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Gun Shop "Help"

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by PacketStorm, Sep 10, 2007.

  1. PacketStorm

    PacketStorm Active Member

    Well it has happened again. I stopped by my local area gun shop and was amazed at the apathy and all around poor customer service. How is the service in other parts of the country?

    Ignorant Salesman
    I am in WNY and there is not a lot of choice as far as gun shops go. I stopped by the largest shop in the Buffalo area and was looking at AR style rifles. Now when I purchase a firearm, I always read up and do some homework before I go into the shop. When I get to the store I will often ask some questions that I know the answer too and see what kind of response I get. This often weeds out the salesman who are only interested in pushing a sale onto you and those that have good working knowledge of the product and can be helpful.

    Somehow I ended up with the pushy salesman. He couldn't care less about helping me and showing me the difference between the 4 models of rifle I was looking for. I asked about shooting .223 ammo and 5.56 ammo out of various rifles and was told "Any gun in .223 caliber can shoot both .223 and 5.56 ammo". I looked at the guy and said are you talking the AR rifles or all rifles? He adamantly claimed this applied to any rifle. I mentioned that I have been reading up on this and am pretty sure you should not shoot 5.56 ammo out of a .223 bolt action hunting rifle. The guy then goes off about how there is so much mis-information on the gun forums and people on these sites don't know what they are talking about.

    Well at this point, I decided there would be no purchase. I kindly thanked the gentleman for his time and that I would have to think about my purchase some more.

    Pistol Permit
    Here is a funny situation with Pistol Sales in the great state of NY. I have my pistol application in with NY State and am waiting to be approved. This is an interesting twist - You must purchase your pistol after approval, before you are issued your permit. That wouldn't be too bad except the gun shops won't let you touch the pistols unless you have your permit. Kind of a chicken/egg situation - which came first?? It will be interesting to see how everything plays out.
  2. highfive

    highfive Well-Known Member

    Well I'm in Texas....and the gun shops I go like the local place here they're awesome, they already know me there. the other ones are big stores like Academy and Cabela's and they have been helpful, well that is if you know who to talk to. I'm talking about Cabela's there is sometimes they have some people behind the gun counter, you'll be amazed. But there is an old guy there that he is very helpful.... At least around here no complaints yet
  3. 22-rimfire

    22-rimfire Well-Known Member

    Is that a "permit to buy" a handgun? Same apply to rifles in NY? Assuming it is a permit to buy like some states have, how long do you have to purchase the firearm after you're issued the permit?
  4. PacketStorm

    PacketStorm Active Member

    Pistol Permit Purchase

    Rifles and shotguns are much easier in NY. My first purchase in this state was the Beretta CX4 Storm. I wanted a handgun caliber carbine for HD purposes (and it looks really cool and shoos even better). I filled out some forms and showed my state issued ID. They ran an instant background check and I was out of the shop within an hour.

    My second purchase was for a shotgun for the upcoming deer season. (Another note, this state has all kinds of restrictions on using rifles in different counties. You can shoot deer with say a Thompson Center .30-06 pistol, but can't use a .30-06 rifle. Who was the brilliant author of that one??) Sorry, I'm still coming to terms with this state. :barf: The shotgun purchase was even quicker after I was already on file with the shop.

    I think there is a 30 day limit to purchase the pistol and get the permit printed. I just know that I have to make up my mind quickly when the letter arrives.
  5. W.E.G.

    W.E.G. Well-Known Member

    Did you come to this decision because you thought the misinformed salesman might be right, or because you just didn't want to patronize an establishment that hires misinformed (and probably low-paid) sales clerks? If this sort of ignorance rankles you, don't ever buy a gun at a gun show... or god-forbid - WAL*MART.
  6. PacketStorm

    PacketStorm Active Member

    Gun Shop Help

    It is more than just being wrong about a few details on the product. There are those salesmen who just don't care any longer. When you walk into the shop and you get the impression that it is a burden that you need assistance in looking at a product, it just gets too me. Everyone makes mistakes, I can accept that, but when you have a attitude and are making mistakes... that is a loss of sale. I very well may be mistaken about a particular feature and would like to learn, just talk to people and interact with them on a professional basis.

