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Gun Shop Malpractice?

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by Yoda, Mar 12, 2012.

  1. Yoda

    Yoda Well-Known Member

    I was visiting a new local gun store today. The owner seemed extremely knowledgeable, and the shop had a small but varied inventory.

    A customer entered and explained that he had just moved into Florida from one of those northeastern states where gun ownership is difficult and discouraged. He'd never owned or handled a gun, but now he wanted one.

    The customer said that he'd done some on-line research, and he thought a Ruger P-89 was just the thing he wanted. And that's what the gun shop owner sold him.

    The problem was that this guy's fingers were so short that I initially thought he'd had some sort of crippling accident or genetic defect. I've never seen such short fingers, on a man or a woman or even on a child. I'm not exaggerating when I say that his middle finger was shorter than my pinkie. Thus, it seemed to me that the P-89 was clearly too large for his hand.

    OK, maybe I was out of line, but I tactfully suggested that the two of them consider one of the newer pistols with removable grip inserts. My suggestion went nowhere. The new guy and the gun shop owner went ahead with the sale of the Ruger, as certainly was their right.

    So, slam me for butting in, but also give me your thoughts on whether a gun shop owner should sell a newbie what he asks for, or should an experienced gun dealer take time to explain to a newbie that something else might be better.

    Fire away.

    - - - Yoda

  2. Frozen North

    Frozen North Well-Known Member

    From my experience, there is nothing worse than a gunshop owner who knows what I want better than I do. It sounds like the customer did his research and made his decision. If the customer does not ask for advice, it is generally unwanted.

    I bought a Ruger LC9 about two weeks ago. The guy behind the counter would not just shut up and sell me one. He was determined to sell me a CW9 Kahr. It was sickening.
  3. gym

    gym member

    If someone walks in and asks for a particular gun, and you have it to sell, you sell it to them. Not to be krass, but it's no ones job to get between a man and how he spends his money.In this case he got exactlly what he wanted, hard to beat that.
    The amount of time and effort required to talk a man out of something he decided upon is not our business. It's like the car business, a guy wants a red corvette and you have one in stock, you sell it to him. Your intent is well meant but best to stay out of it at that point, or risk losing the gun store owner and the buyers respect. If he didn't ask for your opinion, leave it alone, of you might kill the store owners only sale of the day. If he doesn't like it, he will figure it out on his own.
  4. jimmyraythomason

    jimmyraythomason Well-Known Member

    Had a friend who went into Ace Hardware(the HELPFUL hardware store) to buy some plumbing supplies for a project. My friend had already figured it out and knew what he wanted. The "helpful" clerk kept on pushing other parts saying this is what you need. Eventually my friend (vietnam marine vet) had enough and said "that may be what I need but it's not what I want!". If the dealer has what the customer asks for then that is what he should sell him. If the customer finds that he has made a poor choice,perhaps he'll bring it back and trade for something more fitting.
  5. hso

    hso Moderator Staff Member

    The customer is always right is a truism in sales, but the seller has to gauge whether the customer is open to suggestions and information before running them off to take their business to someone who will give them what they want.

    We have the same issue here. An inexperienced shooter asks about a gun and endless people reinforce or offer suggestions without knowing anything about whether the gun fits them or not. Some folks get very defensive when their ideas are not supported by others and downright offended when it is suggested that they handle different firearms outside of what they want to find out if it better fits their needs.
  6. DammitBoy

    DammitBoy Well-Known Member

    Not everything needs our input, regardless of the quality of our sage advice...
  7. o Unforgiven o

    o Unforgiven o Well-Known Member

    What gun shop was this?
  8. InfamousLegend

    InfamousLegend Well-Known Member

    The only time a shop owner should suggest another gun is when the customer is visually inexperienced and they're purchasing a caliber out of their capabilities. Also when a gun would not physically rest in their hands and have a firm grip. I don't want to see someone with very small hands try to grip a large frame handgun and not be able to fire it safely because they cannot physically grip it. Although that is only a problem if they request a gun obviously to large for them. Opinions in large part on my behalf are largely overlooked unless the salesman or woman is very knowledgeable and isn't just stating an opinion. I'm lucky and a local gun shop bear me has two very knowledgeable salesmen, although I have only worked with one of them. The other my brother has worked with.
  9. RhinoDefense

    RhinoDefense Well-Known Member

    A good FFL will sell the customer what they want. I great FFL will sell the customer what fits their needs and their abilities within their budget.
  10. cyclopsshooter

    cyclopsshooter Well-Known Member

    It infuriates me (on the inside) when a customer tries to help. I know they are just being friendly and don't hold it against them... But I'm WORKIN here for cryin out loud! Do I show up at your work and start helpin?
  11. kd7nqb

    kd7nqb Well-Known Member

    my thoughts are that my input on gun purchases belong on gun blogs, gun forums, gun clubs, gun ranges, but NOT gun shops.
  12. InfamousLegend

    InfamousLegend Well-Known Member

    RhinoDefense, my thoughts exactly. But showing someone what they need does not happen as often as ita shouldcomes because there are far more gun salesmen with opinions than there are with experience.
  13. blarby

    blarby Well-Known Member

    I agree with cyclops.

    Its apparent the guy did his due diligence. I'm sure the FFL let him handle the piece, not sold him a closed box.

    I've been in sales across multiple product types in my lifetime....going back to selling crafting paints knee-high to my grandmother at state fairs.

    I can't count the money I've lost because folks ( not the buyer ) want to "help" with their "knowledge" of either my product, or the buyers desire or intent....I can't count it, BECAUSE I NEVER GOT IT.

    If you wan't to "help", either fill out an application, or setup shop on your own.

    Sorry to come across cross, but thems the breaks in my book..... you might cost someone their grocery money next time.
    Thats pretty good :)
  14. CajunBass

    CajunBass Well-Known Member

    It never ceases to amaze me, just how few people know how to mind their own business.
  15. bannockburn

    bannockburn Well-Known Member


    Having worked on the other side of the counter, I can tell you nothing is more annoying than having another customer butt in on your sale. Unless the customer asks you for your input, kindly stay out the conversation. Sorry to be blunt about it, but if you want to give great advice, open your own gunshop. Let the salesman and the customer do their business transaction and then it will be your turn.
  16. Sav .250

    Sav .250 Well-Known Member

    The customer did his "home-work" on the issue so I`d say, he knew what he wanted. That`s not to say he really knew what he wanted. :)
  17. fallout mike

    fallout mike Well-Known Member

    Cajunbass said it best.
  18. pockets

    pockets Well-Known Member

    I did that one time. I learned my lesson from that one time.
    When I'm in a shop, I'm a 'customer', period.
    Unless someone specifically and directly asks me a question, I'll keep my opinions to myself.

  19. Loosedhorse

    Loosedhorse member

    It's tough when keeping silent seems to be fostering a tragedy. ;)

    However, by piping up, you are implying at least one of several things:

    1. The gun salesman isn't aware that there are handguns available with a shorter LOP or grip width.
    2. The customer is unaware of the shortness of his fingers.
    3. The gun salesman is trying to cheat the customer; and the customer is too dumb to figure it out.

    Not sure there's a lot of room there for your good intentions to shine through. :eek:

    If a customer is handling a gun I like, I have no problem saying (uninvited) "Those are great. I really like mine." Otherwise, it's "Some weather, huh?" :D
  20. LT.Diver

    LT.Diver member

    Caveat emptor!

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