Recent Gunshop Experience (pricing)


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vicdotcom
July 11, 2009, 03:43 PM
Hey all,

I wanted to see what other people feel about this practice. I recently was shopping arround for a handgun. I like to look at a lot of different places for my firearms. There is this one gunshop that had a large selection, but when I asked to see a particular firearm, the prices were all about 100-150 USD more than average. Now after looking it over, the salesperson would say "we can always take 100$ off the price for you on that one". The next handgun "I can take 50$ off that one for you" and so on.

I don't know if this is a good sales technique or not. I can see how something like this might "hook" a newcommer but someone accustomed to purchasing firearms might find it annoying? I don't know but I did.

Wound up purchasing from another shop that had fair pricing already marked as is. Funny thing is it "seemed" cheaper seeing it at that store even though I know it was an average price. I even asked if they could take "$50" off for me LOL but they wouldn't. They did give me a free bottle of hoppes 9 though!

Vic

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Quilbilly
July 11, 2009, 04:13 PM
Kinda odd to see that in a gun store in the states. But thousands of Mexican street vendors practice that technique so it must work, at least part of the time. I bet they can spot the guys who know what they are looking at pretty quickly and let them know of there real prices. Sounds like a shady business to me. I would have gone elsewhere also.

bootless
July 11, 2009, 04:15 PM
Sounds kind of like a lame ploy. Nowadays, especially with the internet, it's probably difficult to fool most people on prices like that. Probably worked back in the day. I do agree it is annoying. It might just show the true character of the owner. I doubt they have a lot of loyal customers that keep coming back.

JimKirk
July 11, 2009, 04:15 PM
You must have never bought a car before!
Jimmy K

jhco
July 11, 2009, 04:34 PM
Just as you said it might work on newcomers or maybe they are hoping newcomers will take the high price and they just have the "I can take this off of that talk" for the people who look like they know whats going on.

KenWP
July 11, 2009, 06:46 PM
Just think of the noobs that go in and pay the sticker price and walk home happy. I see people buy things in some stores like it was Wallmart and on sale and the prices are so much higher then down the street at a different store. I shop at a gun store that has different prices if you use cash or a debit card or a credit card. I on day didn't have enough cash on me and asked where I could find a bank machine and went to walk out. The guy took what cash I had and let me debit card the remainder.

vicdotcom
July 11, 2009, 07:44 PM
I shop at a gun store that has different prices if you use cash or a debit card or a credit card. Actually many of the stores I shop at do this. They get charged 2-3% on each CC transaction. They say it really adds up fast. So they knock a bit off with cash in hand. I am sure there are other reasons why they like cash better also though.

Happiness Is A Warm Gun
July 11, 2009, 08:26 PM
I usually call VISA when I see a merchant like that. If they keep doing that they will lose their merchant account and ability to accept credit cards.

If stores don't like the fee then don't accept CC. If you do accept credit cards the MERCHANT FEE is a cost of doing business.

By accepting a CC they don't need to worry about cash (robbery, employee theft, deposit fees), they don't need to worry about the risks of a check.

David E
July 11, 2009, 08:38 PM
Only problem is it is a violation of CC merchant agreement.

Which is probably why there is a discount for cash. They're not raising their price for using a CC, just giving a cash discount.

I usually call VISA when I see a merchant like that.

Gee, most people outgrow being a tattletale! If you don't like it, shop elsewhere.

hanno
July 11, 2009, 08:53 PM
When I was looking for a SP2022, I stopped at a local gun shop with cash in my pocket. They had a SP2022 priced at $600. I asked the counter guy what price he would give me for cash and he told me the price was the price and they didn't do discounts.
I thanked him and left.

The next day, I bought the SP2022 online for $480 shipped. I used the $120 saved to buy extra mags.

Haven't been back to the shop and likely never will.

krs
July 11, 2009, 08:56 PM
Back to the OP - it's kind of tacky. The shop is hoping for the people who buy at whatever price is marked and don't quibble. There are people who either just want a quick transaction or who don't really care what the price is.

So the shop has the high price for those folks, and when he sees that you're interested in something but about to leave he knocks it back to his best price.

I'd love to find a gunshop that did what's described.

