Gel balls new cancer

Edit:big rant coming up. You’ve been warned

I’ve been thinking about this for a good couple months now trying to decide if it was worth putting a thread up. But I think it’s about time it is brought out and discussed.

Ignoring the whole government crap about it this one is about the actual stores that are out for it. Back when I worked in retail integrity of the business and keeping customers happy was always at the forefront of their business.

Now we come to gelball and the current businesses out. It started with tactoys. But since then other businesses seeing how tactoys are still currently getting away with it have decided to start to adopt the policies.
We have tactoys to start with. Their openly illegal business practices. Chasing nothing but the big $$$ sign.
We have companies verbally bashing other companies to customers. CEH particularly the bad one. Ive personally seen one of their techs openly lie to my face multiple times. The poor quality of his tech work. (One game day seeing 4 blasters that he “fixed or modified” breaking in the one session). I ended up lending my mp5 to one of them for the day just so they didn’t just pay a fee to play to them have nothing to play with. That same tech telling my the 1911 “atomic armoury” mags Aren’t compatible with the m4a1 1911 :man_facepalming: . The funniest bit is watching him almost destroy a customers 1911 only the week before because he didn’t know how to pop the pin out properly. I legitimately wanted to take the blaster out of his hands and tell him to not work on it. He spent 15 min bashing the quality of it. To literally sell the same thing rebranded the next week saying it’s the best thing ever. When was it ok to start lying to customers?

There is their whole pre order canceling fee or soemthing now too that was in another thread. But I’ve also seen other people cancel and get a full refund.

There’s the whole renegade blaster thing in the other thread (and my battery I bought where I still have in print their outright lie)

The store owner at azreals armory on video walking out into the car park with a blaster strapped to his hip. Also testing the Thor made launcher without using eyewear. Great example to show the kids that watch those vids…

Tac edge seemly to never be able to sell a working blaster (3 I’ve bought from them. 2 now working out of the box. And the third breaking within a week). Not to mention their need to plaster their face on everything’s like a celebrity. Instead of making a post with important information having to do a 20 min live stream to announce a 2 min update.

M4a1 (though one of their techs while does quality work has a reputation for being painfully slow on repairs)and x force(only issue I’ve ever had was when they put a deans on for me backwards on my battery and blaster. But again.thats not too bad of an issue). I’ve never had any real issues with them. In regards to warranty fixes or returns. And they’ve always been up front with me.

When did all of this become the norm? I get that we don’t have stores everywhere like it’s a Coles. But to treat customers like absolute trash because you almost “have to” go there because there’s no one else is just wrong.

And imo it’s only going to get worse. But the problem I guess is what can you really do about it.

We shouldn’t have to sit through 20 min of stroking a guys ego to get information or an announcement.

We shouldn’t have different companies slandering each other to get more customers.

We shouldn’t have illegal business practices or not following basic rules.

We shouldn’t have people lying to us.

Where the hell did it all go wrong?

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2mxA3QHH4aHFm

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It has always been about the $$$, and you can bet that they were making insane margins in the early days. These have no doubt been eroded by greater competition, leading to lower prices across the board, with free shipping and regular discounts becoming more common. They are likely working with much bigger volumes at a moderate profit now.

Providing repairs and replacements will eat into these profits, and just about every retailer will try to avoid this (some with 30-day warranty or “no warranty” BS), despite it being a legal requirement under ACL.

Even decent “customer service” costs time/money, and each of them are making a call on how much or little they invest here, usually the latter.

One thing I am loath to do is spend even more of my time and effort explaining to a business why I’m no longer going to be dealing with them. If it’s gotten to that point, there’s no saving things, and I just “walk away”.

Perhaps this doesn’t help them improve or move forward, but I think the majority exist to make a quick buck and haven’t thought much further than that. The inexperience of many people running these businesses, their greed, and a lack of genuine care really shows.

I have my lists of those I do or don’t deal with, and my reasons, and I haven’t run out of alternatives (yet).

Of course, this is personal, and YMMV

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I mostly agree with what you’ve said tbh. Though I don’t think their Margins have gone down. If anything right now they’ve gone up. There’s more blasters on the market. More supplies being bought for modders. The fact that a lot of shops are usually low or out of stock shows that. I’d think they don’t get much stock at all if it isn’t for the amount of custom and varied blasters that are seen on the fields.

It still doesn’t excuse any business for acting’s the way their starting to. Pure greed. But they can get away with it because their the “only” one a person can go to. It’s just really disappointing to see.

One thing I would say about them in house tech when it comea to gbb, is that don’t trust them

Simply because to most people gbb platform is a totally new thing, unless you have previous experience with real steel, or like me someone who grow up with the platform, lot of people don’t even know how to take the slide off properly :confused:

It’s like taking a new EV to an old school mechanic shop and expect them to know how to fix it…

I’ve been trying to communicate with ceh in terms of their gbb range, ended up contacting AA directly, and even their answer is not always 100% correct (one question as mentioned above the mag compatible issue).

