help would be appreciated: some questions using Davidson's Gun Locator


PDA






ryan in maine
May 14, 2007, 06:11 AM
well I was looking to buy a Para Ordnance CCW or a Para Ordnance SS Nite-Tac using Davidson's. I'd just like to get a few things straight tho. :D

after I go thru the steps and type in my zip code to find deals thru Davidson's affiliates (three come up), I come across some things I'd like to clear up b4 making a purchase.

first, here is the info I'm presented with:
Para Ordnance SS Nite-Tac
Kelley's Gun Shop (about 30 mins north)
Sale Price = $961.00
Additional Fees = $19.95
Tax = #48.05
Sub Total = $1,029.00
(Less Deposit) = ($281.25)
Balance = $747.75

Mac's Trading Post (about 60 mins south)
Sale Price = $884.99
Additional Fees = $37.45
Tax = $44.25
Sub Total = $966.69
(Less Deposit) = ($281.25)
Balance = $685.44

Van Raymond Outfitters (about 2 hours, 30 mins south)
Sale Price = $960.95
Additional Fees = $19.95
Tax = $48.05
Sub Total = $1028.95
(Less Deposit) = ($281.25)
Balance = $747.70

Para Ordnance CCW
Kelley's Gun Shop
Sale Price = $920.00
Additional Fees = $19.95
Tax = $46.00
Sub Total = $985.95
(Less Deposit) = ($268.75)
Balance = $717.20

Mac's Trading Post
Sale Price = $849.99
Additional Fees = $37.45
Tax = $42.50
Sub Total = $929.94
(Less Deposit) = ($268.75)
Balance = $661.19

Van Raymond Outfitters
Sale Price = $920.95
Additional Fees = $19.95
Tax = $46.05
Sub Total = $986.95
(Less Deposit) = ($268.75)
Balance = $718.20

now, questions:
1). the "balance" is the price actually coming out of my pocket for the firearm, right?
2). what is "less deposit" and how does it impact pricing?
3). "additional fees" I assume are transfer fees?
4). which deal sounds the best for each respective firearm, taking into consideration that I don't have to spend any gas money (safely over $3 a gallon here) unless I go north (both of the southern locations are along the way during frequent family trips downstate but headed north would be in my own vehicle)?

I'm aware I can probly find better deals from other internet sources, or deals closer to home from shops not affiliated with Davidson's, but this seems to be the best compromise. saving a couple hundred bucks is important to me (and I would not expect these deals closer to home), and Davidson's lifetime replacement warranty isn't a bad thing to have either, it would seem.

Mac's seems to have the better deal if the "balance" is the end cost, despite their high "additional fees" (and they're close to an S&W factory that I could take a tour of), but if I buy from Kelley's I'm supporting a relatively local business, and if I buy from Van Raymond I'm supporting a business local to my relatives downstate.

decisions, decisions... :confused:

thanks for any help. I'll check back in this afternoon.

- Ryan

If you enjoyed reading about "help would be appreciated: some questions using Davidson's Gun Locator" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!
Zen21Tao
May 14, 2007, 06:52 AM
It is my understanding that Davidson’s is something like a classifieds ad for gun shops. The individual gunstore sets their price as an offer. If you accept the offer your total cost is the "sub total" but this payment is made in two parts. First you make an initial payment deposit online (see below) and then you pay the remaining "balance" off in the store at time of transfer.

To answer your questions more specifically:

1. I believe the “balance” is how much you have to pay in the store after you have made an initial online payment.

2. The “deposit” is the total you pay online through the Davidson’s site for the store to hold the gun until you come in to pay the remaining balance on it. I do not know if this deposit is refundable or not so I would treat it as a non-refundable deposit unless you learn otherwise.

3. “Additional fees” is a place for the stores to arbitrarily mark-up their initial price however they want. In other words, this is padding for them to use to further set their margins. These fees can include transfer fee, stocking/restocking fee, shipping cost for replacement unit, fees Davidson’s charges for their service, etc.

4. The best deal depends on a lot of facts including distance to the store, store reputation, store’s customer service policy, do they have an on site gun smith, etc. That is something you would have to find out through your own investigations.


* Note: I have printed out Davidson’s offers and taken them into local gun stores along with copied pages of ads from online sites to get good in store deals (most often either at or less than the store’s Davidson’s price) but I have never actually accepted a Davidson’s offer online. Therefore, the above is just my best guess on how the setup works.

