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Gun show prices?

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by ShouShu, Nov 25, 2004.

  1. ShouShu

    ShouShu New Member

    Aug 27, 2004
    What's the deal with gun shows these days? Seems to me that people used to go to gun shows to save money. I went to a gun show in Reno, NV the other day and was blow away at the prices I was seeing. I guess it's been a while since I have been to one cause I wasn't prepared for the sticker shock. Most of the guns I was looking at, I could get from my local dealer for much less. Is this just a Nevada thing or have you guys had similar experiences at gun shows in your areas?

  2. bp_cowboy

    bp_cowboy New Member

    Jan 23, 2004
    1st Day is usually not the best

    time to get a deal. I have found that when you go on Sunday afternoon you start seeing some decent deals, and even can negotiate, etc. Plus if the show was recently, people have "Gun Fever" because we are in hunting season as well.

    I.E. I have my heart set on a Ruger P345, and the normal price here seems to be 389.00, but I saw one for 370.00 but it took me 3 passes around the show to spot it. Still kicking myself for not buying, but wife would have had a fit.
  3. P95Carry

    P95Carry Moderator Emeritus

    Jan 3, 2003
    South PA, and a bit West of center!
    PA here! I am rather in agreement with you.

    I went to about four shows this year - most early in the year. I did secure a nice 8 3/8 barrel M27-2, after slight haggling .... and probably would have paid much same elsewhere - apart from that tho - heck - I certainly was not in the least attracted by prices - some of which were obscene!!

    Oh - I did forget - to be fair - one show had some reasonable Mak's for $149 - so not too bad .... and another had some re-arsenalled M38's for about $56 all in ... so with no shipping to pay I had to force myself to pick one of those up!

    I think now I go to a show to see what is there - hardly expecting to find any good gun deals.... but,. invariably, it is the place to get some ammo, not only fairish prices but - huge saving re shipping. Guess can say same re reloading supplies sometimes - primers and powders ... no hazmat.

    What you refer to does seem to be becoming a national phenomenon.
  4. stans

    stans Senior Member

    Dec 27, 2002
    central Virginia
    I used to find great deals at gunshows, but in the past few years the prices have risen to full retail. A couple of years ago I did find a nice S&W 29-3 with at least 98% of its nickel finish remaining, it was clean and tight, asking price was $425 and I got it for $375. I haven't seen any such deals since and the gunshows are becoming more toy soldier, jewelry, coin collector and knife shows. Gone are the racks of shotguns and rifles, tables loaded with handguns and reloading supplies, now its everything except guns.
  5. Lennyjoe

    Lennyjoe Mentor

    Dec 24, 2002
    Southwestern Ohio
    Same here. Most of the time I go to gushows to handle the different weapons Im interested in then shop either locally or online for that weapon.

    Accessories and ammo can still be found for good deals at the gunshows.

    Jerkey too :rolleyes:
  6. MM

    MM Member

    Jun 29, 2004
    I've found that by developing a relationship with a couple of local shops that "fit my style", I can do better than gun show prices. I'll ask a question about a gun, then follow it up with something like 489, huh?
    More often than not the man will say yeah, but I can do a little better than that. How much better is up to you, to a point.
  7. Tamara

    Tamara Senior Member

    Dec 21, 2002
    "Are you gonna have this stuff marked down at the show?"
    "Sure. I'm gonna spend $800 on tables, $50 on food for my employees, add an extra fifty or sixty man-hours over and above a normal week's payroll, and throw my back out setting up and tearing down in an un-air-conditioned warehouse, and to top it all off, I'll slice even more off the already narrow profit margins I have on most of this stuff."

    There's just no feeling like the happiness you get when you spend $1400 and hours of sweat for the privilege of having the very first customer of the show walk up to your table and pick up a gun that cost you $450, is tagged at $550, is in the Blue Book at $600, and say "Wouldja take $300 for this?" It's a thousand wonders more people don't get pistol-whipped at those shindigs.

