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Support Your Local Gunstore!

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by Husker1911, Mar 27, 2005.

  1. Husker1911

    Husker1911 Well-Known Member

    I manage a gunstore, I have for 15 years. Sometimes, people imagine I resent gun shows. It's not true. The store I manage is in a rarely used mall. The local club is sponsoring a gunshow in our mall in three weeks. We'll enjoy one of our most busy weekends. And you know what? We'll come out looking good.

    Our prices are decent, and our service is our signiture. Here's my comment. If you save $20 on a $300 gun, good for you. If you have a problem with it, don't bring it to me. You can find me any day of the week, with at least two employees at anytime during regular hours. If you gotta problem, my shop will help you. You're employing real business people, who pay real wages and taxes. No, I won't "Eat the taxes." You pay tax to the state, not to me. But you know where to find me, I'm not a truck driver who doesn't want to know your problems.

    I run a business selling products you enjoy. WalMart sells 870 Express Remingtons cheaper than I buy them. But I bore sight your scope, which I just mounted professionally upon your prized rifle. I aligned your scope rings, to ensure they were parallel. WalMard doesn't do that. We do it as a free service.

    So if you didn't find this thread humorous, I invite you to examine yourself. Smile. Those of us behind the counter are entitled to a humorous story or two!
  2. UnintendedConsequences

    UnintendedConsequences Well-Known Member

    I agree with you

    I am a gunsmith in my rural part of Missouri and I order in some firearms, and am working on stocking some too. People in my area are so keen on getting the lowest price that they forget the service after the sale. They think that price is the holy grail rather than having product support.

    I have talked to an archery pro shop not too far from my shop that has people bring in their bows and muzzleloaders to have the owner fix or set up their Wal-Mart purchases. He does it out of kindness and to win new customers, but he doesn't gain much. With reason, he is mildly irked by customers who expect him to service items they purchased elsewhere.

    The independent retailers can't compete directly on price as the biggest stores and the discount chains will trump them there. Service, service and service are what give the local gun shops an edge. However, the quality of said service is what makes or breaks the business.
  3. DorGunR

    DorGunR Well-Known Member

    I was at my favorite gunstore yesterday to pick up my new Para Ord .45LDA and to have them install a recoil reducer snd muzzle brake on my .300 WinMag. In the last 12 months I have purchased 4 guns from them plus all my ammo.
    I never (repeat, never) buy guns or ammo from discount stores. You are correct, we need to support our local gun stores.
  4. Highland Ranger

    Highland Ranger Well-Known Member

    Here's another thought; buy from stores whose primary business is guns.

    The big box stores can decide via some corporate policy that it isn't politically correct to have guns in the store anymore . . . . who will you buy from then when all the little guys are gone?

    For those of you in other parts of the country, mainly of the Walmarts in NJ no longer carry firearms . . . .
  5. 30 cal slob

    30 cal slob Well-Known Member

    Last I checked, Wally-World wasn't stocking MP-5's. ;)
  6. BlkHawk73

    BlkHawk73 Well-Known Member

    Exactly Husker! I'll gladly pay a bit more $ to my gun shop ranther than the local big box store. I realize some models, the LGS can't compete with ($150 10/22's) but I'll do as much as I possibly can with my local shop. I get what I want for guns and stuff and he gets some income. May not always be a lot, but better him than some corporate giant. Like said so many times before, who'll sell guns when they're all gone and PC takes tehm from Walmart?
    I will not deal with those shop owners than constantly deride the boxstores. Those that spout off lies about thier "sub-par products" (that's why they're lower prices) and have NOTHING positive to say about them. You want my business, don't smoke screen me. Also won't deal with any greedy dealers trying to take advantage of a cusomer's lack of knowledge of a gun. You lie to them will you lie to me too? Pass! I've got a dealer I can trust as a person and one that I can trust wil find me what I want at a fair price while still making a fair profit himself. Wanna be my dealer - be fair!
  7. Missourigunner

    Missourigunner Well-Known Member

    Support yout local Gunstore

    I agree. If you buy a gun from Walrusmart, and you have a problem with it, you take it back to them and they have not the slightest idea about what to do, OTOH, buy at your local gun dealer and you have service and repair for a little extra, sometimes no charge. I refuse to purchase a firearm at walrusworld, I support my local Gunshops. :) :) :)
  8. ulflyer

    ulflyer Well-Known Member

    Couple of points on the other side: If the gun store owner, or employee/s, are fairly skilled, or more important are gunsmiths, then Its certainly worth paying more to buy guns from them

    However, in my neck of the woods most of those in the gun store know less about weapons than I do..and that ain't saying too much. If I buy a handgun, and it malfunctions, what happens? I send it back to the factory rather than have an unskilled store worker mess with it. At best, they might send it for me.

