Gun show prices?


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ShouShu
November 25, 2004, 07:20 AM
What's the deal with gun shows these days? Seems to me that people used to go to gun shows to save money. I went to a gun show in Reno, NV the other day and was blow away at the prices I was seeing. I guess it's been a while since I have been to one cause I wasn't prepared for the sticker shock. Most of the guns I was looking at, I could get from my local dealer for much less. Is this just a Nevada thing or have you guys had similar experiences at gun shows in your areas?

ShouShu

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bp_cowboy
November 25, 2004, 07:30 AM
time to get a deal. I have found that when you go on Sunday afternoon you start seeing some decent deals, and even can negotiate, etc. Plus if the show was recently, people have "Gun Fever" because we are in hunting season as well.

I.E. I have my heart set on a Ruger P345, and the normal price here seems to be 389.00, but I saw one for 370.00 but it took me 3 passes around the show to spot it. Still kicking myself for not buying, but wife would have had a fit.

P95Carry
November 25, 2004, 07:31 AM
PA here! I am rather in agreement with you.

I went to about four shows this year - most early in the year. I did secure a nice 8 3/8 barrel M27-2, after slight haggling .... and probably would have paid much same elsewhere - apart from that tho - heck - I certainly was not in the least attracted by prices - some of which were obscene!!

Oh - I did forget - to be fair - one show had some reasonable Mak's for $149 - so not too bad .... and another had some re-arsenalled M38's for about $56 all in ... so with no shipping to pay I had to force myself to pick one of those up!

I think now I go to a show to see what is there - hardly expecting to find any good gun deals.... but,. invariably, it is the place to get some ammo, not only fairish prices but - huge saving re shipping. Guess can say same re reloading supplies sometimes - primers and powders ... no hazmat.

What you refer to does seem to be becoming a national phenomenon.

stans
November 25, 2004, 08:43 AM
I used to find great deals at gunshows, but in the past few years the prices have risen to full retail. A couple of years ago I did find a nice S&W 29-3 with at least 98% of its nickel finish remaining, it was clean and tight, asking price was $425 and I got it for $375. I haven't seen any such deals since and the gunshows are becoming more toy soldier, jewelry, coin collector and knife shows. Gone are the racks of shotguns and rifles, tables loaded with handguns and reloading supplies, now its everything except guns.

Lennyjoe
November 25, 2004, 09:00 AM
Same here. Most of the time I go to gushows to handle the different weapons Im interested in then shop either locally or online for that weapon.

Accessories and ammo can still be found for good deals at the gunshows.

Jerkey too :rolleyes:

MM
November 25, 2004, 09:10 AM
I've found that by developing a relationship with a couple of local shops that "fit my style", I can do better than gun show prices. I'll ask a question about a gun, then follow it up with something like 489, huh?
More often than not the man will say yeah, but I can do a little better than that. How much better is up to you, to a point.
SatCong

Tamara
November 25, 2004, 09:18 AM
"Are you gonna have this stuff marked down at the show?"
"Sure. I'm gonna spend $800 on tables, $50 on food for my employees, add an extra fifty or sixty man-hours over and above a normal week's payroll, and throw my back out setting up and tearing down in an un-air-conditioned warehouse, and to top it all off, I'll slice even more off the already narrow profit margins I have on most of this stuff."

There's just no feeling like the happiness you get when you spend $1400 and hours of sweat for the privilege of having the very first customer of the show walk up to your table and pick up a gun that cost you $450, is tagged at $550, is in the Blue Book at $600, and say "Wouldja take $300 for this?" It's a thousand wonders more people don't get pistol-whipped at those shindigs.

Just in case y'all were wondering why we're getting out of the gun show biz, ya buncha skinflints... ;) :p

bpisler
November 25, 2004, 09:48 AM
I've not been to a show in years,I don't care to pay for parking and pay to get in just to look at the same guns i can check out in their stores.The last time even the private sellers seemed to be priced high on their stuff.

Ala Dan
November 25, 2004, 09:54 AM
Most of the time, one can get a better deal from a reputable
gunshop where one has established himself/herself more than at a
gun show. The fact is, there just isn't that wide of a profit margin
in firearms. Case in point, we are selling Steyr bolt-action rifles NIB
for $100 less than what it would cost us to replace it from the
manufactuer'er. The reason we can do this, is the fact that we are
a Steyr distributor.

