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Posted: 12/31/2002 4:24:59 PM EST
and sporting goods/surplus store as of the 1st. Still working on the moeny angle, just a matter of time so I'm told. What do you guys look for, and what should we stock? I see the largest crowds at the shows aroound the AR tables, so that is primary on list. What else? Thanks boys and girls, you input is always fruit for thought......Ops
Link Posted: 12/31/2002 4:27:53 PM EST
Link Posted: 12/31/2002 4:29:00 PM EST
Keep the little things that will bring in traffic, ammo, targets, beef jerky, kettle corn... [:)] I'm serious about keeping the little things that bring traffic though. I cant count the times that I go in for ammo or targets and end up putting money down on a gun. Dont just carry the targets with circles though, get some silouettes etc.
Link Posted: 12/31/2002 4:31:25 PM EST
Originally Posted By schapman43: Keep the little things that will bring in traffic, ammo, targets, beef jerky, kettle corn... [:)]
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I went to gun shows for four consecutive years and only bought beef jerky. The fifth year I couldn't stand it anymore so I bought a rifle....and beef jerky.
Link Posted: 12/31/2002 4:35:31 PM EST
I am buying into a gun shop.....
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Why, do you need a tax write off??? [:D]
Link Posted: 12/31/2002 4:38:18 PM EST
Originally Posted By liberty86:
I am buying into a gun shop.....
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Why, do you need a tax write off??? [:D]
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Nope, just something to do with my spare time.....;)
Link Posted: 12/31/2002 5:23:00 PM EST
Link Posted: 12/31/2002 5:37:11 PM EST
work boots and hunting boots can't seem to find good boots.Cater to cop uniforms or accessories you might do well.
Link Posted: 12/31/2002 5:40:52 PM EST
I like a section of old military rifles. Just plain old bolt guns at low prices.
Link Posted: 12/31/2002 6:11:01 PM EST
Above all, customer service
Link Posted: 12/31/2002 6:25:22 PM EST
Originally Posted By paspecops: I see the largest crowds at the shows aroound the AR tables.
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Alot around the AK-47 tables to. VEPR's rock
Link Posted: 12/31/2002 9:31:40 PM EST
Suggestion: become "shooting information central" for your area: - have lists and descriptions of all nearby ranges and clubs - have news of gun shows and shooting events as well as hunting/fishing seasons and special regs/announcements - post info/alerts on legislative happenings - get some guest "speakers" for Q&A stuff on some set day each month...e.g. local game warden , manufacturer rep, military veterans , gunsmiths, hunting dog expert, local cops
Link Posted: 12/31/2002 10:38:45 PM EST
[Last Edit: 12/31/2002 10:41:58 PM EST by USNJoe_Retired]
You have to be just like the other guys... Hire 3 kids that don't know shit about guns except that "G-Locks is da bomb". Hire one grumpy old man who hates everthing but shotguns. Hire either one smartass who can fix anything with JB Weld or someone with a smug "holyer than thou" attitude to be your gunsmith. Overprice everthing in the store by 30%, then give your customers a 20% discount. Stock nothing in the store that anyone has bought withing the last 50 years. Label every AR15 and AK47 clone as "the real thing", "better buy it now, it'll be illegal next year", "preban" and "rare". Do all of that and I am sure you will be very sucsessful! [x]
Link Posted: 12/31/2002 11:05:58 PM EST
May I suggest amble supplies of cleaning gear. Nothing worse than looking for & not finding bore brushes, oil, etc. for a new gun/caliber & not being able to clean the bore before you shoot it. Be sure to stock the "tornado" style bore brushes. Carrying those super cheap Uncle Mike nylon holsters won't win any points, IMO. The new styles such as Fobus seem to be good sellers. Extra mags for guns is a must have, even for rifles such as the Marlin .22s & Remingtons & Brownings. Goes w/o saying for major handgun models. My .o2
Link Posted: 1/1/2003 12:31:44 AM EST
Been sniffing around gun shops for a long time. Seems like most guys want the lowest price and that will be from Wal-Mart or such. I don't believe a private owned shop can compete price wise with the big chain stores. What you can do is offer good honest advice and keep a few popular rifles in stock all the time. Don't forget left-handers and youths (short stocked long guns). And if you are going to stock reloading components KEEP whatever brands you decide to carry in stock ALL THE TIME. I reload live in a BIG city and still have to mail order most stuff because local shops only have it half the time. It is cheaper at gun shows or mail order, but I buy local if I can find it.
Link Posted: 1/1/2003 2:38:46 AM EST
Been there . . . done that. Good fvucking luck!
Link Posted: 1/1/2003 2:47:17 AM EST
What part of Pa. are you in? That will make a big difference in what you need to do to make your shop profitable or is this just a hobby?
