All gun dealers satanic? maybe not


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bigjim
January 9, 2003, 10:28 PM
You want a gun that costs 100 dollars wholesale.

Add shipping (overnight for handguns ) now the gun costs 120 dollars before it even hits the door.

Now you have to pay for:
Salaries, Insurance: Liability, property, medical on you and your employees, Lots of legalized extortion in the forms of fees, rent (triple net), utilities, Expendable supplies, Theft, Breakage, advertising, Vacation time, sick leave and so on. Many businesses have at least 15% overhead.

So that is another 18 dollars and you still have not made a cent. We are up to 138 dollars for that 100 dollar wholesale gun. Now how much profit are you gonna give the S**thead dealer? Hmmm Well the stock market returns 12 percent over the long haul but since business owners are blood suckers we will let him take home 10 percent? that is another 13.80 cents Now The dealer wants 152.00 dollars for your 100 dollar gun. 52% markup!!!!

Remember that if your gun costs 1000 dollars EVERY SINGLE cost I mentioned except shipping scales with the price of the gun. ALL small companies survive on making a percentage on the money invested. If you have not owned a business you will not understand this part about cost scaling along with the price of the gun.

We have a constitutional right to own guns. We do not have a RIGHT to buy them wholesale. The FFL is a form of business License. To get one and keep it you must be selling guns for profit. Its one of the questions on the application, at least it used to be back when I was running a gunshop.

Its not that dealers don't like to do transfers. Its that doing them for free or cheaply is competeing against themselves and it does not pay the bills. DEALERS are NOT in Business to be your friend.

Now the gun industry is also to blame for this "perception" issue the public has about the way dealers price their products. The Factorys and Distributors are a bunch of cheap whores. They will pimp wholesale guns to anyone that is able to fill out a application and get an FFL. No other Industry is like this. Try going to city hall getting a busness Licsence and then calling Ford and saying Ok I am a dealer now sell me your cars direct and for the same price as the other Ford Dealers.... HA! Between preditory priceing, whoring distributers and Basement bandit dealers bleeding sales off so they can be big heros to thier cheapskate buddies its amazing there are any gunshops left.

Here is another undervalued item most of you want for free. The dealers time.... Advice..... Gunsmithing questions.... Mount the scope for free I bought the gun here.....Standing around BS'ing about guns with his staff... Then you walk out with out buying anything. Try this go to the Doctors office walk in and chat up his nurses and office staff for 20 mins then ask him about the wart on your ***. Keeping talking about health related issues all with out a appointment and no exam. Don't pay him anything. Remember you had a appointment last week and you paid then. You plan on getting your flu shots next month, and if he is real good to you untill then, maybe you will let him sell you the shot if he gives you a deep discount as a return customer. The Doc will love you!

One last pet peeve. Stop bitching about the low quality of counter help. Hiring adults with experience and good skills costs money. it is a fact that most of us are not willing to pay for the good service we feel so entitled to. Seems we are getting what we paid for.

Go ahead flame away..... Make sure to include "the customer is always right"........ I love that one.

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mgjohn
January 9, 2003, 10:40 PM
How true. I love the ones that come in and price a gun and then say that they could have or did buy it for X-dollars less 10 years ago.

firestar
January 9, 2003, 10:45 PM
I don't think anyone is mad at dealers for making a profit, it is the out right cheating and borderline criminal activity that they so often engage in.

I have seen it several times and I can see how a few bad apples can ruin the bushel so to speak but I think most gun dealers are crooks. If they could, they would cheat the pants off everyone that came in. Not every gun dealer is bad but I think most that I have come in contact with would cheat me if I let them.

When dealers buy and sell used guns it become most apparent what their true colors really are. I have seen dealers buy used guns from people for rip-off prices and turn around and mark them up 200-400%!:scrutiny: I know they have to make a profit but how much is enough?:cuss:

bad_dad_brad
January 9, 2003, 10:53 PM
I don't know about the rest of you, but my dealer is a good guy, totally honest, and charges only what he has to. I know because I have checked around.

che4rev
January 9, 2003, 11:05 PM
I worked in a gunstore, and I can say without a doubt that I am not Satan. We are just good friends.

Redlg155
January 9, 2003, 11:15 PM
I think we all understand that a dealer does have to make a living. The only thing a lot of us complain about is that some seem to try to make it on one gun sale. If a dealer can get a Glock for under $400, but in turn sells it for $600-$650, I can say he made a pretty fair profit.

If I use his FFl, order myself, pay my own shipping and have the weapon sent to him he makes an average of $25-$40. Just to keep a record of my transaction. A call in? He makes $5.00 for the call.

As previously mentioned, if I buy a weapon and bring it in for a trade a dealer will give me less than HIS cost. That of course does make sense. So it cost him less than 400 for a Glock. I bought it for $650. He gives me $300-$350 max. He then sells it for $500-$550.

Shipping? As I understand it dealers do not have to use UPS Overnite. They can use the Postal Service at a a discount.

Some dealers are great. Some a rip offs. I have one dealer where I can get a new AR15 for 8ish. If I go to Tallahassee to shop I know of the same gun is $1200 .

Good Shooting
RED

Porter Rockwell
January 9, 2003, 11:23 PM
And especially now online is "My buddy has an FFL so why can't you match him?? Here, just amke this long distance call to brand X garage distributing and I want the special hand picked for the same low price...
The kitchen table dealers are the absolute pits and the lowest of the low. They can't even fathom how the lowball prices lower all guns value!
I just love the net gun guys that completely disassemble and ding up a gun without any intent of buying so they can go back to work (likely a government job!) and post a story to the online community. Has it occured to one and all that using someone else's time for personal gratification is stealing? But that's a whole other topic that likely will never see the light of day.

bigjim
January 9, 2003, 11:40 PM
Redleg155 said: If I use his FFl, order myself, pay my own shipping and have the weapon sent to him he makes an average of $25-$40. Just to keep a record of my transaction. A call in? He makes $5.00 for the call.

