Originally Posted by Cheesevillage
Limited supply should not cause an instant double standard between buying airsoft and buying anything else.
Unfortunately, the nature of airsoft retailing in Canada is exactly that. OK to import, not OK to sell, but we may or may not shut you down at any time (may is more likely than may not).
While I agree that all businesses should be considered as equal when it comes to customer service, airsoft is one of those extremely rare exceptions.
Should a retailer offer the best in customer service? Yes, they should.
Retailers incur losses during seizures. Retailers have to deal with shipping regulations, CBSA regulations, CFC regulations as well as consumers wanting the best product for the cheapest price. Then, they want it shipped the fastest way for the cheapest rate. If it's broken when it arrives, well, figure out how it goes from there.
If I was retailing in Canada, I would focus only on 1 product line. Not several with multiple items from each.
1) Each gun gets inspected for damage and tested prior to shipment. If it arrives damaged, make a claim. If it dies after 200 rounds, too bad. Customer fixes it.
2) No warranties whatsoever. You'd be surprised how many problems this solves when people know that the item they special ordered or bought comes with the same warranty that the retailer gets, exactly jack shit. It breaks, you fix it.
3) No multiples of the same item, with slightly different variations. Like ARs with collapsible and solid stocks, RIS and non-RIS versions, CQB and M4 length. Sell a base gun, and consumer alters it as they desire. This eliminates confusion at both ends.
4) No refunds. Exchange only.
5) No cheap guns. This is just a problem, especially if you're a nice guy and try to fix a problem from halfway across the country, all for a $300 gun that sells for $70 in Hong Kong. A no-brainer there.
6) Limit sales to 2 per day MAX. This will help to keep shipping and ordering straight. If people know they have to wait in queue just to order, they won't be as impatient when it comes time to shipping the item out.
7) Everey item shipped needs to be accompanied with a PM or e-mail containing the tracking number. Whether it's useless to track via Canada Post or not, it's a sign of being on top of things and keeping communication lines open with your customer.
8) No promises on times for arrival of product or shipping. Customer pays for product when it arrives (but a deposit is acceptable), and is kept in the loop at least once per week, even if new info is not available. Items can and will be held by the CBSA indefinately, license or not.
I think this would alleviate alot of problems for everyone, and re-train consumers on the way airsoft retailing is. It's not like shopping for a computer or a TV, it really isn't.