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Gun Store Story

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by giggitygiggity, Mar 29, 2018.

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  1. giggitygiggity

    giggitygiggity Member

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    Last week, I popped into a gun store to check out what they had. I walked in and there were 4 employees and 2 customers in the store. The store is very small (probably about 500SF). There were two employees behind the counted, one standing in front of the counter, and one sitting in front of the counter. I am by no means a professional businessman, but it seemed stupid and wasteful to have two employees hanging out in front of the counter and not even moving when I was looking at firearms (perhaps there was something I would have bought, but because fatso plopped himself in front of the counter and did not move, we will never know. Additionally, I would not want to pay people just to hang out and have a conversation (but maybe it was just a super slow day).

    In any case, I spotted an FN1922 and asked the guy behind the counter (who I suspect is the store's owner) to see it. "Just let me finish with this customer" he said to me in a tone suggesting that I was being a bother. He slowly finished up whatever he was doing (which involved putting some papers into a container) and then said, "Ok, what did you want?" I told him a second time that I wanted to check out the FN1922. He retrieved it from behind the glass and pulled the slide rearward. The slide fell forward since there was something wrong with the slide stop. He tried again and then gave it to me to examine. I started looking it over and I pulled out my cell phone and turned the flashlight on so I could see as I examined the bore and internals. He then yells, "No pictures! You're not allowed to take pictures!" to which I calmly responded, "I'm not taking pictures. I have the flashlight on so I can inspect the firearm." "Well, we'll get you a flashlight then." He then gave me a flashlight; apparently he didn't believe me and/or does not know that camera flashed don't stay on for more than a second or so.

    I finished examining the pistol and departed the store. I found the whole situation very juvenile. I thought it was extremely rude for the owner to go crazy and assume that because I had a light on my phone that I was taking pictures (still not sure why he is against pictures, but it's his store and his policies so more power to him). The owner could have been polite and said "I'll be with you in one moment. I need to finish with this customer." The owner could have calmly asked, "Sir, are you taking pictures or just using your flashlight?" instead of shouting and drawing attention to me for something that I was not even doing. Anyways, he lost a potential customer because he couldn't be polite.
     
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  2. BillBloggins

    BillBloggins Member

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    I have learned you have to go into a GS knowing who you are probably going to be dealing with: ADD leaning, opinionated after the glaze comes off the eyes, semi-knowledgeable if you get a good one (slim chance), likely irked with you for no discernible reason. Might have something in their teeth.
    Use the same tactics as you would for any slow adult: keep it very simple, speak slowly and clearly, and no sudden movements. Keep your expectations very low and just roll with it- if you do not take atrocious behavior by others personally it can be very entertaining. I think this is how the Dude could abide.
     
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  3. Blacksmoke

    Blacksmoke Member

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    I have had my share of difficult clerks at the gun counter at Big R in Alamosa CO. This is why I frequent Mike Gomez, owner of "Wild West Trading" in Ranchos de Taos, NM. A nicer guy who is knowledgeable and quick to admit what he does not know, you will not find. Reasonable in his expectations of profit: i.e. he will deal or find a way. Always a pleasure to visit his store.
     
  4. Blacksmoke

    Blacksmoke Member

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    Not everyone is suited for a life in retailing. This guy sounds as though he does not enjoy it much.
     
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  5. FL-NC

    FL-NC Member

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    Bad customer service is by no means limited to just gun stores. Its everywhere.
     
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  6. Coyote3855

    Coyote3855 Member

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    Sounds like a LGS in my community. Surly guy behind the counter. Three fat couch potatoes resenting that I interrupted their conversation. I don't know how these places stay in business. The two other small shops always say hello when I come in, ask if they can help, and let me browse. Happy to show me anything in the case. The first place doesn't get any of my business.
     
  7. Officers'Wife

    Officers'Wife Member

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    Sounds like you managed to find a guy that hates having customers because they remind him he has to work for a living. Be polite and avoid being a customer and all will work out... Well, for you anyway.
     
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  8. boom boom
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    boom boom Contributing Member

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    I can actually see a point regarding cell phone pictures of firearms, some folks use them for scamming online (selling something they do not own) or other such tomfoolery. The other stuff is just poor customer service.
     
