Monday, January 9, 2012

What is WRONG with my gunstore?

They have a new policy.  People have apparently been directing Gunbroker purchases to them for transfer without telling the store this is happening.  This asshattery perturbs them, and I am totally on board with their peevishness.  If you do that, you have to pay a higher transfer fee or they reserve the right to refuse to do that all together.  $100 if you surprise them, $75 normally.  I am on board with that.  I'd even charge MORE than $100, were I them.  $150 or $200 will put a stop to such rudeness with a quickness, and be profitable in the meantime.  Way to antagonize a vital gunstore FFL resource, boneheads.

The policy is not the problem.  It's the sign they have up announcing it.  It says the policy, then "We are not the internet.  GFY."  I assume GFY means Go F*ck Yourself.  Well, THAT'S classy.  Sure to boost sales. 

I don't begrudge them the policy, but the internet sales are going to grow, not shrink.  There are gunstores in MD that still charge a $25 fee and welcome the little business AND the foot traffic.  I know I buy stuff whenever I go into the store, even a box of ammo.  But this is the second time in a month I've been in there and felt an unfriendly vibe.  I started frequenting that shop BECAUSE they were the only one that treated me like a customer, not an annoyance.  "Wait on that guy, he buys something every time he comes in here."  I overheard a story while in there over a year ago about an attempted gunstore robbery.  The bad guy handed them a note, like in a bank holdup.  So I did something similar, right then, in response. I handed the guy a note that read "Sell me something..."  But I knew them well enough to have fun like that.  I don't think the current crew would 'get' that kind of joke from me. 

The owner was also absent, again.  But he isn't the only one there that knows me on sight. 

What to do?  I don't want to presume to tell him his business.  And I understand why he is upset, of course.  But still.  I wish the situation was different.  I want my old gunstore experience back, but am helpless to make it so and have no known local alternatives.  Many gunstores are crotchety in their own way.


Art said...

I've been AMAZED at the rude counter help at one particular local FFL retailer. The prevailing attitude seems to be that they'll begrudgingly take my money, doing me an enormous favor. This attitude is displayed by the owner and all his staff.

Luckily I have local alternatives. I choose to spend my money where I'm at least treated like a customer and not some irritating interruption in their day.

Bubblehead Les. said...

You have the Bad Luck to be stuck in a Situation where the State Gun Laws are Bad, the Brick and Mortar Gun Shop had to jump through Hoops to set up Shop in the First Place, the Same Shop became the Big Fish in a Small Puddle, and the InterWeb Gun Sites just cut into his Huge Mark Up. So he will retaliate by Forcing the Ordinary Citizen who orders online to buy at HIS Prices, or Suffer the Consequences. Besides, he probably has some "Good Buddys" that he's much more concerned about keeping happy than dealing with you.

I hate places like that.

Your best bet is, that if you want to do online Gun Shopping, find another FFL Holder.

Robert Fowler said...

I have a small customer base that is growing slowly by way of internet transfers. Even when one catches me by surprise, I cheerfully call the customer and let them know their gun is in. I still just charge $20.00 per weapon.

On the other hand, I went to Scheels the other day. I didn't tell them I was a FFL, I just asked about transfers. They said their standard fee was $50.00 and they would not transfer anything that they did not stock. WTF? Of course Sportsman's warehouse doesn't even do transfers. All the better for my business.

Anonymous said...

You might think that an enterprising young fellow would open an appointment-only transfer station - save the trouble of keeping stock and insurance on said stock, could still take orders . . . heck, you'd think places like Able's and Bud's and such would encourage that kind of business model. As for refusing internet purchase/transfers. . . compete or fail. Walmart is cheaper on ammo than any local store around me and they refuse to offer bulk discounts. . . The only thing a local store can provide better is a consultative sales experience and a positive experience.

Secret Squirrel said...

Jesus, where the hell do you shop? Even for Maryland that's bad.

Way to antagonize a vital gunstore FFL resource, boneheads.

Vital FFL resource my ass -- I'm doing business with them, and if it's an honest mistake I'd appreciate not being reamed for the honor of paying them to fill out some paperwork.

Sorry, but the whole gun-store-attitude thing really gets on my nerves.

Keads said...

Ah, I concur. My range charges 25 bucks for a transfer. Note I said "Range". They do not sell unless you want a special order.

Part of the problem is that in many Gun stores the attitude is free.

45er said...

Yeah, with a sign like GFY, someone has forgotten they are in the business of sales and customer service. I know I'd tell the owner it's only a matter of time before they put themselves out of business.

New Jovian Thunderbolt said...

Secret Squirrel,

But you aren't doing business with them. Or They aren't, really. Just having a gunbroker seller from Oregon surprise them with a package. "What gun is this?" Not courteous. You arrange for that ahead of time. It's not a transit line bus stop bench, it's a place of business.

Tam said...

Robert Fowler,

"...and they would not transfer anything that they did not stock."

Which is kinda bass-ackwards when you think about it.

That Guy said...

Seems like your gunstore is tired of being in business. If ANY vendor that wanted to do business with me EVER directed 'GFY' toward me, that would be their last chance to ever get money from my wallet.

Any you know what will happen? They will go out of business from a thousand self-inflicted cuts like this, then blame Wal-mart and other Big Box stores for the failure. The reason big box stores win is that if I am going to deal with surly or non-existent service, I might as well save $5. But I will pay a premium for good service.

Newbius said...

You absolutely have a right to tell them their business. You are their customer, and if they want your custom to continue, they better figure out how to cater to you. I would very politely let them know that the "service" that they are charging handsomely for can be done with slightly more inconvenience, and significantly less cash outlay, elsewhere. It is up to them to decide to do something about it, or perish when their last customer goes somewhere welcoming instead.

New Jovian Thunderbolt said...

Thing is, I'd probably have to drive 20 miles to find a cheaper transfer place. 60 for the cheapest.

Newbius said...

T-Bolt, my NEAREST gun store is over 20 miles away. Pick a direction. If I am going to drive anyway, I am going somewhere that appreciates my business, even if it is just a transfer and NICS check.