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Posted: 7/18/2001 12:01:07 PM EDT
So look out cause here it comes. I listen to how a lot of you bitch and moan about the prices down at the local gun shop; well let me give you a little example. I got a an order last week from a customer for a bunch of reloading stuff - some I had some I didn't. It took 4 distributors to the find things he needed -now I am talking pretty common items i.e., Nosler Bullets, Powder, etc. Now each one of these distributor charges shipping and COD fees and etc. So by the time I get it and try and make a living I am way over priced. Comes down to a Lyman tumbler he wants (which he got the model out of Cabelas)- I spend 10 minutes on hold with Lyman to get the names of some of their distributors after spending another 25 minutes calling 4 of them all long distance none of them stock it. So it's back to Lyman and another 10 minutes on hold. I told them that no one has it in stock. She(customer service at Lyman) tells me that I can buy it from them: Dealer cost is $97.46 + $8.32 shipping + $6.00 COD = total my cost $114.10 - Cabelas retail price $94.99. I point this out to her - her reply "Wow". I ask anything she can do? "No we can't sell under dealer". So I thanked her for reminding me why we don't sell Lyman products. Immediately after that episode I remembered I needed to track down a price for a Springfield Armory 4-14x56 Gen 3 for a guy. I call Springfield (whom I have done a coupled thousand dollars with them direct this year) and asked for a price. Dealer cost is $618 - Now I had done my homework on this one already - SWFA sells them for $599. When I asked how this was possible I got an "I don't know, We don't sell to SWFA direct." So I asked her how many I would have to buy to get under the $599 - "If you bought 15 we could sell them to you for $590." My response was, "So I spend $8850, you'll let me make $150?" RANT OFF
Link Posted: 7/18/2001 12:14:55 PM EDT
In todays market place the middle of the road retailer is finished. You need to either compete on price like Costco, Home Depot, Walmart etc., or have superior service and product like Tiffany's, John Deere, Bostonian Les Baer etc. etc. Why go to Sears when Home depot is cheaper and John Deere is better? Since I doubt that you will ever be able to compete with the big boys I suggest that you don't try. You need to be the Gun expert. Do work no one else can. Carry specialty items ie preban ARs, Garands etc. Be known for your specialties. Most Gun dealers around here are burnt out and whipped. They have simply given up which only makes things worse. Not only are there prices higher their service sucks. Now why would anyone buy from them?
Link Posted: 7/18/2001 12:19:44 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 7/18/2001 12:26:19 PM EDT by Kevin]
1GUNRUNNER's rant is fact, a company may cut a backroom deal with one outlet but yet not offer it to another. The companies even pay certain outfits to both represent them and take orders for them across a given area and not even give the company rep's (they are paying) the best deal to offer! The guys that can make gunshops work are those that package it with a pawn shop or a very knowledgeable gunsmith w/ a helpful attitude. You also have to have a decent inventory which is often the hardest problem.
Link Posted: 7/18/2001 1:09:20 PM EDT
1GUNRUNNER, I sympathize with you and others like you. Between the BATF and the stupidity of companies like Springfield, Lyman , and others you are in an impossible situation. Product sales whether by the big stocking dealer or the small dealer puts money in the companies pocket. I would give you a better price for two reasons. 1. I want the customers money. 2. I want you to make the sale. The more people selling my product the more money I make.
Link Posted: 7/18/2001 1:25:23 PM EDT
I try to support the local dealer as much as possible. But while I know it's hard to compete, I really don't know how he can justify charging so much more for his new guns. I understand overhead costs, but when I can go to a show and pay $100 - $200 less for a weapon, I'm going to buy at the show. I have a greater responsibility to my family. I will try to cut costs in relation to my hobby. I don't mind paying for the convenience of having a local shop. But, I have been treated badly by some dealers. I will not pay a premium to be treated as if I am wasting their time. I always go to a potential store to browse or make a small purchase. If treated well, they get return business. I have spent thousands at the shops that treat me right. Sorry about my rant, sorta unrelated but I was on a roll. It sounds like you were, at least trying to help your customer. Better than most dealers around here.
Link Posted: 7/18/2001 1:58:28 PM EDT
1GUNRUNNER, I keep trying to tell these guys but some of them just don't get it. They keep supporting these internet operations that sell for $5.00 above dealer. Then when ALL the mainstream FFLs are gone, they will bitch about how there are no more gun stores. I have seen TONS of topics about LOWE's and HOME DEPOT fucking up the country with there BS politics. And so we look around to support Mr. Local Harware Store Guy and guess what he doesn't exist anymore. Too bad he was a good guy who understood he sold hammers and not opinions on firearm ownership. But we killed him. After all who wants to pay $7.50 for a hammer when you can get one at HARDWARE MEGASTORE for $5.25.
Link Posted: 7/18/2001 2:07:51 PM EDT
For one thing, I have noticed that gun people are among the most stingy, price-conscious tightwads I have ever seen. I can't count the number of times that someone has said "I can buy a box of bullets from vendor A for 77¢ less than vendor B! What a ripoff Vendor B is!" I understand wanting to get the most for your money, but some of us take it WAY too far. Local dealers are basically screwed by the ability the Internet gives all of us to shop for that absolute best price. SWFA can make a sweet deal with a manufacturer and sell all over the country, if not the world. They don't have a big staff and alot of overhead. I defy Joe's Gun Shop to (as described above) buy a scope at anywhere near what SWFA can sell it for and make a profit. That goes for pretty much anything. The only thing you HAVE to have a FFL holder for is transfers. Is it any wonder that a lot of the dealers out there want to see all transfers go through a dealer? How else are they to stay in business? The gun shops are caught between manufacturers who will cut better deals with mail-order houses, and customers who will sell them down the river for $1. Don't be surprised when the number of FFL holders continues to decline. It isn't a plot of the BATF, it's market forces driven by the consumer - us.