  9. bikerdoc

    bikerdoc Moderator Staff Member

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    Guys, don't stand for bad, rude service. I speak from experience.
    I will be 70 next birthday. 10 years ago I was forced to retire from an injury that left permanent damage.
    I used to hang around the local Gun store. The service was Ok but could have been better but The owner was distracted as his wife was dying from pancreatic.
    One day I was there and it got real busy. I volunteered to help by answering the phones and helping a few people locate things.
    He liked what I did and offered me a job, answering the phones and responding to emails a few hours a day. The wife died and Next thing I know I'm the customer service guy. I had the power to hire and fire and I got rid of all the fat couch potatoes and young kids posing as commando' s.
    Today we only hire retired military or police with good gun knowledge.
    Customers are greeted at the door. If they want to browse we tell them Enjoy! Problems are dealt with immediately. If they want to talk we listen. If we don't have we tell them we can get it, and check immediately with the distributors.
    Every one going out the door gets a thank you by anyone one the floor.

    We have gone from 300 square feet to 3000 square feet in ten years. What was a part time job is now a full time part time job and I love it.
     
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  10. Wisco

    Wisco Member

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    Sometimes my sarcasm is mistaken for something a little more disrespectful, but I am, professionally at least, a really polite and deferential-to-the-client type of person. They are serious, I am serious. They make jokes, I kid along. It rarely goes any other way than smooth.

    Someone who doesn’t hold most of that value in the way they conduct themselves and their business enterprises won’t see a penny from me.

    There’s no excuse for anything other than “Sir/ma’am, please/thank you” when you’re earning someone’s business. After the relationship is built, there’s some room for relaxation. Some.

    I’m not old (early 30s) so I don’t remember a time of societal politeness in general or in retail, but I’ve spent enough money on good service and high end items to know it’s almost exclusive to the value of the items. I’ve also been treated well in places where someone else wasn’t when the only difference was the amount spent - I don’t go for that either.

    Someone should start a thread on GOOD service in the firearms industry.
     
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  11. doubleh

    doubleh Member

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    I guess I've been lucky. I've have been in quite a few gunshops over the years and never encountered but one person that was a slight annoyance. I asked for some CCI SV and the fat kid behind the counter asked what I was going to shoot it in. I was nice and didn't tell him it wasn't his concern and just told him it was for a couple of 10/22s. He immediately told me it wouldn't work for a 10/22, they had to have high velocity ammo. I was still nice enough but I let him know that they were my rifles and I knew exactly what they would shoot and wouldn't shoot.He shut up and sold me the ammo.
     
  12. kcofohio
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    kcofohio Contributing Member

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    I had a totally opposite experience yesterday. The guy was maybe in his late 30s and very helpful with my window shopping questions. He looked up prices for me on his phone for a couple products they didn't have on hand.
    He was also very aware of the political atmosphere in our country concerning our 2A rights. Put me on an order for some ammo. Very helpful, he was. I'll be going back to give them my business.
     
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  13. fjblair

    fjblair Member

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    No big deal, and he obviously didn't get it. I would have just laughed it off.
     
  14. MedWheeler

    MedWheeler Member

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    I only go to two places regularly any more. One is a larger "showroom", bigger than the firearms department of any two Bass Pro stores combined, not including the range area. I get exactly what I expect and want in the way of attention there, and have bought probably two dozen guns there since they opened about six or seven years ago. Everyone who works there is a "gun guy (or gal")

    The other is actually a pawn shop, very clean and kept up, with probably half of it dedicated to guns. That part is probably 75% the size of the typical gun section at a single Bass Pro. I've bought about six or seven guns from them in the 18 moths or so since I discovered them, and have had a few transferred in, too (the last time I bought one from them, they even loaned me a bore light to check it instead of having to use my phone.)

    I've been to two gun shops I can recall in which I felt my presence was close to an inconvenience, and those times were more than six years ago. Each store was only visited by me once.
     
  15. Panzerschwein

    Panzerschwein member

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    What a grump. I'd of left, too.

