Quantcast
  1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Buying online vs local

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by coylh, Jan 14, 2006.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. coylh

    coylh Member

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2003
    Messages:
    592
    Location:
    Bothell, WA
    I encountered an odd situation this week. I wanted to buy a pistol. Normally I just go to the gun store. But my usual stores didn't have this model. So, I looked online. There's quite a price difference working against the local shops.

    For example let's say the gun was $1,000.

    Order through local shop:
    Gun: $1000
    Margin: $100
    Tax: $100
    Total: $1200

    Order Online:
    Gun: $1000
    Shipping: $15
    FFL: $30
    Total $1045

    So, there's a built in disincentive of $155 for me to buy this gun from a local shop. ;-(
     
  2. rangerruck

    rangerruck Member

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2006
    Messages:
    8,374
    Location:
    Texas, baby!
    shipping is ususally 20 dollars or more, and the ffl trans is 345 or 50 here in houston.
     
  3. Chawbaccer

    Chawbaccer Member

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2005
    Messages:
    1,865
    You will have more of a chance getting a better deal with a local shop.
    And the sales tax thing is kind of deceptive, even tho the seller doesn't charge you for it, you are still liable to pay it.
     
  4. Standing Wolf

    Standing Wolf Member in memoriam

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2002
    Messages:
    24,041
    Location:
    Idahohoho, the jolliest state
    A lot depends on the local gun shop, plus there's the factor of not being able to handle the gun you find on the interet. When I bought my model 1911 several years ago, I had the salesman lay out four identical models on the display counter so I could choose the one with the best trigger.

    That said™, when you're looking for unusual or uncommon guns, there's almost nowhere else to look but the internet.
     
  5. Waitone

    Waitone Member

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2002
    Messages:
    5,406
    Location:
    The Land of Broccoli and Fingernails
    Local gun shops put up with a lot of BS to support RKBA. They deserve my business and thanks and a little money. Beside that, if something goes wrong I want a local rear end to kick.:evil:
     
  6. Soybomb

    Soybomb Member

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2005
    Messages:
    3,959
    I buy from both, I do nearly all my transfers through my favorite store. he doesn't give me any hassle what I order and what he could get it for, and in return I usually pick up some cleaning supplies, a couple mags, and buy one of his guns now and then. I'm not getting fleeced for any supposed higher purpose. The last gun I bought from him was priced quite a bit higher than I would have been able to get it online after shipping and ffl. He quoted me a cash price just a little higher than that when I asked if they were flexible and I took it. Its quite nice to be able to handle used guns, and sometimes new ones even. At the same time if I can get a better deal online, am looking for something weird or that I"m particular about I just tell them where to send the ffl and pay $20. Don't let any dealer guilt you into paying high markups.
     
  7. Majic

    Majic Member

    Joined:
    May 3, 2003
    Messages:
    5,370
    Location:
    Virginia
    When local shops don't offer what you want then the Internet comes to the rescue. Many people refuse to buy over the net for various reasons, but they are the ones who end up with holes in their collections. I don't buy new guns so the Internet offers a larger base for me to find exactly what I want. Pricing can still be haggled and inspection can still be arranged.
    Some people are blessed to live in a gun rich enviroment with many gun stores offering a lot of models at competetive prices. Those of us who don't live in such areas have the Internet to fill our collections.
     
  8. palerider1

    palerider1 member

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2005
    Messages:
    341
    Location:
    upstate ny
    see if your computer can fix your gun when it needs a repair.....:) not beating you up at all my friend, but i like to deal locally, that way if there is a problem the dealer can fix it right away. if you go to the local dealer and didnt buy the gun from them you go to the bottom of the pile when it comes to service. just my thoughts, i like to save money too, but i find its cheaper in the long run to negotiate a fair price (not chisle the poor guy down to bare bones) and get good service later.
     
  9. CrazyIrishman

    CrazyIrishman Member

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2004
    Messages:
    322
    Location:
    Maryland
    There was a local shop that I used to buy from and recommend all the time until one day.......the shop changed owners and customer service went the way of the dinosaurs. The help was best described as humanoid life forms and not much more. All of the knowledgeable help was GONE! Don't even try to ask a simple question!

    Before the change in ownership it was a nice place to buy from. The help was on the ball and the prices were very reasonable, plus they would order just about anything you could want.


    I've only bought online once. If at all possible though I'd rather buy local.
     
