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employed at gunshop, bought gun elsewhere

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by jashobeam, Jan 7, 2006.

  1. jashobeam

    jashobeam Member

    Sep 4, 2005
    San Jose, CA
    A few weeks ago I made up my mind to purchase a CZ P-01. The gun shop I work at does not have this gun in stock so, like any regular customer, I filled out a "Special Order" form. The next step in the process would be for the owner of the shop to let me know the price of the gun. If the price he quotes is acceptable, a percentage of the total cost is paid and then the gun is ordered. I submitted my request on December 23, and noting as I did so that there were already several other special order forms filed, some a week old. I was kind of surprised; I had figured that these were looked at and processed on a more or less daily basis. On January 5, my request form had not been touched. I had wanted to buy the gun at the shop I work at, NOT because I get a discount (which I do not) but because I wanted to be a loyal employee (yes, an $8/hr employee can be loyal) and imagined that it would be good PR to tell customers that I bought my gun there at the store. Also, I wanted to be like one of those happy, excited customers that I have the privilege of seeing actually buy the firearm of their choice. Obviously, if he had quoted me an unreasonable price I would have looked elsewhere.


    I walk into Kerley's Hunting and Fishing on Stevens Creek Blvd. I'm talking to a clerk there about guns and books, and ask him about the CZ P-01. He immediately gets on the phone and gets me a price and finds out about availability. He tells me $505. I said, "Let's do it," and he filled out the order form. Simple. That's good customer service.

    What my boss doesn't understand is that all those "Special Order" forms represent real people who have expressed a desire to become his customers. It's a big deal (for poor folks like me anyway) to actually decide to spend money on a new gun. I always get so happy for customers who are looking to buy guns. I'm always very patient because I know it's a big decision. They want to make the right choice and buy the gun they really want. I'll come into work and see a customer that I recognize standing at the sales counter and filling out paper work, and I'll go up to him and say, "Hey, all right! What'd ya decide to get?"

    I'll be happy to get my new gun, but I'm sort of disappointed that I couldn't have had this experience in the gun shop I enjoy working at. My co-workers would've shared my joy as well. I guess I'll have to buy another gun!

    The owner is too busy running the business to remember the business! Shame on him.
  2. whm1974

    whm1974 Senior Member

    Feb 10, 2004
    Since very if any gunshops will have the space to stock every item a customer would want, they should be able to order an item and tell how much and when they can get said item.

  3. dmftoy1

    dmftoy1 Senior Member

    Nov 17, 2003
    Lexington, IL
    The local small mom&pop gun store that I try to give all my business has a reasonable number of handguns/rifles in stock but usually doesn't ever have anything that I want. When I ask them about a gun they immediately pull out the flyers and will quote me a price. If it's something that they think might have limited availability they get on the phone. They always charge a little more than other places but they get my business.

    Have a good one,
  4. Majic

    Majic Mentor

    May 3, 2003
    You did tell the boss that the special order was for you and not a customer?
  5. Demariana

    Demariana New Member

    Dec 21, 2005
    Lexington KY
    What Majic said.

    Also did you point out the other forms to the boss? And offer to help with getting them processed?

  6. 1 old 0311

    1 old 0311 member

    Jun 26, 2005
    Planet Earth
    I have had trouble special ordering firearms also. I guess they want to sell what they have in stock.

  7. SJG26

    SJG26 member

    Dec 25, 2002
    Eastern PA - Berks/Lehigh Valley
    how I do it..................

    Step 1:
    Go to Cabelas to handle the wide select of fine firearms.........try them for fit, finish,trigger pull - grill the staff for info.
    Step 2:
    Ask for cost---------------price almost always MSRP.---walk out of Cabelas.
    Step 3:
    Goes to local gunshop--------tell Jim I want a Sig model xyz--------in irridescent blue w/ nite sights...oh by the way---how soon can it be ordered and cost??

    Step 4:
    As usual, cost is very very good....Jim writes up sale and I have a new toy in 3-5 days!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  8. twency

    twency Member

    Aug 26, 2003
    I used to work in a (non-gun) mom&pop store like this. Owner couldn't be bothered to order stuff for employees or customers in a timely fashion. One of the reasons I stopped working there.
    Shouldn't really matter. In a specialty store which can't afford to stock every last make, model, and finish of a particular product, special orders are an important source of revenue. Every customer's order is important, and should be treated as such. (Whether or not the customer is an employee of the store.)
    You're perfectly within your rights to do this, but this kind of thing does bug me a bit. I worked at what you might call a mid-size store in our field, which had more stock than some of the other local guys, but less than the big mail-order outfits.

