Gun Show Prices.


March 4, 2012, 06:19 AM
My friend Ted and I set up at a show in Werternberg P.A. every year on this wknd.I was as was he totally amazed at the prices of what use to be cheap ammo especially.Although we did sell a lot of handguns they were the small .22 or.25 cal pocket pistols and clips.At this rate I will start re-loading 7.62x54R in the near future.You can still make a good deal but not like it use to be.One thing I noticed there was only one Mosin-Nagant Rifle in the place and there are usually tables on tables of them.Has anyone else noticed The prices going up and the ole run of the mil ex-military stuff just exploding or is it because I didn't go to any shows for a while?

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fallout mike
March 4, 2012, 08:04 AM
You need to get out more.

Old Fuff
March 4, 2012, 09:11 AM
Although we did sell a lot of handguns they were the small .22 or.25 cal pocket pistols and clips.

Which may come as a shock to some of our more "tactical members." When it comes to the general public the little pistols have never lost they're popularity. ;)

March 4, 2012, 10:13 AM
I would like to get out more but it is very hard on me physically to stand or even sit for any time over a few hour's even with pain med's.I left the show early yesterday and didn't even try today so my buddy is running our table's by himself today.He called and asked if I would be able to make it this morning because he knows how disabled I am.I do however constantly gun search on the computer.Thanks Beak

March 4, 2012, 11:42 PM
I was at the Albuquerque gun show this weekend and had a great show. I sold lots of ammo and accessories, and the guy at the table next to me sold 26 handguns and long guns. He had mostly lower end guns and that's what was selling. Of course, both of us had competitive prices and several buyers told us exactly that. Buyers aren't dumb and they know when prices are too high and just don't buy.

I spoke with several dealers who said they hadn't sold a thing all weekend. Wonder why.

March 5, 2012, 12:52 AM
Prices at the gunshows in this area are only slightly better than the LGS but the selection is frequently more varied.
That may change if Rahm Emmanuel gets this new "tax" pushed throught the Illinois legislature. He wants the legislature to add a $2.oo/box fee onto the price of ammo to pay for "trauma centers" in high-crime areas (Chicago & East St. Louis, mainly).
He's also going to try and get passed a $65.oo "license fee" on ALL handguns with the money supposedly going for the same purpose.

It just keeps getting better and better in Illinois.

March 5, 2012, 01:02 AM
i went to my first show today almost every gun was overpriced. but i did get a glock 17, 3 30 rd mags and a drum for my ak. do dealers mark up guns over store price so they can let people talk them down?

Shadow 7D
March 5, 2012, 01:09 AM
Oh, and the vendors up the asking to match the LGS going rate or cover their cost, you have to remember, nobody seems to want to pay the asking price, so everybody screams about how they get royally ripped off at gunshows

the vendors by customers who want to pay $5 for a $2000 dollar gun and the attendees by the vendors trying to gouge them...

Ignition Override
March 5, 2012, 01:11 AM

I don't compare enough of the same type of guns to be able to describe any trends (i.e. different SKS conditions, details, origins etc), but many sellers have one thing in common, besides enjoying the hobby:

they tell me that they don't plan on selling anything, and they rent tables primarily to socialize. This helps to explain why many list prices remain so high, and why the same sellers are seen all the time.

It is always puzzling when people discuss the low prices of many milsurps and ammo when they were about 25%-30% of today's prices, but assume that prices, salaries in 1988 (etc) would remain the same-after twenty three years!

March 5, 2012, 02:33 AM
The Mesquite show had a lot of ammo, much more than I've seen of late (have not been to many shows of late, in all fairness). And, in full fairness, some of the prices for what few boxes have been on brick-n-mortar stores have been all over the place.

Name-brand .45acp was $24-26 a box. So was .380acp, but, there were more makers of 380 than I'd seen in two, three years. Not much .30 carbine to be seen, and 7.62x25 was not much in abundance, either. Were folk with cases, and the 250 packs, which were around $99 each in .45acp

March 5, 2012, 04:17 AM
Had a gun show this week end first time in 16 years I did not go, after looking on the internet and seeing the high prices, I knew their prices would be outrageous, have 2 more this Mo might go to one, just to socialize.