  10. jtward01

    jtward01 Member

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2005
    Messages:
    268
    I've yet to find a local gun shop that will honor the manufacturers warranty on new guns and do the repair work in house. Invariably they've told me to contact the factory. Simple work like installing new sights, etc., takes two to three weeks because the shop gunsmith is always backed up with work. If I need service it's faster and usually cheaper to ship the gun back to the factory or to one of the large gun repair shops (Cogan, Robar, Cylinder&Slide, Clarks etc.) than to deal with a local shop.

    Most of the time the shipping and transfer fees are offset by not having to pay sales tax and I've saved as much as 25% on the cost of the gun itself by purchasing online.
     
  11. poppy

    poppy Member

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2005
    Messages:
    396
    Location:
    SW Ohio
    You lost me somewhere here. Are you saying that the gun shop marks up the gun 10% and the online seller has no margin? Are you also saying that sales tax is 10% where you live? In most states the online price has to be significantly below the local shop price to make buying sight unseen advisable. poppy
     
  12. Majic

    Majic Member

    Joined:
    May 3, 2003
    Messages:
    5,370
    Location:
    Virginia
    Dealers generally are not repair shops. They contract a gunsmith who may have a small shop to do minor work at the dealer's store, but the vast majority of the work is picked up and carried back to his shop. The gunsmith is just as happy to get the work from you the owner as he is from getting it from the dealer. Time is generally saved by going directly to the gunsmith because his name is on the line for prompt service and he will tell you the best time to bring your gun as he will have time to work on it. Going thru the dealer you have to wait until his scheduled dates for pick-up and deliveries and just live with how long the smith takes to get around to it.
    Ask your dealer to speak to the gunsmith. I'll bet most of the time you will hear what specific day and time he will be at the gunstore.
     
  13. coylh

    coylh Member

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2003
    Messages:
    592
    Location:
    Bothell, WA
    poppy, I think the tax is actually 9%, but I'm using rough numbers. I can post the actual numbers once I finish buying the gun.

    The margin is roughly what the shop would charge me for aquiring the gun. In other words, they're going to go buy it online too, and need to increase the price for that service.
     
  14. Lone_Gunman

    Lone_Gunman Member

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2002
    Messages:
    8,056
    Location:
    United Socialist States of Obama
    There are no gun stores near me with any significant knowledge of gun repair. I am able to fix more problems in my garage than they can fix.
     
  15. Mizzle187

    Mizzle187 Member

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2005
    Messages:
    454
    Location:
    Louisiana
    I but msotly online but do buy some local. The ones I buy online will be reasonablly cheaper or not available local. Now if its a $50 difference Ill buy local.
     
  16. bpisler

    bpisler Member

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2002
    Messages:
    1,386
    Location:
    Phoenix,az
    I try to support my favorite local dealer but
    sometimes i find something used online that
    they can't get.They still make a little on the
    transfer plus i always use them when i'am
    shipping a gun..
     
  17. wheelgunslinger

    wheelgunslinger Member

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2005
    Messages:
    2,439
    Location:
    0 hours west of NC
    I'm not a collector. I only have firearms for defensive purposes, so I buy from my local dealer. His dealer/warehouse is very comprehensive and can get anything I want. He has what I feel are VERY reasonable prices and usually has a good stock of guns to choose from both new and used. In short, I have no reason to shop elsewhere since he keeps me happy. I do look at sites like gunbroker a lot just for kicks, but keep my business local. I like having a local store I can do business with and understand that if I don't support it, I'll lose it.
    Besides, I like handling wheelguns before I buy. Especially the used ones. I guess I'm old skool.
     
  18. AirForceShooter

    AirForceShooter Member

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2004
    Messages:
    2,766
    Location:
    Central Florida
    where is the on-line guys margin.
    He selling at a loss?

    AFS
     
  19. trickyasafox

    trickyasafox Member

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2004
    Messages:
    2,523
    Location:
    upstate NY go to school in WNY
    i just found a new local shop guy. his powder prices and components are high, but he makes up for it. he sells me powder for 24 bucks a lb, which at bass pro or gander by me its 20 after taxes. however, if he gets half boxes of any components, he gives them to me for free, he doesnt get hardly any reloaders. yesterday i picked up a couple lbs of powder and he gave me some 9mm 115gr half jacketed hollow points to reload. better part of a 100 in there.

    also the pistol cal's i shoot, if he gets a partial factory box in trade, he gives them to me for free too. can't really argue with service like that. i'll order all my guns through him from now on if i can't get it done after i get my c&r.
     
