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Hi everybody! Since I am newbie, I get to ask stupid questions:) Why is that so many gun stores treat their customers bad, even "show them the door"!!! It's illogical. Is there any other kind of business that suffers the same kind of attitude problem?

Another question is that where do I find the "reasonable" price for a particular firearm? Impact Guns or Gunbroker? or somewhere else? Is it an unwritten rule that there's always a cash price and credit card price for a firearm? Thanks
 

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Two dealers I discovered thanks to this site are Mark at Suffolk Shooting Center off LIE exit 67, and Bruce at Hunter's Essentials off LIE exit 37. I bought a saiga from Bruce with the group buy, and he was very helpful and a pleasure to deal with. I only met Mark briefly but he was friendly and helpful too.

Chester's off LIE exit 60 seems pretty good too but I don't have much experience with them either.
 

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You are dealing with the same problems all of us are facing when it comes to gun stores. It just seems to be something in the "gun store" mentality. Don't get me wrong there are great gun stores. I'm thankful one is right around the corner from me -- South Shore Sportsman. There are others to like Campsite, etc.

First, you need to know that gun store run on very slim profits and have high legal costs. Most shops make money on the supplies not on the guns -- hence the usual 2-3% surcharge for credit card purchases.

To find out the fair price for any firearm you need to do research -- first pick what you need to research. Get a subscription to Shotgun News and Gun Digest. Those two newspaper/magazines have lots of classified for new and used guns from shops all over the country. Then browse AuctionArms.com, GunBroker.com and even now UPillar.com (and see what the going rate is). Just remember that on-line transactions have the added cost of shipping and insurance and FFL fees where a local gun store does not. Sometimes buying on-line or via mail is a bargain sometimes it is a break even wash.

Another resource is this forum. Ask what the going rate is for a specific firearm is. You'll be surprised at the number of members who probably are familiar with the price of the piece and where the deals may be -- who knows maybe one of the members is looking to part with theirs at a better price than you can find on the open market. That is what makes this forum so special.

I hope that helps more than confuses! ;)
 

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Some gun shops are like retail jewelry shops, you go in, you know what you want, you've done your research and after doing a little hageling(sp?) you buy it at the price you know it is worth.
Others are more like a wholesale club, you walk around, pick up what you want, you expect no help and you get none.
Then there is the Macy's kinda store where you go in shop, browse and pick out what you want and out it on your card.
Other shops are like a high end botique, you know what you want, they have it, you go in and buy it. Period.

Which are which to you as an individual, is really how you build your relationship and how you want to shop.

I shop at LISC

Just my opinion.
 

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Funny but I have always seen guns sold at a cash price and a credit card price,

As far as the bad attitude is it a macho thing where guys can't feel cool about themselves for helping other guys learn or explain about guns, I have been shooting since I was a kid I was on the Varsity shooting team in High School, I hate going into a gun store and asking a question or inquiring about the caliber potential of this round or that round and getting a smart alec remark or answer, then being aggravated for going in in the first place. Lately I buy ammo and supplies on line and even a few guns, and when I go into a gun store I know what I want and just shop for the best price and I'm gone.
 

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There's an establishment that is getting a lot of criticism in this forum which I visited and they might as well have said to me "If you're new to shooting, we don't want you around, so get lost."

I made my only firearms purchase (so far) at http://sportsmanli.com/index.php because I was treated with respect and they made me feel welcome as a customer and new participant of the sport. Even after the purchase, I had minor problem, returned and they made it right. The whole experience was so enjoyable, I would find it difficult to go anywhere else. While their price may not have been the best I could do, it was fair and the service more than made up for it. Besides, what's $40-50 in the price of a firearm when you consider you'll put 50-100x that in ammo through it during its lifetime?
 

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If there is attitude, I wont patronize the shop, it's that simple. I'll order online or find the go to the shop that values it's customers.

I won't dish names here or bash.

However, I will tell you that EVERY TIME I go into campsite, wheather to puchase a long gun, ammo, ammo cans, propane or just LOOK, they are always super cool and friendly and possitive. Willing to take stuff of the rack and let you handle it. Thier customer service is great and they have a gaurantee on all used firearms, if anything is wrong, they'll make it right or refund. Unlike the overweight cranky bastard who won't give you the time of day let alone get off his stool...

No I do not work for them... However I do take my son in there when I go because it is a family like environment and they also carry reloading supplies.

My .02 cents
 

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Unfortunately, when it comes to the retail gun dealer scene and dealing with customers in a professional and courteous manner, it seems that it is the exception and not the rule. This will seem even more acute to someone who is new to shooting sports, who wants to acquire information and knowledge, and may encounter indifference, impatience or even plain ignorance on the other side of some of the shop counters. I assure you, this is NOT the case everywhere, and you must not get discouraged. Do not be put off by any air or superiority or smug attitudes if you should come across this. Do not be afraid to ask the questions you want answers to. Like with anything else, the responses (or lack thereof) you get will let you know if you can and want to conduct business with the proprietors you visit. Not to be glib, but gun shops are "like a box of chocolates, you never know what you're gonna get".
Read through the dealer forums here, and you might get some ideas about some of the shops you might want to visit first. I have my personal favorites, but for the purposes of this post, I will just say that everyone's opinions and experiences differ so it's best to form your own opinion based on your own experiences.