    If I can buy that same handgun from someone on the internet at $100 less, then simple economics dictate thats the route I have to take. If it malfunctions, I send it back to the factory. Recently I bought two new guns: Tarus Mll Pro 145 and Tarus 24/7 shipped thru an FFL and in my hands for $289, and $349. You can do your own price comparisons.

    Bear in mind, I'm not talking just a few bucks here, but some serious money.

    I will patronize the local gun stores to buy ammo, reloading supplies, and other stuff. I do feel for the small business man trying to make living, but I too have an obligation to my family in these times of scarce cash.
  9. Lone_Gunman

    Lone_Gunman Well-Known Member

    If you buy a new gun, and it has a problem, and you take it to your local gunstore and let "Bubba" tinker with it behind the counter, you might have just voided your warranty.

    I am glad and impressed that there are a few gun store owners out there who can trouble shoot and repair new firearms. I have never met one I would trust to do that.

    I've never been in a gun store where "customer service" was a reason to shop there.
  10. LoadedDrum

    LoadedDrum Well-Known Member

    There is a local shop closest to my house that I support even though his prices are high on alot of things. The service there is unmatched. He is happy to bs with you all day and be go there just to hang out. I broke a MKII that I purchased there by my own stupidity and he fixed it for free including the parts. I was so impressed I came back later that day an bought a bunch of accessories and ammo from him. The other advantage of this guy is if you are selling on consignment, he can likely move it for a higher price than gun is actually worth.

    There are somethings however, that I will continue to buy at Walmart. WWB is not carried buy any of the local shops and I cannot afford to be in this hobby without cheap practice ammo. I buy all of my defensive ammo from gun shops despite the fact that the box stores are slightly cheaper. I must confess to being guilty of buying one gun from Gander Mountain but their service is better than alot of gun stores. Also, they are different in that they have gunsmiths on site to fixe what breaks. Had I bought the gun I bought at Gander at my local shop, I would have paid 75% more. I have bought all my accessories for the gun with the local guy.
  11. 71Commander

    71Commander Well-Known Member

    Not only do I support my local gun shop, I tell everyone I know to do it as well. If they close up shop, we're in deep do-do.
  12. bean357

    bean357 Well-Known Member

    Some very good points made here. I would be overjoyed if there was a somewhat local gun store that stocked handguns, both new and used since I am a big S&W wheelgun fanatic. It is great to be able to look at something before buying! I've bought my share of used shotguns and rifles as well as optics, ammo and accessories from dealers in MN and also SD, and I totally agree the small guy should be supported, but yes, be fair to me and I will be back!! As for the Wal-Fart gun buys--the first encounter I had was upsetting enough to make it my last, and I made no purchase. I do buy ammo there occasionally, simply because the dealers here do not stock all of what I need.
  13. rdbrowning

    rdbrowning Well-Known Member

    In the past year and a half, my local gun shop has sold us my Weatherby, my wife's Benelli. and Friday my wife put a S&W 640 on lay-away until she gets her purchase permit. That is as much support as I can afford.

    PS. It looks like my wife is getting ahead, I got to get that Sig! ;)
  14. MikeIsaj

    MikeIsaj Well-Known Member

    My most frequent purchase, like most of us, is ammo. My preferred gunshop sells it for about $2.00 more than Walmat or Dicks. I consider the extra cost a payment for all the free advice I get from them. And the advice is actually worth much more. As a prior post said "service, service, service." That's what you don't get cheap.

    One more thought; Walmart won't offer an origional Colt Trooper to replace a gun you sold long ago and miss owning.
    Last edited: Mar 27, 2005
  15. DorGunR

    DorGunR Well-Known Member

    I forgot to mention in my other post that the owner of the gunstore where I do all my business is a school trained, expert gunsmith. Only problem is he has so much gunsmithing work that if you have to have a gun repaired there may be a two to three month wait.
  16. Bear Gulch

    Bear Gulch Well-Known Member

    Not to mention the Wally gets you in there to sell you lots of other stuuf to make their money. They ususally sell shotties below their cost right before bird season. Further you might want something that isn't plain vanilla, for that you need your local ffl who can order your heart's desire.
  17. The Freeholder

    The Freeholder Well-Known Member

    I wish I had a local gun store worth supporting

    I have yet to go to a local gunstore (defined as being within an hour drive of my home) where I was treated worth a damn on anything approaching a regular basis.

