Pricing error - what would you do?


January 29, 2006, 08:22 PM
Oh the pain of honesty.

I was at a gun show over the weekend and saw the usual collection of overpriced handguns. I was actually there looking for ammo. In one showcase I saw a gun marked "S&W 642" priced at $349.00, which seemed to be the going rate for 642s at this show. The thing about this 642 is, it was really a 640! Same basic design; hamerless, J-Frame, but the 640 is stainless and shoots .357. I hovered around the show for a while trying to decide if I should a) buy the gun at this great price even though I didn't really NEED a 640, though I've wanted one for a while, or b) point out to the dealer that he had mismarked on of his guns, c) just forget about it. I never did have to make a choice. I finally wandered back to the table after 45 minutes or so to look at the gun again and someone was buying it. I don't know what price he was getting.

What would you have done?

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January 29, 2006, 08:53 PM
Oh the pain of honesty.
That's when it's at its best.

Decisions, left alone, will make themselves <que Freewill>.

What would you have done?
I'll tell you if you tell me what you're going to do next time first. :)

January 29, 2006, 09:12 PM
If it's a good deal and you want it, buy it

The guy's a dealer. It's not like you're taking advantage of widows and orphans. Maybe he didn't have a lot in it and wanted to move it. Maybe they're not that popular. Maybe he's got 6 of them and needs to thin the herd.

In legal terms, he's in a professional position and considered to have more knowledge than the average person. He should use it.

January 29, 2006, 09:33 PM
If it makes you feel any better, I got my 640 for $300 so maybe it wasn't mispriced at all.

January 29, 2006, 09:34 PM
He's a dealer. Whatever he's selling it for, he got it for less. He is making a profit that he's happy with. I'd make him happy by buying it.

January 29, 2006, 09:40 PM
Thats why you go , to find a good deal !!

January 29, 2006, 10:14 PM
If its a good deal to you always buy it. These guys are dealers out to make money. I doubt he would have let you know if you sold him a gun at to low a price.

January 29, 2006, 10:19 PM
It was the dealer's revolver and he priced it. Why try to educate him about the price? There could have been several issues why it was priced lower. If you wanted it and it passed inspection then buy it, other wise walk on by and pay it no mind.

January 30, 2006, 12:01 AM
I went to a pawn shop a few years ago and saw a 12ga semi-auto shotgun that some Bubba had painted green, presumably it was home made camo. The gun was priced at $89. I almost didn't look at it, assuming it was some junker, but decided to have a closer look. It was a pre-64 Winchester Model 50.
I bought it;)

January 30, 2006, 06:58 PM
That is not so screaming a deal I'd feel guilty about it. Dealers charge what they want and sometimes the prices I have paid on guns at a dealer were so good you would not believe me.

Vitamin G
January 30, 2006, 11:51 PM
For a second I thought this was going to be about the usual mislabeled ammo at wal-mart. I agree that dealers will never sell a gun for less than they paid for it, so go for any good deal you see.

As for wal-mart and mislabeled ammo... Some people might take the high road, but i'd buy all they had and request a rain check for more...

January 31, 2006, 12:04 AM
I think that's roughly the going price for the things here, retail.

Not a BAD price, but not like it was marked $250, either.

January 31, 2006, 11:01 PM
I have seen guns I thought were mismarked. The last time around I asked the guy if the gun was priced right (with one of those gee that seems high attitiudes). The dealer told me the price was right and he wouldn't come down. I bought the gun, a slightly used Les Baer PII for $750.00. Assuming he didn't mismark the gun, he really screwed somebody.

January 31, 2006, 11:12 PM
I would have bought it without feeling any remorse.

Recently, I bought a Mossberg 590A1 for $210 at a pawn shop. It was marked for $300 and I asked if she could do better on price. I was thinking about offering $250 when she said that they were having a 30% off sale and she gave me the discount.

I assume they made a profit and the seller and buyer were both smiling. Can you imagine what they gave the person that pawned it or sold it outright?

February 1, 2006, 10:10 AM
Here is a better one. 'Academy Sports/Outdoors', a Waco, TX based chain, has several local stores. They sell 115gr FMJ 9mm Blazers for $3.86/50. One chap from the range where I work part time as a RO, went through the checkout with a case of 20 boxes. She ran the UPC barcode over the scanner, and it rang up $3.86 - for the case! He went back... as did several others, including one LEO. I am sorry, to me, it was stealing - and I reported it to the manager of my local store, admittedly not the one they had used, but reportedly one where a dealer had pulled the same trick. Now they don't sell any full cases - even bricks of ten boxes of .22LR are broken up. It came back to bite me - one checkout girl opened my last box of shotgun clays, most of which were broken (Good for me, actually, as I left them!). I guess she was going to charge me the box price for each clay!

I would probably have quized him briefly re that gun price - and, had I wanted it, bought it. In general, nothing is sold by a dealer at a show for less than what a local gunstore will sell it... and bought locally, you'll likely have an easier time with warranties, etc. I buy some reloading supplies, when they are available, at local shows, as not much else seems fairly priced these days.