Also, I do appreciate a place who will give me a cash price. He's passing along the savings in card fee, and he doesn't have to do that.

If I'm not using a card what business is it of the card company? And what business is it of the card company if my seller discounts his price for my cash? He doesn't have to pay card fees on every transaction, only on those where the buyer elects to buy with the card. The premise that such a practice violates a credit card agreement is absurd, and wrong too.

Jim K
July 11, 2009, 09:14 PM
It is bad practice (IMHO) for a merchant to tell some people he will reduce the price. If he can reduce the price for some, he can reduce it for everybody.

The reason? Let's say Joe buys a gun at The Gunner for $400. Pete buys an identical gun at the same store on the same day for $300. Joe and Pete meet at the range and compare guns and prices. Joe is really p***ed off, having been soaked a C-note more than Pete, and never goes back to The Gunner again. The best thing a dealer can do is set a fair price, and stick to it. If he wants to have a sale, post sale signs and give the same sale price to everyone.

But a note on internet sales. Very often, by the time the buyer pays shipping and pays a dealer a handling charge, the internet "bargain price" has vanished and so has the dealer's good will. And if anything is wrong with the gun, the dealer won't make good since he was not the seller and didn't make full profit on the gun. Worse, I have seen a number of "bargain" guns bought on the "net" that turned out not only to be no bargain but to be so defective that the deal was clearly fraud. In one case I know about, a "brand new in the box" Model 29 S&W turned out to have a warped frame, a scratched cylinder and broken parts, plus the wrong box. (I think it had been run over by a car, but can't prove that.)

The buyer contacted the seller who replied, in effect, "F**k you, sue me." The dealer who handled the transaction is normally not a vindictive person, but he couldn't prevent a little smile as he told me the story.

Jim

David E
July 11, 2009, 09:18 PM
Some years ago, I went into "The Firing Line" in Aurora, Colorado.

As I was looking at their high prices, I was asked by a smug elderly clerk if he could help me. I advised I was just comparing prices.

"Oh, well, you'll find our prices are pretty low," he proclaimed confidently.

I replied, "Actually, they're higher than store X and store Y"

His demeanor changed as he became defensive and condescending: "They may have run a sale, did you ever think of that? And, we offer a 10% discount for members, did you ever think of that?"

I just looked at this moron, as he knew I knew his game. Sounds like the same one on the OP.

Because of this and other reasons, I never bought a gun there and advised everyone I knew that was in the gun market to avoid them, as well.

freakshow10mm
July 11, 2009, 09:40 PM
I usually call VISA when I see a merchant like that. If they keep doing that they will lose their merchant account and ability to accept credit cards.
It is perfectly within the merchant agreement to offer a cash discount for merchandise. Read one some time.

If stores don't like the fee then don't accept CC. If you do accept credit cards the MERCHANT FEE is a cost of doing business.
And as such a cost of doing business, like any other overhead, it can and does get passed to the customer. Same with paper, pens, ink, rent, insurance, labor, water, heat, electricity, etc. It's called overhead which is built into the product or service price.

By accepting a CC they don't need to worry about cash (robbery, employee theft, deposit fees), they don't need to worry about the risks of a check.
Handling cash is a lot easier than credit cards. There are fees associated with CC, as noted above. There is less protection with accepting CC than accepting check. The CC companies and merchant companies do not care about the merchant. There is no safe payment. With so many people relying on their CC and check cards, you just about have to accept them these days.

vicdotcom
July 11, 2009, 10:25 PM
It is bad practice (IMHO) for a merchant to tell some people he will reduce the price. If he can reduce the price for some, he can reduce it for everybody.

The reason? Let's say Joe buys a gun at The Gunner for $400. Pete buys an identical gun at the same store on the same day for $300. Joe and Pete meet at the range and compare guns and prices. Joe is really p***ed off, having been soaked a C-note more than Pete, and never goes back to The Gunner again. The best thing a dealer can do is set a fair price, and stick to it. If he wants to have a sale, post sale signs and give the same sale price to everyone.

