Can someone help me understand why...

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Jan 3, 2006
The Dark Side of the Moon
it takes THREE WEEKS to get a price and availability from gun retailer for a new fire arm that they don't stock?

Kittery Trading Post calls me back THREE WEEKS after I phoned in the request. I gave them the specific info. off the Taurus web site. for a PT-111 Millennium Pro, in stainless.

I bought the gun 1-1/2 weeks ago off Gun Broker, not wanting to wait forever.

It turns out the KTP price was really good. Just $10 more than I paid (but no shipping and no FFL fee).

I told the guy at KTP that I would have preferred to buy it from them and would have saved money, but THREE WEEKS was just ridiculous.

He tells me that they have this problem all the time.

So what is it?

1. Is KTP lame and sits on these request for days before they send them to the manufacturer.

2. Taurus is lame and doesn't respond to their dealers.

3. Their's a lame distributor in the middle, who gives KTP zero customer service. This would surprise me, as KTP has a HUGE shooting sports dept. (There facility is every bit as large and nice as the L.L. Bean flag ship store in Freeport.) They must have 80 to 100,000 s.f. of retail space and easilly have 10,000 s.f. dedicated to shooting sports.

I know nothing about firearms distribution....but somethings broke here.
It's most likely the dealer..

At the shop I frequented for many years, the owner would give a price and delivery date right there at the counter, within 5 minutes. He'd even order it without a deposit. Service was always top notch. That was one of the reasons I shopped there even though his prices were a bit higher than the other shops in the area. When that shop was destroyed in a fire, I had to find a new place (at least temporarily). First time through the door of a new (to me) place, I asked for something he didn't have on the shelf. He looked in a catalog, gave me a price and an arrival date on the spot.

If it's a big operation, as you say, maybe they're running on a "production line" mentallity. Doing things according to a schedule. "Call in gun orders on the 1st of the month". That sort of thing. Possibly the distributor gives them a price break if they order in larger quantities, so they hold all of them until they meet the minimum. Lots of possibilies.
It could be Taurus I suppose - I've never tried to get a price quote on anything they make.

But a buddy of mine with an ffl (who has about 10 ft/sq of sales floor space) has gotten all my requested price quotes in less than 24 hours. And sometimes I think the delays may be because I make requests in email, and he has a 'normal' full time job.

I'm thinking it's probably the dealer.

My guess would be the dealer. I've never sold guns, but I used to work in a fishing tackle store. The owner would promise you fourty ways from Sunday that he was going to order something for you "first thing tomorrow." Three weeks later it was still "first thing tomorrow."

Then people would come in or call and give me up the river because "You said you were gong to order......."

My guess is the dealer. He's just not into special orders.

In my experience some shops do special orders willingly, some grudgingly and some just out and out lie about it.

There's one dealer here in OKC that can get just about what ever you want in one day. If his prices on in stock stuff was competitive I'd use him exclusively but with in stock stuff his prices are rediculously high while special order prices are better than or equal to other shops in stock prices.

OTOH there's a shop that claims they do special orders but I can't even get them to bother to call and get a price in over 5 years.

One shop here doesn't do them at all and another will and has good prices but takes a week or two to get the order in.

Shops that don't do special orders are really stupid from a purely business point of view. It comes in and goes out of their inventory within a day. It is an almost 100% guaranteed sale if they don't get the money up front and a guaranteed sale if they do (and most do). Very silly not to take special orders.
I'm going to guess that it's KTP's fault. I sent them an email once asking if they'd sell me a particular handgun on my C&R. It took them 10 days to get back to me with a "yes". I drove up there and the gun had been sold.:fire:
Last time I ordered a specific gun, the dealer looked up on his supplier's internet connection and told me the info right over the phone.
must be the dealer

If some shops can turn around quotes within a day, I can't see why KTP can't.

It's frustrating, because in some respects they're a gun buyers dream come true. HUGE SELECTION.....I counted some 25 gun safes on the showroom floor. Prices seem pretty darn competitive to.

But the place is ALWAYS wicked crowded.

Even with some 4 to 6 employees on the floor in the shooting sports dept. alone, you still have to wait forever to get help.

I made it a point to get there 10 min. before opening time last Sat. and they had at least a dozen customers in the first five minutes. The guy who helped me knew his stuff, but in the past I've waited a long time just to talk to a clueless "youngun" as well.

Just goes to show....bigger may not always be better.
My FFL has price sheets from the distributors he normally buys from. If they don't have what I'm interested in, he picks up the phone and calls others. I can't remember waiting more than 48 hours for a price, and that's usually only if there is a weekend involved.
You indicate the retailer is a big box store. Unless the company has special procedures in place to handle special orders I would guess the it was lost in the paperwork. Big box are oriented to retail display and their business systems are oriented toward buy-stock-sell-reorder-buy-etc. A single request out of the blue would illuminate the tilt light all over the place. If it was done at all it was accomplished by one or two dedicated employees.

A store front gunshop has no need for all the bureaucratic BS.
customer service is a thing of the past.

there was this new gun, just out, and no one in town had it.
so while i was at the SHOT show in Las Vegas i made arrangements
with the manufacturer to ship them (yep, i bought two) to my
local gun store; i gave the manufacturer all the info including a copy
of the FFL.

so the manufacturer's rep calls my store to tell them that doc's guns
are on hold at xyz wholesaler and they just need to touch base with
xyz; whereupon he is told that they don't want to order from xyz and then
hung up on the manufacturer's rep :what: !!

so the rep calls me to let me know
that my guns are at xyz and about the response he got at my local store.
i apologize profusely for their response and his inconvienence and set out to find another gun store.

i go to store #2, wait 20 minutes to speak to the owner, introduce myself
tell him about the special guns i want. he is already doing the
'i-don't-think-i-can-help-you' shuffle when i tell him
that they are ready and awaiting shipment.
i ask if i can fax his FFL to xyz wholesaler to get them shipped
he declines, telling me that he is afraid people will get guns illegally if some
errand copy of his FFL gets out there...[big sigh] i offer to get him the info so he can do the transfer.

9am the next day i call store #2 and ask for the owner. i am told he is busy.
i indicate the gist of our previous conversation and ask politely ask the person
to whom i am speaking if he would double check that it might not be possible
to speak to the boss. he [allegedly] checks, nope i gotta call him back later.
so i ask knuckledragger if he would be so kind as to take
MY NAME AND NUMBER and have the boss call me back. begrudgingly, he does.

and 3 days later i get the call back...[sigh]

in the intervening time i went to store #3 (no where near my home)
and they happily and unbegrudgingly got me my guns at below retail,
in under 24 hours from xyz. they even threw in some accessories for free!

i think i have a new favorite gun store
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