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Old February 16, 2013, 08:33 PM   #1
bbqbob51
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Had a conversation with a gun shop owner today

I have a nice income tax refund coming back in a few weeks so I have been thinking about buying a 22LR double action revolver with a 6" barrel. I really want a Smith and Wesson 617 so I stopped in at a local shop I rarely go to to see what they had or if they could order one for me.
The owner was not behind the counter but sitting in a chair in the middle of the shop. Our conversation went like this:
Him: "Let me know if you need anything."
Me: "I'm thinking about buying a Smith and Wesson 617 with a six inch barrel, you probably don't have one do you?"
Him: "No, that'll probably cost you between $700 and $800. Do they still make them?"
That took me aback a bit but I replied, "As far as I know, have you heard that they stopped making them?"
"No, I've just haven't seen one in awhile."
I was thinking this conversation was not going well but I pressed on, "Could you check to see if they are available?"
He dragged his butt out of the chair and went behind the counter, got a book and opened it. "Hmm, they make them in 4 or 6 inch. stainless steel."
He closes the book and walks around from behind the counter.
I expected him to either make a call or check a computer but he says and does nothing.
After a few seconds I ask, "Well, what are the chances of me getting one?"
As he say back down in his chair he responds, "I sold a used one awhile ago."
I wondered what they went for used so I asked, "How much did you get for it?"
He thinks for a bit and says, "I don't remember, maybe $600."
"I think I'd like to see about getting one." I said to him.
"It will probably run you $700 or $800 dollars" He says, not moving from his chair.
I am now frustrated with him so I turn to leave but before I do, I glance behind the counter at his ammo and he had some 20 round boxes of PMS .223 Bronze. I ask him how much it was per box.
He tells me they are $22, too much I paid $6 two months ago, so I left the shop, thanking him...I don't know why!
As I got into my Jeep, I wondered what the hell happened in there. Like I said I rarely go into his shop so I don't really know him but it seemed like he had no interest in selling me a firearm. Granted, I didn't tell him to get up and call a wholesaler but I didn't think I needed to spell it out to him how to do his business. It was a very weird experience.
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Old February 16, 2013, 08:39 PM   #2
Joe_Pike
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Quote:
PMS .223 Bronze
I bet that's some mean ammo.

The store wouldn't happen to be EDI in Nixa, MO would it. Sounds like something that would happen there.
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Old February 16, 2013, 09:02 PM   #3
tynman
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He might be over worked with this buying craze......LOL

I would find another place to get it cause it sounds like he doesnt want your money....
Good luck
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Old February 16, 2013, 09:06 PM   #4
bbqbob51
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Didn't seem too overworked to me, There was one guy there when I walked in and he was leaving. It was just me in the shop so he wasn't terribly distracted.
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Old February 16, 2013, 09:09 PM   #5
tynman
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Maybe the day you went there was his off day from the madness and he was just there to watch his guys work....LOL

On the S&W web site the suggested retail price for that pistol is $829 so Im going to take a guess and say he might be in the right ball park with the 700 to 800 price tag. Now you just need to find a place that will take your money and order it for you....
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Old February 16, 2013, 09:10 PM   #6
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I have seen more arrogance in gun shops than any other business.
I’ve walked out of more than one.
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Old February 16, 2013, 09:27 PM   #7
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Here's a NIB 617 on Gunbroker... up to $750 and 24 bids with a day and a half to go (4" barrel). Holds 10 rounds... must be some kind of record for a revolver.
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Old February 16, 2013, 09:43 PM   #8
bbqbob51
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Thanks Spacecoast, I have checked out Gunbroker. I really want a 6" though, if I can't find one locally I will probably go with Gunbroker. Yes, the 10 shot is quite a few rounds for a revolver but that is part of why I want a 617, in addition to it being a Smith.
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Old February 16, 2013, 09:51 PM   #9
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He probably just saw his 2012 tax bill...
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Old February 16, 2013, 10:07 PM   #10
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When looking for a Ruger Blackhawk, one gun shop owner tried to send me to a private individual, and another gun shop owner ordered me one, but didn't seem real interested in doing it. I guess they just want to sell what is in their shop. I too have seen a lot of arrogance in gun shops. I have often thought that the biggest threat to our guns is gun people who talk down to people and chase potential new gun owners away.
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Old February 18, 2013, 07:24 AM   #11
TheNatureBoy
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I've encountered that attitude a few times in various gun shops. Happy to say that it doesn't happen a lot but.... Once it became obvious that they weren't interested in my money I left never to return.
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Old February 18, 2013, 08:55 AM   #12
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I ask people like that if I'm being an inconvenience or a bother. I think you have to let people know when they're engaging in very poor customer relations. Sometimes they snap out of it. If not, I walk out and pass the word.
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Old February 18, 2013, 09:16 AM   #13
bbqbob51
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Yes, it doesn't happen often but it does happen. This case just seemed very strange to me. Another time my brother and I stopped into a gun shop and started to browse the handgun cabinet. There were two guys behind the counter, one shooting the breeze with what appeared to be a friend and not a customer. The other was just doing nothing. we were in there for probably ten minutes and not once were we greeted or asked if we could be helped. Granted, we were just browsing but it was like we were invisible. I just don't understand why some people operate a business the way they do.
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Old February 18, 2013, 09:32 AM   #14
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Quote:
There were two guys behind the counter, one shooting the breeze with what appeared to be a friend and not a customer. The other was just doing nothing. we were in there for probably ten minutes and not once were we greeted or asked if we could be helped. Granted, we were just browsing but it was like we were invisible. I just don't understand why some people operate a business the way they do.
These are the guys who whine and caterwaul "Wal-Mart took our business" as they lock the shop for the last time.
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Old February 18, 2013, 09:34 AM   #15
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Deal with the public for a few years. Maybe then you will understand why they have bad days.
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Old February 18, 2013, 10:18 AM   #16
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I would think it is a fine line the LGS must walk. The other extreme is when you walk onto a new car dealership. You will have someone in your face before you shut the car door. You might not even have to open it before someone is bombarding you with whether you want to finance or pay cash. . .

