Why haven't I heard of GunTab before?

Haven't heard of GunTab before? You aren't alone. GunTab has been focused on engineering, not marketing. But with our ongoing success, that's changing.

Why haven't I heard of GunTab before?

GunTab has been open for business since 2015, but many people in the firearms community haven't heard of us yet.  They want to know why they can't find many ratings, reviews, and testimonials about GunTab.  It's a fair question, because GunTab has operating with a low profile for a while.  We'd like to walk you through our history and our reasoning.

We're a bootstrapped company

We're a self-funded company, meaning we haven't taken any outside investment.  In startup circles, they call this being "bootstrapped".

We considered taking investment at one time.  In fact, GunTab was one of only 4 companies in the final round for CTAN in the fall of 2014 (they were the largest angel investor network in the country at the time).  But GunTab had existed for less than a year at that time (and would not open its doors to customers until May of 2015).  Investors balked at the risk of investing in such a young, unproven company.  In facing that, we discovered we believed enough in our company to fund it ourselves, out of our own pockets.

Self-funding a startup is particularly scary because it means you're risking both your time and your money.  In some sense, you are spending both your past and your future.  You certainly feel that way.  And that prompts you to make some very serious decisions about how your company spends money.

We prioritize engineering over marketing

Marketing is very expensive.  So is software engineering.  As a bootstrapped company, GunTab had to prioritize one or the other.  We chose to invest in building our company's foundation rather than some neon sign above it.

We don't spend much money on ads or paid posts on other blogs.  (You may not know that it's common for many online ratings and reviews to be paid for.)  Instead, we spend time on "search engine optimization" and blogging, because it costs nothing but brings in lots of traffic.  We also encourage our users to post GunTab ratings and reviews on their favorite forums online.  For example, one user posted a very thorough review of GunTab on Reddit.

We go to SHOT Show, but we don't pay for a booth.  Instead, we love to schedule meetings and interact with people in a more targeted way.

All the while, we continue to invest the majority of our funding, and most of our time, in engineering.  Obviously security comes first.  We have invested a great deal in both hard security measures and fraud mitigation techniques.  After security, we focus on delivering value.  Our guiding rule is: "if it's painful, automate it."  Something might be painful to customers (like a missing feature, or unclear feature behavior) or to the GunTab Support Team (like a time-consuming business process).  Regardless, we rank the painfulness and proceed accordingly.

What we're doing is incredibly difficult

GunTab is a full-featured platform for online transactions.  It has core-level integrations into the US financial system for both credit cards and bank transfers.  It has integrations with dozens of information providers, including the BATF.  It has a robust fraud detection facility.  It has conveniences like automated shipment tracking, SMS notifications, and so much more.  All of this is wrapped in an escrow approach, which further increases the complexity because we need to know each transaction was successful.  GunTab might look simple, because we work very hard to make it feel simple for our users.  But that's just another aspect of the incredible challenge we have faced in building GunTab.

There is a reason nobody else has been able to build anything like GunTab.  It's because the challenge is tremendous.  Many people in both the financial and firearms industries used to tell us, "It can't be done."  (One funny conversation involved a firearms industry old-timer insisting it couldn't be done after we had already done it.)  The fact that we did it doesn't mean it was easy.  It was truly, incredibly difficult to build GunTab into what it is today.  That's why it took many years to build.

We want to show you we're different from GPal

GPal was a debacle in the firearms community.  It was a PayPal clone for firearms that very quickly went belly up.  A lot of good people lost hard-earned money.  Why?  Because GPal put marketing before engineering.  They prioritized a big, flashy launch instead of security and testing.  GunTab did the opposite.

We are building infrastructure for the future of the firearms community.  We truly believe that "slow and steady wins the race."

Marketplaces are not ready

Some marketplaces are "old school" – they have been around a long time and are comfortable with their users paying in ways that are inconvenient and unsafe by modern standards – like personal checks and money orders. However, these are also the marketplaces that are shrinking over time.

Some other marketplaces are aspiring to build their own infrastructure for safe, widely accessible payments. However, they haven't managed to accomplish that, largely because it is a completely different business from being a marketplace. Yet at least one is still trying. These marketplaces avoid mentioning GunTab, when we would be of huge benefit to their users, and even to them directly by making their marketplace safer and more successful.

The marketing is coming

After many years of investing deeply in our engineering, we have built the strong foundation we aspired to.  We are finally at a point where we can start shifting more funding toward our marketing, and introducing more people to the GunTab platform.

Over the years, we have received incredibly encouraging positive feedback from our users.  It's amazing how often people say, "I'm so glad you created this!"  So we're incredibly excited to start proactively introducing people to the GunTab, as the solution to online firearm and ammo transactions.

Want to learn more?

You might not have heard much about GunTab before, but there are some ratings, reviews, and testimonials about us.  Check out the GunTab Reviews and Testimonials page for examples and links to more.  You might also be interested in our registrations and memberships.