    I went back to the shop later and did purchase my 870 deer gun, but worked with a different guy. He was friendly, helpful and it wasn't a bother that I was in the shop talking and looking at the guns.

    I would rather support the local shops than Boxmart any day of the week (not to mention that our Boxmart dropped all but single shot shotguns and muzzle loaders).

    I work with computers networks at a good sized company. We constantly have turnover in our help desk staff. The ones who make it in the end don't necessarily have the most CPU knowledge. They have enough to be helpful but more importantly they have people skills. No matter what you business is (gun shop, CPU support, airlines...) if you don't treat the customer with respect you won't stay in business.
  7. Rock_Steady

    Rock_Steady Well-Known Member

    Don't know why I go there, but I do.

    I hit my local gun shop the other day - just was going in to see if they had any once-fired .357 mag brass. As I pass through, I see the Lee pro 1000's set up - for sale, in your choice of caliber. I ask the guy how much, he says "175 plus tax. You interested?" Probably put the guy on the defensive - I let out a low whistle and asked why so expensive - that retails for like $120 at cabelas, and I can find it for lower than that, shipped, online. "Well, $175 is what we sell them for - if you don't want to get one at that price, which is plenty low for a progressive, you can get the $%#& out!" - which I did, gladly. Same place told me I couldn't get a Bushmaster AR-15, in any configuration, for less than $2300. I feel sorry for anyone that buys anything there......
  8. john1911

    john1911 Well-Known Member

    I don't understand this. If you know the answer, why ask the question? The way I see it, you are wanting the salesman to goof up so you can show your superior knowledge.

    I can understand why some gun shop employees always seem to be grumpy. Everyone seems to know more than they do.
  9. nelson133

    nelson133 Well-Known Member

    It's really pretty simple, you ask questions that you know the answer to to judge the value of the answers to the questions that you don'[t know the answer.
  10. Zen21Tao

    Zen21Tao Well-Known Member

    I am starting to think that every individual gunshop acquires its own atmosphere. I mean here we have a gunshop owned by a group of brothers that,when you walk in, feels every much like a commercial gun-mart. This place is even complete with salespeople that think their mere position behind the counter makes them more gun knowledgeable than ANY of their customers. I really don't like shopping here.

    However, a couple years ago, these brother bought a small local gun shop from a well known elderly gun dealer. The brother than runs this store has insisted on keeping the "old timer, mom and pops" feel of this store. This includes hiring knowledgeable counter folks that loves to exchange knowledge and admits when they do no know something. I love this place so much that I am in there almost every few days just hanging out with the owner.

    So, two gun stores, both in rural areas about 20 minutes apart from each other and owned by the same family. Yet, two very different atmospheres.
  11. ssfeldjager

    ssfeldjager Well-Known Member

    The employees at most gun shops I've been to over the years can be divided into several categories:

    Those who think know it all and won't hesitate to try and impress upon you their 'wealth' of knowledge, which is obtained from reading back issues of Guns and Ammo magazines [dispensing 'pearls of wisdom' like "I have a full auto .458 Winchester Magnum, and it shoots out to 200 yards and can hit a gnat"]; :confused:

    Those who won't talk to you unless they know you and they act as they'd prefer to not know you; :barf:

    Those who try to tell you that you're stupid for wanting whatever it is you're asking for, and then tell you what you should buy; :fire:

    Those who have no idea as to what the product is when you ask questions; :eek:

    Those who automatically think you're there to steal something because... well, you're there and they don't know you. :scrutiny:

    There are some gun shop employees who act civilized and are friendly, but they are rare.
  12. RNB65

    RNB65 Well-Known Member

    Never talk to a salesman. Ever.

    Do your homework. Research on-line. Read forums. Read magazines. Ask questions of people who appear to be knowledgeable and who have no stake in the eventual outcome.

    Know exactly what you want before you go to the gunstore and how much you're willing to pay. Don't ask for the saleman's help. Don't ask for his opinion. Ignore anything he says. Remember, his job is to sell you you the gun that will generate him the most profit, not the gun you want. Salemen are like sharks, if they sense weakness, they'll immediately close in for the kill.

    The salesman is NOT your friend.
  13. TheFringe

    TheFringe Well-Known Member

    About 2 years ago I purchased a new Thompson 1927A semi-auto from a well known gun store located in Bellevue, Washington; an upscale Seattle suburb. I didn't get a great deal on it, but wanted one badly after shooting a friend's original full-auto 1921 Colt version.

