Many here know the money saving potiential and selection that comes from ordering firearms from online dealers like Buds, KY Imports, J&G Sales, AIM, etc.
But there are also benefits that come from shopping at your local gunstores. For example, as you build a strong report with the owner he may offer you special discounts or hold pieces he gets in that he knows you'll like. There is also a convience that comes from leaving the gunstore with your new gun that same day, rather than having to wait for it to be shipped.
Knowing that you will pay more at a local gunstore for your next toy than you can order it online for, my question is: How much more are you willing to pay at your local gunstore for a gun you could order cheaper online? And, what factors do you consider when deciding which to buy from?
With me, an extra $50-$75 (sometimes up to $100 if its at my favorite local gunstore) is usually where I draw the line.
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December 30, 2006, 04:22 AM
I could see going an extra $100 if I wanted it then and the shop had been a good place to deal with.
December 30, 2006, 05:05 AM
Thing is, I generally DON'T have to overpay at my gunshop. They routinely undersell Cabela's. :cool:
If I found a smoking deal on something, I'd probably go with the online thing. It'd have to be savings of about a hundred dollars, though. Otherwise, with shipping and whatnot you're losing your advantage. Besides, a good gunshop will, if you order a gun, inspect it and reject it if there's something wrong with it. Don't know about buying from an online place.
December 30, 2006, 05:17 AM
Up to 20% when all is said and done on both sides. If you include tax on the local sale and shipping and FFL fee on the transfer, I am not going to pay any more than 20% more just because you are in the neighborhood.
December 30, 2006, 09:25 AM
Hard to give firm numbers, as it would depend on type, rarity and cost of gun. To me the biggest factor in buying local is I get to examine/fondle it before I buy. I've also gotten local deals that were easily as good as any can find on the 'net, even at the local gun show.
In short, 10-20% more wouldn't bother me in most cases. However, there's a couple hard-to-find (I wouldn't say rare just uncommon) pieced I'm looking for, and since I haven't seen either one locally in about 4 years, I'll probably have to resort to the internet. (Actually, I DID see one of them a year or so ago, at the local gun show. REALLY good price, but I was broke at the time...such is usually my luck. My buddy has managed to suck up all kinds of good deals in the last few years. But, his tastes are different than mine.)
December 30, 2006, 09:43 AM
Looking thru my safe, maybe 75% of my guns have been bought "used", though most were unfired or like new condition. Hard to match that on-line. Besides, letting the first guy take the beating on the price makes on-line shopping a moot point.
Dealers around here will do 10% over on special order new stuff.
December 30, 2006, 09:46 AM
a couple months ago I bought a walnut K31 at a gunshow for $250 with 2 packs of ammo,which brought the rifle at around $200.It was a great condition rifle and the dealer treated me decent,didn't treat me like a number.
LOL!When I posted that in another thread I knew someone would say that I paid too much,but really maybe $50 xtra to handpick it and take it home right then and there.With milsurps sometimes its worth paying a little extra to pick it and take it.
New guns,easy to find guns,I will go for the best price.And some milsurps like Mosin's Im less inclined to pay more.K31,M1917,M1903,for a nice specimen I will depending.
December 30, 2006, 10:00 AM
I haven't bought on-line & don't plan to. There's no real reason to do so IMHO.
December 30, 2006, 10:04 AM
10 to 15% I guess. I like to do buiness with small owner/operators. I also like to feel and see the gun I am buying. That is worth something as well. I oredered a Witness Elite Match only because we would never see one her. I just ordered it from a small buisness owner here and I probably could have saved 40 or 50 bucks maybe. I paid $489 shipping included plus tax.
December 30, 2006, 10:09 AM
My experience with a local "semi-high" priced shop is that I still have to get screaming deal to cover the transfer and shipping costs of buying online. A minimum is $25 add'l to transfer to me and they're usually within $5-$20 of the price I find online when I factor in shipping and the $25 transfer fee. The only real complaint I have with them is that they won't work real hard to order something I want if they can't find it at their first two distributors. I told them I wanted a Savage 10FLP in .308 two months ago and still haven't heard back.
December 30, 2006, 10:12 AM
letting the first guy take the beating on the price makes on-line shopping a moot point.
Unless you find a great deal on a used gun online, like some of the police trade-ins or a private seller on GunBroker, in which case online may give you better selection as well as better price.