Have fun, be safe, and Best of luck.
 

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I really hate to defend the arrogant cranky barstid who won't get off his fat arse, but ... I was in a shop the other day and watched a customer waste 20 minutes of the salesmans time, just to mention he was going to buy on the internet and then have the gun transferred.

I did the math. Add a fair transfer fee, ($35.00) and a fair COBIS fee, and the gun would have only been $15.00 cheaper on the net. And, I'll bet the guy ends up spending far more than that for shipping. All that commotion to "get a deal" when you could walk out of the shop with the gun, and maybe deal with a local business if you have an issue? I just don't get it.

I've done the internet thing for a gun I couldn't find anywhere else, but if it's in the local store, COBIS is done, you don't pay shipping, or a transfer fee, I think I'd rather spend an extra couple of bucks and support the local guy.

So, what I'm trying to say is that I understand why some of these guys become arrogant cranky barstids.
 

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Steel Baby said:
Hi everybody! Since I am newbie, I get to ask stupid questions:) Why is that so many gun stores treat their customers bad, even "show them the door"!!! It's illogical. Is there any other kind of business that suffers the same kind of attitude problem?

Another question is that where do I find the "reasonable" price for a particular firearm? Impact Guns or Gunbroker? or somewhere else? Is it an unwritten rule that there's always a cash price and credit card price for a firearm? Thanks
Jefe, are you of legal age to even buy a firearm? :whistle
 

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Let me throw this out for consideration.

For those that have been in the military, law enforcement or some other male dominated enterprise there is a macho, sarcastic, biting, considered humorous dynamic that goes along with being a part of one of these organizations. You bust each others "chops", trash talk, verbally spare, tell jokes about height, weight, balding, clothing, tell "your mamma jokes" and make fun of everything else under the sun. In some cases I think this type of interaction carries over for many who have been involved in one of the above organizations and own or are employed in a gun store. This may not be the best way to conduct business with the average retail customer, who would be insulted when treated this way, but for those that have lived/worked in an environment where this was just part of the day to day interaction with your fellow "employee" (soldier, LEO, auto repair shop, etc.) you're not so quick to take offense.

I'd add to the above that some of those that work in these places have seen every type of wacko, off the wall shopper come through the door and may be somewhat jaded.

Having said this you need to start each customer interaction based on the premise that they would not appreciate the type of humor mentioned above and treat them as a valued retail customer (glad you're here, I'm here to help and want your business). If at some point you pick-up that this particular customer might appreciate or not be offended by sophomoric humor it can be a way to bond with those particular customers.
 

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[quote name='T.Webb']I really hate to defend the arrogant cranky barstid who won't get off his fat arse, but ... I was in a shop the other day and watched a customer waste 20 minutes of the salesmans time, just to mention he was going to buy on the internet and then have the gun transferred.

A lot of these gun dealers have been these way for over 20 years, long before internet gun sales became popular. Some people never change, and thats the real problem with some businesses. You need to change with the times. And though you think the customer you referenced wasted the salesmans time, he is still a potential future customer for ammo, gun parts , accessories, etc.. The way you're treated from the beginning impacts your decision to shop there again.
 

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2edgesword said:
Let me throw this out for consideration.

For those that have been in the military, law enforcement or some other male dominated enterprise there is a macho, sarcastic, biting, considered humorous dynamic that goes along with being a part of one of these organizations. You bust each others "chops", trash talk, verbally spare, tell jokes about height, weight, balding, clothing, tell "your mamma jokes" and make fun of everything else under the sun. In some cases I think this type of interaction carries over for many who have been involved in one of the above organizations and own or are employed in a gun store. This may not be the best way to conduct business with the average retail customer, who would be insulted when treated this way, but for those that have lived/worked in an environment where this was just part of the day to day interaction with your fellow "employee" (soldier, LEO, auto repair shop, etc.) you're not so quick to take offense.

I'd add to the above that some of those that work in these places have seen every type of wacko, off the wall shopper come through the door and may be somewhat jaded.

Having said this you need to start each customer interaction based on the premise that they would not appreciate the type of humor mentioned above and treat them as a valued retail customer (glad you're here, I'm here to help and want your business). If at some point you pick-up that this particular customer might appreciate or not be offended by sophomoric humor it can be a way to bond with those particular customers.
Very well put. I know some guys who are in the business, and to quote them "We got guys who come in here on lunchbreak and want to fingerbang every pistol in the case, ask ten tons of questions we already answered last week, and never buy a thing."

The phone call price check. "Fifty times a day, we will get a call from someone asking if we have something and the price. Then ten minutes later they call back and ask the price of something else. You know they are just sitting on auction arms and price checking."