Lester Flatts
May 14, 2007, 08:03 AM
The balance is the remainder of the payment due after you pay the deposit. When you pay the deposit to Davidson's online, they actually pull the product, record the serial number, notify the local ffl, and ship the item. I would assume that the deposit is non-refundable, due to them shipping a specific item.

Davidson's sends you a tracking email that includes the serial number of the firearm. When the firearm arrives at the local ffl, you go in and pay the balance due. The additional fees are the transfer and anything else the ffl decides to charge, and tax is added. The 'balance due' includes all of the fees, so it should be all you have to pay to take home the goods.

I have used Davidson's a few times, very fast and simple process- I like it because I live in the boonies and the only ffl near me stocks very little.

ceetee
May 14, 2007, 08:58 AM
My take (and I am not affiliated with any gun shop in any way) is that Davidson's just acts like an advertising agent for any store that wants to sign up. Davidson's stocks the guns, the store picks whatever markup or margin they want to make, and any gun in the entire inventory is listed at the set markup for that store. You pay a deposit to make it worthwhile for Davidson's to ship the gun to the store, and you pay the balance when you go to sign the forms.

wally
May 14, 2007, 09:22 AM
I used to look at Davidson's listings for stuff I was interested in before going to a gun show, but always finding lower prices at guns shows made me stop bothering with it.

I understand that gun shows in other areas may not be as good as we have it here. Local dealers here are rarely less than $50 more than the best gun show prices, and my experiences with them is they clearly do not offer any service worth the price premium.

--wally.

JoeHatley
May 14, 2007, 11:31 AM
I'd suggest not buying on-line since you have 2 shops with in an hours drive.

I'd drive to Mac's and make your own best deal.

Good Luck...

Joe

akodo
May 14, 2007, 05:16 PM
call the shop and ask 'you got any xyx in stock' and unless it is something unusual, if they affiliated with davisons, they will say either 'yes' or 'i can get it/I'd have to order it'

as you aren't buying on line fron davisons, they aren't going to get hit with davisons's fees.

Your next question is, if they can get it, 'Say I come down and give you a $100 downpayment to get it, what would you charge me for it?'

this will often let you get a decent deal although sometimes you have to wait a bit.

wooderson
May 14, 2007, 05:46 PM
I've found that the prices are decent enough (gun show price or cheaper) for cheaper things - Mossberg and Maverick home defense shotguns, the lower-end CZ rimfires, etc..

wooderson
May 14, 2007, 05:50 PM
another thing I would suggest is going to the 'dealer locator' rather than gun search, putting in your zip code and finding the pawn shops listed within driving distance. Go to the pawn shop's web site (should be a link next to the name, takes you to a little e-store specifically for that FFL where you do the gun search) and see what their prices are like.

If the prices better than the three Davidson's come up, bookmark that store and just use it as your search gateway.

The three that come up for me on a gun search are a couple of dealers and a home FFL - but the fourth and fifth closest are pawn shops that apparently request almost no markup at all (5-10% cheaper). So I just bookmarked the cheapest of those and run my searches through them.

ryan in maine
May 14, 2007, 06:33 PM
thanks a lot for the helps, folks. I read each reply and found them all helpful. kind of a Firearms-Purchasing 101 for me. damn good thing I asked for help, eh?

when I have time later on I will reply to everyone individually.

- Ryan

mlandman
May 14, 2007, 07:10 PM
One thing to keep in mind is that Davidsons (I have no affiliation) gives you a lifetime replacement guarantee. If you need service, they will either ship you a new gun, or handle the work from the manufacturer.
Get THAT at a gun show. I think it may offset the additional price you pay, but that is your call.:cool:

Me...I got my PM9 through them...
so I have a PM9 with a lifetime guarantee!:neener:

Blue .45
May 14, 2007, 09:33 PM
Davidson's is a distributor. I bought my Mossberg 500 through them a few months ago. The Sub Total is the final cost OTD. the deposit is basically the amount of the down payment you have to make before Davidson's will ship the the gun to your local dealer. After your dealer receives the gun, you go in, pay the rest of what you then fill out the paper work or whatever the transfer process is in your locale. It only took a couple of days for my shotgun to arrive at my local shop. I would definitely use Davidson's again.

hotpig
May 14, 2007, 10:02 PM
FYI Davidsons only have two in stock. Macs must have one from last years price because as a Davidson dealer I can not even buy it for $849.99

RPCVYemen
May 14, 2007, 10:26 PM
Davidson's is a distributor.

