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How do some gun shops stay in business?

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by fatelk, Mar 16, 2010.

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  1. fatelk

    fatelk Member

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    I don't post about stuff like this normally, but this worked me up a bit. I've never in my life been so rudely treated in my life, in a store. This particular business has a reputation for attitude. They have maybe half a dozen guys that work there, and most of them are jerks; the owner is the worst. If you live in Lane County, Oregon, I suspect you know who I'm talking about.

    I go in once in a while to look around. I rarely spend much money, but once in a while I buy some odds and ends. I was in there today and did notice that the owner was being his usual loud-mouthed know-it-all bully self (PMS, maybe?), disparaging customers when they asked questions. I was looking through a box full of old reloading junk, the kind of rusty old stuff that people bring into shops like that, and the shop will sell cheap because, well, it's old junk and cost them nothing.

    It wasn't real cheap, but I thought I could make some of it work, so I politely asked him if the price was firm. He got right in my face yelling at me and almost chased me out of the store!! I am by nature fairly quite and polite, and just don't get into it with people, so this took me totally by surprise. I left immediately, and will never go back.

    Now that I'm cooled down a little I realize that it was not personal, the guy's just a complete nut. My friend who was with me said he'd seen him do that sort of thing to customers before on more than one occasion, and everyone I know that's into guns has the same opinion of the place and most of the guys that work there.

    Mostly I'm posting this to vent, and if I'm out of line in doing so I apologize. They have been in business there a long time, and seem to sell a lot of guns (about the only real gun shop in town). I really find myself wondering how someone like that stays in business.
     
  2. KarenTOC

    KarenTOC Member

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    I suspect that's the reason they're still in business.
     
  3. rswartsell

    rswartsell Member

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    It seems from my experience that there has always been an element of the gun community that exhibits "over the top" rudeness and hostility. Perhaps to a more noticeable degree in frequency and extreme than the community at large. I think it would be ridiculous of me to try and psychoanalyze an individual or a perceived "attitude" phenomenon amongst a group. Whether it is so that a few are drawn to gun culture because of poor socialization or if the gun culture appeals to the worst in some is immaterial.

    I react to this kind of behavior the same for all merchants and others I interact with. That is to limit any contact with them to the barest minimum possible, which usually means I don't interact with them at all. Being a licensed gun dealer, 'smith, expert, trader, gun club member etc. doesn't get you a pass from civilized adult conduct in my book. It would be a cold day in Hades before he saw any more business from me and I have no answer to how his personal issues and commerce could be compatible.
     
    Last edited: Mar 16, 2010
  4. Patriotme

    Patriotme Member

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    It seems that you generally see this from the older gun dealers. The younger guys are either kind of redneck and knowledgeable or trying to appear yuppie and knowledgeable. The older guys may know their stuff but it does seem like a lot of them take it personally if you don't buy exactly what they recommend.
     
  5. Arkansas Paul

    Arkansas Paul Member

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    It's a mixed bag Patriotme. Some of those older guys are also some of the nicest. I've seen a few that weren't though. The bad thing is that this problem is fairly common. There are several gunshops around here and luckily for us, most are great. I just stay away from the pricks. Sounds like the OP doesn't have that option.
     
  6. wishin

    wishin Member

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    I've often wondered the same thing. I worked for a very successful Volvo dealership whose owner treated customers badly if they said the wrong thing, or looked at him askance. Good thing he wasn't there a lot.
     
  7. nathan

    nathan Member

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    A lot of these small gunshops (moms and pops) dont make much money and barely do . THey are overtaken by big houses like Academy SPorts and internet sales. They overpriced their stuff not knowing they are turning off customers. Since they already owned the place and have little overhead costs, they dont give a rxt's a++ what new customers would say. The premadonna complex hangs over their head. Plus the fact most are plain yahoos and rude, they can go ballistic in the slghtest of things. BEst is stay away from entering their door of business..
     
    Last edited: Mar 16, 2010
  8. JohnBT

    JohnBT Member

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    ' "over the top" rudeness'

    I always figure it's just too many years of shooting without ear plugs. Makes a man grouchy. All that ringing in the ears and saying "What?" over and over will do it.
     
  9. THE DARK KNIGHT

    THE DARK KNIGHT Member

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    For a second there, I thought you were talking about The Bullet Hole in Belleville, NJ. If you ever want to get overcharged $200 on a gun by a nasty guy with skin disease who talks to you like you're a moron, that's the place to go!

    Like most shops of their kind, they're only still in business and acting the way they do due to lack of competition.
     
  10. nathan

    nathan Member

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    I shy away from even buying from them except if i see a really good deal on a milsurp . As for ammo, no kidding . They jack them to the roof. Walmart is my next stop !
     
  11. Skillet

    Skillet Member

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    I see this alot with younger guys (the younger guys are the customers), that are say, eighteen that are completely neglected because they might see them as too young or out of money. I see this with many younger kids as well, and I have to wonder to myself, if we are supposed to raise a community of responsible gun owners and enthisiasts why are we treating them like dirt in a place where they first might show a hint of interest in them?
     
  12. Dentite

    Dentite Member

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    I've been shocked at the rudeness and lack of customer service I've seen in gun stores.

