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Morality of dealing in gun buying?

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by CombatArmsUSAF, Oct 5, 2005.

  1. CombatArmsUSAF

    CombatArmsUSAF Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    San Antonio, TX
    This is something I have been pondering lately.

    If you only deal with one gun shop, is it appropriate to try and get a deal on every single purchase, or should you pay their asking price every now and then to show that you appreciate the deals you've already received?

    What about different situations like if you are paying on a gun they are holding for you?
  2. Fly320s

    Fly320s Senior Member

    Dec 24, 2002
    New Hampshire
    Seems to me that if you are happy with the deals and service you receive, then you will be showing your appreciation by returning and buying more goodies.

    You could also spread the word about how much you like your gun shop. I imagine the owner would be happy to have a bunch of new customers reather than have you pay full price once in a while.

    As for paying for a gun being held, I think that you should determine the price up front, before you start the lay-a-way. Now, if a gun that you've been looking for for a long time suddenly becomes available in the store, but you don't have the cash to buy it now, then I would say that, yes, you probably should pay a little bit more as a reward or holding fee. Again, whatever price you and the store agree on is the fair price.
  3. c_yeager

    c_yeager Senior Member

    Mar 14, 2003
    I think the retailor/consumer relationship is predatory by its very nature. The retailor survives by seperating the consumer from their money, and the consumer by keeping as much to themself as possible. The two are simply not playing for the same team and i dont really see that either "owes" anything to the other. Certainly if a retailor has offered a history of honest treatment to the consumer the consumer would lend the retailor a certain amount of leeway regarding prices, this isnt out of loyalty, but out of self-interest. The surety of a warentee that will be fulfilled, and the confidence of an honestly described product are worth money, but that should not imply some kind of "duty" to pay more at one shop versus another. When a retailor gives a special "frequent buyer" price to a customer it isnt out of loyalty or friendship, it is an investment in future purchases.

    MAURICE Member

    May 22, 2003
    Lincoln, AR
    I shop mainly at one store. Decent prices, so I do not try to haggle.
    I have had situations where I saw a gun I had to have but could not purchase or law away right then, and they are good at holding it for me. When they hold one for a few days without a payment I make dang sure I get/will have the money on the day I say I will. No exceptions. They give me their word, I give them mine. It's fair.
    They've done me right and continue to do so, so they will keep getting my business.
  5. hillbilly

    hillbilly Senior Member

    Jul 10, 2003
    Morality in a retail purchase situation?

    Come again?

    What's that?

    It's best you can get for the least amount of money, if you are the buyer.

    It's the least you can sell for the highest amount of money, if you are the seller.

  6. Hawkman

    Hawkman Member

    Jan 2, 2003
    I buy only at one store, and have done so for years. I never try to beat them down, and I have never felt taken advantage of. There have been cases where the owner has given me a break on a trade-in or something, and I always respond by spending an extra few bucks to let him know I appreciate it. There have actually been times when I felt he was too generous and insisted on giving HIM a better deal, and there have been times when I have been selling a gun and he has insisted on paying me MORE than I am asking because he felt I was lowballing myself!

    He has fair prices and a good product range, and I want to keep him in business.
  7. dakotasin

    dakotasin Senior Member

    Dec 26, 2002
    i never pay the asking price at my most frequented shop because his prices are so bloated. he quickly and nicely knocks the price down, but you have to ask. that is what i consider to be the start price, and i'll go from there. if he's going to hold a gun for me, i'll pay his first offer, but not the price on the hang-tag. if i'm leaving w/ the gun that day, i'll negotiate: knock a few bucks off, throw in some dies, brass, powder, magazines, whatever... i don't expect him to beat the internet prices, but i don't expect to cover his bills for the month by myself.