February 1, 2006, 10:55 AM
I was once told that real honor is doing the right thing when there's no chance that you would be cuaght if you did the wrong thing. Discuss with the guy. Maybe it was the price he wanted, and he just made a mistake writing the model number down. Maybe he'd reward your honesty by offering it to you at the listed price, even if it was in error. Maybe he was misled as to what it was worth, and you'll be helping him avoid a financial error that could hurt him. Maybe you'll make an acquaintance that will know your honesty and honor are beyond reproach, and you will be dealt with accordingly in the future.

February 1, 2006, 11:59 AM
In my opinion, if someone offers a product for a given price and someone buys it at that price, then that is a consummated good faith transaction. It is up to both parties to do due diligence as to the suitability of the transaction from their point of view. If he offers it at that price you can buy it at that price without any qualms. He is responsible for what price he sells it for.


February 1, 2006, 04:59 PM
I guess if I saw too good of a deal, I'd question the dealer a bit.

If your case, since the model was obviously wrong, I'd have pointed to the gun and the tag and asked if they went together.

Could just be mismarked, or could have something wrong that you didn't find. Or could be the "bait and switch" tactic. Gets your interest with a mistagged sticker and tries to get you to still buy it for the "real" price.

February 1, 2006, 05:23 PM
If a seller is a regular dealer and is selling something for less - even a LOT less - than what I think the going rate is, I'll normally jump on it; that's called bargain hunting.

On the other hand, if the elderly widow woman down the street wants to sell her late husband's pristine pre-64 Model 70 or mint S&W .357 Registered Magnum, I'm not going to take unfair advantage of her by paying $25 and walking off with it . . . I still have to face the guy in the mirror every morning.

February 1, 2006, 06:20 PM
About thirty plus years ago the NRA held a big meeting and show in Salt Lake City.

Stationed near the main entrance to the gun show portion was one of the leading
experts on old Colt SAA's. This little old 80+ year old lady comes in carrying a SAA.
She says she is wanting to get rid of it for a couple hundred or so. Says she found it
in her attic and thinks it might have belonged to her dear departed husband.

Expert carefully examines the gun and figures it to be worth about $25,000. :what:
He doesn't tell her that but can't afford a proper price and is not willing to try to
steal it and so passes on the deal.

Two more "SAA experts" down the line get into a bidding war and one ends up
paying her somewhere around three thousand for the gun.

Turns out it was an extremely good forgery. The first expert in this tale is
telling this tale in an article on firearm forgeries, particularly Colt SAA's.
This particular forgery was so good it was detailed in this article to try to
prevent this one from continuing on.

So be careful of the innocent little old ladies as well.


February 1, 2006, 11:21 PM
Could have asked the dealer if he could do any better than $349; if he knew exactly what he had in the gun he would have replied immediatly. Otherwise he might have consulted his records to see what he paid and thus what he might sell it for. Possiblility he might have said "I'll take another $10 off and thats the best I can do"........or somesuch. Or, "Holy S$$t, I priced it wrong".....but since you're such an honest guy you can have it for $300. :D

February 3, 2006, 05:13 PM
If you always take the High Road no one can look down on you, including yourself.



Mal H
February 3, 2006, 06:55 PM
The model could have been mismarked instead of the price. Nonetheless, the "mistake" had to clear itself up (the model) when the purchase was made. Any dealer who has been around for more than a week is going to look at the markings on the gun rather than what is printed on a sale tag.
February 4, 2006, 04:00 AM
Ask if anything ever bothers you on a gun deal.

At the local pawn shops here the guns are FREQUENTLY mislabeled or wrongly appraised. I once asked a clerk to see an Enfield and he replied "No that's a Mauser" When I asked him to see it anyway I pointed out that the stampings were all in English not German and that the caliber was 303 along with the simple fact that the Enfield action looks NOTHING like the Mauser action he said, "Well I found Mauser in the book and this it what it described..." Sadly, the price was too high for a Bubbafied Enfield with a badly scored crown but sometimes ignorance is a choice.

February 7, 2006, 03:09 PM
I am not even sure if that price was a mistake. I think $350 is not out of line for a 640. If you wanted it, you should have bought. If you felt that it was too good of a deal to be true, just ask the guy if that is the right price and if he says yes, buy it. It is not like it was marked $3.50 or something. Clearly that would have been a mistake.

I think what really happened was you were so shocked that you found a good deal a gunshow that you couldn't believe it. You were like a deer caught in the headlights. You were stunned out of action.:D

That happened to me once. There was a guy walking around the show with a Star box. I like Stars so I asked the guy what he had. He said it was a Star BKM and proceeded to show me one of the nicest Star BKMs I have seen. It has wood grips as well as the original black plastic. It had custom sights installed. It was mint with all the tools and box. I like it so I asked him how much, he said with not much hope, $100. I thought I heard him say $400 for some reason so I was about to tell him that was more than I wanted to spend. About halfway through my sentence, I worked out what he said. I handed him a C-Note and skipped away. Once in a while you will find a good deal at the shows but sometimes when it happens, you almost can't believe it. I almost passed on the deal because I was hearing what I expected to hear and not what he actually said. It was one of the best deals I have ever come across. I don't feel guilty because the guy told me he had been at the show all day and was about to leave because nobody wanted to buy his gun. I think people were thinking it was a Star BM or something. I don't know what the deal is but most of the time, the first person will buy at that price!

