What bothers you most about brick and mortar gun stores?

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by Teachu2, Sep 23, 2014.


What bothers you most about local gun sellers?

Poll closed Oct 23, 2014.
  1. Minimal stock on hand

    96 vote(s)
  2. Sky-high pricing

    186 vote(s)
  3. Opinionated sales staff

    138 vote(s)
  4. Lack of knowledge of sales staff

    110 vote(s)
  5. Special pricing for special people - and you ain't special!

    57 vote(s)
  6. High transfer fees

    79 vote(s)
  7. Cluttered, dirty, or disorganized store

    42 vote(s)
  8. Slow fulfillment of special orders

    24 vote(s)
  9. No support after sale

    36 vote(s)
  10. Charges extra for credit cards

    57 vote(s)
Multiple votes are allowed.
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    HOWARD J Member

    Mar 8, 2010
    S/E Michigan
    In my LGS -- since 2008 the only thing I buy is smokeless powder.
    Only recently have they been able to get some reloading components & ammo
    The owner retired & relatives run the shop.
    I an not on the SPECIAL list.
  2. Cee Zee

    Cee Zee member

    Aug 23, 2012
    We will see a lot of the LGS places shut down in the next couple of years when the "gotta get one while I still can" crowd gets their fill finally. The gun business has never been stronger over the past few years. It can't possibly last at that level. People bought guns when they thought they may never have the chance to get one again. Now that they see that isn't likely to happen for a while many of those people who bought AR's will be selling them used which will drag down the LGS even more. It's a bad time to think you can treat customers bad if you want to stay in business when the gravy train has passed.
  3. Ranger Roberts
    • Contributing Member

    Ranger Roberts Become a THR contributing member!

    Jan 3, 2012
    Skook County, PA
    I went with opinionated sales staff. It bothers me most when it comes to my wife. She is a pretty accomplished shooter. On average I'd say she puts around 500 rounds per week down range (less in the winter). She can hold her own in almost every gun conversation I've ever been in, with the exception of very technical ones or conversations involving military weapons. Her dad starting her shooting at a very young age and she got her first .22 when she was around 6 years old.

    We have a few LGS's in my area. One is absolutely fantastic. They know both of us by name and never question what she wants. Their recommendations are always welcome because they never talk down to her because she is a woman.

    The other stores in my area are horrific. They see her walk in and immediately think she has no idea what she wants because she is a 30 year old attractive female. It's a pretty horrible way to approach a customer... unless of course their goal is losing a sale.

    We had a salesperson tell her that her Kimber Solo was "too much gun for her," and he proceeded to try to sell her a .22 of some sort. He told both of us that he is a veteran and he really knows best (I am a veteran if you can't tell by my screen name). I've never owned/worked at a gun store, but common sense would tell me: a) give the customer what they want b) don't insult the customer c) selling a WAY more expensive gun is probably better than a $250 .22. I was very tempted to show him a video of her emptying a mag on the Barrett but I realized it wasn't worth my time. He lost a sale and a customer. We bought the Solo online and had it shipped to our favorite LGS where she was met with hi-fives on her new purchase.

    Sorry for the rant, I guess I needed that off my chest!
  4. Blue Thunder

    Blue Thunder Member

    Jul 26, 2013
    In the Gun Room
    A few years ago one of my LGS told me that my Colt Python was out of time when I was trying to trade it for another gun. Somehow it has now consumed more than 2000 more rounds with no issues and I have not done business with that LGS since.
  5. Warp

    Warp Member

    Jan 22, 2008
    Opinionated + lack of knowledge staff. Always a good combination.
  6. stchman

    stchman Member

    Jun 13, 2009
    Saint Louis, MO
    I've been to many a LGS where the they feel like they are doing you a favor by selling you a firearm.

