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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Bass Pro had a sell that ended today, where I could have saved $100.00 and if I opened a BP charge account I could save an additional 10% on my first purchase. I went to get a Benelli M2 in APG. The sales person went in the back and came back and told me that they only have it in the brown camo. I told him that I would walk around the store and thank about it. I decided for a $100.00 savings I could live with the brown camo. He picked the one up from the display and I asked him if he could get me one from in the back that is still in the box. He says OK, but when he went to get it, he took the display gun with him. I waited a few minutes, then I figured he was putting the display gun in a box, because he was gone so long, so I passed on the sale and walked out while he was still in the back. It just seamed strange that he took the display gun with him, when he didn't need to take it the first time that he went to see if he had one in the APG camo and he told me that he had two of the other ones in boxes.
 

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You came close to being had.

Bravo on you for taking a hike! Never, but never, trust a clerk. I think they need to pay these guys a commission so that they would at least attempt to make a sale. My grandson is a sporting goods manager at a big box and the stories he tells--WOW! He's kin but I wouldn't buy anything from him. i hope he wouldn't mess with his Grandpa, but the clerks that work there will tell anything, even the truth sometimes. They care not whether they sell a gun. In fact, they hope you don't buy one as there is paperwork to be done.

Most people, not you guys, but the general public, doesn't realize that a sporting goods manager has the authority to discount at his discretion on a display gun and on a slow month, toward the end of the month, he has goals to meet and he does it by discounting any firearm from 5-10%. But you gotta ask for it. He is not allowed to offer it.
 

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I decided for a $100.00 savings I could live with the brown camo. He picked the one up from the display and I asked him if he could get me one from in the back that is still in the box. He says OK, but when he went to get it, he took the display gun with him. I waited a few minutes, then I figured he was putting the display gun in a box, because he was gone so long, so I passed on the sale and walked out while he was still in the back.-----redrick
Yah. You ain't as naive as the clerk thought! I get a kick out of this. :roll: :roll: :roll:

EvButler offers a sage counsel, as usual.

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If I decide I want one, I used to ask to look at the display model one last time, look prominently at the serial number, and say "Have you got one still brand new in the box?" Of course I haven't bought one in ages at a store, and at Green Top they would bring you three in the box so you could pick out the wood you wanted.
 

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What's the problem with taking the display gun? I could understand if the display gun was damaged or they didn't have the original box and papers for the gun. It is common for dealers, especially smaller dealers, to order one or two of a specific model gun. Lots of time the display gun is the only gun in inventory. It's not like a pair of drawers, where everyone and anyone can try them on. When I had my shop I handled mainly high-end rifles and shotguns. I was Master dealer for Kimber of Oregon and had most my Kiimber inventory in the rack for customers to view and handle on request.
 

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virginian hit the nail on the head: it's absolutely the buyers choice when it comes to selecting the wood as it can make or break a sale.
way back when the beretta teknys first began hitting the shelves, i stopped by my local shop just to check one out. the fellow behind the counter handed me the display gun and, during our discussion, i must have mentioned something about the wood on it for he volunteered that they had just received an initial shipment of several guns and that he would run and get them. and with that, he was off to the back while i stood there holding the display. he came back with 4 boxes! i felt kind of bad that this guy was going to so much effort because i had no intention of buying a gun; especially an automatic, especially an expensive automatic. and then he began opening the boxes. the wood in the first box was an almost solid black piece of walnut. the next two boxes had just plain jane grain. and the last box had a holy crap! fantastic piece of wood! so fantastic that i told the salesguy that if he'd swap a 28" barrel from one of the other guns for the 26" that was on it, i'd buy it. he did. and i did
now that's a firearms salesman
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Virginian, I thought about that after I left, I wished that I would have looked at the serial number, but I had know idea he would try and sell me the display model after I asked for one that was in the box. You are right, Green Top would do exactly what you said. I just wanted to save $200.00 and GT didn't have one anyway, but I would rather spend $200.00 than to be deceived. After thinking about this I am going to call them and ask if that is there practice.
 

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The best way to get a sales person's attention is to ask for the corporate 800 number. I have effectively used this method when I have had problems. They much prefer that corporate not know how they do business. The local guys usually try to keep you from dialing headquarters. It gets their attention. Attention from corporate, they don't want. Thus, they try to make the customer happy to avoid the big boss getting involved.

