How to quickly lose a customer.

Like this:

Seriously, these is why LGS’ are struggling. And by ‘these’ I mean pretty much every Australian gun shop with online presence. Don’t even get me started on Cleavers shitsite.

…but please, rely on foot traffic coming to your store, because interstate people are totally not going to buy anything from you at 11pm, right? Well, not any more!


It’s not just gun shops, a lot of online shops are the same. My wife is into photography and buys bits and pieces online and the same happens to her.

I know I will probably regret it but what is wrong with Cleavers, I buy from them regularly and have never had any real bad issues.

OK, it’s 11pm and you are unhappy that there isn’t an absolute for a delivery date.
Do you now propose trawling the web for another on-line vendor, who may not even indicate a delivery date, or perhaps you’ll have a bit of a lie down, and phone them in the morning to establish a timeline?
The screen shot you have posted suggests to me that they have stock of the item in their (off-site?) warehouse, that would be shipped to you virtually immediately (tomorrow?), giving an indicated “expected delivery” next week. That’s not soon enough? The highlighted text box says “If required, please contact us for accurate delivery dates”. That seems to be pretty clear, and reasonable, to me.
Maybe the LGS are struggling because you can’t be bothered to have a few hours of patience, and speak with them a few hours later when they are available in-store.
BTW, it might also be prudent to remember the demise of another forum, in which a poster denigrated that other dealer. A costly exercise in many ways, which never does anybody any good, other than to have been able to vent. Just sayin’.

Cleavers in terms of price and over the phone customer service is great. I haven’t had any issues either. The website however, OMFG! First, it’s just a horrible website, design, navigation, filtering, it’s very outdated and absolutely horrible to navigate and open different products in different tabs. What I mean however, is basically they are not linked to inventory, so when you are buying something, you don’t actually know if they do or don’t have it. It could be that they don’t have 1 thing, but you ordered 3. So, do you break the order up or do you cancel the entire thing or… I’ve actually cancelled the entire thing and bought from a different place that didn’t make me wait. It’s like going to a supermarket, buying bacon and eggs (to have bacon and eggs), but at the checkout you are told that, hey, those eggs are empty, why don’t you buy the bacon and we will send you the eggs later. Sort of defeats the point. I use them as last resort, if I can’t find something elsewhere online, with a clear indication of what’s actually on hand to be sent and when it’s going to be sent.


BTW, it might also be prudent to remember the demise of another forum, in which a poster denigrated that other dealer. A costly exercise in many ways, which never does anybody any good, other than to have been able to vent. Just sayin’.

So I shouldn’t provide factual customer experience? I think I will. We’ll be right :wink: But concern noted.

As for the rest of it, I agree, I want to order it now, because tomorrow I have a busy day and they just used up their quota of my time.

Maybe the LGS are struggling because you can’t be bothered to have a few hours of patience, and speak with them a few hours later when they are available in-store.

I see it a little different, I see it as they can’t be bothered to make it easy for their customers.

You are exactly right. I am not denying it. None of this is hard, it all been solved more than a decade ago. They are saying; here buy it, but we can’t guarantee that we have it (that red box, read between the lines, 7 days get it to them and send it to you). Absolutely.

And guess what, just bought all I needed on eBay (from Australian seller, by the way) with clear indication of stock numbers, tracking number and delivery date.

Here’s a thing about eBay by the way. 2 (but more like 20) people have the same item at the same price. So who do I buy from? I buy from (a) Australian; and (b) the one with highest user reviews. Customer feedback is worth more than gold to those guys and they will move heaven and earth to get your stuff to you as fast as possible for that one extra star that will translate to 99.98% positive feedback vs someone with 99.97%. Following me here?

I am impatient, I have things I like doing and things I don’t. Wasting time on buying rings when I know exactly what I want is one of those things. It should be easy. In this instance, it was lost opportunity to the tune of $102.