    Just in case y'all were wondering why we're getting out of the gun show biz, ya buncha skinflints... ;) :p
  8. bpisler

    bpisler Participating Member

    Dec 30, 2002
    I've not been to a show in years,I don't care to pay for parking and pay to get in just to look at the same guns i can check out in their stores.The last time even the private sellers seemed to be priced high on their stuff.
  9. Ala Dan

    Ala Dan Member in memoriam

    Dec 24, 2002
    Home Of The First Capitol Of The Confederate State
    Most of the time, one can get a better deal from a reputable
    gunshop where one has established himself/herself more than at a
    gun show. The fact is, there just isn't that wide of a profit margin
    in firearms. Case in point, we are selling Steyr bolt-action rifles NIB
    for $100 less than what it would cost us to replace it from the
    manufactuer'er. The reason we can do this, is the fact that we are
    a Steyr distributor.

    Best Wishes,
  10. George S.

    George S. Participating Member

    Jan 11, 2004
    Western WA
    I have seen some good deals on occasion. Just missed a very nice Mosin M44 with a pristine birch (almost blonde) stock that went for $95! There are a couple of gun shops that attend the local show and their show prices are competitive with other shops.

    It's the private sellers that are a hoot. I see M1 or 1903 Springfields that clearly have just come from the CMP and they want twice the CMP price. Most decent hunting rifles I have seen are more than the new cost.

    Most scopes are over priced and not in the best of shape or some sort of a backyard refurb.

    But the part that is really funny is that most of these people do not seem the least bit interested in selling. I stopped at one table and looked at a M1 Carbine that looked nice and talked with the guy for about 10 minutes and wound up offering him $50 less than the price on the tag and showed him the cash. He just said "No deal. That's the price I want" then he turned and walked away.

    A lot of these vendors bring the same stuff month after month and never sell anything. Once, I copied down the serial number of a rifle at a show about 6 months ago. Went back this month to the same vendor, found the same rifle and asked the guy how he was doing. He said sales were great and everything he had on the table was new stuff to sell. :rolleyes:
  11. deadmeat

    deadmeat New Member

    Feb 2, 2004
    Mississippi gulf coast
    the past 5 or 6 gunshows ive been to around here, the dealers have had the same guns with the same prices. Ive seen the same guns now for a while because they wont come down off the inflated prices to move em.
  12. GEM

    GEM Senior Member

    Apr 11, 2004
    I've found that TX gunshows are consistenty better than most gun stores. There are a couple around here that are close but most are way over show prices.

    I found a similar situation in OR but in FL, the shows were very expensive. Must be a regional thing.

    Besides, I meet a bunch of old toot buddies and we look at the guns, double team the dealers - sorry, Tamara and then go get lunch and gossip like some old yentahs.
  13. Valkman

    Valkman Mentor

    Jul 31, 2003
    North Las Vegas, NV
    The problem, Tamara, is they want $700 for a gun that's $600 right down the road during the week. I think they charge extra for the huge deep idiot marks because they priced those 1911's like they were gold or something. :p
  14. YodaVader

    YodaVader Active Member

    Dec 29, 2002
    Most of the high prices I see are not at the shows but from gun shops in towns that have no competition. Or gun shops in the larger cities - apparently the residents there have a lot more money to burn. There are a few dealers that I do business with that also happen to set up at the gun show I regularly attend. Their prices are pretty good in the shop and when they set up at the show their prices do not increase but remain the same.
  15. Standing Wolf

    Standing Wolf Member in memoriam

    Dec 24, 2002
    Idahohoho, the jolliest state
    If they wanted my dollars, they wouldn't insult my intelligence with sucker prices.
  16. Kor

    Kor Active Member

    Dec 24, 2002
    Tucson, AZ
    I think there are two reasons why you can no longer expect to find screamin' hot deals at gun shows:

    1) Gun shows used to be primarily for collectors and private individuals to show and swap their guns, and they often had a lot more margin to negotiate with. Fewer and fewer of these sellers are at gun shows these days, and many of them are getting FFL's of their own to avoid being harassed or busted as an "unlicensed gun dealer." Once you get the FFL, you have to approach things much differently - as a business or livelihood, rather than a hobby - so you either meet the going market rate, or don't even bother with the hassle of setting up your gun show booth and just sell from the storefront that you had to get for the FFL in the first place.