Link Posted: 1/1/2003 3:50:00 AM EST
Have a few tables and comfy chairs where people can sit down and BS all day long. Maybe have some videos of mail call running on a small tv for the lounge. Good luck.
Link Posted: 1/1/2003 3:58:31 AM EST
[Last Edit: 1/1/2003 4:02:04 AM EST by Aimless]
Link Posted: 1/1/2003 4:45:49 AM EST
Originally Posted By USNJoe_Retired: You have to be just like the other guys... Hire 3 kids that don't know shit about guns except that "G-Locks is da bomb". Hire one grumpy old man who hates everthing but shotguns. Hire either one smartass who can fix anything with JB Weld or someone with a smug "holyer than thou" attitude to be your gunsmith. Overprice everthing in the store by 30%, then give your customers a 20% discount. Stock nothing in the store that anyone has bought withing the last 50 years. Label every AR15 and AK47 clone as "the real thing", "better buy it now, it'll be illegal next year", "preban" and "rare". Do all of that and I am sure you will be very sucsessful! [x]
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Ain't that the truth[BD] Also, never have cases and cases of Wolf, Portugese, South African, ect. ammo stacked up that people would buy, just stick to the spensive stuff. The last thing you would want would be to sell a truckload of ammo every month. Don't stock any reloading components either, that will cut into the sales of that $25 a box ammo you'll be trying to sell.[rolleyes]
Link Posted: 1/1/2003 7:25:40 AM EST
I would tell you not to do it. Look at this year's retail sales figures. Brick and mortar retail is on the way down. Pretty much the only thing I still buy from gun stores is guns, everything else is cheaper to get on the web. (And since I have a Curio FFL, I even buy some guns on the web.)
Link Posted: 1/1/2003 7:51:30 AM EST
SS109 summed it up. I wish i could type because i have so much to tell.20 years in the business. Feel free to call me at (856) 753-2500 BTW my buddy with 30 years in his shop is not even covering the bills, let alone sharing it with a partner.He sells everything from soup to nuts and has a cast bullet business in the basement.He will make whatever you need and is still getting creamed. Feel free to toss him some business. His name is Walt at (856) 764-0707 Usually eves till 9pm EST. Eric the ammoman
Link Posted: 1/1/2003 7:56:30 AM EST
I'm reminded of two statements from one of my Business professors in college: 1. Never go into a partnership. 2. 98% of all small sporting goods businesses fail within 2 years. Other than that....Good luck!
Link Posted: 1/1/2003 8:30:17 AM EST
Eric, i will call you tomorrow, and thanks for the advice. The store is into its 3rd year, 1st and 2nd years made targetted levels. i do have an attorney, and will DEFINITELY have him draw up the paperwork. I dont expect to compete with Wally World, 25 miles away and 'over the mountain.' there is a niche market here I think we can fill. While there are sporting goods dealers in the county, only one stocks any quantity of firearms, and his prices are ridiculous and no special orders or transfers. I dont expect to get rich. It combines two things I like (guns and BSing about guns) into something I can do a few days a week. The owner has divorced, and the ex wants half of the business. Basically I am buying out her end and adding a little (very little) firearms expertise. There is a real demand for a decent store that isnt a ripoff joint, with some expertise behind the counter. It will either go, or it wont. If it doesnt, so be it... Thanks gents, the board is ALWAYS helpful. Ops
Link Posted: 1/1/2003 8:59:03 AM EST
Some of the more successful shops around here offer at least modest gunsmithing services. You don't have to be extravagant like rebarreling Ruger No.1s or anything. Scope mounting, recoil pad installation, muzzle brake installation, etc. seems to bring in new customers (so I've been told). The idea about carrying reloading components and tools is also a good one. As is the idea about holding classes and seminars in-store. Regarding Wally World, yes they can sell cheaper than you will be able to on [i]items that they stock[/i]. Go with calibers other than .270, .30-06 etc. For example, my dad went there looking for a Savage in .22-250, and of course they don't stock it. They would have been more than happy to special order it for him at [b]full retail list price[/b]. Walmart doesn't have to be your competition. Carry stuff that they don't (or won't). [;)] Good luck to you.
Link Posted: 1/1/2003 9:17:37 AM EST
Originally Posted By USNJoe_Retired: You have to be just like the other guys... Hire 3 kids that don't know shit about guns except that "G-Locks is da bomb". Hire one grumpy old man who hates everthing but shotguns. Hire either one smartass who can fix anything with JB Weld or someone with a smug "holyer than thou" attitude to be your gunsmith. Overprice everthing in the store by 30%, then give your customers a 20% discount. Stock nothing in the store that anyone has bought withing the last 50 years. Label every AR15 and AK47 clone as "the real thing", "better buy it now, it'll be illegal next year", "preban" and "rare". Do all of that and I am sure you will be very sucsessful! [x]
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How could you forget the way overweight Navy Seal/Other "Special" vet that does not work behind the counter, just hangs out there all the time and adds "Yea I used one of them when I was serving with Marchincko in NAM" every time a guy asks to look at a gun!