Best Wishes,

George S.
November 25, 2004, 10:47 AM
I have seen some good deals on occasion. Just missed a very nice Mosin M44 with a pristine birch (almost blonde) stock that went for $95! There are a couple of gun shops that attend the local show and their show prices are competitive with other shops.

It's the private sellers that are a hoot. I see M1 or 1903 Springfields that clearly have just come from the CMP and they want twice the CMP price. Most decent hunting rifles I have seen are more than the new cost.

Most scopes are over priced and not in the best of shape or some sort of a backyard refurb.

But the part that is really funny is that most of these people do not seem the least bit interested in selling. I stopped at one table and looked at a M1 Carbine that looked nice and talked with the guy for about 10 minutes and wound up offering him $50 less than the price on the tag and showed him the cash. He just said "No deal. That's the price I want" then he turned and walked away.

A lot of these vendors bring the same stuff month after month and never sell anything. Once, I copied down the serial number of a rifle at a show about 6 months ago. Went back this month to the same vendor, found the same rifle and asked the guy how he was doing. He said sales were great and everything he had on the table was new stuff to sell. :rolleyes:

deadmeat
November 25, 2004, 11:42 AM
the past 5 or 6 gunshows ive been to around here, the dealers have had the same guns with the same prices. Ive seen the same guns now for a while because they wont come down off the inflated prices to move em.

GEM
November 25, 2004, 03:47 PM
I've found that TX gunshows are consistenty better than most gun stores. There are a couple around here that are close but most are way over show prices.

I found a similar situation in OR but in FL, the shows were very expensive. Must be a regional thing.

Besides, I meet a bunch of old toot buddies and we look at the guns, double team the dealers - sorry, Tamara and then go get lunch and gossip like some old yentahs.

Valkman
November 25, 2004, 03:50 PM
The problem, Tamara, is they want $700 for a gun that's $600 right down the road during the week. I think they charge extra for the huge deep idiot marks because they priced those 1911's like they were gold or something. :p

YodaVader
November 25, 2004, 04:05 PM
Most of the high prices I see are not at the shows but from gun shops in towns that have no competition. Or gun shops in the larger cities - apparently the residents there have a lot more money to burn. There are a few dealers that I do business with that also happen to set up at the gun show I regularly attend. Their prices are pretty good in the shop and when they set up at the show their prices do not increase but remain the same.

Standing Wolf
November 25, 2004, 05:07 PM
If they wanted my dollars, they wouldn't insult my intelligence with sucker prices.

Kor
November 26, 2004, 01:32 PM
I think there are two reasons why you can no longer expect to find screamin' hot deals at gun shows:

1) Gun shows used to be primarily for collectors and private individuals to show and swap their guns, and they often had a lot more margin to negotiate with. Fewer and fewer of these sellers are at gun shows these days, and many of them are getting FFL's of their own to avoid being harassed or busted as an "unlicensed gun dealer." Once you get the FFL, you have to approach things much differently - as a business or livelihood, rather than a hobby - so you either meet the going market rate, or don't even bother with the hassle of setting up your gun show booth and just sell from the storefront that you had to get for the FFL in the first place.

2) A lot of the deals at gun shows in the early/mid-90's came from "kitchen-table FFL's" and smaller dealers who were hounded out of gun dealing in the Clinton administration, and had to mark-down and blow-out their inventory just to get out from under it. Any dealers that were/are left are not, like Tamara pointed out, particularly anxious to spend extra time/money/effort on setting up a show booth unless they can sell their guns for as much, or more, than they can get for them at their storefront during the rest of the week.

deputy tom
November 26, 2004, 01:54 PM
Here in WPA,I find more and more over retail prices showing up on items at the shows.You still can find real bargains if you're looking.I remember an addage," He's got to eat too!".It also pays to have a good working knowledge of what you want to buy.That comes from experience,not price lists or computer generated info.tom. ;)

DCR
November 26, 2004, 04:12 PM
"Don't like the price? Well, then I guess you're not going to buy it, but someone else will realize what a good deal it is, and you're going to miss out. Why can I say that? Because all the stuff we sell you aren't going to go find down at the local gun store for less."