I can tell you have never owned a business. He did not just make 25-40 dollars. He lost a sale that should have made several hundred and worse yet helped another dealer to undercut his price. This lowers the value of all his merchandise and sets a tone and a expectation for future transactions with you.

By the way I was a redleg for almost 10 years. Way back when a gunner still had to know how to lay a piece, not just ask the computer to do it. Gun One Zero Mils! Gun one is laid!

Firestar said: When dealers buy and sell used guns it become most apparent what their true colors really are. I have seen dealers buy used guns from people for rip-off prices and turn around and mark them up 200-400%! I know they have to make a profit but how much is enough?

Uh...that is what dealers of used things are supossed to do... Buy low as you can and sell as high as you can. Dealers are not any more your friend than a car salesman. This is the way the world works. If you walk in to any store to sell something not knowing what it is worth its your brain that is malfunctioning not the dealers morals.

Business is business....friends are friends, except when its time to do business then even your friends are just business.

Wildalaska
January 9, 2003, 11:45 PM
Had a guy come in that spent an hour comparing a Sig to a Walther P99...after asking him which one he was interested in, he said:

"I just wanted to handle them, my budddy will order it for me"

He wont be back :)

Redlg155
January 9, 2003, 11:46 PM
By the way I was a redleg for almost 10 years. Way back when a gunner still had to know how to lay a piece, not just ask the computer to do it. Gun One Zero Mils! Gun one is laid!

Ahh..I was never fortunate enough to be on the A5s. We did everything manually with the Chief of Smoke out there on the aiming circle and everyone laying their guns the old fashioned way. Then when the collimator went down we shot off aiming poles. As a gunner I had to stand on a stack of FMs just to see through the gunners sight! :D



I can tell you have never owned a business.

Nope. Now someday I hope to get into custom gunsmithing, but as for a gun dealer..HECK NO!:D

Good Shooting
RED

Bob Locke
January 9, 2003, 11:50 PM
This is also pretty high on my list of Things That Bother Me, so I developed a rule of thumb. It's pretty simple, and works for me (since I am a HUGE proponent of supporting the local dealer).

If I see a gun I want on line, I total up what that purchase is going to cost me. I include shipping and the applicable FFL transfer fee (which seems to me to be about $30 on average) in that number. If the local guy is within 10% of that number, then he gets the business. That's my personal "cost" of helping keep the local guy in business. If he's over that, then he gets the transfer fee only.

Works for me; doesn't have to for you.

raz-0
January 9, 2003, 11:57 PM
--------------------------------------------------
The Factorys and Distributors are a bunch of cheap whores. They will pimp wholesale guns to anyone that is able to fill out a application and get an FFL. No other Industry is like this.
--------------------------------------------------

Sorry man, but with the exception of cars, ALMOST EVERYTHING retail is like this. Aftermarket car parts, stereo equipment, computer parts, candy, knives, martial arts equipment, musical instruments, games, and many more. You go to your local municipal complex, get teh application for incorporating in the simplest form, and get your tax ID. You then, by and large, have access to the world of wholesale. If you think it is otherwise, you are grossly deluding yourself. About the only things you can't do this easily with are things you have to be a authorized or certified reseller to distribute. These are usually brands, and by and large involves acting as both a customer support representative, and warranty center. Much like car dealers. If I am not mistaken, that is NOT the basic distribution model gun manufacturers use. And to make your analogy even less meaningful, there ARE people who get incorporated, DON'T become a dealer, and DO buy cars from Ford and resell them. There aren't a lot, but there is definitely one example not too far from me, and they are quite definitely Fords.

What you see most people getting pissed off about on the forums revolves mainly around the attitudes of gun store owners, operators, and staff. If you do represent that group, read your own post and figure out why? I might also suggest stopping by another retail establishment that revolves around a different product and chatting with the manager. Much of what you complain about are simply the hassle of retail.

Or from the comfort of your own computer, try http://www.actsofgord.com/ It should at least give you a laugh.

bigjim
January 9, 2003, 11:57 PM
I had this little asian dude came in one day, barely could see over the counter and his english forced you to really concentrate to understand him. I spent over a hour with him answering questions over and over again, showed him at least twenty guns. He left, came back in on another day and I had one of my guys help him. Almost 2 hours still no sale. He came back in two more times. Then about 15 days go by and he shows up with a brand new Sig 226 purchased from a "discount" dealer in the city. Wanted me to show him how to take it apart.

He did not seem to like how I "helped" him. I took the gun all the way down just as fast as I could hideing the moves from him as best I could. Put his parts in the box and kicked him out of the store and told him never to come back or I would have him arrested for tresspassing!
:evil:

Navy joe
January 10, 2003, 12:25 AM
Yes Jim, you're right. We should all enter your store and bow to you as the humble little money bringers we are.

-After we have spent money in your store many times we should grovel for the privelege to be treated like swill because you are truly great.

All businesses get their share of customers who suck. This is no excuse for you to treat us all like crap. I've done face to face work in other things than guns, you have to treat the customer as a knowledgable equal until they prove otherwise. A good salesman has a little of each expert, teacher, product user, and friend in him. Local business of all stripe will be killed by e-commerce unless they can offer location, a decent inventory, services(Like FFL for private transfers or gun cleaning, classes),
and an atmosphere that makes people want to drop in.

You could be an angry man with a quiet bldg full of guns if the attitude of your first post is what you give the customers.

firestar
January 10, 2003, 12:44 AM
Quote:
"If I see a gun I want on line, I total up what that purchase is going to cost me. I include shipping and the applicable FFL transfer fee (which seems to me to be about $30 on average) in that number. If the local guy is within 10% of that number, then he gets the business. That's my personal "cost" of helping keep the local guy in business. If he's over that, then he gets the transfer fee only."

