View Full Version : Gun stores: What's good? What's bad?
An interesting conversation came up with my wife the other night. She pointed out that she didn't like going to a local gun store because she's never seen a woman work there.
I'm curious how women form impressions of gun stores? What would keep you away from them? What would make you come back? Are female salespeople important? Store cleanliness? How about something as apparently mundane as the name of the store? Would it make a difference if you were a novice vs skilled shooter?
I've been to a lot of gun stores over the past 30 years or so. They have been good, bad & ugly. Here are some answers to your specific questions:
I'm curious how women form impressions of gun stores? I form my impressions just like men do: Are the salespersons helpful, Is there a large selection of items, Do they show me as much as I want to see without rushing.
What would keep you away from them? Rude salespersons!!
What would make you come back? Helpful salespersons!!
Are female salespeople important? This would be nice, but not a deciding factor. In fact, I've had rude women & men wait on me as well as very helpful women & men.
Store cleanliness? This is a big one for me, as well as neat & organized. And clean restrooms!!
How about something as apparently mundane as the name of the store? Not at all, unless it was something like "Hooters & Shooters"
Would it make a difference if you were a novice vs skilled shooter? As I became more & more skilled, I also became more & more picky about salespeople. I guess when I didn't know any better, I could put up with being talked to like an idiot. Now, when I say I want to look at a Glock 27, just show me the darn thing. I don't want to hear that it's too much for a "little lady" & wouldn't I rather see a 38 revolver. However, I no longer just walk out, I try to find the owner & tell them why I'm not spending my money in their store.
Forgot to also ask -- was price an issue? In these days of GunBroker.com/AuctionArms/etc, how important is the pricing vs the other issues?
(No, I don't run an gun store, I'm just curious about the female POV on this)
[quote=lkd;14473104]Forgot to also ask -- was price an issue? In these days of GunBroker.com/AuctionArms/etc, how important is the pricing vs the other issues?
Funny you should ask. I buy locally at a little gun store in small town northern Wisconsin. I can buy at the same price or less than what is offered online. My gun shop owner has gotten to know me and I am a regular customer (kinda, don't have lots of money to spend living in northern Wisconsin) and he gives discounts to regulars. I don't even buy ammo from him, not much in stock and he doesn't mind. Case in point, I bought a Ruger .380 last year for $260 which was at least $100 less than what strangers were paying. I priced checked the guns I've got from him and I can't beat the price. He also learned *quickly* not to assume I can't handle certain guns like my Glock 27 which is easier to shoot than my .380 and other handguns. Plus I can come into his shop, sit on the stool, lean on the counter and shoot the breeze, just like the toothless, old local guys that show up. I'm just waiting to loose a couple teeth so I completely fit in!
That's an interesting question, since I've been looking at an XD lately. I priced it at my favorite local store, and then started looking online. By the time I paid shipping and the FTL fees, the price was within $20. For that amount, I'd just as soon get it locally. I guess I'll price it at some other local stores, but unless the difference is significant, I'll get it at myfavorite dealer. Here's where I go to get free advice, minor repairs, use their range, shoot the breeze.
I know of 3 stores in my area that have a female working at the counter. Most of the time its the owner's wife or female relative. I guess it helps to have a woman on staff. My wife likes it.
My wife also hates the smaller, dimly lit gun stores, and favors the larger stores with a more clean retail look. Some owners really don't seem to understand that hanging effigies of Bin Laden, and signs with heavy anti-political verbage, and having that dark, soldier of fortune motif is a real turn-off to women and most new gun buyers.
I really really hate gun stores that are wildly political. Other than that nothing much bothers me.
I have to say, I'm a shooter, motorcyclist, and amateur boxer; and I've never gotten the "little lady" treatment anywhere.
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