Buy, but don’t touch!

Buy, but don’t touch!

This is a discussion on Buy, but don’t touch! within the General Firearm Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; Awhile back I was speaking with a fellow working in a shop I don’t usually frequent. He had been around the block a time or ...

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Thread: Buy, but don’t touch!

  1. #1
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    Buy, but don’t touch!

    Awhile back I was speaking with a fellow working in a shop I don’t usually frequent. He had been around the block a time or two and seemed extremely knowledgeable on the subject of firearms. We covered a whole lot of ground on a number of subjects and I got to like the guy. He had been a LEO and had owned his own gun shop at an earlier point in his life, but now worked for someone else.

    What got me was his attitude toward customers in the gun shop. There were close to a dozen people in the shop all looking at and handling various firearms, under employee supervision. He told me that if it had been his shop, 90% of these people would not have been allowed to touch anything. His comment made me curious, so I asked him to explain his reasoning.

    He said that 90% of these people were just “Looker’s” and not “Buyer’s”, and would just put wear and tear on the products they were handling. He felt that looking at a product should suffice to make a purchase decision. Certainly in any retail situation there is a certain amount of looking but not buying going on, so I asked him how he could tell the difference. This is where it got weird.

    He said that if he had not sold that person at least two firearms in the last month, they were just “Looker’s” and would not be allowed to handle anything until they bought it. He was completely serious.

    We chatted for a few more minutes. I specifically did not ask to see the gun I was thinking about buying and then left. As I walked out, I couldn’t help but think that there was a reason he no longer owned his own shop.
    *WARNING - I may or may not know what I am talking about.

  2. #2
    Member Array usmcj's Avatar
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    Going into my local gun shop is like going into my own gun room. Most of the guys that go in there handle anything short of the cash register. Once when the owner's child got hurt, he took off to the hospital with the boy, and over his shoulder, he said, "no fair having a fire sale, I'll be back shortly." About an hour and a half, and several stitches later, he returned, and we resumed from where we left off.... second generation gun shop.. Nice
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  3. #3
    Member Array CajunBass's Avatar
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    I think I'd just mosey on down the road.
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  4. #4
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    I'd say he's trying to justify his disdain for waiting on customers.
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  5. #5
    Member Array sandman1212's Avatar
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    what a PUTZ

    Quote Originally Posted by RoadRunner71 View Post
    As I walked out, I couldn’t help but think that there was a reason he no longer owned his own shop.
    Obviously he did not figure out why he went out of business, I would have done the same thing!
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  6. #6
    Distinguished Member Array Dragman's Avatar
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    If I have something In the shop that I don't want any old person touch I keep it locked up in back. While I agree you need to let the customer touch and handle before they buy, there are some guns that are off limilts. I am not putting an unfired colt python in my show case! if someone wants something like that they ask or hint they are looking for some upper end specialty stuff. If you can see it in my store I have no problem with you handling it thats how you sell stuff and keep customers happy.
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  7. #7
    Array SIXTO's Avatar
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    He's right about the tire kickers and such, but its a cost of doing business in this business. The people that come into the shop and waste time (both theirs and the clerks) are the majority of customers. It does get overly annoying. The problem is, you never know who is serious or not until you get into the conversation. The guy who is wasting your time today is your buyer tomorrow; you just dont know.
    "Just blame Sixto"

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  8. #8
    VIP Member Array obxned's Avatar
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    A place where you can look at the firearms but not touch them is called a museum.
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  9. #9
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    Yeah, I doubt seriously that would go over in most places. Besides, most guns I see today are not finely tuned instruments that demand all that much care and fuss. Granted, there are a few exceptions in my local shop, but these are usually the high-end SA engraved revolvers. Even then, they'll let you hold them with some restrictions.
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  10. #10
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    Exacttly, it's the cost of doing business.
    Now I can see how in a gun business one may have to run off a few 'crazies', but for the most part, people have to learn about a potential gun purchase...hands on.
    When I do not feel welcomed in a business, I don't spend my money there.
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  11. #11
    VIP Member Array hogdaddy's Avatar
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    Two Handguns a month or your a Looker, Well I'm a Looker & he'd go BROKE (Belly Up) That is why he don't own a shop & just works there ; )
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  12. #12
    VIP Member Array tkruf's Avatar
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    This guy obviously did not have a clue. Nobody buys a gun without handling it first. People have to see how the gun points for them. If the safety is in the right position for them. If they like the feel of the trigger/reach of the trigger, feel/thickness of the grip. If they like the sights, weight of the gun, etc. Sixto had it right. They might be looking today, but might be a buyer the next day. Instead of looking at is as everybody being lookers. Maybe he needs to keep in mind that if they are looking, they are most likely in the market and will buy something when they find what they are looking for. If he treats them right and his prices are compatible with the shop down the street, he just "might" sell a gun that day. If he doesn't treat them right, then they'll buy their gun from the shop down the street.
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  13. #13
    Senior Member Array Old Sarge's Avatar
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    I totally agree with Sixto, and TKRUF. This man is obviously in the wrong business. Not any wonder, why he is no longer the owner of a gun shop. If I were a customer, and really appreciated this gun shop, I think it'd only be fair to tip off the owner, about this "salesman's" atttitude. I'd never purchase a gun that I couldn't pick up, see if it fits my hands, and all the features are satisfactory for me.

  14. #14
    Member Array RickN's Avatar
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    I bet he feels differently when HE is a customer.

    "Yes, sir, we can show you that car. But, you have to buy it first to prove your not a looker."

    "I agree, that is one comfy-looking recliner, sir. But I can't let you sit in it and try it out unless you buy it. You might lower its value."

  15. #15
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    Hiding inside a bottle of Jim Beam Black in S. FL.
    I guess that shows why he used to own a GS but doesn't now.
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