Why buy from the gun store?


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MrIzhevsk
January 21, 2010, 01:38 PM
Hello all,

I've been looking up Springfield Amory 1911s for some time now and I've pretty much got my heart set on one but one thing that keeps crossing my mind is, why should I go to the gunstore to buy it?

I've been shooting my dads 1911 since I was a kid and I know the gun and how it handles very well, so should I really bother with going to a gunstore and picking up a "loaded" 1911 and buying it there when he's going to charge me an extra 200+ dollars?

So why not just order it right? I'll save some money and probably get exactly what I want for the price it should be. Is there anything wrong with this logic?

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harmon rabb
January 21, 2010, 01:40 PM
where you going to order it from? i don't think you can order directly from springfield. in addition, you'll need a FFL to do the transfer for you.

COgunner
January 21, 2010, 01:45 PM
Nothing wrong with your logic. If you can find a good price online, you can have it shipped to a local FFL holder. They'll usually charge you $20-$30 for the transfer. You will also save sales tax if you are in a different state than the seller. Gunbroker has a search function to find FFL's in your area.

MrIzhevsk
January 21, 2010, 01:55 PM
where you going to order it from? i don't think you can order directly from springfield. in addition, you'll need a FFL to do the transfer for you.

This was probably going to be my next question. If anybody has ordered one before I was going to ask where from or if there are some places that are more preferred than others. I've seen prices ranging from 685 all the way to 800. I wouldn't mind paying something in between that but I'd like to rest assured that I'll get what I want as well.

hexidismal
January 21, 2010, 02:12 PM
They'll usually charge you $20-$30 for the transfer.

Since the Obama panic buying started its up to $75 standard price for a transfer anywhere around here in eastern NY.

COgunner
January 21, 2010, 02:15 PM
Since the Obama panic buying started its up to $75 standard price for a transfer anywhere around here in eastern NY.
Wow! There are several in the CO Springs area that do it for $20. I'm picking up 2 rifles this afternoon from a guy who just raised his price from $15 to $20.

kanook
January 21, 2010, 02:33 PM
How about asking the dealer how much they would charge to order the one you want. Most will give a very good discount if you use them for the whole process, like 10% over cost.

MICHAEL T
January 21, 2010, 02:46 PM
I buy nothing I can't hold and examine. If I buy from my dealer and needs warranty He ships for me free. I rather do my buying from a dealer. I never buy on line or from those over priced chain stores . Just the way I am I get good service and pay a reasonable price. I have done business with same shop for several years. I support local shops not those in another state or a large chain that could care less about me.

Rexster
January 21, 2010, 03:41 PM
I must echo Michael T's post. If at all possible, I want to handle a firearm before I decide to buy it. I have seen too many with flaws, new and pre-owned. Saving $100-$200 is false economy if the weapon arrives with a gritty trigger and handling marks, a loose slide-to-frame fit, a ding in the muzzle, a hammer that won't fall, or, if a revolver, poor lock-up and timing issues. I have seen these flaws in various NEW firearms over the years, especially new S&W revolvers.

Ordering a custom firearm, or something not normally stocked at a dealer, of course, means having to trust the maker. But for a stock weapon, I want to examine it first.

Hatterasguy
January 21, 2010, 03:52 PM
I want to handle and really look at a big purchase before commiting. Plus my dealer is very good and in tight with Sig, Glock, and H&K. So if you need something they usualy know who to talk to in the company. (They had the VP of Sig in their shop a few months ago.:D)


When I spend $250 on a Tokarev I'm not to worried and will take a shot on Gunbroker, for a $1,500 1911 not so much.

zombieoutfitters
January 21, 2010, 03:57 PM
Personally, I'm a price shopper. But feel the twinge of loyalty when it comes to firearms stores because...well...without them here in MA we'd be pretty screwed. So keeping them in business is a must-do. Getting gouged however, is not.

I would agree that going to the store and asking if they would order it and consider it in the price is a good place to start.

I had AWESOME luck ordering a Mossberg 500 Talo special edition from my local guy. He ordered it and charged me $340. WAY below most basic 500's off the shelf. If they are a good shop they will take care of you cuz they know you could go elsewhere.

Handling it before buying it is a key consideration too...ask them their policy if it comes in and you "don't want it". Could happen...

CWL
January 21, 2010, 04:05 PM
Why not start at your local retail gun shops and handle a few pistols to see how they feel and how you like the features? Then get the asking price and comparison-shop online by using google.

Depending where you live, the cost of a local FFL, shipping, taxes, you may find that you may or may-not be saving much money.

If it's just a few bucks difference, why not help to keep your local retail store in business? They are helping you out by letting you see the selections.

If it is a significant difference, then go with an online dealer.

NinjaFeint
January 21, 2010, 04:07 PM
I have two local stores that are always as low as the online prices (Bud's and stores like that) or they will match. I also enjoy browsing and BS'ing with the folks in the store. The main store I buy from is about the size of my living room so it is real small business and I like supporting local small businesses. I also have someone to go to if I have any issues. Also, MSRP's from manufacturers are almost always high.

