There's no question about it: Gun sales are up. Rumors of restrictions on both firearms and ammunition --whether they're true or not--have long-term gun owners and first-time buyers flocking to gun shops.
"I talk to retailers every day who are selling literally hundreds of guns a week," said Thomas Buck. who was co-owner of Patriot Arms in Brandon, Fla., for 16 years, and now is one of the owners of Clenzoil. "'Everybody wants certain kinds of guns because they think this administration will keep them from being sold."
The result? Gun buyers who are walking out of your store with a gun. ammunition and perhaps add-ons--but not gun-care products.
"Many retailers lose sight of the fact that margins on cleaning products generally are better than margins on almost anything else in the store." Buck said. "That's easy to forget when someone buys a high-end firearm and puts an expensive scope on it. plus buys the rings and bases. When that happens, don't overlook lower-priced items--such as gun-care products--that have much greater margins."
Package Products For An Easy Sale
Whether your customer is a new gun buyer or someone with years of experience, be careful you don't come across like you're picking out cleaning products as an afterthought.
"At the end of the sale. don't say, 'Oh, by the way, you're going to need something to clean it with.' and start coming up with lots of little things that the consumer perceives as being unimportant," Buck said. "Instead, sit down ahead of time and figure out 'packages' of cleaning components you can put together for customers."
For a shotgun, include a bottle of Clenzoil or another good lubricant, a Bore Snake, anti-seize grease for choke tubes, a cleaning cloth (with your store name and phone number silk screened onto the cloth), and, if it's a break action, hinge-pin grease.
Buck says to put all of those items together in a package. It doesn't have to be in a box or a bag, but display everything together and label it on the shelf as a "Shotgun Field-Cleaning Package."
"Use products you know you make the best margins on, and also give your customer the best quality. Put the kit on the shelf where your cleaning products are, and knock 10 percent off the price if the customer buys it all together," Buck said.
Then make a kit for rifles, one for revolvers and pistols, and one for the hot selling AR. When it comes to hunting firearms, don't overlook glass cleaner...