Questions for gun shop owners / employees


Declaration Day
March 23, 2004, 06:25 PM
I own a relatively small lawnservice business. Generally, I am busy between late March and early December. During that time, I do quite well for myself. We do snow removal the rest of the year, but it's usually only 1-2 days of work per week, and I have to rely partly on my savings from the summer. Although we don't necessarily need the extra money in the winter, I have a lot of spare time and not much to do. So, thinking ahead for next winter, I've decided I might try to get a part time job at one of many local gun shops. A little spare cash is always helpful, and I would be doing something that I enjoy. I have a decent knowledge of guns, especially the ones I own, but do not consider myself to be an expert. My questions are: How much experience is necessary to work at a gun shop? And what are good sources of information, specific books, etc., where I can learn what I need to know? Thanks in advance for your help!

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March 23, 2004, 07:08 PM
Instead, why not see about getting an FFL, and doing gun shows or a mail-order business for accessories?

Sounds like you're a self-starter, and you might be happier, and paid better, that way...

March 23, 2004, 07:10 PM
Nobody is born knowing all there is to know about firearms.
All of my experience came from the Military and, like you, the guns I own. I'm no expert by any means and yes, I work part time at a local shop. The best advice I can give you is be honest, if you don't know the answer to a question admit it, don't try and BS your way through it. Tell the customer you're not sure or you don't know and ASK another employee that might. In the shop I work in, I concentrate on the military type rifles when we're busy and pay attention to the hunting / sporting stuff when we're not. Whatever you do, don't be like some people and push people into something they may not want and don't let your personal beliefs that aren't substantiated by provable facts cloud your judgement when asked about something. I can't stand Glocks but I have to sell them....someone asks me about them I tell them the truth....not my cup of tea personally but the do go bang every time you pull the trigger and they are one of our best selling lines. Hell, I even bought one because they go bang every time and don't need much maintenance.

Declaration Day
March 23, 2004, 07:16 PM
I definitely think honesty is the best way to deal with customers. I have refused to do business with some shops simply because an employee tried to BS me, thinking I didn't know the truth. I often play dumb when gun shopping, just to see if the shop will try to pull a fast one on me. On one occasion, at a gun show, a dealer actually turned me away from a gun that I was prepared to buy from him. He did not carry the gun he recommended, and I ended up buying that model from another dealer that day. However, I have since bought several firearms from that man because of his honesty!

March 23, 2004, 11:06 PM
Give it a shot. Go aorund and talk to some of the gun shop owners. As for knowledge I can assure you nobody knows everything. There is always more to know. Getting your own FFL might be an option if the local shops don't have any spots. Best of luck!

March 23, 2004, 11:49 PM
My friend, you already know the most important thing there is to know. you know that you don't know everything. But you seem to have the right attitude.

Go to your local public library and check out books on guns, especially gunsmithing and gun history. Avoid "gun rags" like the plague. (Better to be uninformed than misinformed.

You may very well be surprised to learn that you already know more than most of the gun store clerks in the country.

But above all, NEVER be ashamed to look a customer in the eye, and say, "I'm sorry, but I honestly don't know the answer to that question, but I'll try to find out." Most folks will respect you for honesty.

March 24, 2004, 12:06 AM
We are in the process of looking for some help.

As I tell new potential hires....there is more to working in a gunshop that standing around the counter shootin the sh*t about your favorite guns, swapping manly war stories and winking knowingly about how the gubmint is secretly conspiring to violate your rights...

There is...

Floors to mop
Rugs to vacum
Cash registers to run
Documents to copy
Guns to Pack
parts to pack
Stuff to unpack
Shelves to stock
p0arts to order
Phones to answer
Forms to fill out
Counters to windex
scopes to arrange
Shelves to dust
Takin out garbage
Watchin tire kickers while I get some real work done

Hey! That sounds like.....working for a BUSINESS.....!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


March 24, 2004, 04:58 AM
We are in the process of looking for some help.


Alaska is the only state I haven't been to yet.
And I did just buy a 4WD...

Declaration Day
March 24, 2004, 08:48 AM
Unfortunately, Alaska is a bit too far to travel on a daily basis, as I live in Michigan, but thanks anyway. Also, don't forget I am a business owner so I am aware of the amount of work involved in operating a business. A lot goes on that the customer does not see. Anyway, I think I will start by visiting some local shops and making friends with the owners; I've already done this at a couple of places.

Old Fuff
March 24, 2004, 10:59 AM
Been there, done that .... most of the advise you are getting is good. As to books. An easy and inexpensive way to increase your knowledge is to write or otherwise contact the manufacturers of the firearms (or whatever) you are most likely to be selling and ask for a copy of their current catalog. They're usually free and you can learn a lot. There isn't any better way to find out what you need to know about current guns, accessories, ammunition and whatever.

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