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Bargaining at Gun Shows

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by WayBeau, Feb 16, 2011.

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  1. WayBeau

    WayBeau Member

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    I have a buddy that wants to go to the National Gun Show in Northern Virginia this year and he wants me and a whole bunch of guys to go with him. At first I thought, "wow, I can't believe he even thought to ask me." Then I come to find out that the only reason he wants me and the rest of the group to go is so he can bargain down dealers by offering for the group to buy several firearms at one time.

    Is this common at gun shows? I've been to shows before, but I'd never heard of this practice. I can't say that I'm totally opposed to it because who doesn't like to get a good deal. However, I don't want to waste my time if this is just some pipe dream he has.

    Your thoughts/comments.
     
  2. Vern Humphrey

    Vern Humphrey Member

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    Bargains at gun shows are like virgins in brothels.
     
  3. 788Ham

    788Ham Member

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    The only time I've seen bargains at gun shows, is usually at the beef Jerky table just before they close the show on Sunday afternoon. YMMV
     
  4. 1max2nv

    1max2nv Member

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    It really depends on what you are buying. The big FFL dealers rarely comes down on prices on handguns because some of their prices are almost as good as online shops. For example I was looking for a Kahr Arms CW9 at National Gun Show this past weekend. I saw it for $399 at one dealer but it was a tad higher than $369 on Buds gun shop. Then I saw the CW40 for $369 at two other dealers but I really wanted the 9mm. It will cost me about $25 at the local gun shop for FFL transfer so prices at the gun shows are good. It really depends on the firearm because I saw discontinued models ie. FNP-9 in FDE color going for much higher than online prices. For one thing all the dealers at gun show will price match. They don't want to be undersold by other dealers at the show. I just think markup on handguns are not very much but it never hurts to ask. The worst they can do is say no. On the other hand if are buying five ACR between your group, I would expect a discount since you are spending over $10k.
     
  5. mgmorden

    mgmorden Member

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    Most of the bargains at gun shows are from private sellers looking to get rid of something. Most guns from the dealers are overpriced though as a lot of less knowledgeable people are buying. Accessories are sometimes fairly priced. Probably a good time to buy powder/primers and the like.

    All in all though I've stopped going to them altogether. If they they actually provided a SHOW I'd pay. Exhibits, presentations, etc. The Shot Show for example is a real show that I'd be more than willing to pay to go see. Most gun "shows" though are just shopping, and as a rule I'm not gonna pay for the privilege of going shopping.
     
  6. gaijin6423

    gaijin6423 Member

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    Haggling is mostly a lost art in the United States. Too many people just want to pay the displayed price, without any kind of negotiation. This attitude bit me once or twice in my military travels, but believe it or not, even Marines can learn. Now, I will employ bargaining tactics about 70% of the time for mid to large level purchases. A lot of times, I am promptly told, usually in polite terms, where I can place my offer, but far more people and stores are willing to negotiate at least a bit that you might expect.

    Case in point: I went to a local gun show, and found a rifle and a pistol at the same table that I wanted to purchase, but they were both priced a bit higher than I wanted to pay. I didn't low-ball the offer, but I offered what was fair for the pistol alone. We haggled a bit, until he gave me his 'final offer', at which point I mentioned that I'd like to buy that rifle over there, too, but only if we could come down a bit on the combined price. In the end, I walked out with a new AR and a S&W Performance Center wheelgun, both for a very reasonable price. I guess all that time in various Afghani markets paid off.

    Even places like Best Buy and other retail chains have more wiggle room than you might think. I mention Best Buy, because the staff of the local one here groans audibly when I walk in, as they know I'm only there for something specific, and that I plan to haggle on the price. I usually walk out paying less than they were asking, too.

    You never know if you don't ask.
     
  7. Mags

    Mags Member

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    I never go to a gun show looking for guns anymore. If I happen to find something worth a flip I am shocked and jump on it. But expecting to find a deal at a gun show is going to make for a bad day with such high expectations.
     
  8. Bubbles

    Bubbles Member

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    I don't see the OP's friend's line of reasoning making that big of a difference. To get the best price, either buy privately or buy multiple guns from 1 dealer on 1 4473... and in both instances be prepared to pay cash.
     
  9. WayBeau

    WayBeau Member

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    @Bubbles: The way it was told to me was that he believed we'd get "an awesome deal" if we shopped around the show then went back to the lowest price dealer and said something along the lines of, "We are each going to buy a firearm from you, what kind of deal can you give us?" then bargain with him until he gives us a good deal. Like I said earlier, I'm not opposed to getting a good deal, or evening bargaining, but I do not want to waste my time either.
     
  10. Cosmoline

    Cosmoline Member

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    The problem is you'd all have to actually want to buy something from that dealer. At most gun shows I've been too in the past few years that's a real stretch.
     
  11. WayBeau

    WayBeau Member

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    @Cosmoline: That thought has crossed my mind. I imagine that there will have to be some discussion of what everyone is looking for prior to getting there. My hang-up is that I don't want to drive 4 hours for nothing.
     
