Morality of dealing in gun buying?


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CombatArmsUSAF
October 5, 2005, 07:48 AM
This is something I have been pondering lately.

If you only deal with one gun shop, is it appropriate to try and get a deal on every single purchase, or should you pay their asking price every now and then to show that you appreciate the deals you've already received?

What about different situations like if you are paying on a gun they are holding for you?

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Fly320s
October 5, 2005, 07:54 AM
Seems to me that if you are happy with the deals and service you receive, then you will be showing your appreciation by returning and buying more goodies.

You could also spread the word about how much you like your gun shop. I imagine the owner would be happy to have a bunch of new customers reather than have you pay full price once in a while.

As for paying for a gun being held, I think that you should determine the price up front, before you start the lay-a-way. Now, if a gun that you've been looking for for a long time suddenly becomes available in the store, but you don't have the cash to buy it now, then I would say that, yes, you probably should pay a little bit more as a reward or holding fee. Again, whatever price you and the store agree on is the fair price.

c_yeager
October 5, 2005, 07:58 AM
I think the retailor/consumer relationship is predatory by its very nature. The retailor survives by seperating the consumer from their money, and the consumer by keeping as much to themself as possible. The two are simply not playing for the same team and i dont really see that either "owes" anything to the other. Certainly if a retailor has offered a history of honest treatment to the consumer the consumer would lend the retailor a certain amount of leeway regarding prices, this isnt out of loyalty, but out of self-interest. The surety of a warentee that will be fulfilled, and the confidence of an honestly described product are worth money, but that should not imply some kind of "duty" to pay more at one shop versus another. When a retailor gives a special "frequent buyer" price to a customer it isnt out of loyalty or friendship, it is an investment in future purchases.

MAURICE
October 5, 2005, 08:39 AM
I shop mainly at one store. Decent prices, so I do not try to haggle.
I have had situations where I saw a gun I had to have but could not purchase or law away right then, and they are good at holding it for me. When they hold one for a few days without a payment I make dang sure I get/will have the money on the day I say I will. No exceptions. They give me their word, I give them mine. It's fair.
They've done me right and continue to do so, so they will keep getting my business.

hillbilly
October 5, 2005, 09:51 AM
Morality in a retail purchase situation?

Come again?

What's that?

It's best you can get for the least amount of money, if you are the buyer.

It's the least you can sell for the highest amount of money, if you are the seller.

hillbilly

Hawkman
October 5, 2005, 10:35 AM
I buy only at one store, and have done so for years. I never try to beat them down, and I have never felt taken advantage of. There have been cases where the owner has given me a break on a trade-in or something, and I always respond by spending an extra few bucks to let him know I appreciate it. There have actually been times when I felt he was too generous and insisted on giving HIM a better deal, and there have been times when I have been selling a gun and he has insisted on paying me MORE than I am asking because he felt I was lowballing myself!

He has fair prices and a good product range, and I want to keep him in business.

dakotasin
October 5, 2005, 10:45 AM
i never pay the asking price at my most frequented shop because his prices are so bloated. he quickly and nicely knocks the price down, but you have to ask. that is what i consider to be the start price, and i'll go from there. if he's going to hold a gun for me, i'll pay his first offer, but not the price on the hang-tag. if i'm leaving w/ the gun that day, i'll negotiate: knock a few bucks off, throw in some dies, brass, powder, magazines, whatever... i don't expect him to beat the internet prices, but i don't expect to cover his bills for the month by myself.

eg, if he is within $40 or so of the internet's best prices, i'll pay that. if he's higher than, i'll try to get him down, or meet me on the difference w/ other merchandise, or a combination...

f4t9r
October 5, 2005, 12:09 PM
If you only deal with one gun shop, It is appropriate to try and get a deal on every single purchase, They are not going to lose money you can bet on that
try to get the most for your hard earned money. They should appreciate your buisness as much as you appreciate the deals you get.

