Local Gun Shops and Collusion???


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Polishrifleman
July 29, 2005, 02:24 PM
I just went into the shop where I buy my supplies and do my transfers. When I asked for an FFL and they said they raised their price for transfer from $20 to $30.

I know this is their right and don't have a problem with that because I can also choose to go elsewhere. The problem I have is that I was told at the time is that all the local shops got together and came up with this new pricing so I will have to travel a ways to find a new hole or deal with the markup.

I know that if they are losing business from me buying new firearms and they didn't get a shot at the business they should be upset. But if it is a used firearm or a price they couldn't compete with why the increase?

I know they have to keep the records around and store the weapons until picked up, but the fact that "they can't stay in business if you buy elsewhere" on something they didn't have for me to purchase in the first place goes beyond my powers of understanding. :banghead:

I do not want to see any good shop go out of business but I probably won't go back. :(

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K-Romulus
July 29, 2005, 02:26 PM
If so, civil antitrust damages are triple the plaintiff's actual economic damages . . . :evil:

DigMe
July 29, 2005, 02:28 PM
This type of stuff burns me up. Any business can set whatever price they want, that's their right, but this is clearly a case of collusion.

brad cook

Dave Dembinski
July 29, 2005, 02:34 PM
Call the Better Business Bureau

Double Maduro
July 29, 2005, 02:38 PM
Call the other gun shops in the area, ask what their fee is. If it is the same, write down the date and time of the call and the person you spoke to. If it seems there is price fixing, call the consumer protection people in your area.

But if you call around you will probably find someone who is cheaper. If you do, give them more of your other business and let them know why you are spending your money with them.

If all else fails, go to a gun show and make friends with dealers there who may not have a store front.

Good luck,
DM

Bill2k1
July 29, 2005, 02:42 PM
That happened with indoor range fees locally. I now travel a further distance and pay less then I ever did locally.

jefnvk
July 29, 2005, 02:49 PM
I will have to travel a ways to find a new hole or deal with the 33% markup

Actually, it would be a 50% markup.

And I stil can't understand how people can say it is ok for a private selelr to sell whatever they want for whatever price, but then say it is bad if a bunch of private sellers get together and decide to sell at a certain price.

Polishrifleman
July 29, 2005, 03:11 PM
Thanks Jeff, I corrected my math by deleting it. It's easier that way than to try and think about it. :D

taliv
July 29, 2005, 03:29 PM
And I stil can't understand how people can say it is ok for a private selelr to sell whatever they want for whatever price, but then say it is bad if a bunch of private sellers get together and decide to sell at a certain price.

one is a crime. one isn't.

if you go to auctionarms.com, you'll find an ffl finder link that will probably show lots of FFLs you can do business with. you might be surprised.

Waitone
July 29, 2005, 05:03 PM
Ask if the transfer fee is the same if you were to purchase a firearm from time to time. Give them a chance to meet the price you have on the gun you intend to have them transfer.

We need to support your local gun dealer. They put up with a lot to give you the chance to go elsewhere.

HighVelocity
July 29, 2005, 05:09 PM
What about a private FFL? We've got folks around here that will do transfers for $10 if you're a CHL holder.
I've even heard of private dealers doing transfers for free to CHL holders.

another okie
July 29, 2005, 06:16 PM
"And I stil can't understand how people can say it is ok for a private selelr to sell whatever they want for whatever price, but then say it is bad if a bunch of private sellers get together and decide to sell at a certain price."

Actually that's a fair question and shouldn't be dismissed out of hand.

Antitrust laws say that competitors cannot get together to set prices. That is a restriction on economic freedom. The reason Congress and the states have passed such restrictions is to preserve competition. Competition is good for consumers; it makes businesses work harder, which is good for everyone. When businesses set prices they set them high, and since the prices are set the quality and service soon go down too.

guy sajer
July 29, 2005, 06:30 PM
Are we talking about $10 ??