Link Posted: 7/18/2001 2:16:18 PM EDT
A salesman at a now defunct shop (The Marksman, Glenview, IL) recounted this scenario to me: A man comes into the store and picks their brains about shotguns. The salespeople here are pretty knowledgeable and discuss such things as gas vs. recoil operation vs pump action. The potential customer leaves with the information. A few weeks later, he returns with a shotgun from K-mart (before they turned soft) because it has a problem. The clerks at K-mart were unable to help him. How many times has this scenario played out? The salesman said they couldn't compete with stores like K-Mart or Sportmart who made huge purchases (ammo by the trainload for example).
Link Posted: 7/18/2001 2:17:13 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 7/18/2001 2:21:10 PM EDT by McUZI]
Originally Posted By SteyrAUG: 1GUNRUNNER, I keep trying to tell these guys but some of them just don't get it. They keep supporting these internet operations that sell for $5.00 above dealer. Then when ALL the mainstream FFLs are gone, they will bitch about how there are no more gun stores. I have seen TONS of topics about LOWE's and HOME DEPOT fucking up the country with there BS politics. And so we look around to support Mr. Local Harware Store Guy and guess what he doesn't exist anymore. Too bad he was a good guy who understood he sold hammers and not opinions on firearm ownership. But we killed him. After all who wants to pay $7.50 for a hammer when you can get one at HARDWARE MEGASTORE for $5.25.
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No shit Steyr... Amen brotherman... There is nothing in this world that chaps my ass more then dickheads. What is a dickhead you ask? The worthless piece of cheap matazos eating garbage that would rather go to Wal-Mart or some fucking mega-dealer warehouse on the net, then support the litle guy. Over what? Three god damn dollars. What does Wal-Mart offer me for that $3.00 I save? A 16 year old faggot with green hair and an eye-ball ring wearing a little patch on his vest that says "Certified Sporting Goods Expert" Once I get over my laughter, I really have to cry. Because you people made him. I'll call him "Chip" from now on... In todays world, the small FFL dealer who knows what grain bullets work best with what twist barrel is being phased out, because you maggot dick motherfuckers would rather save three dollars, and deal with Chip. Does Chip know these things? Ask him sometime...... "Excuse me Chip...I would like to know which shot load is best for dove..." Will Chip know? Will Chip care? [b]FUCK NO![/b] All Chip cares about is his upcoming date with Robbie, to find out once and for all if he is or isn't gay... Chip may not know about loads, or the guns he sells, but he could ramble on and on and fucking on for hours about Nine-Inch-Nails, and what kind of prick-ring Trent Reznor has... Ahhhh yes. What a renissance man, our dear Chip is... Not only is he a juggernaut of Knowledge as it pertains to Pop-Culture, he is a "Certified Sporting Goods Expert" too! In closing, please know deep in your heart as you wander in to Wally World to buy your $6.00 box of Winchester White box ammo that Chip is there to serve you, because you deserve him.
Link Posted: 7/18/2001 2:26:41 PM EDT
Bottom line, I believe in and appreciate the local dealers. I also give them my business when they are within 20% of the cost of going mail order. Beyond that you are paying them for being a bad businessman. Only one of about 50 guns was bought by an FFL from shotgun news. The remainder were guns that I bought from local shops, and yes, I did pay a premium. I also got to talk over my purchases, find out more about them and touch and see my purchases before shelling out my money. That has to be worth something. What I don't like are the shops that treat you like dirt because you are just a hobbyist and not "professional" like they are. I walk from them and toss my coin elsewhere.
Link Posted: 7/18/2001 2:33:31 PM EDT
Originally Posted By rain: What I don't like are the shops that treat you like dirt because you are just a hobbyist and not "professional" like they are. I walk from them and toss my coin elsewhere.
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Totally valid point. I hate those FFL's too... I was in a pawn shop in Jacksonville a while back that had a few beat up hunting rifles, and a pistol or two... I have more guns in my car then they had in thier shop... And yeah...I got the big attitude. So no buisness for them. But there are a lot of really good guys out there who make there living selling gunz'n'ammo... They are worth the extra buck or two they have to charge to keeo thier heads above water..
Link Posted: 7/18/2001 2:58:26 PM EDT
Link Posted: 7/18/2001 3:41:54 PM EDT
Originally Posted By Wadman: A salesman at a now defunct shop (The Marksman, Glenview, IL) recounted this scenario to me: A man comes into the store and picks their brains about shotguns. The salespeople here are pretty knowledgeable and discuss such things as gas vs. recoil operation vs pump action. The potential customer leaves with the information. A few weeks later, he returns with a shotgun from K-mart (before they turned soft) because it has a problem. The clerks at K-mart were unable to help him. How many times has this scenario played out? The salesman said they couldn't compete with stores like K-Mart or Sportmart who made huge purchases (ammo by the trainload for example).
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That happens all the time - I have a Wal-Mart and a Kmart within a mile of me.
