Test a Paintball Gun Before Buying
April 11, 2005 (PRLEAP.COM) Sports NewsReal Action Paintball, a Santa Clara-based paintball manufacturer and retailer, encourages a very hands-on approach for their customers. No, they don’t get touchy-feely and have group hugs in the lobby, but they do make sure that the customer gets the product in their hands with an opportunity to try it before they make their purchase and leave the store.
Real Action Paintball, a Santa Clara-based paintball manufacturer and retailer, encourages a very hands-on approach for their customers. No, they don’t get touchy-feely and have group hugs in the lobby, but they do make sure that the customer gets the product in their hands with an opportunity to try it before they make their purchase and leave the store.
“It’s really very simple,” explains owner and operator KT Tran. “The customer gets a chance to try the product out to make sure it functions well and fits their needs. They get a greater confidence in their purchase while we get the satisfaction of knowing the customer is getting exactly what they wanted.”
Tran went on to liken the experience to that of buying a new car. Imagine the excitement involved when, after browsing the various lots and doing your homework, you find an absolutely beautiful specimen. Everything about this car looks perfect: the wheels are shiny and new, the body is in pristine condition, and the color - let’s just say the color is just the right shade of, “yes.” Satisfied with your decision, you sign the papers with the dealer and agree to the payment terms. Congratulations are in order, right?
Not so fast, Tran warns.
Now imagine that as the dealer hands you the keys, you head out into the parking lot to sit in and drive the car for the first time. Already committed to your purchase, you hope that the seat really will be as comfortable as it looks. You hope that the engine will run, and that there will be no problems. What about the radio? Heater? Turn signals and headlights? Putting the key in the ignition, you hope that all of these things will work; you have not had the chance to test them before.
“That sort of situation should sound strange to us,” says Tran. “Part of the process of buying a car is taking it for a test drive and putting it through its paces. Why should paintball purchases be any different?”
In fact, Mr. Tran may have a point. As consumers, we try out many things before we decide if they are worthy of our dollar. We try on shoes to make sure they’re comfortable and a good fit before we buy them. We sit down in the bookstore to read a chapter of a book to see if it grabs our interest before we bring it to the counter. Perfume displays have bottles that we are invited to sample, and there are sample sizes of various other toiletries. Delis let us try a bit of meat or cheese, and wineries have wine-tasting rooms dedicated to making sure we get just the wine we are looking for. “Try it before you buy it” seems a retail strategy that is here to stay.
Real Action Paintball (online at www.rap4.com) implements this strategy in ways both unique to the paintball industry and unique for the paintball industry. As a manufacturer and retailer, they have an extended lobby and showroom filled with a wide selection of war game, tactical, and training gear available. Thousands of products line the shelves, in stock and ready to get customers outfitted to meet whatever needs they might have - be they law enforcement, military, or civilian paintballers. They also have a one-of-a-kind, climate controlled, indoor arena - complete with bunkers and mock buildings - as well as a test range where customers can test fire their paintball gun (called a marker) before they buy it.
“We service a wide range of customers, from speed-paintball gamers, to military simulation players, to actual military and law-enforcement personnel,” says Tran. “Each has a unique need and interest in their gear.” Though Real Action Paintball services both game- and training-oriented customers, it is the latter that best highlights the need for customer satisfaction and confidence. Explains Tran, “With military and law-enforcement agencies, lives are literally depending on the quality of the gear they train with. We take that very seriously.”
We live in a try-before-you-buy world, and often expect satisfaction the first time out of the gate, no matter the industry, no matter the product. Asked if Real Action Paintball were up to that sort of challenge, Tran smiles quietly, steps back, and gestures to a wall filled with markers modeled after different real-world weapons, each with a different setup and configuration. It is an impressive sight.
“Go ahead,” he offers confidently, “take one for a spin. Kick the tires a bit.”
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