I have found the best way to get service it to find a place that was a semi decent, or at least not horrible service, and stick with them. Get to know the people by name, so even if they are not working, you can tell them "Hey, maybe you can help me. "Blank" sold me this handgun, I was hoping to see if they made a .22 conversion for it." Repeat business always gets the preferential treatment.

And 2edge is right, one of my best friends works in a local shop, and if you hear us and the rest of the shop guys and did not know any better, you would swear we trying to offend each other.
 

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there used to be a shop out in east meadow that was like this . every one who went in was in some form of a orginazaton and almost all knew each other. it was more of a hang out than a running gun store. great place to hang out in and buy from but he closed.
they never treated walk-ins like leppers , but every one is still looking for a deal
miss that place
 

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Postal Bob said:
T.Webb said:
I really hate to defend the arrogant cranky barstid who won't get off his fat arse, but ... I was in a shop the other day and watched a customer waste 20 minutes of the salesmans time, just to mention he was going to buy on the internet and then have the gun transferred.

A lot of these gun dealers have been these way for over 20 years, long before internet gun sales became popular. Some people never change, and thats the real problem with some businesses. You need to change with the times. And though you think the customer you referenced wasted the salesmans time, he is still a potential future customer for ammo, gun parts , accessories, etc.. The way you're treated from the beginning impacts your decision to shop there again.
I agree with you 100%
 

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http://www.coliseumguns.com/

This was a nice place to buy guns, fair prices, and nice people.

Do you guys have Gander Mtn down there?

They have great prices on hand guns, but you have to know what you want!

I have bought several guns from the one in Middletown. Talk about attitudes, they make you wait, they are not busy, but make believe they are, make eye contact with you, and ignore you.

I've been to the store manager several times, it just made the situation worse, and I've spent close to $5000 over the last several years.

Guess they don't like my face 8)
 

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Singleaction,

I've purchased a pistol from Gander Mountain in Middle town last year and folks I've dealt with were very nice. I'm bit surprised to hear that you had a less than ideal experience over there.

I've just stopped by at another Gander Mountain in New Hartford NY while attending training session and again, very helpful folks.

But then again, there are some shops that I would not go to due to issues I had and yet some people had positive experience at same shops.
 

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I honestly don't know... but I've always sort of assumed it was case of:

"I work in a gun store. Of course there is a loaded one around. I'll treat you however I please because what are you gonna do about it? Not much...because I work in a gun store and we have guns."

You know, the same kind of a-hole power trip mentality that cops often suffer from. I don't take it personal but it really is inexcusable from a customer service standpoint.

Best advice is to evaluate the collective feedback posted here and make your own choice about where to spend your money. I had never heard of Camp-Site Sport Shop before but decided to stop by after seeing all the positive feedback. I wasn't disappointed. The staff was very pleasant.
 

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There are a lot of specialty businesses that operate on an anti-customer model, the only thing that keeps them in business is the fact that they have very little competition. My dad is an optician, he sells and assembles glasses and basically makes everything actually function in the store. He has worked for employers that insisted on screwing over customers as much as possible, resulting in the customer never coming back. The only reason these places stayed open was because they were the only eyewear store in the area, and sometimes these places still went under. Apparently a lot of business owners who really have not gone to business school or learned about customer relations, treat their customers like garbage. When you take a business like a gun shop, which is a difficult business, you can expect some of these owners and employees to be somewhat jaded by years of irritating customers, and if they act nasty towards customers, the customers will be nasty back, and they will only become more nasty to the customers, thus becoming miserable, arrogant people who have no desire to deal with customers. These just aren't the right people for the job, and the places that have such employees and owners can only hang on by being the only one around. My advice with these places, is to find out the cost of what you want, and know exactly what you want before hand. If they have it at a price you like, just walk in with cash, say "I want this", do the paperwork, hand over the cash, and be done. Otherwise, go to one of the many retailers that receive so much praise on this forum, and as long as you're not a real pain to them, they will be great to deal with and happy to help you.

As far as finding a reasonable price for a firearm, Gunbroker is a good way to gauge the going rate, most local retailers will have slightly higher prices, sometimes significantly higher, occasionally lower. Don't forget about the price differences with shipping, transfer fees, credit card fees, and tax. If you look around some other online retailers like AIM Surplus, J&G Sales, Classic Arms, Bud's Guns, etc, you may find pretty low prices that may often times save you quite a bit if you buy online and do a transfer, though shops might not like doing a transfer on something they already carry, unless the transfer fee is greater than their markup. Cash and credit prices are often different because a retailer has to pay fees and taxes with credit transactions that they do not have with cash. Just remember to always keep receipts together in a safe place, since you don't have any other proof of the purchase when using cash. A credit card or bank card may be the better choice for an expensive firearm purchase just for the added security of having a financial institution behind your purchase. I still usually use cash on anything I buy in person though.
 
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