svtruth
October 5, 2005, 01:09 PM
My LGS seems to have pretty good prices and is very helpful. Every gun I've bought has been for less than the tag price. Highe Standard HD-Military w holster and gun rug for $315; Norinco AK-47, lightly, if ever used, $335; Ruger 22LR/Mag revolver for son, $185; Para Ord .45, $385.
Last time I was there, the gunsmith gave me 20 rds of Bear 7.62x39.
I think they are worth supporting.

ktd
October 5, 2005, 02:05 PM
the margin is generally in the accessories, and I am usually willing to pay a couple of bucks more to a shop for the little things if they treat me good.

k

arizcowboy
October 5, 2005, 02:10 PM
Why is buying a gun different from buying any other consumer good like an appliance or car? I would think the laws of supply and demand and the free market economy apply with guns like everything else.

Spreadfire Arms
October 5, 2005, 04:38 PM
as a retailer i think it is customary to give your frequent purchasers some sort of discount. that's not to say slash it down to wholesale, but i think there is something to be said about a combination of: good prices and good customer service.

you can have the best prices on Earth but be a jerk to your customers, and gun buyers on the most part will take their business elsewhere.

most recently i was at a gun show in San Antonio. a person came up to our tables and we had about a dozen AR-15's on the table. i asked him if he had any questions and he said, "Tell me about Bushmaster."

i spent a few minutes with him and only him, while other customers were around, dealing with other employees. i told him that they were a major military contractor for military rifles, and that the big 3 were FN, Colt, and Bushmaster. FN does not make a civilian (semiauto) AR-15 style rifle so they are out of the possibility. Colt, by internal policy, does not sell to civilians. the remaining choice, if you want a milspec rifle, is Bushmaster.

i continued on to talk about barrel twist, the M4 vs. the A3, the forged receiver, 6-position collapsible buttstock, chrome-lined barrel, etc.

i'd say i spent about 7 minutes explaining everything there was to know about the rifle. at that point the guy said, "You know, you just earned my business. I talked to two other dealers before I came here, and while they had better prices, neither of them gave me the time of day."

the guy pulled out his Amex platinum card and we did the deal at asking price, no negotiating on price.

i probably would have lowered the price on his request, since he was pleasant to deal with. i think there is something to be said about friendliness, both ways. if a customer is friendly to me, and politely asks for a discount, and has a valid reason for it (the guy over there is selling it for less, can you match his price? or something like that) im much more inclined to do so.

if the customer is rude to my staff, or myself, and demands a discount simply because, then i am less apt to offer a discount. but i am still open for negotiation.

i think it goes both ways. if i, or my salespeople are jerks, then i wouldn't expect anyone to buy anything from us at all.

there are some very big dealers i compete with that can sell a gun for less, but people have bought from me instead because they say:

(1) they don't know anything about the gun they are selling
(2) they don't know how to repair it, and they refuse to repair it if something is wrong, "mail it to the manufacturer" they say
(3) they don't say hello, recognize me from past conversations or sales, shake my hand and just spend a few minutes to say hi to me, regardless of whether or not im buying today

i suppose when you sell 150+ guns in a weekend at a gun show you don't really have a whole lot of time to spend talking to prospective customers. you are operating on volume vs. margin per sale.

i prefer to sell less per show and spend more time talking to each customer, to ensure that i can build a relationship with them and they feel comfortable doing business with us vs. someone else.

with the Internet these days, if you do a customer wrong, it is much easier to get a bad reputation. it is my opinion that in gun sales, if you get a bad reputation, gun buyers tend not to do business with you, regardless of your prices.

kwelz
October 5, 2005, 05:00 PM
I always ask what they can do for me. Sometimes they give me 50-100 bucks off the price, sometimes they give me 10, sometimes they give me nothing. To me it doesn't matter, they are always great to deal with in every respect. I think it is natural for a person to try to get a better deal on things.

If the shop can't or won't deal that is fine. It is all in how they treat the customer. I happen to be on really good terms with the owners, and employees of my local store so I can get some good deals on top of the good attitude they show to everyone.

