View Full Version : My first trip to a bow shop

08-14-2011, 07:23 AM
A little lengthy but must share my first trip to a bow shop:

The nearest bow shop to me is in Las Cruces NM, about 150 miles away. By circumstances my brother and I had to be in Las Cruces yesterday and decided to check out a bow shop. I have never been in a bow shop, I bought my bow used and I always buy my materials and suplies on-line. The shop was filled with both Hoyt and Mathews bows.

My daughter has been asking for a bow and I picked up some info for her to look at. (She wants the Mathews Jewel) It is a neat looking bow and they had one in the shop.

I needed to buy some nocking points, serving, and feathers. The owner asked if we needed help and I told him what I needed. He asked how much serving I needed and I told him one spool. Shaking his head he told me he would not sell serving to me and no bow shop will. He would sell me a string or I could bring the bow in to be served for a price, however.

He invited me to follow him to a back workroom of the shop to look through his supply of fletching. He said he doesn't normally sell fletching. He just usually fletches the arrows for people who need it but this one time he would sell me some feathers. He asked if I needed left or right wing feathers, I told him left. He looked at me with a funny look on his face and said, "You must be a traditional shooter." I told him I was shooting a recurve and he said smiling, "that figures." He told me he only had right wing feathers as that was the most common for shooters. My question is, don't birds have two sides. I shoot left wing because the Martin Jig that came with my bow only has a leftwing clamp. The left wing arrows work fine for me.

I spotted a limb quiver that would fit my bow. I had priced them on the web and found them priced around $65, a little to steep in my opinion. I asked how much it was and he said, "I would have to look that up." He just stood there looking at me but didn't look it up. I asked again how much it was and he said, "I think it is somerwhere around $125." Well forget that idea.

My brother, who got me into archery, told me in his experience most bow shops are a lot more helpful but they always seem to act like they now so much more than you. Their opinion is the only one that counts. They do not want to share secrets and they do not want to hear what you have to say about the subject because in their opinion its wrong.

We shoot a lot of high power rifle matches and everyone is always helpful to each other. Its about bettering the sport and each other. That's one reason I decided to join this forum, everybody wants to help everyone else, and I thank you all for that. I was hoping to get that same mind set in the bow shop.

Before leaving the shop the owner asked where I drew out for. I told him unit 37 and also told him where we were from. We happen to live in unit 37, one of the best hunting units in the state. As it turns out he drew out for the same unit. He wanted to know everything we could tell him of the area. Yeah Right!!! It was funny how all of a sudden he wanted to become helpful to us as well.

Well, we left the bow shop and I decided I will stick to on-line purchases in the future. If my daughter gets her Jewel, it will not be from that bow shop in Cruces for sure. He probably blew a future costomer, she realy wants that bow.

08-14-2011, 08:44 AM
sorry to hear about your first experience with a *** of a shop owner. a decent pro shop would have spools of serving and several types of vanes/feathers for purchase. although alot of them probably would need to special order left wing feathers. i agree with your decision to not return to that shop. he obviously doesnt give a rats tail about CS.

08-14-2011, 08:45 AM
As much as I hate to say it, that experience has been pretty close to my experiences in the past around here. If you didn't buy the bow from that particular shop, they want nothing to do with it. They also seem less than interested in helping with any other aspects unless you bought the bow from them. I understand, they make money off bow sales, but they also make money off everything else in their shop. I have one local shop here in town, yet I drive 40 miles away to get my stuff, or order it online. Probably have spent $7-8000 in the local shop, and once I switched to Martin (which he doesn't sell), it was like I was an outcast. He also lost all my taxidermy work in the process. Now I just have to find a replacement guy for that.

