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Guidelines for negotiating gun prices?

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by PistolNewbie, May 13, 2007.

  1. PistolNewbie

    PistolNewbie New Member

    Mar 11, 2007
    I have worked retail my entire life in consumer electronics and appliances. Everybody is always looking for a bargain and wants a lower price. I would like to buy a Glock 19 9mm rather soon and I have seen prices range from $599 for the piece in a case with light and I have seen others used for about the same price. Like my wares, I have a feeling firearms aren't high profit margin merchandise. Are there any rules of thumb guidelines in negotiating firearm prices? At this point I don't feel competent buying used. I don't want to look like an idiot!:eek:
  2. ProficientRifleman

    ProficientRifleman Active Member

    May 3, 2006
    Remember, your dealer is trying to make a living. He may or not be able to get Volume level wholesale pricing. If he can't afford to buy 50 copies of a SIG pistol, his mark-up isn't going to be very much. He may offer you a box of ammo, or a holster to boot. Each time he does this he is making a concession because he wants your business.

    You'll see dealer prices listed in SGN and other pubs. That doesn't mean you can buy the same gun for the same amount. Look and compare what the dealer has marked on that M38 Nagant as compared to the add in SGN...he probably isn't making but 20-25 dollars on it. Just figure what you'll be willing to pay, and if you can't come to a deal, smile and say thanks anyway.

    On the flip side, I have seen dealers who are arrogant and have the attitude, or seem to, that they don't care if you spend your money there or not. Some even have an elitist attitude, such as..."I'm a licensed gun dealer, you're not...I know things, you don't..." If one of your local dealers has this attitude, leave his shop and don't return. Tell your friends what kind of dealer he is and post your experience here on THR and other forums.

    We can all work together to make the gun business more fun and profitable for everyone.
  3. hotpig

    hotpig Active Member

    Aug 13, 2005
    SW Illinois St Louis metro east
    Take cash when you try to strike a deal. If you are negotiating and want to pay by credit card you are already behind the eightball.
  4. glockman19

    glockman19 Senior Member

    Mar 16, 2007
    A Glock 19 can be found for as low as $459 @ glockworld.com NIB. Add for night sights. Group buys on THR have been as low as $450. Used in good condition 90%+ should be around $400.
  5. Jim K

    Jim K Elder

    Dec 31, 2002
    I will stick up for the local dealer trying to make a living. You need him anyway to take delivery from an internet seller, so why not give him a chance. Remember to add shipping and the dealer's service charge to the internet price when comparing prices, and you often find the "bargain" is not so great. Also, even if the cost is a bit more, it pays to make friends of your local dealers.

    I watched a dealer unwrap an internet purchase by a customer. He showed me the invoice; the cost, plus the shipping and his very reasonable ($25) charge, was $15 MORE than the price of the identical gun in his showcase.

    Don't you just love bargains like that?

  6. mnrivrat

    mnrivrat Senior Member

    Dec 24, 2002
    My local small dealer is one that prices his new guns at what he feels he needs to stay in business and does not negotiate prices on new guns.

    I had a conversation with a person just the other day who indicated he would not buy from this dealer because he felt guns, like cars, are a purchase that is always negotiated. I asked him wether he would rather the dealer mark his guns up another $10 - $20 ea. so that he had room to negotiate ? Of course not ! :eek:

    Well I guess there is two schools of thought colliding in that arena.

    Check around a little with a few dealers and whoever has the best price, the most convienent location to you, and will treat you right after the sale ,as well as before, deserves your business. Spending $20 in gas to go somewhere where a gun is $15 cheaper is not always following a bargin.
  7. obxned

    obxned Participating Member

    Jan 28, 2007
    OBX, NC
    I'll haggle at a gun show, but not at my small local gun shop. Where I live, other than my local guy, the next closest dealers are about 50 miles away.

    My dealer's prices are fair, he will get nearly anything I might want, and he's there when I need him.

    Sure, he makes money off me. As a small business, you either make money or go out of business!
  8. Geno
    • Contributing Member

    Geno Elder

    Jun 11, 2005
    Guns Galore, Fenton, MI sells new Glock 17s, 19s, 22s, etc. for $479.00. They sell the 19C models for $529.00 The big bores, i.e. .45 ACP models sell for $550ish.

    Go 20 miles down the road to Target Sports in Royal Oak, MI and you can add $100.00! Note, GG is not in "Joke"land County. Go across that "Joke"land County line and prices take a 20% increase just for the displeasure of doing business there. :evil:
  9. tmajors

    tmajors Active Member

    Mar 16, 2007
    Boise, ID
    I try not to shop at places that you negotiate prices. It ticks me off. I don't see it as them trying to stay in business, I see it as them trying to rip me off for as much as they can get. Put the fair price on the price tag in the first place.

    Only thing I should have to expect to negotiate is houses because you can never put an absolute value on them, and cars because car salesmen are legal con men.
  10. Ala Dan

    Ala Dan Member in memoriam

    Dec 24, 2002
    Home Of The First Capitol Of The Confederate State
    To start off with, look for bargains. As has been stated, the profit margin
    on new firearms is very slim; especially for shops like ours that has a lot
    of overhead expenses. We employ several PT employees (like myself) too
    assist the full time sales staff with their daily routines; and this helps some
    as we don't receive any benefits, and a reduced salary which happens to
    be the best in the business in our area. I am not complaining, as we are
    treated more fairly than some of the other employees at other shops. We
    operate in a small, competitive market here in central Alabama. Our CEO
    is a very fair person, and doesn't try to "make a killing" based on any one
    individual sale.

