1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

What do YOU want in your local gun store?

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by Atla, Aug 9, 2008.

  1. Atla

    Atla Well-Known Member

    Folks, I'm beginning to seriously look into opening a gun store.

    It's a long stretch, and I'm not entirely sure it's feasible yet. But I'm bouncing ideas around, and looking into the financing.

    The town is ripe for a good gun store, there was an extremely profitable one that closed down five years ago when the partnership fell apart, and since than nothing.

    My location that would be ideal would be between the local Gun Club and town... which thankfully is outside town limits. I think this can be done, theres a lot of roadside farm land - might be able to get a piece. Even better if there's a nice lot I can build a minimum 25 yard range behind it for CCW classes(I'm seriously considering offering a CCW class free with a pistol purchase) and for folks to try things out at.

    Also be 'sponsering' local shooters at matches, mainly supplying them with free ammo/match fees...and they have to wear MY t-shirts.

    And, I'm planning on having a 'Shooter's Diner' in it. Sandwiches, drinks, etc, etc. (You have to pay for the floor space, whether anyone is standing on it or not. The longer people stay in your store, the more likely they are to buy this knick-knack or that.) As well as TV's showing shooting competition video's, Terminator Two, etc, etc.

    Now, obviously you people want guns. And pretty girls who know some about guns. Ain't a problem. (Sorry folks, no pole dancing)

    But what else?
  2. yesit'sloaded

    yesit'sloaded Well-Known Member

    Bullet lube. I'm supposed to be hunting right now but I had to get on just to hang out for a while because the bugs and heat are killing me and I'm here till wed anyway. But I can't find bullet lube. Everyone has bullets, powder, and brass. Personally if I could choose what gun stores stock it would be.
    Sub$150 stripped AR lowers
    Rock Island 1911s (only decent sub $500 1911 I can think of)
    reloading components
    staff that has a clue
    decent ammo selection (stuff that I have to hunt for like 20 gauge slugs, 9x18mm, 7.62x54r brass cased hunting ammo that isn't priced like Norma, .22 target ammo)
    good knives
    good lights
    concealed carry holsters
  3. pappy

    pappy Well-Known Member

    Free guns? :D
  4. Ragnar Danneskjold

    Ragnar Danneskjold Well-Known Member

    The high lead and chemical content of most gun stores might make opening a food section very difficult legally.

    DRYHUMOR Well-Known Member

    Good, solid, used guns.
    Duck and turkey calls.
    Black Hills ammo.
    Displays of AAA stock blanks.
    Competant gunsmith on staff.
    Christmas raffle for a rifle or shotgun.
    Kid friendly.
  6. BigBlock

    BigBlock member

    I would LOVE that. I spend enough time sitting at the counter of my local gun shop just staring at the wall of gun porn, playing with a few here and there. Be a great place to eat lunch!
  7. wuluf

    wuluf Well-Known Member

    a job! :D
  8. shevrock

    shevrock Well-Known Member

    All the gun stores near me suck, so I'm gonna make a list, and i don't mean to be snobby.

    Good prices on guns that should be cheap
    More ammo that is cheap and will test my weapons to their limit
    people who know the difference between .22lr and 22short
    More rare guns
    more cheap guns[err cheaper]
    a small test range

    Theirs more i know, but busy at the moment. please open a good gunstore though.
  9. mejeepnut

    mejeepnut member

    I would like to see cheaper ammo then what gunshops sell it for!
    I would like to see cheaper guns then what gunshops sell it for!
    I would like to see cheaper reloading tools then what gunshops sell it for!
    I would like to see cheaper reloading components then what gunshops sell it for!
    I would like to go into a gun shop and not have to wait behind the same people who never buy anything but cost me time because there conversation with the owner is more important then me buying or asking anything!

    I have always said keep the local shops in buisness but I don't say it any more!I don't expect gunshops to be able to keep up with wallyworld prices but to be 1.5-2 x's as much at all times is a joke!

