me outside concerning business in the store.

I'll spend my money happily at an LGS where the people are good people. However, I won't pay %25 over Brownells or Midway no matter how nice you are and I won't order a product if the LGS isn't sure when or where they can get it.

BSA1
April 2, 2012, 11:08 AM
The general feeling I get is run the s.o.b. out of business. Of course when that happens there is one less FFL dealer to buy guns through. One less dealer means less competition and less need to be competitive on prices and no doubts brings smiles to the anti-gunners.

Tex4426
April 2, 2012, 11:10 AM
@ friendly ...I had the same thing happen to me but he realized it was his fault and sold it to me at the quoted price

rellascout
April 2, 2012, 11:20 AM
Witty... So what's your equally witty model for getting guns once "creative destruction" has eliminated the folks who can do transfers for you?.....

What kills them off is NOT the lower prices, it's that customers don't understand why it's important to have a few LGS in their area even though an LGS can't match the big box and online store prices.



I think you are wrong on this point. It is not that all the FFLs are going to go away and there will be no one to do transfers. It is that the business model of the local FFL will change or they will go out of business and be replaced by those who understand the new business enviroment of guns. In all business when the market changes some adapt and survive others fail but in the end most are replaced by new models based on current conditions.

The days of a large shop with tons of inventory are over and its not just guns. Ask Best Buy how well the big box playbook is working for them these days.... :eek: When the old shops running the old model go out of business they will be replaced by new shops with a different business model.

I see this in my town in WV. The old established FFL who sells at MSRP is not growing. He is barely keeping his head above water. 90% of the stock is the same from one week to the next. Many people go there out of habit but people new to the area will not pay his prices. He will not do transfers for anything he has in stock. He is clinging to the old way and in the end as the local gun consumer becomes better educated he will have to adapt or he will go under.

People who are new to the area or have access to knowledge basis like THR do not shop at the big FFL in town anymore. They have found a new source which is a small format FFL who has 1/3 of the stock on hand. He stocks only what moves quickly and orders the rest. He has grown in the last 2 years from a table top guy doing shows to a full time retailer. He has grown the right way selling guns for a reasonable mark up. taking guns in trade, ordering guns and doing transfer at a reasonable price.

He does $10 transfers and uses every single one of them as an opportunity to grow his business. He will ship your gun to another FFL for the same $10 plus the cost of USPS. He understands the current FFL market. His business is growing. He is adding people and expanding hours. He understands that if he can make $$$ on every interaction even if its only $10 its good for him in the long run. He does not have to be everything to everyone. He has to be smart and turn over his inventory fast. He is able to get within a few dollars of online guys like Buds because he has kept his overhead low.If you ask he will meet or beat a lot of online pricing and if he can't he will complete your transfer for $10 with a simle on his face.

He uses gunbroker to reach a larger customer base and on got to have it now items like the Ruger 1911s improves his margin when he does not have a local buyer on the waiting list. He has had online buyers pay $850 Buy it now for these guns when his reserve was $650. He keeps his business lean and in a business world where the fast eat the slow this is the way a new breed of FFLs will not only survive but thrive.

The old way is dying and if they are not willing to change they will become extinct and I for one will not morn them. The concept that there will be no one to do your transfers is a red herring. It is nothing more than that. We do not and IMHO will not have to put up with poor service and inflated prices in order to be able to transfer firearms now or in the future....

ForumSurfer
April 2, 2012, 11:27 AM
I agree with Rella, but I would like to add a point.

The "new" way requires much, much more work on the dealer's part. More transfers (because the ffl up the street charges $25+ dollars hoping to discourage online purchases) so more paperwork, online ads require time spent writing/photographing and researching prices to stay competitive costs time.

I have seen one local store take this approach. Within a matter of months they went from a quiet little shop to being so busy it is actually hard to get a salesperson.

Ragnar Danneskjold
April 2, 2012, 11:46 AM
Witty... So what's your equally witty model for getting guns once "creative destruction" has eliminated the folks who can do transfers for you?.....

What kills them off is NOT the lower prices, it's that customers don't understand why it's important to have a few LGS in their area even though an LGS can't match the big box and online store prices.


rellascout nailed it. You don't need a large brick and mortar store with tons of overhead costs to run a gun business. That's what you had to do 30 years ago, and the old timers running gun stores now haven't quite figured out that they need to change. A FFL is just a guy with a license. Take away the storefront, the large inventory of guns, hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of holsters and accessories, and underneath it is just a guy who is licensed to do transfers. And the smart ones are figuring out that's all they really need. People are getting the holsters, accessories and even guns online. Just like Blockbuster video, once a consumer base moves to getting the product online, those who sold it at a physical store lose. Nobody buys DVDs at the video store anymore. And gun owners are buying thier holsters and magazines online more and more. The smart FFL knows to trim down and stick to the stuff consumers need him for: transferring guns. Everything else is out of his league at this point.

dajowi
April 2, 2012, 03:21 PM
A friend of mine took his daughter to a LGS to look for a couple of spare magazine for her Glock pistol. She spied a used holster in his "holster barrel." and wanted to purchase it. He wouldn't take off a lousy $5.00 off the purchase price. So she skipped buying it. I think this guy looses a lot of money by being so hard nosed. Unfortunately I've seen a lot of gun shops and gun show vendors loose money by being this way.

drcook
April 2, 2012, 03:31 PM
There are a couple (maybe 3) stores around here that formed a buyer's group so that their volume is up so they get better prices. They also carry safes, clothes (men's and women's), shoes, fishing equipment and other outdoor related goods so that they don't have to rely solely on selling firearms. One of the is doing so good, that they are opening their 3rd store. They also recieve firearms for folks.

I think some of the gunstore owners are members of the F.E.S. (Flat Earth Society) and simply can't believe you won't fall off the edge of the world if you go there.

Certaindeaf
April 2, 2012, 04:08 PM
^
I think that's the "No soup for you!" society. All's fair.

rellascout
April 2, 2012, 04:52 PM
A friend of mine took his daughter to a LGS to look for a couple of spare magazine for her Glock pistol. She spied a used holster in his "holster barrel." and wanted to purchase it. He wouldn't take off a lousy $5.00 off the purchase price. So she skipped buying it. I think this guy looses a lot of money by being so hard nosed. Unfortunately I've seen a lot of gun shops and gun show vendors loose money by being this way.

If $5 is lousy why wouldn't she have just bought it at the asking price... :what:

The door swings both ways. LOL

SkyFreek60
April 2, 2012, 05:09 PM
^ exactly my thoughts... just ran into the same sitation a week ago where i didn't purchase something over $5. It has to come out of someone's pocket and it wasn't going to be mine but i don't have any resentment for the seller not wanting to drop $5 either.

I also vote the orginal OP would be justified in canxing and never going back.

SwampWolf
April 2, 2012, 05:23 PM
Do you know what I take from all this? That I'm DARN lucky to have the LGS that I do.

After reading the entirety of your post, theautobahn, I have to agree: You certainly are "...DARN lucky to have the LGS that (you) do..." I only wish that your retailer lived closer to me. :(

JohnKSa
April 2, 2012, 10:23 PM
Since I took the time to drive over to the store and since the store now had the gun sitting on the counter, I preferred to go ahead and buy the gun, however, I demanded that the gun be sold for the price quoted me. I did this in front of several other customers who hang out there.Being quoted a price and then being asked to pay more is pretty poor behavior. At that point, you were probably justified in making a public scene. However, what you describe as happening to you is nothing at all like what happened to the OP.The old way is dying and if they are not willing to change they will become extinct and I for one will not morn them. You'll mourn them the first time you want to handle a gun and look at it before actually ordering one and can't because everyone's following your new business model.

I'll say it again because it's worth repeating and worth thinking about. What's hurting LGS most is that many people don't understand why it's important to have a few LGS in their area even though an LGS can't match the big box and online store prices.

oneounceload
April 2, 2012, 10:38 PM
What's hurting LGS most is that many people don't understand

What it takes to run a business because they are mostly minimum wage workers who have NO idea what it takes to run one; yet I bet they would have a FIT if their boss said work for free - which is what they are asking the store owner to do every time they expect something for free

As to the poster mentioning CDNN - without someone to transfer that gun to you, their great deal means nothing

maybe some of these folks should go open their own gun shop since they seem to have such a great idea how easy it is and how cheap it is to sell guns

drsfmd
April 2, 2012, 10:52 PM
I called my LGS a couple years ago, asked for the price on a certain pistol. The guy told me the price, I felt it was reasonable and told him to go ahead and order it.

The gun came in about a week later, I get a telephone call to come in and get it. I go in and find that the price quoted me is not really the price, as "the new guy behind the counter" didn't know that he was giving me the wrong price.

People like you are the reason that most shops won't quote any prices on the phone.

Ragnar Danneskjold
April 2, 2012, 11:52 PM
People like you are the reason that most shops won't quote any prices on the phone.


How dare he not be ok with a bait and switch price scam.

drsfmd
April 3, 2012, 12:28 AM
How dare he not be ok with a bait and switch price scam.

Could have been a lot of other things... maybe it wasn't available from the usual source, but was available elsewhere for a little more money. Maybe the sales guy just made an honest mistake, and didnt add the markup to the gun (you'd be surprised how many guns make a profit of as little as $29 for the shop). Don't always assume that your LGS is an enemy trying to rip you off.

asia331
April 3, 2012, 01:14 AM
no entry

SharkHat
April 3, 2012, 10:56 AM
Could have been a lot of other things... maybe it wasn't available from the usual source, but was available elsewhere for a little more money. Maybe the sales guy just made an honest mistake, and didnt add the markup to the gun (you'd be surprised how many guns make a profit of as little as $29 for the shop). Don't always assume that your LGS is an enemy trying to rip you off.

If it wasn't available and they had to order from somewhere else at a higher cost, then they should have contacted the buyer BEFORE ordering to make sure that he was okay with the price change, or eat the difference. Any change to the quoted price should be communicated before you reach the register.

rspeters
April 3, 2012, 11:40 AM
^ that just makes too much sense.