How can that be? It's all old stuff not manufactured anymore. You can't find pre-64 model 70's at the local gun shop, much less in this caliber or this good of shape. Sorry, the tooling, steel, and craftsmanship, combined with the fact that they were produced in much lower numbers, actually does make this gun more valuable than the "identical" new one you can buy at the local dealer. You think that new gun at the local dealer with cheap wood, light finish, machine stamped, cheap alloy, bad fit, and thin blue job is the same gun and ought to be priced the same as this rifle with a walnut stock, hand checkered, dark finish, American steel, hand fitted with a deep blue and honest wear? You think that the old Ruger Mark I and Mark II's ought to be the same price as the new ones? That the new Colt revolvers are as good as the Second Generation ones? That a Model 63 Winchester should cost the same as a Ruger 10-22 because they're both semi-auto .22's? :banghead: Get back on your turnip truck, pal.

You want a cheap gun? You know where to go. Want a gun like your grandpa/uncle/dad had? One that will stand up to anything you need it to do, and still look good and have appreciated in 5-10-20 years? Here's what they're going for, and good luck finding them somewhere else. Make a reasonable offer, I'll entertain it. Don't insult ME with a low bid or claim to be able to get it elsewhere cheaper. If you can, DO IT!!

This goes for all stuff at gun shows, both old and newer. Don't shoot off your mouth at the show, just quietly and smugly go buy from the other guy. Soon enough, the blowhards who really do have overpriced junk will get weeded out of the market and you won't have anything to complain about. That, or as in the case of my guns, they're going to be even more rare and expensive because everyone who was smart bought at my prices and has the guns stashed away in their collections. ;)

RobW
November 26, 2004, 06:50 PM
Just come over here! Visit Las Vegas for a weekend gun-show! Don't forget to bring your wife for putting some dollars into the machines, play some roulette, black-jack, or poker; let the kids burn up quarters at the arcades and attend a REAL LAS VEGAS GUN SHOW. After paying $3 for parking, and $12 for attendance, you'll have a full day of stomach-cramping laughter that cannot inflicted by the most talented comedians here in town!

Get a 12floz beer for $4.50, Hot-dog for $3.50, or if you don't like alcohol, a bottle of water (12 floz) for just $2.50. IT'S FUN!!!

A mediocre show here in town will cost you $75.00 without that laughter you have at the gun-show.

Since I don't take it serious anymore, I have a lot of fun at the Las Vegas gun-shows (all the vendors complain that the shows are poorly, or not at all promoted, and thus there is no business). None of them are thinking of their rediculous prices.

Glock19Fan
November 26, 2004, 09:00 PM
I havent been to a show in a long time, but as a general rule, I try to give the seller 5-10 percent profit from what they bought it from (as long as it is NIB or LNIB). If I know they are selling part of their collection just for some extra cash, that is when I do the bargaining.

Some people live on the money they make at these shows, and they arent going to make any if we all just keep on trying to bargain to give them pocket change worth profit.

buttrap
November 27, 2004, 01:01 AM
Last one I went to had NIB CZ-75s for 550-600 bucks..big waste of gas going there.

LiquidTension
November 27, 2004, 02:14 AM
I understand that dealers go to a lot of trouble to set up at gun shows. I also know what guns cost and what they're worth (the ones I care about anyway). Dealers have no business getting pissed that customers don't want to pay $250 for a good (not excellent) condition Yugo SKS. Many of the prices I see are downright laughable and I don't do business with those people. It should be noted that these are the same dealers that try to convince me that $500 is a good price for a Maadi :rolleyes:

My point is that there is a balance between the amount of effort you put into shows, the money you make, and the sales you lose due to awful pricing. I've seen the same SAR1 at the Jamil show every time I've been for the past 2 years. If it weren't priced at $450, the dealer probably could have sold 4 or 5 of them. Instead, he's still got the same one. I never expect to find rock bottom prices at a gun show, but reasonable prices are not too much to ask IMO. Alas, some people know nothing of business.

But what do I know, I've never worked at a gun shop or anything, much less two [/sarcasm].

Valkman
November 27, 2004, 04:54 AM
and attend a REAL LAS VEGAS GUN SHOW. After paying $3 for parking, and $12 for attendance, you'll have a full day of stomach-cramping laughter that cannot inflicted by the most talented comedians here in town!

