Today's FFL Business

Published on February 4th, 2015 | by FFL Unleashed

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Sportsman’s Supply: A Case Study in Success

Sportsman’s Supply is, in its President Grant Williams’ own words, “… at the top of our game.” Founded in 1947 by Grant’s father, Owen, the business is an institution in Western Pennsylvania. “We’ve got experience and wisdom and energy. That’s a dangerous combination, and a great stage to be in our business.”

This full-service brick-and-mortar hunting, firearms, and shooting sports retailer also has an impressive history of growth in sales with GunBroker.com, where it’s also on top of its game. Grant recalls, “One of my employees who was very computer savvy, because I wasn’t in 2003, mentioned to me he sold some of his personal guns on the site. He thought I should consider selling some of our used firearms that way, too. So, we gave it a try. We slowly ramped it up, and since 2008, when we got serious about it, GunBroker.com has been a very important part of the¬†business.”

That was tens of thousands of GunBroker.com transactions ago! Sportsman’s Supply’s online business relationship evolved from selling exclusively used guns and then expanded into what Grant calls “opportunity buys.” A review of their consistent 700 – 1,110 GunBroker.com listings today reveals substantial ammunition, accessories, and optics auctions in addition to diverse offerings of both new and used firearms. Grant says he sometimes buys entire collections that include items like reloading equipment, range gear, etc., so you never know what you might find in their listings week to week.

Grant is strong in his conviction that Sportsman’s Supply gets the most benefit from GunBroker.com’s Checkout feature. “We set a lot of our auctions to purposely close after our store hours, often between 8:00 and 10:00 at night. Then we start at 6:00 a.m. the next day and because of the automatic Checkout system, before we open our doors at 9:30 in the morning, we are usually done with processing, packaging, and shipping the items from the night before,” Grant reports. “It actually allows me to maintain two types of distinctly separate businesses. The auctions are run and closed efficiently in addition to and without impact on our regular store business.”

The peak level of GunBroker.com customer service Sportsman’s Supply can provide, attributed to the Checkout feature, earns them incredible feedback reports. Grant calls the praise, raves, and compliments he and his team receive almost embarrassingly over-the-top positive. The resulting benefit is an extremely high level of repeat clientele. “Because of the service we are able to deliver, I’m happy to report that now as much as 90 percent of our GunBroker.com business is repeat business.”

Sportsman’s Supply was recognized as a 2014 GunBroker.com Top 10 Seller at the Shooting, Hunting and Outdoor Trade Show in January, 2015.

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