Gun show purchase - trade or cash


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Quoheleth
January 1, 2008, 11:56 AM
This is not a "how do I put the big britches on a dealer" question. I *do* want the best deal for my dollar, but I'm not out to hose anyone.

I'm planning on heading to the Pasadena, TX gun show next weekend.

Say I find what I want for $400. I have a Taurus PT92 to trade ~ the closer to $200 I get, the happier I'll be. Question is, will I do better taking my trade with me or just carrying cash? I have a local fellow who'll give me $185 for it. Should I just sell it off to him and take the cash in? Will cash "talk" where trades might "walk"?

This will be my first gunshow. Anything I need to know about, watch out for, or be especially watching for (hot deals)? (I'm not CCL'ed, so I won't be carrying; don't have to worry about that).

Thanks, in advance,

Q

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harmonic
January 1, 2008, 11:58 AM
If you're trading with a dealer, forget it. They're in it to make money, and the more the better. When dealing with a dealer, cash is king. You can negotiate.

If you're trading with an ordinary Joe Schmoe, and you know your stuff, you can come out with a win-win situation. But you've got to know your stuff. Know the value of what you've got, the value of what he's got, and know how to examine his merch for defects.

P95loser
January 1, 2008, 12:00 PM
The dealer prices have been OUTRAGOUS at every single gun show I have ever been to. The real deals can be found by looking at what the other shoppers are toting around. Wait around at the entrance and watch what people bring in. Usually, they know they aren't gonna do great on trade and would rather sell it outright (usually at a good price).

Eric F
January 1, 2008, 12:06 PM
the shows iI have been to are not negotiable dealers say "every day low price" then I contact my ffl buddy to see what he can do. since he sells to me at his cost the only way I can do better is to buy used

for the most part their trade in value is buy low sell high so if market value on your gun is $100 they might give you $75

ceetee
January 1, 2008, 12:31 PM
A buddy of mine once wanted to trade in a Colt Sporter (less than a thousand rounds through it) with A2 upper, carry handle scope mount, and Leupold VX II. The average price he got for the whole package was $350. This is how the South Florida dealers operate.

DMK
January 1, 2008, 12:34 PM
I always buy with cash (unless I'm buying in the internet). Sell what you have outright. That way you can negotiate the best deal on both transactions.

The dealer prices have been OUTRAGOUS at every single gun show I have ever been to.The best deals I've found from dealers at gunshows are on the last day of the show with product that haven't been selling in their shop. Guns like a CZ70, CZ75, Colt CCO, or revolvers from a dealer that sells mostly Glocks and HKs, semi-autos from a dealer that sells mostly sporting rifles, surplus guns from a dealer that doesn't specialize in surplus guns, that sort of thing. A lot of dealers bring this stuff to gunshows, counting on the high traffic to unload it, and if it doesn't sell, they are often motivated to make a deal rather than pack it back up and take it back to the shop.

CannonFodder
January 1, 2008, 12:39 PM
The mantra of the gun dealer:
"Are you looking to sell that run-down piece of junk you're carrying or did you just purchase that fine vintage firearm?"

CannonFodder
January 1, 2008, 12:39 PM
Grrr

Mannlicher
January 1, 2008, 01:05 PM
I have not purchased from a dealer at a gun show in years. I do strike deals with guys walking around with something to sell. No paperwork, no names, just trade cash for guns. :p

chris in va
January 1, 2008, 01:09 PM
As an experiment I walked around the last gun show with a large For Sale sign for my CZ 52 I was trying to sell. Had several offers in the first 30 minutes.

dirtyjim
January 1, 2008, 01:20 PM
Quoheleth, if the pasadena show will be your first gunshow you will be very dissapointed. the main reason the dealers are there is to rip you off then try to resell your gun at double to triple what they paid you for it. i iknow they have to make a profit but its kinda hard not to be insulted at the offers they give you.
i'd wait till the big houston gun collectors show comes to the expo center on the 19th & the 20th, you'll have alot more out of towers there instead of the local pasadena vultures

XavierBreath
January 1, 2008, 01:29 PM
Xavier's Gun Show Rules (http://xavierthoughts.blogspot.com/2005/10/xaviers-gun-show-rules.html)

Gun Show Strategy (http://xavierthoughts.blogspot.com/2006/01/gun-show-strategy.html)

Gunnerpalace
January 1, 2008, 01:31 PM
A buddy of mine once wanted to trade in a Colt Sporter (less than a thousand rounds through it) with A2 upper, carry handle scope mount, and Leupold VX II. The average price he got for the whole package was $350. This is how the South Florida dealers operate.


ceetee as a veteran gamer I can say with confidence your friend got pwned on that deal.