March 5, 2012, 08:58 AM
I went to the Watemburg show Saturday hoping to find a security six. Couldn't believe the crowds! I didn't see any security six's, but I did buy some cheap brass and primers. Seemed ammo was through the roof! My brother did pick up a new Bushmaster m4 for under $700, so there were deals to be had.

March 5, 2012, 10:23 AM
The "standard fare type" gun shows have devolved into semi-flea markets where purses, beef jerky and homemade jewelry have increased tenfold. I like the once/twice a year shows as the offerings seem to be more gun related then garage sale related. Scored a 1948 Official Police in nickel a little over a week ago at a small gun show on the last day so there is hope that an occassional jewel will be found. Got an annual show coming up that might lighten my wallet should the right gun jump out at me :)

Sav .250
March 5, 2012, 10:36 AM
Gun Show prices. They can ask what ever they like but if it`s not with in my budget, I pass.

March 5, 2012, 04:57 PM
i have found that the bigger shows have pretty much what your looking for unless your looking for a great deal hell sometimes there prices are higher than lgs, then theres the small shows where the prices are good but if your looking for something specific you may be out of luck.

JD Armory
March 6, 2012, 11:20 AM
Prices at gun shows vary, I know I don't raise my prices on anything I take to the show, but I know many dealers do. I assume this is to cover costs and give them some wiggle room if people haggle. I simply keep my stuff priced competitively and just let potential customers know my prices are firm.

Shadow 7D
March 6, 2012, 01:45 PM
Once again it's the haggling
if you price it at face and leave NO wiggle room you loose a crowd cause you won't play
I talked to a number of vendors, ever wonder at the funny prices the 23 dollars or 49 dollars etc.
it's cause the want some nice round bills like $20 or 45 and you feel good cause he came down a bit.
price it at 20 and you get some guy pissed cause you say 'price is what the price is'

March 6, 2012, 02:07 PM
A friend and I attanded a gun show this past weekend. Three bucks for parking, three bucks to get in. Ample parking, no waiting lines. There was a very large selection, and plenty of room to walk in between tables. While there were some overpriced items, there were deals there if you looked. I passed on a 90% A5, Belgium, 12 light for $475 :banghead: But, went there only looking for 2 items. An Olsen knife for a friend, and a used 9mm for target shooting for myslef. Found both. The Olsen knive, with original sheath, $40, and a S&W M59 in very good shape, with original box, papers and cleaning tools for $380
It was 2 hours before the close of the show, and with a simple, "what's the best you can let this go for", saved a combined $50 on the sales.
I was pretty happy.

March 7, 2012, 12:08 PM
I'm fine with sellers charging retail if their selection is good or esoteric (which many local shops just don't have). Bought a Sig p220 Carry pretty much at LGS price level, but I just had not seen one at any LGS around here. Seller was actually sincerely apologetic that he didn't have any extra p220 mags to toss in. Whether a show vendor or LGS, a great attitude and a little extra service can go a long way.

Ammo prices seem to have come back to earth, somewhat, from a year or two ago. Though high, no longer in the exosphere...

I'm even better if a gun show vendor is even more competitive on prices, but that seems to be more and more the exception recently. I'm still regretting not jumping for a lightly used Sig p245, with box, for $535. :banghead:

I do have a hard time when folks they are selling above market or local shop prices (and above MSRP), which seems to be happening more and more around here. Have also seen used /like new/ ANIB at or above pricing for a new untouched model. And I'm sorry but a Bulgarian Makarov is not worth $400+, and a well-worn CZ-70 is not a rare $325 item. Actual examples.

Have never stood on the other side of the table as a seller, but I'm sure the opposite is true - they guy who overvalues his the old beater gun he wants to trade, or tries to finagle too much out of the deal (like way below cost, and toss in a bunch of accessories) and then gets miffed.

Try to negotiate the "stroller nazis" who think that just because they have children they think we owe them special concessions.

