Reno Business Review

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After living in one location for a few years, you get a feel for businesses you like and dislike. I’ve had my fair share of good and bad experiences here in Reno and I’m going to describe a few of them. Consider this post to be an extended Yelp review.

Bizarre Guitar and Gun: 

gun_guitarOne half of this store is a guitar store, and the other half is a gun store. As soon as I heard that I was already in love. I bought my guitar amp there, a Fender Vintage Deluxe, and my gun, a Diamondback AR-15. The guitar store has a good selection of electric guitars, amps and accessories, but they didn’t have nearly as many acoustic guitar as Guitar Center. The staff consisted of older guys who have dedicated their lives to rock and roll. They looked the look and talked the talk. I found them to be helpful and friendly, but according to several Yelp reviews the owner can be rude. I can’t attest to this because I’ve never met him. Something unique about this store is “the vault” hidden in the basement. It’s essentially a guitar museum with autographed pictures and guitars from every musician ever, as well as some very unique guitars like an original 1954 Gibson Les Paul. That guitar alone is probably worth $300,000.  It’s a pretty unique collection that any musician can appreciate. (Photo Credit)

I’m not experienced enough with guns to comment on how the selection and quality compares to other stores. They certainly had a large enough selection of hand guns, rifles and shotguns to keep me entertained. The staff seemed very knowledgeable and they demonstrated how to properly clean my AR-15. They even suggested that I return if I run into any issues while cleaning it. Before I end this review, I want to be clear that the store isn’t extravagant when you walk in. There merchandise isn’t well organized and the store doesn’t feel particularly clean, but it has definitely has character, and I like that.

Canyon Cleaners:
Click the link above and you will see nothing but good Yelp reviews. They deserve it.  I work in south Reno and all of the dry cleaners I can find in that area charge about $4-$6 per shirt. The turn around time to receive my clothes is around 4 days. Canyon charges about $2 per shirt and they get it done in 2 days, or the next day if I request it. It’s a little shop run by a friendly Hispanic family. My clothes return looking great, and they’re open until about 6 pm which means I don’t have to leave work early to pick my clothes up. They’re located off of North McCarran next to Save Mart, which is a convenient distance from my home. If you live in South Reno, you may be out of luck with this gem.

Reno Motor Sports:
Usually I’m a pretty forgiving person, but I had TWO awful experiences here. First, they don’t verbally disclose or post signs explaining all sales are final, but they are! I bought a ton of gear including elbow pads that ended up being too small, and I tried to return them. After traveling back to the store I learned they don’t do returns, I can only receive store credit. That would have worked out if they had elbow pads in my size, but they didn’t. I was told a new shipment was coming next week. I called for the next 5 weeks, and each week I was told they were coming next week. Finally I bought pads online and they were delivered to my door. Since the price of elbow pads is minimal, it wasn’t really a big deal. However if that had been a more expensive, necessary item like a helmet, I would have been forced to either cease from riding or buy a new helmet at a different store. Who doesn’t do returns now days? I think it’s a sorry strategy to trap customers.

The next summer, I decided to give them a second chance. I accidentally broke the head off of both screws to my oil filter cap during an oil change. I dropped my bike off to have the screws backed out and replaced, and to have the air filter cleaned. I also requested to see if they could fix the mounts to my headlight, since it was loose. I was told I would get a call with an estimate and I had the employee write it on my work order to confirm this action. He estimated it would cost approximately $30 in labor.

I was called when the work order was completed, meaning I never received an estimate. When I got there the charge was $85! The break down was $60 for labor and $25 for parts. I had 2 screws replaced and they charged me $25 for parts. Those screws should have been made from the gold off of Obama’s toilet seat for that price. My work order should have taken about 20 mins to complete, which means $60 for labor is robbery. $20 of the $60 was charged for fixing the bulb in the headlight, but there was nothing wrong with the bulb to begin with. They claimed it was cutting out, or “flickering” when they fired it up, and they said they soldered the wires back together. (Remember I asked them to fix the mounts to my headlight.) When I calmly asked questions about the charges the girl behind the register got testy and defensive. I decided it’s not even worth it to argue and I payed. I like to support local business, but this is one I would advise to avoid.

Reno Bike Project:
This is an awesome non-profit. You can donate your bike and you can guarantee the parts will benefit others. If you need bike parts, they have an incredible supply along with several work stations and all of the necessary tools to tune your bicycle. Since my knowledge for fixing bikes is slim to none, I always ask the staff for help. They’re always friendly and helpful, and the cost for parts and labor is insanely cheap. The Bike Project is a good source to get involved with the biking community in Reno. They also have a few bikes for sale, but I wouldn’t suggest it as a good place to shop. The selection of bikes for sale is limited and I don’t remember the prices being cheaper than prices on craigslist. If you’re looking for a brand new bike, I would recommend going to a bike shop.

What have been some of your good/bad experiences with local businesses? Leave me a comment and let me know.

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