X-Rap
April 3, 2012, 11:44 AM
I have simple purchase models,
If buying in quantities ask for manager/owner and see if they have a bulk rate.
If buying used have a % in mind that allows some profit for the seller as well as a good deal for me. (this comes from experience and knowledge of the local market)
If buying from a pawn shop or individual with no warranty implied I am pretty ruthless especially with a pawn broker, they often get their merchandise for pennies on the dollar so I base my purchases on that.


I don't believe one can wholly base prices on the internet since time is worth something to everyone, shipping and availability are often not factored in comparisons, and having a brick and mortar shop is priceless.

rellascout
April 3, 2012, 04:48 PM
You'll mourn them the first time you want to handle a gun and look at it before actually ordering one and can't because everyone's following your new business model.

I'll say it again because it's worth repeating and worth thinking about. What's hurting LGS most is that many people don't understand why it's important to have a few LGS in their area even though an LGS can't match the big box and online store prices.

No I won't. You can continue to say the same thing again and again but it will not make it right. Sorry bro you are eating on old cheese. Time to put your running shoes back on and get into the maze.... LOL

There are plenty of ways to get your hands on the latest and the greatest. The smart small format stores like my local seek them out because they are the type of inventory that moves quickly. For example I looked over yet another Ruger 1911 at my small FFL yesterday. In the end if I wanted one I could have had one for $650... but I dont.

In the end for me personally there are so few new things that interest me and most of them are available at my small local format store just as easily if not easier than the larger format one. Trying to be everything to everyone does not mean they will have what I am looking for.

These people did not give a crap about us when they held a virtual price monopoly over their local markets. Honestly are you proposing that we prop up business with failed business models who cannot compete in the changing free market?

rellascout
April 3, 2012, 04:58 PM
What it takes to run a business because they are mostly minimum wage workers who have NO idea what it takes to run one; yet I bet they would have a FIT if their boss said work for free - which is what they are asking the store owner to do every time they expect something for free

As to the poster mentioning CDNN - without someone to transfer that gun to you, their great deal means nothing

maybe some of these folks should go open their own gun shop since they seem to have such a great idea how easy it is and how cheap it is to sell guns

Sorry but you are making assumptions which may or may not be true while at the same time insulting other members of THR... Way to keep it classy.... I have been the owner of a small business which at its height grossed over a 1 Million dollars a year for multiple years. Employed 6 people and paid all of them a solid wage. We had a local and national presence and did more with less than every single one of our competitors. We grew the business but in the end the market for our products changed. We hit a ceiling and the market dropped out. Sorry but the old style big inventory FFL is living on stale cheese and are bitter because they believed that it would last forever. I know the feeling but in the end when your market changes you put on our running shoes and get back in the maze and started looking for new cheese. We changed the business model revamped the business and I sold my portion to move on to other things.

I have contemplated getting a FFL in the near future after I move in the next 6 months. I believe that there is a growing number of people with and interest in guns who have real business experience who can run a successful business using the model I have outlined. You can disagree with it. You can think its foolish but IMHO it has a better chance of working than the old model does..... YMMV

thorazine
April 3, 2012, 06:42 PM
Is this bad behavior in a gun shop

Here I thought this topic was going to be about a bunch of college girls having a wet tee shirt contest inside a local gun store. :cuss:

CZguy
April 3, 2012, 11:23 PM
Sorry bro you are eating on old cheese

Now that was descriptive.......you can almost taste it. :D

JohnKSa
April 4, 2012, 12:29 AM
The smart small format stores like my local seek them out because they are the type of inventory that moves quickly.If you honestly believe that you'll never want anything other than what moves quickly then your new business model will work for you. The first time you want something that's not so mainstream, things won't go quite as well.In the end for me personally there are so few new things that interest me and most of them are available at my small local format store just as easily if not easier than the larger format one.1. Just because you're not often interested by new things doesn't mean that everyone feels the same way.

2. I emphasized the part of the quote that indicates that you actually do understand that the new business model won't/doesn't always work for you.Trying to be everything to everyone does not mean they will have what I am looking for. No, but having several traditional LGS in an area will definitely help insure that people can look at things they're interested in buying because inventory and philosophy varies from LGS to LGS and because the traditional LGS is based, at least to some extent, on catering to the customer even if it means stocking some items that don't move well.

Your new LGS business model that strives to match online pricing has much less chance of having what folks are looking for on hand. Sure, it will probably work for most people most of the time, but the fact remains that if we allow this new format to take over we will have to give things up. As mentioned above, you're arguing for this new format and in spite of that even you have already admitted that it has failed you in the past....it has a better chance of working than the old model does....It will work great for the business owner. It will work well for the "average gun buyer". It won't be so great for those who aren't the "average gun buyer".No I won't.Your own words have already proven that this new business model has already failed you on occasion.

So unless you like going to a shop and not being able to handle what you want to buy, unless you like a business model that you know is more likely to fail you as a buyer when it comes to selection/etc., you will be disappointed/unhappy on at least some occasions when/if the new business model takes over. Therefore, it seems a safe bet to say that at some point in the future you will mourn (however slightly) the loss of traditional LGS even though you clearly don't want to admit it right now. ;)

Maybe you're different, but the real issue here is that what a lot of people want is to feel good about using the LGS as a selection tool and then buying online or from one of the "smart small format stores" where they can get the good price that the LGS can't provide because it's also in the business of helping buyers decide what they want and what fits them as opposed to just moving guns at the lowest prices possible. They want it all.

I see a lot of rationalization about why it's a good idea for LGS to go out of business and become obsolete, why it's a good idea for "smart small format stores" to take over. The problem is that we, as gun buyers, will be giving things up when that happens and some of the things we give up will be things we will miss.

BSA1
April 4, 2012, 08:41 AM
You'll mourn them the first time you want to handle a gun and look at it before actually ordering one and can't because everyone's following your new business model.

I'll say it again because it's worth repeating and worth thinking about. What's hurting LGS most is that many people don't understand why it's important to have a few LGS in their area even though an LGS can't match the big box and online store prices.

It is as tough business world out there thats for sure. More so with firearms where anyone can know what you paid for the gun in the display case. Then they think the $25.00 you are trying to make is too much and they also want you to give them a free $20 magazine.

A on-line store model certainly has lot of advantages, all you need is computer, a website and ffl but it seems to me that before ordering a gun the buyer will want to handle one. It would be interesting to know how many times a buyer handles a gun before purchasing it.

One area your model totally ovelooks is used gun sales. The LGS's in my area focus mainly on the self defense and black rifle market. Recreational shooting and used gun sales are ignored. Not only would you make more markup on used guns but it may be a nitch that needs to be filled. Not everyone wants to pay for a new gun when a good used police trade-in that is going to spend most of its life in the nightstand will meet their needs.

I admit missing not being able to walk into a shop and not being able to drool over used guns. It is a like a saddel shop I do a lot of business with (five saddles, saddle pads and blankts and a wall full of tack). I walked in the other day and the shop had a wonderful (at least to me) smell of fresh leather. Yes I can buy saddles and tack online but where would I get that wonderful smell?

Friendly, Don't Fire!
April 4, 2012, 09:05 AM
I had a friend purchase a Mossberg 500 12 gauge pump from the LGS. I told him to be SURE he gets the Mossberg, 12 Gauge. Two weeks go by, the gun comes in, I see it and it is some knockoff of Mossberg and definitely was NOT a Mossberg! Immediately, I showed him how the Turks had made it, a bit rough all around.:barf: However, he was paying for a Mossberg, not some cheapo copy of Mossberg. He demanded that it be a Mossberg and the gun store owner said "they are all the same."

The gun store owner was taking advantage of my friend's lack of knowledge when it comes to guns! It was Bait & Switch at its WORST!

They are identical?
Oh, REALLY?:uhoh:
The cheapo Mossberg Knockoff is exactly the same as a Mossberg?:confused:

Huh, so we can buy replacement Mossberg Parts and they will bolt right onto an El Cheapo Knockoff (ECK)?

Well, he sure fooled me, I would not think the parts are interchangeable, at all, but then, what do I know, I am only a CUSTOMER.:o

drsfmd
April 4, 2012, 10:26 AM
If your LGS is so small that they need to order a Mossberg 500 for you, they won't be around long... they don't have enough cash flow to keep the engine moving...

ErikO
April 4, 2012, 10:51 AM
I'm spoiled. My FLGS is 30-ish minutes away bt the guy that runs it is a total self-starter; he worked as a part-time gunsmith to make money for his daughters' college. When they were both firmly ensconced at school, he switched gears and opened his shop. Zero loan money, not beholden to a financial institution at all. He's literally built his business from scratch and treats everyone that comes in as a repeat customer even if they've either never been in or else just bought ammo from him.

He has consignment guns as well as new stock. He set up dealership agreements with several manufacturers so he has a fast pipeline to their guns and parts. Prices are good; he can beat Davidsons on handguns almost every day no matter the model and is a Davidson's seller as well with lower prices every time than the others in my area.

Zero attitude, loves talking guns and safety and politics never really seem to matter. I feel comfortable there so it becomes easy to pull out my wallet and open it up when I'm there.

Friendly, Don't Fire!
April 4, 2012, 11:11 AM
If your LGS is so small that they need to order a Mossberg 500 for you, they won't be around long... they don't have enough cash flow to keep the engine moving...
Amen.
Well stated!
Thanks! I needed that this morning!

SharkHat
April 4, 2012, 11:35 AM
Which shop is that ErikO?

ErikO
April 4, 2012, 12:12 PM
Which shop is that ErikO?
M & M Guns and Supplies, LLC in St Peter's. Mr Medsker's a real stand-up guy.

rellascout
April 4, 2012, 01:01 PM
So unless you like going to a shop and not being able to handle what you want to buy, unless you like a business model that you know is more likely to fail you as a buyer when it comes to selection/etc., you will be disappointed/unhappy on at least some occasions when/if the new business model takes over. Therefore, it seems a safe bet to say that at some point in the future you will mourn (however slightly) the loss of traditional LGS even though you clearly don't want to admit it right now.

Maybe you're different, but the real issue here is that what a lot of people want is to feel good about using the LGS as a selection tool and then buying online or from one of the "smart small format stores" where they can get the good price that the LGS can't provide because it's also in the business of helping buyers decide what they want and what fits them as opposed to just moving guns at the lowest prices possible. They want it all.

