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Gunstore Opinion

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by BikerRN, Jan 4, 2012.

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  1. BikerRN

    BikerRN member

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    I'd like to get the opinion of the group.

    I have a LGS that I have dealt with for over 25+ years and they know who I am when I call and know me by name when I go in. This year alone I have bought three guns from them.

    Anyway, I called and asked them to order me a set of grips, a less than $50 item, for a gun. They have ordered stuff for me in the past with no issues. This time they wanted me to come in and make a deposit. From all indications they aren't losing money, as guns are flying off the shelves, and they have done this for me in the past and I have always paid for the items I requested.

    When I got done, and phone routed to the Manager, whom I also have known for years, I was a bit torqued and considering not ever doing business there again or recommending them.

    I am a repeat customer, have ordered stuff from them in the past, and never not paid for what I've requested. I have also sent multiple sales thier way, five .41 Magnum N-Frames, without a lock, alone in the past couple of years, and bring people to thier door. I'm loyal and request the same from them. I consider it like a slap in the face to be asked to drive down and "make a deposit" on such a small item. I called Pacmayer myself and ordered them.

    I'm thinking of never gracing thier door again. What say you? I have another local FFL that handles all my transfers and buy most of my better guns online but I always give them first chance at matching any deal I find and sometimes buy from them if they are close in price, excluding taxes.

    BikerRN
     
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2012
  2. bannockburn

    bannockburn Member

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    BikerRN

    Probably the new policy of requiring a deposit for ordered merchandise is that the store has been stiffed one too many times, and are just trying to cover their expenses. You wrote that you talked with the store manager. What did they say about it? Is this for all special orders or are there exceptions, like items over a certain price point?
     
  3. OARNGESI

    OARNGESI Member

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    If it was the manager and not the owner hes probally just trying to follow a new policy. Even though your a loyal customer if you ever worked retail youll understand how even loyal customers will eventually stiff you.
     
  4. Bubba613

    Bubba613 member

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    Goes to show a store can work years to win a customer's loyalty and he can get all pissy over nothing in 5 minutes.
     
  5. Davek1977

    Davek1977 Member

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    I guess I've never understood having a gun shop...or any business...."order" something for me...usually at a premium.....when, like you ended up doing here, I can order it myself, not pay a middleman, and have it delivered to my door. Its one thing if its a hard to find item, but for your average grips/gun case/holster, etc it just seems to be FAR less of a hassle all the way around if I just take care of it myself. My first thought when someone offers to "order" it for me is that I can do THAT much on my own, and not pay extra for the "convenience" of having to drive across town to pick up the grips, at...as often as not it seems....they ordered incorrectly in the first place. Ordering accessories on my own is fun, usually far cheaper, and all around much more convenient that having someone else do it for me at what usually amounts to an added cost
     
  6. BikerRN

    BikerRN member

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    They've special ordered ammo by the case for me in the past with no deposit.
    To demand a deposit on a less than $50 item smacks me as foolhardy. The reason I wanted them to order it was to give them the chance to make a buck. It ain't much, but every little bit adds up. I can think of over twenty guns they have sold in the past year because of me and at least five repeat customers.
     
  7. Davek1977

    Davek1977 Member

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    Maybe its a possibility that they too have found themselves at a point where custom ordering accessories has become cost-prohibitive. When every Tom, Dick, and Harry can order items themselves for less, the shop MAY have found itself in a position where the time and effort spent ordering these sorts of things has outweighed the "the buck" you wanted them to make, and has therefore adopted a policy that discourages people from such practices. I guess I'm just not charitable enough to place someone else's income as a higher priority than maintaining my own financial security, simply for the sake of doing so alone.
     
  8. bannockburn

    bannockburn Member

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    BikerRN

    As Davek1977 posted, that would pretty much be what I would do if I couldn't find a particular item at my LGS. Either look for it online or else look for it at a local gun show. Maybe special orders have become a hassle for them and they don't want to be bothered so they try to discourage their customers by requiring a deposit.

    At any rate it's up to you whether you still want to do business with them because of this new policy, or else take your patronage elsewhere.
     