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Also, ofcoz it’s all about money, that’s why they all hyping the crap out if it.
The 1911 for example in taiwan the BB counter part would cost less than half their price, and actually build better… It’s fun new toy tax we are paying on top

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I’ve only seen 2 techs so far in the places I’ve been (admittedly only a half dozen) who’ve had techs that seem to know their stuff. It’s why I started to learn how to do it all myself and try to help others when they need it. Their pretty sloppy on their work tbh for $50-60 an hour :roll_eyes:

I have no issues with a company making money. But what I do except is a certain amount of honesty and professionalism. As like that mag issue.

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What was the renegade thing, can you link me please?

Well said.
It’s a Gold Rush out there, first come, first served.
I have had more ‘issues’ with Blaster vendors than with ANY other hobby / interest I’ve been involved in and It’s a shame.
That you can list, list the failures across the board demands a lift in the game.
I’m sorry for anyone who has been stung by these events.

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This.

@icarus1314
Good stuff.
I do hope you feel better after venting your thoughts and feelings. That shit if bottled in can drive you nuts.

Sift through the feedback and one-sided rants and there does appear to be a trend. Which is surprising considering that many who work in the industry are also users.

Bad workmanship aside, lying and bad-mouthing are childish behaviours that must be nipped at the bud. It always ends badly, for them and the industry as a whole.

As I stated some time ago, in a limited market as this where anyone can set up shop, after-sales service and customer advocacy, i.e. goodwill, are key to long term success.
This is especially important as unlike say a washing machine, no one buys just one blaster and never accessorise.

The idiots won’t change until their bosses act and customers may return if only out of convenience, however begrudgingly. I don’t see that happening as unfortunately it seems that for some, the myopic stupidity starts at the top.

A cautionary tale.
Before its collapse, Clive Peeters was opening stores and talking up it’s share price so the CEO and bank lenders could dump theirs.
What customers didn’t know was that they were actually cash-strapped and on credit hold with suppliers. They used deposits to pay cash for stock to supply earlier depositors. The later ones were lucky to get back a few cents to the dollar and gift vouchers were worthless.

A lesson forgotten.
Atari left our shores in the 70’s giving their dealers, Futuretronics the flick, owners were stranded. When they tried to return in the 80’s through Mobex, they could not get even a toehold. Users were already strongly networked, updated and parallel importing though user groups and the BBS.
This was before the internet and social media.
No one remembers Mobex but AtariST midis are still in use.

We are probably in a sorting out period between the pandemic, politico-legal wrangles, the industry and the cowboys. It’s due and we need to deal ourselves in.

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Cheers. Never heard anything bad that I can remember so bit interested in what happened.
I have noticed the renegade site is a near clone of another site , xforce i think? Only suss thing. Ill have a read tho cheers again

Too much volume, quick growth, too many sellers, limited market, widespread interest in nice new toys, some inexperienced retailers, manufacturers under volume pressure, self trained technicians - recipe for failure

Once we get to point of market saturation and have created a population of knowledgeable and dedicated users, probably around Feb next year, there will be a shake up and poor service and quality will result in loss of business and fewer suppliers. The nice new toys syndrome will evaporate and volumes will decrease. Same thing happened to airs@ft in US and GB

It’s easy to point out the negatives but how many have had positive experiences. My experiences with some of the vendors mentioned has been positive. Experiences buying from o/s - not so good (except for MonkeeMods)

Most of us will end up using suppliers and technicians we can trust.

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How anyone can call themselves a tech with barely any experience blows my mind.

I know of only a hand full of guys I’d actually trust.

Also when you walk into a store and have to teach the guys behind the counter is quite funny.
How do they get the job when they barely know the product they’re selling???

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My first encounter as an outright newbie with a mainstream gel blaster retailer had me being critisized for my choice of blaster, I had to listen to him rubbish his store’s stock for twenty minutes while he badly fitted an alloy barrel (and screwed it up to boot) which I fixed myself.

Then he forgot to put the pew switch in tbe correct position before reassembly so I lost fire selection and had to take it back to be sorted by a different guy because the first guy admitted he knew nothing about my blaster.

Technician my big hairy Irish arse…

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this thread is the culmination of all the same frustrations i had as a newbie, and is also the reason why we decided to open our own store.
Three of us met on the field and formed a great friendship, built a company together and then I was made redundant - thanks Covid… but 10 years service has provided some much needed funding to get off the ground.
We haven’t opened our online doors yet, stock is atleast a month away but we will be doing things very diffferently from the rest of the stores, service quality and post sales support will be our bread.

As soon as we are ready i’ll make an announcement here, and thank you for sharing this as it provides the incentive for me to keep putting in the effort.

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@Macgyver If you need some inspiration on things like terms of service, here are two shining examples.

:no_entry: Renegade Blasters: Totally illegal terms of service
https://renegadeblasters.com.au/terms-and-conditions/

:white_check_mark: Zhenduo Toys: How to do it right, and be customer focused.