    Haggling for a better price is considered normal; but our prices are fair
    and in line with other dealers country wide. Don't try and haggle on any
    merchandise that is hard for dealers too obtain. If only 500 of brand X
    is available country wide, and the MSRP is $899; but the shops price is
    $759, folks that is 'bout the bottom line. If any more discounts are taken,
    that cuts into the dealer's profit margin. Often times, if a firearm has sat
    for an extended period of time; a dealer may decide to "blow it out", just
    to move that particular piece. I have seen this happen, but usually occurs
    on "discountinued" firearms. Used firearms have more haggling room; but
    still dealers are not going to give these firearms away~! :scrutiny: ;) :D
  11. trueblue1776

    trueblue1776 Senior Member

    Nov 16, 2005
    Down here there are a few stores who advertise all base Glock's less than 400$
  12. default

    default Member

    Jan 11, 2006
    I'm sure it varies from dealer to dealer, based on their policies and margins. I learned early on that my main dealer doesn't really budge on firearm prices, which are not particularly low to begin with, but on the other hand has a very friendly and knowledgedable staff, as well as a nice shop and good selection.

    Because of that, I continue to buy guns from them, excepting the rare occasions I come across something somewhere else that they don't carry and I absolutely have to own. As they appreciate my business, they have hooked me up in various other ways to let me know. And they never "push" anything - they just answer any questions I have honestly without any gunshop rumors, made-up information, and so on.

    I'm sure I could pay less if I took the effort to shop around, but having a good relationship with a nice, hassle-free dealer you can trust outweighs saving a little money, at least to me.
  13. TexasP226

    TexasP226 New Member

    Mar 18, 2007
    Shop around. I bought a NIB Beretta PX4 storm for $435 about a month ago. I was in another shop about 20 minutes away the other day and a gentleman was looking at the same gun. He actually asked how much more expensive it would be there than at the place where I bought mine. The dealer said it would probably be "about $5-$10 more" at his shop. After they moved on, I scooted over to look, and it was either $560 or $580 (don't remember which) but either way well over $100 more.
  14. CajunBass

    CajunBass Mentor

    Jun 2, 2005
    North Chesterfield, Virginia
    I'll shop around a little, but basically I don't try to haggle. I figure the price the seller puts on it is what he wants for it. If it's what I want to pay fine. If not, thanks for your time, and I'll keep looking.

    I figure if I get something I want, at a price I want to pay, I got a bargain.
  15. TBeck

    TBeck Member

    Feb 22, 2004
    The small stores can give you a level of service that you won't find in big box retailers.

    For example, I was in Wain Roberts Firearms in St. Pete this weekend. I needed a new mainspring for my Taurus 85. I knew Taurus doesn't like to sell parts. I was hoping Wain Roberts (having been in business for decades) might have a few spare bits and pieces lying around.

    I was right. For an extremely reasonable sum I got the part installed in my revolver and I was out the door. I also picked up a lightly used DeSantis pocket holster for $10. Had I needed to ship it to Taurus I would have paid much more.

    While I was browsing I noticed several items that I had purchased recently elsewhere were all selling for less than the (fair) prices I had paid for them elsewhere. I don't get over to St. Pete very often but when I do I will try and make it a point to swing by this excellent store.
  16. Rembrandt

    Rembrandt Senior Member

    Feb 1, 2003
    Nearly all firearms have a price tag attached.....I do nothing more than ask one question...I really like this gun, can you do any better on the price? About 80% of the time they'll knock off $50-$100.....if they don't, I pay the price. Usually that one question will cover the sales tax and transfer fees.
  17. SoCalShooter

    SoCalShooter Senior Member

    Oct 3, 2006
    That's for me to know and not you!
    Well my dealer prices only 15% above cost I think. he does not make a huge profit on it. he makes more I think in gunsmithing.
  18. MRIman

    MRIman Member

    Jan 1, 2007
    City in the Hills,NY
    Find a dealer that has no problems doing transfers. If he gives you a copy
    of his FFL,all the better. Then just find a "good seller " online and have it shipped to your dealer. I've done this many times,the dealer makes $20+ for
    3 minutes work,and you get your gun at the best price you can find.
  19. buck00

    buck00 Participating Member

    May 10, 2005
    Lower Silesia, PA
    Don't shop at a gun store where you have to haggle over the price. If you feel you do- the price is too steep to begin with and it reflects on the store.

    A good gun store will do enough volume to keep prices reasonable. They often have good people working there, do honest business, and in turn move a lot of guns and can thus keep the prices down. They might only be making $20 or $30 a sale- but that ends up being plenty overall.

    In contrast, some smaller stores do far less business (often for reasons that reflect on the owner and his attitude or practices) and therefroe try to make $75 to $100 profit off a sale. :mad:

    It is a classic business question they should ask themselves- do they want eggs everyday or chicken once a month? Maybe of these smaller gun shop weasels want chicken.

    I think the best thing you can do is research the gun's market price (yes $599 for a G19 is too high by the way) and then shop around several places for a good deal. Good luck.
  20. Dead_Pedal

    Dead_Pedal New Member

    May 7, 2007
    I have found that most gun stores are fairly similar in pricing, at least in the same area. If I drive 100 miles away to a large volume dealer I will get a slightly better price, but I would rather pay a little bit more at a shop I like to deal with and develop a good relationship with the dealer there. Currently the shop I deal with most does free machining on anything I need installed on my guns, in exchange I shop there exclusively and recommend it to all of my friends. I might pay 5 or 10 dollars more on something but the level of customer service is worth a lot.

    Bottom line, I am gainfully employed, I will shop at the store that treats me the best, 5 or 10 dollars savings won't buy you much of anything.

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