    eg, if he is within $40 or so of the internet's best prices, i'll pay that. if he's higher than, i'll try to get him down, or meet me on the difference w/ other merchandise, or a combination...
  8. f4t9r

    f4t9r Senior Member

    May 27, 2005
    If you only deal with one gun shop, It is appropriate to try and get a deal on every single purchase, They are not going to lose money you can bet on that
    try to get the most for your hard earned money. They should appreciate your buisness as much as you appreciate the deals you get.
  9. svtruth

    svtruth Senior Member

    Mar 10, 2005
    Bradford, VT
    My style

    My LGS seems to have pretty good prices and is very helpful. Every gun I've bought has been for less than the tag price. Highe Standard HD-Military w holster and gun rug for $315; Norinco AK-47, lightly, if ever used, $335; Ruger 22LR/Mag revolver for son, $185; Para Ord .45, $385.
    Last time I was there, the gunsmith gave me 20 rds of Bear 7.62x39.
    I think they are worth supporting.
  10. ktd

    ktd Member

    Mar 5, 2003
    out north and west
    the margin is generally in the accessories, and I am usually willing to pay a couple of bucks more to a shop for the little things if they treat me good.

  11. arizcowboy

    arizcowboy New Member

    Apr 23, 2004
    Southwest USA
    Why is buying a gun different from buying any other consumer good like an appliance or car? I would think the laws of supply and demand and the free market economy apply with guns like everything else.
  12. Spreadfire Arms

    Spreadfire Arms Senior Member

    Feb 23, 2005
    as a retailer i think it is customary to give your frequent purchasers some sort of discount. that's not to say slash it down to wholesale, but i think there is something to be said about a combination of: good prices and good customer service.

    you can have the best prices on Earth but be a jerk to your customers, and gun buyers on the most part will take their business elsewhere.

    most recently i was at a gun show in San Antonio. a person came up to our tables and we had about a dozen AR-15's on the table. i asked him if he had any questions and he said, "Tell me about Bushmaster."

    i spent a few minutes with him and only him, while other customers were around, dealing with other employees. i told him that they were a major military contractor for military rifles, and that the big 3 were FN, Colt, and Bushmaster. FN does not make a civilian (semiauto) AR-15 style rifle so they are out of the possibility. Colt, by internal policy, does not sell to civilians. the remaining choice, if you want a milspec rifle, is Bushmaster.

    i continued on to talk about barrel twist, the M4 vs. the A3, the forged receiver, 6-position collapsible buttstock, chrome-lined barrel, etc.

    i'd say i spent about 7 minutes explaining everything there was to know about the rifle. at that point the guy said, "You know, you just earned my business. I talked to two other dealers before I came here, and while they had better prices, neither of them gave me the time of day."

    the guy pulled out his Amex platinum card and we did the deal at asking price, no negotiating on price.

    i probably would have lowered the price on his request, since he was pleasant to deal with. i think there is something to be said about friendliness, both ways. if a customer is friendly to me, and politely asks for a discount, and has a valid reason for it (the guy over there is selling it for less, can you match his price? or something like that) im much more inclined to do so.

    if the customer is rude to my staff, or myself, and demands a discount simply because, then i am less apt to offer a discount. but i am still open for negotiation.

    i think it goes both ways. if i, or my salespeople are jerks, then i wouldn't expect anyone to buy anything from us at all.

    there are some very big dealers i compete with that can sell a gun for less, but people have bought from me instead because they say:

    (1) they don't know anything about the gun they are selling
    (2) they don't know how to repair it, and they refuse to repair it if something is wrong, "mail it to the manufacturer" they say
    (3) they don't say hello, recognize me from past conversations or sales, shake my hand and just spend a few minutes to say hi to me, regardless of whether or not im buying today

    i suppose when you sell 150+ guns in a weekend at a gun show you don't really have a whole lot of time to spend talking to prospective customers. you are operating on volume vs. margin per sale.

    i prefer to sell less per show and spend more time talking to each customer, to ensure that i can build a relationship with them and they feel comfortable doing business with us vs. someone else.

    with the Internet these days, if you do a customer wrong, it is much easier to get a bad reputation. it is my opinion that in gun sales, if you get a bad reputation, gun buyers tend not to do business with you, regardless of your prices.
  13. kwelz

    kwelz Senior Member

    Apr 14, 2004
    Henryville, IN
    I always ask what they can do for me. Sometimes they give me 50-100 bucks off the price, sometimes they give me 10, sometimes they give me nothing. To me it doesn't matter, they are always great to deal with in every respect. I think it is natural for a person to try to get a better deal on things.

