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Discussion Starter #1
Hello:
I wonder why some nationally known gun stores often hire people who know very little about guns, and in general have the personalities of San Quentin prison guards who had a fight with their wife as they left for work that morning?

Yesterday, I went to a local gun store chain and was faced with two so called gun salesman who acted like they were over worked and under paid. Problem was none of them were very busy.

It seemed to be a chore for any of them to ask if any one needed some help? When I asked if I could see a certain gun, one of them raised his finger to indicate he'd be their shortly after he was through reading what ever he was reading? I then decided to leave and went some place else.

I was surprised that this particular gun store no longer had their used shotguns placed in a rack for customers to look at up close but had them all placed behind a counter that you had to depend one one of their associates to hand you any particular gun.

As I was leaving I asked myself, how do they even stay in business?
Steve Balistreri
Wauwatosa Wisconsin
 

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Sounds like Gander Mountain.

The concept is pretty simple -- when you pay peanuts, you get monkeys.

-Gary
 

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Where are you going to find anyone in their 20s or 30s that knows anything about guns? And the reason the guns are behind the counter or locked on a rack in most stores is to keep you from banging them up more than they already are or to keep some whackjob from walking in with ammo in his pocket and loading up. And most of all, in most cases, salespeople seem to forget that the only reason they are behind the counter is because we are on the other side of the counter with money in our hand. They get paid to serve customers, period! If they don't do it, don't leave without letting the boss know.
 

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We have the same thing here. In fact, one gunshop is universally nicknamed the "What's It To Ya? Gunshop". Almost everyone in the area knows exactly who you're talking about when you mention that nickname.
 

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One of our local ranges/gunstores was just purchased by a guy nicknamed "Counterfeit". He bought it from a guy nicknamed "Grumpy". True story. That's what we call "going from bad to worse".

Bob Falfa
 

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I wonder were the concept came from where its "your worth more then the paycheck you draw" ideology.

What is lacking in the work place is a "passion" for what you do and get paid to do.

I came across that concept when I had to go through a "timber-workers relocation program".

The people in charge acted like; Lets see, what job that a monkey can do can we find to place you in. We know you had a "skill" but in today up coming market place, there is no NEED for skill, just draw a paycheck and show up for work. Oh and by the way, since no skill is needed we will start you out and minimum wage and if your really lucky, maybe a dollar more then minimum!!! I won't go into the "wage" the people instituting the program were receiving!! its called Fraud.

But then there are "those" who believe the government knows best.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Over the years I got to know some real pros in the gun selling business. Frenchy Frigon comes to mind as that man could sell. I liked dealing with Frenchy and also would sit and talk to his lovely wife at shoots.

Another guy I would shake with my right hand and hold my wallet with my left was Fairchilds. Like him or not, that man could sell anything.

Anyone have a favorite years ago at shoots that you liked to deal with?
Steve
 

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How many of us have had the pleasure of working on the other side of the counter? Not every customer is as pleasant as we trapshooters are? It's true that everyone should take pride in his or her work, but owners and managers need to do some work of their own to help instill that pride. Pay a decent wage (don't expect to get a salesperson at a burger flipping wage and take time to adequately train the new employees. When was the last time you had a cashier count your change back to you? If the customers accept poor service, why train to avoid it. Also, have you ever seen those people (not trapshooters, of course) who do their best to ask questions about a gun that they already know the answer to just to stump the salesperson? Then they go on to trash talk to gun for a long time and walk away without making a purchase or moving on to another gun to repeat the process. Even at Dick's I've run into people young and old who do whatever they can to help me out and others with the "whatever we have is on the shelf" attitude. It's a shame, but this is the world we live in.

Dave from LI,NY
 

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I have helped my friend at his gunshop on weekends and ran it while he took vacation. Had a lot of gun novices come in but fortunately for me not one idiot customer. Had a pretty good experience overall.
 

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What created big box discount retailers are you and me, we the people kept pushing for lower prices, convenient locations with easy parking, longer store hours, wider selections which adds up to high operating costs; add in labor and costs are driven even higher. Labor is and will continue to be one of high costs of doing business even at low hourly rates. It's low wages that attract
transient work force on the lookout for a better paying job and for this reason will not invest to learn their job.

The big box retailer is always squeezed when it comes to labor rates and is forced to compress wages at every turn; if they don't then they are forced to raise prices to cover increased costs turning to consumer away to a competitor.

You can't have it both ways. You can choose to do business with a small retailer who deals in a single category and knows everything about what he or she is selling but lacks what the big box retailer has and that's buying power.
Buying power brings lower prices and in some cases wider selections. So if you're going to shop at a big box retailer, expect low product knowledge and in some cases poor attitude but don't bitch about the people on the floor, it is what it is.

If you choose the independent retailer expect high level of product knowledge and higher prices.