February 7, 2006, 06:13 PM
I've known people who after being quoted $100 for the Star would still say "would you take less?"! Can backfire as the seller may be insulted but can work sometimes because if the seller did not know enough to sell so low and was refused by others, they may be willing to go lower especially if not knowledgeable about guns like in the case of someone inheriting guns and not being interested in them but to make a quick buck.

My dad bought a Astra 600 in nice shape with a holster at a show for $160, the price was originally $170 and I assumed it would be a beat 9mm Largo 400 but the seller produced a nice 600 9x19 with a holster. My dad looked at the guy and said $10 less and the guy agreed which told me he got it for even less probably. I've seen these guns with asking prices in similar condition from $350 and up.

February 7, 2006, 11:43 PM
"I've known people who after being quoted $100 for the Star would still say "would you take less?"!"

That is called being greedy AND stupid. I was not about to try and beat this guy down in price for what it was. It was a really nice pistol that was worth more than three times what he was asking.

February 8, 2006, 07:03 PM
Might be greedy but not necessarily stupid as the guy that I know that used to do it, may he rest in peace, it worked more often than not but he used to apply it to buying stuff at yard sales mostly.

You might think this is stupid but my dad on occasion has given more than the asking price on one or two occasions just to show everyone I know or have known is not a heartless bastard:)

February 8, 2006, 07:51 PM
The thing is, in order to make a bluff like that, I would have to have been willing to walk away from the deal. I was not willing to risk losing out on one of the best deals that has ever fallen into my lap so that is why I called it stupid.

I have actually seen people being given great deals like that but they just had to haggle and lost out. More often than not, there is someone waiting just around the corner to swoop in and jump all over a deal like that as soon as you blink.

I was the swooper just a few weeks ago in fact! I was at the big Indy show and I happend to be walking by a young man that was trying to sell his Mak for $125. He said that was as low as he was willing to go and the guy that was considering buying it wanted to haggle. I knew that was a great deal for the gun in the condition it was in (like new with lots of extras) and I was right there as soon as the guy turned his back. As I was handing over my $120 ( beat him down $5.00:D ), the guy came back just a moment too late. I tried not to laugh as I saw the look in the fool's face. He must have decided that $125 was the best deal he was ever going to find on a Mak and decided to come back and buy it. Too bad for him but maybe he learned a lesson. I doubt he learned a thing but I know I did. The difference is, I learned my lesson before he learned his. That is why I had a Mak for $120 and he had nothing.:neener:

February 8, 2006, 09:10 PM
If its a good deal to you always buy it. These guys are dealers out to make money. I doubt he would have let you know if you sold him a gun at to low a price.

Had an old friend who I went to high school with who took over his parent's pawn shop when his dad retired. I decided one day that I liked a particular little Colt Detective Special, except for the fact that it had a crack on one grip, which I felt should lower the $150 asking price. Being school chums and all, we good naturedly joshed back and forth a bit, but he wouldn't budge. He DID, however tell me that he "guaranteed" me that should I decide to trade it later on something else, he'd give me my full purchase price back. (It should be noted that we had been buying and selling each other guns for years trying in a somewhat jovial fashion to "get one up" on the other. Strictly a friendly competition.)

Sure enough, I later found a carry piece I liked a lot better, and a 788 in .308 in his shop I took a hankering too. Offered the .38 in trade and he told me he couldn't go any more that $125 dollars because of the crack in the grip. Even with my gentle reminders, he just could NOT "remember" selling me that handgun with that particular cosmetic flaw. Being friends, and knowing what goes around comes around, I ate the $25 bucks and vowed to pay him back soon.

Didn't take long. Was in one day looking for a bolt .22 to hunt squirrels with, and notice a NIB Glenfield. Knew that new at the time they went for $139, he had it marked at $120. Picked it up, walked over to the counter, laid the rifle across it, and asked him what the best he could do on it was. He picked it up, made a huge production of examining it (like horse trading gun folk are wont to do), pulled the mag, turned it over a couple to times more, and pronounced "Sorry. Gotta have what's on it". I said "Okay. Hand it here and I'll put it back". When he went to hand it over, he tried to reinsert the mag. Wouldn't go. He said "S*&t! Now I gotta take it to the gunsmith and it's gonna cost me more than it's worth to fix it." Asked him if he'd take ten bucks for it and let ME worry about fixing it. He said, "What the hell? I've already lost money on it anyway." Gave him my ten bucks, filled out the yellow sheet, said " 'Preciate it." He said "My pleasure. Don't have to fool with it now." I then opened the bolt, slid the magazine into battery, closed the bolt and left him standing there with his jaw agape. Still got the little ten dollar Glenfield, still shoots like a beaut. And 25 years later, every time I walk into his gunstore, he greets me with "you slinky lil' sumb&*ch!"

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