    A couple of war stories:

    Go in one time, just looking, and I'm treated with respect, my questions are answered, everything you could ask for. Go in 2 weeks later, ready to drop a grand on a rifle, and I can't even get an acknowledgement I exist. Leave angry, buy the same rifle at a gunshow for $200 less, and never go back.

    Go to a gunstore/range (more than 1 hour drive, btw) to buy some ammo and shoot. The owner wants to argue with me about "Why do you need one of 'those' guns?". (Yes, I was toting an e-e-evil black rifle.) Left without the ammo and without shooting, and never went back.

    (I get this one a lot around here, even at the store owned by a member of my club. I call it "Guns are only for hunting". :fire: )

    No, it doesn't take much to lose my business. I'm in the customer service business (in a way), so I take poor service rather...poorly.

    There is one gun & pawn store I do go to on a frequent basis. I bought a pistol there a while back, was treated like a valued customer (acknowledged when I came in, was asked nicely to wait while they finished the current task, questions answered, given a fair price, etc.). I usually go by once every month or two, and I always buy something, even if it's just a brick of .22. I want to see them stay in business, even if they're 1 1/2 hours from home.

    I also frequent a couple who live around the corner from me that sell reloading supplies. Nice people, trying to get a business going. Their prices are fair, and even if I can buy it a little cheaper somewhere else, I buy from them if at all possible.

    I know that the gun store business is hard, and everyone expects you to give it away. I get the same in my line of work. Those of you who can keep a good attitude in the face of the average PITA customer and still give good customer service, I honor you, and I'd be honored to do business with you. Unfortunately, you're a dying breed.
  18. Old Fud

    Old Fud Well-Known Member

    My first reaction is "WHAT service?"

    I have shopped/bought in 5 different gun stores in the SF Bay area. All were willing (if I was patient and persistent enough) to take my money for purchase and not one damned thing more.

    Two of them have signs posted that any problems are between you and the manufacturer -- they will charge a fee for mailing services.
    I had a problem with an SA Loaded 1911 purchase and the dealer wrote on the return form "Customer complains that - - - ", and charged me $45 for shipping/handling. (I've been told since then that SA would have picked up the mailing fee -- I didn't check that out --- I just have not set foot in that store since.)

    However, I found a store in the area -- ONE -- where the dealer is up-front honest with you about everything, searches for a wholesaler who will allow him to give me best price possible, goes the extra steps to insure you are happy, and tosses in a box of ammo "just cuz" on your way out the door.

    His store is small. He has little inventory.
    I order my guns through him. I will be ordering Ammo likewise.

    One is all you need.
    But you also need that one.

  19. Werewolf

    Werewolf Well-Known Member

    What Old Fud said...

    In OKC I've not found a gunshop yet that does real customer service after the fact. And the sign he mentions is common.

    As an example I bought a NIB Bushmaster XM15E2S. It failed right out of the box and within 2 days I brought it back to H&H where I bought it. Never having had a firearm fail right out of the box in the last 30 years and being - it seems now - quite naive I fully expected them just to exchange the thing on the spot.

    ROFLMAO - the reaction I got was totally unexpected by me. Not our problem. Send it back to BM. Nothing I said or did made any difference they woudn't take it back. Their gunsmith (who's a pretty good one wouldn't even look at it). They did send it back to BM for me (charged me shipping though). That took 3 weeks though since they only did one shipment a month (which they failed to tell me). I was not a happy camper at the time.

    Come to find out later that that policy is pretty standard among gunshops - in OKC anyway.

    I don't mind paying for repairs and gunsmithing for custom work but GEEEEEEEZ! When something fails right out of the box?

    A rock and a hard place - the shop's got all the power! Not a situation I like. Which is why now most of my gun business (purchases and gunsmithing) goes to a local kitchen table FFL (yes there are a few still around).

    I reload my own ammo (except for 9mm which is real cheap at Academy) and order everything else from Midway USA or Brownells.

    To hell with local gunstores - they and their owners can all burn there for all I care.
  20. YodaVader

    YodaVader Well-Known Member

    Yeah , I try to support a real gunshop when I can although I find it impossible to support my local shops when there is a $50 difference on a Marlin 17V rifle between the local shop ($229) and the department store ($179) down the road.

    I know , I know , "Wal Mart buys in huge volumes and can sell them cheaper than the gun store can buy them" Yeah , ok , if this were the case on this particular rifle then other non-local real gun shops would not have been selling them at $189 at the time. So in the end I bought from an actual gunshop who was not out to make a killing and each and every sale. Still saved $40 over the local dealer.

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