Gun Shop Math


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BamBam-31
March 2, 2003, 09:41 PM
Somebody tell me if this is typical. It sounds kinda fishy to me, but it happens nonetheless.

Case #1: I buy ammo from a gun show. I use my credit card. They charge me an additional $3.00 fee for using the credit card (okay, I can handle that), but they add it into the price before charging sales tax. It's only about $0.25 more, but is the credit card fee supposed to be taxed as well?

Case #2: I buy a handgun from Turner's in Pasadena. They charge me for the gun, a cable lock, and a handling charge of $4.00. And the $20.00 DROS fee, of course. Sales tax gets applied to the gun, cable lock, and handling charge. Again, it's only $0.33 more, but is that fee supposed to be taxed as well?

I thought sales tax was only supposed to be for items purchased. :confused:

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HABU
March 2, 2003, 09:50 PM
I hear ya BamBam. That always annoys me too. I always say sumpin about it, usually to no avail.

Another thing that annoys me is it seems most businesses will print out my entire card number complete with expiration date!:what: I say something every time too. I have had a few lums tell me that I cannot scribble out the numbers on their copy of the receipt. I tell them that not only can I, but I just did and if they dont like it to reprogram thier merchant account to show only the last four numbers. I will also remind them that by the time I scribble out the numbers they have already received their $ :fire:

Sheslinger
March 2, 2003, 09:57 PM
When we got married in September and I figured out the total to the caterer plus tax plus 18% required gratuity, my total did not match theirs. Come to find out, they had to add gratuity first and then tax the total. Amazing, now they tax tips.

Sheslinger

Topgun
March 2, 2003, 10:20 PM
because it absolutely gives whoever wants it a complete record of your spending habits, where you spend money, what you buy, how far you travel, where you stay, how often you shop, and a whole host of other information.

USE CASH!

Wot the heck is the matter with people who THINK they want liberty and freedom from being watched and then use CREDIT CARDS?

You have no IDEA how far that info goes. You would not believe it if I told you.

Switch to CASH!

Topgun
March 2, 2003, 10:26 PM
It is NOT only .25 more. It is $3.25 more. That's about 30-40 miles you will not travel at $2 gas.

Once a week it is $169 per year.

AND at current savings account interest of .75% , you will only need $433.00 in your savings account to earn that $3.25 in a YEAR.

Use CASH.

Blackhawk
March 2, 2003, 10:28 PM
Case 1: That's a violation of the merchant agreement with the credit card issuer. They're forbidden to pass on the charge to the consumer.

Case 2: Sales tax is charged for mercandise AND services, which is what handling fees, etc., are.

You're navigating the ridiculous price hype that many merchants practice so they can claim their $59 gizmo is priced at $40 to lure you in.

All I want to know about price is the TOTAL price, and I don't care to play their games to figure out what it really is.

Wildalaska
March 2, 2003, 10:30 PM
Credit card surcharges are a vioaltion of the Mastercard/Visa agreements, call them to complain you will get your surcharge back.

Mal H
March 2, 2003, 10:33 PM
I agree with Topgun and always use cash where possible. Credit cards are good idea when buying off the 'net since it gives you an out if there is a problem with the purchase.

I believe the dealers in both cases were correct in their charges to you. In case 1, they are offering their wares at a discount 'gun show' price for cash or checks. It does cost for the merchant to accept credit cards, so on discounted prices I can understand the additional fee. The fee, in essence, simply increases the price of the goods and it is taxable. I believe that if they try to charge extra for a normally priced item, they are in violation of their agreement with the bank card company.

In case 2, the handling charge is a charge for service and in most states a service charge is taxable. For example, an auto repair might cost $1.00 for parts and $25.00 for labor, you will usually be charged tax on the full $26.00 not just on the cost of the parts.

HABU
March 2, 2003, 10:38 PM
Wot the heck is the matter with people who THINK they want liberty and freedom from being watched and then use CREDIT CARDS? I don't use credit cards and havn't in years. I must not be as paranoid as you are as I am willing to use a debit card for some purchases.
You have no IDEA how far that info goes. You would not believe it if I told you. Yes I would!




Oh, nevermind, you were talking to BamBam:o :neener:

Double Naught Spy
March 3, 2003, 12:11 AM
Those are not credit card surcharges even though they appear to be. Instead, the gun store will argue that the price listed is the cash discount price. The price with the perceived additional surcharge is the real price. That is how they get around it. And, discounts for cash are not uncommon in all sorts of business.