I see a lot of rationalization about why it's a good idea for LGS to go out of business and become obsolete, why it's a good idea for "smart small format stores" to take over. The problem is that we, as gun buyers, will be giving things up when that happens and some of the things we give up will be things we will miss.


My preferred guns shop has not failed me in anyway. You are living in a fantasy land if you think that every LGS conducts business in the manner you have described. Are you actually attempting to put forth the belief that no one has ever been dissappointed with the an old format LGS? There are threads after threads illustrating the displeasure with FFL after FFL. The THR is littered with horror stories. Stop trying to speak for all gun owners. I personally do not need to always hold and handle everything I am purchasing. Maybe its a generational thing. You continue to assume that your needs are everyones needs. Why the arrogance? The way you are comfortable buying may or may not be the same as mine. I am not saying that all FFLs have to change their business model. If they can make the old one work more power to them.

I just do not want to hear them complaining that they cannot charge the inflated margins that they used to be able to charge. I also think is wrong is telling the gun community should subsidize the LGS by overpay for their products so that their neighbor can touch and feel a gun before purchasing it.

Again I am not telling you that you should not subsidize them. Again stop dancing around the question. Are you saying we should? It surely seems that way to me.

BSA1
April 4, 2012, 04:00 PM
rellascout,

You are a very tough customer by deciding how much money (notice I did not say profit) a dealer should be able to make on a gun sale. Are there any other businesses that you decide how much money they should make on a sale?

It may be my age showing but I enjoy owning a shooting a lot of different guns. A lot of the time when I walk into a gun shop I don't know what I want til I see it, handled it and lust for it. I know a lot of other shooters the same way. And gun shows are full of buyers like that. As you get older you may (probably) find your interests in guns change and Internets sales won't meet your desires.

rellascout
April 4, 2012, 05:24 PM
rellascout,

You are a very tough customer by deciding how much money (notice I did not say profit) a dealer should be able to make on a gun sale. Are there any other businesses that you decide how much money they should make on a sale?

I do not determine what amount of profit a particular business makes the market does. If I can get a Colt Gold Cup for $1050 from my Colt guy in AK and have it shipped to my FFL and transferred for $10 I have not "decided" anything but where to spend my money. In the end as a consumer I make this decision every single time I make a purchase. If someone is overpriced IMHO then I do not buy from them. They are free to drop the price or not sell it to me. That does not mean they will not sell it but if I am paying more $$$$ than I have to there better be a tangible reason or else I am subsidizing that business out of the goodness of my heart. This is a valid choice but just not one I am willing to make with the LGS I have encountered. They are not looking out for me why would I look out for them. We are not best friends we have a business relationship. This does not mean I do not refer people to the good shops I have used. I do. I recommend them all the time if I think they deserve it.

It may be my age showing but I enjoy owning a shooting a lot of different guns. A lot of the time when I walk into a gun shop I don't know what I want til I see it, handled it and lust for it. I know a lot of other shooters the same way. And gun shows are full of buyers like that. As you get older you may (probably) find your interests in guns change and Internets sales won't meet your desires.

If that is the way you purchase things have at it. I have not said that your way of hold and touching before buying is wrong I have stated that a large segment of the market has moved to a different model and that there are new FFLs taking advantage of that. I am not hear to tell anyone how they have to buy or how they have to run their business. I just do not want to hear people complaining that their LGS can't cut it in the market place anymore. My response to that is adapt or die.

I complete disagree with people like JohnKSa who seem to want to use a slippery slope red herring in order to get us to pay more than we have to for guns because he prefers the old school way to run a LGS.

Its funny because my choice in variety is what drives me to the internet. There is no way my local FFLs is every going to have the variety that I can find on the web. It has nothing to do with age. I have a diverse collection which could not have been built using only the LGS. YMMV and clearly it does.

cyclopsshooter
April 4, 2012, 06:03 PM
reallascout.. you're language comes off as abrasive, it may or may not be intended, but it seems to be a theme

Ragnar Danneskjold
April 4, 2012, 06:16 PM
I really don't see anything abrasive with a consumer wishing to spend the money he earned in a way he sees fit. Just as he must do what his boss says in order to earn that money, the gun store must do what the consumer wants in order to earn the consumer's money. All true capitalism is an equal exchange of value for value. If both parties do not hold the transaction as having the same value, one will end up losing and the transaction should not take place. If rellascout feels $1000 is an appropriate price for a firearm and the deal feels $1050 is appropriate, they can either agree to compromise or agree to part ways. Rellascout can find a new store and the store can find a new customer. I find that to be refreshing, not abrasive.

rellascout
April 4, 2012, 06:21 PM
reallascout.. you're language comes off as abrasive, it may or may not be intended, but it seems to be a theme

If being matter of fact and stating my thoughts with conviction is abrasive call me sand paper... LOL

:eek:

RellaSANDPAPERscout

cyclopsshooter
April 4, 2012, 06:21 PM
I'm not referring to his gun buying practices, but how he talks to people on THR haha, sandpaper, thats funny!

CZguy
April 4, 2012, 06:55 PM
I'm not referring to his gun buying practices, but how he talks to people on THR haha, sandpaper, thats funny!

I just re-read his post and found nothing that I would consider abrasive. Can you cite an example?

gearhead
April 4, 2012, 10:42 PM
Many of us are introverts who not only don't need that sort of interaction at a gun shop but we abhor it. I was looking at my handguns and rifles, I think I might have two that I actually held in my hand before committing to purchase them. If you gain value from the LGS experience then feel free to pay for that, as for me I will avoid that experience as much as possible.

The gun shop business model quite frankly was a monopoly for 35 years. Established by the 1968 Gun Control Act, the requirement to purchase new guns only through a dealer basically gave the FFL holder a captive customer base. The internet has adapted to efficiently sell firearms under these laws, a successful FFL holder will adapt to a world where the internet marketplace exists.

JohnKSa
April 4, 2012, 11:54 PM
My preferred guns shop has not failed me in anyway.Your earlier quote clearly stated that the new “small smart format” shops only fulfilled your needs “most” of the time. So this quote either means your preferred gun shop is not one of the new “small smart format” shops you espouse (in which case it's odd that you are arguing that they are all we need) or it means that one of your two statements is false. … if you think that every LGS conducts business in the manner you have described.This is a strawman. I said no such thing. I implied no such thing. What I said was that “having several traditional LGS in an area will definitely help insure that people can look at things they're interested in buying because inventory and philosophy varies from LGS to LGS and because the traditional LGS is based, at least to some extent, on catering to the customer even if it means stocking some items that don't move well.”

That is a true statement, and it’s interesting that rather than acknowledging that fact or attempting to refute it, you chose to create a strawman and refute the strawman instead. Are you actually attempting to put forth the belief that no one has ever been dissappointed with the an old format LGS?I didn’t say that. What I did say was that “having several traditional LGS in an area will definitely help insure that people can look at things they're interested in buying because inventory and philosophy varies from LGS to LGS and because the traditional LGS is based, at least to some extent, on catering to the customer even if it means stocking some items that don't move well.”

That is a true statement, and it’s interesting that rather than acknowledging that fact or attempting to refute it, you chose to create a strawman and refute the strawman instead. There are threads after threads illustrating the displeasure with FFL after FFL.I’ve read them. I’ve even posted one or two myself. The fact that there are some (maybe even many) FFLs out there who aren’t keeping their customers happy doesn’t mean that all traditional LGS are problematic. Nor does it have any bearing on the fact that LGS do provide things that online sellers and "small smart format" shops don't. Stop trying to speak for all gun owners.You mean as in advocating that LGS are a failed business model and should either change or become extinct? ;)

I’m not trying to speak for everyone, just pointing out that LGS offer things that online sellers and “small smart format” shops do not and that sooner or later gun buyers will miss those things if they become unavailable. You tacitly acknowledged this fact when you said that only “most” of what you wanted was available at the “small smart format stores” in your area.I personally do not need to always hold and handle everything I am purchasing.I didn’t say you did. I don’t “always” need to do that either. But sometimes I do. Sometimes you do too or you would have said that you “never need to hold and handle what I purchase” instead of saying what you did. You continue to assume that your needs are everyones needs.If by this you’re saying that I assume that at least some of the time people will want to look at something before purchasing it, then I think it’s safe to say that’s a common need. Your statement quoted above tacitly admits that at least some of the time even you have that need. I am not saying that all FFLs have to change their business model.I didn’t say you did. What I said is that if we lose the old business model we will eventually miss some of the things it provides.

By the way, although I hadn’t said it before, I will now. You said that they would have to change or that they would become extinct. Since that’s only two options (change and extinction) and since extinction is also change, it’s fair to say that you have said they will have to change. Below is the quote. The old way is dying and if they are not willing to change they will become extinct… Again I am not telling you that you should not subsidize them. Again stop dancing around the question. Are you saying we should?I didn't say that you had told me to stop subsidizing them.

What I’m saying is that unless we are willing to lose the additional things that a traditional LGS provides compared to online sellers/small smart format sellers, then we should pay for those things.

A subsidy is giving money and getting nothing in return. Paying for service/intangibles is not the same thing as a subsidy.

To say that people are subsidizing LGS by paying more is like saying that people are subsidizing nice restaurants because thay have to pay more for a burger and fries there than for a burger and fries at a fast food drive-through. The fact is that if you want someone to cook your burger to order, keep your drink glass filled, etc., if you want a nice atmosphere while you eat, etc., then you will have to and should expect to pay extra for those things. That's not subsidizing the restaurant, that's paying more because extra things (service/intangibles) are being provided that aren't provided at the drive-through.…are you proposing that we prop up business with failed business models who cannot compete in the changing free market?What I’m saying is that it’s a business model that provides things that online sellers and “small smart format” shops do not/can not provide. I’m saying that if those things are important to people they need to understand that those things add cost to the items sold in the shop and that they need to understand that they will have to pay the cost if they want the benefit.

It’s one thing for a person to truly embrace the new model completely and I’ve got no problem with those who actually do that. That would be like a person who eats ONLY at fast food joints because it’s cheaper there. But it’s messed up when people want all the service they get at a nice restaurant but still expect to pay fast food prices and complain when they are asked to pay more.