22-rimfire
January 1, 2008, 01:49 PM
I think I'd just turn it into cash before the show. I have used guns as trading pieces at shows, but usually they are guns I don't have much money tied up in them or they are very desireable. You can often sell a gun near the "front door" where folks tend to cluster and hang out. Sometimes you can do the same out front, but some shows are trying to curtail that activity.

You need to attend a couple gun shows before forming a strong opinion about shows. Take a run up to Dallas for the big shows at Market Hall. I hear they are consistantly good. By good, I mean there are lots of dealers, lots of firearms for sale, and they are well attended by the public. Deals vary. But there are few shows that I don't walk out with a new acquisition. It is one of the reasons I have tried to cut back on my attendance at shows.

MachIVshooter
January 1, 2008, 01:50 PM
for the most part their trade in value is buy low sell high so if market value on your gun is $100 they might give you $75

Hahaha! More like $40 if they buy it outright.

The last time I traded in a gun it was a standard Rem 870 in 98% condition. I got a whopping $120 for it. I wouldn't have done it, but the dealer was prick and the SG did not function with 3" shells. HE has since gone out of business.

In case anyone is questioning my ethics, this same dealer was known to buy stolen firearms. Anyone who lives around here likely knows which shop I speak of.

22-rimfire
January 1, 2008, 01:53 PM
I sold one (Remie 870) at a show for $175 to a dealer couple of years back. I was asking $250 for it.

crankshop1000
January 1, 2008, 01:54 PM
I had the best luck shopping the gun I want to sell and taking the best offer. Buy the gun you want for cash and negotiate with the dealer based on cash.

Treo
January 1, 2008, 02:26 PM
I've bought half of my guns at gunshows & I tend to get them for less than the prices I see on the net. I always pay cash. I never buy new guns so the price is generally negotiable

Smokey Joe
January 1, 2008, 03:00 PM
Great set of rules for gun shows, Xavier!! I especially like yr last one--relax and enjoy! Our gun collecting and shooting activity is a hobby, not a life-and-death-struggle.

Granted, an important hobby, forming a lifestyle. I'm there too, guys. But mebbe we'd all be better off if we wasted less time and emotional energy whining, and instead concentrated on enjoying the good stuff.

doc2rn
January 1, 2008, 05:10 PM
Gun shows are where I buy 98% of my ammo reloading supplies. I hunt for that Sig ammo, and usually get 2-20 boxes depending on what he has. I also get some Mil-surp if the price is right. I know I could support my local stores if they ever sold any, but they don't or can't get any. Matter of fact a private range offerred me a year membership for one of my cases. Guess the good stuff is golden, next time I'll buy all they have.

joplinsks
January 1, 2008, 07:23 PM
Might as well offer the Taurus PT92 to your friend for $185 now... or put it on THR classifieds and try for a bit more. A PT92 is nearly impossible to find used under $200 unless it's a piece of junk. $275+ is more common.

The best you can expect to get for a nice PT92 at a gun show or via gun shop trade is probably $125 to $150. Any dealer would want to make $100+ on the sale.

wideym
January 1, 2008, 08:31 PM
Remember, nobody can force you to sell your pistol for a price you don't like. If a dealer will not meet your price just walk away, you'll be much happier you did later.

Also if you buy a gun from a dealer aways ask if they will throw in an extra mag, holster, or box of ammo. Used guns usually will come with extras, but many dealers just put a price sticker on them to sell seperatly.

ceetee
January 1, 2008, 09:37 PM
ceetee as a veteran gamer I can say with confidence your friend got pwned on that deal

Oh, he didn't sell it - that was just what they were offering.

I've bought my last three guns at gunshows. I've never sold one. I find that you just have to know about what you're looking for, and about what price you're willing to pay. If you find something you want, for what you want to pay, make the deal. If not, walk on - no harm, no foul.