Link Posted: 7/18/2001 4:14:30 PM EDT
Originally Posted By 1GUNRUNNER: I spend 10 minutes on hold with Lyman , spending another 25 minutes calling 4 of them ,back to Lyman and another 10 minutes on hold.
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Uh...excuse me but this is your JOB!!! Dont like it? look for a new one!! You act like you did the guy a favor buy trying to sell him a product.You think that was hard work or something, or maybe it is beneath you to do a little phone calling? I hope you dont ever have to get a real job.
Link Posted: 7/18/2001 4:17:09 PM EDT
That comment is right on character for you Rip - nice work
Link Posted: 7/18/2001 4:21:00 PM EDT
Link Posted: 7/18/2001 4:26:08 PM EDT
1gunrunner, I think your problem is more widespread than just the gun community. The internet has empowered savvy buyers to shop for price. Unfortunately, the added value of a local store (knowledge, stocking, etc) is not factored into the purchase price by many. And it impacts all retail business. I have seen people go to golf stores, pick the salesmans brains, test the clubs in the store, then buy through an internet outlet. Same shit. For myself, I place some value on service and information. But it has a limit. For example, if I want a rifle that costs $600 at the store, but I can get it for $550 through the net - I pay the store price. That $50 means I have future advice, help if there is a problem, and a store there next month. But when a scope costs $900 in the store and $600 through the net, well I have to go the cheaper route. Someone above offered good advice IMO. Become a specialist in something. Deal in second hand firearms, and maybe it will work out. Dunno. Mcuzi, Just had to say it - you kill me man. I wonder if Chip IS gay????
Link Posted: 7/18/2001 4:40:18 PM EDT
Hey McUzi, don't hold back man. Tell us how you really feel about it. I missed that candor. You sound exactly like my marine step dad. That is a compliment, by the way. This is exactly why I only shop at places that are owned and operated small businesses. This goes for my loading equiptment, shooting equiptment, whatever. I explained this today at work to a guy trying to get me to by my brass online instead of from my regular dealer (who isn't cheap or modest). The online outfit isn't there face to face letting me pick there brain. You pay for that service ! It's called service. I think people have forgotten what service is. There too friggin buisy tryin to live beyond the means. I pay on average $50 bucks more for a handgun, because I want to buy it from the crusty old guy that knows something about guns. 50 bucks is chump change! The value is priceless.
Link Posted: 7/18/2001 4:52:02 PM EDT
Originally Posted By BigMac: The online outfit isn't there face to face letting me pick there brain. You pay for that service ! It's called service. I think people have forgotten what service is. There too friggin buisy tryin to live beyond the means.
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Like when the guy behind the counter makes a few phone calls and then acts like its a waste of his time? Sometimes making money requires a little effort and it wont pay off 100% of the time. Dont get me wrong I buy thousands of dollars worth of stuff from the local FFL. But I dont buy from the people who piss and moan because they cant make TOP DOLLAR or act like helping me is a waste of time.
Link Posted: 7/18/2001 5:14:19 PM EDT
I support the little guy... When he fucking earns it! The FFL guy I use regularly rents a room in the back of a retail establishment. His shop is 15 miles away from my house. There are two small gun shops in my town. One is a sporting goods store (Doms Outdoor Outfitters), the other is a dedicated gun store, guns and shooting supplies only. Last year I purchased a Garand over the internet. The dedicated gun shop gave me a ration about how I didn't know California laws, and that some Garands were not legal in California. They were refering to M1As. The Garand cost $600.00. The local yokel wanted to charge $15.00 NICS, $35.00 processing fee, $49.50 sales tax (8.25%) and $60.00 (10%). Thats $159.50 to run a NICS, recieve a box in the mail and enter it in the books. I left in a hurry. I haven't been back. When I took my business to the guy 15 miles away, he charged $50.00 total. Consequently, while I was doing the paperwork on the Garand, I also purchased a FAL reciever that he had in the safe. It pays to treat me like a customer, and not a POS. I have spent several thousand dollars this year on guns and gun related items.
Link Posted: 7/18/2001 5:25:41 PM EDT
Originally Posted By Wadman: A salesman at a now defunct shop (The Marksman, Glenview, IL) recounted this scenario to me:
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Dude, some places around here, like GUN WORLD, charge a arm and a leg for stuff. Even Maxon's in Des plaines is $$$. $13.00 for a box of 9mm FMJ magtech ammo. $2.00 for a box of .22. I go to Village Sports in Arligton Heights. That guy is small, not really much hardware in the place, but he is fair for prices. c-rock
Link Posted: 7/18/2001 5:34:48 PM EDT
Link Posted: 7/18/2001 5:35:36 PM EDT
Originally Posted By McUZI:
Originally Posted By SteyrAUG: 1GUNRUNNER, I keep trying to tell these guys but some of them just don't get it. They keep supporting these internet operations that sell for $5.00 above dealer. Then when ALL the mainstream FFLs are gone, they will bitch about how there are no more gun stores. I have seen TONS of topics about LOWE's and HOME DEPOT fucking up the country with there BS politics. And so we look around to support Mr. Local Harware Store Guy and guess what he doesn't exist anymore. Too bad he was a good guy who understood he sold hammers and not opinions on firearm ownership. But we killed him. After all who wants to pay $7.50 for a hammer when you can get one at HARDWARE MEGASTORE for $5.25.
