A gathering of the clans today, northbound and down for Bass Pro Shops. This monument to retail-tainment lingers in the shadow of the Patriot’s palace (football, not Congress). I made the pilgrimage to watch my youngest fall into their pond and drop $3k-plus on a Browning gun safe. Not so fast, Mr. Bond. The salesman was about as interested in taking my money as a Franciscan monk. He opened the top o’ the line big ass metal box and told me that Bass doesn’t deliver or install its safes. Can you recommend a local company to get the safe safely into my home? “Nope. I don’t know of anyone.” I looked inside. It wouldn’t be long before bald patches appeared on the mouse fur. Shelves were stacked up willy nilly. Hang on; where are all those cool pockets, the lights and mirror? “They’re optional extras.” So why does this brochure say they’re included? “I guess they’re downstairs in the box. It’s like a romper room in here some days.” [crickets chirping] Can I order one with a biometric lock? “Biometrics are an unproven technology.” Could it get any worse?
Pause. How much money does Browning spend on designing, developing, marketing and transporting its products? How much money does Bass Pro Shops shell out per square foot to run their supergigantimegastore? And all of it—ALL OF IT—wasted because they couldn’t put someone on the showroom floor with a scintilla of salesmanship. I had more product knowledge than the Bass man just from reading the brochure. Watch the video and you, dear reader, will be better informed than the Bass Pro Shops salesman.
I won’t bore you with a full description of my salesman’s boredom. Let’s just say ennui rolled off him in waves, sending nearby babies to buh-byes and muffling the cash register’s ring until it was barely audible. Make that inaudible.
On to the gun counter . . .
I’m in the market for a Benelli M2 Tactical semi-automatic shotgun. For those of you unfamiliar with this ballistic beauty, it retails for $1329. Needless to say, Bass didn’t have one. Understandable, for many reasons. The salesman brought out an M2 field. Yum. Can I order me one? “Nope.”
Come again (although chances are I won’t)? “We can’t get them.” Huh? “Benelli makes us work though one lady in Minnesota. Pre-Obama, we could get one in two weeks. Now, forget about it.” Literally, I guess.
“There’s a $35 transfer fee to send it to an FFL down in Rhode Island,” the salesman informed me, presenting the information as one would the discovery of rust inside the barrel.
Whoa! A $35 surcharge to a $1329 gun, That’s, what, .02634 percent?You know what? I really value personal service and attention. When I buy a product I like to think I’m buying the company who sells it to me, as well. Its reputation. I don’t mind paying an extra .02634 percent. And because you’ve been so helpful, and Bass has taken such time and effort to keep its stock in such fine order, I’ll . . . buy the safe and gun somewhere else.