Um, like maybe not stepping on their kids :p

Seriously though, I don't bring the little ones if I can at all avoid it (among other reasons, don't want the little tornado leaving sugary fingerprints all over folks' products). And, I haven't brought them at all to shows after the last few incidents (all at the same show, within the first 15 minutes). Fastest about face I've ever done at a show - beat sticks right out of there.

Bubba pushes my baby carriage, though I'm not really in his way (hint: never touch another man's stroller, at least when its inhabited ...)
Kid gets swept with a rifle by inattentive customer
Dude inadvertently rests muzzle of shotgun on side of my kids head :what: (read him the riot act big time).

March 7, 2012, 06:10 PM
The "standard fare type" gun shows have devolved into semi-flea markets where purses, beef jerky and homemade jewelry have increased tenfold. I like the once/twice a year shows as the offerings seem to be more gun related then garage sale related. Scored a 1948 Official Police in nickel a little over a week ago at a small gun show on the last day so there is hope that an occassional jewel will be found. Got an annual show coming up that might lighten my wallet should the right gun jump out at me :)

I was at a show last year, lots of overpriced ARs, and junk, not even any good deals on ammo. I did however leave with 3 decorative plates with cats on them for a mother's day present. :scrutiny:

March 7, 2012, 06:10 PM
Some vendors (not me; I'm not a dealer, I just know what I have and what the local market will bear because that's where I buy my guns) are likely getting tired of ridiculously low-ball offers from folks and, expecting some bargaining, price higher in hopes of ending up somewhere close to what is reasonable to expect out of the gun(s) they're selling.

At a recent show, I had a minty 60's vintage S&W revolver (make, model and cal not really relevant), not many made and not made for a LONG time now, priced fairly based on Gun Broker completed sales (understand that in my experience most GB sales are to other dealers, not consumers; more often than not they just exchange copies of their FFL's and ship the guns directly) and in light of the local scarcity (and no shipping) in the low $600's on my table. Some "Blue Book Believer" told me I was way out of line on my price, and the previous weekend he'd seen loads of them going for $350 in Spokane, WA. Complete BS, and anyone with any knowledge about the gun would know it.

I laid 14 $100 bills on the table and told him to go buy four of them, he could keep one for his troubles, and deliver the other 3 to me.

....<crickets chirping in the dead silence>....and he left.

Sold it next day, really close to asking price to a guy who'd been unsuccessfully scouring shows, LGS's, and want ads in the surrounding states unsuccessfully for 2 years.

Bargaining is part of the fun, folks, but gun shows in America are not like the open markets in Mexico, where it's expected that the buyer and seller start at extremes and reach a low-ball deal not that far above the buyer's first offer. IMHO, it's those with the flea-market/garage sale mentality that have unrealistic expectations of super deals, and the Blue Book fanatics, who simply don't understand that "the Book" doesn't update its pricing information on every gun every year, much less account for local market "in hand" scarcity of specific guns, that are becoming bothersome to vendors and forcing above-market pricing because the vendors expect to get haggled.

I still have a ball at every show I attend, as a buyer and when I put some stuff on a table, and will continue to go until I physically can't make the trips. I just have what I think is a little more thorough understanding of the dynamic that occurs at my regional shows than do those who complain about them, based on 35 years plus of participating in them on both sides of the table, and navigate my way through the BS to the fun that can be had there.

March 7, 2012, 06:24 PM
Try to negotiate the "stroller nazis" who think that just because they have children they think we owe them special concessions. Try to negotiate the frequent 3 or 4 guys just standing there talking, blocking the passage. Oh, and there's always the people in the electric carts.

Or the guys yapping/texting on the cell phone in the middle of the isle blocking the passage. Or the guys who can't keep the barrels/stocks on their slung rifles vertical making everyone nearby constantly duck out of the way every time they move. Stroller nazis are nothing, at show a while back we had someone with so many kids he was carting them around in big wagon that took up most of the already small isles.

March 7, 2012, 07:14 PM
Every Person I know that sets up at the gun shows always adds a little to the price because I have yet to see a buyer not try to get the prices down.It is just like a big flea market for the personal dealers such as my buddy and I.We do set up at flea markets in Butler P.A. and Rodgers Ohio also.