And your local dealer may have a distributor with lower prices. Mine did. I went in to order from Davidson's and they said that they'd be happy to order from Davidson't if I wanted, but that they had a cheaper distributor if I wanted that.

Mik

hotpig
May 15, 2007, 07:28 AM
It pays to shop distributors. The last three guns that I ordered for customers I found cheaper than Davidsons prices on gunbroker.

CJ
May 15, 2007, 04:59 PM
What they all said :)

Shop local first
Compare pricing to Davidsons
If not available locally (or Davidson's is lower), ask them to match/beat the Davidson's offer
They'll likely jump at the chance since they can frequently get it from another distributor for a lower price

That being said, I've used Davidson's to purchase a high-demand/low availability item and really had great service from them.

sansone
May 17, 2007, 12:58 PM
davidson's will list your FFL(store name) only after a dealer buys 10 guns at a time(single order).. they will not let your purchases accumulate to equal 10 guns. also davidson's does not always have the best price. www.gunbroker.com & www.gunsUSA.us actually list ALL the participating dealers with links to their websites. www.gunsamerica.com will not allow dealers to add their websites to their databanks(afraid of competition?)

Bezoar
May 17, 2007, 09:34 PM
Its nice to be able to do a search for for a particular model and make of firearm. The thing i can complain about is that they dont distribute every firearm made by the listed manufacturers.

However, how are you guys fairing with dealing with the ffl dealers listed on that systems dealer search? So far in my area, the ones that are within my area affilitiated with Davidsons, have the following problems:
each have the same identical attitude of not responding to any form of communication with a potential customer
each is nothign more then the same inventory list, and sales flyer with a different name at the heading.

ON the plus side, the prices listed there are cheaper then what most of the local ffl boys will charge ya.

ryan in maine
May 19, 2007, 12:47 AM
Zen21Tao: It is my understanding that Davidson’s is something like a classifieds ad for gun shops. The individual gunstore sets their price as an offer. If you accept the offer your total cost is the "sub total" but this payment is made in two parts. First you make an initial payment deposit online (see below) and then you pay the remaining "balance" off in the store at time of transfer.

To answer your questions more specifically:

1. I believe the “balance” is how much you have to pay in the store after you have made an initial online payment.

2. The “deposit” is the total you pay online through the Davidson’s site for the store to hold the gun until you come in to pay the remaining balance on it. I do not know if this deposit is refundable or not so I would treat it as a non-refundable deposit unless you learn otherwise.

3. “Additional fees” is a place for the stores to arbitrarily mark-up their initial price however they want. In other words, this is padding for them to use to further set their margins. These fees can include transfer fee, stocking/restocking fee, shipping cost for replacement unit, fees Davidson’s charges for their service, etc.

4. The best deal depends on a lot of facts including distance to the store, store reputation, store’s customer service policy, do they have an on site gun smith, etc. That is something you would have to find out through your own investigations.


* Note: I have printed out Davidson’s offers and taken them into local gun stores along with copied pages of ads from online sites to get good in store deals (most often either at or less than the store’s Davidson’s price) but I have never actually accepted a Davidson’s offer online. Therefore, the above is just my best guess on how the setup works.
thanks for replying.

so with Davidson's you're sort of reserving the firearm and getting dibs on it, I take it.

finding the good deals can be sort of a thrill of the hunt thing, eh?

is it common practice in the firearms community to take in proof of good deals and request (or ask if it's feasible) to match/beat the offer?



Lester Flatts: The balance is the remainder of the payment due after you pay the deposit. When you pay the deposit to Davidson's online, they actually pull the product, record the serial number, notify the local ffl, and ship the item. I would assume that the deposit is non-refundable, due to them shipping a specific item.

Davidson's sends you a tracking email that includes the serial number of the firearm. When the firearm arrives at the local ffl, you go in and pay the balance due. The additional fees are the transfer and anything else the ffl decides to charge, and tax is added. The 'balance due' includes all of the fees, so it should be all you have to pay to take home the goods.

I have used Davidson's a few times, very fast and simple process- I like it because I live in the boonies and the only ffl near me stocks very little.
thanks for replying.

