Gun Stores aren't hungry enough? - Page 4

Gun Stores aren't hungry enough?

This is a discussion on Gun Stores aren't hungry enough? within the General Firearm Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; Originally Posted by merischino I am only into my second month of being a gun-anything, however here's what I've found. 1. Being a woman means ...

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  1. #46
    Distinguished Member Array Guardian's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by merischino View Post
    I am only into my second month of being a gun-anything, however here's what I've found.

    1. Being a woman means being invisible. Gun shop owners (dedicated gun shops with or without ranges) ignore me like the plague, unless I'm with a man, in which case they address me only if/when my companion has indicated that I'm the purchasing party. even then, they address their answers to my questions to my companion. Or, they answer questions I didn't ask and pontificate ad nauseam on irrelevant crap, demonstrating how terrifically knowledgeable they are.

    2. Even now that I have been frequenting all my local gun stores perhaps once per week each, I have found only 2 which treat me with dignity and respect. Unfortunately, neither have a wide selection or attractive prices

    3. One of those places has a team of friendly but still fairly inaccessible "guys" who shoot the crap with whomever, rarely turning to address me, but when they do they are cordial, permit me basically one question, which they answer pithily before going back to their clan. When/if I can get someone's full attention, they do not treat me rudely or ignore me, however getting their attention can be difficult. I am happily past the "oh God it's a girl" stage or the "a newbie" disease.

    4. The other of those places never treated me unfairly, has a tiny staff (it's a pawn broker with a decent selection of used guns, no new guns, and a gunsmith) who are uniformly friendly and helpful. One of the owners, a woman, and I have developed a very friendly association with ongoing topics completely unrelated to guns. I hope, fervently, someday they have something other than $2 movies that I actually want to purchase. Whatever the markup, I'd be happy to send my $ to them.

    5. Once I'd narrowed down what I wanted to buy for my first gun, which turned out to be a used Glock 22, I found that nowhere within ~30 miles did any gun shop: have one, claim to see them very often if ever, or offer to keep an eye out for me (if that's a service that store owner's do). As a result, I turned my eyes to the internet.

    I did not want to purchase off the internet, because I had no experience, wouldn't really have any recourse if something went wrong, and if I did have a recourse, the costs of shipping and FFL dealers would utterly negate the "good deal" aspect of purchasing off the internet. The internet did, however, provide me a very very good service of establishing what the reasonable going rate for my firearm actually was.

    I ended up going to a local gun show, where I tirelessly waded through the crowds to every single table, asking every gun-selling table about my target gun availability, and basically universally being told it would "never happen". One dealer from about 150 miles away offered to keep and eye out and gave me his name and his card. Several dealers showed me their brand-new Glock cache and tried to sell me their deal, which on a new Glock tended to be quite a bit better than the local gun shop that had them in stock. But, I didn't want a brand new one. I did, finally, find a dealer with my target gun, used, for sale, with an atrociously ridiculously higher than MSRP. I asked him if that number was real, and he thankfully told me no, gave me the real price, which was comparable to the going rate for an online purchase, and I sucked that puppy up.

    Moral of the story? I use local gun shops for research/information when/if they are willing to talk to me, which is kinda close to never. If they treated me with attention, and respect, like the pawn shop does, they would have my undying support and attention and cash when the desired article is actually in stock.

    The one dealer with all the ol' dogs chatting in their corners and being personable but not available to me, has a range attached to their store. I'm in there 2-3 times per week (too much!!). They have a woman on staff who sometimes acts as rangemaster (I've never seen her perform any different service), who started out treating me like the newbie novice that I was, just barely drawing the line at making fun of me, but who now likes to chat me up and comment on how proficient I am becoming so quickly. She also seems to take an avid interest in all the gear I come in with, negating any upsell/cross-sell opportunities she would otherwise have. I haven't decided yet whether she is gathering information for her boss so they can make some changes to their outrageous pricing, or if she is quietly policing me for violations which have yet to happen.

    Yes, I go to their range -- they let me bring my own ammunition. Yes, I bring my own ammunition -- their prices are just plain highway robbery. Yes, I will tell her exactly how much I paid, and where, as she inspects my ammunition. Yes, she inspects every box, opens each box and inspects at least one bullet per box. Yes, she inspects my targets (thankfully not every one) and inquires if I know that they sell targets? Dudes, at $5 per 100 targets online at the cheapest, or for the exact same targets they sell in her store $0.23 per target versus $2.00 per target, you had better believe I'm ordering them online! Yes, I bring my own eyes and ears. No, there is nothing other than range time in their store that I want to buy. No, that won't keep me from checking their selection. Yes, that will keep me from ever plunking down good money in that store that I didn't first attempt to plunk down to either a gun show dealer or an online supplier.

    I know it's only $2.00. But 200% markup on anything is plain rude. 200% markup on paper? Dude, it's not a specialty item -- it's PAPER! Charge me a quarter, 50cents, make it a day. 200%? over my cold dead body! (ok, in a jam, I'd buy ONE target. ONE. But I'd mark the day and not repeat it.)