The problem is that many people demand/expect/rely on the benefits provided by an LGS but aren’t willing to pay for them and/or denigrate the traditional LGS for having prices that aren’t "competitive". If one is going to compare prices, it’s only reasonable to do so if the comparison is limited to other businesses that espouse the same basic model. It’s totally unreasonable to expect a full service, traditional LGS to have the same prices as an online seller or to suggest that they're a failed model simply because they can't match online prices.

rellascout
April 5, 2012, 08:59 AM
Let me start of by saying what a great discussion. It enjoy an intelligent back and forth discussion on a meaningful topic. I do not take these personally. I have no issues when some disagrees with my words opinions and arguments. I hope that others feel the same way when someone disagrees with their words.

Now back to your regularly scheduled programming.


Your earlier quote clearly stated that the new “small smart format” shops only fulfilled your needs “most” of the time. So this quote either means your preferred gun shop is not one of the new “small smart format” shops you espouse (in which case it's odd that you are arguing that they are all we need) or it means that one of your two statements is false.
You make an incorrect assumption here. I stated that the "small smart format" which I will now refer to as a SSF fulfilled my needs most of the time. You used this statement to draw the conclusion that my local shop has failed in some way which is not the case at all. I buy things FTF when it is possible. If someone local to me has gun I wish to purchase or someone local wants to purchase a gun I am selling I see no need to involve any FFL. In this case the SSF did not meet my needs but in no way "failed" me.

I have also bought a total of 6 guns in the last 10+ years off the shelf. One was a NIB 870 20 Gauge, a used LNIB Dan Wesson CBOB, a NIB Bersa 380 auto, a NIB CZ P01 and a used Ruger GP100 & a LNIB Beretta 84FS. In each case price was a factor in purchasing the gun off the shelf. The CBOB was $700. The 84FS was $350. Both were purchased from Gander Mountain of all places. The Bersa & the 870 were loss leaders at a big box store. The P01 was the same price at the "small format store" as it would have been had I bought it and transferred it. The Ruger GP100 was going to be ordered but the local happened to have it so I bought it on the spot. In each of these scenarios my local SSF did not "fail" me as you suggest. Instead another vendor or my SSF met my needs at that point in time. Failure by the SSF was not part of the equation. If these deals were not available at other outlets I might or might not have simply ordered like items from my SSF but this is similar to FTF transactions which are transactions of opportunity which old format LGS may or may not have fullfilled without failure on their part.

This is a strawman. I said no such thing. I implied no such thing. What I said was that “having several traditional LGS in an area will definitely help insure that people can look at things they're interested in buying because inventory and philosophy varies from LGS to LGS and because the traditional LGS is based, at least to some extent, on catering to the customer even if it means stocking some items that don't move well.”

That is a true statement, and it’s interesting that rather than acknowledging that fact or attempting to refute it, you chose to create a strawman and refute the strawman instead. This is a strawman. I said no such thing. I implied no such thing. What I said was that “having several traditional LGS in an area will definitely help insure that people can look at things they're interested in buying because inventory and philosophy varies from LGS to LGS and because the traditional LGS is based, at least to some extent, on catering to the customer even if it means stocking some items that don't move well.”

That is a true statement, and it’s interesting that rather than acknowledging that fact or attempting to refute it, you chose to create a strawman and refute the strawman instead.

I bet to differ with your assertion that I used a strawman. Look at my entire statement. You are living in a fantasy land if you think that every LGS conducts business in the manner you have described. Are you actually attempting to put forth the belief that no one has ever been dissappointed with the an old format LGS? I have made a conditional statement not a statement of fact. You have answered my question and acknowledge that not all LGS act in the best interest of their customer and that not every LGS works in the same manner so the conditional part of my statement has been negated. No strawman here.

You have stated that "having several traditional LGS in an area will definitely help insure that people can look at things they're interested in buying because inventory and philosophy varies from LGS to LGS and because the traditional LGS is based, at least to some extent, on catering to the customer even if it means stocking some items that don't move well.” as if it is a universal truth but it is not. It is your opinion. It is not 1 + 1 =2. This conclusion is not necessitated or contained by definition in you premises. At best it relies on inference which is what I am refuting. The funny part is that is I am not really concerned about the truth value of your statement. If it makes you feel better I will acknowledge that your statement has truth value having a few local shops will "help" not guarantee that people can look at things before they buy.

Instead what I am and have been addressing two other issues. First is that I have to touch it feel if before I buy as necessary as it once was and is it worth paying a premium for. Clearly you believe it has value and you are willing to pay for it. Clearly I do not. The other point I am attempting to address is that in the current internet world of information where we can quickly determine the market price for a particular gun not just in our local market but on a national scale the old model of holding inventory that does not move well just so people can look at it is not a viable model anymore. When you made 20% to 30% on a gun and 100% on accessories etc... you could afford to carry this touch and feel inventory as a courtesy. However in the todays world of 10% to 15% margin on gun if you are lucky and 50% margin on accessories carrying that inventory may no longer be an option. I personally as a consumer do not want to go back to that 20% to 30% margin.

rellascout
April 5, 2012, 09:19 AM
What I’m saying is that unless we are willing to lose the additional things that a traditional LGS provides compared to online sellers/small smart format sellers, then we should pay for those things.

A subsidy is giving money and getting nothing in return. Paying for service/intangibles is not the same thing as a subsidy.

To say that people are subsidizing LGS by paying more is like saying that people are subsidizing nice restaurants because thay have to pay more for a burger and fries there than for a burger and fries at a fast food drive-through. The fact is that if you want someone to cook your burger to order, keep your drink glass filled, etc., if you want a nice atmosphere while you eat, etc., then you will have to and should expect to pay extra for those things. That's not subsidizing the restaurant, that's paying more because extra things (service/intangibles) are being provided that aren't provided at the drive-through.

I really like this argument. It is an interesting tact on your part but I think it falls short. Guns these days have been reduced more and more to a commodity. A Glock 19 is a Glock 19 is a Glock 19. The one I get here in WV is essentially the same as you get in FL. This is what has driven down the prices of guns across the board. More and more they are mass produced with little meaningful variance. If I pick up a Glock 19 from off the old school LGS's counter or order one from Buds I am still getting a Glock 19.

This is not the case with your burger analogy. The burger at McDonalds is not the same product as the Burger I get from Eric Riperts Westend Bistro. When I get my extra value meal for $5 at the fast food joint I am getting something completely different than the burger Ripert is serving me. I am not just paying for linen napkins, water service and a nice atmosphere. I am paying for waygu beef tenderloin ground to perfection seared perfectly with friets seasoned with sea salt served on a bun which was made today by hand from scratch etc.... Now your analogy would hold up if Ripert served me a Big Mac in a West End Bistro setting. I will pay the extra coin for Ripert's burger and do so with a smile. In many ways the burger at the Westend Bistro is a better value than the one at MacDonalds even if the price point is higher. If he served me a Big Mac all the extras would not make up for the fact I just paid $20 for a $5 fast food sandwich.

What your argument really boils down to is that you are willing to pay more for a commodity product to have guns on a shelf which you and no one else might actually ever buy. Do you believe that it is a good idea for a retailer to have product that does not move so people can come in and see it yet not buy it? Maybe I am missing something but again unless you have huge margins on the products you are selling this carrying cost will eventually kill your business.

Another part of your anology that fails IMHO is that you assume that I do not get "extras" from my SSF when in fact I do. I get all the "extras" + many I never get from the old school LGS from my SSF. The only one I don't get is being able to handle, look at and touch guns I am not interested in. LOL I get a pleasant buying experience from my SSF. We talk guns as I fill out my 4473. We joke around if we have the time. I ask how is business going. What is he selling the most of? Etc.... The only part that is missing is guns I will never buy.... LOL So please explain to me what "extras" I am missing. If there are no "extras" which have value to me there are no services or intangibles which justify a higher price. That is why I use the term subsidy to describe paying $20 for a Big Mac or $600 for a Glock 19.

rellascout
April 5, 2012, 09:55 AM
What Iím saying is that itís a business model that provides things that online sellers and ďsmall smart formatĒ shops do not/can not provide. Iím saying that if those things are important to people they need to understand that those things add cost to the items sold in the shop and that they need to understand that they will have to pay the cost if they want the benefit.

Itís one thing for a person to truly embrace the new model completely and Iíve got no problem with those who actually do that. That would be like a person who eats ONLY at fast food joints because itís cheaper there. But itís messed up when people want all the service they get at a nice restaurant but still expect to pay fast food prices and complain when they are asked to pay more.

The problem is that many people demand/expect/rely on the benefits provided by an LGS but arenít willing to pay for them and/or denigrate the traditional LGS for having prices that arenít "competitive". If one is going to compare prices, itís only reasonable to do so if the comparison is limited to other businesses that espouse the same basic model. Itís totally unreasonable to expect a full service, traditional LGS to have the same prices as an online seller or to suggest that they're a failed model simply because they can't match online prices.

I agree that the old LGS has model which does something that the internet and SSF stores do not but the real question is what is that worth? Is it worth 10% more for a commodity like a modern manufactured gun? Is it worth 20% more? I personally think that the value of just hold and looking at a particular gun is over rated. Anyone who has bought enough guns can site more than one example where they bought something that felt great in the hand, looked great in the store but disappointed at the range . There is no substitute for actually shooting the gun extensively.

The market simply does not work the way you are describing anymore when it comes to commodity goods like guns. You believe it is unreasonable to price Amazon against Best Buy but the majority of the market does not. Best Buy is closing stores and losing billions of dollars a quarter while Amazon is growing. I do not think it is unreasonable to ask a LGS to be competitive against everyone.

My #1 go to guy for NIB Colts has 2 LGS one in Alaska and one in brand new one in Las Vegas. The is price competitive and at the same time still has a full service shop. I personally believe that business need to survive on their merits. If someone sees value in the old LGS let them spend their money there. I personally go where price is best and service is efficient. In my experience the old school LGS does not meet either of these criteria.

If you and enough others believe that the "extras" are worth the additional cost than they should have no trouble maintaining and even growing their business but you rarely hear about that happening with the old format LGS you mainly hear them complain that they are losing money to the interweb.... so maybe their "extras" are not worth what they are charging.

