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A gripe on gun shops

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by woof, May 1, 2008.

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  1. woof

    woof Member

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    I'd hate to see gunshops go the way of family owned TV stores with everything being done through the mail. But I have just completed a search for a certain rifle and after calling about a dozen area shops, I'm about ready to write them off. Time after time I would ask - do you have this in stock? No. Will you be getting any in? I don't know I don't think so. Can you order them? I guess so I don't know, you'd have to come in. To me that simply says - we don't want your business, stop bothering us.
     
  2. Ragnar Danneskjold

    Ragnar Danneskjold Member

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    Gun shop owners/employees are strange types. Most other business owners and employees try to be salesmen at some level; gain customers, sell things, turn a profit. Gun shops don't seem to work that way. I'm not quite sure why.
     
  3. JohnBT

    JohnBT Member

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    I've always had better luck going to the store and talking to the employee or owner who actually does the ordering. The hourly counter help isn't usually involved in special orders and doesn't know much if anything about it.

    John
     
  4. Vonderek

    Vonderek Member

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    I just went to a local shop because online they were listed as a Dan Wesson retailer and I am interested in a Bobtail Commander. The guy in the shop was condescending and clueless..."why would you want that?...they're terrible!..they're no longer in business..etc etc." Turns out he didn't even know what a Bobtail Commander was and that Dan Wesson was in business and owned by CZ-USA. Unfortunately, this type of attitude seems to be the norm and not the exception around here. That's why I always have to laugh when I read posts decrying the demise of "Mom & Pop" stores.
     
  5. AirForceShooter

    AirForceShooter Member

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    Gun shops tend to be "throw backs" to the 19th century.
    If they don't have it in stock they don't seem to care.
    You want to use a credit card? There's an additional charge for that.

    You want something they don't carry, it's a piece of junk you shouldn't buy.

    You want service? You're kidding right?

    You want a warranty? Are you nuts?

    If you ever find a good shop buy everything you need there even if it costs more.

    My little rant.

    AFS
     
  6. saddlebum

    saddlebum Member

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    ya i wish they would all go out of business then then the world would be a better place
     
  7. brockgl

    brockgl Member

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    Glad to hear others have had this same experience. There are two shops near me here in Indiana, and there was one I frequented in South Carolina. And all three are exactly like the OP has described. They charge extra for credit card purchases; they don't act like they give a rip if you buy from them or not; they don't know what they can or cannot order, etc... I worked retail for over 7 years and we were working with a lot lower profit margins to boot. We tried HARD to get a customer's sale, whether it required a special order, transferring from a different location, working with the price to secure the sale, etc... Do gun store owners act like this because they have a special license to sell guns and there is not as much online competition when it actually comes to firearm purchases? I have always wondered why they all act this way.
     
  8. Flame Red

    Flame Red Member

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    Hmmm - around here in Central Florida it is a bit different. Most will go out of their way to order what you want, even by phone. But they all seem to use a certain set (of different) distributors. So if the distributer they happen to use don't have it, they won't check any others. Still, they may get in in a few days or a few months, one is never sure and you cannot go by what they claim.

    The thing that pisses me off here is that most of them around here won't do transfers anymore, or if they do, they won't transfer anything they they can potentially order (wiether they can get it or not) and they charge you $50-$100 for the privilege and give you the third degree for free!
     
  9. Pilgrim

    Pilgrim Member

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    If a shop doesn't stock what you want, it probably doesn't think its customers will buy it. Shop owners sure hate 'Counter Queens' that take up space and tie up money.

    I've found that offering to put money down to at least cover the cost of shipping and restocking fees will get a shop owner interested in ordering what you want.

    Pilgrim
     
  10. siglite

    siglite Member

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    It's a mixed bag around here. My plan for dealing with it is to be repeat business. I'll start by buying ammo and components from a shop on a pretty regular basis. It lets me get a feel for them, and them to start learning my face and name. Lots of times, you can find out just what kind of gun store you're in by going in, perusing their stock, and making smaller purchases.