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No shit Steyr... Amen brotherman... There is nothing in this world that chaps my ass more then dickheads. What is a dickhead you ask? The worthless piece of cheap matazos eating garbage that would rather go to Wal-Mart or some fucking mega-dealer warehouse on the net, then support the litle guy. Over what? Three god damn dollars. What does Wal-Mart offer me for that $3.00 I save? A 16 year old faggot with green hair and an eye-ball ring wearing a little patch on his vest that says "Certified Sporting Goods Expert" Once I get over my laughter, I really have to cry. Because you people made him. I'll call him "Chip" from now on... In todays world, the small FFL dealer who knows what grain bullets work best with what twist barrel is being phased out, because you maggot dick motherfuckers would rather save three dollars, and deal with Chip. Does Chip know these things? Ask him sometime...... "Excuse me Chip...I would like to know which shot load is best for dove..." Will Chip know? Will Chip care? [b]FUCK NO![/b] All Chip cares about is his upcoming date with Robbie, to find out once and for all if he is or isn't gay... Chip may not know about loads, or the guns he sells, but he could ramble on and on and fucking on for hours about Nine-Inch-Nails, and what kind of prick-ring Trent Reznor has... Ahhhh yes. What a renissance man, our dear Chip is... Not only is he a juggernaut of Knowledge as it pertains to Pop-Culture, he is a "Certified Sporting Goods Expert" too! In closing, please know deep in your heart as you wander in to Wally World to buy your $6.00 box of Winchester White box ammo that Chip is there to serve you, because you deserve him.
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You both make a very good point and I agree with both of you. I pay extra to support the little guy. Lets take this one step further now. The little guy has to go the extra mile also to earn the business and appreciate it. How many times do I go into a gun store and never want to go back cause they are nasty,rude, or double the price. Or one better I bought several guns from a dealer and wanted him to do a transfer for me and knowing the money I spent with him he tells me 10% of the price of the gun is the transfer cost. I have seen signs in other stores that say 15% and 20% transfer. So as much as people want to support the little guy the little guy makes some of his own misery.
Link Posted: 7/18/2001 5:47:10 PM EDT
Originally Posted By operator error: It pays to treat me like a customer, and not a POS.
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This is the way I feel when I go to my local gunshow!
Link Posted: 7/18/2001 5:47:41 PM EDT
I have bought all my guns from local dealers, and when I go (even to just browes) I' malways treated with respect. The local gun shops let me handle any pistol that i want to look at, because I have bought at least 2 guns from every shop. But they also know that I buy most of my ammo online, because I can get a deal that they cannot touch. BUT I only buy online when I buy BULK. Hard to beat 8 bucks a box for .45, and they know it. But when I only need a few boxes, of HP ammo, I go to the locals. Why? because I like to make my presence known to them. I know that I can get a deal on the internet on guns, but why fret over 50 bucks, when in the end you only end up saving about 30 on a nice gun, but no one to give you advice on it??
Link Posted: 7/18/2001 5:48:00 PM EDT
Link Posted: 7/18/2001 5:50:53 PM EDT
I agree. We have 2 local dealers here. 1 is fair, the other charges $1199.00 for a Bushmaster Bullpup... Mr. $1200 Bullpup is a nice guy, really fun to talk to, and his " $5.00 junk-bin" full of old holsters and other gun knick-nacks is about cool as all hell... But yeah. I am not going to spend that kind of rip-off money with him just because he is a little guy... Of course the little guy has to be reasonable.. My qualm is this. Say Billy-Bob wants a new hunting rifle. The Billy-Bobs of the world keep the little guy in buisness. Billy-Bob has never in his entire life ever owned a gun that 1) Wasn't rusted to shit 2) has ever been cleaned 3) had a scope on it that wasn't Tasco 4) cost him more then $300.00 So as his 400 pound wife strolls the aisles looking for the best buy on diapers for thier 12 rodent children tnat they stuff into thier trailer, Billy-Bob decides to look for a new hunting rifle. He asks Chip to see that $299.99 Marlin Lever 30-30... He remembers his local dealer wants $329.99 for the exact same gun... So he buys the gun from Chip instead (And a box of the cheapest-ass ammo Wal-Mart carries)- As Chip hands him the yellow form to fill out, and helps him fill it out since Billy-Bob is fucking illiterate, the local dealer just got buried a bit deeper. And once local FFL's are gone, so are AR15's, cuz Billy-Bob don't buy AR's, and Wal-Mart don't stock 'em.
Link Posted: 7/18/2001 5:52:08 PM EDT
Originally Posted By Lougotzz: You both make a very good point and I agree with both of you. I pay extra to support the little guy. Lets take this one step further now. The little guy has to go the extra mile also to earn the business and appreciate it. How many times do I go into a gun store and never want to go back cause they are nasty,rude, or double the price. Or one better I bought several guns from a dealer and wanted him to do a transfer for me and knowing the money I spent with him he tells me 10% of the price of the gun is the transfer cost. I have seen signs in other stores that say 15% and 20% transfer. So as much as people want to support the little guy the little guy makes some of his own misery.
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If the dealer is an ahole that is an entirely different situation. But to bicker about the differnce between 10% and 20% is small potatoes. On a $250.00 shotgun that amounts to a $25.00 difference, no big deal in order to support a good FFL. I mean crap you tip a waiter 15% and that is on top of a basic wage.