  12. Bubba613

    Bubba613 member

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    One issue is that the margin on new guns especially is already pitiful. So there isn't a lot of room on the seller's side.
    Otherwise the internet has largely killed gun shows because people generally know what things sell for and the more unusual things end up on line.
    I personally would rather take a beating than work a gun show. As one poster here put it, they are filled with "hummers and thumbers."
     
  13. Ronsch

    Ronsch Member

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    I am not clear on this statement:

    Then I come to find out that the only reason he wants me and the rest of the group to go is so he can bargain down dealers by offering for the group to buy several firearms at one time.

    If he is not the actual buyer (hence the question about buying for the group) then it is a straw purchase.
     
  14. DammitBoy

    DammitBoy Member

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    I find great deals at every gun show I attend.

    Those who do not find good deals are doing it wrong.

    The last deal I made (last month) was for 550 rounds of 10mm for $200 - which made me very happy that I ignore the gunshow naysayers...
     
  15. WayBeau

    WayBeau Member

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    Ronsch,
    What he meant was we would approach a dealer and tell him/her that each member of our group was going to buy a firearm and then bargain for the best deal. He believes that dealers will give better deals if they know they're about to sell several firearms. Does that make sense/answer your question?
     
  16. 1max2nv

    1max2nv Member

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    WayBeau...I think you guys will do fine if you all want something popular. Ie. Glocks. The National Gun show is great if you want semi-auto pistols or AR-15. Anything else, it's not worth your time. There aren't many mil-surplus or hunting rifles.
     
  17. Scott7891

    Scott7891 Member

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    Are you kidding me? Have you ever noticed the front entrance area from wall to wall when you walk in?? It is nothing but mil-surp guns!!
     
  18. WayBeau

    WayBeau Member

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    @1max2nv: I think my buddy's goal is to get something in the semi-auto category. My brother is in the group and he wants to get a Glock or a Sig. I'm looking for a home defense/CC.
     
  19. Rollis R. Karvellis

    Rollis R. Karvellis Member

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    Most smart LGS's will give a good price for a group buy also, and they don't charge to walk through the door.
     
  20. gregj

    gregj Member

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    The Nations Gun Show in Chantilly is quite large, but only a handful of good dealers that show up each time. My experience has been most dealers will drop a few bucks off. Trick is for you to be a smart buyer, and know exactly what you what, and what fair market price is - what is it listed for on Gunbroker, and what is it listed for at your LGS. This gives you an idea on how low to offer. But dont offer so low to insult the dealer, remember they have to make a living too. If they drop a few bucks off to a reasonable price, I'm ok with leaving some money on the table, cause I want them to be around at the next show so maybe I can get a better deal later.

    OP, BTW, depending on your location, you might check out this dealer, he is FFL in Midland, Va, and has great prices. He's also on vaguntrader.com

    http://www.dkfirearms.com/
     
  21. PowderKeg

    PowderKeg Member

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    I'd adjust that really good advice slightly to read "what it sells for on Gunbroker - there are a boatload of listings on GB that never sell (and are continuously re-listed) because the prices + shipping & FFL are way too high. Search the completed auctions to see what actually sold (and not just ended without hitting a reserve). And don't forget to factor in FFL and shipping fees as part of the average selling price.

    Also, you might want to be careful how your buddy words his deal offer for multiple guns, since it could easily (as it did somewhat here) sound like a straw purchase attempt. Does VA still have the "one handgun a month" limit for an individual, or has that changed since I moved south (and then west) some years ago? Finally, each of ya'll better be real sure the firearm you buy as part of a "group discount" attempt is really one you want, as buyer's remorse could have a harder effect on friendships.
     
  22. Deltaboy1984

    Deltaboy1984 Member

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    I have not got a gun at a show in years! I get goodies like hosters and ammo but about it.
     
  23. Vyacheslav

    Vyacheslav member

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    there is one gun show i was at that had some pretty unique stuff, mostly way out of my price range, but all the other shows are full of beat up old deer rifles being sold as nib by grouchy old fudds
     
  24. W.E.G.

    W.E.G. Member

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    The Dulles gun show.

    Oh lordy.

    You should go.
    See just how good your buddy is at haggling when you put him to the task of haggling for a parking spot that is in the same zip code as the show.

    What,... are you all going to agree to each buy a Nagant, so you can each get $5 off the price?
    Just what kind of "deal" are you trying to cook?

    The guys who tend to bend the most on prices are the ones selling stuff that nobody really knows the price for anyway. The fudds with the silver-pigeon fuddsticks will usually bend a lot if you like that sort of thing. Not that you'll really get that good of a deal in the end, but you'll be able to talk them a good way off their asking price if you really know about the sort of stuff they have.

    If you think the five of you are going to walk in and score some big coup on a deal for five N.I.B. Glock 17's you're in for a big disappointment.
     
  25. hiawatha

    hiawatha Member

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    I'm mostly into milsurps. There's more room for haggling with those because there's no MSRP. But I've done better lately trading than selling or buying. The shows here usually have some good deals on ammo and accessories. Not too great on new firearms, although I did get a good deal on a Glock. One thing not to try to buy at a show is a Garand. Most dealers got theirs through CMP. You can, too. The dealers are asking ~$1,000 for a rifle you can buy for <$700.
     
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