Why - are you thinking they'll see me there? That is a hoot though!

If the visiting folk are really lucky there'll be a Mexican concert going on in the adjacent building and the nearest parking will be 2 miles away! That happened the first show I went to! :eek: :scrutiny: :mad:

FireStar_M40
November 27, 2004, 02:26 PM
Most gun dealers (be it at gun shows.. or their store), don't understand the theory and application of $$$ vs time vs profit.

As a example: they'll get a previously owned handgun as a trade in on another firearm. In that transaction the dealer allowed between $200 and $215 as the trade in value on the handgun. That same handgun sells for $300 to $325 new. Because the trade in is in excellent condition, the dealer has decided to sell it at a price of $285, which is $15 to $40 below new.. but with a little arm twisting may let it go for let's say $275. Up to this point he's had several offers in the range of $225 - $245.. but has decided he wanted top dollar for it.

Here'in lies the problem. Because a NEW one goes for $300 - $315, most people would pay the extra $25 or so to own the new one. Now it's a week, a month, or even two or three months.. and the dealer STILL hasn't sold the used handgun at his pre-determined $285.

At this point in time he decides to offer it at (let's say) $240.. and within a few days it's sold. If it took him 1 month (4 weeks) to do this, then his profit is $10 per week. On the other hand, if he had offered it at $255 and sold it for that same $240 the first week, then his profit would have been $40 the first week.. and NOT $10.

If he were to do this 4 times in one month his total profit would be $160 total.. and NOT the $10 as what it turned out to be. Sometimes it's better to sell at a lesser price.. yet make a bigger profit.

FireStar_M40

rick_reno
November 27, 2004, 02:44 PM
My recent experience - I had a stainless Ruger Old Army that was unfired, it was in it's box and I had 7 of those Hodgon pellet cans with it ($14 each) and a box of balls and an unopened tin of caps. One of the over worked pinheads sitting behind his table offered me a whopping $100 for the package.
Another table had a Vector AK (folding stock) that Vector sells for $498, he'd only marked it up to $695 - I'm sure the markup was fair given his amazing foresight to have ordered it from Vector. It's gotten ridiculous. I've stopped buying at gun shows - it's like these sellers don't know the Internet exists and we can often find (much) better deals there. By the way, I ended up selling the Old Army to a nice fellow in the midwest for $310. I've still got the powder and caps...

Zeke Menuar
November 27, 2004, 03:17 PM
Just in case y'all were wondering why we're getting out of the gun show biz, ya buncha skinflints...

I am a skinflint on a good day. Most of the time I am the cheapest, SOB on the planet.

Here in Monsoon Central there is really only one outfit that does shows. Same vendors, same stuff. $300 Yugo SKS's. $150 Mosin-Nagants with the CAI billboard. The prices on new guns are the same as in the gunstores so there is no point in shopping for a new gun at a show. Used guns are about the same. In ten years of trolling gunshows I bought only one gun, a really good quality Ishapore 2A for $125 dollars. But I think a find like that is the exception rather than the rule. The only real advantage I can see is that many vendors are in one place making shopping a bit easier. The prices are usually the same or higher than a regular gunstore.

I notice that the gunshow crowd seems to be different than the crowd that hangs out here at THR. These folks read the gun rags and pay attention. Buy a lot of there stuff at big chain stores and have never heard of Midway or Brownells. They don't seem to be as saavy about guns as we are. I watched in horror as a guy at the Canby show bought a cosmo soaked Yugo SKS for $299. I bought a better quality Yugo from AIM for $80 including shipping. So the vendors may be catering to a different group of firearms enthusiasts. Maybe the gunshows vendors count on potential buyers that aren't very informed about what they are looking for.

I must point out there is a once a year show in Rickreall OR that is a great show. It is an independent show, separate from the travelling circuit shows usually seen here.

This is my opinion, your opinion may vary

ZM

eagle45
November 27, 2004, 03:47 PM
Well, I don't always go to the gun show here in Dayton just to buy a gun, even though I love browsing through them for an hour or two. I also pick up my reloading supplies there, always cheaper than having it shipped UPS. Then there is the chance of picking up a good case knife from time to time (even tho the last one was a SW). So I guess I think of a number of reasons to go.