Or lets look at it in a slightly different way. If Coles and Woolies can get my groceries delivered to my fridge (yes, fridge) within 2 hour window that they committed to, in peak hour traffic, while hand picking items and packing them into the truck, then having that truck stop and deliver groceries to everyone, while at the same time being able to make partial cancellations to my order while the truck is on the road… Yes, I think a simple website with known stock can tell me exactly when stuff will be shipped and what they have on hand.

Freaking Gen Y ay, pricks all of them? They dare to expect things for their money.

It’s getting bloody annoying. A few I’ve seen recently list stuff for sale on eBay without having the stock.

Looks like when you put the order in, they then go off and order from distributor.

For cleaver, i’ll Either call and check what they have in stock first or alternatively put in the order for the lot but say to cancel anything they don’t have in stock. Can then put a separate order in with those items that can just wait while they get them in. Or If im in a rush try find them elsewhere.

They just aren’t tech savvy but they are at least trying.
I do agree that in this day and age, having a site that logs inventory as it is processed is not rocket science but it is probably beyond small businesses that are trying to keep up but can’t afford the prices that a lot of web designers charge or have the back ground to maintain it nor the budget to employ somebody to run the online shop front full time.

@juststarting, Agree 100% about their web page and would also like to see stock numbers listed.

I look at the page to see what I want and what their price is then ring them, a few times they have said that they were waiting on stock but they have listed it on their page as a special.

I guess there are 2 ways that I could look at it, 1,every other bugger has wanted one and they have run out or 2, they just wait till you order it and then they order it themselves. I always think it is number 1.

Fairly certain it’s #1. Second option, I am like 98% that it’s illegal under Australian law.

I don’t know man, I think they already have people running the site, because orders come in, they process them, pack them, etc. Someone does it. Solution, just use the site in store, instead of the old register or have a register, but process cash payment via a website. You do know that I run an eCom site and even my pissy little thing can do that. Or even better, solve this problem at no extra cost by using an iPad in kiosk mode. Just saying.

Being ‘not tech savvy’, sure. But they did pay someone to build it… And I know for a fact that all of those systems are amazing at inventory. Just need to use them, rather than not using them.

Maybe you can offer to make the required infrastructure changes in exchange of a new bang bang or three! :grin::+1:

Classic case of buying a Ferrari and driving it like an Astra… because you learnt to drive in a fiat.

I have considered this on a number of occasions. I have a Reloading Studio release I am working on that’s eating a lot of my time now and for the next few months. Major updates, app, site, server, pretty much everything - entire overhaul now that I am getting sales. You know why? Because I want to make it easier for users and in inherently me, due to less user interaction. After that, I want to give it a go, already on the roadmap :slight_smile: And thing is, not only I am an a-hole shopper, so I would build things so satisfy grumpy pricks like me, but I am also a shooter and reloader, so I know how to properly categorise stuff so people can find it and buy it!

1 Like

Totally agree that using the one system to log all sales and incoming stock is the only way to go.

Lazy buggers aren’t even keeping stock nowadays. This is safari arms too.

Have you guys herd of “drop shipping”?

Also does any1 on hear work in retail? In today’s online / offline retail experience. Some retailer’s will sell on several platforms. To my knowledge there is not a good POS system to keep track of inventory on them all.
For example eBay, Amazon, there own online shop and in-store & while trying to drop ship from wholesalers.

As customers we also have become lazy and want items ASAP. Yes the WWW. Has made the the globe a great retail market but we have to understand there is still a supply chain the items have to follow to get in our hands. I had a experience I bought an item and it was lost by the delivery company now who loses out? The company who’s stock it is or my money I spent on it?

Drop shipping is pretty common, yeah.

From a retail and whole sale perspective, as well as consumers, drop shipping makes a whole lot of sense. Also cuts carbon costs of freighting goods by cutting a link in the supply chain.
Retailers can offer more lines without having to go into hock for shelved stock. They save freight costs so their margins improve lightly or they can afford to offer a lower cost and attract higher turnover.
From a wholesale perspective more ‘shop fronts’ able to offer your products at more competitive rates simply means higher turn over. Win, win, win.

