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Business courtesy?

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by Dulvarian, Mar 14, 2011.

  1. Dulvarian

    Dulvarian Well-Known Member

    I contacted the manager of a new, small LGS about what his FFL fees were. We talked for a bit, as we have a few mutual acquaintances (the reason I went there), and he asked that the next time I was looking to buy to give him a chance.

    I was pretty clear when we talked that I knew he would have a hard time matching the low prices you can find online, but that I was ok with it to run a gun through his store.

    So, I sent him an email that had all the relevant data (SKU number from the manufacturer to make sure it was the exact model I wanted), and what the current prices were. I cited the lowest, and the average (even including the ones that were marked above MSRP) and asked for a quote. I told him in person that I was looking to buy soon, and when I sent the email, I told him I was ready to buy. I got a response, saying thanks, I'll get back to you.

    Now, I don't run a business. But, I would think that since I had done pretty much all the research from my end and presented it, it would be a matter of him deciding what his profit margin would be and shooting a response back. I even told him in the email that I was fully aware of the shipping, transfer fees, etc, and how that would compare with his offer. I figured it would take one or two phone calls, add $xx for profit and call it a day. It's a clear sale, no sitting on the shelf for more than a day or two.

    After a week, nothing. My question to readers would be, try to support the guy who is running a fairly priced store, and call him back or drop by in person to ask, or let it go? I didn't have a problem with the fact that I would paying almost $100-150 more for the rifle (shipping was free from Bud's, no sales tax, and I normally pay half what he asked for the transfer).

    Thoughts? Comments? I don't know what his reasoning was, perhaps he's really busy and just hasn't gotten back to me. How much time would you spend trying to help out a business?
  2. JTHunter

    JTHunter Well-Known Member

    Try giving the gentleman a call. Depending on his "geek factor", it is possible that he deleted the email without printing it or saving the info the way he should have. Or he might have lost your email addy or he might have even been ill. Give him a chance.
  3. If he is new and small, he may be trying to find the gun through a distributor who can give him a competitive price. On the other hand, he might not have gotten around to it or found he couldn't compete and didn't bother to tell you.

    If you want to be nice, drop him another email and tell him that you're looking to buy very soon and were wondering if he had a quote yet. If you get a reply, even if he says he can't beat the price or he's still working it, you can make a decision then. If you don't get a reply, I'd say the decision is made for you.
  4. Murphy4570

    Murphy4570 Well-Known Member

    He probably forgot about it unintentionally. Businesses take a lot to run, and usually if one man tries to do too much, things slip through the cracks, especially when it comes to memory.
  5. evan price

    evan price Well-Known Member

    You asked, he didn't deliver, move on.
  6. Bubba613

    Bubba613 member

    He might have decided that trying to find someone who had the exact gun you wanted, doubtless a difficult to get model, wasn't worth the $5 profit you were offering.
    Maybe he couldn't find the gun. Maybe he deleted your email accidentally. Maybe he's spending time with people who value his service more than you do.
    All kinds of possibilities here. Bottom line, if you don't like how he does business, don't.
  7. ultradoc

    ultradoc Well-Known Member

    I like JTHunter's responce. Keep the geek factor in mind :]
  8. D94R

    D94R Well-Known Member

    I'm having a similiar issue with a new LGS here. I asked him about his price for a Rock Island Tactical 1911 in 9mm. The two lowest online vendors are sold out or moving inventory to a new location so they are unavailable to sell right now. I told the LGS if he can match or be around their price plus the shipping and transfer fee that it would cost me then I'd just as soon buy from him and have him profit difference instead of wrapping up funds in transfer fees and what not.

    This was 3 weeks ago and I haven't heard back. He wrote all my info down along with all the other stuff he was looking up for people. Maybe he can't get one right now for whatever reason, but a follow up would be nice.
  9. RB98SS

    RB98SS Well-Known Member

    That's odd, I run into the same type issues here. No response back from questions regarding purchasing a gun. Recently I've checked with 5 different local shops/retailers regarding having a gun ordered and a price quoted. I've been to the shops face to face where the employee/owner says they need to check their distributor and check availability and price. Out of the 5, two got back to me -- Cabela's and another bigger local outdoor retailer. The small gun shops never did.
  10. Bubba613

    Bubba613 member

    When I'm sold out of guns I have the lowest prices on them too:neener:

    No wonder he won't get back to you. I wouldn't either.
  11. D94R

    D94R Well-Known Member

    e-sarco and centerfirearms have always had the lowest prices. they didn't "drop" them because they are sold out.