I don't quite agree with the above though Jim_keenan. In the USA it is not an accustomed practice to "haggle" a price. But it is done on occasion and I personally have done it on more than once. Heck in some places it is expected such as "china towns" etc. Or what if "Pete" did some extra legwork and found the same firearm at a competators and requested a price match. Life is not fair and "Joe" can throw a fit if he wants to, but Pete is the one who put in the legwork and deserves that extra discount. Heck the "because I like you" discount is always especially nice to get. I think that is why family owned places are so much more appealing to me than chain stores.

Jim K
July 11, 2009, 10:41 PM
As a rule, gun shows are where haggling takes place and some of those guys could teach middle eastern merchants a thing or two.

Obviously, not all dealers want to operate the way I described, but quite a few do so. Sure, some dealers will be able to undercut prices, especially if they also sell trucks, boats, or porn movies. And if haggling is an acceptable way to do things at that store or in that area, and everyone knows it, fine.

But I have seen that "Joe and Pete" situation happen and I can just about guarantee that Joe will not simply accept that Pete somehow deserved the price break, and continue to patronize the dealer. He will bad mouth the dealer, the store, and Pete to anyone who will listen and that (IMHO) is not good for the dealer in the long run, especially in a small city or town. And the more "Joes" who feel cheated, the worse for the dealer.

Jim

BMF500
July 11, 2009, 10:51 PM
Sounds like the dudes hustling the Faux-lexes (fake Rolex's) on the streets of Hong Kong. Have fun with them and see if you can't turn the tables....

ArfinGreebly
July 11, 2009, 11:12 PM
On the south side of Reno there's a little pawn shop with an assortment of sidearms and long guns.

Most of their prices are unacceptably high.

Used Ruger Blackhawk, priced at MSRP. Used RIA 1911, missing the magazine, for $75 below MSRP. And so on, and so forth.

I looked over the selection, concluded that I wasn't going to find a bargain there, and turned to go.

A graying, petite lady with a pronounced accent (Romanian, as it turned out) asked if she could help me. I said, "well, no, your prices are higher than I would consider paying."

She smiled and said, "This is a pawn shop; we expect you to counter offer -- we expect you to haggle over the price."

I said, "thanks anyway."

To which she replied, "Come back any time, and don't be shy about the prices. We can always work something out."

I concluded that there had to be people who didn't haggle and who paid the marked price or they wouldn't engage in that practice.

I went back from time to time, but they never had anything I felt like expending the effort to dicker on the price.

It looks like she's not the only one doing it.

nitetrane98
July 11, 2009, 11:22 PM
That kind of pricing scam reminds me of a local KIA dealer that is always running ads saying he'll give 4,500 bucks for any old car for trade in on a new KIA. He's just giving you the rebate for your car. I always wonder why they don't just put a price on the damn things and sell them. OTOH, there is always the odd idiot who walks in and writes a check straight off the sticker price, reminding us again that, "A fool and his money are welcome everywhere." Once in while, somebody will walk in and say, "How much for the MEGA BLASTER?" "I'll take it." A shrewd owner will be able to size up a hesitant customer quickly and then give him his best deal, regular retail price. "Hey, they knocked 150 bucks off the price."
But having said all that, sometimes I'm the guy that says, "I'll take it." If I want it, I want it now.

tdowell
July 11, 2009, 11:27 PM
I don't quite agree with the above though Jim_keenan. In the USA it is not an accustomed practice to "haggle" a price. But it is done on occasion and I personally have done it on more than once. Heck in some places it is expected such as "china towns" etc. Or what if "Pete" did some extra legwork and found the same firearm at a competators and requested a price match. Life is not fair and "Joe" can throw a fit if he wants to, but Pete is the one who put in the legwork and deserves that extra discount. Heck the "because I like you" discount is always especially nice to get. I think that is why family owned places are so much more appealing to me than chain stores.
I ALWAYS haggle price, even at Walmart I got 10% off the Wii I bought by talking the manager into his discount. I don't pay full price for anything except maybe a cheeseburger. (Wendy's, The one place who won't haggle)