    A couple months later I was in the market for a Benelli M4 12-gauge. salesman at the same store tells me "you can't get those anymore, very hard to find." No problem, I ordered from the Internet and paid the $35 transfer fee. Same comments when I inquired about a Kel-Tec PLR-16. "Nobody has those in stock, Kel-Tec can't keep up. Sorry." Again no problem. Found one on the Internet and transferred it again. I'm noticing their attitude is growing worse and worse with each transfer.

    Finally about a year ago I inquired about a Saiga 12-gauge. New Saiga 12s were very scarce in 2006, so I received the same line: You can't find those anywhere. Everyone wants one and we have not had one in store for a long time." Although not present during my initial purchase, the same gentleman has handled all of my transfers. This time as I am paying my $35, the chump has the nerve to mumble to me "ya know, we do sell guns HERE as well...." What ? "So the thousand dollar Thompson I bought here a year ago doesn't count ?! " I retorted, then stormed out with my Saiga.

    I have since switched to making purchases and doing transfers at a smaller, friendlier mom and pop store in the vicinity. I am the type that will pay a little more and buy from the local gun store even if I find a lower price for the same gun online. I however will not tolerate the attitude displayed at the previous store, which by the way has a reputation for being snooty. Now I know why.
  14. Tharg

    Tharg Well-Known Member

    Heh my 2nd gun was bought from a gun shop of of 20 in East Texas... great shop if you know the area and (if you live there or passed by there) have HAD to see the sign for the store.

    I bought a .40 HK USPC ... pretty much knew what i wanted so it wasn't that big a sale... as we were ringing it up (Mind you this "gun store" at that time was in the same building as the county constables office) i mentioned that my girl was gonna kill me for how expensive it was. (it wasn't that expensive... i just don't make loads of dough) He said there was an easy fix ... i looked askance at him and he said "Surely there is a 7-11 between here and there" hehehehehe for the haters... of COURSE he was joking... and thats what makes it funny.

    I've bought at least 3 more guns from that store... and its well out of my way. Customer service has always done me well in my job (IT), in my experience, if you can make the person feel good that you are trying to address their issue, then it doesn't matter if you can fix it or not. I'm lucky in that i can 95% of the time fix it... but those 5%'ers are almost always important (aka - can scream loud, not necessarily more important than us non important people)...

    Should be the same w/ sales people at a gun store. The hard sell will never get me, prolly chase me away, after all i probably already know what i want. Friendly will do it every time... low pressure w/ me all the way. Still if i don't like the price i won't buy it :) as a good consumer shouldn't. :)

    Either way there are those out there that will try to test someone's customer service skills just because. Thats why its important if you are the face of the business to be the best face. If you are not... then what do you (or the person who hired you) expect if you don't sell your product.


    EDIT: TheFringe - Should have said, well if you'd have ordered it for me when i inquired about it i might have bought it from YOU instead of the guy who had it in stock.

    bleh. *IF* i had a gun store (and i wouldn't mind... hehe) i'd be sure to ALWAYS mention i could order it for you. Its Bad Business to say "oh that gun can't be found" (cept on the internet where you found it and bought it and then x-fered it through me blah blah) hehe
  15. Onmilo

    Onmilo Well-Known Member

    Why are most gun shop employees so rude,,,,,

    The sales clerks in small shops are not making much money.

    The ones in the chain stores have to work under azzbag managers that think they should give their heart and soul to the store while he does them the favor of scheduling them 16 hours a week if they're lucky.
    Again the hourly rate is better but they still aren't earning enough money to actually buy any of the stuff they are selling.
    Most of these guys do not have additional jobs either.
    Internal theft is a fairly large problem in gun shops, kind of like hiring a drug addict to be the local Pharmacist.

    A good chunk of customers come in and want to grill these guys just hoping and praying they will screw up or give the wrong answer so they can go tell all their friends what idiots work in so and so's shop.

    Another group of customers will hit every shop in a one hundred mile radius searching for the absolute cheapest price while gathering all the information they can while fondling every shops merchandise, and then driving to the shop furthest from their original location to buy the product because they 'got it for five bucks less at so and so's.'