Kman
January 1, 2008, 10:02 PM
You should be able to get $225 for that pretty easy, I'd start at $250, take $225-240. Any 9mm that functions is $200 unless it says Bryco, cobra, Jennings, Hi-point.....and yes you are better off with cash when dealing with most. So take the taurus with you and the box if you have it, carry it in front so people can see it, you should have your $225 pretty quick. Good luck! ;)

che_70b
January 2, 2008, 09:15 AM
You will get plenty of offers if you take it with you. Last year I had my vaquero with me so she could try on holsters and had to tell more folks than I could count that it was not for sale.

lee n. field
January 2, 2008, 12:17 PM
Say I find what I want for $400. I have a Taurus PT92 to trade ~ the closer to $200 I get, the happier I'll be. Question is, will I do better taking my trade with me or just carrying cash? I have a local fellow who'll give me $185 for it. Should I just sell it off to him and take the cash in? Will cash "talk" where trades might "walk"?

I would hope you'd get more than that for the Taurus.

Cash. Everybody likes cash.

Hokkmike
January 2, 2008, 12:24 PM
I have purchased 3 or 4 guns from gun shows. ALWAYS dicker. Some people do go down in price. Trades are usually a bad deal. (experience) Cash is best. People are at gun shows to sell so SOME will negotiate if you don't appear to be over eager.

doorman
January 2, 2008, 02:22 PM
I did a trade/purchase in December. I did notice that the guns that the dealers were selling (many had the same brands and models) were about $20 to $30 cheaper than I could find at the local gun shop. I did the trade because the traded gun had a bad double feed/jam problem so I was happy to see it go.

The prices that were quoted were the cash price. If you wanted to charge the purchase to a credit card then there was a 3% upcharge.

Quoheleth
January 2, 2008, 09:36 PM
Thanks, all, for the advice.

So...down to brass tacks...

What do NIB S&W MP9s go for these days at gun shows? Academy has them in Houston area for $500; Carter's for $580; Tomball Pawn for $460(ish).

What about used Ruger Sp101 (.357), either barrel length?

Am I pipe-dreaming to hope for either one of these near the $400 mark? New MP9s are available...I've only seen one used SP101 in six months of searching, and that one slipped through my fingers...just couldn't scratch $358. Got a little Christmas money stashed away...ready to burn...

Thanks,
Q

Mojo-jo-jo
January 2, 2008, 11:03 PM
Can't say on the M&P, but you should be able to find a used SP101 for $350-$450. I haven't really been looking recently, but haven't seen many either.

Actually, I've noticed that there are fewer used handguns around recently in general.

Trade vs. Cash:
Don't expect to get a good trade value from a dealer at a gun show. I've always been very disappointed, but made the deal sometimes if it was something that I really wanted vs. something I really wanted to get rid of.

Cash vs. Credit:
Like others have said, gun show prices aren't necessarily good. Know what you are buying is worth, and check your local stores before jumping on it at a gunshow. If I'm looking for something specific at a show, I bring cash to cover it. I'll try to make a deal, but in my experience, most dealers won't budge, even when the guy across the aisle has it cheaper.

Many dealers charge extra for credit card. I'm kind of a jerk, and try to get a "best cash price," but if they won't come down and don't charge extra for credit card, then I charge it anyway (I like my cash back rewards).

Additionally, smaller dealers, private sellers, and some "gun show junkers" (those tables that have a little of everything, usually beat up, but sometime you find a gem) don't usually take credit cards.

che_70b
January 3, 2008, 08:11 AM
About the credit card use fees. I understand the reason behinds doing this (the CCC charging the dealer a fee), however I have noticed that, localy at least, it is only gun stores that do this. I have also noticed that not all local gunstores do this. I am wondering if someone who is more knowledgeable on this can explain why some FFLs do this while others don't and no other local business that I know of does. I do know of business that have a minimum purchase to use a card (usually 10$) but I have never bought a gun that did cost more than that :).

Cannonball888
January 3, 2008, 08:24 AM
I bring stuff from home to trade. I can usually get an even trade on my peppered and smoked jerky for the plain teriyaki.

Mojo-jo-jo
January 3, 2008, 01:12 PM
why some FFLs do this while others don't

Simple -- profit margin. New gun sales are usually only at about a 5% margin. If the credit card company charges the merchant a 4% processing fee, that would eat up most of their profit.