AABEN
April 5, 2012, 01:44 PM
In defense of the shopowner, its entirely possiblethe gun WAS in stock when he priced it out to you, BUT, was sold out by the time he placed the order ( or was actually out of stock but showing as in stock... ).

That being said, I would cancel the order, head down the road and order it from somebody else, it sounds like you will likely be waiting on it anyway....

Beyond that, I wouldnt bother him with my money again
If I have a shop order a gun I have them to call to see if they have one. Then I pay for it most of the time it will be there in 3 Days

230RN
April 5, 2012, 02:47 PM
From the original post:

I walk in the gun shop with my girlfriend to check on a handgun I ordered and paid in full 2 weeks prior. This is besides the point, but when I went to order he said his dealer had them in stock, now all of a sudden he doesn't know when nor can he find one. ( really annoying since I wanted it yesterday )

Sorry, I didn't read the whole thread, but I wanted to mention this.

I've had something similar happen, and hopefully it isn't a standard business practice.

I looked over a firearm once and liked it, one reason being that the last four digits of the serial number happened to correspond to my birth date, so I remembered that, of course.

I asked him about the price, said OK, and left the shop to think it over.

A couple of days later I decided I really wanted that gun, and went back in to buy it. He said he sold it, but could order another one for me. I rubbed my chin and decided I did want that kind of gun, even without my DOB-matching serial number, so I went ahead and ordered it.

He calls a couple of days later and says my gun came in but in the meantime his supplier's price had gone up, so I went down to pick it up. When I looked it over, I discovered that it was the same gun I had looked at originally, according to the last four digits of the S/N.

I bellyached about that, with him insisting that it was a new gun from the supplier, until I mentioned the Date Of Birth (DOB) thing.

I told him outright that I thought it was a sleazy maneuver on his part and he finally backed down and brought the price back to the original quote and threw in two boxes of ammo for it. I went ahead with the purchase, not because of the free ammo, but because I really wanted the gun.

Never went back to that dealer, and he missed out on a lot of future sales opportunities from me.

But maybe it's something to watch out for, I don't know.

Terry, 230RN

Capybara
April 5, 2012, 07:34 PM
I can't figure out why firearms buyers would ever put up with substandard customer service. I have been on a hot streak lately and bought an Ruger SR22 from www.usautoweapons.com in Scottsdale, great salesman, amazing store, very good transaction. That same day I went to five other gun shops around Phoenix, looking for this specific handgun, and they were all in dumpy parts of town and the customer service ranged from indifferent to suspicious. Nobody had the gun in stock, nobody wanted to spend any time with me to show me what they did have, they all sucked. I've been in sales for decades and none of them even practiced salesmanship 101, they were all horrible. What a difference. US Autoweapons is not a cheap store, but it is really nice inside, they have a LOT of guns in stock and a beautiful showroom and they are pros. So they get my business.

I have recently found two local dealers where I live in California and both are EXCELLENT, very friendly, professional, competitive with on-line pricing, both do SSEs, both have ordered or found me hard to find weapons that they are not even dealers for. The one dealer just opened a range too, I bought a $300.00 membership and have bought $2,200.00 worth of guns and accessories and the other is building an AR pistol for me. The other dealer also a couple of thousand dollars of business from me as well. Life is too short to deal with jerks, just find a better dealer, they are out there. You will find as you grow older and gain more wisdom that the lowest price is not really a very good criteria for dealing with a vendor, it is all about the customer service. I don't care if am paying 5%-10% more cost if the dealer is a pro and is good at what they do and takes care of me. The lowest price is highly overrated.

Hopefully a lot of these old-timey schmucks that own gun stores will begin to realize that just because you sell guns, it doesn't give you a license to provider lousy customer relations and service. Because we are going to vote with our credit card and go elsewhere and they are going to go out of business. Taking your business elsewhere is the sweetest revenge.

JohnKSa
April 6, 2012, 12:00 AM
I bet to differ with your assertion that I used a strawman. Look at my entire statement. You are living in a fantasy land if you think that every LGS conducts business in the manner you have described. Are you actually attempting to put forth the belief that no one has ever been dissappointed with the an old format LGS? I have made a conditional statement not a statement of fact. You have answered my question and acknowledge that not all LGS act in the best interest of their customer and that not every LGS works in the same manner so the conditional part of my statement has been negated. No strawman here.Attempting to attribute statements to the opposing debater and then refuting them instead of refuting what the other debater has actually stated is called a strawman fallacy.

Since I made no attempt to claim that "every LGS conducts business in" any particular manner, nor did I state or even imply that "no one has ever been dissappointed with the an old format LGS" (sic) your claims have nothing to do with refuting anything I claimed/stated/implied.

Alternatively, interjecting statements (which may or may not be true) into a debate to distract from the actual topic is called a red herring fallacy.

So maybe you didn't mean to claim that I said those things. If that's true then it's not a strawman fallacy, it's a red herring fallacy.You have stated that "having several traditional LGS in an area will definitely help insure that people can look at things they're interested in buying because inventory and philosophy varies from LGS to LGS and because the traditional LGS is based, at least to some extent, on catering to the customer even if it means stocking some items that don't move well.” as if it is a universal truth but it is not.What part of it is untrue?First is that I have to touch it feel if before I buy as necessary as it once was and is it worth paying a premium for.You earlier cautioned me against speaking for all gun buyers. ;)

As for whether you "have to" or not, you earlier claimed that you did not "always need to", a claim which contains with in it the implict fact that sometimes you do need to. I don't always need to either, but sometimes I do. I think it's fair to assume that there are other people like you and I who do not always need to touch/handle before buying but sometimes do find it necessary.

If it's sometimes necessary, then it's impossible to argue that it's not worth paying for.A Glock 19 is a Glock 19 is a Glock 19. The one I get here in WV is essentially the same as you get in FL. This is what has driven down the prices of guns across the board. More and more they are mass produced with little meaningful variance. If I pick up a Glock 19 from off the old school LGS's counter or order one from Buds I am still getting a Glock 19.Yes, but an LGS isn't selling JUST guns, and if you order a Glock from Buds you don't get to handle it first, you don't get someone willing to help you return it if there's a problem, you don't get someone looking over the product before putting it into the showcase to insure that there are no problems with it, and most importantly, you don't get to handle a Glock 19 and a Glock 17 before buying to see which one fits you best.

I did my best to try to make it clear in the analogy that the difference between the nice restaurant and the fast food place wasn't the food, it was the OTHER things. I even listed them to help make it nearly impossible to miss the point: "The fact is that if you want someone to cook your burger to order, keep your drink glass filled, etc., if you want a nice atmosphere while you eat, etc.". None of those has to do with the difference in the actual product itself (the burger) because that's where the analogy breaks down. Every analogy breaks down at some point, or it wouldn't be an analogy, it would simply be a restatement of the topic under discussion.

But, if you wish, let's specify that the burger sold IS exactly the same so we can focus on the other aspects of the sale which was clearly the point I was trying to make. The fact is that even if the burger IS identical, if you want the other things you get from a nice restaurant (as opposed to a drive through fast food joint) you will have to pay more.Do you believe that it is a good idea for a retailer to have product that does not move so people can come in and see it yet not buy it?No, that's taking things to the extreme--clearly it makes no sense to try to sell things you know won't sell. But it does make sense to stock some things that aren't necessarily fast turnover items or high profit margin products as a service to your customers.

I think we can all understand that being able to pick something up on the way to the range, or on the way to a hunting lease as opposed to having to order it online and wait for a few days to get it can make the difference between a good day and a disaster. That's one of the "extras" you could well find yourself missing one day.I agree that the old LGS has model which does something that the internet and SSF stores do not but the real question is what is that worth?If that something is something that people sometimes find necessary then it's worth what it costs to provide. That may be simplistic, but that's what it comes down to.

We've all paid rush shipping to get something a little faster, because to our mind, it was necessary to get it faster. Similarly, if the convenience of of a well-stocked LGS is necessary to us at times then we should be willing to pay more for that convenience just as it costs more to ship something faster.

To get back to the point of the thread, it doesn't make sense to go into a full service LGS and then complain because they won't match online prices. That is bad behavior. If you want online prices, shop online. If you want to shop at an LGS, you should expect to pay for the extra costs incurred by that business model.My #1 go to guy for NIB Colts has 2 LGS one in Alaska and one in brand new one in Las Vegas.Next time you call Alaska, tell Ken I said hi. I've known him for a lot of years and finally got to meet him at Shot 2012.

rellascout
April 6, 2012, 08:39 AM
If that something is something that people sometimes find necessary then it's worth what it costs to provide. That may be simplistic, but that's what it comes down to.

We've all paid rush shipping to get something a little faster, because to our mind, it was necessary to get it faster. Similarly, if the convenience of of a well-stocked LGS is necessary to us at times then we should be willing to pay more for that convenience just as it costs more to ship something faster.

To get back to the point of the thread, it doesn't make sense to go into a full service LGS and then complain because they won't match online prices. That is bad behavior. If you want online prices, shop online. If you want to shop at an LGS, you should expect to pay for the extra costs incurred by that business model.

I hear what you are saying that convince is an important factor in some purchases and that it makes sense that you have to pay a premium for that. I guess we place different value on the premium that the old LGS places on their services. Clearly you see more value than I do which is why you take a different position then I do. You are willing to pay for it I am not. I guess what rubbed me the wrong way is that you insist I will miss something and that I should pay the premuim to keep a "few around" when I believe if they were to go away I would not be negatively impacted. I would adapt to the changes and life would go on. In the end I think my end of the market segment is growing and yours is shrinking. I do not see a lot of SSF gun shops on the forums complaining about how Buds, midwayUSA, Brownells, CDNN etc are killing their business. I maybe wrong it would not be the first time and it would not be the last. LOL

Getting back to the OP.... I think that the gun store over reacted. I think there was no need to follow you out of the store. He had price on an item. You pointed out you could get it cheaper down the street at another LGS and he choose not to match the price. It should have ended there IMHO.

Next time you call Alaska, tell Ken I said hi. I've known him for a lot of years and finally got to meet him at Shot 2012.