As for the handling fee, that sounds bogus. That is one of the ways to be able to generate more income for an item by listing it at one price and then tacking on the fee after the fact. It is sort of a baiting method. Of course, charging tax for the handling fee is correct because they are essentially selling you a handling fee. Personally, unless the prices are great, I would opt to shop somewhere else. You were there to buy a gun, not handling fees.

While the example here was for a gun shop, this sort of thing appears to be fairly common in car sales as well.

WhoKnowsWho
March 3, 2003, 02:50 AM
I see those "cash discount" things a lot more often around firearms than I ever did before.

The only reason I use my credit card is so that I can buy a item at 500+ and pay it off in two months. 'Cause trying to save, I tend to spend it more freely than if I just buy and then plan to pay later. It's worked so far, I have less debt than most anyone else I know!

samualt
March 3, 2003, 04:12 AM
I'm too lazy to carry cash so I almost always use a card. I have also bought guns on the net, which is harder with cash (all that snail mail back and forth business).
When I'm at a gun store I always ask how much the total would be with all taxes and everything, and then decide. A frown when they tell you the price will sometimes get an extra mag thrown in for free ;-)

But your right, the surcharges have gone crazy. I think it's that way for everything these days. Just look at a phone bill, a paycheck, or even all the gasoline taxes. And to think we went to war with the Brits over a penny tax on tea...that was still cheaper than domestic tea! LOL. (I know there were deeper reasons but still....).

Kahr carrier
March 3, 2003, 05:47 AM
I guess Im lucky at the gunshop I shop at they tax the item first ,then add the State Dros fees.:)

JohnBT
March 3, 2003, 10:59 AM
Once again I have just received my YEARLY Visa report from my bank. It lists purchases by category(food, sports, etc.) and by month.

And by the name of the business where I spent the money.

Cute.

I didn't know I spent that much on gun-related stuff last year. I buy guns with checks or cash, but the scopes, mags and whatnot I buy on the web go on the credit card.

They claim it's for people who like to itemize their taxes and keep track of their spending habits.

John

Topgun
March 3, 2003, 11:59 AM
I opened an account at a credit union 5 blocks from the house.

NEVER allow more than $1000 to be in it. Use it for web purch ONLY. If I get a Paypal deposit into it, I strip it IMMEDIATELY!

My brokerage sends me a debit card that has access to my complete financial account. IT sits in the safe. If I use it for traveling, I guard it like a gun.

But the only card anyone ever sees is my "one grander" If it gets screwed up, the loss is not catastrophic.

I don't like ANY credit card. Grocery store "preferred customer" accounts are also used for demographic records. Not a serious thing though unless you buy inordinate amounts of alcohol in which case a subpoena can get those records to show to a court to establish your "stability."

WATCH OUT for electronic data. It never goes away.

An here I am on an electronic GUN forum. Oh well, welcome to the Gulag.

TarpleyG
March 3, 2003, 01:05 PM
I just bought a used car. The original owner paid the state of Florida $875 for sales tax in 1997, right? Now, I have to pay ANOTHER $313 for the same automobile that was taxed 6 years ago. When I sell it in a couple of years, that poor schmuck will get taxed AGAIN, on the same car. This is really "taxation without representaion" (sort of) IMO. This does not make since to me. Anyone else concur?

GT

ajacobs
March 3, 2003, 01:24 PM
I just bought a used car. The original owner paid the state of Florida $875 for sales tax in 1997, right? Now, I have to pay ANOTHER $313 for the same automobile that was taxed 6 years ago. When I sell it in a couple of years, that poor schmuck will get taxed AGAIN, on the same car. This is really "taxation without representaion" (sort of) IMO. This does not make since to me. Anyone else concur?

I agree our tax system is a shamble. The most dishearting account I know off occured to a friend of mine. His father had 2 sons. Both went to college one moved away to be a computer guy in the city the other stayed home and worked the family farm. It had been in the family for generations and he loved that land. When dad passed away not being to savy on the tax system he gave his entire finicial assests to the son in the city and left the farm to the other son. What he thought was a fair split, and it was. Only problem is the son with the the farm can't raise the money to pay the inheritance tax and now has to sell the farm. Dad paid taxes on every dime he ever earned paid taxes on all the divedends he earned on the money he invested (which the company already paid taxes on their profit) paid taxes but now he is being taxed again and his son looses the farm.

No4Mk1
March 3, 2003, 02:31 PM
I thought the death tax only applied to the rich!?!?