    It always burned me when someone would come in, handle the merchandise, ask a ton of questions, learn all about how to use the product, then announce that he could get the product from so & so cheaper and leave. How come the customer didn't just examine the item there? In the case of the mail-order places, they didn't have local stores. Lower overhead, lower prices. In the case of the smaller stores, they carried just about no stock, so had lower overhead. The store where I worked had to charge a bit more because it was expensive to carry the stock. Sometimes it was a product available from a national retail chain, at a slightly lower price. Why didn't the customer just look at it there? "Those guys don't know anything. You guys are so much more knowledgeable." Somehow it doesn't dawn on these people that hiring knowledgeable staff costs more than hiring unskilled drones.

    In order to encourage customers to buy from us despite higher prices, one of the keys would have been superior customer service. Unfortunately, management was a bit shortsighted in that regard, including in how they dealt with special orders, as I mentioned above. Despite the best efforts of employees, the owners had a way of sabotaging customer relations.

    I realize Cabela's meets no one's definition of mom&pop, but that's not my point. Fondling one store's merchandise, taking up employee time, keeping other customers from the merchandise, then ordering somewhere else to save a couple bucks punishes the store which invests more in employee training and knowledge, diverse stock of merchandise, nicer facilities, etc. It's your right, but in the long run, it may not be in your own best interest.

  9. V4Vendetta

    V4Vendetta member

    Nov 30, 2005
    NC, USA
    "It's a big deal (for poor folks like me anyway) to actually decide to spend money on a new gun. I always get so happy for customers who are looking to buy guns. I'm always very patient because I know it's a big decision. They want to make the right choice and buy the gun they really want. I'll come into work and see a customer that I recognize standing at the sales counter and filling out paper work, and I'll go up to him and say, "Hey, all right! What'd ya decide to get?" "

    You sound like a ideal employee. Any chance your store is in the Western NC area?
  10. erik the bold

    erik the bold Member

    Aug 17, 2004
    Middle of the Mitten, Somewhere' Nort of Hell
    Buy your boss a copy of Percy H. Whiting's The 5 Great Rules of Selling

    Try to find the 1978 Dale Carnegie edition. Can be had on Amazon for as little as a $1 + shipping.

    Try to make him read it..............:neener:
  11. hksw

    hksw Senior Member

    Dec 25, 2002
    Personally, I've had pretty good service from my local shop. My dealer, when a price quote is requested by me on an item not in stock, would either get on line with his distributor and look up te price, calculate his cut, and give me the quote or, if the distributor does not have it or is on a dealer direct program and has to call the manufacturer, gets it in a day or two.

    I do agree with most folks here that to be a good business, the owner should be following up on the request for quotes whether he likes it or not. However, it could be that he has received in the past numerous requests and have had very little return and now feels it is not worth the trouble. That type of mentality is wrong if you are running a business (i.e., any and every request should be treated as a probable purchase), but maybe he has just fallen into that rut.
  12. axeman_g

    axeman_g Participating Member

    Jan 26, 2003
    South Jersey
    job opp

    sound to me like you need to put in a application at Kerley's.
  13. 6inch

    6inch New Member

    Nov 19, 2005
    Boonies of North Central Florida
    I've found that it's just good business to try to keep your employees happy. They're not going to do a good job selling ,or any other job they have, if they're not happy with the boss.

    Sounds like this owner has a thing or two to learn! :rolleyes:
  14. TallPine

    TallPine Mentor

    Dec 26, 2002
    somewhere in the middle of Montana
    Sounds like the jackass that I used to work for ... but he is out of business now - the bank finally closed them down several years after I walked out, never to even buy a nail or faucet washer there again. They treated most customers and all employees like horse poop, and then got all huffy because the town wouldn't "support them" and would drive 50 miles to Billings instead.