Of course, this means a retail site may be showing items in stock where the wholesale warehouse has a back order but surely creating systems that can accurately connect and track stock is pretty simple these days and I’m sure there are already a number of solutions available; it’s just a matter of accessing and utilising them effectively.

And that’s where ‘tech savvy’ comes into it.
Some seem to think all these businesses are “businesses” in a corporate sense when in fact they are mostly a “boss” with a few employees. No HR department to head hunt the right personnel. No IT department to come turn your work station off and back on for you. No programmers keeping your systems rolling on the cutting edge of tech…
Usually the person “being paid to run an e-shop” is the person in their family or on the payroll who “knows computers and stuff”. They probably do it on top of a bunch of other tasks in the their job description (if they have a job description) and likely wouldn’t know how to fully utilise functions in even a moderately complex (not complicated… complex) POS and Inventory system. Pay peanuts, get monkeys. Monkeys can be trained but even the best system is not much help if the end user is not sufficiently trained to optimise its potential in a business sense.

Then again, some of these small businesses would just be buying the cheapest, easiest to access systems which are churned out by semi competent programmers to fill that low-mid tier niche and are buggy as hell, clunky and not all that user friendly when it comes to utilising the system’s capability (limited).

Diatribe over … I need to fix this gad’dang keg dispensing system!!!

I know this is quite an old thread but it’s still relevant - and I have made this offer to a number of gun shops (“I’ll help you with your website and keeping your gun inventory updated on it, in exchange I want a free gun occassionally”) and every. single. one. of them has said “Uhhhhh no”.

I’m not asking for a brand new Sauer rifle every time I update their second hand single-barrel shotgun page, just that from time to time if something like a half-decent full-wood .303 or M91/30 comes in that I can have it in lieu of cash money for all the stuff I’d be doing.

They honestly seem happy to lose sales totally by never getting their guns online, then wondering why their vault out the back is full of old shotguns and .22s they can’t sell - because no-one knows they’ve got them.

It’s a really interesting phenomenon, isn’t it… I think it’s fear of change maybe? I don’t think it’s blatant stupidity, maybe some sort of subconscious resistance to change. Most of them are well aware that sites like Usedguns and OzGunSales have destroyed what they had left of the business, when it comes to gun sales. Days of going to a store, browsing, thinking, settling for what’s in stock or available to the shop owner are gone. Yet, they are clinging on to it. And they know it. Most of their sales I would bet come from ammo, components and apparel. And then, rather than working on SEO, online presence and selling their stuff, they pay 25+ a pop for an ad and refuse to evolve. Oh well.

I’d definitely agree there. They know things are changing and the online gun sales are thrashing their traditional business model but seem paralysed by uncertainty (or something similar).

Take reloading stuff - there are a couple of excellent eBay sellers, based in Australia, who have everything in stock and ready to go. I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve been to a gun shop looking for dies or whatever and they’ve got random calibres I’ve never heard of anyone owning, but not commonly sought after stuff like .357 Magnum or .303 British.

One of the two local gun shops near me has at least two thirds of their second-hand stock so far behind the counter that you can’t identify anything or actually out the back in another room.

I was looking for a cheap single barrel shotgun. Can’t see one anywhere so grab some other stuff I’m after and go up to the counter. Whilst there I figure I may as well ask if they might have something out the back. The guy’s response is “Oh, I’ve got a barrel full of them out of the back. Hang on, I’ll get some out for you”. Brings outs five which include the Baikal I end up getting. Whilst I’m looking he comments “Yeah, I’ve had these for ages, can’t sell them”. Maybe because no one knows you’ve got them!?

As someone who is mainly into milsurps, I have often wondered if there are small town country gun shops are out there with .303s piled up out the back because they don’t think they’re worth anything. Or for that matter, how many milsurps are sitting around in farm sheds still. Sigh.