w_houle
July 11, 2009, 11:38 PM
Pawn shops:barf: Not only are they charging an arm and a leg for their product, but they mose likely gave next to nothing to get it. I remember the first pistol I bought. I didn't tell anyone that I was buying it. Spent $70 in 1997 on a Jennings .22, the pawn shop salesman told me that I didn't have to worry much about cleaning it and to just "Scratch the carbon off the bolt face an call 'er good". I could not get it to run two rounds consecutively through it to save my life. I eventually figured out how it disassembled, and wow eas that thing packed with gunk. It didn't help much and it still had a nasty gritty sound when cocking. I couldn't sell it to anyone, and eventually ended up selling it back to the shop that sold it to me. A while later I went back in and saw it on the shelf... for $70:barf:

stevemis
July 12, 2009, 08:37 AM
Credit card fees can really add up for a business owner. The merchant account itself probably costs several hundred dollars a year (all of the monthly fees added up) then there are transaction fees (50 cents to run a transaction) and/or batch fees, and then the credit card company wants a few percent (3% typically) of the total sale for themselves.

It only makes sense to offer a cash discount. This is a different terminology from a "credit card surcharge", which is typically against the merchant agreement.

Ever seen a gun shop take American Express? Me neither. Why? Their fees start at 5 or 6 percent.

JohnBT
July 12, 2009, 08:06 PM
An article in the morning paper quoted the owner of the 7-11 store next to VA Commonwealth University. She said students tend to use mostly debit cards and the fees are costing her $1200 to $1400 every single month.

JT

vicdotcom
July 13, 2009, 01:00 AM
When you pull into a gas station that has one price for cc's and one price for cash that's them charging more for CC use. And a lot of gas stations do that. They run on thin profit margins and the banks are taking it away from them. I know several places that have stopped taking CC's because of this stuff.
I talked to a gas store owner about that. And it is only part of the reason. The other part of the discount for cash is to get more "foot traffic" through the door. Apparently the gas station only makes about a penny or two per gallon from the sale of gasoline at the pumps. Most of their profit comes from consession sales. So more people paying at the pump with CC means less foot traffic inside. Cash sales get a lower price because 1) they get less fees and 2) it creates foot traffic.

TiredOleMan
July 13, 2009, 06:42 AM
I guess I'm surprised by all the folks that are surprised at this practice. A lady I knew years back told me she had never paid list price for anything other than food or a few other commodities or at chain stores, she would always ask "Is that your best price?" and 90% of the time it wasnt. I started doing that at certain places like gun shops and I never found one that wasn't open to a little haggling. As far as pawn shops, NO ONE should pay sticker ... there can be excellent deals in pawn shops if you know what something is worth new and you make the seller aware of that. No matter what the item is you know the pawn shop has basically stolen it from the original owner and marked it up 300%.

redneck2
July 13, 2009, 07:02 AM
Part of the "logic" is that they can give more on a trade-in gun. If the new one is marked $100 high, I can give you $100 more for your old one. Not saying I agree, just that it's the way they choose to do things.

Some people like to think they got the dealer to mark down new stuff. Some guys are more interested in how much they got for their old one. Think they got a great deal.

natman
July 13, 2009, 07:19 AM
I'm not condoning the practice, but I think I understand it. Some guys aren't happy unless they dicker on the price. Heck, some guys would be happier paying $750 that they dickered down from $850 than they would be to pay $700 straight up. Sounds odd, but it's true. The shop in question may have a lot of customers like that. Not my idea of how it should be done, but....

13Bravo
July 13, 2009, 07:19 AM
When I bought my first pistol I didn't do a whole lot of research price wise. I knew what I wanted, and went and got it, a xd4o sc. I love and still got it, and a whole lot more to boot. I got hooked. Not just on pistols, but on the price that day. If I'd had shopped around a bit more I could have traveled 30 miles and saved $100. Anyway, I remember that guy who sold me the XD, and he's not getting my money again. And I prefer new guns to used ones. He's SOL on this customer, and all my army buddies who mention getting a gun. I tell em don't bother with that guy.

earlthegoat2
July 13, 2009, 07:59 AM
Some guys aren't happy unless they dicker on the price. Heck, some guys would be happier paying $750 that they dickered down from $850 than they would be to pay $700 straight up.

Ive noticed this too. Price and "getting a deal" is often highly psychological and hardly ever logical. I have always figured mark the price as low as you can and never go any lower with any customer. I know that would be a suicide move though. Plus if you mark them a little high and give yourself room to play you always get one here or there that doesnt know how it works and they just pay sticker price.

