In this piece from a short time back, I openly wondered what sets one on-line ammo supplier apart from another. Yes, there is price, and that is a primary concern. That said, there are a number of suppliers whose prices fall within the average, or not far off. Once we get into that pack, what sets a dealer apart?
I addressed this question to Anne at Widener's Reloading and Shooting Supply. Her reply is interesting, and wraps it up pretty well.
Why.... it's almost as if they have given this some thought!
Widener's offers several different aspects that we think differentiate us from the competition while still offering very competitive prices. We have friendly customer service, ship the same day you order and most of our employees are, themselves, shooters and reloader. You'll find we have a great staff that care about all our customer’s needs along with a website that's thorough and secure for any personal information that is exchanged.
Widener’s got its start in the late 70’s and has been supplying ammo and reloading supplies to shooters for decades. To have the opportunity to serve shooters that long in the competitive world of ammunition and shooting supplies, you need to do what you’ll say you’ll do and treat people right. There may be no better barometer than a decades-long track record to indicate the type of experience you’ll have with a retailer. Widener’s has been shipping packages for decades and we know how to get your ammo or reloading gear to your door in great condition.
No Backorders - Fast Shipping:
We don’t list products on our website that we don’t have in our physical inventory. That means no backorders and no questions about when your order will ship. In fact, the vast majority of our orders are in FedEx or UPS’ hands within 24-hours of the time you place your order. The past few years especially we’ve seen shooters place a premium on shipping speed and we’ve made our warehouse more efficient and brought on additional staff to ensure even when things are busy, orders get to our customers fast.
When you call Widener’s, there’s a very strong chance you’ll get someone that picks up the phone right away. Plus, that person answering the phone has likely used the product you’re asking about. We don’t have temporary workers or non-English speaking folks answer the phone because we know the majority of our customers want to speak with someone who is knowledgeable about ammo and reloading, friendly, and easy to understand.
If you email us during business hours, our goal is a friendly, complete response to you within 15 minutes. We meet that goal on the majority of customer emails in and we think that has value. There’s peace of mind knowing the people you do business with are receptive and will do all they can to make sure you’re not stuck waiting.
Convenient Site Navigation and Customer Empowerment:
Even for customers that see ammo and reloading gear as a commodity, they value their time. If you have to navigate around a site with poor layout or struggle to understand the SKU of the product you’re looking at, you’re wasting time. We know that time is valuable and we’ve invested in Wideners.com to make it as easy to use as possible to save you time. We know we can’t foresee every question but you’ll find descriptions on all our products spelling out each product’s ideal use situation and all should be new-shooter friendly in terms of jargon.
Now, I'm not saying everyone should rush over to Widener's and buy up all their stuff. I'm just saying Anne makes some good points, and thinking back on years of buying ammo on-line, she has pretty much nailed every point that either irritated me, or caused satisfaction.