AirForceShooter
October 5, 2005, 05:02 PM
a deal yes.
Leaving him with no profit, no.

A good deal is everybody makes money.

AFS

ID_shooting
October 5, 2005, 05:41 PM
I hang around long enough to know which guns have been in the store along time. If I decide to buy one of those, I will usually haggle the price a bit. If I know what his markup is, as I do on most guns, and that is not much, I wont beat him up about it. If he does a layaway, a hold, or a special order for me, I will give him asking price.

Most times I don't have to say a word and I get 10-20% markdown at the register regardless if I ask for it or not.

Surprisingly, I didn't notice him doing that for quite some time. One day I just happened to toss the reciept in the bag of ammo and later when I looked I saw that I payed less after tax than the sticker prices were on the boxes.

stealthmode
October 5, 2005, 05:52 PM
i am cheap. i would always be looking for a price break if i am dealing with the same shop all the time. i never do business with one shop. im always looking for the best deal and the cheapest transfer costs. you dont need to show loyalty to any one shop.

what have they done for you?

have they ever offered any discounted pricing to you for being a regular?

if they havent then you are just like every other sale to them. remember they are a business to make money and you should think of yourself as a business and save money.

JMO like @$$ho!e$ everyone has one

M-Rex
October 5, 2005, 06:02 PM
I don't think there's anything wrong with working out a deal. A firearm is only worth what someone will pay for it.

The worst thing that can happen is the dealer says "no". It never hurts to ask.

SgtGunner
October 5, 2005, 06:16 PM
For a lot of years myself and partner had aGun Store and liquor store(not in same building). Even though I could get my guns at wholesale, I still made it a point to do business with another local shop, mostly becasue I liked the owner. I no longer have the FFL, and do all my business with this shop.I also send all my friends to him and he knows who sent them. I never pay tag price and usually get a buck or two off any ammo or other goodies I buy in the store.

I can stay gone 6 months but when I walk in the door, its like old home day, that is where it pays to develop and maintain relationships even if you can "get it for less"

ghost squire
October 5, 2005, 06:23 PM
I used to give all of my business exclusively to one gun store, I thought we had an understanding, I got to know everyone that worked there.

Heres a little story. I go in there, buy a gun and order two magazines for it. So I come back in a week (time he says to come back at), turns out he sold em. So I make absolutely no fuss about it, and order two more, which he promises to reserve for me, he even writes it down. Come back a few days later, sold those too. I went in there to get a part replaced that I could have put in in under 5 seconds (literally), he charges me 20 dollars for it, plus 5 for the part.

They do not DESERVE my business, so I choose to use the internet now. It will be a long long time before I go into another gunshop, and never that one again to make a purchase. But I will make a point of going in there to look and feel guns, then buy them elsewhere. The way I figure it they wasted my money and time, so I'm going to waste theirs. I'm not asking anyone for advice on the matter, just stating my experience and opinion.

Vern Humphrey
October 5, 2005, 06:25 PM
I am reminded of the Quaker who opened a hardware store. His father came to help him out on opening day. The first customer asked, "How much is this hammer?"

And the proprietor said, "Since thee art my friend, I shall sell it to thee for half price."

After the customer left, his father said, "My son, thee must charge thy friends full price -- for thou shalt get no business from thine enemies."

********************************************************

And for the rest of you, my sons, thou must haggle with thy friends, for thine enemies will cheat the eyeballs out of thee. :eek:

cxm
October 5, 2005, 08:38 PM
With a local shop who does stuff for me I simply ask if the owner can do any better on the price that the marked price.

Sometimes he can...sometimes not... but he always checks... because he does stuff for me, I don't press as hard as I might otherwise.

We need the local store... one just closed because of three new big box retailers showing up.