I appreciate the details of the Davidson's process.

some of my attraction to Davidson's parallels your own. I don't exactly have a lot to sift thru locally (altho there is a new place on Main St. with Paladin targets in their front window that might be worth checking out). the closest real variety I have verified is @ least an hour south. and for what most THR members seem to be used to having pick of, I'd have to go three hours south. not exactly a trip I want to have to make @ all often with gas being $3.24 a gallon here right now.



ceetee: My take (and I am not affiliated with any gun shop in any way) is that Davidson's just acts like an advertising agent for any store that wants to sign up. Davidson's stocks the guns, the store picks whatever markup or margin they want to make, and any gun in the entire inventory is listed at the set markup for that store. You pay a deposit to make it worthwhile for Davidson's to ship the gun to the store, and you pay the balance when you go to sign the forms.
thanks for replying.

you're verifying the conclusions I seem to be drawing. reservation type thing. it would seem the usefulness of Davidson's depends on personal factors, and isn't a superior deal to everything else, which is the impression I had b4. I'm still attracted to their lifetime service tho, y'know? "lifetime" is a strong word.



wally: I used to look at Davidson's listings for stuff I was interested in before going to a gun show, but always finding lower prices at guns shows made me stop bothering with it.

I understand that gun shows in other areas may not be as good as we have it here. Local dealers here are rarely less than $50 more than the best gun show prices, and my experiences with them is they clearly do not offer any service worth the price premium.

--wally.
thanks for replying.

that's one of my problems. I don't even know if we have gun shows. I've heard of "sportsman shows" but I didn't bother stopping in, as nearly everything firearms-related in this area is aimed towards hunting and shooting, rather than defense.

I wouldn't be too snobby about the $50 difference I suppose, as long as it still falls within what I'm looking to spend (didn't want to go over $600, but that's another post).



JoeHatley: I'd suggest not buying on-line since you have 2 shops with in an hours drive.

I'd drive to Mac's and make your own best deal.

Good Luck...

Joe
thanks for replying.

I'd rather buy in person. the problem is variety. Mac's seems to be the closest place with the best chance of finding some variety, however. Kelley's was the other place in my area I mentioned in my original post, but it is not the only gun shop in town. there are several within an hour of me, perhaps half of them are in my town (less than 10,000 ppl). the problem is mostly variety and a couple of owners who seem pretty shady (pawn shops).



akodo: call the shop and ask 'you got any xyx in stock' and unless it is something unusual, if they affiliated with davisons, they will say either 'yes' or 'i can get it/I'd have to order it'

as you aren't buying on line fron davisons, they aren't going to get hit with davisons's fees.

Your next question is, if they can get it, 'Say I come down and give you a $100 downpayment to get it, what would you charge me for it?'

this will often let you get a decent deal although sometimes you have to wait a bit.
thanks for replying.

good idea. sneaky, yet, you wouldn't know it. haaa.



wooderson: I've found that the prices are decent enough (gun show price or cheaper) for cheaper things - Mossberg and Maverick home defense shotguns, the lower-end CZ rimfires, etc..

another thing I would suggest is going to the 'dealer locator' rather than gun search, putting in your zip code and finding the pawn shops listed within driving distance. Go to the pawn shop's web site (should be a link next to the name, takes you to a little e-store specifically for that FFL where you do the gun search) and see what their prices are like.

If the prices better than the three Davidson's come up, bookmark that store and just use it as your search gateway.

The three that come up for me on a gun search are a couple of dealers and a home FFL - but the fourth and fifth closest are pawn shops that apparently request almost no markup at all (5-10% cheaper). So I just bookmarked the cheapest of those and run my searches through them.
thanks for replying.

I'm kind of put off by most pawn shops. the pawn shops in this area seem to be located in seedy places surrounded by druggies (and I doubt they have websites). should I give them the benefit of doubt? should I even care as long as I can find it online and get a cheap transfer?



mlandman: One thing to keep in mind is that Davidsons (I have no affiliation) gives you a lifetime replacement guarantee. If you need service, they will either ship you a new gun, or handle the work from the manufacturer.
Get THAT at a gun show. I think it may offset the additional price you pay, but that is your call.