Link Posted: 1/1/2003 9:31:14 AM EST
Make sure you stock: Magazines, slings, and accessories Holsters Belts Ammo (from cheap mil-surp to match grade) Cleaning gear Optics and lots of usefull military surplus stuff like stripper clips, ammo cans, ammo pouches, etc. And above all else make sure you and your associates don't talk down to your customers. Be friendly, courteous, and patient. Make the customers feel comfortable and appreciated. Nobody like to go to a gun shop where the owners/counter workers make you feel like you are bothering them by asking a question. Don't be the shop that everyone hates to go to, but is forced to because the local wally world doesn't carry much in stock or prohibits the sale of military-style rifles and full-capacity magazines.
Link Posted: 1/1/2003 11:15:19 AM EST
I find consignment type deals one of the nicest things about gun shops. Get most ammo mail-order or possibly at a really large-volyume dealer at a fun show. Decent C&R deals are also nice but few gun stores carry them. You might be able to get some nice C&R stuff gor cheap if you can buy them 100 at a time. GunLvr
Link Posted: 1/1/2003 8:32:43 PM EST
I had to come back.... Get a T1 line for your computers connection, then leave the equipment exchange board open all the time. When a customer walks in you can do an "inventory check" and tell him "No problem, I can have it here in 3 days". [x]
Link Posted: 1/1/2003 9:39:14 PM EST
Originally Posted By HermanSnerd: And above all else make sure you and your associates don't talk down to your customers. Be friendly, courteous, and patient. Make the customers feel comfortable and appreciated. Nobody like to go to a gun shop where the owners/counter workers make you feel like you are bothering them by asking a question. Don't be the shop that everyone hates to go to,
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I agree, and here is a bone that will generate some real business for your store. Advertise! Not just any advertisement but offer "clinics" where you do free function checks, free cleaning and boresighting etc. Get more of the locals that know what they want, into your store, I'll wager that 25% will come just for the free cleaning, and the other 75% will take advantage of the Clinic offer just to have a valid excuse for looking around the place. After all, a gun shop is like a Boat dealership. It's not a necessity to have one and if someone's in your store thay have a real interest. The clinic angle just makes it easy for them to poke around with out feeling threatened. (and talk to you about trading up!) Good luck!
Link Posted: 1/1/2003 10:29:20 PM EST
I'll second Xanadu. I know when I'm looking for a gun I'll check out most of the stores in the area. If more than one has it, I'll usually go with whichever store "feels" better. I like to go in and look around and bs with the gun guys without feeling like I'm hassling them. Sometimes I'll look at a gun two or three times before I pull the trigger. Just make the store a comfortable place to hang out and look around.
Link Posted: 1/1/2003 10:53:11 PM EST
3 words for you: [s]Don't do it![/s] Buy/Sell Agreement.
Link Posted: 1/2/2003 3:04:52 PM EST
I did find out that there is not a shop within 75 miles that deals in military style rifles like AKs, SKSs, etc. We have a gunsmith guy lined up, and he is one of the best I have seen. I also have my attorney alerted, and he shuld be drawing up something as we speak. I ordered my first new stock, a Rumanian AK and a Yugo SKS and a Makarov. I'm in it now, boots & all. Prayers and patrons would be appreciated. Thanks to all! ops
Link Posted: 1/2/2003 6:04:48 PM EST
Good luck and God speed! I'm a former Pennsyltuckian...what part of PA are you opening up your shop?
Link Posted: 1/2/2003 6:20:14 PM EST
[Last Edit: 1/2/2003 6:20:57 PM EST by limaxray]
Two suggestions: To piggyback on xanadu's comments on clinics, make sure around hunting season you do stuff like function checks, scope checks, free boresighting, etc. They would also probably do a lot of impulse buying ("While I'm here, might as well get that sling I need...") If possible, have at least a couple of youth models in stock--I'd suggest a single-shot .22, a youth model center fire and a shotgun, maybe even a couple of small .22 SA revolvers--something for the kids to shoulder while mom or dad is looking around. I combed the 10 or so gun shops in Colorado Springs and every gun show I could attend for 8 months, and didn't find a SINGLE youth model. Wound up special ordering it, without knowing if my kids would like it. How am I supposed to pass on the tradition if I can't easily find the firearms? Edited to add: Good luck in the venture--being an independent business owner is the American way, even better if it's something you love to do!
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