As for the original question, it depends. Simply being local does not cut much ice with me, but if they are local, friendly, knowledgeable, and give good service, I will pay extra to support that.
Being able to handle and inspect a gun of a type well known to me: +5%
Being able to handle and inspect a gun of a type I am not too familiar with: +10%
Supporting a local merchant who gives good friendly service: +10%
December 30, 2006, 10:21 AM
I buy most of my guns from a dealer that is almost exclusively a gun show dealer. He operates out of a small store front in his home during the week and is one of the largest volume dealers in Dallas TX. I have never been able to beat his prices. His service has always been great. I have met with him at 11:00 pm before to pick up my purchases before!:eek:
December 30, 2006, 11:44 AM
My father and I have a penchant for old and rare firearms... so SOMETIMES we need to go online to find them... (the local store can't just order up original, vintage, unmolested Winchester Mod. 70's in the pre-64 variety in rare calibers like .222, .257 Roberts or 300 H&H...)
but anything new or common? you betcha... wedon't even LOOK online... we buy it from the local guy... WHY?
because when the local guy DOES get something in that he thinks we'd like, he holds it and calls us... he also allows us to make orders (sometimes in the thousands of dollars range) with just a phonecall... because he KNOWS we prefer to shop there, and that we will help keep him in business... it is worth EVERY penny!
December 30, 2006, 11:46 AM
$50 for guns up to $1000, $100 (though I have paid more on occasion at one of my regular shops) for anything over $1000. The gun prices I am comparing with are gun show prices which are usually at or lower than shop prices here.
December 30, 2006, 12:01 PM
If you buy off of Bud's Gun Shop you are going to pay $25 non-insured shipping or $30 insured to your FFL. Then on top of that the FFL will have a $20-30 transfer fee, and then $5 for background check(FL). On average plan on paying $55 on top of Bud's Gun Shop price. In FL sales tax is 7% so you have to factor that in if you buy locally. Recently, I ordered a gun through Bud's and did all of the above, but the FFL gun shop ended up being very very nice with great service. It's a smaller gun shop that does mainly law enforcement sales, but the guy that works there is awesome. So from now on I would be willing to pay another 10-15% to order/buy through the local gun shop. Generally, a local gun shop is within that 10% range when comparing total price.
December 30, 2006, 01:25 PM
$50 + tax.
I've had local places charge me $100 extra on a $200 gun, try to sell a basic glock for $625 while providing crappy service, etc. I'm not all that big on supporting my local dealers.
December 30, 2006, 01:34 PM
I haven't bought on-line & don't plan to. There's no real reason to do so IMHO.
If you don't buy new guns and look for specific models or variations then you will miss out on owning a lot specimens by limiting yourself to just local purchases.
December 30, 2006, 01:55 PM
I have no problem going $100 over online prices to support my local 'gun smith' shop, that also sells guns, and limited ammunition/accessories. I find a better selection of ammunition and accessories, at a local gun shop, but when it comes to the guns, the shop that takes care of my guns, gets my full support.
December 30, 2006, 01:56 PM
But there are also benefits that come from shopping at your local gunstores. For example, as you build a strong report with the owner he may offer you special discounts or hold pieces he gets in that he knows you'll like.
I think one of the most important "benefits" in buying from a local shop is just the fact that you're supporting a local firearms business... which, depending on where you live, some want to push out of existence (can anyone say "Mayor Larry Hartwig of Addison IL?")
I'm normally pretty stingy with my money, but I know I've over-paid a couple of times for a gun that I know if I sat down and did some research on I could get for $50 cheaper elsewhere. Heck, I knowingly ripped myself off a bit on a range membership just because I wanted to support the place (but which subsequently lost tons of money and went out of business last year because the owners were totally clueless, apparently.)
Whether you do it all the time or just once in awhile, it's good to support your local shops.
December 30, 2006, 02:17 PM
When I want to buy a car, I open a bank account and put money in it each month, until I can buy for cash. I have no obligation to pay extra to my local finance office for a loan.
When I buy the car, I look for a last-year's model that didn't sell. I have no obligation to pay extra to GM or Ford or Chrysler, or whoever.
When I buy a gun, I get what I want at the lowest price I can find.
