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"Dickering" on gun prices with sellers.

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by SaxonPig, Feb 22, 2009.

  1. SaxonPig

    SaxonPig New Member

    I always figure that all prices are negotiable and usually start out offering a little less than the asking price. Sometimes the seller just says the price is firm and that's OK. I just have to decide if I want to pay it or walk away. Most times the dealer is willing to meet somewhere in the middle.

    A couple of times I have had sellers sorta go nuts on me when I made an offer. About 15 years ago a guy at a show had a 2nd Model 44 Special S&W that was utterly devoid of bluing. I guess somebody had polished it to bare metal. He had it tagged at $250 and it had been to at least 2 shows I knew of without selling so I figured he might be ready to deal.

    "I'd like to make an offer on your 44..." I started but that's as far as I got. He started screaming... I mean screaming... about how he was tired of people offering less than what the tag said. I calmly suggested that if he didn't want to dicker he should just write the word "Firm" on the price tag. Well, that REALLY set him off and he grabbed the gun off the table and flung it into a cardboard box setting on the floor. "It's not for sale any longer!" he bellowed. Oooooo... K.

    When I see something I like and the price is fair I still try to get a little something off just on GP. Two weeks ago I saw a Nylon 66 at a show tagged at $150. I had been watching for a shooter grade 66 for a while and I thought the gun was worth the asking price. But I still told the dealer "Give me $20 off and I'll take it right now." He took the money, I took the rifle, we shook hands and everyone was happy. I would have paid the $150 had he balked at the offer but it was more fun to get a little discount.

    I recall about 20 years ago I saw a sporterized 30-40 Krag at a show. I had wanted one for a long time but wanted to pay no more than $150. But every one I saw was priced at $250 or more and that was too much for me. Well, this one was tagged at $90. I snatched it off the table trying to conceal my enthusiasm as I fought the urge to reach for my wallet. "Will you take $80?" I asked as casually as I could. He rolled his eyes and groaned that he had paid $80 for it 2 months earlier and wanted to make something off it. So we agreed on $85. I still have that rifle.

    About 8 years ago I walked the aisles of show following a man who was carrying a pair of Ruger auto 22 pistols. One was the standard 4.5" model and the other had the longer 6" barrel and walnut stocks. I watched him show the guns to a dozen people who passed on the $150 asking price for buyer's choice. Finally, I stopped him and said I'd give him $100 for the longer one. He didn't hesitate a moment, he just handed it over. We walked another 30 yards before I offered him $90 for the other one.

    I wound up giving both of those guns away as presents to friends. Oh, well.

    Maybe 7 years ago a pawn shop had a wartime production M&P in 38 Special. It was reblued and the barrel was bulged. He was asking $100 but I thought that was too high. It went unsold for a couple weeks before I told him it was worth $60 to me. He was happy to unload it. I went right to one of the auction sites and saw a proper barrel with a $5 starting price. I bought it with one bid and swapped it myself since a gunsmith wanted $100 to do it. Gun shoots fine and is certainly worth the $65 I have in it.

    I don't try to insult sellers with really lowball offers, I just offer what the item is worth to me. Often they don't accept. I recently offered $500 for a revolver that an FFL dealer has for sale at $575. He passed. That was 2 weeks ago and the gun is still for sale. I may wait another 2-3 weeks before trying again.

    Anyone else have any good stories about haggling?
  2. jmr40

    jmr40 Active Member

    On a used gun I expect the price to be negotiable. I usually always get the seller to come down. Even most gunshops will at least eat the sales tax.

    New guns are generally not negotiable.

    MMCSRET New Member

    I watched a Colt Officers Model at the local Scheels go from $699.00 to $599.00 to $499.00 over 3 months. I made an offer on it the other day and it is now mine. I think the same way you do.
  4. Duke of Doubt

    Duke of Doubt member

    Haggling is half the fun and satisfaction (finding it is the other half). Anyone can just go and BUY a gun for what the seller wants, assuming the buyer has the money and is willing to part with it.

    I live in an area where those who pay retail are looked upon with disdain, and those who shop at WalMart are considered developmentally challenged. We gradually fill our homes with valuable antiques and fascinating curios, for which we pay a few dollars apiece at flea markets and thrift stores. We obtain our furniture piece by piece for distress prices at clearance sales, salvage centers and yard sales. Just going to a fancy store and BUYING it is considered the behavior of a perfect fool.

    Guns are no different. People from away might go to a "gun store" and "order" a "new" gun. But real enthusiasts are on a first name basis, not only with all the pawnbrokers, but with their friends and family. Haggling over old guns is a weekly hobby event. Whether we actually GET the gun is a point of satisfaction only if we get a good price or trade. The only exceptions are those few guns with which we fall in love at first sight, and we are always a little bit embarrassed about those.
  5. koolminx

    koolminx New Member

    Great Thread!

    Nobody, and I mean NOBODY likes to be caught selling something that I want...:D

    I will Gentile your arse off (I can't Jew ya down as I'm not Jewish strangely enough :neener:)

    I will haggle anyone! I don't care if it's Brand Spanking New at Macy's 5th Avenue, Wall Mart, or Target!

    I gotta haggle and get me a discount, and if I don't get my discount, I often buy it anyway... :) (I rarely walk away without a discount of some kind)

    I simply relish the thrill of the bargain hunt!