That is about what I do! I will pay a little more just to avoid the hassel of mail order and not being able to see what I am buying (esp. in used guns).

Also, it is not just the money that makes people want to shop online, it is the selection and the convinence. Don't take it personally when someone buys a gun online, maybe they didn't have the time to personally go into every gun store in the area or maybe they couldn't find the gun locally. The main reason I buy most of my guns online is, the poor atitude of gun dealers!
:neener:

Freedom in theSkies
January 10, 2003, 12:48 AM
You know....
I can relate to some of what BigJim is saying. I have a small shop in a small town and it bugs the ***** out of me when people come in to ask you about an item, talk to you about it for half an hour, then go to WALLY WORLD or one of the big Discount stores and buy it there. Like I have nothing better to do!
Yep, I might see them again... And I will ALWAYS do what I can to help them, because I am representing the companies product that I am trying to sell.
It's just really hard for a small business owner to get over the fact that consumers will come in to get the background on a product, yet they go to the box store to buy it and maybe save 50 cents ona 30 dollar item. I suppose it's because the box stores don't generally have qualified personelle at their sales counters.
Well, I feel better now... Hmmm the leftover Kraft dinner is almost heated up... I think I'll go get some...
:banghead:

bigjim
January 10, 2003, 12:53 AM
NavyJoe said: You could be an angry man with a quiet bldg full of guns if the attitude of your first post is what you give the customers.

I re-read my first post. I made no mention of my attitude for customers but instead talked at length about customers attitudes towards business people, and about flaws in the gun industry. Not sure how you could have possibly gotten confused about that.

bigjim
January 10, 2003, 01:02 AM
You may be right and the problems I outlined maybe more wide spread than I suggested. What I don't understand is how you seem to feel that makes it ok?

Its like saying since one out of every four adult men in America likes to molest children. Its so common there is no point being mad about it?

I think the behavior and expectations of the public is becomeing more and more debased with every passing second. The public sucks.

PATH
January 10, 2003, 01:15 AM
Some really are.:evil:

If you find a fair and honest gun dealer then stick with him!

larry_minn
January 10, 2003, 02:06 AM
I have local gun shop I like to visit. Thing is while only 40 miles away I only get there 4X a year. I doubt I have been there two times in a row where I have not bought some ammo or stuff. Funny thing is he has some left handed holsters that fit a few of my not so common guns. After seeing them there for over a year I asked if he could give me a deal on them. "Heck no those are quality holsters" He still has them as of Oct 2002. He has 4 black for 39/52 S&W and two brn for same gun all left hand.
I used to visit a shop in Twin citie. I bought three guns there. I would stop in monthly and often just look stuff over and maybe handle two guns max. Bought lots of ammo/stuff. Heck bought a drill press from owner. New owner was sterotypical gun dealer so I don't go back. Other store I never bought a gun at but some ammo/gear and helped him make a few sales when he was busy. I felt bad when he decided to quit selling guns. Just never had what I wanted.

Hkmp5sd
January 10, 2003, 02:33 AM
He did not just make 25-40 dollars. He lost a sale that should have made several hundred and worse yet helped another dealer to undercut his price.

When planning on transferring through a dealer, I always ask him if he can beat the price the other guy is giving me. Obviously on a person to person sale, that's not very likely. But when buying from dealers, he has the same opportunity to track down a wholesaler and make the same profit the other dealer is going to make from my purchase.

However, if there is a small price difference, including guns at the local WallyWorld, I will pay the small difference to the dealer and buy from him. I WANT him to stay in business.

Pendragon
January 10, 2003, 03:47 AM
caveat emptor
supply and demand
whatever the market will bear

The 2nd Ammendment does not exempt anyone from market forces.

You should never get mad at someone for charging a price you disagree with. Perhaps he is waiting for a sucker. That is the sellers right.

MitchSchaft
January 10, 2003, 04:15 AM
I made no mention of my attitude for customers

It was implied.

dave
January 10, 2003, 04:40 AM
"Dealers are not any more your friend than a car salesman. This is the way the world works." by bigjim


Ok. I have to agree with you there. So why do you get your panties in a wad when you aren't treated as one? You cry about the "dinner table FFL holders" and how they are the scum of the earth. Why? Isn't that just the way the world works?

You say, in a round about way, that you're not there just to "look out" for our best interests. That fine with me, but then you whine like a school girl because we don't look out for yours. Seems like you think it ok to say that you're in busniess to make as much money off us as you can, that it's just "good busniess". But, when we say that we want to save as much money as we can, we're just a bunch of cheap bastards.

Either your busniess is doing fine or it's going down the tubes. If it's fine, then what's your grip, is it that you just want more? If it's going down the tubes, well......imagine my suprise.

RoyRapoport
January 10, 2003, 05:15 AM
I'm a huge believer in excellent customer service and it being worthwhile to support people who give you such service. As an example, I will soon be paying approximately 30% more for my DSL service because I'll be getting it from a bunch of hard-core geeks in a small coop than from my local giant telco.

But I know what I'm getting out of it -- I'm getting the ability to call these people and get them on the phone *NOW*. I'm getting the ability to talk to people who really know their stuff. I'm getting an enthusiasm for the job and a willingness to go the extra mile.

This is exactly the sort of thing that I've seen from John Jardine, for example, and why I don't intend to ever give my 1911 gunsmithing business to anyone but him.

I'm not expecting a gun dealer to be my friend. I don't expect the gun dealer to expect *me* to be his friend. I'm not going to waste his time for hours at a time if I'm not going to buy the gun through him, but I have no problem coming over to see the gun, at least, and figure out if I want the gun and if I want it from him.