    I'll cut my diatribe short here with another store I don't plan to deal with at all in the future: the store and range where my pawn broker keeps trying to refer sales to. She calls them, tells them what I want, tells them she has a customer right now in her store who wants it. Tells them I'm on my way to come buy it. Here's the last/latest result (not unusual) I get there. The have 5 guys behind the counter, busy with guy-behind-the-counter stuff that does not include interaction with any customer. They do Not return my happy hello as I enter. They never notice in 30 minutes that I'm hovering over the item in the glass case they received a call about. No one glances my way on any of my attempts to get their attention. I wander the store a bit, trying to make eye contact. No such luck. I return to the glass case where my intended purchase resides. More minutes go by. I decide to leave. No one makes eye contact or thanks me for coming on my way out. To them, it must seem like their "referral" never showed. And, I don't frequent their range anymore as they insist you purchase their ammo, which is priced (in the two calibers we shoot regularly) $10+ above the going rate elsewhere, $15+ above WW.
    Excellent post, my wife has experienced some of the same type of responses that you have, she's very good at speaking up for herself and I get a kick out of it, they normally don't know how to take her. Texas has a lot of that good ole boy networking that goes on. Thanks for posting this. I showed her your post and she agrees wholeheartedly.
    "I dislike death, however, there are some things I dislike more than death. Therefore, there are times when I will not avoid danger" Mencius"


  2. #47
    Senior Member Array Shadowsbane's Avatar
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    I judge many retailers by how they treat my wife, sister, inlaws etc. Not just gun stores. Treat her like crap, then say good by money. Because I will make it my mission to let as many people know as possible.

    Last time I went into one of the "bad" gunstores in the area they were trying to convince a new female shooter that a 22 is all the gun she could handle, while the 45s she was looking at were "too much gun for her"

    Poor woman was so confused and worried at that point, so I mentioned that my little 5'0" wife shoots full house 357 mag rounds out of her snub nose, and was the best shot in the Conceal carry class too while using that gun. Gave her a card to the good gun store, and told the salesman to have a nice day.

    There is no excuse for bad service really. I can understand being busy, or having a bad day. But to be consistantly outright rude to people who you depend upon for income is not going to fly.
    Now, we must all fear evil men. But there is another kind of evil which we must fear most, and that is the indifference of good men.

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  3. #48
    VIP Member Array BugDude's Avatar
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    I've narrowed my local gun shops that I frequent down to the several that actually do have great customer service. For me, it's a must. It builds customer confidence and loyalty. I go out of my way to frequent those shops and I spend more money for things sometimes, but they've earned it with me. I'll spend a few dollars more for a few things if I know they will take care of any issues no questions asked.
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  4. #49
    Member Array TVille's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bhamrichard View Post
    Being "older" isn't always very helpful :)

    There's a local gun shop, been around for years, when you walk in the door, if you aren't in the good ole' boys club, you might as well not exist. Last time I went in I walked around the store looking for a good 20 minutes before my existence was acknowledged.

    When one of the owners finally asked if he could help me, I told him quote "No thank you, it took you 20 minutes to decide I was a customer while you were busy chatting with your friends. I was about to lay $600 dollars on you for this S&W, but now I'm going to see if Academy Sports has it. And if they're as rude as you've been, they won't be getting my money either, good day sir"..
    I think I know that store. Academy just down the road a mile or so? And yes, they ignore my wife like many others apparently do as well.

    Did they say anything after that seething statement?

  5. #50
    Member Array crankinNM's Avatar
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    Nope........I think at the "Local Gun Shop Owners" forum I was reading that they find their customers to be rude and downright mean.

    No really I wonder if our perception of their arrogance has to do with our own insecurity?

  6. #51
    VIP Member Array ccw9mm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by OldVet View Post
    Is it me? Or is anyone else having this problem?
    Yes. After a period of "hot" sales, some individuals forget where their good fortune comes from.

    Money talks, or walks. And it does that very well. The single greatest power we have, of course, is that.

    Screw me over, lie to me, show you aren't willing to work with me to get the answers to my questions ... and I walk. Show you're willing to help me find what I need, then I'm prepared to pay a bit of a premium (beyond the easily-found, least-expensive source) for that, since it saves me time and frustration. It's simple, and it's fair.

    Of course, such good behavior ought to be the way of things. It's sad and ridiculous it needs even be mentioned. But, Sales 101 isn't a lesson that many modern salespeople have had, for a good long while yet. That's fine. Let 'em learn.
    Your best weapon is your brain. Don't leave home without it.
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  7. #52
    Member Array merischino's Avatar
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    Gun Show Dealers not so different...

