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Guns America & Credit Cards

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by Hawkmoon, Dec 17, 2005.

  1. Hawkmoon

    Hawkmoon Well-Known Member

    Has anyone noticed how many vendors on Guns America either add on 3% if you use a credit card, or tell you that you "lose 3% cash discount" if you use a credit card?

    How does one contact Guns America to complain about thse vendors? This practice is specifically PROHIBITED by both VISA and MasterCard regulations. If Guns America is at all interested in policing their vendors, they should not be allowing the widespread use of a prohibited tactic.
  2. TarpleyG

    TarpleyG Well-Known Member

    It's not just GA...gun stores in general are notorious for this. I suppose it's because their markup is already so little they cannto afford the additional 3%. Where is it stated that Visa and MC forbid this? News to me but I have been out of retail a while now.

  3. jefnvk

    jefnvk Well-Known Member

    Using a credit card costs the store money. Hence, the 3% markup. It is quite common in many places, not just gunstores.
  4. SIOP

    SIOP Well-Known Member

    So here's how this will pan out if you are successful. All the vendors will raise their prices 3% whether you pay cash or use a credit card. Good idea. So everyone will pay more, not just people who use credit cards. FYI, it isn't free for a seller to accept plastic. That's why they charge more for those that do. Also, all the major wholesalers charge more to dealers that use credit cards to purchase goods. Three percent is $30 on a $1000 gun. I don't know how much you think FFL's make on a gun, but I can assure you that 3% will make or break a deal.

    By the way, your idea sounds more like communism than capitalism.
  5. KB180

    KB180 Member

    I am a retailer and I sell on GA as well as other auction websites. Most dealers will charge about 3% if you use a credit card (although I don't). Yes, the dealer will be charged about 3% of the sales price by the card issuer. But in addition, there are other costs involved for the Dealer with the sale (i.e. listing fees from the auction website, shipping/insurance to both acquire and ship the said firearm, along with about a dozen other costs of doing business as an FFL Dealer). Personally, I wouldn't have a problem being charged an additional 3% for the privilege of using my credit card knowing about all the additional costs involved in being a licensed FFL Dealer. I would recommend that if you are concerned about a particular transaction fee a dealer may charge you, contact them about it and negotiate a solution...it could result in a win-win situation for both parties. Good Luck!
  6. Standing Wolf

    Standing Wolf Member in memoriam

    I've never heard of the practice anywhere but gun shops.
  7. hksw

    hksw Well-Known Member

    The practice is the norm here in NE OH gun shows.
  8. acdodd

    acdodd Well-Known Member

    Gas is less with cash than with CC.
    They don't charge extra for using the card they give a discount for cash.
    I think that is how they get around rules.
  9. feedthehogs

    feedthehogs Well-Known Member

    As a retailer, long, long ago all my prices were jacked up to cover my
    processing fees, thus all customers, even cash, pay more for those who want to use cards.
    Its a built in cost in 98% percent of everything you buy.

    As a retailer you can get in serious trouble if you list additional fees related to credit card transactions. Most don't understand that fact or don't know or aren't reported to their credit card processing company.

    But give them a break, it cost us money to take cards plus the risk of having someone stop the transaction on a whim, having the money yanked from our account if they got a bee in the bonnet.

    You want the cheapest price, pay cash, you want to use plastic pay the extra. Most small merchants pay 2.8 to 3% so they are not making an extra profit.
    If you work on a 10% margin, 3% is a lot.

    How would you feel about losing 3% of your paycheck every week?
  10. RRTX

    RRTX Well-Known Member

    I couldn't tell you the last time I saw a gas station charging more for using credit, it has to have been more than a decade ago and even then I only vaguely remember ever seeing it in the middle of nowhere. Online auctions and gun shows are about the only places I ever see this practice nowadays, even all the brick and mortar gun shops I ever go to charge the same either way.
  11. hotpig

    hotpig Well-Known Member

    I doubt that the common consumer will ever believe the narrow margin that we have. I actually have been loosing money on one product that I sell. My store price is less than 1.00 per box more than I pay for it. I can not raise the price and be competitive. I only hope that the customer will buy other box or boxes of other calibers so that I can break even.

    On the other hand my main competitor is on one coast and I am in the Mid West. He only takes money orders and has no web store. I take credit cards with no extra fee and have a web store. Lots of customers can buy from me at a higher price. They could pay me with a credit card (no extra fee) and still save money because of the shipping.