Did all the gun shops get together ? I doubt it , but none of us know . Accusing them of a felony is pretty serious stuff .

Retail gun store owners aren't usually hanging together . They are in most cases suspicious of the other and not willing to share info . I know this first hand . It's more likely that a customer related the info and they decided to raise it or the store called around checking prices . Or , they decided that when they figured the time involved with dealing initially with the customer , answering 3 phone calls from the customer checking to see if his gun was in , entering it into their record books and doing the transfer paperwork , wasn't worth $20 for the time involved . All are possibilities . imo

Standing Wolf
July 29, 2005, 10:14 PM
I not only shopped around, but called the expensive guns shops to let them know why my transfers have gone elsewhere.

jefnvk
July 29, 2005, 10:46 PM
I guess I am just too strong into the no market restrictions. My theory would be that people would refuse to do business with the offending dealers and eventually, one would break, as he would see an opening in the market.

But, I suppose that that isn't how it would end up working in real life, as people just don't seem to be into doing that sort of stuff (boycotting local shops to stop the price fixing). I wonder if it is because we have grown accustom to having the gov't say that they can't do it?

c_yeager
July 30, 2005, 04:15 AM
Gunbroker (or is it auctionarms?) has a nice list of FFL tranfer providers organized by location. Many of these are private "kitchen table" FFLs who probably havent changed their prices.

On the other hand, $30 is not an unreasonable amount to charge for a transfer, and really its only another $10.

Texas Gun Runner
July 30, 2005, 06:10 PM
Really, when you stop and think about it, $20 is probably about right for a transfer fee. I am an FFL without a storefront, and I charge $15 for transfers for the simple fact that most of the other gunshops in my area charge $25 and up. I figure that even at $15 a pop, it takes me all of about 10 minutes to do the actual transfer(paperwork and phone call for NICS check), add another 10 to 15 minutes for phone calls to the customer, etc., and I am still making about $30 an hour for transfer business. Not bad :rolleyes:

Howie93
July 30, 2005, 06:56 PM
I know that the extra 10.00 is not that great, but here in California we can not get it done for less than 95.00. Now that really hurts and takes out most other buying options.
That's what I get for living here. H

Hawkmoon
July 30, 2005, 11:54 PM
Go back with a mini tape recorder running in your pocket and ask again.

Each owner is certainly entitled to charge whatever he/she wishes. And if a shop owner accidently finds out (or even intentionally finds out) what the competition is charging and sets his/her prive to match, that is also okay.

But ... the moment they discuss it and agree to establish a common price, that becomes illegal under anti-trust laws and is prosecutable.

nyresq
July 31, 2005, 12:31 AM
you think $30 is bad!??!?? HAHAHA.
I went shopping around here a few weeks ago for a transfer for a used rifle. One store on Long Island here told me they charge $50 unless it is a new firearm, in which case they charge 10% of the purchase price....
So that means go out and find a nice remmington custom shop rifle for $1300 and pay these asshats $130 to transfer it, even though they didn't have one and couldn't get one...

This store is a very large "outdoor sports" store ;) and has been around for quite a while.

I informed the nice man behind the counter that I already had three other gun stores that had told me $40, and all within a 20 minute ride.
I also told him I would be going elsewhere and he must be using illegal cocaine based stimulants to charge someone $130 for a transfer that takes all of 10 minutes.
he said "OK" and I haven't been there since. They have a nice selection, but not nice enough to allow myself to be taken to the cleaners for 10 minutes worth of paperwork. :cuss:

CWatson
July 31, 2005, 01:05 AM
I wish I could find someone around here (Los Angeles)who charged only $30. $100 plus DROS by one store and another store was $60-$70 PLUS 25% value of the gun PLUS DROS.These were the last couple prices I was given for transfers for out of state purchases.

This was for guns neither store carried and could not get for me themselves.