Link Posted: 7/18/2001 5:54:58 PM EDT
Originally Posted By j3: It's a free market. What is stopping you from opening your internet business. If you want in the new market sink in the cash and take a chance like the others did.
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Many are barely breaking even because they ALREADY have a store. Given their current overhead they couldn't compete on the net either. This would just add an additional operating cost. But since you don't understand THAT you won't understand anything else I said.
Link Posted: 7/18/2001 6:03:37 PM EDT
Some of you need to read up on basic economics. There's absolutely nothing wrong with being a stingy, tightwad (aka smart, price conscious shopper). Certain FFLs are going to have to get used to the idea that they can't make a big windfall waiting on one of P.T. Barnum's suckers who just walked in the door. You gotta move product to make money. If there is a demand for the products and services a gun shop provides, then the gun shop will survive. What I see are clueless businessmen and hobby businesses everywhere I look. I can't see complaining about big volume Internet dealers who offer good prices on reloading gear or other non-regulated items. You are welcome to start an Internet business, increase your volume and enjoy similar pricing advantages. Frankly, a $25 transfer fee for a rifle or handgun at my local dealer has driven me to doing mostly private sales. When private sales are illegal, I guess I will use the unregulated "Second Economy" for all my gun transactions. We aren't benefiting from artificially altering the rules of the market, and we sure aren't benefiting from complying with all the laws concerning guns. They are the biggest problem in the business, not the price conscious consumers.
Link Posted: 7/18/2001 6:08:54 PM EDT
Originally Posted By trickshot: Some of you need to read up on basic economics. There's absolutely nothing wrong with being a stingy, tightwad (aka smart, price conscious shopper). Certain FFLs are going to have to get used to the idea that they can't make a big windfall waiting on one of P.T. Barnum's suckers who just walked in the door. You gotta move product to make money. If there is a demand for the products and services a gun shop provides, then the gun shop will survive. What I see are clueless businessmen and hobby businesses everywhere I look. I can't see complaining about big volume Internet dealers who offer good prices on reloading gear or other non-regulated items. You are welcome to start an Internet business, increase your volume and enjoy similar pricing advantages. Frankly, a $25 transfer fee for a rifle or handgun at my local dealer has driven me to doing mostly private sales. When private sales are illegal, I guess I will use the unregulated "Second Economy" for all my gun transactions. We aren't benefiting from artificially altering the rules of the market, and we sure aren't benefiting from complying with all the laws concerning guns. They are the biggest problem in the business, not the price conscious consumers.
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That is the point, they ain't selling tvs. Fewer people buy guns now, so we need to support those who sell them or they won't be there anymore. So keep bitching about $25.00 transfer fees, of which some usually goes to pay for the background check. You are doing the gun grabbers a helpful service and soon ALL sales will be black market, but you already said you don't mind.
Link Posted: 7/18/2001 6:15:28 PM EDT
What the hell?????>?>?>?>?>?!>?!>@ You are bitching about paying a [b]$25.00 TRANSFER FEE?!?!?!?![/b] What>? Do you think your FFL should transfer you the guns in for free? I mean, with all your rambling about economics, you should at least be aware of Rule 2 -- "Nothing is Free" I'll say it again. Once the small FFL's are Gone, so are your AR's. The chain stores won't stock Sport Utillity Rifles; and without anybody to sell them, it is a very easy path to outlaw them.
Link Posted: 7/18/2001 6:17:44 PM EDT
Originally Posted By thebeekeeper1: I guess the second guy didn't make much, did he? The state sales tax will be the same everywhere--$49.50, according to you. That means he performed his service for $.50. Hard to make a living that way. He probably won't be there long once the state catches up with him and the associated tax evasion.
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Why would the receiving dealer charge sales tax? He wasn't selling the gun, he was simply taking shipment. The sale was between the buyer and the seller in another state.
Link Posted: 7/18/2001 6:28:26 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 7/18/2001 6:33:50 PM EDT by OutlanJB]
I have to agree with trickshot. I've watched this kind of thing for years - it happened with motorcycles and a number of other specialty shops. I'm in the wine business, and it would happen to me, too, if alcoholic beverages weren't so closely regulated by the states and the feds. But I guess I'm lucky; here in Memphis we have two nice gun shops, and both have adapted to the market changes. One is in a marginal part of town. He has cheap rent and an OK building, so when the space next to his business in the strip mall became vacant, he expanded into it, got a good gunsmith on board and expanded his inventory, especially handguns (which many stores are getting away from) including a lot of accessories you can't try for fit or finish over the net. He also got a Class III FFL so he has "window dressing" that brings in customers. His very low overhead means his prices can be very competitive, in fact I've checked him against Shotgun News and the internet and he's competitive. The store is nothing fancy, but it's clean and well lit, and the combination of good prices and broad selection is hard to beat even if some of his staff have attitudes. He charges $50 flat fee to do transfers. In the case of the second store, the guy moved into a big old building that used to be a bowling alley, built a range and started giving classes, including CCW. That brings in new shooters and new customers, and anyone coming to the range has to walk through the store. Instead of ignoring the net or trying to fight it, he bought a PC and started his own web biz, which boosted his volume which allows him to get cheaper inventory by increasing his purchasing volume. He sold a lot of used guns via the web at first, to help bootstrap into new gun web sales. Also, he charges only $30 to clear a gun, so he got a lot of people into his store from that, and everyone through the doors is a potential future customer. He has himself listed on Gunbroker, etc., and a "clearing dealer." He has done several things that all supplement his core business, and he's doing well. So, for a businessman who's paying attention to market trends and not afraid to branch out into new markets, the future can be very bright. Mom and pop outfits are on the way out, but that's not unique to the gun biz. What's the saying... "Adapt or die?"