For what it's worth, with the exception of exactly one gun, I've purchased all my guns from my local dealer or store. In the case of this one gun -- the Kahr P9 -- the best price my local guy could give me was $586 (including tax). My costs by going out-of-state: $421. That's about a 30% difference. The work that my dealer had done: Whatever research it took him to quote me the price on the phone. You know what? After doing about $4000 of business with him over the last few years, I'm comfortable with him not getting this one.

The last time I went to one of the biggest gun stores in the area (Traders Sports in San Leandro), I was helping a friend of mine purchase a Glock. The clerk did not know about the Glock recall issue. This strikes me as problematic.

-roy

dinosaur
January 10, 2003, 06:57 AM
I`ve bought 3 guns sight unseen. One was the Isreali HP from AIM. No local dealer had them. One was a Colt 1927 from CDNN. Both times I asked if the dealer wanted to buy them and resell them or just take delivery. No both times. The 3rd was a used S&W Model 18. My dealer hadn`t gotten one in a long time.

Research is the key. A $500 purchase is a big ticket item for a lot of people. Prices on new guns seem to vary wildly but a certain % is reasonable for convenience.

Now if a gun calls to you like a Siren luring you to the rocks, you can`t complain about the price. :evil:

bigjim
January 10, 2003, 09:17 AM
Mitchschaft: I am not involved in the gun business as anything but a customer. I used to run a gunshop over a decade ago.

I have no attitude for my customers since I DON"T HAVE ANY.

It was implied in your mind only.

bigjim
January 10, 2003, 09:44 AM
Ok. I have to agree with you there. So why do you get your panties in a wad when you aren't treated as one? You cry about the "dinner table FFL holders" and how they are the scum of the earth. Why? Isn't that just the way the world works?

If you read my post carefully and then read yours. You will understand we are both saying the same thing. Dealers are just people trying to make money. Customers are just people trying to save money. Customers are not bad for doing this just as dealers are not bad for trying to make as much as they can. The thing is guns even at full retail as measured by the real value of money are cheaper than they ever have been. Customers are getting great deals and the gun dealers are failing. Guess we showed them huh?

I made my post as a counter point for all the "school girl whineing" about dealer practices.

Its not about good or bad, friendship or fairness. Its about business.

I did mention about the flaws in the gun industry remember? I think the Gun makers, the distributers, and the dealers should quit cutting each others throat and put some margine back in the business.

Then dealers could hire decent folks, provide the high level of free service customers want and still feed the kids. The net result is you my be able to afford 11 guns next year instead of 12.

Or we could have dealers that take your money upfront, do nothing at all for you but place the order and transfer the gun.
Any problems are yours to deal with. The only warranty is that of the maker and you have to deal with the problem .... no refunds. Hell I could make a fortune 20 bucks at a time doing this. But...... most customers are dishonest about thier expectations. They want the discounted super small margine sale AND the killer service. That is not possible.

Now Dave I know this reasoned reply was not what you wanted. You just wanted to put me in my place by calling me a whiny school girl. Sorry I did not meet your poster to responder expectations. But then again you did not PAY me anything and My comments come with no warranty. Oh well maybe you can tell all your friends not to respond to my posts because I am such a rip off artist.:banghead:

JohnBT
January 10, 2003, 10:01 AM
I have little use for lousy retailers of any sort. But I buy my guns locally no matter what.

I like looking at guns and prices on line and in the Gun List as much as the next guy, but I don't buy from them. If I can't find what I want locally I keep looking.

Trouble is, I want to see the gun I'm buying and not be stuck with whatever they happen to send me. All mass produced goods are not the same - tolerances stack and assembly problems occur.

It just tickles me to no end to hear the endless stories about people ordering a gun to save $50 bucks or whatever and then they complain that the sights are crooked or the slide fit is loose or there is some other problem that bugs them. Well duh, they bought a pig in a poke (that's buying a pig in a bag and not seeing what you're getting).

Some of these same people probably stand in the produce section at the grocery store and pick through the heads of lettuce to find one that suits them. But they'll order a gun. Go figure.

And no, I'm not a gun dealer or related to one.

John

whoami
January 10, 2003, 10:45 AM
I have little use for lousy retailers of any sort. But I buy my guns locally no matter what.

I try to do the same thing. Took about a $100 dollar hit on my AR, and about a $60 dollar hit on my P99 (in each case about 10%), but I think it was more than worth it based on the service.

I'm still trying to decide whether the service justifies paying $1200 (before tax/NICS) for a USP Tactical.

dave
January 10, 2003, 12:15 PM
"Now Dave I know this reasoned reply was not what you wanted. You just wanted to put me in my place by calling me a whiny school girl. Sorry I did not meet your poster to responder expectations. But then again you did not PAY me anything and My comments come with no warranty. Oh well maybe you can tell all your friends not to respond to my posts because I am such a rip off artist." by bigjim




:neener: HaHaHa! What am I supposed to do now, throw my hand over my heart, fall to the floor and cry "oh, ya got me"? I did note where you said you have been out of the busniess for about ten years. I think I understand why. And yes sir, sometimes some folks need to be put in their place. Glad to see you understand.


BTW: Why on earth would I ask my friends to not respond to your posts? Seems to me, they need to know how the people they may be thinking of spending their money with really feels about them. If you're not getting the amount of replies you expected, I don't know what to tell you.

David Park
January 10, 2003, 12:38 PM
I had this little asian dude came in one day, barely could see over the counter and his english forced you to really concentrate to understand him. I spent over a hour with him answering questions over and over again, showed him at least twenty guns. He left, came back in on another day and I had one of my guys help him. Almost 2 hours still no sale. He came back in two more times. Then about 15 days go by and he shows up with a brand new Sig 226 purchased from a "discount" dealer in the city. Wanted me to show him how to take it apart.