When I do purchase a gun, there is one dealer there from Loveland Ohio that invariably has everyone else beat on price. Typically $20 to $40 cheaper than the closest competitor. So he generally gets my business at the show if it is a decision based solely on price.

Now the closest gun shop to me is north of Dayton about 20 miles away. Their prices are usually a little higher and they don't bother going to the gun shows. While I've never asked why, I assume it's too much work hauling everything back and forth for the priviledge of being expected to sell it cheaper. They do however, offer at their store the best selection of firearms, accessories, safes, archery, clothing etc, plus gunsmithing services. I give them as much business as I can, after the realization of how far I'd have to drive to find the next store with all the goodies that they carry. So, they may not be the cheapest, but I do like supporting business that support the cause of gun ownership. Plus it's a friendly family oriented business.

I guess my point is that with all the folks out there trying to take my guns away, I like supporting the folks that are fighting the battle. Price alone is not always the biggest issue.

schromf
November 27, 2004, 04:10 PM
I like going to a good gunshow, but I admit I seldom buy. I do get business cards and contact sellers later though and have made many post show purchases.

A couple of reasons are I am usually looking at upscale stuff, which isn't going to be a quick mover, and usually has a steep price tag. The other reason is on my run of the mill purchases like a Glock, or a new S&W I have FFL's that already will give me the best or close to price. I place a lot of importance on loyality and friendship. Just because my FFL can't save me $10.00 on this purchase, it is a give and take situation, the next purchase could save me $200 and this happens frequently, and I many times purchase items that never get to the tables at the show, I get handpicked items. I have purchased many pistols and rifles that way. As a matter of fact if I show up at the tables the marked price and my price are usually way different, usually by a large margin. My last purchase this was $250 difference on a L61R Sako, no agruement, and I didn't even need to ask, he told me that straight up when he handed me the rifle.

Do I always win on this? No, but I know when they are telling me straight up what they have into their guns, and I expect them to make money, I don't argue about price, if it is too rich for my blood I tell them so. They know if I say I want it, its sold with no horsing around. I also move an occasional piece this way, I hand them the gun, tell them to move it and make money on the sale. This is a win win situation, I don't need to worry about a private sale and the BATF paperwork, they have an item they will make money on with no investment on their part. I am in a position where I don't expect cash back at the moment and the sales go to my account, which I spend later at my discretion. I also get asked my opinion alot on certain firearms where I am very knowledgable, when they are buying. They know these are areas where I have focused and tend to know a lot about subtle variations which drive values and correct configurations. Another area I tend to helpful is when I run across a good deal I tell them about it if its something I have no interest in. I have always had the favor returned, maybe not in a tick for tack method, I have had many favors returned at their cost.

Does this work for everyone, probably not you need to be able to purchase many firearms a year and have the income to support it. I also admit these are people I know both them, and their families, and they are always welcome at my house of a cup of coffee/and lunch , and trip into the shop gabbing about my current project or vice versa, if I or they are in the neighborhood.

huntsman
November 27, 2004, 05:39 PM
amen DCR, when I go to the shows I want to see the pre-64 winchesters, and the savage md 99 and american doubles. These are the type guns that when you find the right calliber and condition and agree on a price you feel you got a good deal and both are happy.

I think the problem is the market for collectable guns is limited, most vendors carry the surplus and cammo and junk because that's what joe average want's to buy. They spend a few bucks on a few trinkets and kill an afternoon for fun.

If I want to buy in production guns I go to a local shop they match or beat any price on the net give me good service and will deal with any trouble I have. The problem is they don't carry say Ruger RED labels or Browning o/u's
and if I want a colt woodsman 2nd series or a 4" dimondback in a .22cal I'm out of luck, oh the can try to find one but I'd rather go to the show put my hands on it check it out and buy it on the spot if it fits the bill.

Fed168
November 27, 2004, 06:24 PM
The Dixie in NC is just going downhill. Gun prices have not really come down that much, and others are just plain old over priced. I don't expect a vendor with a semi auto made before 1994 to come off their prices until they are ready to take a loss.

Heck, one of the new Vektor AKs was going for $895.

mike45
November 27, 2004, 09:34 PM
I have been going to gun shows for over 20 years in the Cincinnati/Dayton area. I have made some good deals and have lost some money in deals.

