Buy Local, Buy Internet or Buy from non-FFL


Flame Red
October 12, 2007, 04:06 PM
Trying to figure out what to do here. I have been eyeballing a new firearm for a while now. Nothing rare, I see one usually at each fun show, but not very common either. It is current production.

This particular gun seems to have a lot of issues with fit and finish. Sort of makes me leary of buying it sight unseen.

I can get it at the fun show, or save $45 (after shipping and FFL transfer) and get it from an FFL dealer on the Internet, or I found a private seller and save $55 over fun show pricing.

The private seller says he returned the firearm to the manufacturer and they replaced it with a new one that is perfect. They are known for finishing problems. He says it is perfect.

What would you do?


The savings above includes taxes & FFL fees and shipping. The gun is out of state (only ohoto's available) and is going to be shipped by an FFL on both sides.

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The Bushmaster
October 12, 2007, 04:18 PM
This is a free country...Take your pick...I would go with the best weapon at the best price. You need "all of the above" added to your poll. I have a hard time voting for just one...

October 12, 2007, 04:25 PM
I prefer to inspect any gun before I buy. If this particular model is prone to flaws, how can you be sure what you will get from the internet FFL? Might blow the savings sending back to the dealer or factory to correct a problem.

Can you inspect the one offered by the private seller. People can have varying definitions of "perfect". Is the $55 savings accounting for shipping and transfer (if required)? Personally, I don't really like dealing with someone I can't "visit" in person on a big ticket item. Might not run into a problem 99 out of 100 times, but that 1 time can lead to real headache.

I would go to my local dealer and see what he could do for me.

October 12, 2007, 04:36 PM
I personally like to go through an FFL, just so that everything is taken care of, but it is really your choice.

October 12, 2007, 05:56 PM
I always start locally. If I cant find the item I want or they are overpriced, I turn to gunshows. If there arent any gunshows going on or I cant find the item reasonably priced, then I turn to shopping online.

October 12, 2007, 06:06 PM
I've bought from shops and online auctions through an FFL. Maybe about 10 from stores and about 50 online. I always paid significantly more to shops, either new or used. That's the only difference I've observed. Most of my bad experiences/lemons were Taurus revolvers, no matter where I bought them.

October 12, 2007, 06:31 PM
Under "private seller" on your poll, you also have "out of state".

Correct me if I'm wrong, but I do not believe one may legally buy from a seller who is not a resident of your state without using an FFL in the buyer's state.

Just be careful, saving $55 only to lose your rights (and perhaps your freedom) is a really good example of "false ecomony"....

Anna's Dad
October 12, 2007, 06:35 PM
I would normally go with the private seller if I can save money after shipping and transfer fees. If, however, you are concerned about the finish of the gun (and it sounds like you are) I'd go with the gun show!

October 12, 2007, 07:24 PM
i like to buy from the local guy

October 12, 2007, 07:33 PM
Same as the others, start local. If you find a smoking deal at least let the local guy try to get close on pricing.

Then go to online.

Seems to me at least however that the retail guys are less and less willing to try to make a deal so I'm being forced into the all online dealer thing.

October 12, 2007, 07:37 PM
yeah i got lucky my local guy goes a flat small fee over his cost to order a gun for me from factory. lol he's over 100 cheaper on every gun than sportsmens

October 12, 2007, 07:46 PM
Buy from whoever has what you want! I regularly buy from all three.

October 13, 2007, 03:20 AM
I say get as many guns as you can from a private seller (in your own state). That way there are no records of the transaction and when ATF (or whichever agency) comes confiscating your guns some day, you'll still have some that they don't know about.

For every two guns that I have on record (via FFL), there is one that is not :D

Having said that, there's something a little bit fishy (to me) about the private seller's situation. Plus, he's out of state which eleminates the primary benefit in my mind. If he were an in-state seller, I'd say go for it because the purchase wouldn't be on record. I'd go with the internet.

October 13, 2007, 06:59 AM
all the above....gpr

October 13, 2007, 07:10 AM
Support your local FFL.

Shows and the internet are good for browsing, research and unique items. Use caution though, with a wider search radius, you will find more scammers.

If you plan on only buying 1 firearm, then going with the lowest price might work out for you.

If you plan on more in the future, find a local dealer that you like and work with them. It will pay dividends in the future.

Ala Dan
October 13, 2007, 07:34 AM
I prefer to buy from my local dealer, if at all possible. In most cases, they
appreciate your business; and the friendships that derive from it are sincere.

October 13, 2007, 08:25 AM
Considering what you have said about fit and finish I would want to see it up close!

Always protect your own interest FIRST!

Flame Red
October 13, 2007, 01:40 PM
Bump for clarifications.

October 14, 2007, 10:14 AM
If you want the non FFL gun, insist on a range visit before you buy it.

October 14, 2007, 04:27 PM
I prefer to inspect any gun before I buy.
i also like to keep my money in the local economy and help out the small business if i can. if i am back home in n.c. there is only 2 people that i will buy from.i get all my ammo at cost drop shiped from one and buy my guns from another shop.

October 14, 2007, 04:33 PM
I prefer to support my local gun shops.

I don't like buying from non-ffl holders and I don't like buying online because I don't like having to deal with transfer fees when I go pick up the gun from whatever ffl dealer I had the gun shipped to.

So for the past few years I've only ever used gun shops and gun shows to purchase my firearms.

October 14, 2007, 08:37 PM
For me,
It REALLY depends on the price. Sometimes I buy from my local stores that I get my FFL transfers through. Makes life easier.

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