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2012
  9. Sav .250

    Sav .250 Member

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    Sounds like your feelings were hurt. I`m sure they know your a good customer and value your business but sometime things change, as in store -polcy. Maybe it`s a cash flow problem.
    Better yet, why not just ask them ...."why the need for a deposit, when in the past, none was required?" Their answer might surprise you. J s/n. :)
     
  10. BeerSleeper

    BeerSleeper Member

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    You know, you could just be happy to have a shop willing to order something. Many stores will just say,"If it ain't on the shelf, we ain't got it."
     
  11. bikerdoc

    bikerdoc Moderator Staff Member

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    Biker RN,

    Like you I am, a biker, RN, and a retired LEO. I work a P/T job in LGS. Good customers do not have to make a deposit on small stuff.
     
  12. btg3

    btg3 Member

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    Why come to THR for opinions based on just your version of the issue? Perhaps you have so little confidence in your position that this is the only way to vent and not appear foolish? Either man-up and make an inquiry with the store or stop whining. (Ok, so you'd like to get everybody's opinion but mine :evil:)

    Given, as you say, that guns are flying off the shelves at this store, you may want to consider whether you or the store will be hurt more if you take your business elsewhere.

    And please report back as to how this works out for you.
     
  13. Mp7

    Mp7 Member

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    Part of a good relation with a store would be them telling ya why this "change" is taking place. If they don´t and simply don´t honour the long good customer relation - ... i would definitely be out of there.

    It´s like with places i eat & drink for a long time.
    If they get new staff - i introduce myself and "tell" them
    to put my bill behind the counter with my name on it.

    If any1 ever makes me pay for every order like a stranger ( big city) and takes that privilege away ... i will never go there again.

    (Happened recently, sadly enough.)
     
  14. gamestalker

    gamestalker member

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    Having been a business manager for many years, with some of that background in the sporting arms industry, it has long been a sensible policy to operate with. Taking it personal is just that, personal, and in all respect to your personal status, you are still a customer to which the policy applies.

    Policies not only protect the interest of the business, but as well pretain to our expectations as the customer. The policy establishes certain legal and ethical standards to which we as customers can also rely on. The hand shake and a person's word are about as worthless in today's business forum, as used toilet paper. Don't take it personal, but instead try to interpret it as a more professional business practice.
     
  15. Ghost Tracker

    Ghost Tracker Member

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    Y'all forgive me if my opinion seems like I'm stepping on anyone's toes. What a bunch of sophomoric, self-entitled, elitists! We're a repeat customer of our own, personal, favorite LGS because we like their selection, price & service. They spend their money to put the latest & greatest in the case & on the shelf so we can fondle, critique and opinionate over it. But it's still a gamble for them as to the probability of us buying it. They like making their OWN bets (so do I). When they order something for you, they're not only still spending their money but they're no longer betting on their own judgement. They are betting on your judgement. If you don't have any "skin-in-the-game" then you can change your mind, buy elsewhere or forget about it, with no downside. But your LGS still must finance your decision...either way. Maybe their distributors are tightening the credit terms or return policies. Maybe the (universal) economic pressures are forcing your LGS to tighten their belt to remain in business AT ALL. But all this "I'm ME & you best remember who I AM!" is a load of bull. A non-stock order is a special request on your part to the owner of the LGS. If he is your friend, that's one thing. If you're a steady customer then HE'S been doing a good job running his shop already! Why would you get a burr under your saddle for a deposit request? Heck, I LOST my favorite LGS 'cause he had too many "friends" (who felt they did him a favor by hanging-out) and to few customers.
     
  16. Bubbles

    Bubbles Member

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    Sad to say that this is true. :(

    My guess is that your LGS got burned one too many times by a "regular" who wanted a special order that never got picked up. Some things just don't sell very quickly - or else the store would stock them - and if you don't pick up the special order then the store owner has to decide whether to return the item to distributor and eat the return shipping and a restocking fee, or whether to put it on the floor and hope it sells, even if at a loss.
     
  17. Double Vision

    Double Vision Member

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    I would try to not take it personally.
    It's nice to be recognized as a regular customer but taking a deposit on a special order is routine business in most places.
     
  18. nofishbob

    nofishbob Member

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    Successful businesses seem to be built mostly on two conflicting models:

    1-Low price
    2- Relationships and service

    I have not seen both at the same time, sadly.