I have set up a table about 4 different times over the years to sell some stuff to get rid of it so I could buy something else... some guys (and gals) got some good deals there. When shopping, I sometimes look for those type of people setting up just to sell their stuff. I sometimes will go to a dealer for something I need/want.

There is a short, fat dealer who usually deals in military items. I bought an airweight .38 from him for the price he had on it because I needed it ($350) He said it was from a friend and probably unfired... Not true, but it was in good shape and I wanted it. A few months later I saw a .41 S&W in his case and I thought the price was a little high so I just asked "is that the best price you have on that gun?". The guy went off on me... stated he has his costs etc.

I can always say "no" in any deal but I get tired of the dealers who think they're "tactical" just because they're salesmen. Most of these guys have never carried a gun in harms way and don't know a damn thing about it.

Gun Shows...

Mike

BlkHawk73
November 27, 2004, 09:54 PM
They're like that here in Maine too. I think a big part is that the dealers know peeople are gonna talk the price down so they mark 'em up to begin with. Another thing is that the deales are also counting on impulse buying. These attendees have that "gun fever" and the urge to buy is great. Why not capitalize on that? Just before hunting season is the worst time for hunting rifles usually. Buy those at the shoes after the season ends. Handguns are gonna be high at shows regardless of the season. I've also found that most of the dealers at shows are about as scrupulous as a used car salesman. You need to know which ones are the good ones and hich to avoid. That's a big key.

GD
November 28, 2004, 09:13 AM
I read this after missing out on a Finnish P26, Finnish M91/24 Bohler Stahl, and a Finnish M27 carbine at $70 each at the Wichita gunshow. :banghead:

Rexrider
November 28, 2004, 10:30 AM
Kor said....
2) A lot of the deals at gun shows in the early/mid-90's came from "kitchen-table FFL's" and smaller dealers who were hounded out of gun dealing in the Clinton administration, and had to mark-down and blow-out their inventory just to get out from under it. Any dealers that were/are left are not, like Tamara pointed out, particularly anxious to spend extra time/money/effort on setting up a show booth unless they can sell their guns for as much, or more, than they can get for them at their storefront during the rest of the week.

DING DING DING
I think we have a winner!
The biggest change to occur over the '90's was the crackdown on "kitchen-table FFL's". Dealers must have a true business with all the over-head that goes with it. I would imagine a lot of the kitchen-table FFL's used gun shows as their storefront. Since their only over-head was the cost and time of getting to the show.

Tamara said...
There's just no feeling like the happiness you get when you spend $1400 and hours of sweat for the privilege of having the very first customer of the show walk up to your table and pick up a gun that cost you $450, is tagged at $550, is in the Blue Book at $600, and say "Wouldja take $300 for this?" It's a thousand wonders more people don't get pistol-whipped at those shindigs.

I worked one gun show a couple of years ago to help out a family member who did have his own shop. This was at the Valley Forge Convention Center in PA. Let me tell you, working the other side of the table is quite an eye opener. Remember, the idea is to make a profit. Not give your stuff away.

We were lucky enough to live about an hour away so we did not need to pay for hotel rooms. But he did have to rent a U-haul trailer, gas, food, and drinks. So there is the overhead just to show up. Don't forget the fee for the table. Then the time and effort to set up, tear down, set up again for the 2nd day, and tear down again.

And yes, people do walk up and expect you to give your stuff away. I even scouted the floor for him to make sure none of his prices were out of line. There just is not enough room in the profit margin to haggle on prices if you are selling at a legit prices. So, you either inflate prices so someone has the joy of bickering the price down or you set prices that are competitive so people don't keep walking past your table.....but then they still want to haggle...even over a dollar. Damned if you do, damned if you don't.

It was a waste of a weekend. I can't remember, but I think we sold a .22 rifle and a shotgun. He never came close to breaking even. That was the end of shows for him and later on he closed shop and dropped his FFL. The shop was a second full time job. It just was not worth it for him. After that experience, I don't know how dealers afford to go to shows. My best guess is some dealers just write off the loss as advertising expense.

No matter how much it may anger you to see someone selling a $300 dollar Yugo. Remember, It’s your money. No one makes people spent it. It always has been and always will be "buyer beware".

My personal favorite moment on the buying side of the table. An old used Colt single action for $3000. I asked why it was so expensive. He said "it belonged to a Texas Ranger". So I asked "who was the Ranger, was he famous or something"? He said "I don't know, it just belonged to a Ranger".