Make your choice but don't bitch about either, it's a waste of time.

Surfer
 

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I worked the gun counter at Humes Sporting Goods from the time I was in 10th grade until the time I went into the AF at 19 in 1975. Some of you SoCal shooters may remember the place. I worked hard, and for just above minimum wage. Alec Hume set the standard, work up to it or get fired. If you have crappy clerks now it's because management doesn't hold them accountable. Pretty simple. Sure, work ethic is not generally what it used to be but that again is a matter of standards. Aim high and hold them to it. I teach high school now and see all kinds. Generally, you get what you demand.

Reece Talley
 

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I've had the "pleasure" of working retail in two separate sporting goods stores during my time in college. I can say that while I tried my best to be knowledgeable about every product on the shelf...well, I admit to failing. When asked, I recommended a product to the best of my knowledge. It was noted in an above post that you get what you pay for...and to an extent, that's true. If someone expects premium employees to stay on at minimum wage for 20 years, they are likely in for a shock. However, I put in my best effort every day, because that's what my daddy told me to do, and you never know who you may interact with during the day. Perhaps your next boss, your next English prof, you're future father in law is your next customer. Also, I definitely agree that there is a faction of people that seem to really enjoy trying to belittle the guys behind the counter, whether or not they have the intent of buying or not. That creates a paradigm in which you have employees who are on guard for the next jerk-off trying to impress their buddies/girlfriend with their intimate knowledge of a 1911, and still trying to relate to the every day guy who is their to buy an 870 and needs a little guidance. It ain't brain surgery, but it's a tough way to make a living.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Surfer:
My father once told me before I started my first part time job making .87 cents per hour, that you owe it to your employer to show up every day for work and give 100 % effort each day as though this was your own business.

I do not care if you make $100.00 per hour or $5.00 per hour but you need to respect the job, the business owner, and his customers. It is sad that in this day and age that you have potential customers walking out the door of a business due to lazy employees sitting on their back side, not willing to get up and help a customer.

I never heard that if you don't make a lot of money that you have the right to disrespect customers? If you do not want the job, go back to school and do something more suited for you.
Steve
 

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I worked for Gander Mountain, Cabelas, and Sportsmans Warehouse in the gun department part time while working a full time job because I liked selling and enjoyed talking to people and seeing them make the right purchase.

I had a good reputation and now am retired. Still whenever I go into one of those stores people come up to me and ask for help because they are not getting the right answers.

Rick
 

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I went to the sporting goods section of our local big box retailer and asked the young clerk where I could find some wool socks. He didn't have a clue. He said he never heard of wool socks!

I know this is California and all, but come on!
 

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Overheard a conversation @ the local Gander Mtn on Black Friday.

Clerk was discussing the Winchester Super X pump (the newer Turkish made pump winchester sells) vs the Mossberg 500.

He said the main difference between the 2 was that the Win ejected out the side, and the Mossberg ejected out the bottom. Couldn't be more wrong.

And it would be much easier to find aftermarket accessories for the Win (which has been out for a couple years) than the mossberg (which has been out for nearly 50 years). Couldn't be more wrong.

I wanted to get involved, but just bit my tongue and walked away.

Had the gun mgr at the local Dicks tell me that he had a Remington 700 rebarreled, and because they changed the caliber, they had to change the serial number on the action. Couldn't be more wrong, and in fact is illegal.

Most of the counter guys at the big box stores mean well, but know little. They have their own little niche they think they're an expert in (rifles, shotguns, handguns, ect), but ask them about something outside of their niche, and they're lost.

The people who really know about guns, and know about a wide variety of guns, are gunsmiths. Their time is worth $50-$100/hour. If you think you're going to get one of them to work for minimum wage hawking guns at a gun counter, you're in for a surprise.

I think most of the time the big box retailers count on people wanting to work @ the gun counter because its their hobby, and they think it will be fun, and I think they take advantage of that when it comes to pay. They count on bringing someone in with outside skill and experience when it comes to a specialized field (firearms), then pay them the same as the 16 year old checkout girl @ the front of the store who brings nothing to the table.

If you want skill, knowledge, and experience, you have to pay for it.
 

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Steve, I was raised the same as your father taught you, I worked several jobs for peanuts when young and worked my butt off at every one of them and thoughout my career, but that was then and this is now.

Sure you can find hard working people in any of the Big retailers or anywhere, they are the few who's work ethics are important and is part of their self esteam and they will work at their higest level regardless of pay.

Conversely there's larger population who think they're overworked and under paid regardless of their qualifications. It's a new millenium and everything's changed.

Sufer
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Rick:
If sales people handled customers like you once did we'd be very fortunate. I even purchased a car from Rick years ago when he worked as a car salesman. He is as honest as they come and is a good man, and a good 30 bird event shooter.
Steve
 
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