Will do John thanks for a great dicussion. :)

Scott Farkus
April 6, 2012, 09:15 AM
I think most people would be OK with paying a bit more for the convenience of an LGS, but my gosh, most of the time they're anywhere from 20-50%, or more, higher than what you can find on-line. Sorry, I can't justify that. And, as has been noted on this and other threads, for some reason gun stores seem to have the highest rate of "what the ***?" customer service of any retail industry that I've ever encountered. I won't repeat my stories here, but we've all got them I suspect.

For me, the biggest problem besides price is the hours that the LGS's around me tend to keep. I've mentioned this on other threads, but the bottom line is that if you insist on closing at 5 or 6 on weekdays, there is essentially no way I'm going to be able to shop in your store even if I wanted to. If you're open on Saturday (generally from 9-2, or maybe 9-4 if I'm lucky), you might have a shot if I can get away from the chores for a couple of hours, but even then it's iffy because I usually save my kitchen passes for gun show weekend. Plus, gun stores are so ridiculously crowded on Saturdays (because most of us can't go any other time), it's a major pain in the rear and not at all an enjoyable experience. So I tend to buy most of my stuff at gun shows, on-line, or Cabela's, not necessarily because it's cheaper but because the LGS's leave me no choice.

I was excited recently when a new shop opened not far from my house. They advertised being open until 7 and I believe until 4 or 5 on Saturday. I stopped by one evening on the way home and chatted with the owner, who seemed to be a nice guy, about AK-47's. He had almost nothing in stock (AK or otherwise) but offered to work with me if I wanted to order something from one of the internet dealers. About a month later I was ready to pull the trigger and I stopped by the shop on my way home to finalize things. Well, he was closed, and had a note on the door about being away for the week and would resume normal hours the following week. OK, not a big deal except that AK's seemed to be running out of stock everywhere. The next week came and I think I tried once more after work and then on the Saturday, and the same note was stuck to the door. So there goes that. I'm just glad I didn't have an AK sitting inside. I ordered one from my computer and had it sent to another shop in town (one of the few that I actually enjoy going to who just happens to be a major on-line player themselves) and they charged me $10 for the transfer.

As for handling guns before purchasing, I typically do that at the gun shows and keep a mental list of what I liked and what I might want to purchase at some point in the future. Then, when I'm ready and funds permit, I either buy on-line or from the vendor at the next show. Around here I guess we're fortunate in that we get reasonably priced vendors at our shows, but that's a different thread.

As others have said, technology has changed the retail model and those who don't adapt to it will fall by the wayside, as they've done for centuries.

larryh1108
April 6, 2012, 11:03 AM
Several points seemed to have gotten lost here. There are buyers who want to handle a certain gun before they decide to purchase it. They go to the LGS and ask to see Pistol X. The LGS has a nice selection of Brand X and spends time with the customer and answers his questions. The customer sees the price as $595 on the tag. He handles the gun, does his thing and tells the shop he wants to think about it. The customer then goes home, looks it up on Bud's and sees it for $525 with free shipping. The transfer fee is $35 so it's $560 instead of $595. Now, the LGS spends time with this guy, answers his questions, watches him do his thing and 45 minutes later he watches him go think about it as he walks out the door. Now, the LGS paid for the inventory for this guy to handle and helps Bud's get a sale. If you don't think this happens then your head is in the sand.

We now move forward. Same LGS, same gun the other guy looked at. Same employee. Customer2 is a regular who "supports" the LGS. He goes in, sees Pistol X, asks to see it. He does his thing, asks if he can dry fire it, etc. He does all the right things. He sees the price of $595 and says he can get it for less online. The LGS says the best he can do is $575 (which is $15 more than Bud's after transfer). The guy says he'd do $575 but he wants a "new" one since the one in the case has been handled and dry fired by a lot of people and may have a handling mark on it. He wants a new one "from the back". The shop says that's his only gun and he could order one but it will take some time and he can't give the discount because he already discounted it for being a case display. Customer2 gets miffed because he didn't get a new one at the promised price and chooses to not buy there and goes home and orders from Bud's.

How can the LGS win? In retail, if a customer goes home to think about it, 3 out of 4 times he does not come back for whatever reason. Change of mind, needs to save up some more, buys elsewhere, etc. When selling expensive goods people get apprehensive when it's time to buy. "Good" salespeople know this and become pushy. They want you to leave with that gun today. If they don't have what you want then they try to push what they do have. They begin to bad mouth your not-in-stock gun or gun maker. They make up stories about recalls and warranty work needed, etc. They become slimy and pushy and turn off a great many people but also stuff product into the hands of people who don't know any better. These sales tactics turn people off and they never go back.

So, it's a double edged sword. Let them walk and they go on the net. Get pushy and they run or buy. You supply guns for them to handle, pay for it upfront or pay the interest for it to be "financed" by the factory and they handle it, like it and then go to the net to buy it. You become Bud's local affiliation without making any profit. Lose/lose.

Also, many complain about the untrained, uncaring dolts behind the counter. You want to pay the same price as your online source or they don't get your business. To cut the profits they have to cut somewhere else. Fixed expenses are just that... fixed. Rent or mortgage, lights, heat, A/C, insurance are all fixed expenses. A variable expense is wages and the amount of employees you can afford. You want internet prices at a brick and mortar store? Then you get minimum wage people who were slinging burgers a week ago. You want experienced gun lovers who know their stuff? Then that extra $25 or $50 you pay at the LGS goes to keep these people behind the counter. We want it both ways and in reality it just can't be. There is only so much markup in a gun. Throwing in a box of ammo costs the store and you the extra $15. It was not thrown in for free. Someone paid for it.

Ragnar Danneskjold
April 6, 2012, 11:43 AM
Also, many complain about the untrained, uncaring dolts behind the counter. You want to pay the same price as your online source or they don't get your business. To cut the profits they have to cut somewhere else. Fixed expenses are just that... fixed. Rent or mortgage, lights, heat, A/C, insurance are all fixed expenses. A variable expense is wages and the amount of employees you can afford. You want internet prices at a brick and mortar store? Then you get minimum wage people who were slinging burgers a week ago. You want experienced gun lovers who know their stuff? Then that extra $25 or $50 you pay at the LGS goes to keep these people behind the counter. We want it both ways and in reality it just can't be. There is only so much markup in a gun. Throwing in a box of ammo costs the store and you the extra $15. It was not thrown in for free. Someone paid for it.

Honestly, the free market doesn't care. If the ability to handle a gun in person is valuable enough to some buyer where they're willing to pay the extra cost to keep a LGS around, then the money will speak for itself. If not, the money will still speak for itself.

People spend money to get what they want. A business makes money by selling what the customer wants. That symbiotic relationship is the core of capitalism.

You need to understand, emotion and nostalgia is only one factor in capitalism, and a small one at that. Some people like being able to drink coffee and hang out at the gun store, seeing used guns or handling new ones, talking with other owners and the clerks. That's an emotional attachment to the current LGS model. But the model is becoming unsustainable. The bulk of customers are choosing sides and it seems they are in favor of saving money by buying online.

There still needs to be a local place for transfers. Collectors of used guns will probably still want to buy in person. Some people will still make impulse purchases and choose "shoot it today" over waiting a week for Buds to ship it. LGS will still be around in some form for a while because they provide some services that really cannot be found elsewhere. The current LGS model came about when FFLs became required to move and sell guns. LGSs didn't even exist 100 years ago. There will be a time in the future where they will cease to exist as well. Is it now? No. Again, they still provide something that can't be found elsewhere. If that changes, they'll go the way of telegraph operators. But for now, a smart gun store owner will realize what his strengths and weaknesses are, and play to those. Used guns, trade ins, historical pieces, an on site-range, gun smithing, etc are all things that one can't get online, at least not easily. A smart store will play those up. Brand new guns, accessories, and ammo can be found elsewhere for cheaper, and people choose that more often than not. A smart store will see this and make his business be less about that.

The problem is gun store were used to being the only game in town, and got complacent and greedy. Now that online says have grown in the past decade, the old timers running gun stores are having a hard time seeing that their way of doing things is not working as well, and it's only going to get worse.

That's creative destruction. The new way is created and the old way is destroyed. Change and adapt to survive, or don't. A smart telegraph operator around the turn of the 19th century had two choices. Learn about these new fanlged telephones, or be out of a job. The smart telegraph guys adapted and became telephone linemen or operators. The dumb ones got fired. That's how creative destruction works, and barring the takeover of communism, it's going to keep working that way. And that includes the sale of guns. Adapt to the times, emphasize your strengths, market what people need from you, and focus less on what they can get elsewhere.

It's the market. Fail to adapt and fail to thrive, you get no sympathy from me. Adapt and succeed, you'll earn the only thing that matters. My money.

Agsalaska
April 6, 2012, 12:08 PM
Several points seemed to have gotten lost here. There are buyers who want to handle a certain gun before they decide to purchase it. They go to the LGS and ask to see Pistol X. The LGS has a nice selection of Brand X and spends time with the customer and answers his questions. The customer sees the price as $595 on the tag. He handles the gun, does his thing and tells the shop he wants to think about it. The customer then goes home, looks it up on Bud's and sees it for $525 with free shipping. The transfer fee is $35 so it's $560 instead of $595. Now, the LGS spends time with this guy, answers his questions, watches him do his thing and 45 minutes later he watches him go think about it as he walks out the door. Now, the LGS paid for the inventory for this guy to handle and helps Bud's get a sale. If you don't think this happens then your head is in the sand.

It happens all of the time. In fact I am planning on doing it this weekend. This is not unique to the gun business. Go ask former Circuit City employees.


So, it's a double edged sword. Let them walk and they go on the net. Get pushy and they run or buy. You supply guns for them to handle, pay for it upfront or pay the interest for it to be "financed" by the factory and they handle it, like it and then go to the net to buy it. You become Bud's local affiliation without making any profit. Lose/lose..


No profit? Really. Did you offer to do the transfer? Did you try to sell him some ammo. Did you have any used guns in your showcase? Does he need an extra magazine for it. How about a holster? The last gun I bought was off of gunbroker. I live in Vegas and we only have one guy in town that really understands customers service. By the time he was done with me I had spent $115 bucks in his store. He probably profited $70. There were five other guys in line waiting to do the same thing I was doing. ANd the owner had his usual big smile.