I am friends with a district manager of one of the big box stores. He assures me that every complaint is handled to the satisfaction of the customer. Deceptive practices are quickly investigated. He told me that he sometimes has the offending sales person accompany him to the residence of the complainant so that he can adequately pass judgment on the matter.

If a store loses the trust of the public, they can hang it up. They are through.
 

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redrick said:
Bass Pro had a sell that ended today, where I could have saved $100.00 and if I opened a BP charge account I could save an additional 10% on my first purchase. I went to get a Benelli M2 in APG. The sales person went in the back and came back and told me that they only have it in the brown camo. I told him that I would walk around the store and thank about it. I decided for a $100.00 savings I could live with the brown camo. He picked the one up from the display and I asked him if he could get me one from in the back that is still in the box. He says OK, but when he went to get it, he took the display gun with him. I waited a few minutes, then I figured he was putting the display gun in a box, because he was gone so long, so I passed on the sale and walked out while he was still in the back. It just seamed strange that he took the display gun with him, when he didn't need to take it the first time that he went to see if he had one in the APG camo and he told me that he had two of the other ones in boxes.
Redrick,
I think that you're giving that employee WAAAYYY too much credit for subterfuge and intellect than he probably warrants. The BP, Cabela's, Dick's and Gander's sales folks that I've known (with rare exceptions) wouldn't have the G2 to be that sneaky if you simply hold your ground---they might make something up to see if they can pull the wool over someone's eyes, but they crumble pretty quickly when confronted.

Was there something about the display model that you didn't want? Benelli's are supposedly hearty enough to not fall apart by being handled (they're not Rugers)---plus it's not like you were choosing between highly figured stocks at William Larkin Moore, it's more like choosing between ball-peen hammers at Home Depot.

Sorry, I just don't see how you're better off IF you genuinely wanted the Benelli. BUT if you're happy, that's all that counts.
 

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For retail, I deal exclusively with local shops where I have taken the time to develop a good relationship. I even stepped in a worked in one for a half day this week when they were short on salespeople (it probably says more about the time I spend hanging out that I was able to do all the paperwork, find stock,and use the phones without asking how...).

Is their price always the best? No, but I'm willing to pay a bit more where I'm treated decently and get the gun I want.

Better to give $100 to a friend than $1 to a stranger or a cent to an enemy.
 

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I was a sales associate at the gun counter of a major retailer for almost 2 years. A common customer misconception is that a retail gun counter sales person gets a commision on gun sales; in general, not the case. Yes, you are under pressure to make sales, but NOT at the expense of ignoring ATF rules or good customer service. I routinely took a display gun to the gun room to make sure I was getting the exact same model for the customer. An "In The Box/ Unopened Box" was always the first choice, but if not available, the (new) gun on display was offered to the customer. In many cases with popular models, the display gun had been out in the rack for only a few days. All display guns came with their own individual, as shipped, box. I never tried to pass off a display gun as "Untouched By The Public". The customer always has the right of refusal at point of sale.

Another common misconception is the supposed large markup on firearms; once again, in general, not the case. Unlike other retail items, the profit gain on guns is generally small. Yes, ask for a discount from a Hunting Dept. Manager, but you will be lucky to get 5% on a slow selling model, but forget it if the gun is ON SALE; as the profit margin is cut low already. Many customers seem to think a store can survive selling guns at or below cost... "And I get a case of shells, too...RIGHT?"

In conclusion, I would have waited for the clerk's return and if suspicious, I would have asked to see the display gun along side the gun from the gun room.
 

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A friend that lives in a nearby city is a Benelli dealer. He is not allowed to tell what his markup is but after seeing some of his invoices, I estimated it to be between 10- 15%. He told me that his best markup is on used guns. He stated that he made more profit on a $500 used gun than he did on a $1500 Benelli.

This guy moves a lot of guns. You have to have a lot of inventory to get a Benelli franchise, so he tells me. i will estimate that he has over a million in Benelli inventory. Two complete wall racks full about 60 feet long stacked 5 deep on the shelf is a lot of money. Then he has maybe 200 feet of shelf space for used guns stacked five feet deep. He has probably 4,000 square feet of accessories. He ain't hungry!

