Goodbye and thanks to B2
happy february, guys and gals, I hope that the winter months have been kind.
over the past couple of months, we've seen quite a few changes in the area. due to new firearms laws here in the Golden State, dealers and buyers alike are having to jump through more hoops to get you what you want, whether it be firearms, and now even ammunition.
due to the proliferation of new big box stores, such as sportsmans warehouse, and 2 dicks sporting goods stores, it's put the squeeze on local dealers.
one of the recent casualties is B2 Enterprises in cotati. by all accounts, it boiled down to profits being down, and regulations being on the rise to the point where the owner didn't want to do it anymore, and decided to suddenly shutter the business, catching those of us in the community, as well as the employees of the store off guard. this is kind of a sad end,
B2 was one of the few places locally that you could have gone and got products that places like sportsmans warehouse didn't have (such as the birchwood casey stock refinishing kit,) and other stuff. unfortunately they just can't compete with the low prices. some of the frustrations I experienced often would lose them business by having low shelf stock, and not being able to get somebody to check me out when I was done. aside from the nitpicking though, most of their staff were really kind, and I'm genuinely sad to see them go.
I'll be the first to say I enjoy sportsmans warehouse as a customer, and I buy things I can't get from other local sources, though I have never bought a gun from them. I have the advantage in that I can order what I want for myself, but that's not true of the average person.
so how can you, the local customer, help local businesses, while still getting what you want?
1) support local businesses first. if they don't have what you're looking for, ask if they can special order something forward. keep in mind that no local dealer can price match a big box store, so you have to be willing to pay a little bit more, to keep the mom and pop shops in business. if you have to go to a box store, consider doing so only if you absolutely cannot get what you want elsewhere.
2) be aware that the reason we can't price match is a) sportsmans warehouse's markup on firearms is extremely low, and as such, they're selling closer to cost, and b) they have access to prices that most dealers don't due to the size of the store.
3) trade the cheaper prices for the service you get. many of the people in the gun department at the big box stores don't know much about guns. by some accounts, customers who purchase at a big box store often leave without knowing how a gun works, and end up going to a mom and pop store to learn about their purchase. if you want better service, go to established businesses that have the expertise that you desire, and don't go to the ones that don't. it's your dollar, ask for better.
4) ask yourself what it is that you truly want out of your gun dealer? again this boils down to service and knowledgeably. if anything, by demanding expertise, it also forces the big box store to compete for your dollar, as opposed to getting it because their prices are lower.
5) commit to banding together with your local shooting community by supporting the businesses that have been here before the box stores came to town.
the only way established businesses will survive is by your support. make us earn your dollar, but please be willing to consider us first.
the following is a list of local gun shops for your consideration
-sportsmans arms in petaluma, ca
-petaluma gun and reloading supply in petaluma, ca
-todd and amy guns and ammo (formerly independence armory)
-Rinkor firearms in santa rosa
-Ken Kraushaar firearms service in rohnert park, ca
-vinnie's guns in rohnert park, ca
as always, I appreciate the business brought to me from gunbroker purchasers as well as referrals from other shops. remember, you're not just getting something you want, you're helping somebody live out their dream of being self employed and not chained to a corporate entity, and when you support local businesses, you're doing the same from them.
as always, stay safe, and happy shooting!