Want to Sell More Gun Safes?

Gun safes and other security items are big business, if you know how to handle heavy merchandise.
Want to Sell More Gun Safes?

Gun safes are unlike anything else in your store. The firearms you sell require forms and might need some security, which might mean cameras or cables and locks through the trigger guards. Gun safes, on the other hand, need space — lots of it, with room for customers to open doors, take measurements and consider features. That means safes replace other products that could sell faster and easier.

But customers still want and need safes, mostly the latter. Someone doesn’t just wake up one morning thinking, “Y’know, I want a safe” like they might for a new shirt or boots. Gun safes and security boxes are in the “I need this” category for several reasons, foremost being keeping firearms safe under lock and key. That could be personal beliefs due to children in the home, state laws requiring a safe or trigger lock, and protection from potential theft, fire or other issue. Whatever the case, gun safes and security storage systems are potential high-dollar sales with pros and cons.

Pros? You have a high-dollar product that customers want and need. Safes and security boxes come in various sizes, configurations and price points. Hearing “gun safe” typically triggers images of a monstrous, heavy rectangular box. Not all security systems — safe or smaller box — are that large, though. Smaller handgun security boxes are good sellers that don’t take up much shelf space. Even smaller gun safes or less expensive ones have a smaller footprint, which definitely is a plus.

Cons? Size, weight, size and size. Yes, gun safes are large and take up floor space. Customers will spin the dials, punch the keypads, turn any latches and open-close the door. They’ll measure and look online, possibly seeing if they can order something from a website. But what else is new? They do the same slamming in a magazine, testing a trigger, or trying on three pairs of boots while intending to buy on the web, and that’s how it is. Upper-tier safes also have a hefty price tag, which will make fickle buyers blanch until they decide to buy.

Here are some of the top considerations for selling safes and security systems.


Upselling Is Good

Rarely will a customer come back and say he or she bought a safe that was too big for their needs. If anything, they will say they should’ve upsized at least one if not two sizes when they bought their safe. Ditto with smaller security boxes. They may think two or three pistols, magazines and ammo will fit in the box they buy — then they realize it wasn’t enough.

Upselling in this situation is a good thing. It’s done not to make more money, but to have happy customers who will return. Ask how much space they have in their home for the purchase. Also, what will they be storing? Long guns? Scoped long guns with suppressors? Pistols? Magazines, accessories or other items? Cramming things into a safe or security case that’s too small is a bad idea. Other items like jewelry and important paperwork?

Size matters here, and extra space is a good idea. When a gun safe is jammed full, scopes can get dinged, and finding a specific item could be more difficult or take longer in an emergency. Figure out what will be stored and discuss all the options available and why upsizing makes a positive difference. The customer might not take your advice, but at least you tried. If they buy the larger model, they’ll appreciate it once it’s in place.


Steel Walls, Fire Resistance

The best quality gun safes and security cases or lockboxes are made with steel walls, durable locking mechanisms and hinges, possibly a seal to help block moisture, and fire-resistant capabilities. Products that decrease in price will, like almost any other “good, better, best” product, shed some features.

The gauge, or thickness, of the steel used for the walls and door helps define strength, durability and price. Fort Knox Home Safes, for example, come in the Marquise, Legacy and Treasury models. The Marquise’s body is 3/16ths thick steel. The Legacy model has an AR500 liner Fort Knox says is virtually impervious to cutting and drilling. The Treasury features the AR500 liner and a second stainless steel liner to resist cutting-torch attacks. These three also offer fire protection up to 1,680 degrees for 120 minutes.

Fire protection is important, of course, for firearms, ammo or personal effects stored in a safe or security box. Explain the differences between fireproof and fire-resistant, and make sure the customer understands the quality of the inner liners and door seals. Be clear about how long contents will be protected and to what temperature. If the company claims waterproof protection, be sure to point that out. Clearly discuss what the company says about storing items such as photos, flash drives, papers or other sensitive data. Those may be better stored in security boxes or safes specifically designed for media.

Some insurance companies may require that firearms be secured in a gun safe or security case. Suggest to your customers that they might want to check with their insurance agent about this. If they do or don’t, that’s on them. In some states, such as Massachusetts and New York, securing firearms in a safe is the law. Any positive insights you can offer during the discussion will be helpful.


Location and Delivery

After a sale, your part is done. You’re under no obligation to check up on a customer, find out if they’re happy or have problems or anything of the sort. Shake hands, say thanks, ring the register and bid adieu. Right?

With gun safe sales, it’s good customer service to ask a few more questions than usual. Will the safe be going into a home, office or elsewhere? What kind of floor will it sit on, and can it be anchored to the floor and/or wall? Many safes have the capability to be anchored. Even smaller ones could be hidden in walls and/or bolted to the wall studs and floor. These smaller ones might be ripped out by determined burglars, but chances are good they’d give up before doing so. Remind customers about the weight of large safes if their destination isn’t on a concrete slab; reinforcing a floor might have to be considered.

Delivery options … is that on you or them? In most instances, the customer is on the hook. Often, they haven’t thought about it yet or are wondering what to do. Here’s a tip: contract with a local moving service that has great reviews and the tools, trucks and people to do the job. Offer that service to the customer, perhaps at an attractive rate, or pass along the company’s information. Who would turn down the opportunity to have someone else deliver, move and place a large, heavy safe? 

Following up with the buyer of a large safe is a great customer service tactic, too. A simple call to see if everything is going well with the safe will leave a good impression. Let them know if they have any questions about anything, or need other accessories such as dehumidifiers, to give you a call or check your website.


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