View Full Version : Customer Service in PA?

Bob C
June 22, 2002, 11:43 AM
Today I went to French Creek Outfitters in Phoenixville, PA to use their range. I go there weekly, and I am known to the people in the store.

I asked about them handling the transfer of a gun from my son who is out of state for me. The guy at the counter told me the price would be $20, and I agreed. Then he went to see June, who is person who "handles the paperwork". I had given him an e-mail with the name of the dealer who was going to send the gun.

I was told that June won't send a copy of their FFL to anyone unless they send her one first. I said that if the other store felt that way the transaction could not occur. He said that was what she had said, and that her reason was she wasn't sending out FFL's and then not having anything shipped to them.

I took this to mean that as a customer who is in the store weekly I'm either not credible, or my business is not desirable to the store.

I still like the range, and I have another six months on my annual fee, but I think the balance of my business will go somewhere else.

Am I being unreasonable or too demanding?

Brian Williams
June 22, 2002, 12:09 PM
I have been there and I have found that the sales guy was just that a sales guy. I was looking for a 22 plinker perferably a Ruger Single six and he was trying to shove off some cheap thing that was worth a nickle maybe. Then he was trying to convince another guy that a used Rem 721 was the best deal at new price.
It is a typical Granola Gear shop.

June 22, 2002, 03:49 PM
Bob... I don't think you are being unreasonable. What the FFL dealer your son is using, what is his position?

Bob C
June 22, 2002, 03:59 PM
The folks on the other end said they would only ship to an FFL dealer, so they want a licence.

There are more cooperative shops around here, including In Site in Norristown, and they will get my local business from now on.

The resolution to this one was to give the gun back to my son as a 30th birthday present!!! Cool ending to a sad story.

June 22, 2002, 05:23 PM
I see it more and more often. Dealers don't want to do private transfers. The one's that do, want $50.00 a pop. The store wants you to buy the guns they display, not the one you found or special ordered. They make it as diffacult and expensive as possible.

June 23, 2002, 09:27 AM
I was told the same thing when I approached them to do the transfer on my ar15.com 2001 LEGP rifle. They wanted the FFL of the shipper before they would send their copy, but the lady who I spoke to seemed like she believed that was the law - not that it was being done because they didn't want to randomly send out their FFL. I learned it is often useless of argue the law with most dealers, so I let it drop and told her I'd tried to get the shipper (as they were an FFL) to send a copy over, but explained it may be difficult. Strange thing was (if she really believed it was for legal reasons) is that she said she'd accept a faxed copy.

Anywho, Castle Arms who was arranging the 2001 LEGP didn't want to do this (I sent them an email with all the info including fax#), so arranged for another dealer to do it. A couple of months later when the rifles finally shipped, I get a call from French Creek stating it arrived, which of course I wasn't expecting. Apparently they did send their FFL to Castle (who then must have attached it to my order as apposed to the other FFL sent), but I did not investigate further to see if Castle broke down and faxed theirs over or they did it without the fax.

I don't see them doing this as a way to curb private sales - after all, a private individual can ship to an FFL in another state. It sort of seems ass-backwards to what most other dealers will do - they'll do transfers from private individuals on used firearms, but not new firearms direct from another FFL/wholesaler. I guess I can see them not wanting to send out their FFL on someone's word to every mom & pop gunstore - at the very least they are out postage, materials not to mention time. But, IMHO charging their $20 transfer fee up front would alleviate anyone who isn't serious about following through with it - seems like that is a better solution to me.

I really don't like their store anyway - sure, they have a good selection and the store itself is nice, but it seems to have all the atmosphere of K/Wal-mart without the benefit of the prices - they seem about 10% more than the local small "mom and pop" shops in the area and I doubt their prices are really negotiable.


June 23, 2002, 11:01 AM
FWIW, I've found that the most reasonable guy around is Seneca Arms in Green Lane. The owner John is a great guy and an AR HP shooter, he also deals a lot of milsurp stuff. He charges me $20 to do a transfer. Lately, when I ship a modern gun that isn't C&R, I use him to transfer it out, I give him $15, he puts it in his book, and we ship it USPS for less than $10. That's cheaper than me going down to FedEx and paying them $30-35, and I get to give a guy I like a few bucks in the process. FWIW, in the Norristown area, InSite is the most reasonable I've found, he charges $25 for an incoming transfer.

June 24, 2002, 03:45 PM
I went there a few months ago when I was thinking of trading my 13 year old Model 19. It is a blued 4" model with pachmyer grips and the original target grips never used. I have about 150 rounds through this and it is tight and looks brand new. It has the box, instructions and little screwdriver for the target sights. They offered me 135.00 toward a trade. 30 minutes later at the next shop up the line I was offered 180.00. Needless to say I'm keeping it.

June 24, 2002, 06:27 PM
Where's "there"?

Many times the prices a shop will offer you will be driven by what they feel they can sell. Buying a gun, even if you think it's worth a lot more than offered, doesn't make much sense if he knows he'll be holding it for a year. I've watched that in action several times, a gun comes through the door that will move within weeks, it gets a pretty good offer. Something comes in that is already in the case in triplicate, it gets a low-ball offer. That's just business.

June 24, 2002, 09:48 PM
Sorry, French Creek Outfitters offered the 135.00. Sometimes you forget that not everyone knows what you're thinking about when you reply.

June 25, 2002, 07:59 PM
Now I just need to know what the next shop up the line was. :) Always looking to see if I'm missing a local gunshop...

June 25, 2002, 11:56 PM
Didn't know so many of you lived in the area. Also, please post the name of the "next in line" gun shop, I am interested too.

Dave P
June 27, 2002, 11:38 AM
Why does the receiver need a copy of the senders FFL? I don't think the law works that way. But, one of my local shops does it that way, but not all.

Anybody have the BATF answer?

June 27, 2002, 01:00 PM
Now I just need to know what the next shop up the line was. Always looking to see if I'm missing a local gunshop...

I think you may be talking about Gray's Outfitters/Montgomery Armory. About a 1/2 mile up Ridge from InSite. Owner seems to be a good guy - prices on new stuff seems to be average+, but his used pre-ban guns are waaay overpriced. He does have a nice selection pre-ban evil, black guns, though it only seems to be because it is priced too much to sell. He also does fishing, hunting, archery, and paintball.


June 27, 2002, 01:41 PM
Why does the receiver need a copy of the senders FFL? I don't think the law works that way.

I don't think the law works that way either.

I'm waiting on a transfer from MA to Broomall...$35. Colisimo's in Philly wanted $100, Targetmaster charges $50, but will only do the transfer if they don't sell the piece at their place. Couple of dealers in DE charge $25 - $35.

Thanks for the info on IN Site.

July 7, 2002, 09:46 PM
Wow, Colosimo's raised their FFL transfer price ... it was "only" $60 about five years ago. :rolleyes:

A buddy of mine uses In Site as well, he seems to like it. I haven't had any transfers done recently but it's always good to hear of new places.


July 23, 2002, 07:23 PM
wow, Mike and Kates and Classic pistol in Philly and Southampton respectivly only wants $35 and they will cheerfully do it..


Bob C
August 7, 2002, 06:55 PM
A follow up with Seneca Arms in Green Lane:

I went in today, and John, the owner who also runs the place was very friendly, courteous, and helpful, as he has always been when I have been there.

He has a pretty good inventory, fair prices, and is very equitable on trades.

IMHO, it's a good place to do business.