He did not seem to like how I "helped" him. I took the gun all the way down just as fast as I could hideing the moves from him as best I could. Put his parts in the box and kicked him out of the store and told him never to come back or I would have him arrested for tresspassing! OK, from the dealer's perspective, this customer has "wasted" your time and "robbed" you of a sale, and you have a right to be angry and ban him from your store. Now, let's look at it from the customer's perspective. Here's someone who is presumably new to guns, for whom a Sig or something similar is a major purchase, and who wants to do a lot of research first. He enters your store (good for you!) and finds you and your staff friendly and helpful (another plus!). He finally figures out what he wants to buy, after presumably visiting other stores as well, and buys from the cheapest place he's visited. However, the service at the discount place probably sucked since they didn't even show him how to field strip the gun, so he returns to you, the dealer with the great service. Instead of helping him out, you throw him out, losing the chance to sell him some accessories and damaging your reputation with all of his friends. But, at least you got to vent some anger. :rolleyes:

About this concept of "wasting" the salesman's time. Unless your store is so busy that some people are actually going elsewhere just to avoid the long lines, I fail to see how a customer walking in, talking to a salesman for an hour, and then walking out is a "loss" for the business. After all, the salesman gets paid whether he's talking to a customer or just standing there twiddling his thumbs. It seems like having the salesman talking to customers would be beneficial in the long run, generating repeat visits, assuming the salesman is not an idiot.

I visit two local gun shops a lot and occasionally fondle their guns, but I'll probably never buy a gun there (unless the price is exceptionally low) just because of the stupid local laws. It's easier and cheaper for me to drive to the neighboring county to buy. However, I end up spending more on ammo, holsters, cleaning supplies, accessories, and range fees at the local shops than the cost of the few guns I buy elsewhere. The important thing is that the local stores don't seem to mind; they're always friendly, even when I'm having with a problem with a gun fresh off the table of the local gun show.

spacemanspiff
January 10, 2003, 12:51 PM
maybe the question should be 'what does your dealer do to DESERVE their customers?'

if prices are high, attitudes are atrocious, customer service is non-existant, why are they still in business? obviously SOMEONE is buying from them, enough to keep their doors open.
i found that the guy working the counter at walmart is very educated and offers excellet customer service. i stop in there a couple times a month just to see what new goodies he might have. i also found another good dealer just last weekend.

maybe the dealers and former dealers who post on THR are fed up with finicky customers. but what do they do to attract the customer into buying anything from them?

to be honest, most of the gun stores i have walked into have had one or two employees who are sitting on their arse doing nothing. they usually are visibly annoyed at having to answer a few questions or open the case so i can take a look at something. so when someone says 'they wasted my time that could have been spent doing something else', all i can think is 'are they really that upset at having to get up off thier duff and stand for 20 minutes?'

but i've found the retailers that i want to do business with, and i have also found the ffl that i want to do my transfers. forget paying $50 per transfer, mine does it for $10 flat.

MMcCall
January 10, 2003, 02:50 PM
I'd be happy to buy my stuff locally, if they didn't all want at least $100 more than what I can get it for online.

$10, maybe $20 isn't too much to pony up to keep the locals in business, but $100? Sorry, my money doesn't grow on trees. I also buy private party whenever I can, to avoid paper trail.

Oatka
January 10, 2003, 03:12 PM
I guess I'm lucky.

I live in a small town with the nearest small city (St. George, UT) 40 miles away.

Off and on I've ordered three new guns via a gun dealer there, plus sold four guns on consignment. On one gun, he thought the price I wanted was too low and upped it $15. I got the extra $15, he got 10% of the total.

I saw a 6.5mm Swede in Shotgun News. The pawn shop in Nevada wanted $15.00 for the transfer and told me the gun was $20 higher than my phone call to the vendor indicated. When I asked about the difference, he said he talked to the same vendor and the old price was a Sale Price (I had confirmed the price with the vendor about 15 minutes prior).

If he would have said that was his profit, I would have gone with it anyway, but the "error in advertising" scam ticked me off.

I went to the St. George dealer, who ordered it for me and didn't even charge the low $7.50 Utah NICS fee. I just paid for the postage. I don't even bother with Wally World for ammo - this guy gets ALL my purchases.

The Plainsman
January 10, 2003, 03:18 PM
I reckon I missed whatever it was that prompted your initial post, but throughout this thread, as a former business owner, I am reminded of that age-old axiom - "The customer may not always be right, but he's always the customer." Welcome to capitalism. :cool:

Omaha-BeenGlockin
January 10, 2003, 03:29 PM
A fair profit is fine---everybody needs their cut-------Gouge me, and you'll never get my business again and I'll bad mouth you forever.

We have a place here in town that gouges and aren't even nice about it---I just go in there to laugh at their prices. Then drive 50 miles to get a good deal---$5 worth of gas to save $150---sounds fair to me.

Just waiting untill we get some true competition in this town---when the new Scheel's store is completed in April 2004.

Atticus
January 10, 2003, 04:41 PM
bigjim said: "Its not about good or bad, friendship or fairness. Its about business."


That's EXACTLY what a good local business IS about. I can do pure faceless/nameless business over the internet for a lot less money. But I would greatly prefer to do business with a friendly, fair, "good" dealer- but they are exceedingly rare these days.

I'm amazed by the attitudes of many small businessmen. If they hate people so much - why do they start a business that depends upon the public's continued support. I'm convinced that some of the gunshops around here are run by people who inherited a furtune and simply need a hobby. They have terrible attitudes, and they go on the attack the minute someone walks in the front door. Screw em.