    2) A lot of the deals at gun shows in the early/mid-90's came from "kitchen-table FFL's" and smaller dealers who were hounded out of gun dealing in the Clinton administration, and had to mark-down and blow-out their inventory just to get out from under it. Any dealers that were/are left are not, like Tamara pointed out, particularly anxious to spend extra time/money/effort on setting up a show booth unless they can sell their guns for as much, or more, than they can get for them at their storefront during the rest of the week.
  17. deputy tom

    deputy tom Active Member

    Dec 24, 2002
    Here in WPA,I find more and more over retail prices showing up on items at the shows.You still can find real bargains if you're looking.I remember an addage," He's got to eat too!".It also pays to have a good working knowledge of what you want to buy.That comes from experience,not price lists or computer generated info.tom. ;)
  18. DCR

    DCR Member

    Jan 10, 2003
    You know what goes through our minds behind the table?

    "Don't like the price? Well, then I guess you're not going to buy it, but someone else will realize what a good deal it is, and you're going to miss out. Why can I say that? Because all the stuff we sell you aren't going to go find down at the local gun store for less."

    How can that be? It's all old stuff not manufactured anymore. You can't find pre-64 model 70's at the local gun shop, much less in this caliber or this good of shape. Sorry, the tooling, steel, and craftsmanship, combined with the fact that they were produced in much lower numbers, actually does make this gun more valuable than the "identical" new one you can buy at the local dealer. You think that new gun at the local dealer with cheap wood, light finish, machine stamped, cheap alloy, bad fit, and thin blue job is the same gun and ought to be priced the same as this rifle with a walnut stock, hand checkered, dark finish, American steel, hand fitted with a deep blue and honest wear? You think that the old Ruger Mark I and Mark II's ought to be the same price as the new ones? That the new Colt revolvers are as good as the Second Generation ones? That a Model 63 Winchester should cost the same as a Ruger 10-22 because they're both semi-auto .22's? :banghead: Get back on your turnip truck, pal.

    You want a cheap gun? You know where to go. Want a gun like your grandpa/uncle/dad had? One that will stand up to anything you need it to do, and still look good and have appreciated in 5-10-20 years? Here's what they're going for, and good luck finding them somewhere else. Make a reasonable offer, I'll entertain it. Don't insult ME with a low bid or claim to be able to get it elsewhere cheaper. If you can, DO IT!!

    This goes for all stuff at gun shows, both old and newer. Don't shoot off your mouth at the show, just quietly and smugly go buy from the other guy. Soon enough, the blowhards who really do have overpriced junk will get weeded out of the market and you won't have anything to complain about. That, or as in the case of my guns, they're going to be even more rare and expensive because everyone who was smart bought at my prices and has the guns stashed away in their collections. ;)
  19. RobW

    RobW Active Member

    Dec 27, 2002
    Henderson, NV
    Just come over here! Visit Las Vegas for a weekend gun-show! Don't forget to bring your wife for putting some dollars into the machines, play some roulette, black-jack, or poker; let the kids burn up quarters at the arcades and attend a REAL LAS VEGAS GUN SHOW. After paying $3 for parking, and $12 for attendance, you'll have a full day of stomach-cramping laughter that cannot inflicted by the most talented comedians here in town!

    Get a 12floz beer for $4.50, Hot-dog for $3.50, or if you don't like alcohol, a bottle of water (12 floz) for just $2.50. IT'S FUN!!!

    A mediocre show here in town will cost you $75.00 without that laughter you have at the gun-show.

    Since I don't take it serious anymore, I have a lot of fun at the Las Vegas gun-shows (all the vendors complain that the shows are poorly, or not at all promoted, and thus there is no business). None of them are thinking of their rediculous prices.
  20. Glock19Fan

    Glock19Fan Member

    Nov 13, 2004
    I havent been to a show in a long time, but as a general rule, I try to give the seller 5-10 percent profit from what they bought it from (as long as it is NIB or LNIB). If I know they are selling part of their collection just for some extra cash, that is when I do the bargaining.

    Some people live on the money they make at these shows, and they arent going to make any if we all just keep on trying to bargain to give them pocket change worth profit.

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