  20. redneck2

    redneck2 Member

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2002
    Messages:
    11,055
    Location:
    Northern Indiana
    I don't understand how you can buy for the same price as an FFL. Either he's a poor business man or you've found someone selling wholesale to the public.
     
  21. 45Broomhandle

    45Broomhandle Member

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2005
    Messages:
    384
    Location:
    World's Most Famous Beach: Daytona
    I BUY BOTH WAYS..... BUT....

    ACCIDENTALLY POSTED TWICE.
     
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2006
  22. 45Broomhandle

    45Broomhandle Member

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2005
    Messages:
    384
    Location:
    World's Most Famous Beach: Daytona
    I BUY BOTH WAYS..... BUT....

    I've collected or at least owned guns all my adult life - over 50 years at this point. I lost interest during the '90s and kept only a couple of handguns for home defense and carry. At the turn of the century I started buying again, thrashing about looking for something new to interest me. I bought various guns through local dealers. My main interest was in collectable, rather than shooters.

    I've now settled into collecting .22rf of THREE types: PISTOL - Mossberg "Brownie," RIFLE - Gevarms of ANY model, and COMBO - Fiala Arms & Equipment cased 3-bbl sets. NONE OF THESE ARE EASILY FOUND LOCALLY!

    Ergo, I constantly scan the net, using all the automated scanning search devices I've been able to locate, and this method has notified me of as mundane things as a country auction in Idaho to a LARGE gun dealer auction Down East. And, I immediately obtained a C&R license to lessen the transfer costs. Local FFLs charged from $25 to $50 per...

    However, all local dealers have my wants on their "Look For" lists, and if and when they come up with these items I'll certainly buy from them. I continue to buy all my cleaning supplies, slings, and other gun accessories locally.

    [​IMG]
     
  23. albanian

    albanian member

    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2003
    Messages:
    1,902
    Location:
    Indiana
    I will buy from any and all sources that give me what I want. I try and factor in every cost and benefit before buying a gun from anywhere. Most of the time, you can get the lowest price from some place online but that doesn't mean that it is still the best deal. I think a small premium in order to handle it in person and have someone to take it back to if something is wrong should be considered also.

    Like most people, I don't like to feel that I am getting ripped off so I try and keep my eyes open. One thing about the auction sites is, it is rare that you get a really good deal. You often get a good price but only by going to local gunshops and gunshows can you expect to find real bargins.

    You have to know the net prices when you go local so you can figuire in your head if it is worth it to buy local. Often it is. When I first started buying online, I got a few good deals and I felt like I was never going to buy local again. I was wrong. I buy local more and more now. There is a role for the net but it can never replace the store or the gunshow. The net will take a chunk of business from some shops but it probably will never close them down compleatly.
     
  24. TechBrute

    TechBrute Member

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2003
    Messages:
    3,264
    Location:
    DFW, TX
    Things to consider:

    1) In the areas I've looked into it, paying more than $25 or $30 to transfer a gun is not necessary. I hear local guys complaining about a $65 transfer and I don't even bother to tell them that they are getting screwed. There are at least 5 shops locally that do it for $25 (or less with a CHL,) and if they didn't have their heads up their butts, they'd know it.
    2) Just because you bought a gun at a shop, don't expect them to stand behind it. Most small shops, in my experience, end all support once you ploink down the moolah. After that, warranty work is through the manufacturer.
    3) Buying online can save you a lot of money. It can also be risky.
    4) Buying locally gets you local wisdom. This can be good or bad.
    5) Buying online will often result in you getting a gun quicker. If the local shop doesn't have it, you typically wind up making a trip to the shop, paying, waiting a while, then finding out they got the gun a week ago but haven't called you. If you buy online, you can find out from the seller when the gun was shipped and when it will get to the dealer. Then there's only one trip to the shop.
     
  25. coylh

    coylh Member

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2003
    Messages:
    592
    Location:
    Bothell, WA
    This may have been an unusual situation because the gun is discontinued, but here are the numbers:

    Online 1300 + 13 (shipping) + 36 (ffl) = $1350

    Local = 1450 + 130 (tax) = $1580

    I usually like to shop local (and stopped at three places looking for this gun), but it was worth buying online for me this time, and I am satisfied with the experience in addition to the cost savings.
     
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Share This Page