    Its now wallyworld or the internet for me!I know wallyworld buys in massive volume and the internet people have no overhead but I can only afford what I can afford!~

    I will not pay extra for crap when I can pay less for quality!!!!!!!!!
  10. kingpin008

    kingpin008 Well-Known Member

    Here's my wishlist, in no particular order:

    --Friendly staff, who will do their best to find the answer to a question for you if they don't already know
    --The ability and willingness to order guns if they're not in stock. (I'd be willing to pay a small premium for odd or tough orders, just to make it fair)
    --Good prices, or a willingness to haggle a little bit.
    --No problem with buying or taking used guns in trade (my local shop will not do this and it drives me NUTS)
    --Reloading equipment and supplies.
    --Willingness to do transfers for a reasonable fee
    --Nice, clean, WELL-VENTILATED range (if you decide to have one at all)
    --Decent selection of guns. Please try to carry a few different brands of each type of gun (handgun, rifle, etc) and a few different styles/models/etc. I HATE walking into a store and wanting to check out a few different types of pistols, only to find out that the particular dealer primarily handles X Brand of guns, so he's got 1,974,476,000 of that brand, and ONE of the competitor. That kind of thing is a sure guarantee that even if he's got good prices, I won't be buying from him.

    And...that's about it! Good luck!
  11. btg3

    btg3 Well-Known Member

    Why re-invent the wheel? New location, pretty girls, restaurant... are you confident that your business model makes more sense?

    Is the old shop for sale -- perhaps by highly motivated sellers after 5 years of sitting on it?

    In any event, one fundamental question is whether you want to cater to a small clique of gun nuts, or attract a wider market. In other words, do want a club or a business? Seriously, think about it.
  12. Ohio Rifleman

    Ohio Rifleman Well-Known Member

    Well, a little something for everyone, unless you want to specialize. Tactical (or tacticool) stuff, like tricked-out AR15s and scopes and fancy holsters and all that, some good ol' fasioned hunting guns, some milsurps, used guns, etc. I guess try to cater at least a little to as many different sections of the shooting community as possible. But really, what I'd like to see most is great service and selection. I'm talking about stocking the lowly Hi Point all the way up to Kimbers and the like. Again, catering to all corners of the shooting community. Maybe some Pro-2A literature too, just for the heck of it.
  13. dsoine

    dsoine Member

    1. A decent pistol range.
    2. Friendly staff makes all the difference.
    3. Federal LE ammunition for home defense. (50 rd boxes)


  14. WayneConrad

    WayneConrad Well-Known Member

    Call me old fashioned, but I want guns, ammo, and specialty services that big box stores can't supply at any price. I don't want dancing girls, dancing bears, or any of that stuff. I don't care if who's behind the counter is pretty, or even smiles, but the kind of simple, honest courtesy that was common in my dad's day will go an awful long way. When I go to a small gun store, I'm not there for price. I'm there because I need something the big box stores don't sell, or because I want services that they can't offer. I'm not going to play "Let's Make A Deal" with you on price, because I know what I need isn't common and ought to cost more. In return, I want you to treat me fairly and with the same courtesy I treat you, and not charge extra just because you think I'm going to try to talk you down.

    Here is an example of the kind of first-class service I want from a small gun store:

    I wanted a special model of pistol. I had its model number off of the web site, but the big box stores don't carry it. My favorite gun shop spent the time to find out that it's a gun that the manufacturer doesn't even make until they have enough orders for it. He must have spent half an hour on the phone playing detective for me. What's more important is that he wasn't just calling 1-800 numbers. He was on a first-name basis with his contacts at the different distributors. "You know, I'll bet so-and-so will know..." and he'd dial another number. Because he was able to contact the people with the right knowledge, I knew ahead of time that the pistol wouldn't be arriving on a fixed schedule, so there was no heartburn associated with the order--no finding out two weeks later, "by the way, we just found out they won't be getting it when we said." That kind of knowledge and service is worth paying more for.
  15. Drgong

    Drgong Well-Known Member

    Know your market.

