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Cabelas / products and service

1 Sidney, NE, United States

Several things have been noticed lately.
1) Removal of their long time no questions asked returned policy with an extended warranty policy. If you buy this policy and use the service it is good for only one year and may negate the manufacturers lifetime warranty because the items do not go to the manufacturer for service.
2) Quality. Chinese made products especially the Cabelas rifle scopes are of appallingly low quality. Horrible optical distortion-junk. The Cabelas Trekker bow case is thin plastic over cardboard with aliminum edging for over $100! The Doublr Bull Blinds which made their reputation by being hand made in Colorado are mass produced in China. Again junk. Clothing that is not cut right etc.
3) Selection. Items are selected for stocking inb stores based on what their corporate staff likes and by which vendor paid them or schmoozed them the most. No big surprise. Primos brand is widely featured. You'd think he was a family member. The Primos bloodlight has been noted for a couple of years as a piece of junk. Cabelas has thousands they can't move. Items that could sell- especially muzzleloading and tradtional archery- especially the lower cost stuff are left for catalog sales. They apparently like to try to sell the high end crap in the stores to get the daily sales dollar figures up. $100+ bow quivers, $1500 shotguns, $60, 000 boats etc. Reloading supplies and ammunition selection are awful compared to other companies. They must have a deal with Hornady brand because you can get mainly Hornady bullets, Speer you cannot get at all and the other companies are underepresented. Price on the Hornady stuff is actually higher than the non Nebraska produced supplies. (?)
4) Service. Staff is forced to push the Cabelas Club Card (VISA) because the company makes a large part of their revenue off credit card interest! Some stores- Hoffmann Estates in paerticular was using threats of termination if the staff did not get a certain amount of card referrals. The so called expert outfitters are quite often only experts in that they have been trained in how the products work and trained by the company reps. Many do not have actual field experience with the products. They are also told not to show preference for one brand over the other and to not give a real opinion. You can tell when the ones that know what they are doing are tap dancing around an issue to try to sell you a decent item at a decent price and steer you away from something they know is junk. By the same token they are trained to try to sell you the most expensive items possible and to not ask what you can afford. Again you can tell the better staffers by the way they try to figure out what will work best for you without wasting the entire day.

5) Staffing- from inside sources there is general mayhem. Corporate does not communicate with retail stores. Morale is in the tank. While staff used to be paid quite a bit over minumum wage to start that is no longer the case, hours are usually not 40 per week although that is what is claimed. It usually runs 35 to 37 for full time staff. Stores are understaffed and over worked. Store area managers and other salaried staff are worked well over 40 hours per week with little or no compensation. The excuse given is they are FLSA exempt. There is also a rumor that corporate staff over 60 with 10 years in the company were forced to take a buy out and leave. Age discrimination. There are also examples where they WILL NOT hire anyone they think is over qualified because they fear they will get turned in for various violations.

Cabelas is definitely not the World's Greatest Outfitter anymore even though they apparently paid Outdoor Life and Field and Stream to say so a couple of years ago. It's amazing what you can get outdoor writers to say if you pay them enough or give them enough freebies.

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