FWIW

Chuck

Father Knows Best
October 5, 2005, 08:54 PM
Adam Smith answered this question more than 200 years ago. Bargain as hard as you can.

dakotasin
October 5, 2005, 09:12 PM
For a lot of years myself and partner had aGun Store and liquor store(not in same building).



that reminds me... out near where i go prairie dogging, there's this little gas station. inside, is large room to the right full of guns. on the left is a decent sized liquor selection, and in between the two are all the cigarettes (less tax).

i always got a kick out of that - gas, smokes, guns, ammo and booze all in one stop... what's that signature say??? i want to live in a world where i can get alcohol, tobacco, and firearms from the same drive-thru window, and use them all before i get home from work!

CombatArmsUSAF
October 6, 2005, 01:07 PM
Gun stores here are realtively hard to come by, there is one that got shut down for selling to felons. ( I never shopped there because I had an inkling this was happening) One is just a D*** and I don't deal with him because of it. The last one is a bunch of stand up guys, their prices are decent, and they always pay me some extra attention when I walk in there. That is why I deal with them.

I like to get deals, but the conclusion I have come to is that if they hold a gun for me while I get the money for it over a extended period of the time I will pay asking price. If I pay cash for it then I want a deal.

Colt
October 6, 2005, 05:23 PM
you can have the best prices on Earth but be a jerk to your customers, and gun buyers on the most part will take their business elsewhere.

My LGS prices are just a bit higher than internet for new, and right around book for used.

But they are awful on trades. I'm not talking about me buying a new gun, shooting it, and the trying to trade it; I understand there's a significant price difference between new and used late model guns. What I'm talking about is buying a used gun, then deciding to trade it back (on a purchase, even!) and not getting within $150 of what he sold it to me for. He has a "70% rule." He wants to make 30% profit on any trade-in, with a minimum profit of $150. It can't be that expensive or time-consuming to do some paperwork and run a rag over the gun.

Give me a break! :mad: Consequently, I may buy from him, but I never trade-in to him. Maybe other traders are desperate, or don't know how to use the internet...

Vern Humphrey
October 6, 2005, 05:29 PM
What I'm talking about is buying a used gun, then deciding to trade it back (on a purchase, even!) and not getting within $150 of what he sold it to me for. He has a "70% rule." He wants to make 30% profit on any trade-in, with a minimum profit of $150. It can't be that expensive or time-consuming to do some paperwork and run a rag over the gun.


But it is that expensive to pay rent on the store, pay the light, heating and phone bills, keep up the insurance payments, amortize the safes, showcases, cash registers, and do all the other paperwork -- such as quarterly tax returns, monthly business tax returns, and whatever else the law requires of businessmen.

dodge
October 7, 2005, 08:45 AM
On new guns I don't usually haggle because his prices about 20% below MSRP but on used guns I try to get the best deal possible. With new guns I try to haggle for the accessories that I buy along with the gun.

redneck2
October 7, 2005, 09:09 AM
Until you work in a gun shop, you can't believe some of the guys that buy a gun, keep it for a months (or even weeks sometimes) and bring it back. If you didn't make a decent margin, you'd just be trading inventory for free.

As for

It can't be that expensive or time-consuming to do some paperwork and run a rag over the gun.

shop overhead is the same no matter whether it's new or used.

I nearly always buy at one shop. They owner knows I expect a good price (OK, I'm super cheap) so he always cuts me some slack. In return, I never ever try to beat him down once he's given me a price and I send a lot of new customers there.

Colt
October 7, 2005, 11:42 AM
But it is that expensive to pay rent on the store, pay the light, heating and phone bills, keep up the insurance payments, amortize the safes, showcases, cash registers, and do all the other paperwork -- such as quarterly tax returns, monthly business tax returns, and whatever else the law requires of businessmen.

Yeah, I guess this makes sense. I started thinking of it in terms of buying a car. If I bought a used car for $10k, and went to trade it back 2 months later, I couldn't really expect to get any more than $8k for it from the same dealer.

I guess I just have to be more careful before making the purchase to begin with.

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