    You'll get some here defending these "old cantankerous curmudgeons" but they get no respect from me. I come from a time and place where you had to give respect to get it, and buddy, it sure didn't sound like you were getting any.

    I would never go back, let alone spend my hard earned cash in that establishment.
     
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  16. Rock185

    Rock185 Member

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    I've sure been in my share of stores as mentioned by the OP. It's as if some of these stores are a private club, where it becomes readily apparent you are not welcome. I've experienced being ignored while owners and employees BS at length with other employees and "club members". I've never understood that attitude in any kind of retail establishment. Perhaps such demeanor is meant to impress upon potential customers how exclusive and desirable it is for an unworthy non member to possibly be allowed to make a purchase at the "club"? Thus causing the unworthy "non member" to be anxious to buy anything at any price so as to possibly be considered for membership? :thumbdown:
     
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  17. tark

    tark Member

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    At the point where he snapped at you, you should have wrinkled your nose, asked him if a stray dog took a dump behind his counter and left. Sorry, but the older I get, the less tolerant I am of impolite and rude people.
     
  18. GBExpat

    GBExpat Member

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    15+ years ago, at opening time, I stopped in a new LGS to see about buying a specific pistol. Figured it was time to do something to support the new business.

    Two guys on staff. I am pretty sure that at least one of them was an owner. I was the only customer.

    I wandered thru and looked at all of their products then asked the fellow behind the counter about the possibility of ordering a hardchrome Llama MiniMax .45acp thru them.

    Apparently, both of the guys thought that was hilarious and started yucking it up while telling me about how they aren't even made anymore and they suffer from soft steel and they are crappy pistols and ... blah, blah, blah. o_O

    I thanked the counter guy and left.

    I went home and spent 15 minutes finding a NIB LlamaMiniMax .45acp online and having it shipped to my kitchen-table 01FFL buddy ... I had it within the week.

    I have never returned to that LGS, just too many other options ... and in the past 15 years I have purchased a LOT of firearms & firearms-related stuff, much of it locally.

    That LGS is, apparently, doing well and so am I, so ... <shrug> :)
     
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  19. bannockburn

    bannockburn Member

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    Simplest way to go with customer service is do as my Dad did: treat every customer the same way you would want to be treated if you were the customer.
     
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  20. Waveski

    Waveski Member

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    What I don't understand about the scenario you described : How would such a store stay in business?
     
  21. John_R

    John_R Member

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    I can't imagine a 500 square foot store with four employees, seems like way too many.
     
  22. bikemutt

    bikemutt Member

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    There is one gun store I went into that insisted I hand over my driver's license before they'd let me examine any behind the counter firearm. They didn't just want to see my license, they hung on to it until I was done looking at the gun. Must have been the "I'm a Thief" t-shirt I was wearing that day. I didn't buy anything, nor did I return.
     
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  23. jmace57

    jmace57 Member

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    My cousin owns a pawn shop (with an emphasis on guns) in my family home town. I have been in there maybe a dozen times and the same group of (4 or 5) local guys are ALWAYS standing around drinking coffee and shooting the breeze. I am ignored, along with any other customers, until my cousin recognizes me and helps me. The other people in the store he just ignores.
     
  24. bassjam

    bassjam Member

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    I've never really had a problem at a dedicated gun store or pawn shop. I used to frequent the local Bass Pro, you never knew what you were going to get there but even then I eventually learned which guys were useless, which guys just told you such-and-such brand was crap, and which guys kind of knew their stuff. Still, Bass Pro was always better than going to Dick's or Walmart!


    Man that's awesome! My dream is to retire in my early 50's and take a job in a field I love, like guns, even if it pays less.

    My FIL did much the same as you and took a part time job at a Porche dealership for like $10/hour driving exotic cars in from customers homes for maintenance work. It didn't take long for the owners to recognize a good worker and pretty much put him in charge of the entire valet operation, suddenly he's in his 70's and working 40 hours a week again.
     
  25. GBExpat

    GBExpat Member

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    Strange. Perhaps they were concerned about a Snatch&Run or Load&Rob?
     
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