    Hey there guys. Thought I would add my experience today at the local gun show. I went mostly for curiosity and to be social, having made my gun purchase last month I wasn't looking to buy another gun today, however one seller had exactly the P22 I'd been eyeing online and the sticker on it was exactly the online price. Since I'd had a good experience last month dickering at the gun show, I tried faithfully for a solid 30 minutes to get the eye of any one of 3 different salesmen who were dealing with men to the left of me, to the right of me, across from me, back on my left, then back past me over to my right. Until finally I just decided toheckwithitallididntwannadaggoneguntodayanyway and walked away. This time, the gun show had perhaps 1/3rd the people in attendance as last month, so although the table was fairly busy, there really was no reason for my being looked over for that length of time, given the number of folks who were walking up and getting served and walking away in that timeframe. It was just plain anti-woman and there was no bones about it.

    No other gun dealer at the show had the gun I was interested in. I moseyed around, found some fellow shooters I knew and followed them around a bit until the one who'd turned me onto the 22lr for-fun idea asked me about it. I told her I couldn't get the time of day, and she took me right back over there, introduced me to the #1 Ignore Merischino Offender, who pretended he'd never seen me before, and being introduced by a frequent customer of his treated me like gold and would not leave my side for half an hour despite having a very very busy table. Even when I'd satisfied my every question, my friend had satisfied her every question, we had gone down several alternate pistol roads, you name it. He was told I was not going to make a purchase today (if he and my friend hadn't insisted on trying to sell me on a different gun than the one I had wanted to buy, I might have plunked down some money), but still did not feel a need to turn his attention to anyone else.

    First, I was offended for my own self. Then, I was just plain perplexed -- I had the help I wanted, what gives? Are you my new best friend? Can I have you follow me up and down your very long table and discuss with me every dang gun I glance upon while everyone else here with good money gets ignored?

    It just plain makes no sense to me. You would think that the dealers at gun shows, giving prices lower than normal brick-and-mortar retail, would be aiming for high volume turnover, right? What purpose does it serve to ignore customers based on gender? Or, what purpose does it serve to glom onto one non-buying customer when plenty others with good money and an interest in giving it to you sit by unattended?

    The good news is, I got a fairly good deal on some Glock factory magazines that I needed. And a lovely leather wallet for $10. And lunch with some pals. And a chance to manhandle and try-on-for-size an expensive but worth-it Gun Toten Mamas holster purse that I've been thinking hard about. (which I might have bought if the dealer would have come my way in the 15 minutes I was ogling his wares)

    Merischino

    ps it wasn't spite that kept me from buying a gun today -- it was the fact that my friend and this dealer presented not one, not two, but three very intriguing alternate options if I'm going to pursue the 22lr direction, and I felt that all three needed research before I could make a decision I believe I could stick with and not regret later. The two of them did me a good service today. Instead of a Walter P22, I need to research the ISSC 22 Glock-a-like, very very similar in size, shape, balance, materials, design, everything to a Glock 19. Or, a Browning Buck Mark, which I've shot before but hadn't found in the target price range before today. Or, the not seen but only heard of Diamondback something or other which IIRC could be a 22LR or it could be a .380. Not sure for sure just which.
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  8. #53
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    Another example:

    I take my CZ-82 to the local gun store/gunsmith to have the rear sight pressed out and discuss some trigger reshaping. I know how to do it; I don't have the equipment.

    I didn't care for this guy's attitude the first time I spoke with him. It didn't improve the second time. You'd think he might have warmed up a bit since on a second visit I qualified for "Repeat Customer" status.

    Mr. Expert Gunsmith looks down the bright, shiny bore, gets that "What-a-piece-of-junk" look on his face, and asks, "Why'd you buy this? The rifling is all shot out."

    I reply, "Everyone says that the first time they look at the CZ-82. It's polyagonal rifling."

    He gives me the "No Crap" look and says, "I know what that is, but there's no rifling in this. It's gonna keyhole like crazy."

    Says I, "Well, it doesn't. In fact, it shoots pretty well."

    I pull out the target I'd saved from my test firings the day before and show him the nice, round bullet holes in it (in a respectable grouping considering my less-than-expert abilities). Occasional flyers, the rest in fist-sized groups.

    "If you say so," says he.

    I thought I just did?

    So, other than having him press the sights out, I've decided that there're other gunsmiths who might appreciate a little business coming their way without using sarcasm.

    He had his shot at my money; he blew it.
    Retired USAF E-8. Lighten up and enjoy life because:
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  9. #54
    Member Array mirage2521's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DIABLO9489 View Post
    I was lucky enough to find a guy at the local store that treated me with respect the first time I dealt with him and he is he only guy I will purchase a gun from at that store. The best part is that they work on commisson and I have this problem where I only like to buy expensive guns. Now all the employees know that I buy all the time and I refuse to have them wait on me when they coming rushing over when they see me looking in the cases.
    .
    Good for you! He deserves your loyalty. I would do the same and have in the past.
    You may now carry on with your absurd non-directional bantering.
    Yocan

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