Fair, knowledgeable and friendly service is worth some extra $ to me.

firestar
January 10, 2003, 05:57 PM
I have a dealer that will do transfers for $5. That is why I buy guns online. I can save $200 on a new Kahr P-9 Covert by buying online. I think if I can buy a Kahr for less than $400 and the online dealer is still making a profit but my local dealers are charging almost $600 + tax, I think someone is screwing someone!

The guy that does these FFL transfers for $5 doesn't mind too much because he is an antique dealer mostly and I gave him a screaming deal on a cherry 1892 Winchester takedown in 25-20. I think he is quite happy to do transfers for me for my life as long as I give him first crack at any collectable guns I want to sell.

He is a good guy but I think he might gouge me if I let him. He wouldn't mind losing a customer for one good deal. I hope I am not right but I think 99% of people would screw someone over if given the chance. I wouldn't cheat someone but I would try to get the best deal possible. If someone had a gun that was worth big bucks I would let them know and not just rip them off. I have done this several times and every time the person sold it to me anyway. I think it shows that you are honest and they would rather you get the gun for a good price rather than be lied to and cheated by a gun dealer.

faustulus
January 11, 2003, 01:04 AM
Let me say from the start that this is going to sound harsh. Because it is. The consumer and the retailer are at odds. Consumers are almost always going to go with the best combination of price/service. A low price can make up for good service to some degree, however no matter how good your service is it cannot overcome an inflated price. Once upon at time retailers could relie on geography, not any longer, the internet and the market place have changed that. For better or worse retailers are now competing globally, the may not like it but I don't like paying taxes and neither condition is going to change. The solution up to now has been to follow the American car companies examples of the 70s and 80s. But the "buy American" campaign will not work for long. To be competetive in modern retail businesses are going to have to compete with businesses around the world. Is if fair, no, but what in life is? Consumers are going to get the best prices if this means buying wholesale, so be it, I buy lots of things wholesale, and I buy a lot of things retail. I do not "owe" any business anything, just as you noted not business "owes" me anything.
Also in your original post you gave the example of $20 to ship a handgun, someone is paying too much for shipping.

bigjim
January 11, 2003, 10:25 AM
Faustulas said: Let me say from the start that this is going to sound harsh. Because it is. The consumer and the retailer are at odds. Consumers are almost always going to go with the best combination of price/service. A low price can make up for good service to some degree, however no matter how good your service is it cannot overcome an inflated price. Once upon at time retailers could relie on geography, not any longer, the internet and the market place have changed that. For better or worse retailers are now competing globally, the may not like it but I don't like paying taxes and neither condition is going to change. The solution up to now has been to follow the American car companies examples of the 70s and 80s. But the "buy American" campaign will not work for long. To be competetive in modern retail businesses are going to have to compete with businesses around the world. Is if fair, no, but what in life is? Consumers are going to get the best prices if this means buying wholesale, so be it, I buy lots of things wholesale, and I buy a lot of things retail. I do not "owe" any business anything, just as you noted not business "owes" me anything.

You right here! The internet and the megamarts are changeing everything. 10 years from now your shoping choices will be: Costco, and a few other megamarts and on-line retailers. I don't look forward to this world with much hope or joy. I personally hate buying guns I can not inspect and hold first. Oh I forgot we wont be ABLE to buy guns!!! Since there will be no local FFLS around to receive them for us. Oh well thats ok. I have all I need, and since its all about me and getting things as cheap as possible its all good.

:scrutiny:

Atticus
January 11, 2003, 10:57 AM
Who is the smarter business man here? This is a real life situation in my neck of the woods.

Dealer A (5 minutes from my house)- charges $50 for transfers, and treats me like a dirtbag, because they are insulted that I didn't purchase their guns (which are marked up 30% above internet prices).

Dealer B (30 minutes from my house)- charges $20 for tranfers (and act's like I'm the best customer they have).

I use Dealer B for the transfer- buy a couple of boxes of ammo/targets/accessories from him- shoot at his range- and recommend him to my friends.

Dealer A - maintains his pride, his poor reputaion for customer service, and gains no income from current, and most importantly, FUTURE sales.

Dealer B - gains income- new customers- maintains old customers-dramatically increases chances for future sales.

Why is this simple idea so difficult for these folks to understand?

And people wonder why their businesses so often fail.

hansolo
January 11, 2003, 11:32 AM
I think you put the whole situation in perspective. I agree with you 100%.

When these "Greed Bags" think they can rob us and go looking for another "target", they will become bitter. I do business with a very nice family-run Gun Shop that's been in business locally for over thirty years! There is always a pot of coffee on the counter -- no charge -- and some "regulars" haven't bought a box of ammo in twenty years. Then, there are the guys/ladys who walk in and drop $1,200.00
on a handgun or rifle. This is the American tradition of the Mom & Pop business that DOES make real friends and if they can't beat another shop's price, they tell ya, and, ya know what, they still are doing very well, thank you, from excellent PR and breaking their backs to KEEP the longterm(sometimes, LIFETIME)customers

BTW, this is the Condor Gunshop in Desert Hot Springs, CA. I do not work there...I'm just a loyal friend and customer!:D

jsalcedo
January 11, 2003, 09:48 PM
I have dealt with gun dealers that took one look at me and decided I didn't have any money. The ignored me even though
I spoke directly to them. Little did they know I had a couple of grand to spend on new guns.

Leaving the snob shops behind I found some that treat me the same whether I buy or not.

I'm not majorly into charity for business owners but....
If I am treated nicely and waited on and they answer my questions I'll buy a gun from them as long as it is a
"reasonable" price.

If it turns out that I'm not ready to buy the firearm I'll buy
some reloading supplies, patches and solvent even if I'm stocked up just to show a little support and maybe establish a repoire
as a paying customer and not a leech.