Link Posted: 7/18/2001 6:34:12 PM EDT
Thats exactly why I no longer carry bushnell scopes 25 minutes on the phone to make little to nothing.
Link Posted: 7/18/2001 6:40:25 PM EDT
[b]As posted on another thread 7/11/01 It's relevant so I thought I'd write it again [/b] Ruger KGP161 Online Dealer $390.00 + $25 Trans. fee + $20 Shipping Total= $435.00 Local Dealer $500.00 + $41.25 tax Total= $541.25 Unfortunately, this happens all to often. I support my local FFL when possible. Psychologically, it's hard to pay $100+ more for something you've already seen for that much less. At these prices would you? This internet dealer has a L.I storefront an hour from my house. Try: [url] [/url] How is he able to offer these prices? He has the same massive overhead as any storefront and then some. E-commerce my friend. The way business is conducted has forever changed. Even for the local gun dealer. [size=2] I'll put the internet dealers aside and judge from postings here and other forums. The prices quoted in those "Price Check" threads are consistently $100 cheaper than my local dealers. Why? And don't write "Well that's NY for you" [/size=2]
Link Posted: 7/18/2001 6:57:56 PM EDT
Link Posted: 7/18/2001 6:59:58 PM EDT
If humanly possible I only buy products MADE IN THE USA! I buy from the local FFL's and do not mind spending a bit more as long as they are not trying to shaft me. I try and buy everything local and from mom and pop stores. Sometimes this is hard to do but I think we all should try to. Stinger
Link Posted: 7/18/2001 7:02:09 PM EDT
1GUNRUNNER, you forgot about all the overhead we have as small FFL/Gunsmiths. Unlike Wally World,we dont carry housewares,linens,garden ad nauseum. The big guys buy for many stores(ie.better price) We can't compete with them.So we have to offer something more. BTW:Rip, The problem is gunrunner DID do the guy a favor, many of our suppliers don't have a toll free numbers. So we spend time AND money to track products down. Let's see if K-mart or some of the other BIG guys would go out of thier way to help the customer, only for them to get the info they want, then go down the street and buy from someone else. As for a real job, I don't know what you do, but I would venture to say you don't own your own buiseness. Do you just "punch-out" when you're done for the day and go home and sit on your ass, drink beer watch T.V. No worries,While your employer worries about all the liscences,insurance and other B.S.AND tries to make a proffit to.
Link Posted: 7/18/2001 7:06:30 PM EDT
I usually try to get my most of what I want from local shops, whether it is my shooting gear, diving gear, or my photographic equipment, and I normally have just one shop for each type of equipment, I do not shop around for lowest price. But the fact is I am not rich, and I am currently trying to set up my photography business so cash is kind of shot at this time. This is what happens sometimes, I just purchased a new camera and I checked one out at a local shop. This shop wanted $2,000 for this camera and on top of that I would have to add 7% sales tax which equals $140.00. I checked with the online dealers and I found one who wanted $1,625 for the same camera with a full USA guarantee. Now I am not a fool and no way am I going to pay over $500.00 more just to be able to get it locally. By the way this dealer told me that they matched price with any other dealer in the area and the camera was listed as 2,150 retail. The fact is that some dealers regardless of what they sell charge too much and will not lower their price. What really ticked me off about this dealer was the fact that it was a part of a chain and just happened to be Ritz Camera. I checked their web site and they also had this camera listed for $2,000 so what gives. One online dealer wants $2,000 another wants $1,800 and another one wants $1,625.00 so guess who I got it from Focus Camera for $1,625.00. I am tired of dealers of everything trying to make the maximum profit off of their customers. Another time I was getting a Hasselblad 500cm and there was a dealer in my city who carried them, but he wanted full retail price, $1,500 even though I told him I could get it for $500.00 cheaper in Boston, I lived in Mass at the time so I could just drive to Boston and he still would not drop his price one cent. So I got it in Boston and never went into his shop for anything again and at that time I was not short of money and spent a good deal of money on camera equipment. The same thing happens at gun shops sometimes. The thing is before the internet you had to find the best deal in your own area except for Shotgun News etc and the shops could charge what ever they wanted, now people are just shopping around for the best price and the local dealers will have to adjust the best they can to the new reality of the market place. I am getting a DSA STG58, now I can get it directly from DSA for $795.00 plus shipping and transfer fee, about $835.00 total. One of the local dealers just got one in and wants 15% over cost which would be about $914.00. Now that is not too bad and I would probably pay that extra amount except for one thing TAX, 7% Sales TAX $63.00 of tax which brings that $795.00 rifle up to $978.00. $143.00 more just to get it locally. And another thing Arizona Expert Arms had his FALs on sale last month for just $1,050 if I am correct. So why should I pay $978.00 for a DSA when I can get a Smith Built one for only $72.00 more. Being cheep is not the only reason to buy online, some times you only have just so much to spend and have to decide if you should pay extra to get it locally or get it online and then also be able to get the scope you also need. Saving $143.00 on the STG58 means I will also be able to get the ARMS mount without having to wait for another month, I already have a scope. Plus I will also need ammo.