I frequent a gunshop that will greet me and ask if there is anything I would like to look at. If I am just browsing, they will just leave me alone.
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Old February 18, 2013, 10:52 AM   #17
g.willikers
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Bet a lot of gun shops are started by guys who just like guns, with no business experience or talent.
And they probably get tired of hearing the same lame questions and how the same gun is cheaper at so and sos, or over the web.
A real business person will know how to talk to everyone who comes in the door and also knows that most aren't buying anything that particular day.
They have the long view that most gun shop owners don't.
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Old February 18, 2013, 10:52 AM   #18
AH.74
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Deal with the public for a few years. Maybe then you will understand why they have bad days.
The one local place I have been dealing with consistently for over 7 years is not like this. I have NEVER seen the owner be anything less than friendly and polite and in good spirits, and the same goes for the staff.

Bad day or not, if you're a professional and a good business person, you will not take it out on your (potential) customers.
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Old February 18, 2013, 11:16 AM   #19
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There are two gun stores in my area that I frequent and three I don't set foot in because of the attitude of the salespeople. The two I go to have sales people who are attentive when I need it and leave me alone when I am just browsing. They usually say "Let me know if there's anything I can help you with." or something like that. Most of the salespeople in all the stores here are pretty much like that, except those three gun stores and car dealers. I sometimes tell them that I will call them when I need them in a polite way, of course. I don't like to be ignored or hovered over.
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Old February 18, 2013, 11:16 AM   #20
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I have a LGS about ten miles from my home. I've bought MOST of my firearms there and am on a first name basis with the owner. Recently called asking for a price on a specific revolver. "I'll call you back". Never got the call back. No big deal. I stopped in and got "oh...it's been so busy I forgot all about you" so I left him the printout of the gun I wanted the price on, with my number and got "I will call you back".

He never did. After a couple of weeks I drove to another shop, who I'd rather not give the money to, and bought the gun.

I think the 1 & 2 man operations, at least here in NY, are just so overwhelmed with business right now that 1) they don't have time for special requests and 2) frankly, they don't need the business that badly right now.

I'm trying to be understand to a guy who's treated me really well, and give him the benefit of the doubt because I've seen his shop go from nearly empty every day, to jammed FULL of customers every day since this latest crisis, but it still left a bad taste in my mouth.

Not surprised that it's happening elsewhere.
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Old February 18, 2013, 11:35 AM   #21
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Old February 18, 2013, 11:42 AM   #22
AH.74
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The place I mentioned above that I frequent regularly is across town, maybe 20 miles. It takes me half an hour to get over there.

There is another place less than 10 miles from me, right up the road on this side of town. These two places are the only real gun stores in town.

I haven't set foot in the closer place in years because they smoke in there. It's disgusting and I won't subject myself to it. I don't know why other people put up with it- imagine trying to deal with a counter-person who is smoking. Ridiculous and bad for business IMO.
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Old February 18, 2013, 01:06 PM   #23
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I guess I'm a magnet for this kind of stuff. I just remembered what happened to me several years ago when I wanted to buy a Henry H001 rifle. I looked online for dealers and found one about 15 miles away. The hours were listed and stated they were open from 10-5 on Saturdays.
I called just after 10 and his wife answered the phone and told me he was out bow hunting and he had just called her and said he was heading out of the woods. When I asked her if he had any Henrys in stock and she said she didn't know as she was answering the phone on the house extension and to talk to him. I gave her my phone number and hung up and waited...and waited.
I waited until a little after noon and called again and he answered and told me his wife had told what I wanted and he was having lunch and told me to "Keep my shirt on." and he would get back to me when he had a chance to check his inventory.
I hung up, waited about 45 minutes and drove to the nearest Walmart and bought the rifle. When I got home, I checked my messages and there was nothing from this clown.
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Old February 18, 2013, 02:54 PM   #24
tynman
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AH.74 I don't really understand your point about the smoking part in a gun store... You are not going there to eat or order food so what would it matter if the guy that is selling you a gun smokes? As long as he isn't blowing smoke in your face I cant see anything wrong.
Did you stop going to the bars cause people smoke there? Do you stop going to restaurants because they smoked in there? (the costumers that smoked)
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Old February 18, 2013, 03:08 PM   #25
g.willikers
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While not too fond of tobacco smoke, either, is it really any worse than gun smoke at an indoor range?
Probably a lot less harmful, too.
You could always go in there wearing a surplus gas mask, just to make a point.
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