I have 3 or 4 shops I frequent and they all have their ups and downs but have begun to reap what I sew.

One shop replaced the buggered grip screws on my .45 at no charge.

One shop talked to me for 30 min about my SKS and gave me
information about fixing it myself even when I offered to pay the smith to do it.

One shop worked up a bunch of loads for different calibers and loaded me up with catalogs and reloading data effectively spending an hour educating me for free.


All of these folks deserve my business and will continue to get it
even if its only 20 or 30 dollars at a time.

Sisco
January 11, 2003, 10:12 PM
The stories about customers taking up dealers time then buying elsewhere reminds me of when my Dad owned a gas station.
We were full service; across the street was a convience store with self-service pumps. People would pull into or drive by our station then notice gas was a a little cheaper across the street. They could pick up some munchies, a cup of coffee or a coke over there too. All we had to offer was a clean windshield, check you oil or fix your flat tire and yes, the gas was a couple of cents more.
The one thing they couldn't do across the street though was use the restroom - no public restrooms there.
So, after topping off their tanks and filling up on goodies they would come back over to our side of the street and ask for the restroom key.
"Sorry, they're out of order". :neener:

Back to gun dealers: The shop I go to has a pretty good selection at fair prices. If you want something he doesn't have, he'll show you the book he orders from and tell you to add 10% plus shipping. I've shopped around on the net but haven't come across too many mainstream guns that after adding shipping and transfer fees were much cheaper than what he sells them for. If I have a problem, he'll take care of it. He's also got fresh coffee and a restroom. :D

raz-0
January 12, 2003, 08:41 PM
You may be right and the problems I outlined maybe more wide spread than I suggested. What I don't understand is how you seem to feel that makes it ok?
Its like saying since one out of every four adult men in America likes to molest children. Its so common there is no point being mad about it?
I think the behavior and expectations of the public is becomeing more and more debased with every passing second. The public sucks.

First of all, what you are questioning as ok is the inherent process of business. The freedom to offer for sale what someone wishes to buy. It has NOTHING in common with child molesting.

Not wanting to be ripped off is also not debased behavior.

Personally, I am talking about simple things. I use a very friendly kitchen table FFL for out of state purchases. He could double or triple his prices (which would put his prices in excess of my local shops for a transfer), and I would still go to him because he does not behave like an ***.

A case in point, I TRIED to order the guns I specifically wanted from my local dealers, and they basically said they couldn't or wouldn't get them. On top of that, they then had the nerve to try to convince me to buy something they had in stock that I DIDN'T want. We aren't even talking similar here. When I suggested that if they looked on line I could tell them where to get what to sell me. Still no dice. They simply didn't want to make the effort. No free sales advice given to me.

Another example, I want to do a transfer on a used gun. I call up a place that advertises they do transfers. Not only do they give me crap about it, but they won't even mail an inked FFL without me coming in during their limited business hours to pay their free up front. Holding a $1000 gun in hock isn't security enough to reassure them I won't walk out on a $0.34 (at the time) stamp. Once again, I consumed very little of their time in this endeavour.

MOST of my local gun dealers offer NO value in their business. They are unfriendly, keep inconveinient hours that they don't even bother showing up for, have little to no inventory, and generally have the attitude that you are screwing them over no matter how much money you give them. What value does a gun "store" that requires me to make a minimum of one phone call, and three trips to their store during 9-5 business hours and won't lend me a hand trying to buy something they haven't got?

To give you an idea of the BEST gun dealer in my area. They have a large inventory on hand, and they keep their advertised hours. That is their only good factor. They however, are always between downright hostile, and simply unfriendly when you come in. Their average gun is seriously overpriced (with a few exceptions). And by and large will tell you to screw off if a police officer comes in looking to spend any money. I do, however, give them credit for keeping a large inventory on hand. I do this by buying accessories, and at least making a pass by there to check if they have what I want at a not insane price. I also direct folks making their first purchase there who have a big case of the "gotta have it nows". I've sent close to $6000 of business through their doors, I've never taken up any of their time asking stupid questions window shopping, and I'll even chat with some of the customers when they are busy and folks are looking for free advice. For this, they treat me special. Which ammounts to not treating me like a giant pain in the ***. Basically, after being a decent customer, they think they are making a huge effort by not giving me a heaping pile of **** with that gun.

Being able to becoame a dealer is relatively easy and open to all so that you can offer more value. The kitchen table FFL I frequent could do transfers for more than his competitors do, and would STILL beat their store on 3 or 4 more points of value to me as a customer.

raz-0
January 12, 2003, 08:41 PM
You may be right and the problems I outlined maybe more wide spread than I suggested. What I don't understand is how you seem to feel that makes it ok?
Its like saying since one out of every four adult men in America likes to molest children. Its so common there is no point being mad about it?
I think the behavior and expectations of the public is becomeing more and more debased with every passing second. The public sucks.

First of all, what you are questioning as ok is the inherent process of business. The freedom to offer for sale what someone wishes to buy. It has NOTHING in common with child molesting.

Not wanting to be ripped off is also not debased behavior.

Personally, I am talking about simple things. I use a very friendly kitchen table FFL for out of state purchases. He could double or triple his prices (which would put his prices in excess of my local shops for a transfer), and I would still go to him because he does not behave like an ***.

A case in point, I TRIED to order the guns I specifically wanted from my local dealers, and they basically said they couldn't or wouldn't get them. On top of that, they then had the nerve to try to convince me to buy something they had in stock that I DIDN'T want. We aren't even talking similar here. When I suggested that if they looked on line I could tell them where to get what to sell me. Still no dice. They simply didn't want to make the effort. No free sales advice given to me.