March 9, 2012, 02:35 AM

Gun shows in southern Wyoming are hardly worth the time, much less the cost of admission. The local gun club in Cheyenne puts on a good show one once a year but that is about it.

Most shows are the same basic group of grumpy old gun shop dealers and would be gunsmiths. They truck their inventory from one town to the next each weekend, see them in Worland, see them next week in Burns the week after in Laramie ect...

If you think of them as traveling gun museums then, it maybe bearable.

It is not really a friendly buyers market, $375 take it or leave it for a well used Savage 30-30 bolt action 340, missing the magazine seems to be the norm.

Here is some free advice...

Learn to talk to your customers.
If you don't like people, hire someone that does.
Buy a copy of Dale Carnegie's book and read it.

Another thing, know your inventory...
Not all Sears shotguns where made by Winchester,

Be knowledgeable about firearms
Yes a 270 Winchester is a fine rifle
but it won't shoot a straight line across a 500 yard field with the same point of aim as at 100 yards...

Don't prey on young peoples ignorance,

If a 21 year old brings in a Model 12 Winchester in great condition, offering him a $100 towards a traded for an over priced Frankenstein no-name 1911 is wrong.
(I saw this happening to a young troop, lucky a few NCO's step in educated the young lad on the value of the shotgun)

There has to be a better business plan than trying to pay for the whole week end off of one firearm sell.

Ok I am stepping off my soap box now.

March 9, 2012, 05:47 PM
I have attended the Tulsa show many times in the last several years and shows in Kansas City and Topeka, KS. Every show is different with prices generally on the rise. I have been disappointed with ammo prices sometimes, but it has been plentiful recently. Occasionally, I have found great deals and learned that I need to carry cash and buy quickly when I find them. Guns are generally reasonable and dictated by the market, with some being over-priced, but dealers are almost always willing to negotiate prices. Reloading supplies are almost never a bargain in my experience, but they may have what you need and save you a trip to get it else where. Do your homework, pay attention, and be reasonable. Dealers are there to conduct business and make money, not give stuff away so you can get a bargain. Most dealers have a wealth of knowledge and I learn a lot at every show that doesn't cost me a penny. In my experience they gladly share that knowledge. So, if all you go for is to get a bargain, you just might miss the best part of the gun show experience.

March 10, 2012, 06:17 PM
The best thing you can do, is know the prices before you go. I know what every popular gun is going for because I read about guns all the time, and frequent several gun stores where i am friends with the owners. I know what they pay. So if there is a genuine deal at a show, I will find it. If you go to "shoot straight for instance, he will sell a gun at a loss just to break the smaller dealers, This is common knowledge, he is the man here in FL. I believe he has 8 stores with ranges at about half of them.
He sold me a brand ne LCP 2 years ago, for $259, that's when they were smoking hot. But I said there is a guy right there selling one for 270, what can you do, he went right to 259. so you need to know their bottom line. Other guns were priced high, it's like buying in a bargain store ,not everything is a bargain, last show he was selling the new Sigs 290, the one with a 775 msrp, 9mm not the 238. He was letting them fly for $550.00 with the laser. That's a deal and a half. I will buy one if he does it again, he also had a low price on the nano, and lc9, $300 for the lc9. great price, may have gone down another 10 bucks. The 238 was more than the new 9mm model. The baretta I have read too many bad reviews on to buy one yet.
If you walk in and just ask how much is that gun, expect to be quoted top dollar. Ask to see it and then ask if you can pull the trigger, never start playing with a vendors guns without permission, that's a sure way to not get a deal. Strike up a conversation let him know your interested, but plan on walking the floor to, "look around". he will stop you, and ask you what you are looking to spend, or how interested you really are. or something, that's when you need to know your prices.You can say I will buy this gun now if you can let me have it for x. Chances are if he is making a few bucks on it he will take it, but don't insult him with a rediculous offer. You will usually get the best deals from the largest vendors. They do volume and pay less for the gun.

March 10, 2012, 06:43 PM
I'm absolutely amazed at what I'm seeing in Florida- for new guns. Used guns are still reasonable...