:banghead:

10-Ring
March 3, 2003, 02:45 PM
Yeah, Turner's is a bit fee happy & that "handling charge" they tack on is really annoying. Unfortunately, every once in a while, they put something on sale that is tough to walk away from.:banghead:

Ebbtide
March 3, 2003, 03:01 PM
Estate Tax = Double dipping!!!!!:banghead:

I never carry cash, and never really think about it. My work deposits the money in the bank. I have as many auto pays as possible and overdraft protection. I write checks or use the debit whenever possible.

The only time I need cash.....hmmmmm....I don't think I need cash. Oh, I do when I go to flea markets once and a while. I have never paid cash for a gun. I use my expense checks from work for my cash (about 60.00 a month).

While I don't think I have to worry about being on a list (you are on one anyway) I do worry about ID theft.

Watch out, the cashless system is coming. I have no doubts by the time I die youngsters will have no idea what "cash" looked like. BTW: I'm 37 and planning to live to 90. Wish me luck!:D

And don't forget about the yearly vehicle registration tax, gas tax, drivers licence tax, emmisions tax (if applicable in your area), parking tax, toll tax, etc. Not to mention that you can't deduct any sales tax from your income is wrong. Why should I pay income tax on all the money I use for the tax on smokes, gas, and sales?

Poor ole Tarpley just spent $313.00 (worth at least 400.00 in pre tax) to pay "sales tax" on an item that the state had recieved a tax. Now he has to pay $60.00+tax in after taxed money for plates, and another 30.00 plus tax in after tax money for an emmisions test. So all totaled, he paid about 520.00 more for his used car than he had to.

Patiently waiting for the oxygen tax,

ehenz

spacemanspiff
March 3, 2003, 03:01 PM
the credit card fee is a violation with some loopholes for merchants to jump through.
for example, american express absolutely frowns on those "fees", and if a merchant accepts am/ex, they shouldnt be charging a fee for their card, or for any other card as well. mastercard and visa individually arent as strict about this, but if the merchant accepts am/ex then visa/mastercard will refund such "fees" charged to your card.
i did some digging online and came up with a nice little article about this, and i intend to take it with me to any gunstore that tries to charge that fee.

its simple operating costs, and do you think that the merchant also claims those fees as deductions on their taxes? i'd assume they are. if i'm right, they are screwing us customers over and sticking it to the irs. i wouldnt have a problem with that so long as some of those savings are kicked back to the customer.

RobW
March 3, 2003, 05:59 PM
Has anyone been in Italy recently???

Take the menu, order a pasta or pizza, and suddenly, you are charged extra for the plate (!) and the silverware (!) and the napkin!

Seems that a lot of gun traders were in Italy recently :fire:

rock jock
March 3, 2003, 06:09 PM
I have been using them extensively for more than 12 yeras and will continue to do so. They are a huge convenience. Oh, and I have yet to have the UN come to my door demanding my firstborn. I do get my share of junk mail, but it is easy enough to toss.

Paranoia is a terrible malady.

labgrade
March 3, 2003, 06:28 PM
Use cash, or even checks (same as, right?).

Everything has an added effect of the 4-5% surcharge of using a credit card.

Worse case & using anything "less than" a credit card, insist on a 4-5% discount (since you aren't).`

Fill it up & argue with the "cashier" for using cash when they tag you for the extra for a credir card - it's enlightening.

Cheap entertainment is where you find it.

rock jock
March 3, 2003, 06:50 PM
Fill it up & argue with the "cashier" for using cash when they tag you for the extra for a credir card - it's enlightening.
Exactly how is it enlightening when you refuse to pay a price that is clearly marked? If you disagree with the policy, you are free to take your business elsewhere, but to harass a business owner (or even moreso a clerk who has no influence over the matter) because you don't like what he charges is pretty low.

labgrade
March 3, 2003, 08:15 PM
rock jock (sigh),

Anything marked is (by most to be known to be already marked up at least 4-5% for use by a credit card purchase - where've you been?)

If one can't dicker with cash for that 4% given excize (let alone being able for the vendor not to have to declare it on taxes) we're already way beyond what some would consider "utopia."

Alas.

& anybody who thinks that an honest attempt at dickering - to get the price down over an already inflated level (to assume just that), is unaware of the where-ins & outs of what retail really is.

Besides, dickering isn't "hassling," it's dickering. Sorry that I previously used the word "argue." Wasn't meant to replace my intended meaning of dickering.

larry_minn
March 3, 2003, 09:01 PM
If you pay with credit cards for everything you spend more money then others do. Extra fees and late fees or finance charges if you are ONE day late. I get bit for $30 at least once a year. Of course if I always had to make payments every mounth prob would do better. Being gone for 2 weeks at a shot does not help.

