Gun shops out of control
No way a round it, there is a massive influx of new gun buyers. Every gun shop that I go to is woefully inadequate at dealing with the number of customers in their shop. It just takes forever to do anything. If you just need some ammo, or some other supplies, you could starve to death in most shops.
God forbid that you actually want to look at and maybe purchase a handgun. I see tons of people just walk out and leave stuff on a table because they won't wait.
The biggest problem? The new customers. Many of them have no idea what they even need to ask. I'm not hating on newbies by any means. I was one. I remember my first trip. I was intimidated. But the guys running the show let people pile around the counters so that you can't even SEE what they have. Then if somebody decides to purchase, they stay at the counter to fill out the paperwork!
If you own a shop take a look at what you are doing. I'd bet a week of value meals that you could be earning 20% on top of what you are just by working on flow.
1. Have paperwork and subsequent administrative stuff done in a location AWAY from your inventory. People need to see it to purchase it.
2. Organize your ammo so it's painfully simple to locate. Most do, but I've seriously seen people "organize" it by brand instead of caliber (and other random ways). I've seen people stand and look for ammo for 5 minutes. What a waste of time and space.
3. Have one person, the patient guy, to greet people and find the newbs. I saw one store where a fat guy just asked the question coming In the door, "would you like help understanding anything?" Then he sent them to a guy named Willie that had a small table, away from the inventory, with "lesson" guns and ammo. It really helped people.
4. Flip side to that is that the fat guy asked if they knew specifically what they were looking for. He could tell them quick if they did or didn't have something. Saves more time. So a non newb may not pack the counter.
5. When someone is trying to sell a used gun establish value away from the counter.
6. If you post a sign, for ammo limits, or anything important, hang it in a location that people can see it and make it BIG BOLD LETTERS. Visible from 15 feet. Also, make what you are saying crystal clear. Saying "2 box limit on ammo" is going to have people asking questions. Likely, the same questions all day.
7. Hanging signs ON your door is dumb. The door opens and closes and people are trying to get in and out. If I'm standing there in the middle of traffic trying to read a moving sign it's a problem.
Basically, keep counters clear of people that don't need to be there. Communicate effectively. This is your moment. May not be another event like this for 20 years.
I'm not impatient. I know it will be crazy when I go. What drives me crazy is how much money these guys are leaving on the table. Just standing there watching it happen is painful.
Sounds like the voice of Customer Service experience.
Originally Posted by Yarg28
Sme decent thoughts here, but just curious: what's with the "fat guy" references? I mean, it's kinda funny, but I'm scratching my head wondering where his girth comes into play in these scenarios...
...having been one...I had to laugh at that part...
...the gooberment's stirred up the American people like never before...that's what's causing folks who never gave a hoot to want to be armed and get their CHLs...a 72-year-old widow who's never touched a gun recently asked me to help her buy one and teach her to shoot it...my wife, who disdained my carrying...now carries...and shoots quite well...
...it sure has muddied the waters for us regulars...empty shelves and cat's back high prices...which may never go back to "normal"
...I hope it's not like 9/11, when folks prayed and went to church for awhile then went back to sleep...
...I hope all these newbies stick to their guns...and do all they can to preserve the rights to have them...
...if they do...it's worth the hassle...
Sounds like a good plan. Ive been to shops and been frustrated by the crowds when Im trying to look and see what they have. And my brother in law was looking for his first gun.
Just call him "Greeter Guy" if it bothers you. Unless, of course, "Fat Guy" fits. The only problem I see with the OP's ideas is that many LGS are too small to accommodate his suggestions.
Originally Posted by DesignDawg
Local shop here with indoor range. The Police dept. and city did not want any gun dealers in the city they ran one out and started on this. They used every trick and form of harassment they could. They got them in the end. They got a new FFL and they did it again.
Now after a couple years of not being allowed to sell any guns they are back at it. But this time they hard no options left they set up a system where they will not sell or even show a weapon to anyone that is not a member. Member means they check you out, and must be known to other member's.
I had been out of town a bit. Stopped in and was shocked they had weapons again. A staff member explained I would not be allowed to even look at any of them.
Lucky for me one of the owners knew me and walked over introduced me to the staff and declared me a member.
Maybe what it is coming to.
Gun shops out of control
The fat guy knows what he's talking about?
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At no point in history have gun shops had the support and salesmanship of a President or of a Congress, like they do now.
That is why it is busy. Everytime a talking head speaks, more guns and ammo sales result.
Huge opportunity opens to pull people into shooting sports like IDPA/USPSA, instructor lead training, gun clubs, etc. I just fear too many people with NO training or common sense will be carrying and perhaps not living up to the level of current standards most people have in regard to gun skills, safety and common sense. Some shops 60-90 minute drives from my home are now picking up their phones one inch off the receiver and dropping them back down. So I drive all the way there and there are plenty of employees picking their nose that could have told me if something was in stock before I wasted 40$ in fuel costs. I will also remember these same clowns that abuse the "busy" excuse and gouge people with artificial prices when this stupidity slows back down. I have a good memory for those manufacturers and dealers that are doing a great job in this time of stress. We are also learning who really supports the constitution and our rights, and who doesn't.
Not sure how much of the "run on guns" is new gun owners vs. long standing gun owners building inventory before potential bans. Nevertheless, it's kind of a "good news/bad news" situation.
With all due respect local gun shops have not seen the kind of traffic like they have seen the past 3 months ever. You must take into account that most shops employee 5 or 6 people at the most now you are asking them to hire more people to deal with the higher amount of customers and less inventory. I have a good friend that owns a gun shop and yes he has made good money the past few months but he is terrified for the next few because he can not replenish his inventory. This is an unprecedented time for local gun shops if you have a problem with how they are doing business simply go somewhere else and that will free up resources for that shop. It is capitalism at it's best.
Originally Posted by Yarg28
It seems Obama has helped gun sales but that wasn't my motivation for buying my first handgun a couple of days ago. All the crazies did it for me and, I suspect, many others.
That is the point I'm making. I'm NOT suggesting anybody hire. I'm saying that they can't afford not to be better.
Again, I'm not complaining about waiting. I specifically stated that. I just hate to see them struggling when there are basic things that they could do to help themselves. I listed a few things. I know they can't all do everything. I'm just trying to help them see that they CAN help themselves.
Like most people on here (I suspect) I root for the small local guys. I believe their success is critical in sustaining our rights.
I want this influx to be a "good" problem for them.
I think smaller shops should limit the number of people in the store at one time. Literally have a line at the door and have an employee split up customers: Those who know exactly what they want, and those who don't. Those who know what they want (example: 500 rounds 9mm), the guy splitting up the line can confirm if it's in stock or not. That way it weeds out people and cuts down on the pressure.