Tamara
November 28, 2004, 11:15 AM
Most gun dealers (be it at gun shows.. or their store), don't understand the theory and application of $$$ vs time vs profit.

Believe me, I'd rather make a fast nickel than a slow dime any day of the week.

One problem is that FFL's who survive their shaky first year usually do so by being careful with margins. The hitch is, however, that the business can only grow to a certain point if you're a slave to a rigid margin. Volume items don't need as much of a margin, since they make up for it with volume sales. The business can't grow past a certain point without more volume, and that requires flexibility in pricing structure...

The Rabbi
November 28, 2004, 12:22 PM
I'm getting a hoot listening to the dealers complain about the customers. I hope everyone else is too.
Look, just like customers dont have to buy the guns, dealers dont have to show there. Besides, people go to shows to pick up bargains or hard-to-get stuff. If you dont have either of those, dont show.
Yes, having worked in a gun store I realize the margin on new guns is pitiful. So dont bring new guns to sell. Dont buy new guns at shows. Life is pretty simple, really.
What gets me is that the dealers are not complaining about all the guys who get tables every show with tons of merchandise that changes every time. If these are not dealers I dont know what is.

datasmith
November 28, 2004, 12:55 PM
I've bought a few guns at gun shows here in North Carolina. Last time I went to one was last month and I also didn't see any deals as far as price was concerned. Also you have to take into account here the $5 minimum charge for a purchase permit, the $4 for parking and the $6 to get in. Add that to the bottom line. Of course this year Gov. Easly made it much easier for me to purchase a gun since I have a CCW permit. Worked great at my local dealer, but I don't know if it works at NC gun shows, or if you still need a purchase permit there.

I have found great parking lot deals at gun shows. It's a great place to meet others interested in trades, buys or sells.

greg531mi
November 28, 2004, 05:50 PM
Most of you have never been on the other side of the table.....I had one guy, uncoil every sling I had, then dump them on the table, and left. Then, about everyone picked up my guns, not asking, and then almost throw them down, of course the wrong way, price tag not showing, and saying something nasty, like that's a old garbage war horse, that I could have bought for $10 back in the 50's. Then, there's the guy, that wants to talk all day, while others want to deal with you. Then, there's the bottom feeders, I call them, want to buy a 308 Mauser, in nice shape, priced at $150, for $75. Then, there's the rip off people, who want it free, and while you are not looking, pocket it, and walk off.
That is why, when I want to pick up a gun, I ask, never say anything bad about the gun or price, and if I want a better price, I ask is that your best price? Then, I set the gun down, exactly where I found it, and put the price tag right side up, and say, THANK YOU!!!!
Mothers and Fathers must have not taught their kids Proper Manners any more, like Please, and Thank You, I guess.......

Tamara
November 29, 2004, 12:22 AM
Look, just like customers dont have to buy the guns, dealers dont have to show there.

Fear not! We won't, anymore. Then I'll get to hear y'all whining about how you went to the gun show and "Gosh! No dealers were set up there! Just a bunch of beanie baby sellers!" :rolleyes:

Went to this weekend's Holloway show here in K-Town to wander the aisles and visit with friends. Between extortionate table rates, a promoter who learned his business relation skills from Ghengis Khan, an entry fee nothing short of highway robbery, and market oversaturation, there were over a third fewer tables than usual (lending a ghost town aspect to the show) and a paucity of customers. The biggest danger at the show was tripping over a tumbleweed in the aisles and breaking one's neck... :o

The Rabbi
November 29, 2004, 09:38 AM
Fear not! We won't, anymore. Then I'll get to hear y'all whining about how you went to the gun show and "Gosh! No dealers were set up there! Just a bunch of beanie baby sellers!"

Good for you! To show or not to show should be a business decision, like anything else. If it's profitable, then dealers will show. If it's not, they wont. If dealers stop coming altogether then the show organizers will get the idea that something is wrong and try to make it more attractive (lower entry fees, lower table fees, etc).
You probably don't stock a complete selection of Hammerli target pistols, Anschutz target rifles and Barrett .50 cals either. Not that there is anything wrong with these guns but the market for them just isnt that big. Same with shows. If its not worth it, its not worth it.

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