Also, many complain about the untrained, uncaring dolts behind the counter. You want to pay the same price as your online source or they don't get your business. To cut the profits they have to cut somewhere else. Fixed expenses are just that... fixed. Rent or mortgage, lights, heat, A/C, insurance are all fixed expenses. A variable expense is wages and the amount of employees you can afford. You want internet prices at a brick and mortar store? Then you get minimum wage people who were slinging burgers a week ago. You want experienced gun lovers who know their stuff? Then that extra $25 or $50 you pay at the LGS goes to keep these people behind the counter. We want it both ways and in reality it just can't be. There is only so much markup in a gun. Throwing in a box of ammo costs the store and you the extra $15. It was not thrown in for free. Someone paid for it.


This is wrong. Employees attitudes are a direct result of work environment, more specifically attitudes of managent and owners. I have been in plenty of burger flipping places that have some of the best customer service you can experience and looks like a fun place to work. I have been in gun shops with master gunsmiths and professional shooters that couldnt care less if you are in the store or not. Its a direct result of the attitude of management. The reason I shop at Buds, gunbroker, etc, dont go to gun shows, and avoid most gun stores like the plague is because of the attitudes of the people that work there. But its not there fault. I believe most gun shop owners have very little understanding of what customer service means. And their employees, whether well paid or minimum wage, are just a reflection of that. Hell you see it on this board all of the time.




Oh and nice post Ragnar. Couldnt agree more.

larryh1108
April 6, 2012, 10:56 PM
Employees attitudes are a direct result of work environment, more specifically attitudes of managent and owners.

100% correct.

I was pointing out the various pitfalls in owning a gun shop with the internet as his competition. I agree 100% with those who say adapt or perish. Too many gunshops have the attitude of "take it or leave it" and we, the buyers, leave it.

I had an experience with my LGS a few years back. This was when the net became a serious contender in selling guns, not a novelty. I was a regular there but they were family owned for maybe 40+ years and were friendly enough without being warm. There wasn't much competition until the net got hot so they had their arrogance of being the only show in town.

Well, I go in and ask how much they charged to do an FFL transfer. They told me it was $45 and if it was a new gun I also had to pay what their profit would have been if they sold it to me. It was a "lost profit fee". Quoted, not ad libbed. Well, I thanked them and left and I never bought another item from their store even if I had to travel 1/2 hour more and had to pay 10% more. My choice. I did use their range because it was $10 for as long as you wanted but they got no more counter businesss from me.

The "old timers" had and still have a hard time adjusting. It's not like it used to be and it won't be like it used to be. 20 years from now, who knows what it will be like but they'll pine for the way it was back in '12, I'm sure. Adapt or perish. There is no more room for arrogance and indifference when we have so many choices. Back in the day of our choices being limited are long gone. I have no use for any establishment that does not appreciate that I spend my money there whether it's a new gun, a new pair of shoes, a new car or my dry cleaning. If they don't appreciate me then I will go elsewhere where I am, at least, treated like they want my business. They don't have to like me. I'm not buying their love.

Scott Farkus
April 6, 2012, 11:53 PM
Several points seemed to have gotten lost here. There are buyers who want to handle a certain gun before they decide to purchase it. They go to the LGS and ask to see Pistol X. The LGS has a nice selection of Brand X and spends time with the customer and answers his questions. The customer sees the price as $595 on the tag. He handles the gun, does his thing and tells the shop he wants to think about it. The customer then goes home, looks it up on Bud's and sees it for $525 with free shipping. The transfer fee is $35 so it's $560 instead of $595. Now, the LGS spends time with this guy, answers his questions, watches him do his thing and 45 minutes later he watches him go think about it as he walks out the door. Now, the LGS paid for the inventory for this guy to handle and helps Bud's get a sale. If you don't think this happens then your head is in the sand.

I don't think anyone's claiming this doesn't happen.

And it's not $595 vs $560. It's $595 + tax of approximately $44 where I live vs. $560 (or more likely $545 because around here we can find $20 transfers all day long). So for me, it would be $639 vs. $545, nearly a $100 difference. I know the tax ain't the LGS's fault, and I feel for him over that, but it's gotta come out of my pocket and I can't ignore it, especially when he's starting out $70 higher to begin with.

There's a place about an hour and a half from me. It's a big internet retailer in the middle of nowhere. They essentially walled off one end of their warehouse into a retail showroom. I had an occasion to be in the area one day and stopped by. As far as i could tell, the prices in the retail store were the same as they advertise on-line. They were packed. They had shelves stacked to the rafters with product. They had rows of AR's and AK's on racks in the center of the store (this was about a year ago - probably don't have so many now!), out in the open so you could hold them and caress them and crave them for your own, at your own pace. Not hung on a wall behind a counter where you had to kneel before Zod if you wanted a salesman to let you dare touch the shrine. People were lined up 6 deep pretty much the entire time I was there waiting to check out. Why can't other mom and pops be this way? They didn't whine about the internet or how they have overhead to pay, they embraced the model and then said "oh, btw, if you want to come here and buy in person, you can do that too!" And people responded.

kopcicle
April 7, 2012, 12:14 AM
Here is some perspective for you all . I nodded off around page 3 .

~kop

Ragnar Danneskjold
April 7, 2012, 12:18 AM
Here is some perspective for you all . I nodded off around page 3 .

And your point is.....?

JohnKSa
April 7, 2012, 12:54 AM
I guess we place different value on the premium that the old LGS places on their services.Probably we're more alike than you think. I'm not trying to argue that people should use LGS even if they truly don't want/need the extras an LGS provides. There were two main things I was trying to get across.

1. People need to understand what extras a traditional LGS provides and why providing those extras must result in higher prices than low-overhead business models. Understanding this also makes it clear why it's not reasonable to criticize a traditional LGS for things like not price-matching online sellers.

2. People need to understand that if they actually do want/need the extras a traditional LGS provides (even if only occasionally) they will have to suck it up and pay for them if they want them to be around in the future. I think a lot of people assume that the traditional LGS will always be there for them even if they take their business elsewhere except when the LGS is the only alternative for meeting their particular needs. It won't work that way.

I agree with you that it would have probably been better if the owner in this case had gritted his teeth and ignored the affront, but I can definitely see his side of the situation. If someone's in his shop, ostensibly because they need/want something his business model provides, they should have the common courtesy to not criticize him for the reasonable and necessary consequences of employing the business model they're currently utilizing.

buck460XVR
April 7, 2012, 10:40 AM
All this crap about LGSs being dinosaurs on their way to extinction is just plain BS. 50 years ago LGS's that had high prices and poor service quickly died like any other poorly run business. Same is true today. Those with good prices and good service have and will continue to flourish. My LGS is a hardware store with over 2000 guns in stock. They match or beat any price you find on the internet for new guns. If they don;t have it in stock, they will order it. If you want they will do transfers on firearms bought over the internet. Accessories, ammo and reloading components are close to internet prices plus shipping. If you are looking for cheap game load shotgun shells they will direct you up the street to the local Walmart. They sell minnows and other live bait in the back. 80% of the folks working there are family. The owner and oldest living patriarch is still found behind the counter in sporting goods 5-6 days a week. They have been in the same spot for 118 years. This in a town of less than 10,000. I have not been in there in the last five years where I didn't witness at least three firearms being sold or traded in the short time I was there. Get there after 10:00 a.m. any day of the week(including Sunday) and you will have to wait in line in sporting goods even tho there are 3-4 folks working. Folks that have done business there before don't mind the wait. New folks with an attitude quickly leave and are not really missed. Those folks behind the gun counter(dad, son and son-in-law) know their guns, pay a fair price for used guns and sell used guns reasonably. This LGS is not going anywhere, including extinct. I don't know the LGS the OP mentioned in his post, but I did Google it. They have been in business for 64 years. They have not been successful for this long because of high prices and poor service. One person's single bad experience is not evidence of a poorly run enterprise. Others judging an enterprise by the same evidence without the other side of the story is just plain foolish. Once again, getting back on the topic that most posters have eluded in their quest to bash their local LGS. Yes, it was bad behavior. But from both parties involved. Is the customer always right? No. Does a business owner need to take verbal abuse from patrons in front of other customer? No. Should a owner admonish a rude customer? Depends on how rude the customer is. As I said before, we don't know the other side of the coin in this incident. I give the business owner credit for taking his comments outside.

MattMesa
April 7, 2012, 12:32 PM
I see no problem with haggling at non-corporate gun shops. What-so-ever. It's the same as music stores in my opinion. The mark-up in local gun shops and local music stores is ridiculous and for the most part it is to prey on the uninformed. I am not saying this is ALWAYS the case but in certain industries it is the common practice. Fifteen years ago when I started buying expensive equipment around town I paid full price, now, at most music shops I get a big discount if not at cost because they value the business and the word-of-mouth.

Would I try the same at corporate franchises? Maybe. If the price difference was big enough then absolutely. It is only in America that this is some abhorrent thing for a consumer to do. It is the job of the business to understand their pricing models and to price appropriately: he should know if he can come down a bit, even a bit of a loss-leader on his marginal revenue to keep you coming back; especially if you had just recently made a large special purchase at his shop. If he wants to be so friendly as to be putting his arm around you and have this "small-town friendly type" business environment then there should be no question at all about you asking if he can come down a bit on another order. I'm not saying you should abuse it but come on. If he doesn't have any wiggle room then he could of simply said, "No, I'm sorry but that is the best price I can offer on those."

On the other side of that coin it is your job to be an informed consumer and you absolutely did the right thing by pricing other options! If you can find perfectly substitutable products and/or service at a better price then you should absolutely take it; in my opinion you were kind to even give him the option! If you go around believing every business is out to do the best they absolutely can for you all the time; unfortunately, you are going to be on the very very very short end of the stick most of the time. There are businesses out there that are that way but that is not the way businesses operate generally. I wish this were not the case! Trust me, I have a business degree and an advanced degree in finance and I struggle with this as an ethical and moral issue internally constantly!

You did absolutely nothing wrong in my opinion and I can personally tell you, as soon as his arm went around me it would of been removed and my question would of been, "Can I help you?"

This is just my opinion but I run a (not own) a business and I am FAR FROM perfect but from the description of your post it was just a complete display of unnecessarily condescending and disrespectful behavior.