    I simply leave and take my money to their competitor.
  7. Cee Zee

    Cee Zee member

    Aug 23, 2012
    You'd be surprised at how many floor salesmen are trained to look for someone they can take advantage of. It may seem like they would make more by selling a more expensive gun but that isn't always the case. They might have something they have a big markup on that doesn't really cost a lot. Some guns sell pretty close to the wholesale price while others may be double their wholesale price. I mentioned it before but I've seen stereo salesmen being trained to insult people so they could get the upper hand in the salesman / customer relationship and then steer you to something you don't want but they want you to buy anyway. That happens with all sorts of products. It's just that gun salesmen generally know that most of their customers aren't ignorant about what they're buying. A lot of that comes from the fact that people dressed like working class types generally know their guns at least as well as the professional types and the pro type people don't have it in their head that they are smarter than everyone else when it comes to buying guns. You can take advantage of someone's arrogance in a big hurry if you know how. Just convince them that smart people listen to experts (the salesman) unlike those hillbilly idjits. The truth is that it's probably harder to fool a hillbilly on most things because they can't afford to lose their money so they do their homework. You don't see hillbillies (not just hillbillies of course but not yuppies basically) driving over priced cars that cost a fortune to maintain and repair.


    Sep 19, 2006
    Adirondacks of NYS
    My local mon and pop store is great. However, if their primary supplier doesn't have what I want to order I have to almost plead for a product or firearm.
  9. P5 Guy

    P5 Guy Member

    Apr 13, 2004
    Tampa Bay area
    What irks me is being ignored while the sales crew chats with the groupies that hangout in their shops.
  10. Ky Larry

    Ky Larry Member

    May 22, 2003
    I did business with Bud's since the mid 1980's. I was always treated with courtesy and respect. Now that Bud is not affliated with the store, it isn't the same. The sales staff either ignores you or tries to tell you that you need an EBR. I have no desire to play GI Joe. Also, I've been shooting for over 50 years. I really don't need advise from a pimply faced teenager.

    Rant mode off.
  11. CB900F

    CB900F Member

    Feb 22, 2003

    What my biggest problem with brick and mortar stores? There aren't enough of them. I'd far rather buy from an LGS than online, and I've put my money where my typing fingers are. Still haven't bought a gun online and have no intentions of doing so. I do monitor price online, and discuss those prices with prospective sellers. So far, I don't believe I've paid too much for a gun I've bought locally.

    Just think of all the possible consequences if there were no LGS's. If you can't think of any, I'd suggest reading 1984.

  12. Elkins45

    Elkins45 Member

    Dec 25, 2009
    Northern KY
    My vote was for minimal stock on hand, but I guess it depends on how you define local. Mostly what the shops I frequent lack are reloading supplies. The shop with the largest stock of firearms (Buds) doesn't even have powder or primers.
  13. Speedgoat

    Speedgoat Member

    Jun 13, 2011
    Lack of customer service. When the employees behind the gun counter or in the shooting and hunting department would rather just gather up and chat amongst themselves than help a customer, that makes my blood boil and my veins start vibrating as I leave that store. From then on I will gladly go there to check out stuff I want to get, then go home and find the rock bottom cheapest place on-line and order it off there.

    Don't get me wrong, I preach, and try to practice, 'keeping dollars local' but having my own small business for the last 4 years now, if the places don't even try to offer the type of customer service that I strive to provide to my customers day in and day out, I'll save whatever money it may be and go to the on-line retailers.
  14. NGIB

    NGIB Member

    Dec 11, 2007
    Hinesville, GA
    A good friend runs my LGS so I voted nothing in the poll. They're well stocked, decently priced, very knowledgeable, and have the best indoor range I've ever used...
  15. X-Rap

    X-Rap Member

    Sep 23, 2006
    I'm almost always happy to walk into a BM gunshop. I'm blessed with a couple good ones but even the ones with the bothersome traits are tolerable in comparison to the alternative.
    Poor service and inventory will cause early failure in any enterprise so bad gunshops don't tend to stay open long.
    There are few items that I can't buy locally cheaper than online with the exception of bulk bullets.
    I know that I'm an exception but I can hardly complain about a guy not wanting or charging what some feel are high transfer fees to aid in his own demise by handling transfers for online sales from those who undercut his prices.
  16. Girodin

    Girodin Member

    Mar 22, 2008
    Probably the fact that most gun store employees seem to know precious little about guns but will still talk as if they did. I have heard some of the most absurd and patently false statements come from behind a gun counter. Although honestly the reason I rarely by from local guns stores is simply their prices are SOOO much higher than what can be bought online, shipped and transferred. I might support a good local business for a bit more but nor for hundreds of dollars more.
    Last edited: Sep 28, 2014
  17. astra600

    astra600 Member

    May 28, 2013
    Las Vegas Desert
    A salesman who refused to even let me hold the gun I asked to see because it was the wrong caliber for me.