    Fine, you can avoid getting back with potential customers all you want. It would seem making $30 or $40 on a gun is better than making just $20 on a transfer fee cause you didn't want to try and compete with pricing. (barring any nod to the fact the guns are hard to find right now). But I'm not a business owner, what do I know. :rolleyes:
  12. Sunray

    Sunray Well-Known Member

    "...it would be a matter of him deciding..." There's a lot more involved than that. Dealers have to buy whatever they're selling from a distributor. New businesses don't get credit terms, he may not have an account with a local distributor who carries whatever firearm you're looking at, he may be having issues with Bud's(they need a copy of the guy's FFL), etc. etc.
    All that and a request for a quote isn't a sale. A desposit is a sale. A transfer from another dealer isn't a sale either.
  13. dusty14u

    dusty14u Well-Known Member

    I do quite a bit of purchasing for my job. I send RFQ's ( request for quotes) to vendors that are capable of supplying my needs. Some I get responses from quickly and sometimes I receive no response. I generally make my decision and strike PO's (purchase orders) fairly quickly. I rarely resend or hound them for quotes unless I can't find it anywhere else. If they call me later and ask if I still need it I generally tell them I didn't hear back from them within 24 or 48 hrs- depends on the size and complexity of order- and gave the PO to someone else. After a while you learn who values your business and who doesn't and you tend to deal with them the most. I would take his non response as not enough interest to deal with you and shop elsewhere.
  14. kingpin008

    kingpin008 Well-Known Member

    At first I was going to suggest giving him a follow-up call or email and ask again, but the more I consider it the more I'm in agreement with those whose advice it is to move on.

    You had two contacts with him - during both you notified him of your interest to do business. You did all the legwork for him and told him you were ready to pull the trigger on the purchase. His job from that point is simple - let you know if he can do it or not, and if yes, make the sale. He didn't do it.

    I can sympathize that he's a new guy and just getting started, but that's all the more reason for him to be on top of things and make sure to pull in all the business he possibly can. Customers shouldn't have to chase down retailers and shove their money at them, especially when the retailers specifically ask them to take a chance and do business with them. He took a chance, and the guy dropped the ball.
  15. youngda9

    youngda9 member

    Go to the store with cash and a printout of the bud's price.

    Negoatiate and see if you can come to an agreement. Brick and morter stores will need to make a profit over a warehouse distributor to stay in business...and we all want them to stay in business or there won't be any around.
  16. P7HVN

    P7HVN Member

    No offense meant towards any LGS owners here, but a good 90% or more of LGS owners are awful business owners. Most of them get into gun sales because of a genuine interest in guns, but have no prior business experience. My brother was in the gun business(wholesale distributor, then factory rep) for over 20yrs and his biggest on-the-job frustration was inept owners. He was super passionate about firearms and would go above & beyond the scope of his position, to arrange discounts on hot models, sponsor shoots at local ranges(supplying the guns & ammo) and other incentives to help LGS's, but they would invariably waste the opportunity to makes sales. That frustration with LGS's, not the economy or corporate BS, is what lead him to leaving the industry. Some LGS owners have a very strange resistance to ordering guns that they don't have in stock or even just looking into getting them. It's happened to me on several occasions, even when offering to pay prior to ordering. I never have figured it out....

    I have(and will continue to) bought guns at $100-200 over internet prices to support LGS's, but the internet has killed a lot of small business owners. Politely follow up with your local LGS and ask him if he's had the chance to research the info you've given him and let him know you've found something you're ready to purchase, but wanted to check back with him first. If he doesn't follow up promptly after that, move on...
  17. Bubba613

    Bubba613 member

    You are correct that many gun shops are owned by guys (usually) with military or LE experience and they just aren't retail oriented. One wonders how they stay in business at all.
  18. jawn

    jawn Well-Known Member

    I usually have a lot more luck with face-to-face interactions with smaller gun shops. Both of the shops that I frequent (one much pricier but with a better in-store selection) have always been able to give me a price quote while I was still at the shop, or told me directly that they would not be able to get me a particular gun because of distributor issues.

    Cold-calling or cold-emailing about a product without ever going to the shop will most likely lead to you being de-prioritized to the customers in the store. The customers in the store are far more likely to make a purchase than a potential customer that never enters the store.

    I work retail, and if a customer calls in an order (without providing a payment method), you can be sure that if I have customer in-store, I'll handle the customer in-store first. If I happen to get extremely busy with in-store customers, I probably won't get to the called-in order until that particular customer shows up. There's no reason to lose a sale because of someone who might come in for something. Just the nature of the beast.
  19. mgkdrgn

    mgkdrgn Well-Known Member

    With shipping to him and sales tax added on, there is no way he can beat (or even match, w/o loosing money) the price from buds on anything under $500. He'll make more money doing it as a transfer. Just tacking on the 7% sales tax to his COST will likely be higher than the price from Buds.
  20. medalguy

    medalguy Well-Known Member

    Dealers buying from a distributor don't pay sales tax. That's collected at the retail level only. Many retailers don't want to buy items they are not already carrying for some reason. Buy wherever you get the best price and forget about him.

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