    If the shop can't or won't deal that is fine. It is all in how they treat the customer. I happen to be on really good terms with the owners, and employees of my local store so I can get some good deals on top of the good attitude they show to everyone.
  14. AirForceShooter

    AirForceShooter Senior Member

    Oct 31, 2004
    Central Florida
    a deal yes.
    Leaving him with no profit, no.

    A good deal is everybody makes money.

  15. ID_shooting

    ID_shooting Senior Member

    Feb 1, 2004
    Boise, ID
    I hang around long enough to know which guns have been in the store along time. If I decide to buy one of those, I will usually haggle the price a bit. If I know what his markup is, as I do on most guns, and that is not much, I wont beat him up about it. If he does a layaway, a hold, or a special order for me, I will give him asking price.

    Most times I don't have to say a word and I get 10-20% markdown at the register regardless if I ask for it or not.

    Surprisingly, I didn't notice him doing that for quite some time. One day I just happened to toss the reciept in the bag of ammo and later when I looked I saw that I payed less after tax than the sticker prices were on the boxes.
  16. stealthmode

    stealthmode Member

    Mar 25, 2004
    i am cheap. i would always be looking for a price break if i am dealing with the same shop all the time. i never do business with one shop. im always looking for the best deal and the cheapest transfer costs. you dont need to show loyalty to any one shop.

    what have they done for you?

    have they ever offered any discounted pricing to you for being a regular?

    if they havent then you are just like every other sale to them. remember they are a business to make money and you should think of yourself as a business and save money.

    JMO like @$$ho!e$ everyone has one
  17. M-Rex

    M-Rex member

    Aug 12, 2005
    Kalifornya Soviet Socialist Republic
    I don't think there's anything wrong with working out a deal. A firearm is only worth what someone will pay for it.

    The worst thing that can happen is the dealer says "no". It never hurts to ask.
  18. SgtGunner

    SgtGunner Member

    Jan 5, 2004
    SW Florida
    For a lot of years myself and partner had aGun Store and liquor store(not in same building). Even though I could get my guns at wholesale, I still made it a point to do business with another local shop, mostly becasue I liked the owner. I no longer have the FFL, and do all my business with this shop.I also send all my friends to him and he knows who sent them. I never pay tag price and usually get a buck or two off any ammo or other goodies I buy in the store.

    I can stay gone 6 months but when I walk in the door, its like old home day, that is where it pays to develop and maintain relationships even if you can "get it for less"
  19. ghost squire

    ghost squire member

    Aug 17, 2005
    I used to give all of my business exclusively to one gun store, I thought we had an understanding, I got to know everyone that worked there.

    Heres a little story. I go in there, buy a gun and order two magazines for it. So I come back in a week (time he says to come back at), turns out he sold em. So I make absolutely no fuss about it, and order two more, which he promises to reserve for me, he even writes it down. Come back a few days later, sold those too. I went in there to get a part replaced that I could have put in in under 5 seconds (literally), he charges me 20 dollars for it, plus 5 for the part.

    They do not DESERVE my business, so I choose to use the internet now. It will be a long long time before I go into another gunshop, and never that one again to make a purchase. But I will make a point of going in there to look and feel guns, then buy them elsewhere. The way I figure it they wasted my money and time, so I'm going to waste theirs. I'm not asking anyone for advice on the matter, just stating my experience and opinion.
  20. Vern Humphrey

    Vern Humphrey Senior Member

    Dec 30, 2002
    Deep in the Ozarks
    I am reminded of the Quaker who opened a hardware store. His father came to help him out on opening day. The first customer asked, "How much is this hammer?"

    And the proprietor said, "Since thee art my friend, I shall sell it to thee for half price."

    After the customer left, his father said, "My son, thee must charge thy friends full price -- for thou shalt get no business from thine enemies."


    And for the rest of you, my sons, thou must haggle with thy friends, for thine enemies will cheat the eyeballs out of thee. :eek:

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