I have no obligation to drop my pants and grab my ankles for anyone, for any reason.
December 30, 2006, 02:38 PM
Usually, about $50.00, because shipping is about $25.00 and FFL is $20.00 .
December 30, 2006, 03:12 PM
For me, 20% more, out the door (and it even rhymes). This goes for all my purchases; local hardware store, local supermarket, etc. Where it makes sense, I stay away from chains (except McDonalds, to whom I give far too many purchases). I am ordering a gun from a smith out of state because he's doing the race work on it.
December 30, 2006, 03:14 PM
I've been very successful getting what I want at the price I want to pay, offline. But then, I live in a target-rich enviroment as it were.
December 30, 2006, 03:20 PM
f you buy off of Bud's Gun Shop you are going to pay $25 non-insured shipping or $30 insured to your FFL. Then on top of that the FFL will have a $20-30 transfer fee, and then $5 for background check(FL). On average plan on paying $55 on top of Bud's Gun Shop price.
Not that long ago I posted on a thread where I did the math on a gun I was about to buy, it was a $220 gun that even with the added $50(who actually charges for a background check?) was a $70 savings over the cheapest local price. When its only a $200-300 gun $70 is alot. I ended up buying a more expensive model that only would have been a $40 savings from buds.
I dont give just anybody the extra money though, just places with good service.
December 30, 2006, 03:50 PM
I recently bought a Colt Woodsman, made in 1938, for $225, plus $20 shipping and $15 for my local FFL holder to process the paperwork. That's a total price of $260 for a Colt Woodsman.
Anybody find one for sale locally for less than that?
December 30, 2006, 04:42 PM
Houston storefront dealers are generally very easy to beat with on-line prices + FFL transfer fee + shipping. But our gun shows (rarely more than three weeks without one) are very competitive with on-line prices (often a bit lower even) and no extra shipping or xfer fees, although sales tax usually more than makes up for it. I say I never overpay as any minor $5-20 difference in total cost is more than made up for by being able to inspect what I take home instead of being stuck with what was shipped. Although I never hesitate to hit a local dealer when they have a good deal, most recently Carter's had Ruger MkII target slabsides for $238 -- I saw the ad, called to confirm stock, had them hold it for me with my cc number, and drove there immediately after work. Used MkIIs at gun shows have rarely been below this and I've not seen a NIB MKII in probalby the last six months.
December 30, 2006, 10:31 PM
Thanks for all the responses guys. I am grad to see there are many online buyers that, like myself, see the benefits that come from also supporting local brick and mortor guns shops.
I have to agree with all you guys that mention the great deals that can be found in local gunstores on used gun but I have a different spin on that idea. I have come across some really great deals from a friend that always wants something new from our local gun stores (he doesn't buy online). In most cases he sells me something he had just bought new and hadn't even fired.
In fact, the following gun I bought from him all in like new condition still unfired (I was with the friend when he bought most of them new): a Sig P245 for $450, a Para Tac-4 LDA for $600, a Winchester 1300 Defender for $190, and an EMF Great Western II for $400.
I also had a different friend sell me a like new Springfield "Loaded" for $550 because he needed money for school.
In addition I have found other great consignment deals at our local gunstores. that is a big perk of living in a college town. Many graduate and then for some reason or another (parents don't like guns, moving to gun unfriendly states, etc) have to get rid of their guns before they leave.
I also have to completely agree with the statement that a gun collection that doesn't inlcude online purchases is very limited. I have many guns (such as my Smith and Wesson 610 10mm) I would probably never have found if I didn't also make online purchases.
December 30, 2006, 11:35 PM
i got 4 out of 5 of my handguns at Guns and Knives in Ft. Lauderdale, FL. It's a nice store. I'm always treated nicely. Guys know me by name. I always ask if they can do *better* on a gun price, and they always came back with $15 - $50 off.
Given the assault on the 2nd, I'm willing to buy a lot of guns at my local shop at not exactly the greatest price. I want to support them any ways I can. I would hate to see a gun store go out of business, so I drop (don't mean to brag, please don't take it that way) anywhere from $1000 to $1500 a month on guns/ammo/range time. Yea, I spend all I make on three things: living, Fiance:D , and guns:D :D :D the first and last being very related:evil:
I think I'm actually going to take a break, since we need a nice TV for the living room:D but we already agreed on getting a Glock 17 in March, so we can both shoot and enjoy it.