MattMesa
April 7, 2012, 01:16 PM
I manage a gun store in the midwest.

I have to resist a burning itch to slap customers in the face when they start talking to me about "online prices." Two things:

A: If it's a new gun we don't run that much of a markup on it, and I don't have any wiggle room unless you're buying a bunch of stuff or placing a big order. We have bills to pay, and if you want us to stick around and have cool stuff to sell you, then we need to be paying them.

B: The internet is a PISS POOR price reference on guns. The majority of the websites that sell firearms on the net all do the same thing: They will list the inventory of one of their big distributors, like RSR, as their own inventory. Then drop-ship the firearms to your FFL from the distributor. These guys have no overhead. No storefront, no warehouse, just a couple jerks with a website and a shipping computer or ten. They pay a fraction of what we pay to stay in business, so they can sell the same gun that I'm selling with a 3% markup and still make money on volume. I have to mark it up by 12% to make the same relative profit after overhead costs.

C: Some online sales, like new guns on Gunbroker, will be posted by other dealers who have been sitting on that gun and are unable to move it, so they'll blow it out on an auction at their wholesale cost to get their money back and clear the shelf space. Yes, I'm going to price match the guy who is selling it at (sometimes even below) cost. I don't like food or gasoline or paying the electric bill or anything.

If you want to haggle with me in our store I'm amiable a lot of the time. But like most shops, the rules of etiquette are:

1: Bring cash. Not debit cards, but paper bills.
2: Be nice about it. Even if I have to shoot you down I'm still cool with you as long as you're a nice guy about it, and if I can I'll try to hook you up with something we can make a deal on.
3: Make your offer reasonable. I'm a lot happier to nibble a chunk of that sales tax off for you than telling me you want my $1100 Sig for $900 because someone online has it cheaper. That extends to:
4: The first time you say "Blahblahblah has it cheaper!" in front of my other customers expect to be told "Then you should go <deleted> buy it there. Don't bother coming back you rude little <deleted>." If you're polite enough to ask me in private I'll be happy to give you an idea why our prices are higher. If you seem like a cool guy sometimes I'll even recommend places you can go that I KNOW can beat our prices, just to help you out. Once in a blue moon I'll even show someone who doesn't believe me our distributor catalog and they can SEE what our cost is for themselves.

We have a sign in the corner of the shop that says "Prices and Availability are subject to change according to customer's attitude." Your demeanour and our wholesale cost is what decides if I can make you a deal or not. If you wave someone else's prices in my face, expect them stuck somewhere and to have to find a new store. Customers can vote with their feet, gun shops can vote with their boots. It's all about attitude.
Disclaimer: I don't shop at LGS simply because I have no need to, my interest in this thread is purely due to the fact that I love business and discussions of business of any sort.

Maybe because of my education I'm a little on the far side of free-market capitalism but, no offense, it is attitudes like these that innovators profit off of. We now live in a world full of perfectly subsitutable options. Either you learn to compete or you go out of business. Based off the way you stated your prices I'm assuming you are using one of the two most basic pricing models possible: either direct or cost plus; regardless, these are entry level business class models. Don't be mad at your customers because people are discovering more efficient and cost-saving methodologies to consume a perfectly substitutable product. A quick piece of advice: SWOT analysis to discover your strengths and weaknesses and then you better find a way to develop a sustainable competitive advantage and you better keep doing that process over and over and over. You are living in a new world.

I am the furthest person in the world to think that customers are always right because I generally assume the mentality that steve jobs did, you have to lead them BUT: if you can't keep up with your customers (who are doing EXACTLY what they should do as informed consumers) then you are going to have a problem and you getting upset about it is not helping move your business forward.

It is the duty of the business to improve and stay ahead of the pack. In business you're either moving forward or backward and from the sound of your pretty angry post you're not making the moves necessary to move forward. This is not an insult: this is just the reality of the 21st century.

I would argue the LGS is a niche market to begin with but maybe it's time to examine and secure a different position in yours if you are not satisfied with certain aspects. You're always going to get stupid customers but with every smart phone sold this is going to be a more common experience. Already, I can walk in any store look at practically any product, and my iPhone will tell me not only the cheapest prices on the internet but the cheapest prices nearby of the EXACT same item - you expect me not to pursue that? At this point I'd be considering it a luxury that you have customers willing to ask if you will negotiate because they could just leave on an product that you do have wiggle room.

I'm so torn. I have an advanced degree in finance and I believe the problem is both consumers and business and that it's just going to get worse for everyone. I think too many greedy business owners screwed too many customers and now too many stupid customers are screwing good business owners. I also think their are way too many people that can amass enough seed money to open a "mom-and-pop" niche store like an LGS that should never be in business anyway.

The fact is: you are going to have a damn hard time competing (as in, with start ups and as consumers) with kids that are graduating with a basic business bachelors degree and have taken intensely difficult international finance and economic classes and have memorized the models in them. What do you expect them to do? Pay your higher prices just because YOU have a higher overhead? By that logic YOU should be giving the consumer a discount because their electric bill was higher than usual this month!

At the end of the day: I wish every business would succeed and every consumer got the best deal possible and I think this thread is a great example of the rough situation we are in both on both sides of the boat: capital and labor.

Agsalaska
April 7, 2012, 01:27 PM
Disclaimer: I don't shop at LGS simply because I have no need to, my interest in this thread is purely due to the fact that I love business and discussions of business of any sort.

Maybe because of my education I'm a little on the far side of free-market capitalism but, no offense, it is attitudes like these that innovators profit off of. We now live in a world full of perfectly subsitutable options. Either you learn to compete or you go out of business. Based off the way you stated your prices I'm assuming you are using one of the two most basic pricing models possible: either direct or cost plus; regardless, these are entry level business class models. Don't be mad at your customers because people are discovering more efficient and cost-saving methodologies to consume a perfectly substitutable product. A quick piece of advice: SWOT analysis to discover your strengths and weaknesses and then you better find a way to develop a sustainable competitive advantage and you better keep doing that process over and over and over. You are living in a new world.

I am the furthest person in the world to think that customers are always right because I generally assume the mentality that steve jobs did, you have to lead them BUT: if you can't keep up with your customers (who are doing EXACTLY what they should do as informed consumers) then you are going to have a problem and you getting upset about it is not helping move your business forward.

It is the duty of the business to improve and stay ahead of the pack. In business you're either moving forward or backward and from the sound of your pretty angry post you're not making the moves necessary to move forward. This is not an insult: this is just the reality of the 21st century.

I would argue the LGS is a niche market to begin with but maybe it's time to examine and secure a different position in yours if you are not satisfied with certain aspects. You're always going to get stupid customers but with every smart phone sold this is going to be a more common experience. Already, I can walk in any store look at practically any product, and my iPhone will tell me not only the cheapest prices on the internet but the cheapest prices nearby of the EXACT same item - you expect me not to pursue that? At this point I'd be considering it a luxury that you have customers willing to ask if you will negotiate because they could just leave on an product that you do have wiggle room.

I'm so torn. I have an advanced degree in finance and I believe the problem is both consumers and business and that it's just going to get worse for everyone. I think too many greedy business owners screwed too many customers and now too many stupid customers are screwing good business owners. I also think their are way too many people that can amass enough seed money to open a "mom-and-pop" niche store like an LGS that should never be in business anyway.

The fact is: you are going to have a damn hard time competing (as in, with start ups and as consumers) with kids that are graduating with a basic business bachelors degree and have taken intensely difficult international finance and economic classes and have memorized the models in them. What do you expect them to do? Pay your higher prices just because YOU have a higher overhead? By that logic YOU should be giving the consumer a discount because their electric bill was higher than usual this month!

At the end of the day: I wish every business would succeed and every consumer got the best deal possible and I think this thread is a great example of the rough situation we are in both on both sides of the boat: capital and labor.
Wow. I somehow missed the darksworddx's post. That is a perfect example of exactly why a lot of LGS struggle. It's almost comical to read.


And MattMesa I agree with a lot of your post but I don't necessarily see it as a problem with customers as well. They are just reacting and changing with the times.

Ragnar Danneskjold
April 7, 2012, 02:34 PM
What do you expect them to do? Pay your higher prices just because YOU have a higher overhead? By that logic YOU should be giving the consumer a discount because their electric bill was higher than usual this month!

It really seems that is the expectation. If you are tying to appeal to a customers sympathy for you to make a sale, you're doing it wrong. Sympathy is meaningless. Your plight is meaningless to everyone but you. We all have our own problems and costs. You got in business to make sales. So make what you're selling attractive or stop trying. A sob story about how hard it is to be a LGS owner is not going to cut it.

Scottray10
April 7, 2012, 02:46 PM
I agree with the other guy, you didn't do anything wrong by asking him. he could've handled it better by repeating what the other guy said about shipping and handling on the internet, if he was smart enough to know that ahead of time. That way he would've been giving you a choice and he could've kept the sale. Except for not having your merchandise. He should've called you and kept you up to date. That's professionalism.

larryh1108
April 7, 2012, 07:10 PM
Those with good prices and good service have and will continue to flourish. My LGS is a hardware store with over 2000 guns in stock. They match or beat any price you find on the internet for new guns. If they don;t have it in stock, they will order it. If you want they will do transfers on firearms bought over the internet. Accessories, ammo and reloading components are close to internet prices plus shipping. If you are looking for cheap game load shotgun shells they will direct you up the street to the local Walmart. They sell minnows and other live bait in the back. 80% of the folks working there are family. The owner and oldest living patriarch is still found behind the counter in sporting goods 5-6 days a week.

The perfect example of a success story. They've learned to adapt to the times, not sit on their laurel and say "we've done it this way for 100 years". What they've done for 100 years is take care of the customer's needs and treat them with the respect they deserve for spending their money there.

Every LGS is not bad or arrogant. There are many who will do just fine. Bud's may have been a local gun shop at one time like the hardware store you mention. People who strive to succeed with common sense and their finger on the pulse of their customers will make it. Those who rest on their reputation alone and don't adapt will not make it. Colt almost lost their business by just slapping their horse on some product and figuring that was enough. They finally realized that the world has changed, consumers have gotten smarter with more choices and reputation alone won't cut it. You have to deliver. Period. Adapt or perish.

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