At a margin this low, a gun dealer is generally only grossing about $20-30 on the sale of a gun. If the the processing fee (4%) on a $500 gun is $20, most, if not all, of the merchant's profit is lost on credit card fees.

Why just gun dealers? Other types of merchants usually make MUCH more than a 5% margin. I used to work for a hardware store franchise, and our average margin was about 50%. Discount retailers like Wal-mart usually make about 30% margin.

Wholesale prices of guns are very high compared to wholesale prices of many other goods. Guns are expensive and complex to produce, have an imposed federal excise tax of 11%, and thanks to frivolous lawsuits and legislation the liability insurance rates for gun manufacturers is through the roof. This is passed along to the retailer in the form of high wholesale price. However, the demand price (price the consumer is willing to pay) is still fairly low.

That said, many of the stores that take credit cards without fee deal mainly with USED guns. There is a much higher margin on used firearms. This is why the dealer at the gun show will only give you $300 in trade for your $500 Glock. If the dealer can turn around that used Glock for $429, he just made 30% margin on that sale.

biggiesmalls
January 3, 2008, 02:55 PM
IF you have some individual who wants to buy your trade out right and a dealer is offering the same amount off for a trade, then i would go with the trade because you only pay taxes on the difference. of course, this only happens if the dealer is giving you a damn good price on the trade or if the individual buyer has talked you down a lot on your asking price, or maybe you're just asking too little to begin with. but most of the time even if you buy from a dealer and have to pay taxes, you're still better off selling your gun first and then going to the dealer with cash because the amount you would have saved on taxes is still less than the difference between a sale and a trade. did i say all that right? lol

scbair
January 4, 2008, 08:17 AM
Sell to another attendee; if it's in good shape, you'll get plenty of offers.

I had a funny moment at one show; I passed a table manned by some folks I'd watched in action at previous shows (and who had thereby earned my utter contempt for their behavior & outright deceptive statements). One of 'em asked, optimistically, "Whatcha got in the bag?" As it happened, I had a Colt Detective Special, excellent condition, in the backpack I carry to shows (I'm optimistic, too . . . :o). I ordinarily wouldn't have even acknowledged his question (I have neither time nor patience for liars). However, as I had scanned his wares, I had noticed something, so I put on my most gullible smile, withdrew the Colt, and handed it over for his inspection.

He eagerly inspected, then asked, "How much?" I named what I considered a fair price. The dealer declared that it was a nice revolver, but the prices of Colts weren't as high as they had been, folks had inflated ideas of their worth, etc., etc., and countered with a much lower amount (big surprise! :rolleyes:).

I looked suitably confused, pointed to an identical Colt Detective Special on his table with a price tag NEARLY THREE TIMES his offer for mine, and innocently inquired, "What is the difference between this 'un and that 'un??"

Dealer looked confused, muttered something about "It's a different variation . . ." as I retrieved my old Colt, laughed (loudly, to my shame :D) and strolled away. Later sold it for my price to another customer at the show.

logical
January 4, 2008, 08:37 AM
The sales tax trick may be true in TX, but not in many other states. In many states, the trade-in reduces your sales tax basis for cars, but nothing else. In Michigan, it doesn't even work for cars.

welldoya
January 4, 2008, 11:07 AM
SCBAIR, a similar thing happened to me earlier this year at a gunshow. I had a Python in very good condition for sale. Of course as soon as a dealer saw it, he wanted to know how much. My asking price was $800.
One dealer near the door asked me how much and I told him. He looked offended and just waved me away. Now, my gun was probably somewhere between 90% and 95% condition. The dealer had an 85% condition .38 Diamondback for sale for $900. I told him good luck on your Diamondback.
So, my 95% Python wasn't worth $800 but his 85% Diamondback was a bargain at $900. :rolleyes:

JimmyN
January 4, 2008, 11:42 AM
When trading the seller will have two values he's working with, what he can make on your purchase, and what he can make on your trade-in when he resells it.

It makes it difficult to tell how much you are actually paying, or getting on your trade-in since he has margin at both ends, and can shuffle the numbers around to appear better than they are on one of the items.

So you should handle it just like any other trade, such as buying a new car. Initially there is no trade, it's a cash (or credit) deal. Then you will know exactly what you are paying for the new item. Once that is settled THEN you decide to bring your trade into the deal, and you will know exactly what you are getting for your trade-in as well.

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