    Now I will agree that customer service in general is degrading over time and I would expect poor customer service at the department of motor vehicles.

    I just didn't expect to see it in small privately owned gun stores. Seems to me they are shooting themselves in the foot (no pun intended).
     
  13. thorazine

    thorazine Member

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    A lot of stores nearby have the same attitude and are overpriced.

    I'm convinced the only way they stay in business is because they run a closed door backroom late night gambling operation in which the house makes a hefty profit. :D
     
  14. CelticArmory

    CelticArmory Member

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    Sounds about like a few places around here. I can guarantee that if I ever get a store going (since smithing isn't exactly putting food on the table) customer service will be #1.
     
  15. fireman 9731

    fireman 9731 Member

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    I have been in a few shops that were like that.

    Their attitude changes as soon as you spend enough money.

    Its a shame, but I can't blame them that much...

    Of course, I have a few favorites that I frequent the most, but all of them get a visit. There is no point in me missing out on a neat gun or cool deal just because the owner is a jerk.
     
  16. acdodd

    acdodd Member

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    Sounds like Bear arms in Kent,WA
    Worst customer skills I've ever seen.
    Never went back even though they were only 5 miles from my house.
    I drove a lot further to buy guns from other places after that.
    He lost out on 6 gun sales and unknown ammo and supplies.
     
  17. 7.62 Nato

    7.62 Nato Member

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    I've read a few rants lately about this and it seems to be not uncommon. I haven't run into it in a gun shop myself. I'm usually easygoing but will treat people the way I'm treated. Before I leave without buying they will get a piece of my mind. I've been an FFL among other things and never treated a customer this way whether they were buying or not. A friend just opened his store and business is booming. He's always got a smile on.
     
  18. reckless carolinian

    reckless carolinian Member

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    Let me tell you of the flipside. There is a very small store & range here in Asheville. The selection is small, prices are mid-high, shop is cramped, but the service is OUTSTANDING. Family run. These folks treat everyone well, because it's just the right thing to do. There are other shops in the area like what you have described. Most folks go there only out of need, not choice.
     
  19. nathan

    nathan Member

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    A smile and friendly words go a long ways. I always go back to businesses that make their customers feel at ease . To the original poster, write your review of the particular gunshop by googling . At least they will notice how it backfires on them. The internet age is wonderful, ehhh..
     
    Last edited: Mar 16, 2010
  20. jl1966

    jl1966 Member

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    I think the way to handle this is simple. Just don't go back. Buy from Wal Mart. Tell all your friends about the way he acts.
     
  21. fatelk

    fatelk Member

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    Sounds like SM Guns in Eugene is not the only bad one. I can tell you I won't be going back in as long as Marv owns the place. For kicks I looked up reviews online, and theirs are not good.

    I'm sure the world is full of jerks on both sides of the counter, and I sure don't mean to rip on gun shops all day. I know they deal with a lot of disrespectful, idiot customers day in and day out, and it's inevitable that some proprietors just start treating everyone badly in return. This subject has been hashed out from both sides here over the years, many times.

    It's been a couple decades since I was 18, and I've stopped in there every couple months or so for the last decade, so they know me by face if not name. There's one guy in there that seems OK, must be pretty laid back to put up with the rest of them. I probably haven't spent much over $1,000 there in that decade, so I'm probably not a great loss to them.

    There are a few other shops around, but they're either hole-in-the-walls or old-guy-hangouts. A friend of mine is in town so we made all the stops today. I've been busy with school, looking for a job, and pinching pennies, so I hadn't done that in a long time. I have to say, all the other places in town were friendly and professional, even if prices were on the high side.
    That's what I'm doing.:)
     
  22. cyclopsshooter

    cyclopsshooter Member

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    I try to be kind and helpful to my customers but I'm not perfect... It is a pawn/gun shop and it is a lot easier dealing with gun customers than the pawn...

    Being a gun dealer can can be frustrating though- sometimes it only takes one jackass to ruin the rest of your day-

    A kid that thinks he is an expert cause he is a crack shot with duck hunt (loud mouth)

    People who do not watch muzzle direction

    Big city folk passing through that think they can pull a fast one over on me

    People who unwittingly dry fire at me

    The kid yesterday that pointed a shotgun at his mom and pulled the trigger

    But- I try
     
  23. leadcounsel

    leadcounsel member

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    I have also seen bad treatment and been treated rudely in a variety of gun stores. I'm not defending them, but I can UNDERSTAND it... most of the people that come in there handle dozens of guns and ask a lot of newbie questions only to go to walmart to save a buck on the same gun. It's the nature of modern big box stores and customer service.

    BINGO!!!

    You go to the expensive gun store where 'professionals' work to ask questions, then take your business elsewhere to save a buck. Over the years I'm sure that makes a gun dealer (or car dealer, or what-have-you dealer) annoyed. Sure it doesn't help his sales to annoy people but it's probably subconscious behavior.
     
  24. cyclopsshooter

    cyclopsshooter Member

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    leadcounsel makes a very good point
     
  25. Oregun89

    Oregun89 Member

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    I'm going to stop by there next time I drive down River Road. I want to experience this guy for myself. I'm new to Eugene, and have never been in his shop. Hopefully this will be fun. :cool:
     
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