bargaining with LGS based on online price?


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Maturin
February 6, 2010, 01:55 PM
I finally got the scratch together for a new pistol, but now have the following dilemma: one of the local gunstores, the staff of which has been very patient with my browsing and questions for quite some time, has the pistol I want -- for about the same I could get from an online vender (including one here) shipped AND FFL transfer fee included. The problem is that the tax for the local purchase would add about $50 to the deal.

Now, there was a time not too long ago when $50 bucks was half a night out, but two kids in daycare has put the kabosh on that, so $50 is now a big deal. Like I said, these guys have been patient and helpful with me, with little of other gun store attitudes, so I want to throw some business their way, but I don't want to overpay, either.

Would it be insulting for me to to mention to them that I can get a deal that comes to a $50 dollar difference, that I want to give them my business, but ask if they could meet me halfway, i.e. knock off $25 bucks (or alternatively throw in some other thing -- lube, box of ammo, or the like). Or should I just suck it up -- the price as quoted is below MSRP, but I really don't want to feel like I overpaid. I mean, they're close by, and i like poking around, and will probably buy the better HD ammo from them, so I don't want to make myself unwelcome by inappropriate bargaining. So I guess that's the question -- is it a gunstore faux pas to do the above?

Grrrr. Probably overthinking the whole thing, but it's on my mind. Any replies, comments welcome. Thanks.

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ljnowell
February 6, 2010, 01:59 PM
offer 50 bucks less. If they wont take it, pay the price they ask. 50 bucks isnt much considering you get to hold the EXACT gun you are buying, inspect it, etc. After sending three guns back to online vendors, that 50 bucks is nothing. And you are giving a sale to what sounds like a good shop.

JTQ
February 6, 2010, 02:09 PM
My "rule of thumb" is if they can be within $100 I'll buy local. Especially, if they are a friendly bunch and helpful in the store.

Of course I'm referring to $800-$900 (OK at least $500) pistols not $300 pistols.

kingpin008
February 6, 2010, 02:35 PM
First, let me be clear in that I am one who will advocate a customer's right to haggle and bargain hunt.

That said, I'm going to recommend that you pay the price they're asking and be happy with it. It's good for you, because as you said, they've gone out of their way to help you and answer your questions. That's getting rare these days, and when you find a shop with that type of employees, you stick with it.

Secondly, if it's under MSRP (also an increasingly rare thing) you haven't overpaid.

Finding a shop that has both reasonable prices and a welcoming and helpful staff is a fantastic thing, and not worth losing because you're too cheap to spend a few extra bucks. If you treat them right now, they'll continue to treat you right for a long, long time.

DammitBoy
February 6, 2010, 02:38 PM
It nevers hurts to ask.

kingpin008
February 6, 2010, 02:45 PM
Dammit - In general I would totally agree with you, but when it comes down to such a small discount, it seems a bit like cutting one's nose off to spite their face.

If the OP pays the asking price now, he will be starting to build a good relationship with a good shop that already prices their guns lower than they could. This will lead to him becoming a "regular", which will almost undoubtedly result in price breaks down the road.

Whereas if he dicides to haggle now, they see him as just another tire-kicker that they spent time and energy on who ended up trying to take advantage of their already reasonable prices.

Straight Shooter
February 6, 2010, 02:55 PM
There is nothing wrong with asking for a better deal. The worst they can do is say is no. They and you shouldn’t get emotional during the process, it’s just business. Keep the conversation light.

It sounds to me like you are willing to pay the price the shop is asking but would rather split the difference, fine.

I would start by showing interest in making the purchase that day. State that you can get the gun for $50.00 less, show proof if needed (have it ready), and ask if they can match that price, explain that you would prefer to give them the business - this also builds a relationship.

If thay say no, offer to meet them half way, which is a reasonable negotiation.

If they still say no and you are willing to pay their price, fine.

Maturin
February 8, 2010, 03:49 PM
Well, I found the answer before I needed to ask: the guy ahead of me must've asked b/c the clerk very emphatically said, no, they didn't bargain -- then asked rhetorically, "Do you bargain your salary?" And the guy looked at him and said, "Yeah, sometimes I do to get the work." But all moot at that point. I got my PCR, and all's right with the world.

Oh, and just a tip for the future -- purchasing a handgun about two hours before the SuperBowl starts means the NICS check takes about 7 minutes;)

Thanks for all the replies. Like I said, I'd been a Looky Lou for quite some time, so it didn't bother me too much to pony up the extra.

Quoheleth
February 8, 2010, 04:00 PM
Although the OP got his answer, I'll add this experience as a "for what it's worth" comment.

A logal shop is notorious for their "no dicker sticker." Doesn't matter new or used. If it's on the tag, that's the price. Period.

So, I've bought a couple guns there, off and on, the past few years. I get all my powder and primers there, and if I buy jacketed bullets, I get them there as well. Cleaning supplies, a holster or two, a set of scope rings, and a new gun belt have all fallen into my shopping cart while at this store. I'm on a first-name basis with two of the morning guys. Bear in mind...this is a five-year story.

Last month I was in there and they had a used Ruger Sp101 in the cabinet. The price tag was upside down, so as he pulled it out, I asked him what the price was. He read it, said "just a minute..." walked over to the computer and did some number crunching. He came back over to me and said, "Sticker says $XXX, but I can do $YYY for you today." It wasn't much - maybe $25 or so difference - but something's better than nothing. I thanked him and told him I would think about it while at my morning meeting. When I came back after lunch, someone else had gotten it - he smiled - "at full sticker price."

Q

harmon rabb
February 8, 2010, 04:20 PM
i had a gun store turn me down in such a situation. their price for a s&w 442 was the same as from bud's + ffl fee, but i would then have to pay tax. i told them i'd buy it if they knocked $40 off the price. they would not. i then said $20 off. they would not. i said fine, and went and ordered it from buds.

you think they'd work a little with you.

i have now found a gun store (unfortunately not that close to me) that will actually bargain nicely. found them at a gun show. i asked them if they'd bargain on a glock 27, and their response was look around, they'll beat anybody's price there. they did. i then asked if they'd further lower it, and the price of a pf-9, if i bought a pf-9 from them too. they did.

next time i'm going to buy something new, if they have it, i'll make the drive out there to support a local vendor yet not get raped on price.

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