Double S
08-14-2011, 10:54 AM
I've been there, unfortunately. Some shops or the people that they hire think that they work from a high horse. My local shop is 90 miles away one way and I pass up two other shops that are closer. My past experience with the other two shops were less than helpful. In one shop I came in looking for bow brand "A" that was at my bow budget. He kept trying to sell me on brand "B" which was double the price. As I was just window shopping I let it go that day, When i had the cash for the bow I figured I'd give the shop another chance, maybe the guy was having a bad day. I came back in and asked for Brand "A" again...He said why do you want that bow? It sucks! buy brand "B'". I asked him... If it sucks, why do you sell it? He mumbled something. Later on down the road I found out that the fancy truck sitting outside the shop with the Brand "B' stickers all over it was his. He was a PRO shooter for that company. that was years ago and I refuse to step back in that shop or on their range. Another shop was a big box store. I came in looking for a bow. I saw the bows on one of the circular racks with a security cable running through the bows, to stop theft. I asked the guy behind the Archery counter if I could pick one of the bows up to get a feel for one of the PSE bows, Could he please unlock the cable. He just nodded "NO".... I walked out the big box store disappointed. I have gone back in there for the little stuff I needed last minute or for convenience while I'm in the BIG city. But I won't get my bow serviced there. I did bring in my arrows one time. i needed some inserts. I wasn't sure which inserts would fit so i brought a couple arrows in. Whey the guy behind the counter asked ( Laughing) whats that crap on your arrow?. I told him and took my business back home. He was making fun of my Fobs. I have a thick skin but I don't take crap from people O don't know specially strangers. I can take the jabs from people I know but that's a relationship already formed. How do some shops expect to gain customers when they are mocked as they enter the shop because of their Archery experience or the equipment they use.
Skip years ahead,
I found another shop 90 miles away from me...it happens to be a Martin Dealer. I pack up the family and take the drive. Walk in the door with my PSE Brute. No Jokes, No Snide comments except for an honest whats the roundy thingy on the end of your arrow. He honestly didn't know. So I informed him. The Shop Owner stated "Cool". Then it was on to..how can I help you?. From there it took about a year or so before He would handle one of my fobs while he did rest adjustments. He would grab his own fletched arrow. He didn't make fun of my accessories but he would politely recommend other products, options. Years later, Our customer/ Shop owner relationship is fantastic. We laugh, joke, tease each other and it's all good. But the foundation was set years ago by that one time meeting. Now I look forward to the drive and being able to sit down in front of the counter. ( He has a half circle of chairs for customers) either for waiting or B.S chair where regulars come in to hide from their wives. While i'm there waiting, I end up buying extra stuff that I really didn't need or need at that time. The place is so comfortable that I end up letting my guard down which opens up my wallet. :D

I will miss this shop when I eventually move back to Arizona.

08-14-2011, 03:12 PM
Shaking his head he told me he would not sell serving to me and no bow shop will.

He said he doesn't normally sell fletching. He just usually fletches the arrows for people who need it but this one time he would sell me some feathers

Unbelievable! :eek:

He just stood there looking at me but didn't look it up. I asked again how much it was and he said, "I think it is somerwhere around $125."

Magic trick, "I will now pull a price out of my a**".

I really am surprised there are still shops like this, especially in the USA. But is sounds like the regular customers accept it for some reason, maybe they don't know any better.

Well, sounds like a good place to open up a archery shop. Probably run him out of business the first day open.

I recon Sonny. I would think he has got quite a few very loyal customers though, they probably think he is the best there is. He has to otherwise the shop wouldn't exist? :confused:

08-14-2011, 07:55 PM
Well, sounds like a good place to open up a archery shop. Probably run him out of business the first day open.

It's funny. On the way home my brother and I discussed that very thing, only our shop would have to be more than just archery. It would have to include guns and fishing as well.

Double S
08-14-2011, 08:26 PM
Come to think of it. The only store that sells a fletching jig was the big box store. Even my favorite shop doesn't. I asked about some Blazer vanes for one of the vaned arrows I had and he didn't have any to sell unless I pay to have them fletch it. 2 bucks per arrow. The big box store had one of those jigs that looks like a Bitz. it's been setting on the shelf so long it had dust bunnies. lol. I just got into fletching vanes and I had to go online to buy my bitz jig and different types of vanes.