    By the way, so and so's Lee Pro 1000 is assembled and ready to go for $175.00.
    Can you say the same thing for the big box stores Lee Pro 1000, or better yet the one you will get from the 'net for fifty bucks less?
    If you haven't assembled and adjusted a Lee Pro 1000 you are in for a treat.
    If you have, you understand why spending that fifty bucks is a better deal.

    I am the gunsmith, if you call me out of my work area it better be for a darn good reason or you haven't yet seen the true meaning of rude, so give the counter help a little bit of a break.
    Treat the hired help with a modicum respect and you may be completely suprised at just how well you will begin to be treated.
  16. Rock_Steady

    Rock_Steady Well-Known Member

    Oh no, the lee pro 100 is not assembled. The press is still sitting in the box, the assembly and testing fee is a cool extra $75. Right there on the tag.

    If they have to call the gunsmith out from behind the counter to answer a question about a repair, a problem with a gun, whatever - I don't see why I will be treated with contempt. If you work in retail, you will have people ask dumb questions, or too many questions. You work with the public.

    I work with the public too - I'm a nurse and nurse manager in an emergency department. I have people complain about the things we do, and we are trying to save lives. Sometimes the life of the person complaining! A modicum of respect indeed!
  17. PacketStorm

    PacketStorm Active Member

    It's not quite like that. When you just meet someone for the first time, do you automatically trust everything they say? I don't. I try to get a feel for how knowledgeable a person is on a subject, do they listen to you before responding... By asking questions that I am already familiar with, I can get a quick feel if someone is a "straight shooter", knowledgeable or someone who really just likes to talk out their posterior.

    I found a guy at the regional chain Dicks Sporting Goods. He was great. Happy to talk about the selection of rifles/shotguns and was fairly knowledgeable. When he didn't know an answer just stated that he wasn't sure and would guess that xxx is true.

    I love it. I asked the same guy I was having trouble with at this local shop to see if they do FFL transfers. He said "Only from family members. Otherwise you can buy it here from the store." I could just smile and shake my head. I've spent over $1200 there in the past year alone. A few bucks more on a sale, no problem - they have the shop overhead but there has to be a balance.

    I'm a working guy with a family and a limited budget and some of the prices at this shop a on the high end. Especially on accessories. Just bought an ATI collapsable stock for the Remington 870, matching ATI forend, 8 shot tube magazine extension, and 1" flashlight clamp for the same price as the stock in the shop. Now that is a little ridiculous. The Internet has become the great leveler of the playing field in retail sales. Especially for specialty items. There are a lot more products available now that the web has linked the smaller shops together. Gunbroker is my friend. ;)

    Keep up the good work!
    In reading other posts on the High Road, there are a lot of intelligent people who put a lot of time and effort into the forum and have lots of good things to share with the community. To have the salesman dismiss all of you with a single comment "those people on the forums don't know what they are talking about" is pretty arrogant. Keep up the good posts. I've been learning a lot here and hope to continue.
  18. TheFringe

    TheFringe Well-Known Member


    EDIT: TheFringe - Should have said, well if you'd have ordered it for me when i inquired about it i might have bought it from YOU instead of the guy who had it in stock.

    bleh. *IF* i had a gun store (and i wouldn't mind... hehe) i'd be sure to ALWAYS mention i could order it for you. Its Bad Business to say "oh that gun can't be found" (cept on the internet where you found it and bought it and then x-fered it through me blah blah) hehe

    You are absolutely correct J/Tharg, that is what I thinking. I did inquire each time if they would/could order the item but he simply stated "order from where ? -We just can't get them."
    Took me 5 minutes to locate one online at Buds, Impact, etc.
  19. Zen21Tao

    Zen21Tao Well-Known Member

    I agree. The owner of the local store I frequent only carried a few Sigs that he took in used. But, because I wanted a specific Sig, he applied for credit with Sigarms and became a factory direct Sig dealer to get me the Sig I wanted at the best cost possible. It is this is kind of service that keeps me willing to paying a little bit more for something in the store than I can find over the internet.
  20. El Tejon

    El Tejon Well-Known Member

    Everyone, all together now, "People in the gun business do not want to make money, they become gun dealers to tell other people 'NO!'".

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