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Steps to open a shop?

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by strange246, Aug 3, 2006.

  1. strange246

    strange246 New Member

    Sep 1, 2005
    Merrimack, NH
    Ok I'm seriously considering opening my own gun shop, my wife and I are ready for a career change and are contemplating our own gun shop, where should we start? What steps in what order? FFL first? Try a home shop for starters? rent a space somewhere first? All you shop owners speak up...

  2. hotpig

    hotpig Active Member

    Aug 13, 2005
    SW Illinois St Louis metro east
    Unless you have a lot of liquid assets you may want to try a home FFL first. Like me I think you will be surprised that have a FFL does not get better prices on ammo and most shooting accessories. The price break on guns is also very narrow.

    In my mind I though Dealers had a 20% margin to work in. Must have been the good old days before the internet. If I can get a 20.00 profit on a new gun sale it is huge and worthy of a celebration.
  3. hoghunting

    hoghunting Participating Member

    Feb 16, 2006
    As an accountant with a few FFL dealers as clients, you will need to carry more than guns and ammo. There is not much profit in those. The majority of the profit comes from the clothing and accessories. That is most probably the reason many Wal-marts are not selling guns any more.
  4. Trebor

    Trebor Senior Member

    Feb 15, 2003
    What experience do you have running a small business? What experience do you have in retail? Do you know how to control inventory and do book keeping and all those other mundane things you'll have to do? What's your business plan? What is the market like in your area? What niche are you going to serve? What inventory mix (guns/non guns) do you plan to start with and what specific items?

    Then there's the various regs and bueracries that come into play. Zoning regs and ATF regs and tax regs. Any of those can stop you before you start or mess you up later if you aren't aware of what you need to do.

    Answer those questions and work to develop a business plan and you can make a go at it. Do a half thought out job and you'll go broke quicker then you realize.
  5. JDyer

    JDyer New Member

    Aug 7, 2005
    Feel free to call me anytime and I'll give you all the inside poop I can, and advice. As the others said, firearms profit is low, only $20.00 to $40.00 per gun, and we no longer carry ammo since the markup on a box is 15 cents to $1.00, else they can get it at Wal-Mart or order bulk online. Clothing and upsales is where the money is, and extra services like light gunsmith work, e.g., scope mounting, pillar bedding, bla bla, etc. Although I won't give exact numbers, we'll gross over $3,000,000 this year, and 98% of our sales is now on the Internet. After expenses and taxes you can expect to take home 5% of gross, divided into yourself and everybody that works for you. And, you'll easily work 70-80 hours a week, and every holiday and weekend when the buying public is shopping. And, you better know everything about every manufacturer, firearm, cartridge, and scope made since 1965, otherwise they'll shop the Wal-Marts and Bass Pros where they already expect lack of product knowledge and poor service. We keep $1,000,000 in firearms inventory at a minimum, and that inventory money came from a business loan, not the goody tree. Loan payments come whether you sell or not. So, if you still have the guts to tackle the Internet and Mega Stores there is a buck or two to still be made. Have a great day! :neener:

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