    In fact, not 30 seconds before tripping across this thread, I e-mailed a guy with a pile of Tarzan Comic's that he want's $35 bucks for... To see If I could nab them for a considerably smaller sum :)
    (I'm such an ass :))
  6. Pilot

    Pilot Active Member

    There is nothing wrong with politely making an offer or asking if the seller will accept any less. All they can say is no the price is firm, then you can decide if you want to pay it or not.
  7. Bubba613

    Bubba613 member

    I dont mind folks asking if they dont mind my telling them no. I had a guy try to bargain on a DPMS AR 16" flat top a couple of weeks ago. I know mine was priced 100-200 less than anyone else's. And they were hard to get. I told him, you must be joking, right?
    Sometimes I will hint I am looking for an offer and say "I've had this quite a while and am motivated to sell it."
    What I don't like is someone asking for a better price and when I give them my "lowest" price they want even more. Those people can go jump in a lake. Similarly on ammo and accessories. I had a guy call about a Glock 19 mag. I had a used one in good condition for 20. He came by and asked me if that was my best price. I asked him "sir, do you want the mag or not?" I just am not going to dicker over a $20 item.
  8. Nathanael_Greene

    Nathanael_Greene New Member

    I think good-faith negotiating is always fair; it never hurts to ask (or shouldn't hurt, anyway).

    When someone offers an absurdly low figure, though, I see no reason to be polite.
  9. glove

    glove Member

    Bargain price

    I like to ask $20 to $50 more. Than when you bargain me down a little we are both happy.:)
    Dave Z
  10. crankshop1000

    crankshop1000 New Member

    The principal that applies is that anything I have for sale is undesirable and worth only a low ball take it or leave it from most "dealers". The funny thing is that those same dealers sell only rare and unfired examples in pristine condition. Funny how things work...I'd think it was a profit scheme if I didn't know better.Always dicker,it's the American way.
  11. raveneap

    raveneap New Member

    I'll generally offer less than I think I'll end up paying, figuring that the seller will come down a bit to meet in the middle. Usually works. Does he (the seller) know what I'm up to? Very probably - but he also knows that he probably priced it thinking of that. So we both end up happy.
  12. LtShortcut

    LtShortcut New Member

    Haggleing over a price is a dying art in America. I take it as a given that the seller has over priced an item, so I lowball and expect to work up to somewhere in the middle.

    It's not a gun, but I recently offer the salesman at the toyota dealership 16,000 cash for an 09 camery that was priced at 19,000. He told me that I needed to go across the street to the used car lot and walked away from me.

    I was prepared to spend more than the 16,000 I offered, but he apparently didn't need any money. I don't know why he was selling cars.
  13. Bubba613

    Bubba613 member

    Maybe he figured you didnt have a clue what you were talking about and it wasn't worth spending the time to educate you.
    I hate that more than anything else. People come in and throw some absurd number out there just to see if I take it.
    I had one guy on the phone once. He had bought something else on Gunbroker and then called to pay for it. While we were talking I also pitched him a used Bushmaster I had for like $650 in perfect condition (pre-election days). It was a deal at that price and I knew it.
    He wanted to see pics. I sent pics. He asked a bunch of ignorant questions. I answered them.
    Then he sent me an email, would I take $550 shipped for it?
    I told him in no uncertain terms that not only would I not take that for it, I was done with him.
    He wrote several more times apologizing and saying he didnt know the market for these things. I ignored him. I sold the gun for the full price to one of my best customers, who knew a deal when he saw it.
  14. phish

    phish member

    I shop at Pekin Guns and Sporting goods, and it's nearly IMPOSSIBLE to haggle with the owner. granted, all of his prices are pretty good to start with, but he won't budge at all!
  15. Floppy_D

    Floppy_D Member In Memoriam

    I love finding one thing marked "firm" (like $400 firm). Because that infers anything not marked firm.... isn't. :D
  16. lamebums

    lamebums New Member

    +1 on this. there isn't a single thing I picked up at a gun show that wasn't haggled on, or at least attempted. More often than not, I'll see something for say, $5. The guy will offer $4.50 since he hasn't sold it all day, and I'll counter with 2 for $8 ($4 each). Or something like that.
  17. BADUNAME37

    BADUNAME37 New Member

    I asked a local dealer how much for a certain NEW revolver, special order. The guy gave me a price, I told him to order it.

    Several weeks go by, I call and the gun is in. I go to pick it up at the price quoted only to have the owner tell me that "his new worker" didn't know the real cost of the gun and he would have to charge me another $25.:barf:

    I told him the price quoted was the price quoted -- it is not my fault that your guy is quoting guns below what he should be. I was prepared to buy the gun at the lower price, but certainly NOT at the higher price. I will give you what was quoted and no more than that. :banghead:

    So, I'm a jerk and it wasn't even my own fault.:fire::fire:

    Last time I ever went there to buy a gun.:)
  18. BamaHoosier

    BamaHoosier New Member

    Though I never dickered over prices,my boss would when I worked in his gun store in the 80's,and that was part of the fun working there!
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2009
  19. Cannonball888

    Cannonball888 New Member

  20. 22lr

    22lr New Member

    Worst deal I ever got was a $50 dollar marlin 51 ($50 dollar sticker) I asked for $50 out the door and he said, sure. Never hurts to ask. Only thing I hate is when guys offer way below what my gun is worth. I know personal worth and everything but im not taking $150 for a gun im trying to sell for $250. But that said I never get mad about a low ball, I just politely counter offer.

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