I feel right at home in his place. I wish it was mine. I spent my whole life chasing crooks when I should have been trying to start my own business.
 

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I have bought display guns in preference to a boxed one.
It happens that when I look over the one in the box, it has
some small problem, and the display model does not have
the problem. This happened with a shotgun, when I noticed
the choke tube installation was perfect on the display, and
slightly off on the boxed one. It happened on a revolver,
when the display model had a better fit of the cylinder.
With only those two in stock, I take the display model. Likewise
when I sold guns, occasionally I would get a customer that
insisted on taking the display gun. When he says that he wants
the gun, I say, I will get you one still in the box, and he says,
no, I want this one. This usually comes after he has really
went over the gun very carefully and decided everything is
perfect. Actually if you look over the gun, and there is not
scratch one, and everything is perfect on it, and he quite
rightfully figures that a few people having held this gun is
nothing to worry about.
 

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Yeah i hate when that happens
 

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We do not buy anything from big box guys because our local shops need the business and give extra good service. A few years ago I bought a Ruger RSI 30-06 through the local shop and they were able to beat Wal Mart's best price. Only a few bucks but the money went to support a local family.
 

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Another thing that I failed to mention about selling the display
as opposed to selling an unopened gun is this. When I sold
guns, we actually preferred to sell the boxed, unopened ones
because it was less work. When we sold a display model, we
had to go find the box and paper work for it, make sure the
numbers matched etc. Then we also had to do the book work
to move a boxed one onto display, since we did some paper
work on the inventory when we moved it from box to display,
and we also then had to store the box for the new display model
in the special place we kept the boxes for display models. All
in all it was more trouble to sell a display model. Most people
though want the one that is in a box, but in the event that the
display was the last one we had, I never had a customer refuse
to take the display model. He just looked it over careful to see
that it had not been bunged up. Sometimes they pretended to
find a fault with the display model, trying for a discount. 90% of
the time, there was no fault, it was all pretense on the customer
part. When this happened, and there was no problem I usually
said something like, "I guess you are out of luck today, that gun
is not going to be discounted for that". The customer still always
took the gun. I knew he was blowing smoke and he knew it too,
and he also figured out that I knew he knew. At that point he
would smile and say, "well I guess I'll take that one".
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
You make some good points, Devil. I would buy a display gun if that was all they had, but the reason I asked for one in a box is because BP gets so much traffic through there store in just one day, if figure they get handled much more than a small store and by less experienced people.

The main reason though that I didn't buy it is trust. He already had went in the back to see if there was one in the APG camo and told me that there were only two like the display gun back there. So he knew where they were unless he lied about that, so I didn't see why he needed to take the gun back there with him to get the boxed gun and he didn't just come right back with it.
 

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Yeh, when you lose trust, it is time to quit. It is very irritating
when someone is blowing smoke and it is apparent.
 

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So he knew where they were unless he lied about that, so I didn't see why he needed to take the gun back there with him to get the boxed gun
Maybe I am missing something here ..... but why is assumed there was some 'trick' being played.

I have gone to a local Bass Pro and the "clerk" took a display gun to the back room with him (that a customer had been viewing at the counter.) The manager said the the clerks were instructed to NOT leave a gun on the counter with a customer UNLESS the clerk was present (safety and theft thing I guess).

Maybe , the clerk was just doing some innocent "procedure" that he was told to do? Maybe he just didn't want to re-shelf the gun yet and wanted to compare it to the backroom inventory.

If you would have stuck around and THEN seen some sort of switch, well then you got a valid complaint.
You could have waited to see what the TRUTH was ..............

Innocent till proven guilty?
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
The display guns are on display behind the counter. I was not holding the gun, it was in the display rack with all the rest of the guns. I told him that I would take the shotgun in that camo color. He then pulled out the display gun and I asked for one of the boxed ones. His look changed when I asked him that, like he was caught doing something wrong. Then when he headed to the back with it, I really felt like he was trying to sell me that one. I don't know this to be true or not, but I go by my gut feelings on most things.

Oh, I almost forgot, the first time that I looked at the gun, while I was holding it , he went to the back to see if they had one in the camo color that I wanted.
 
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