Interview with the Founders of ArmsList.com
I was talking to my buddy Cory Kizielewicz, who manages the Ring of Freedom for the National Rifle Association. We were talking about how the firearm and shooting industry could better use the web and how we would both like to see some new sites emerge. Then he told me how he had two friends that were getting ready to launch a new web site. That site is ArmsList.com.
Jon Gibbon and Brian Mancini are the founders of ArmsList.com and I was eager to find out more about it so I asked them if they would answer a few questions for me and they obliged.
So Gunners — make sure you visit this great new start up and visit Jon and Brian’s new website.
Mike Piccione: What is your website?
Jon Gibbon: ArmsList.com http://armslist.com
MP: How do you guys know each other?
Brian Mancini: We met while attending the Air Force Academy
MP: What is Armslist.com?
JG: Armslist.com is an online firearms marketplace. It connects firearm owners and enthusiasts, helping people to find deals on firearms and gear in their local area. Imagine a gun show that never ends, but you need an internet connection, and the system is self-policing, eliminating the junk.
MP: How did it start?
JG: Sometime during the Summer of 2007, I saw an interview about craigslist.com on TV. When I heard them say that they decided to ban all gun related ads because a few users cried out for it, it inspired me to create a place for law abiding gun owners to buy and sell online without all of the hassles of auctions and shipping. Shortly after I saw the interview, I talked with Brian at a 4th of July party that we both attended. I asked if he could design such a website. He first created a very basic version of the site which started the whole process. That was the beginning of Armslist.com, we’ve been updating and improving the site ever since.
MP: What makes Armslist.com unique?
BM: While Armslist.com draws some similarities to some other sites, we have exerted a great deal of effort differentiating our site and creating a marketplace. In terms of the technology, we use a fair amount of open-source software. One major difference is that we listen intently to the users of the site and constantly strive to make the site easier to use, adding functions that create a better experience. We have some very innovative ideas for creating a better user experience and are looking forward to delivering them in the upcoming months.
Another factor that makes us unique is our teamwork. While we often work together, a great deal of our labor is split into separate areas. I handle the coding, and Jon helps to promote the site and handle the advertising.
Probably the biggest thing that keeps us competitive is that we are always working at it. The site is always evolving because we’re constantly improving the site and what we do. A lot of the changes aren’t readily apparent, and some aren’t visible at all, but they’re always taking place.
MP: What is the future of Armslist.com?
JG: We intend to continue to grow and improve Armslist.com until it becomes the #1 place to go to buy or sell a firearm. We’re currently working on implementing ways for FFLs to use our site to do business, and a contest where we’ll give away some Woolrich Tactical Elite gear.
Thanks so much for having us Mike; we’d like to come back with some updates in the near future.
MP: That sounds good, perhaps next time we can talk more about how buying and selling firearms is changing with the internet.
JG: Excellent, we’ll be ready for your questions.
MP: Thanks guys. Hey, one more time. What is that website again?
JG & BM: Armslist.com (www.armslist.com)
Brian Mancini is a founder Armslist.com, he studied at both the U.S. Air Force Academy and the University of Pittsburgh where he later completed his M.B.A. He is a software engineer for a top consulting firm and an avid shooter.
Jon Gibbon is a founder of Armslist.com, he studied at both the U.S. Air Force Academy as well as the University of Pittsburgh. He is currently a Law Student at the University of Oklahoma, College of Law where he is a founder and President of the Second Amendment Club.