Highly recommend visiting and reading those two links…
It’s pretty black and white eh? You’d think it’s not that hard to be a shitty business yet some people find it so hard…

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Tbh I’ve tried writing this thread about 6 times over the last couple months. I wasn’t sure if I was just being overly pessimistic. But already seeing things were pretty average but steadily growing worse. It’s a nasty little trend that I’ve seen happen in multiple things in life. If someone makes a big change. Others will stand in their way. But if they poke at it but by bit. Over a period of time people don’t really notice the difference. Just enough is changed where a person will say well I suppose that’s ok. I’m not happy but I’ll roll with it then they get comfortable. That’s when they’ll go the next step and ok. It wasn’t immediately but 3-6-12 months down the track. Their right where they want. The problem with gel is there’s so few big retailers of it (I know there’s a lot of little places. But that serves another dilemma) that they can almost automatically get away with saying if you don’t like it don’t shop here. But you have to because their the only local place or only person with the part you’re after.

You have all your little guys. Honestly people I’d love to support. Their people that have seen the work of the big name techs and shuddered and have gone to do their own stuff. Their works pretty amazing. But it also comes with the premium price. Something a lot of people myself included just can’t afford. So we’re left with the big names that give cheap prices.

Early on I learnt to do all my own work. Figure out my own problems (honestly I enjoy it as much as using the toys) and seeing my work in action. My local has one tech which tbh is a joke. And another that while he does great work and knows his stuff. He’s quite slow so you’ll be waiting weeks for your repair to be done. I think other people have started to see this too. Some people have seen how my blasters run and talked to me about it. And a fair few now have asked me to either fix or rebuild their blasters. It’s only in the last week or so I’ve caved and done a couple people’s stuff. Because let’s face it. I’m unqualified as fuck. Never worked with mosfet as yet. Haven’t depart with the whole 13:1 setups. I’ve kept it basic. So I shouldn’t really be working on anyone’s stuff. But that’s just about how desperate some people are getting. They just want something that works and the shops just aren’t up to snuff.

My local ceh for example. I’ve already pointed out how I don’t like the work the tech does. But even their over the counter staff. I go in a lot for little parts here and there for builds or experiments. I don’t need to be told “you may as well just work here your here so often”. I like my sport. I’m giving them money. I try and tell them what I’m missing or what I’m doing and they a lot of the time seem to get confused or tell me (mainly their tech) that what I’m thinking there’s “a better way”. Almost always Requiring more parts and money spent then I need. They always push the metal gear train if you mention 11.1. And Ive got 3 blasters running nylon gears at 11.1 that have lasted months. Shim correctly and make sure everything is good and there’s no issue if your not trying to hit stupid high fps. Fields have a limit of 300 so what’s the point of hitting 400-600 fps? It can’t be used on the field. (I know some people like to have one like that for their back yard. I’m not shunning those.)

They see $$$ signs and they seem to lose all brain cells. Then they sell turd like that nemesis 2.0 or whatever it is (can’t remember the company selling it). Literally just a hlf arp9 with essentially metal gears. And they want 6-$700 for it? I could build that for someone for probably less than 4. The blaster is 280. And $100-120(if I’m being generous) for parts if I’m buying local. Unless shimming is an ass it’s only about an hour to build and test. Add their price of $60 an hour and that’s still 460. Tops. Or just go get the xyl that hits 300(with just a spring upgrade). Already has metal gears. Is the same price. A mosfet(which tbh works pretty well). $10 for a bigger spring and you’re done. Bang. Too tier blaster for $300

My issue I think is I don’t know if I’m just being petty or the companies really are screwing us over but from where I sit. I’ve spent my entire life being told I’m essentially useless. By the government. My “family” and the people around me. So if I’m capable of doing a better job than these full time “techs” there’s something very wrong…

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Went to my preferred local last week. No stock on the shelves, about 5 out of 20 parts i needed. Staff must have been having a bad day. No real help apart from, sorry it’s all covid related.
Spent a bucket load, and was treated like a leper. Needed some specific parts and info for a fairly common type of build. When checking if the parts (that they did have), were genuine, I was asked if i wanted them or not, as they started packing the parts up. Yes, i said. Please, but i know that there are 4 factories making this, and only 1 is good. They didn’t like me checking if it was genuine, even though he said the exact same thing to me verbatim.
Thought i would test him and ask him the standard barrel length of a very popular blaster. The guy got it wrong anyway. No wonder we have to spend a bucket load of $$ to buy our own tools, invest our own time and effort to learn how to work on our own blasters. And sometimes wait for (maybe dodgy) parts from O.S that can sometimes get to you quicker than your local can get it. And usually cheaper too. Thats why people like G.J., Low.G, and this forum is important, because alot of the time with retailers, (bar a few, and your good friends and connections), we’d be screwed otherwise. That’s just what i seem to be perceiving. Don’t get me wrong. There’s a lot of good retailers out there, but I’ve only ever had 1 where I’ve had absolutely no problem. I’ve already given a shout out, and will leave it at that.
A sad state indeed. Literally and metaphorically.

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Agree most of the blaster “techs” are players that have just walked in and think because they use them they’d be perfect as a “tech” even though they have no formal electrical or mechanical training/qualifications :exploding_head:

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