    Then they get to know you. And once they know you, and know your money's green, and you actually spend it, well, you tend to find that the service gets better. Currently, I do the major bulk of my local business with three shops. At two of them, every employee knows my name, and at one, they all know my face. And they know I spend a lot of money on gun stuff. And if I want to order something they don't have, they crack open the catalogs right in front of me and we go through them together until we find what I want.

    I've found that gun shops are odd, in that the loyalty has to be built bi-directionally. Customer loyalty breeds shop loyalty. In many shops, the disparity between the treatment of the anonymous browser versus the regular customer seems to be much wider than other industries.

    And you know what? I'm absolutely fine with this arrangement. Because I get to feel a shop out, and they get to feel me out over time. And what happens is, in the end, the guys that will take care of you get the business.
     
  11. Neo-Luddite

    Neo-Luddite Member

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    Do your shopping online--find what you want--use the shop for the transer if they will do it for a fee you will pay.

    Some gunshops are run like clubhouses.
     
  12. Pat-inCO

    Pat-inCO Member

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    On the contrary. It says you are talking with one of the flunkies that really don't know the product lines.

    You might also try the tact: "I want a (enter name of super whiz bang projectile emitting object here). When can you have one for me?" If you get the same reply as you did, then they probably don't want your business.

    Is that item a brand they normally carry? NO business that wishes to stay in business will suddenly start carrying manufacturer X products for just one request.
     
  13. blkbrd666

    blkbrd666 Member

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    I go to a lot of gun shops and I have noticed that they are the MOST likely retail stores to have a-hole behind the counter. They are not all that way, just a big percentage. When you do find a helpful and friendly person behind the counter, they are usually a complete 180 degrees and make you actually feel good about spending a good chunk of change. Some of them you just have to wonder about...do they really hate themselves so bad that every day of life is the pits? I have gotten back in my car and gone home or to another shop many times for no reason other than the person I had to deal with...it's already a jolt to lay down $500+ every time I visit to the glass counter...I don't need attitude, depression, or self-righteousness behind it. I can usually tell when I walk in the door...if the person smiles and speaks/greets, it's usually a nice place. If I walk in and they just look at you, like a cop at a criminal, I usually just leave and go spend somewhere else.
     
  14. Kindrox

    Kindrox Member

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    At my wife's store (retail but not gun related) it is assumed that the money of every person who walks in the door is colored green, and it is presumed that we and our employees will give execellent customer service to every person who walks in the door, even if we don't know you.

    It is odd to me that we do give such great service and our business seems a struggle compared to many other businesses that treat customers like crap.
     
  15. woof

    woof Member

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    Some gunshops are run like clubhouses - I think that pretty much nails it!
     
  16. Soybomb

    Soybomb Member

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    www.budsgunshop.com

    Do your own reseach, buy online, find a pawnshop in your area that will be more than happy to take $20-30 to do the paperwork.
     
  17. hankdatank1362

    hankdatank1362 Member

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    There's this new guy at the only local gun store in town. He's an older guy, but one of these days I might snap on him. I've dealt with him three times, on three seperate purchases... two holsters, a couple magazines, and I think some speed strips IIRC.

    Every time I say "OK I'll take it" he gives me this funny look and asks if I'm law enforcement. He doesn't say it in a manner that would lead me to believe he thinks that I am law enforcement and is trying to offer me their LE/MIL discount. More of a tone like "Why would you need this product if you're not a cop?"

    Every time he asks me this. I reckon he's forgetful. I got kinda snide last time he asked me when I bought an ankle holster. Next time, I might have to make a scene. That really irks me.
     
  18. Hokkmike

    Hokkmike Member

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    Thye probably get many people who "want a gun" or "will be back". Try telling them that you will put a sizeable deposit down on a gun you want ordered and see what happens.
     
  19. J Star

    J Star Member

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    Gun stores are like every other store. They are all run by people. Some people care, and can fake a smile even when they don't feel it, other people have the social skills of a retarded monkey.

    Keep in mind that even some stores that are run by great people can have off days, or be prejudiced towards certain people.