    The store with only "hot counter girls" who have no idea if they have a product and tell me to look in different areas of the store. And no you can't talk to a male because they are busy in the back. The price is on the tag.

    The idiot owner who did get dragged over the counter by my friend in the dump of all dump stores, selling Hi-Points for $300. He called my friend an idiot. Don't know how he can still be in business.

    The LGS that will do transfers for $90. They don't do many.

    A smiling happy employee in a pawn shop with actual bargain prices who really wants to be helpful. Has all kinds of weird ammo for your special guns. Guess which store I go back to?

    And the new store that bends over backwards to get you what you want at a decent price. Not the lowest price but a good price with an attitude that keeps the business in business.

    It's just the normal world out there: the good, the bad and the ugly.
  18. sugerwater

    sugerwater Member

    Aug 16, 2010
    The big box guys are a lot like Wallmart, you get what they what to sell you, not what you might need. No selection of night sights, AR accessories, etc. I'm lucky to be within 15 miles of Top Gun Supply and can buy, at a good price, mostly everything I need.
  19. readyeddy

    readyeddy Member

    May 8, 2012
    Probably a lot of brick and mortar stores suffer from at least some of those problems due to human nature and just the realities of running a B&M store.

    I think we get a little spoiled with online inventories and not having to deal with the general public face-to-face. I know I prefer internet shopping instead of shopping in person.

    But I think it's a good thing to support B&M stores so that we maintain a local distribution system.
  20. barnbwt

    barnbwt member

    Aug 14, 2011
    I chose "opinionated staff" with the caveat;
    If you have enough time on your hands to cook up hairbrained tales about how the DHS is gonna ban the import of all AK ammo to further the interests of the One Werld Guvermint (TM) --you aren't doing nearly enough business and need to drop your prices to reflect that
    My main beef is that many stores seem to be run by lazy folks; dirty/disorganized stores with inventory that hangs around for years is unheard of in any business apart from junk shops or antique-junk shops.
  21. alsaqr

    alsaqr Member

    Jul 5, 2007
    South Western, OK
    Despite the fact that Lawton is the third largest city in OK, the city does not have a gunstore. Lawton has numerous pawn shops that sell guns at outrageous prices. The closest gun store is in Duncan, OK. That guys prices are sky high and i refuse to buy from him. My new guns are ordered through Wal-Mart and from a pawn broker in a Duncan.
  22. TarDevil

    TarDevil Member

    Dec 29, 2009
    NC Coast
    I went with minimal stock, only because few stores carry decent holsters for guns after the sale. My LGS is great... carries a good variety of guns, great prices, and on my last purchase went so far as to order the gun on their own dime so I could check it out before laying out any cash. Staff IS knowledgeable and and they aren't pushy with their personal preferences. But once you buy the gun, you have no choice but go online for extra mags and holsters.
  23. sawdeanz

    sawdeanz Member

    Mar 3, 2011
    Hours. I work in one city and live in another. My hometown stores all close at 5 or 6, and closed Sunday and half of Saturday. so if I want to go to the range or browse product I go to the ones near work, which are super convenient and open much later, both the big guys and the little guys.

    Also ammo prices. I get that they need to charge more than Wal-Mart, but 50-100% more?
  24. Kynoch

    Kynoch member

    Sep 19, 2010
    California Coast
    Oh, I agree with you. Unless guns are only a part of the business (hardware store, pawn shop, auto parts store, etc.) charging that mystical $10-15/gun is ludicrous (even though every shop that does, processes more than 5K/year for an extra $50-75K, right?)

    My FFL only deals in very expensive, used/antique firearms. He has no problem with me bringing in the information of any new or used gun I want -- he still charges me $40/gun which is very reasonable.

    On the other hand, shops that actually sell new guns locally typically have a policy when someone shoves a printout from Bud's under their noses -- NO. Then they offer their best price via their own distributors. If it's a used gun that's out of production from GunBroker of wherever they'll receive it -- again for about $50/gun.

    Imagine for a moment going to the local Ford dealer and asking them to receive a new vehicle from an out-of-state mega dealer on the Internet and offering to pay them $10-15 for their services... ;)
    Last edited: Oct 1, 2014
  25. nuccx2001

    nuccx2001 Member

    Jun 6, 2012
    My local store is so cluttered, you can hardly walk around the place!
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