Another example, I want to do a transfer on a used gun. I call up a place that advertises they do transfers. Not only do they give me crap about it, but they won't even mail an inked FFL without me coming in during their limited business hours to pay their free up front. Holding a $1000 gun in hock isn't security enough to reassure them I won't walk out on a $0.34 (at the time) stamp. Once again, I consumed very little of their time in this endeavour.

MOST of my local gun dealers offer NO value in their business. They are unfriendly, keep inconveinient hours that they don't even bother showing up for, have little to no inventory, and generally have the attitude that you are screwing them over no matter how much money you give them. What value does a gun "store" that requires me to make a minimum of one phone call, and three trips to their store during 9-5 business hours and won't lend me a hand trying to buy something they haven't got?

To give you an idea of the BEST gun dealer in my area. They have a large inventory on hand, and they keep their advertised hours. That is their only good factor. They however, are always between downright hostile, and simply unfriendly when you come in. Their average gun is seriously overpriced (with a few exceptions). And by and large will tell you to screw off if a police officer comes in looking to spend any money. I do, however, give them credit for keeping a large inventory on hand. I do this by buying accessories, and at least making a pass by there to check if they have what I want at a not insane price. I also direct folks making their first purchase there who have a big case of the "gotta have it nows". I've sent close to $6000 of business through their doors, I've never taken up any of their time asking stupid questions window shopping, and I'll even chat with some of the customers when they are busy and folks are looking for free advice. For this, they treat me special. Which ammounts to not treating me like a giant pain in the ***. Basically, after being a decent customer, they think they are making a huge effort by not giving me a heaping pile of **** with that gun.

Being able to becoame a dealer is relatively easy and open to all so that you can offer more value. The kitchen table FFL I frequent could do transfers for more than his competitors do, and would STILL beat their store on 3 or 4 more points of value to me as a customer.

raz-0
January 12, 2003, 08:50 PM
You may be right and the problems I outlined maybe more wide spread than I suggested. What I don't understand is how you seem to feel that makes it ok?
Its like saying since one out of every four adult men in America likes to molest children. Its so common there is no point being mad about it?
I think the behavior and expectations of the public is becomeing more and more debased with every passing second. The public sucks.

First of all, what you are questioning as ok is the inherent process of business. The freedom to offer for sale what someone wishes to buy. It has NOTHING in common with child molesting.

Not wanting to be ripped off is also not debased behavior.

Personally, I am talking about simple things. I use a very friendly kitchen table FFL for out of state purchases. He could double or triple his prices (which would put his prices in excess of my local shops for a transfer), and I would still go to him because he does not behave like an ***.

A case in point, I TRIED to order the guns I specifically wanted from my local dealers, and they basically said they couldn't or wouldn't get them. On top of that, they then had the nerve to try to convince me to buy something they had in stock that I DIDN'T want. We aren't even talking similar here. When I suggested that if they looked on line I could tell them where to get what to sell me. Still no dice. They simply didn't want to make the effort. No free sales advice given to me.

Another example, I want to do a transfer on a used gun. I call up a place that advertises they do transfers. Not only do they give me crap about it, but they won't even mail an inked FFL without me coming in during their limited business hours to pay their free up front. Holding a $1000 gun in hock isn't security enough to reassure them I won't walk out on a $0.34 (at the time) stamp. Once again, I consumed very little of their time in this endeavour.

MOST of my local gun dealers offer NO value in their business. They are unfriendly, keep inconveinient hours that they don't even bother showing up for, have little to no inventory, and generally have the attitude that you are screwing them over no matter how much money you give them. What value does a gun "store" that requires me to make a minimum of one phone call, and three trips to their store during 9-5 business hours and won't lend me a hand trying to buy something they haven't got?

To give you an idea of the BEST gun dealer in my area. They have a large inventory on hand, and they keep their advertised hours. That is their only good factor. They however, are always between downright hostile, and simply unfriendly when you come in. Their average gun is seriously overpriced (with a few exceptions). And by and large will tell you to screw off if a police officer comes in looking to spend any money. I do, however, give them credit for keeping a large inventory on hand. I do this by buying accessories, and at least making a pass by there to check if they have what I want at a not insane price. I also direct folks making their first purchase there who have a big case of the "gotta have it nows". I've sent close to $6000 of business through their doors, I've never taken up any of their time asking stupid questions window shopping, and I'll even chat with some of the customers when they are busy and folks are looking for free advice. For this, they treat me special. Which ammounts to not treating me like a giant pain in the ***. Basically, after being a decent customer, they think they are making a huge effort by not giving me a heaping pile of **** with that gun.

Being able to becoame a dealer is relatively easy and open to all so that you can offer more value. The kitchen table FFL I frequent could do transfers for more than his competitors do, and would STILL beat their store on 3 or 4 more points of value to me as a customer.

faustulus
January 14, 2003, 02:04 AM
You right here! The internet and the megamarts are changeing everything. 10 years from now your shoping choices will be: Costco, and a few other megamarts and on-line retailers. I don't look forward to this world with much hope or joy. I personally hate buying guns I can not inspect and hold first. Oh I forgot we wont be ABLE to buy guns!!! Since there will be no local FFLS around to receive them for us. Oh well thats ok. I have all I need, and since its all about me and getting things as cheap as possible its all good.

Man there is nothing I like better than faith in the free market. I mean after all it can't handle a little upheval. There are directions the market will take we haven't even begun to consider. I wonder if everyone hated the Sears and Roebuck catalog this much. Think about your statement, you are saying that the demand for guns will dry up, you have to say this because the free market meets demands, so if there are no guns to buy that means demand has died. Be realistic. What will happen is the local businesses will find ways to compete globally. Those that don't won't survive those that die will see others rise up to take their place. And yes it is about you and finding the best price you can, I bet you don't send uncle sam any more of your money than he demands, why should you pay more for something someone else is providing cheaper? The theory is the same.

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