MagnumDweeb
July 13, 2009, 11:16 AM
I'm glad I got an FFL guy whom I'm friendly with. Besides doing great deals with my students(NRA pistol instructor), he lets me pay dealer prices plus 10%, shipping, and a $10 transfer. A NIB Glock 20 ran me less than $500 while the shops are charging $700. The FFL guys is an elderly gentleman who runs his FFL as a hobby but I've been making him over a grand each month. And me and my students have been doing bookoo case ammo orders. Got two cases of .45 ACP coming in this Saturday with the 50rd boxes costing $16.70+/-. I'm splitting the boxes up between students but I'm taking 500 rounds home to put a few new second-hand buys to the test.

Retail stores will always charge more, just the nature of the beast. It all costs money and they will try to get it back one way or another. My dad has a house he wants me to lease to own once I'm done with law school and it checks out for running an FFL out of it. So soon as my FFL guys kicks the bucket(he's in real rough shape and maybe has two years he told me) I'll get my FFL and charge 15% over dealer's price to my students and only sell to my students. I'll still save the consuming public one to three hundred bucks on most guns.

If I sell to ten students a month, each student buying a $300 or more guns, it'll be a quick $450 in my pocket. Plus I'll run my carpet cleaning business out of the house as well along with my 'instructor business' and few more businesses once I'm admitted to the bar so there will be plenty of tax applications.

freakshow10mm
July 13, 2009, 12:01 PM
Why not get your FFL now?

10-15% over dealer cost is about average pricing. You'd be consistent with the normal market.

Nate1778
July 13, 2009, 12:30 PM
My local shop is different I guess, great prices on guns all around, I mean they had some used Glocks in there for around ~$300. But whip out the plastic and he'll tell you that is cash price and there is a 5% increase for CC use. At least he is honest.

vicdotcom
July 13, 2009, 04:05 PM
Well my thing is that I don't have a NEED to haggle. But I do know what price I am willing to pay for a certain item. If the sticker happens to be +/- $10 of that price, then I am good with that. If not, then I will ask for lower or go someplace else.

I think the key is to know what the going rate for what you are looking at. If you aren't sure, I wouldnt buy until I go home and do some research. I remember there was one rifle that I thought was priced a little high someplace. I looked at it, went home and researched it, and found out it was a special caliber and the price was very reasonable. I went back and paid full sticker without feeling a need to "get better". And to me it doesnt really matter if it is a pawnshop or not. I know they pawned it for a fraction of what they are selling for, but if it is priced at what "I" want, it doesnt matter to me how much profit the pawnshop is making as long as the gun is in good condition. That is their business. Now if it is priced high, that is another matter.

Impulse buying I think is where people get reamed the most.

stonecutter2
July 13, 2009, 04:09 PM
Interestingly, I recently stopped into a local gun shop that has had a "little" inflated prices in the past - and suddenly found very competitive pricing to what I'd seen on internet sites. Their prices in the past were usually mostly fair, but some models that they had marked up a little bit - probably more popular models they knew would sell. I'm thinking they finally gave in to seeing business walk out of the door.

Personally, I have no problem with paying a little more to a local merchant because:
1) they're part of the local economy and community
2) if something's odd about the purchase, you can bring it back to work with them on making it right, without involving FedEx or UPS and a string of calls/emails.
3) I really enjoy the experience of purchasing firearms face-to-face, the chit-chat, etc.

This is not to say I wouldn't save money if it was like $100+ with an internet purchase, I just prefer the local business transaction in respect to firearms.

chrisbfd
July 13, 2009, 04:34 PM
Just a little more fuel to the fire. Recently there have been news segments about the data collection banks are gathering about their customers' purchases. They then use said info to determine credit worthiness, like how much your interest rate is going to be.
Use cash, the banks don't need to rip us off anymore than they already do.

Shadow 7D
July 13, 2009, 04:40 PM
Uh, chris, that provided nothing to the post, and was completely off topic

I find that my local shops are a little difficult to bargain with, they tend to only do it with people they know, otherwise it is whats on the price tag.

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