Me...I got my PM9 through them...
so I have a PM9 with a lifetime guarantee!:neener:
thanks for replying.

that is something I've kept in mind and have been attracted to. it will remain in the back of my mind as I weigh all my options.

one thing I've realized is that I need to make another, more elaborate/problematic post to find a little more guidance from everyone.



tech4061: Davidson's is a distributor. I bought my Mossberg 500 through them a few months ago. The Sub Total is the final cost OTD. the deposit is basically the amount of the down payment you have to make before Davidson's will ship the the gun to your local dealer. After your dealer receives the gun, you go in, pay the rest of what you then fill out the paper work or whatever the transfer process is in your locale. It only took a couple of days for my shotgun to arrive at my local shop. I would definitely use Davidson's again.
thanks for replying.

I appreciate more positive feedback for Davidson's. y'think it'd be possible to talk the down payment to a lower number if you're slick-tongued?



hotpig: FYI Davidsons only have two in stock. Macs must have one from last years price because as a Davidson dealer I can not even buy it for $849.99

It pays to shop distributors. The last three guns that I ordered for customers I found cheaper than Davidsons prices on gunbroker.
thanks for replying.

I have heard of Gun Broker plenty of times on THR. I just never had much luck navigating the site. perhaps I was trying on bad days. haaa.

now that I've realized I was wrong about final pricing, I think I have to change my wish list to something more budget friendly. I'm a young guy with limited funds. but like I said b4, I will have to make another seperate post to elaborate and provide more details and hopefully gain some guidance from THR members who have been where I'm @ already.



RPCVYemen: And your local dealer may have a distributor with lower prices. Mine did. I went in to order from Davidson's and they said that they'd be happy to order from Davidson't if I wanted, but that they had a cheaper distributor if I wanted that.

Mike
thanks for replying.

there's one local gun shop I have yet to check out. they're the new shop on the block. it may be promising, as they have seemed to be more defensive-oriented than the other shops in my area. like I said earlier, I think I saw Paladin targets in the window. and now that I think about it, they were advertising sales on tasers and pepper sprays for some special deal they had going. something or other. I suppose I'll have to look into them either way now.



CJ: What they all said

Shop local first
Compare pricing to Davidsons
If not available locally (or Davidson's is lower), ask them to match/beat the Davidson's offer
They'll likely jump at the chance since they can frequently get it from another distributor for a lower price

That being said, I've used Davidson's to purchase a high-demand/low availability item and really had great service from them.
thanks for replying.

I appreciate that. it's a question I asked earlier in the conversation. if it was common to ask a gun shop to match/beat a price of an online deal.

and another vote of confidence for Davidson's is comforting, in case I go that direction.



sanson1: davidson's will list your FFL(store name) only after a dealer buys 10 guns at a time(single order).. they will not let your purchases accumulate to equal 10 guns. also davidson's does not always have the best price. www.gunbroker.com & www.gunsUSA.us actually list ALL the participating dealers with links to their websites. www.gunsamerica.com will not allow dealers to add their websites to their databanks(afraid of competition?)
thanks for replying.

really? interesting, if not a bit odd. very good info tho. I plan on giving Gun Broker another go.



Bezoar: Its nice to be able to do a search for for a particular model and make of firearm. The thing i can complain about is that they dont distribute every firearm made by the listed manufacturers.

However, how are you guys fairing with dealing with the ffl dealers listed on that systems dealer search? So far in my area, the ones that are within my area affilitiated with Davidsons, have the following problems:
each have the same identical attitude of not responding to any form of communication with a potential customer
each is nothign more then the same inventory list, and sales flyer with a different name at the heading.

ON the plus side, the prices listed there are cheaper then what most of the local ffl boys will charge ya.
thanks for replying.

I share that complaint. lately and frequently I've selected a manufacturer from their drop-down list only to find they only carry 1 or 2 (or even zero) firearms from them.

the local problems you mention are already on the table for me @ almost every spot I've checked out, so nothing new under the sun there I suppose. after I make my new post I'm sure I'll get much better direction on this situation. I have criteria and things worth noting that might not only make everyone's advice on purchasing easier, but also provide insight on the firearms I am looking @ purchasing. since I found out I was in error in interpreting Davidson's pricing, I realize I have to drop my wish list down a notch or two. *sigh*

once again folks, thanks for the replies and help you offered up. I'm going to have to make another more elaborate post now tho. hope to see you there for more guidance if you've got the time.

- Ryan

If you enjoyed reading about "help would be appreciated: some questions using Davidson's Gun Locator" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!