CWatson

Flyboy
July 31, 2005, 01:12 AM
Antitrust laws say that competitors cannot get together to set prices. That is a restriction on economic freedom. The reason Congress and the states have passed such restrictions is to preserve competition. Competition is good for consumers; it makes businesses work harder, which is good for everyone. When businesses set prices they set them high, and since the prices are set the quality and service soon go down too.
I agree with the principle that businesses ought to be allowed to set their prices however they want, and let the market decide whether the price is reasonable.

However!

In the case of FFLs, the supply is artificially restricted (thank you, Clowngress and F-troop); when the government restricts part of the market (which it shouldn't), there is some legitimacy to the idea that the government should mitigate the effects of its meddling by forbidding certain trade practices. This is even more true in the case of legal monopolies, such as utilities, but in this case, given the limitation on supply, I don't necessarily object to antitrust laws.

The real solution, of course, is for the government to get the hell out of everybody's business (literally, in this case).

Tejas Gunwerks
July 31, 2005, 01:22 AM
A simple solution is for you to go and get your own FFL.

StephenT
July 31, 2005, 01:31 AM
$30 isn't too exorbitant for a transfer. What annoys me is that some dealers insist on charging the sales tax, even for out-of-state purchases. One FFL told me he had to record the gun in his inventory, which made the transaction taxable. I don't think he was dishonest, just mistaken; but why donate money to the IRS? Needless to say, I had my last transfer done elsewhere, paying $20 and no tax. The savings really add up when the gun is priced around the $1000 mark.

Rabid Rabbit
July 31, 2005, 10:36 PM
Price fixing? So its ok for people to band together and boycott or set up websites for who has the best prices but business can't get together and do the same thing? Why not? The way the anti trust laws are written a business can be charged for keeping their prices lower than the other, the same as the other or higher than the others. What is good for goose, is good for the gander.

nyresq
July 31, 2005, 10:40 PM
I wish I could find someone around here (Los Angeles)who charged only $30. $100 plus DROS by one store and another store was $60-$70 PLUS 25% value of the gun PLUS DROS.

for us non-california people, what is DROS? is this a california tax or something?

CWatson
July 31, 2005, 10:59 PM
The DROS(Dealer record of sale?) is a Ca DOJ (Dept of Justice) fee of $19 plus a DOJ Safty fee of $1 and a DOJ EQ fee of $5.

CW

nyresq
July 31, 2005, 11:39 PM
is that the only "extra fees" in california? $25 tax seems a little heavy, but it is california....

$100 plus another $25 tax seems outrageous for some paper work unless california charges the FFL holder some kind of fees.

coyote Mak
August 1, 2005, 01:01 AM
PR
which gun shop was it that told you that. I live up here in the north sound and only have one big gun shop to go to with out having to drive over 200 miles round trip down south. so i would like to make sure i avoid the one your talking about if that is going to be there policy.
:cool: :cool: :cool: :cool:

Polishrifleman
August 8, 2005, 04:41 PM
Thanks for all the input and comments.

To answer a few questions:

I left the name intentionally out because they are a good shop, I will just go elsewhere for my transfers. In regards to private ffl holders I have tried several at auction arms and guns america and their information is outdated or incorrect which is a pain. In regards to getting my own ffl I don't think it would be worth the hassle due to the number of transfers we are talking about.

To my friends in California, I am sooooo sorry that you have to pay those type of fees but justifying an increase because you pay more doesn't make a lot of sense. I think you should be up in arms with the amount you pay and less accepting of a 50% increase for someone else. As many of your past residents have found in other parts of the country less expensive is not that bad (for them).

I don't mind the local shops got together and discussed their businesses and how things are going. I am upset that the end result is that they found out they can't compete with the open market of firearms transfers. Case in point, I just purchased a S&W 642 from this forum NIB for $310 shipped, the shop in question has one in the case for $410 with maybe $20 bucks in room which basically saves a portion of my tax. Maybe I made a bad buy. :evil:

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