Link Posted: 7/18/2001 7:44:55 PM EDT
ok its been a few years but I had a gun shop in south sacramento for a few years with my partners. we did it and even a few times bought weapons from the big discount shops because it was cheaper that what we could get it for and here's how they did it: they go direct to the maker lets say smith & wesson and the maker make a deal with them you buy 500 or 1,000 weapons from us at one time and we will make you a deal and it goes like this : since you are buying lets say a 686 revolver and the normal dealer price is $259 you get it for $239 and thats on a 120 day loan and if you pay us in under that you get 5% off and under 90 days 7% off and under 60 day you get 9% off and under 30 days you get 12% off. so the large dealer starts to get his weapons in and puts on a sale and he sales them dealer cost and thats your dealer cost. how can you compete ? don't some of you remember before they put a stop to those ads in shotgun news for guns at really low prices about 10 years ago and when you placed a order it took sometimes a couple of months to get. they had made a deal and when they had the money they bought the guns and made money on you while you were waiting. it got to the point before we were forced to close because of things like that I would stock some rifles like remingtons or winchester and did not make to much on them but it was the service and the extra's that keep you going. allways bought the guns that the wholesalers had on sale like RSR. on week it could be a bakers dozen m11 or rossi or what ever I could get a deal on like buying police turn ins or stocking up on imports like the h&k's or 1911's or carbines or something new like daewoes what ever kept you afoat. remember that was 10 to 15 years ago and the guns have changed but I doubt the deals to the big guys have. its hard to beet when you buy a gun for $250 and he pays around $200.. I remember one time the local big shop had their full page ad and it was selling import garands for $229 and carbines for $149 my best buying price was $249 and $159 saw that ad and got some friends and had them go in and buy some after the first 20 or so he found out who was buying them and would only sell one gun per day to anyone and for me the only way he would sell me anything thats if he saw me was maybe one gun and when I walked in to buy some garands he said the ad was a mistake and that the price on garands was $259. its too bad he came in when I was there because I had about 7 or 8 picked out and was going threw another batch. was going to get every winchester and h&r he had plus anything else that was good. kick me out as my money was no good because he wanted to run every one else out of bussiness. the guy even started a price war with the owner of big R and he told him go ahead and start a price war because I can afford to lose a little at one store because I have so many. it never went to a price war after that. I always spend a little more at the small guy but without them we would be at the large guys mercy . if the price is too high you can always go somewhere else.
Link Posted: 7/18/2001 7:57:49 PM EDT
Link Posted: 7/18/2001 7:59:25 PM EDT
Link Posted: 7/18/2001 8:15:49 PM EDT
I would think that the modern era of buying online would be a windfall for FFL's. First off there is no really need for a storefront as long as you are visible online. Secondly, it is highly likely that both FFL's are smaller than the big evil chains. Third, both businesses profit off the transaction, especially the transfer agent (who in my case charged a very reasonable 20 bucks) who has only to receive a shipment, and pay for the background check (I think IL's is $2, not positive). Finally, we the consumer get the best price and have access to a myriad of weapons are local FFLs couldn't otherwise provide. Jeff
Link Posted: 7/18/2001 8:25:11 PM EDT
yes it is a small windfall but the atf really wants you to have a store front now. and online transfers don't pay to keep the store open but I'am sure it helps.
Link Posted: 7/18/2001 8:26:50 PM EDT
You are going to force me to break out all of my knowledge on the ideaology behind the American Economic system, so keep up. I know you can because I have read your posts, and you are smart. [b]Why that attitude when it comes to political and individual freedoms but not to the capitalist free-enterprise market system? Are you all hypocrites?[/b] The captolist beast is a monster. I'll give you that. And the only way to keep it afloat is to mantain an uneducated underclass to provide cheap, manual labor; and to centrifigulize goods and wares to generate buying power, thus lower consumer prices. Is this true? Yes. Is this right? In my correct opinion, no. This facillitates a COMPLETE lack of individuallity that America is founded on...If forces everyone to become a cog in a machine.. It's in essence another form of communism, only woth color television, and cheap gas to keep the borgeious happy. It's economic socialism. [b]I don't see this gloomy downside for the consumer at all. I don't believe McUzi's scenario in which the WalMarts of the world drive small FFL's out of business and suddenly no one can buy cool guns anymore because WalMart doesn't carry them. Ultimately, if that did happen, then MOST serious gun owners would just buy ALL of their guns on the net, and private individuals would set up a nicely lucrative business of just doing FFL transfers. No storefront, inventory or overhead needed, just an FFL, a safe and some books and a fixed $20-$40 price for a transfer. [/b] Nope. ATF has already for the most part clamped home-based FFL's. There a few exceptions to this...But no. Once the FFL dealers are gone, then it's hunting rifles or nothing. [b]The outcome - BillyBob buys his cheap crap at WalMart, and people like us buy all our stuff on-line - at better prices, because since information is so available, the competitive pressure is higher.[/b] Sure! But where will you recieve your guns? Will Wal-Mart do a transfer for you? Say Wal-Mart one day bows to political pressure, and stops selling, oh, say, hollowpoint ammo. YOu can bet you ass that restrictions will once again be placed on interstate shipment of ammo (Thus undoing the '86 GOPA) someday...Just as sure as .50BMG's will soon be DD's. This is just simple logic within the auspicies of forseeable fact. So, now Ammoman is gone along with your local FFL... All you will have is Wal-Mart...