    My FFL dealer has been in business for 20+ years, and is sick to death of teenagers coming in and asking for full auto-weapons, or "can you sell this for $100 less, it's all I got?", etc... But when I walked in and told him I was looking for something in 7.62x39, he was more than happy to answer my questions and he ended up flipping through his distributors catalogs with me until I found something I liked. Hell, he recognized me at a gun show and was shaking my hand before I even remembered who he was! :D
     
  20. Claude Clay

    Claude Clay Member

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    central CT

    the shop people knowing you well is a good thing ( assuming they think well of you ). you knowing their schedule & not calling or stopping in during their busy times is important also. i stop in once a week...ask them to hold something for later pick up. they usually phone answer to questions in a couple of days if they have to call around themselves & they know who to call!
    of all retail & service categories, the gun people are the best...hands down. and that includes all i have meet & traded with on the internet--+1 the high road members
    ya, every store has a somebody not quite with it person....so avoid them. kiss
     
  21. Ash

    Ash Member

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    Big Buck Sports in Hattiesburg, MS, told me they don't stock Savage rifles because they are poor quality (and did so with something almost to the level of a sneer). Yet they did stock the Remington 710.

    I shrugged and left. Now with Gander Mountain in town, I see no reason at all to go to Big Buck.

    Ash
     
  22. frogomatic

    frogomatic Member

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    There is good and bad on both sides of the counter.
     
  23. hddeluxe

    hddeluxe Member

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    I find that the more the people behind the counter know you the better the service will be. Don't have an explaination for this, but it is what I have encountered. Doesn't seem to matter if it is a large store (Cabella's) or a mom and pop place.
     
  24. scrat

    scrat Member

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    i try to support my local gun shops as much as i can. i have had the same problem though. i will go in and ask them for a part or something. i get the same answer sorry we dont carry it. So i ask them can you get it. They check. then its a hit or miss. sometimes they can and sometimes they cant. Gets rather frustrating. I know if i dont support the gun shop some day it may not be there. Same time though the guys behind the counter seem to think when they say they dont have it. The conversation should stop, They look at me like im 10 years old. When im thinking they should have said. I dont have it but im sure i can get it. So by the end of the conversation when i make them look for it. Then they say they can get it i always congratulate them for making a sale rather than letting me end the conversation. Its happened so much that when i go to a certain person. He always knows to go look in his computer and find it.
     
  25. rainbowbob

    rainbowbob Member

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    I have also had the same kinds of mixed bag gun store experiences.

    The first place I frequented was a clubhouse run by the owner for the apparent purpose of giving him a forum from which to wax elequent about whatever was on his mind. You could stand there forever waiting for him to finish his diatribe about one thing or another while several regulars nodded their heads in agreement.

    I needed a part for a .22 rifle that required delivery to an FFL. I identified and provided him with the part number, order address, phone number, etc. He made a phone call using all the info I provided him and charged me double ($100 for a $50 part). When it arrived he nearly broke it trying to show me how to install it (completely wrong as it turned out). I finally got out of there, read the manual, and installed it myself correctly. Nice enough guy...but jeez!

    This weekend I was looking for sillouette targets for our "First Annual Charleton Heston Snub-Fest and Shoot-a-Thon".

    The first shop was closed on Sat morning.

    The next place I went didn't have anything but little bulls-eyes.

    The third shop had a very old owner behind the counter in the middle of a very long-winded dissertation about an army experience with dysentary - with all the details. His other customer - obviously a regular (pun intended) that had heard this story didn't seem too interested. Without missing a beat, the owner transfered his attention and the story to me. I found myself nodding politely until I could interject a request for sillouette targets. He looked at me like I was nuts and told me he doesn't carry them because they aren't "politically correct". Surprised by that answer, I said I didn't think that "political correctness" would be a problem in a gun shop. He replied that you can't use them anywhere (?!) at any of the ranges. I told him they sell them at every indoor gun range I've been to. Unfortunately, those ranges were to far away for my purpose that morning.

    The last place had three guys behind the counter interested in selling stuff. They had sillouettes. And when I asked if they had any discounted outdoor (e.g., lead) .38 special - they had a shelf full of partial boxes and other assorted odds and ends for about 30% less than the regular stuff. Score!

    I guess the answer is - as with any business - find one you like and spend your money there so they can stay in business.
     
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