March 10, 2012, 06:57 PM
Went to the Tampa Fl, show today mainly to keep my son from buying something he would regret. The show was PACKED and when we left 4 hours later, there was a HUGE line waiting to get in. The prices were higher than I have seen in a while but most vendors were willing to make a deal.

My son bought a new 4" stainless Ruger GP-100 at the "Shoot Straight" display for just over $600.00 (tax and xfer fee included). They had a higher price than what I thought was fair so he made an offer on it which they accepted. I think he got a good deal on a great gun. I, on the other hand, bought 1000 rounds of .223 Win for my ARs but found out later I could have bought it cheaper online. Oh well, win some lose some!

March 10, 2012, 07:14 PM
I quit going to the gun shows put on here in Florida by Sunstate Gun Shows. The prices and crowds have gotten ridiculous, and they are dominated by the big stores like Shoot Straight. There's another company putting on shows in Clearwater, Sarasota, Ft Myers and maybe some other places. I think they are called 2 Guys or something like that. I will probably check out their shows and see how they are. I'm going to be looking for a pistol for my daughter pretty soon.

March 10, 2012, 07:25 PM
Depends on which vendor you go to, some charge tax

March 10, 2012, 09:54 PM
Depends on which vendor you go to, some charge tax
Thats not quite correct.

In all fairness, vendors do not "charge" tax, they "collect" it.

I suppose its mostly semantics, but, I get tired of guys wanting me to NOT collect sales tax even though I have to SEND that sales tax money to the state.

I had one guy looking at some Shootnc targets. I quoted him a price that was like 50 CENTS above my cost ( cuz I wanted to get rid of em mostly ) and he wants ME to pay the sales tax. I suggested he go to Wallybarf and see if THEY would eat the tax.............he walked away, which suited me just fine!!

2 months later, the SAME guy walked by my table, saw the targets and offered me 25 cents less than my pricetag. I told him NOPE.

Twas one of those deals where he ticked me off so bad the first time, I will NEVER give the guy a deal.

March 10, 2012, 10:47 PM
Depends on what and how you are buying. Today all of my CASH purchases from different vendors were not taxed. My Debit/Credit card purchases had to have taxes collected, I guess thats because of the credit card companies involvement in the transaction.

March 10, 2012, 10:51 PM
Depends on what and how you are buying. Today all of my CASH purchases from different vendors were not taxed. My Debit/Credit card purchases had to have taxes collected, I guess thats because of the credit card companies involvement in the transaction.

The vendors dont have Sales tax permits ( thats what they call them in Nebraska ) or the sales tax was included in the price or the "vendors" were not a business entities and are not required to collect sales tax.

March 11, 2012, 01:17 AM
I don't like gun shows. I don't like most gun shops because of the attitude. There is no way to explain gun shop attitude to someone hat has not experienced it but once you have you will always recognize it. But gun shows take that attitude and multiply it by thirty. I have found in my life that most gun shops have no idea how to treat customers. There have been a couple of examples of these types of incidences quoted on this thread. Why would I want to go somewhere they are all gathered.

The shops I do go into are very successful because they know how to treat people. And they will ge me anything I would ever need.

March 11, 2012, 07:58 AM
I notice a lot of Gun shop owners/employees are more relaxed at the shows then their shops maybe it's just the atmosphere of the whole thing.But then again I know practically everyone that sets up from setting up myself for so many years.

March 11, 2012, 02:58 PM
We're lucky, gun shows in the Houston area are really good with large selection and good prices, its rare that I can beat gun show prices at a local store or on-line. CDNN is the only consistent competitor.

March 11, 2012, 06:30 PM
I have been a frequent flyer at the local shows but no more. For a better deal I have started to go to the local auction house, twice a year and the prices are fair cause most of the guys are educated about what they want and there can be some really good buys if you know what you are looking for.

March 13, 2012, 10:39 AM
The only way to skip tax is to buy private used guns. Otherwise dealers must charge you tax. ASs mentioned above big Vendors like Shoot Straight, will take a "fair offer", and sometimes a real lowball price if they run a special.

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