I hope you wan't take it as it I'm a snob. I just don't care too much for a $50 saving on a $1000 gun, if I want it, and my local shop has it, I'm getting it, period. I shot a handgun for the very first time 6 months ago. Since them, i fell in love (with guns), moved do gun friendly state, and in last 4 months here, i got 5 toys, and dropped about $5000 on the hobby so far, and somehow I don't see myself saving any money anytime soon:evil:
December 30, 2006, 11:53 PM
Well, ArmedPolak, if you get the Glock first, then get the TV, you'll be all set to shoot the TV when those darn conservative yakkers (e.g., O'Really (sic)) go on too long. :)
December 31, 2006, 12:49 AM
I seriously work at keeping my favorite guns shop open. I even pay extra if a gun I want is on sale at another shop :scrutiny: But really, if I can save more than $100, I'll go else where
December 31, 2006, 01:13 AM
Years ago when I bought my H&K USP45C, I wanted it in .45 and I wanted a stainless slide. At the time it seems everybody wanted them that way. Oh I found USPs everywhere but not USPCs. And if I did find one it was either blue slide or .40 caliber. Sometimes it was blue and .40, but you get the idea. Finally found one, but it was $759 which I thought was outrageous. Even Gander Mountain wanted less at $729, though their's was a .40. I was even told that .45s were about 40 bucks more than the other calibers, though I never really found out if it was true. I bought it; what the hell else was I gonna do? Seemed the only one of it's type in the world at the time. I didn't try online, though. So I guess I could say that I would spend about what, 7 or 8 bucks per hundred on what I really want from my gunshops. Meh, money well spent.
Most of my purchases are from gun shows. One in particular that comes to a trade center about 5 miles from me. All the dealers that I have bought from are from Michigan, but they are too remote from me to be a repeat customer at their establishment. That is until they are back at the show. They all say that show prices are their normal prices.
December 31, 2006, 01:15 AM
With my friendliest local dealer, the only real difference is tax. He charges me a flat fee over cost that generally comes out to Bud's price + shipping + transfer.
I'd rather pay the tax and be able to go through him for service and advice than deal with someone out in the middle of nowhere. When you figure in the total cost of a gun (accessories, ammo over its lifetime), any local premium is going to amount to almost nothing.
December 31, 2006, 01:25 AM
Depends on the shop.
I haven't bothered to stop and think about the actual amount I'd spend, but I like to support folks who do a good job.
My favorite gun shop owner has also helped me out on several occasions, so I like to help him out when I can. He just recently saved me a lot of time, hassle and money by helping me ship a gun and some ammo, so I ordered a gun I've been wanting from him. I could have found a wholesaler, bought it online cheap, and just paid him $15 to do the transfer, but instead I placed the order so he could make a few bucks on the deal besides.
December 31, 2006, 01:35 AM
I wont buy an milsurps from my local dealer....hes ridiculously priced on them. Today I saw a Mosin M44 priced at $139......I bought mine online for $60. Thats a hell of a markup.
Everything else....Im willing to pay what I consier a "convenience" fee for something in stocks....usually an extra $30 or so. Any more than that and I will order it and have it shipped to my buddy that has an FFL.
December 31, 2006, 01:47 AM
and it just depends on my mood and the deal. I got a smoking deal on a .270Win for my wife this deer/elk season and could not pass it up. $200 for a tack driver wondergun. I have purchased another gun online, and a couple through a private dealer. And i've supported my local gun store with a purchase or two also.
The problem I have with the gun stores is that they barely even know what a 10mm is, let alone carry anything but a Glock if they have anything in stock. So I frequent the gunshops and call often, but typically, if I'm looking for a 10mm, I go online and miss the handling part.
So far so good, I could do worse. However, I've started looking for an AR15 and am quickly coming to the conclusion I don't know enough about them to make a fair judgement on condition other than the usual metal wear signs on any semiauto firearm. I can save significantly if I buy a used model, but new rifle may be the ticket for a first purchase to insure factory warranty.
Honestly, if I find one in a gunstore in my range, I'll grab it. If it's too high, I'll fondle it, inspect it, get a good feel, and then head home and hit the likes of gunbroker, auctionarms and the likes.