    As for your food idea, check with your health department, some of there rules make ATF regs look simple! Though a cooler with some sodas might be very doable.

    Good service is always key.

    Stock a range of pistols, have some nice pistols, but also have some sub $200 used pistols. Same with rifles, have some inexpensive rifles, but also stock a Nice CZ. Shooting the breeze is important, but if someone is coming in make sure they are being served. Sell the gun for low prices but then sell them the safe, holster, and other items to make a nice markup. T-shirts are GREAT retail markups (300% in many cases) same with hats. find out if your market is hunters, stock hunting supplies, if it western stuff, sell western stuff.

    Be willing to order anything for a customer, and be reasonable, but charge a large fee for FFL transfers unless its something that you cannot get ahold of. Might sound mean but your not there to help online stores ship goods. leave that to they guy in the hardware store. $20 for a FFL transfer that you cannot order, $100 for something you can.

    You will not be able to go face to face with Wally world, instead make it so that people come there to talk to someone that knows guns. Be willing to do gun trades, and set up a nice consignment system. Consignment allows you to vary your stock a lot without any cost to you except for floorspace.

    If a gun is sitting in your showroom for X number of months, sell it at a auction site to keep rotation of your stock.
  16. rantingredneck

    rantingredneck Well-Known Member

    I'll repeat one thing that has been said a couple times already. Because I think it bears repeating.

    Customer Service......

    The two local shops around here can be lacking in that at times.

    You provide me good customer service and I can forgive lack of selection on your rack. I'd go somewhere else (with poor customer service) to handle the weapon and then come order one through you.

    Customer service is king in my book.
  17. Rmart30

    Rmart30 Well-Known Member

    I agree with this about 100% with friendly employees being at the top.
    +1 to a reasonable charge for FFL transfers.
    Myself id even offer a discount to CCW holders on transfers and possibly ammo and accessories maybe ?
    A well rounded inventory would be nice and a big sign saying.....If we dont have it we can order it for you!
    Do like the local Grainger store does... free popcorn and a soda dispensor. gives people something to munch on and its very cheap to provide :)
  18. JackBurtonJr

    JackBurtonJr Well-Known Member

  19. Atla

    Atla Well-Known Member

    The old store isn't available sadly.

    Good ideas guys. There will be as many different types of Pistols, Rifles, Shotguns possible. I don't want to 'specialize', I want it to be well-rounded.

    Not all competition guns, not all hunting guns, not all 'tacticool' guns.

    I WANT to deal in some used guns, generally speaking you can move cheaper stuff quicker than expensive stuff. (Mil-surps are a great example of this.) But I also want some middle and high end stuff also.

    (A lot of people will come in to look at a Barrett sitting on the table, but not buy it. Instead they might buy something else, even if it's a 50 round box of Corbon. I still make money. And if I've a range set up, I can let folks actually shoot the Barrett for a fee. Why just fondle when you can pull the trigger?)

    I WANT this to be a place you can actually come into, and stay a while. Not a club so much as a gathering place for people interested in shooting.

    It won't be a full-blown diner. Just a small counter offering some subs/sandwhiches and drinks. Nothing big.

    There will be pro-gun literature. I read a lot, so there'll be a book section.

    And I don't want crap in the store. Some gun stores you go to are more like a yard sale/flea market. (Throwing Stars? Numb-Chucks? Wth?) If it ain't shooting related, we ain't going to sell it.
  20. WayneConrad

    WayneConrad Well-Known Member

    This is penny wise and pound foolish. Had the small gun store I currently do business with had such a policy, I would not currently be their customer. My first dealing with them was a FFL transfer, which they made only a small amount on. My second was a $1000 special order, business I gave them because they handled the FFL transfer professionally, smoothly, and for a fair price.

Share This Page