    Now you guys see why I have a full time job. My family would be on welfare if I tried to make a living with my FFL.
  12. jefnvk

    jefnvk Well-Known Member

    No, but I have seen recently some giving discounts if you pay with cash. But again, out of the way places.

    As for other places, I do remember having to pay a bit higher rate for using a credit card at an online computer store, the only other option being a Money Order, if I chose to shop there.
  13. Matthew748

    Matthew748 Well-Known Member

    I see both sides of the coin. Credit card processing fees are no fun, but accepting credit cards allows a retailer to make additional sales that they otherwise would not make. In other words, credit cards allow a person to buy something right now that they really cannot afford. Good for the seller, bad for the individual, as they are now deeper in debt to a high interest lender. Collecting the processing fee from the customer seems like the vendor is trying to get the best of both worlds.

    Maybe margins are so thin that this is necessary for the vendor to stay out of the red. I don’t know, I have never worked with a businessman in the gun industry.

    Frankly, for an online firearm sale I have no problem with it because there is a little time to shift money around and get a cashier’s check, but it is a huge pain in the rear at a non-local shop or gun show. I do not carry $ 1,000.00+ in cash on me at any time and a lot of places want to hold personal checks to make sure they clear. I have passed on a couple of relatively large sales because of this.
  14. trueblue1776

    trueblue1776 Well-Known Member

    My store charges an extra 10% if you choose to pay in beaver pelts
  15. Blackcloud6

    Blackcloud6 Well-Known Member

    The practice of charging someone 3% more than an advertised price for use of CC uis illegal in some states. California is one I believe.
  16. Hawkmoon

    Hawkmoon Well-Known Member

    I understand why it is done. My concern is that it violates the rules of the credit card companies, and therefore should not be allowed.
    It is true that merchants may offer "cash discounts" if the advertised price is the price for credit cards, and the offer clearly identifies the cash discount. Many of the Guns America vendors, however, don't do this. They advertise a price and then say +3% for credit cards.

    That's a violation of the rules. Why is it unreasonable to ask that merchants who signed an agreement be expected to comport themselves in accordance with the rules they agreed, in writing, to follow?
  17. Hawkmoon

    Hawkmoon Well-Known Member

    That cuts both ways. I may want to buy a gun and not have the $1000 available in cash, but I may not feel I can afford an extra 3% for the privilege of using a credit card if the merchant is not allowed by the rules of the card issuer to charge me that extra 3%. From a consumer perspective, then, the merchant can follow the rules and sell me the gun at the advertised price, absorbing the 3% as part of the cost of doing business (which it is) ... or I can walk away and he can keep the gun collecting dust on his shelf for another 6 months. That way he makes no money on it.
  18. c_yeager

    c_yeager Well-Known Member

    Why would Guns America care if some gun dealer in Podunk Iowa is violating their agreement with Visa? This isnt GA's problem. The only people who would consider it to be their problem are the credit card companies who made the agreement with the vender in the first place. It isnt GA's job to enforce agreements between Visa and Jim's Gun Shop.
  19. migoi

    migoi Well-Known Member

    One gun shop...

    I frequent gives a 4% discount for cash. All other forms of payment (CC, check, beaver pelts, first born children) transact out at the price on the tag.

    It would seem this would be difficult to view as charging an extra fee for CC since the higher price is for all non-cash transactions.

  20. jbear6

    jbear6 Member

    I'm pretty sure the adding of a 3% fee is not allowed under the merchant aggreement the retailer has with the card processer. The worst part for the retailer is two or three months down the road when someone disputes the charge on their credit card as illegitimate. The credit card processer will take the funds from the retailers bank account, and then tell the retailer about the fraudulent charge (charge-back). Any customer using a credit card has 60 or 90 days to dispute a charge (can't remember which offhand).

    The "bank" (credit card processer) is not responsible for any "loss risk" in a credit card transaction, all the risk falls on the retailer. It kills me to hear all the commercials the credit card issuers put out claiming they are diligent in fighting fraud, as they could care less. The credit card processor even charges the retailer a "handling fee" in association with the fraudulent charge, so they make money even on fraud. When a retailer gets a "charge-back", it's his/her problem...period. That's a big risk.

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