Example: Ruger says MSRP is $364 for the LCP. Local stores sell them for $269.99 with the pink or "Raspberry" version on sale for $249.99 at a local store. Ruger has a LCR's MSRP at $525, local stores have them at $400.

MrIzhevsk
January 21, 2010, 04:17 PM
The problem with my local gun store is that they could care less about any of their customers. Always have been snarky with me and my friends (admittedly a younger crowd, but that shouldn't matter) and they make money hand over fist because they're the only shooting range in the area. They had a SA 1911 "loaded" parkerized for 1100 dollars. I couldn't see any reason for that kind of a mark up.

I do have one other range to check out but its 45 minutes away and always busy. That coupled with work and such has kept me from going. I will look into the ordering through a dealer perspective.

StrikeFire83
January 21, 2010, 04:36 PM
I think it totally depends on the store in question. If your local store is staffed by people who know what they are talking about, aren't arrogant or full of ****, have decent and competitive prices, and are willing to provide customer service beyond what you'd get with an online buy and a FFL transfer, then I'd say go with the local guy.

Unfortunately, these modest requirements rule out many of the stores in my area. For those in the San Antonio area, without naming names, there is a certain centrally located, family owned store that has fallen from grace in the past several years. This store used to have good prices, friendly staff, and a great open atmosphere. I've bought and sold several guns here in the past. But after not buying a new gun in a few years and kinda dropping out of the hobby beyond staying proficient with my CCWs at the range, about 9 months ago I got back into shooting all my guns pretty regularly and keeping up on the gun world so to speak. My two visits to this San Antonio store that shall remain nameless in the past few months have been very unpleasant. All the people I used to deal with are gone for the most part, replaced by ******bags who have this "I don't need your business, I don't really want your business, and I'm doing you a favor just by talking to you" attitude. Never mind the fact that I've bought several guns here before, traded a few, and sold a few on consignment...I'm a 26 year old guy and these people just pegged me as someone who isn't a buyer, and treated me accordingly. Add to that all of their new inventory is staggeringly overpriced, sometimes AT msrp or just $50 below, and they're unwilling to budge or give an inch.

This store and ones like it don't deserve my business or yours. It's kind of sad because when a formerly great locally-owned business that you and your family has traded with for decades totally changes for the worse/goes down the tubes, you have to vote with your feet. Luckily there are several great dealers at the gun show that have great stock and great prices, and they're here every month so if issues crop up they'll generally help you out. Also there's a great store in Austin that I can go to if I feel like making the drive.

Vote with you wallet and don't give your money to anyone who doesn't treat you fairly and with respect.

ichiban
January 21, 2010, 04:53 PM
The FFL I use can get some pretty good deals from the manufacturers. He got me a good deal on a S&W 686p when I couldn't find a reasonably priced one locally or on any of the online dealers sites. I found him through GunBrokers "Find a FFL" function and have used his services several times. He runs his business out of his house so he's not associated with any of the local merchants.

jackpinesavages
January 21, 2010, 06:05 PM
I used to shop exclusively with "local shops".

You can find an FFL near you through the links on gunbroker.com or Buds, and actually shop the transfer fees. If you were to join a local pistol/rifle club some of them actually have a "transfer FFL guy" who will do it for $5 or less.

The local Gander Mt. guys got me one day; in the used pistol case were 2 identical pistols priced almost $300 apart. I asked them to pull them both out and let's compare them to figure out the price variance. There was no difference that I could see, and they could not find it either;identical. They laughed, shrugged, and put the pistols back in the case. Every month or so I swing through there for entertainment, that's it.

Order from Buds, etc., and save $$$.

harmon rabb
January 21, 2010, 06:13 PM
Order from Buds, etc., and save $$$.

for the most part, if you can find a FFL who doesn't charge a high transfer fee, you'll always save money by just ordering from bud's. you save sales tax this way as well, so it would be hard for a gun store to compete.

matai
January 21, 2010, 06:38 PM
All the gun stores around the Seattle area completely rape you on new firearms. But I can get $30 transfers so thats what I do. I wish they'd get the hint because they do a ton of transfers. I'm sure they could get more money if they were selling the guns themselves.

midiwall
January 21, 2010, 07:58 PM
All the gun stores around the Seattle area completely rape you on new firearms. But I can get $30 transfers so thats what I do. I wish they'd get the hint because they do a ton of transfers. I'm sure they could get more money if they were selling the guns themselves.
I have a general comment on the thread, but since I'm shopping in the same area as you, I'll leverage your statement. :)

I've been on a buying spree lately, and in general, I _REALLY_ do want to put some money through my local stores, but when the difference in price is equal to the cost of the break-in ammo... It's hard to do.

I've been a Bud's customer since I started shooting, and I have that local $30 transfer guy as well. But, I've decided that in my next purchase (probs tomorrow) I'll actually be buying the gun FROM the shop that does the $30 transfers. It's gonna cost me an extra $60 but I'll also gain a bit of "oh hey man!" from the shop. I think it's important since it makes the next batch of 3 transfers in 4 days a bit easier on my conscious, and does put some $$$ into the local hands. :)

NMGonzo
January 21, 2010, 08:01 PM
I bet you can broker a deal with your local shops.