Link Posted: 7/18/2001 8:28:18 PM EDT
continued,,,.,.blah blah blah [b]Everyone wins, except the local gun store, who disappears because they cannot function competively in the free market (it was also sad when the dinosaurs became extinct - and it wasn't their fault either). It is a tragedy on personal scale for all the family-owned businesses and knowledgable gun enthusiasts whose business go under, but it is the healthy equilibrium of the free market. There is nothing good or evil about it - it is ultimately American![/b] Remember my friend. In the grand scheme of things, we are a very, very new nation. We are still evolving, and forming. The American system of 1910 was a hell of a system. TALK ABOUT A FREE MARKET! The American system of 2010? It could very well be our undoing as a nation, as we out-consume out abillity to produce capitol. As the Wal-Marts grow larger and more common, and the small, dedicated buisnesses are closed down, we don't gain anything. We lose a capitol producing entity (I.E the small buisness) and add another non-producing member to either the unemployment line, or another employee of Wal-Mart (Remember? Forced Economic Socialism?)- He now has no choice BUT to work for a giant coorperate entity, since small buisness can't compete- Against his will- Thus, totally undermining the very ideals of the rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness that this very nation was founded on... The theory behind the value of the small buisness as it relates to the American fabric goes a hell of a lot deeper then a $6.00 box of ammo...
Link Posted: 7/18/2001 8:33:16 PM EDT
Originally Posted By DK-Prof: I'm going to play devil's advocate here for a moment, so don't flame me, but try to poke a hole in what I'm saying. Here goes... What happened to the "U.S. is NUMBER 1" and "If you don't like it, move to another country"? Why that attitude when it comes to political and individual freedoms but not to the capitalist free-enterprise market system? Are you all hypocrites? I don't see this gloomy downside for the consumer at all. I don't believe McUzi's scenario in which the WalMarts of the world drive small FFL's out of business and suddenly no one can buy cool guns anymore because WalMart doesn't carry them. Ultimately, if that did happen, then MOST serious gun owners would just buy ALL of their guns on the net, and private individuals would set up a nicely lucrative business of just doing FFL transfers. No storefront, inventory or overhead needed, just an FFL, a safe and some books and a fixed $20-$40 price for a transfer. The outcome - BillyBob buys his cheap crap at WalMart, and people like us buy all our stuff on-line - at better prices, because since information is so available, the competitive pressure is higher. Everyone wins, except the local gun store, who disappears because they cannot function competively in the free market (it was also sad when the dinosaurs became extinct - and it wasn't their fault either). It is a tragedy on personal scale for all the family-owned businesses and knowledgable gun enthusiasts whose business go under, but it is the healthy equilibrium of the free market. There is nothing good or evil about it - it is ultimately American! And if people don't like the free market, they can go live in China! (Devil's advocate off)
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I will defer to my earlier Home Depot/Lowes example.
Link Posted: 7/18/2001 8:33:48 PM EDT
Originally Posted By DK-Prof: I'm going to play devil's advocate here for a moment, so don't flame me, but try to poke a hole in what I'm saying. Here goes... What happened to the "U.S. is NUMBER 1" and "If you don't like it, move to another country"? Why that attitude when it comes to political and individual freedoms but not to the capitalist free-enterprise market system? Are you all hypocrites? [i][Blah] [Blah] [Blah] [/i] (Devil's advocate off)
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I agree with you 100%, with one exception. When your nice little privately-owned hardware store in Mayberry, NC that's been sitting there since the 40's gets washed out by Home Depot...that's capitalism for you. Raw and real, competition and prices always win. Here's the catch - whatever that Ma and Pa hardware store offered you, that Home Depot also offers, and in higher quantities, different brands, lower prices, etc. But this realtime analogy doesn't apply to your local gun stores. Walmart won't ever carry Glocks and Sigs in mass availability like your [b]Bubba's Gun's and Stuff[/b] did. Walmart will never charge you $30-$50 bucks and do an FFL transfer for you for that nice, evil HK91 or AK74 you found online someplace. While Wal-mart carries all the ammunition, Ruger 10/22's, Daisy air rifles, and targets you would ever need, [b]Bubba's[/b] stock will always be better, and he'll gladly take your $40 for a transfer, at the expense of some paperwork and book keeping by himself. I'm all for competition winning over the economic market. But if we lose Bubba's, then we lose 90% of our FFL's, and those fancy assault weapons we all know and love will be a thing of the past. My local store is selling a Ruger P94 .40S&W for $375. If you've read my recent thread, you'll know I'm looking for a sturdy, cheap handgun and this Ruger felt just right for me. I also realize I can probably search online and find this in the low-mid $300 range...but I'll still more than likely buy it from the store. They don't carry anything else I'll EVER use, so if $375 is the least I can contribute to keep the place running, then so be it. It's all about doing it for "the greater good" - utilitarianism superseding capitalism. [brown]Evil Jewbroni~[/brown]
Link Posted: 7/18/2001 8:40:20 PM EDT
Link Posted: 7/18/2001 8:48:42 PM EDT
I bought my M1A from my local guy. He showed me how to take it down and grease it. That kind of service will keep me coming back. Another local has a pistol range, so during the winter, we head in to shoot, and buy the stuff we think we need. Service is the key for the local guy.
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