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There was a thread running recently about customer service from Brownells. Most all of us agreed that it is exemplary.

BUT, after spending over an hour today trying to locate parts in the abominable new 1911 catalog format, a process that used to take just a few minutes, I thought a rant was in order. Am I the only one who thinks it might be a little easier to find stuff if it was all grouped according to the part? What possible logic would dictate that Brand X barrels be on page 5 while Brand B barrels are on page 12? :confused:
I went looking for a mag catch, and FINALLY found the brand I like all by itself-no other mag catches around it-segregated like a little leper.

My opinion? It's the best company with the least user friendly catalog I use.
 

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I agree Bob. I plan on finding someone at the SHOT Show besides their hired pretty models to file the same complaint. Try to navigate their website...it's worse!
Tracy
 

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Totally agree Bob! Midway's format is much easier to use.

While we're at it, Brownell's website sucks too. The search engine is horrible and the overall format could be much improved.
 

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. Try to navigate their website...it's worse!
Tracy
Amen to this....I got fed up and went to Midway....much easier site regardless of overall service performance.
 

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Bob...wait until the SHOT Show, print out this thread, and find a manager. You hold a lot more credibility than a schmo like me!
 

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At the risk of piling on - I definitely agree that Midway has a much better catalog and website. I have begun using them exclusively as they appear to have caught up to Brownells in terms of gunsmithing tools and supplies. In a lot of ways, they offer more gunsmithing tools like chamber reamers, head-space gauges, etc. Couple that with the fact that they sell ammunition and reloading supplies and they have the edge, in my mind.
 
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Yep their web site is horrible. I get frustrated looking for stuff and then end up going somewhere else where I can find the item in a few seconds, place the order and be done.
 

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I just received my new catalog today, my wife called me at work to tell me it had arrived (she knew that I had been waiting for it), ripped opened the wrapper as soon as I got home, then set it down and walked away. Figured that I would be better trying to find what I wanted after supper. I found it very frustrating but thought that it was just me being tired. Glad to know I wasn't the only one having a hard time finding stuff.
 

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I spent all most an hour today looking for a certain trigger for a 1911 and gave up.
I just received my new catalog today...ripped opened the wrapper as soon as I got home, then set it down and walked away...I found it very frustrating but thought that it was just me being tired.
Yep their web site is horrible. I get frustrated looking for stuff and then end up going somewhere else where I can find the item in a few seconds, place the order and be done.
At the risk of piling on - I definitely agree that Midway has a much better catalog and website. I have begun using them exclusively as they appear to have caught up to Brownells in terms of gunsmithing tools and supplies...
Try to navigate their website...it's worse!
Totally agree Bob! Midway's format is much easier to use.

While we're at it, Brownell's website sucks too. The search engine is horrible and the overall format could be much improved.

I guess I'll bite. What good is their exemplary customer service if so many people are frustrated with their catalog and website to the point they don't order anything, or that they go elsewhere to order what they want?

I like Brownells for orders that weigh enough to take advantage of their flat rate shipping. But for smaller orders, I tend to go elsewhere because it's tough for me to swallow $10 shipping on a 1 lb. item that's just a little to heavy to qualify for their $4.75 small package rate.

You guys also failed to mention one of the most important problems with Brownell's catalogs and website. I get a catalog in the mail that shows one price for an item and when I check the price online the same day I received the catalog, the price of the item was much higher or the item is already discontinued and no longer available. That bothers me more than the slowness or the disorganization of their website and catalogs.
 

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The catalog issue is new this year. As far as price differences between the hard copy and the website...that's news to me! I'll certainly be more vigilant. I've been a loyal customer of theirs for years.
 

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Bob, you are so right.

The practice began when different marketers of the same part started selling them and Brownells bought them. Think about:

Baer Barrel/KartBarrel=same part
Nowlin Trigger/Brown Trigger=same part
Nowlin mag catch/Greider mag catch=same part
Caspian pin set/Brown pin set=same part
C&S slide stop/Nighthawk Slide stop=same part

and the list goes on.

SInce the price differences can be great between different vendors for the SAME part it looks like Brownells tries to spread them out..

The catalog stinks. The website is worse and slow even. They have the best prices usually and the return policy and service is excellent. If they do not get better at selling they will lose A LOT MORE ground to Midway.
 

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The catalog issue is new this year. As far as price differences between the hard copy and the website...that's news to me! I'll certainly be more vigilant. I've been a loyal customer of theirs for years.
I was going to order a handful of Nighthawk plunger tubes 100-003-253DC for $8.44 out of 1911 catalog 2007-#2 when I received it, but when I went to the website to place the order, they came up ~40% higher at $11.57 each.

That's just one example. There's more, but I'm not going to go searching for all of them.
 

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I normally like their catalog and website. New catalog in the mail box reminds me of being a kid and the Sears Wish Book showing up. :D I don't mind the new catalog format so much personally, but am I the only one who everytime you try to do something on the website you get a message saying they are having difficulties? When I checked out the other day it took me like 5 times to get to the end. I've been meaning to call or email them and ask what was up with their site.


-Hershey
 

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+1 about the miserable website at Brownell's. Midway updated their site not too long ago and they really are leaving Brownell's in the dust.

As for parts, I'm finding a lot of 1911 parts in the FS sections of forums. Save the environment, buy used 1911 parts. ;)
 

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Other catalogs also use a similar format. I believe that the purpose is to get people to look at lots of other items in the catalog before finding what they originally set out to buy. This strategy hopes to create interest in these other items and promote impulse buying. Sort of like trying to get the customer to say "wow, that's really cool", or "heck, I might as well by this other thing too. I'll save on shipping charges".
 

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There was a thread running recently about customer service from Brownells. Most all of us agreed that it is exemplary.

BUT, after spending over an hour today trying to locate parts in the abominable new 1911 catalog format, a process that used to take just a few minutes, I thought a rant was in order. Am I the only one who thinks it might be a little easier to find stuff if it was all grouped according to the part? What possible logic would dictate that Brand X barrels be on page 5 while Brand B barrels are on page 12? :confused:
I went looking for a mag catch, and FINALLY found the brand I like all by itself-no other mag catches around it-segregated like a little leper.

My opinion? It's the best company with the least user friendly catalog I use.
Absolutely...I agree...I've only ordered 1 thing from Brownells, it was the Plunger Tube Staking Tool..the Vise Grip type...I got that catalog with the tool and it is way too complicated to find anything in there...lots of cool stuff in there, but the filing system sux.
 

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+2 on the Midway USA site. Don't make it hard for me to give you my money...
 
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