    One day I was finishing up the paperwork (bound book) after selling a $1000 rifle, and the "mom" of the mom & pop came over and chewed me out because I wasn't over in the clothing dept the instant that somebody walked in there :banghead:

    You might as well be looking for a new job, as the business side of Darwin will eventually catch up to your employer.
  15. gremlin_bros

    gremlin_bros New Member

    Aug 22, 2005
    i know the feeling when i ordered my first beretta i went to a local gun store id say mid size nice selection but the one i wanted wasnt in stock. so i special ordered it and was told 3 to 5 days. 3 weeks later still no gun i demanded my deposit back they said ten percent would be kept for restocking. i said restock what you dont even have the gun. long story short i was able to get a friend who is a lawyer to write them stating my intent to sue for the full deposit as well as the cort cost and lawyer fees needless to say they gave in paid the lawyer off and gave me a full refund trying to say it was all a big mix up. yeah right truth was they have done this to other customers and finialy got one who didnt just roll over.
    in the mean time i went to a highschool friend who's dad has his ffl and a small shop about 30 miles away. i tell him over the phone what i want and he quots me a price and i say order it call me when its in no problem. (side note he also saved me just over 100 bucks as well. wish i had went to him first) 2 days actualy more like a day and a half he calls me it in. 1 hour later it in my hands and paid for he hands me a box of ammo and says let's head out back and see how it shoots. so off we go and its a tack driver needless to say i never went anyplace else after that untill he passed away. now after much looking i have found a small local shop that is prety much the same thing nice friendly dosent over charge on special orders and if i want to look at somthing and it will sell even if im not the one to buy it he orders it in and gives me a ring when its in so i can have first "crack" at it. now i have only dont this three times and bought two of the guns the third had a huge rough triggerpull that would have wrecked the shot. well he took it and reworked the trigger (hes a licenessed gunsmith as well) and sold it to sombody else who still got a good gun at a nice price.
  16. beaucoup ammo

    beaucoup ammo Participating Member

    Sep 17, 2005
    San Antonio
    Better To Look For A Job While You Have A Job

    Start lookin'. Your boss will be one of the"poor folks" if he keeps this detached attitude. I've seen many a place go under for the simple reason that the ONLY thing that seperates one from the other is customer service.

    That, and word of mouth.. can make or break you.

    Take Care
  17. bearmgc

    bearmgc Participating Member

    May 6, 2005
    A friend of mine, who used to manage a gun store, derived most of his business from customers who were disgusted with other gun shops. He was 100% customer service, and would even call people back with quotes, when he couldn't find what they wanted immediately. He left that store for a better job, and the "long distance" owner never knew why his store then began going in the red....?
  18. Beetle Bailey

    Beetle Bailey Participating Member

    Sep 14, 2003
    Wow. I guess I really didn't know how good I had it. :uhoh:

    I bought my first two rifles from a small local shop (unfortunately they are now out of business) and when I went back in a few months later the owner remembered me and asked "How is that Mosin Nagant shooting? By the way, I just got a few more SKS's in, interested in getting a spare?" :cool: Right then I decided this would be my number one gunshop.

    A few months after that, I went in to ask for a price on a CZ452 Lux. He said, "Write down all the info on the model you want and I will have a price for you tomorrow." I did just that and the next day called him. He gave me the OTD price which I agreed with. Then he said, "I knew you would, that's why I went ahead and already ordered it for you. It's on the way."

    When the day came for me to start the DROS and begin my 10-day wait, I show up to the shop and the owner, John, said "I ordered two, so you can have your pick - I'll just put the other one on the rack." I examined both rifles and everything looked right, so I just picked the prettier one. :D

    That little .22lr rifle is with me on almost every single range trip and I have allowed over a dozen people shoot it - all seemed impressed and a two even went out and bought their own CZ452 afterwards.


    P.S. I agree with twency on not using the local shop to fondle a gun, then order it elsewhere to save a buck. Now, if the local shop is run by a jerk, that's one thing, but if you are getting good service from a shop, it would be a good idea to reward that good service with a purchase. Otherwise that shop might not always be there for you for future purchases.

    P.P.S. The shop I mentioned in my post closed down because they couldn't get their FFL renewed after they moved the location of the shop.
  19. f4t9r

    f4t9r Senior Member

    May 27, 2005
    thats true But it
    should not matter , sounds like bad customer service to me
  20. newfalguy101

    newfalguy101 Participating Member

    Aug 13, 2005
    Clay Center, Nebraska
    The guy has no excuse for not filling the special ORDERS, anytime I get someone wanting to spend money, I tell you what, I get the deposit and ORDER asap.

    On the other hand, as for quotes, I have changed the way I do those as I got tired of looking for the best price, writing up the quote and hearing " thanks, one of these days I might get one"

    Now I go to one source ( they have good prices on most everything I look at), quote the price of the gun + my cut, add an ESTIMATED S&H, and tell them that there will be tax added. I still get lookie-lous, but I dont spend all damn day trying to find the best price. When they place an order I then look for the best possible price and reflect MY savings in THEIR final price. Seems fair to me, and when they spend less than quoted they are happy.

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