"Oh ... would you take $$$? for that one?

midiwall
January 21, 2010, 08:09 PM
I bet you can broker a deal with your local shops.

"Oh ... would you take $$$? for that one?
Agreed, and that's what the plan is tomorrow.

My better half is itching for a ____ (no need to start a "oh those suck!" side discussion). There's one in the shop, and I'm pretty sure it's been there for a bit. It's pricey enough that I'll be walking in with cash as leverage. In these times, an all-cash deal on old stock talks... I'm hoping that they'll be listening.

76shuvlinoff
January 21, 2010, 08:11 PM
I purchased guns on line in the past but these days I like to touch, examine and ask questions. I treat low pressure sales people with courtesy and I spend my money with people that are polite and treat me like a human.

Usually it's the smaller shops that treat you like a customer ought to be... and you generally pay a bit more for that.... but I think everyone wins.

.02

NMGonzo
January 21, 2010, 08:23 PM
Agreed, and that's what the plan is tomorrow.

My better half is itching for a ____ (no need to start a "oh those suck!" side discussion). There's one in the shop, and I'm pretty sure it's been there for a bit. It's pricey enough that I'll be walking in with cash as leverage. In these times, an all-cash deal on old stock talks... I'm hoping that they'll be listening.

They should.

There is a lot of people on different levels of retail with old stock selling for what they have into it or less ... if they want to survive.

Happy hunting!

MrIzhevsk
January 21, 2010, 10:35 PM
So I have yet to hear from the 'online orderer' perspective. Any comment on this?

midiwall
January 21, 2010, 10:52 PM
So I have yet to hear from the 'online orderer' perspective. Any comment on this?
Is that the person that you contacted up above, about 6 hours ago? Was that through direct email or something like GunBroker's "contact the seller" link?

Remember that some folks that are selling online have other businesses as well, they may only check the "online business" a couple of times a day. I'd give it a full 24 hours. The thing to keep in mind is that you haven't sent any money yet (right???!) so you're not out anything if this doesn't work out for you.

orionengnr
January 22, 2010, 12:12 AM
I have seen these flaws in various NEW firearms over the years, especially new S&W revolvers.
These cases are few and far between. And I have yet to see a case where S&W will not fix it quickly and correctly (do a search) and pay shipping both ways. Nobody else but Springfield matches that level of Customer service.

Volfy
January 22, 2010, 02:47 AM
I seldom buy firearms from local independent gun stores. I admit I'm very much a price shopper, and I rarely see price tags there that are even low enough to bother trying to haggle. I don't feel that I owe the local indenpendent any loyalty, or that somehow I need to contribute to keep them in business, so I can somehow get that fabled "friendly expert service".

That said, I don't go do a bunch of touchy feelie at the local store, then go buy online (or elsewhere). I don't think that's fair to the gun store. When I do stop by to browse around, I always try to give them a little business - knowing full well I could buy the same thing cheaper elsewhere.

I am lucky to live in the heart of Academy country. They are supposedly the second largest distributor of firearms in the USA. With that kind of volume & buying power, they sell at prices sometimes online stores can't even come close. I don't expect - and don't need - much from the staff. I do touchy feelie there, though. Having bought many guns there, I feel justified.

But really though, if you really fancy fondling firearms, go to a gun show.:)

COgunner
January 22, 2010, 12:44 PM
I've seen good prices at Sportsmans Warehouse too.

ArmedBear
January 22, 2010, 01:05 PM
I bought a gun on Monday. It's Friday. My FFL has yet to get the seller his license. I may see the gun in another week. Maybe. And I'm out, well, more money than I want to post.

Had I found said gun in a local store (I didn't) I would have been shooting it already.

MrIzhevsk
January 22, 2010, 01:32 PM
I bought a gun on Monday. It's Friday. My FFL has yet to get the seller his license. I may see the gun in another week. Maybe. And I'm out, well, more money than I want to post.

Had I found said gun in a local store (I didn't) I would have been shooting it already.

Thats an interesting side of it. I think gunbroker has a listing of FFL license holders so they don't have to send it, its already there. Is that how it works?

midiwall
January 22, 2010, 02:42 PM
I bet you can broker a deal with your local shops.

"Oh ... would you take $$$? for that one?
Agreed, and that's what the plan is tomorrow.

My better half is itching for a ____ (no need to start a "oh those suck!" side discussion). There's one in the shop, and I'm pretty sure it's been there for a bit. It's pricey enough that I'll be walking in with cash as leverage. In these times, an all-cash deal on old stock talks... I'm hoping that they'll be listening.
Just to close out my piece of this thread...

Cash didn't talk as much as I was hoping for this morning, but it saved me a bit. I did the deal anyway, and was happy to put some extra cash into the shop and the local community. My conscious will be clearer the next time I leverage their FFL. :)

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