    Unsuccessful businesses often have neither, that is, poor service and no relationships along with high prices. I have seen this often.

    I read the OP as feeling that his relationship with this LGS was more important than merely getting the lowest price. This relationship was not valued by the shop enough to take a risk on ordering the grips without a deposit.

    The op went back to the low price option.

    The LGS lost a customer, but they sure didn't have to worry about getting stuck with those grips!

    Bob
     
  19. InkEd

    InkEd Member

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    It all depends on what you want them to order. If it's an odd item then a deposit isn't unusual to request. I am "a regular" at probably the biggest LGS in my city. If I want them to order something that's not a regular product or want it immediately then I don't have a problem paying a deposit.

    If it's something small like grips (as you mentioned), I will just ask that the next time
    they place an order with whomever, to please have them throw a pair on the order for
    me. It's not a big deal to me.
     
  20. ApacheCoTodd

    ApacheCoTodd Member

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    Having had a shop and taking personalities or "bad days" outa the equation - I focus on the fact that you wan't to order a $50.00 sumpin with near to no profit in it (hold your horses now, I'm just giving a perspective) and meanwhile you note that "guns are flying off the shelves".

    I recall being at a show once where a regular customer approached wanting to talk about a less than $70 component but there was a politically motivated buying craze going on at the time and I was dead swamped in 4473's and the cash that goes with them. Knowing full well that I had not attended to this fella in my usual fashion I apologized the next day when things had calmed significantly and he was the one to point out that it would have been silly to possibly queer a $800-$1,200 sale for some pissy parts that he could get when things slowed a bit.

    If you really feel slighted and yet have a "history" with the shop - go talk to the fella. How else will he know? If he could read minds he'd be rich enough to close shop. Everyone's got bills to pay and their own priorities in how to do that.
     
  21. stonecutter2

    stonecutter2 Member

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    To be fair, I don't think requiring a loyal customer to come by to put a deposit down on a $50 item to be "nothing." It's a hassle that neither the store nor the customer should bother with.
     
  22. 1894

    1894 Member

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    I don't know anything about running a LGS, but I do have some experience with other industries. It is possible that the other items you've ordered from them came from vendors with whom they had an account and thus, would not have to expend the cash flow until the LGS was paid by you. If the LGS did not have a vendor account for the item you requested, they'd have to spend their money first. If this is the case, I see no problem with their deposit request.

    But, in speaking with them, you should have (politely) inquired about the reason for the change. Until we know this, we cannot give you sound opinions. It seems silly to destroy a relationship formed over so many years and (I'm guessing) thousands of dollars on such a petty thing. If you're friends with the manager - or any other employee, call them and talk. If you've already blown up at them over this, start with an apology. A simple, "Listen man, I was having a bad day and wrongly took it out on you. etc." will go a long way.

    Let us know.
     
  23. TX1911fan

    TX1911fan Member

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    BikerRN, I disagree with almost everyone on this thread. I COMPLETELY agree with you. Because you CAN order it yourself, because you CAN go to another store, because you CAN order guns online, means the store SHOULD do everything they can to please you. There are too many options for stores not to please their customers. I would talk to whomever is your closest contact at the LGS and say that you are not pleased and they are on "probation." If they piss you off again, you are gone. It bugs me how often we hear how loyal we should be to the LGS and then they treat us like they are doing us a favor by being there.

    1894--Why is BikerRN the one doing the apologizing? He's the CUSTOMER who was treated badly. He doesn't need the LGS, he can go to a myriad of different places. They are the ones who need him and others like him.
     
  24. 1894

    1894 Member

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    TX - I said apologize IF he'd already blown up at them. Meaning: try to salvage the relationship. If not, no need. I also agree with your other points but would try to do it while everyone is calm and smiling. I've found things tend to work out better for me that way.
     
  25. youngda9

    youngda9 member

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    They probably don't want to take the time to talk on the phone, get the order, order the part, inventory it when it comes in, then call you and wait for you to come and get it...if you do(probably been burned by some "regulars" in the past).

    The profit they get from that $50 sale doesn't line up with their time invested into doing this special order for you. Therefore they are probably not that interested in doing it. But they would if they already have the deposit...that is their guarantee.
     
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