BamBam-31
March 3, 2003, 09:49 PM
Don't know why, but I never noticed services being hit with sales tax before. When I pay my lawyer his fees, there's no sales tax on the bill. Same with my plumber. Same with my gunsmith. The fee is the fee, no sales tax on the receipt at all. Maybe it's already added in. Dunno.

As for credit cards vs. cash, I don't like carrying around that much cash. I'm talking maybe several hundred for the shows. I'd rather pay the questionable $3.00 fee, since I'm saving huge bucks with their prices already. Actually, it's a debit card, but that probably carries just as much electro-info as credit cards (in case you're paranoid :rolleyes: ).

It's just this feeling that dealers, both from shops and show, are using creative accounting to squeeze out an extra dime or two from each customer in the name of taxes, but I doubt those taxes end up going to the state in the end.

That "handling fee" sure is annoying. :fire:

Minute_Of_Torso
March 3, 2003, 09:49 PM
Forgive my ignorance but what's a DROS fee?

BamBam-31
March 3, 2003, 10:49 PM
Here in **********, we pay a Dealer Record of Sale fee of $20.00 per transaction. It's a form of registration disguised as a background check. We also have to wait 10 days from the time the gun is DROS-ed to pick it up. Great, eh? :rolleyes:

rock jock
March 4, 2003, 11:11 AM
labgrade,

Whatever. Its an exercise in futility IMO. Its analogous to buying a dinner at a restaurant and when the bill comes telling the waiter that because you didn't eat your salad you want $2 knocked off your bill.

OF
March 4, 2003, 11:29 AM
The merchant gets charged by the credit card company something in the neighborhood of 3% on every transaction, AMEX is even higher. That may seem like small potatoes, but on larger purchases in industries with small profit margins it's a major consideration.

Someone has to pay for that 3%, and it ain't gonna be the merchant. Just like anything in business, it's the customer who pays. That's why they call it 'business'.

The only question is: do just the people who use credit cards pay for it (through a POS surcharge, which the credit card companies - for obvious reasons - don't want charged or even mentioned at the POS; or through making everything else 'discounted for cash' to get around that), or is the charge evenly distributed across all customers by raising the price of everything.

Isn't it only fair to make the credit card users pay the credit card use fees as opposed to everyone?

- Gabe

Topgun
March 4, 2003, 11:38 AM
Well, they speak loudly when you have CASH. Without going into details, merchants can be much more....uh....flexible....on pricing for CASH.

If you are worried about losing or dropping your cash, tape it to your butt.

:D

Seriously, unless you simply do not have the self control to not spend every dime in your pocket, CASH can be some wonderful stuff.

labgrade
March 4, 2003, 03:54 PM
rock,

"labgrade,

Whatever. Its an exercise in futility IMO. Its analogous to buying a dinner at a restaurant and when the bill comes telling the waiter that because you didn't eat your salad you want $2 knocked off your bill."

You've missed the point entirely.

& really, if you never wanted "the salad," why should you pay for it? & wouldn't it be in your interest to tell 'em up-front "that since I don't want the salad, I ain't paying for it?

That's not "argueing," that's being up-front & starting the dickering option right up front. There is no reason I should have to pay for something I'll never use, or avail myself of.

From all I know (which isn't the end-alls, BTW) a surcharge of 3-4% is tacked onto everything we do - to cover the "expense" of (everybody else) using a credit card. Whether or not you do - you still get to pay this excize fee.

If you aren't using a credit card, why should you pay for the "excize?"

Take a look at some gas stations who have a sign posted that says "-$.04 per gallon for cash." Why do you think they'd have that?

That's all I'm saying.

By paying with cash, any business-person already knows that you're "fluent enough" in the world & can accommodate you.

Case in point.

I dealt with a local custom jewelry-guy - he made a coupla personally-spec'd rings for (me) The Wife.

$2,000 for A (custom opal/gold) Ring when bought with a check or credit card. Worked out to $800 if paid by cash.

Transcripts lead to "accountability." He had some "excess" material & could accomodate me.

Your choice. You wanna pay "retail," go ahead.

Personally, I'd just as soon dicker some & give the merchant a better deal & save myself some money.

If I pay cash for a transaction that can be easily enough dealt through means that "every body else" doesn't have their hands on it, it'll allow the merchant a surplus, while allowing me a discount.

I'm not screwing anybody out of their livelyhood in either event. To be redundant, the merchant makes more money & I save some.

You, on the other hand are paying too much for everything you buy.

& I'm in "futility?"

You wanna continue to fund the "tax as you go" mind-set, please do.

On the other hand, I'd just as soon buy goods at the stated price & cut out the middle-man - while making a better profit for the seller while saving a few scoots.

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