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"Dickering" on gun prices with sellers.

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by SaxonPig, Feb 22, 2009.

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  1. SaxonPig

    SaxonPig Member

    Apr 11, 2006
    I always figure that all prices are negotiable and usually start out offering a little less than the asking price. Sometimes the seller just says the price is firm and that's OK. I just have to decide if I want to pay it or walk away. Most times the dealer is willing to meet somewhere in the middle.

    A couple of times I have had sellers sorta go nuts on me when I made an offer. About 15 years ago a guy at a show had a 2nd Model 44 Special S&W that was utterly devoid of bluing. I guess somebody had polished it to bare metal. He had it tagged at $250 and it had been to at least 2 shows I knew of without selling so I figured he might be ready to deal.

    "I'd like to make an offer on your 44..." I started but that's as far as I got. He started screaming... I mean screaming... about how he was tired of people offering less than what the tag said. I calmly suggested that if he didn't want to dicker he should just write the word "Firm" on the price tag. Well, that REALLY set him off and he grabbed the gun off the table and flung it into a cardboard box setting on the floor. "It's not for sale any longer!" he bellowed. Oooooo... K.

    When I see something I like and the price is fair I still try to get a little something off just on GP. Two weeks ago I saw a Nylon 66 at a show tagged at $150. I had been watching for a shooter grade 66 for a while and I thought the gun was worth the asking price. But I still told the dealer "Give me $20 off and I'll take it right now." He took the money, I took the rifle, we shook hands and everyone was happy. I would have paid the $150 had he balked at the offer but it was more fun to get a little discount.

    I recall about 20 years ago I saw a sporterized 30-40 Krag at a show. I had wanted one for a long time but wanted to pay no more than $150. But every one I saw was priced at $250 or more and that was too much for me. Well, this one was tagged at $90. I snatched it off the table trying to conceal my enthusiasm as I fought the urge to reach for my wallet. "Will you take $80?" I asked as casually as I could. He rolled his eyes and groaned that he had paid $80 for it 2 months earlier and wanted to make something off it. So we agreed on $85. I still have that rifle.

    About 8 years ago I walked the aisles of show following a man who was carrying a pair of Ruger auto 22 pistols. One was the standard 4.5" model and the other had the longer 6" barrel and walnut stocks. I watched him show the guns to a dozen people who passed on the $150 asking price for buyer's choice. Finally, I stopped him and said I'd give him $100 for the longer one. He didn't hesitate a moment, he just handed it over. We walked another 30 yards before I offered him $90 for the other one.

    I wound up giving both of those guns away as presents to friends. Oh, well.

    Maybe 7 years ago a pawn shop had a wartime production M&P in 38 Special. It was reblued and the barrel was bulged. He was asking $100 but I thought that was too high. It went unsold for a couple weeks before I told him it was worth $60 to me. He was happy to unload it. I went right to one of the auction sites and saw a proper barrel with a $5 starting price. I bought it with one bid and swapped it myself since a gunsmith wanted $100 to do it. Gun shoots fine and is certainly worth the $65 I have in it.

    I don't try to insult sellers with really lowball offers, I just offer what the item is worth to me. Often they don't accept. I recently offered $500 for a revolver that an FFL dealer has for sale at $575. He passed. That was 2 weeks ago and the gun is still for sale. I may wait another 2-3 weeks before trying again.

    Anyone else have any good stories about haggling?
  2. jmr40

    jmr40 Member

    May 26, 2007
    On a used gun I expect the price to be negotiable. I usually always get the seller to come down. Even most gunshops will at least eat the sales tax.

    New guns are generally not negotiable.

    MMCSRET Member

    Feb 18, 2008
    North Central Montana, across the Wide Missouri
    I watched a Colt Officers Model at the local Scheels go from $699.00 to $599.00 to $499.00 over 3 months. I made an offer on it the other day and it is now mine. I think the same way you do.
  4. Duke of Doubt

    Duke of Doubt member

    Dec 29, 2008
    Haggling is half the fun and satisfaction (finding it is the other half). Anyone can just go and BUY a gun for what the seller wants, assuming the buyer has the money and is willing to part with it.

    I live in an area where those who pay retail are looked upon with disdain, and those who shop at WalMart are considered developmentally challenged. We gradually fill our homes with valuable antiques and fascinating curios, for which we pay a few dollars apiece at flea markets and thrift stores. We obtain our furniture piece by piece for distress prices at clearance sales, salvage centers and yard sales. Just going to a fancy store and BUYING it is considered the behavior of a perfect fool.

    Guns are no different. People from away might go to a "gun store" and "order" a "new" gun. But real enthusiasts are on a first name basis, not only with all the pawnbrokers, but with their friends and family. Haggling over old guns is a weekly hobby event. Whether we actually GET the gun is a point of satisfaction only if we get a good price or trade. The only exceptions are those few guns with which we fall in love at first sight, and we are always a little bit embarrassed about those.
  5. koolminx

    koolminx Member

    Feb 20, 2009
    Great Thread!

    Nobody, and I mean NOBODY likes to be caught selling something that I want...:D

    I will Gentile your arse off (I can't Jew ya down as I'm not Jewish strangely enough :neener:)

    I will haggle anyone! I don't care if it's Brand Spanking New at Macy's 5th Avenue, Wall Mart, or Target!

    I gotta haggle and get me a discount, and if I don't get my discount, I often buy it anyway... :) (I rarely walk away without a discount of some kind)

    I simply relish the thrill of the bargain hunt!

    In fact, not 30 seconds before tripping across this thread, I e-mailed a guy with a pile of Tarzan Comic's that he want's $35 bucks for... To see If I could nab them for a considerably smaller sum :)
    (I'm such an ass :))
  6. Pilot

    Pilot Member

    Dec 29, 2002
    There is nothing wrong with politely making an offer or asking if the seller will accept any less. All they can say is no the price is firm, then you can decide if you want to pay it or not.
  7. Bubba613

    Bubba613 member

    Aug 2, 2007
    I dont mind folks asking if they dont mind my telling them no. I had a guy try to bargain on a DPMS AR 16" flat top a couple of weeks ago. I know mine was priced 100-200 less than anyone else's. And they were hard to get. I told him, you must be joking, right?
    Sometimes I will hint I am looking for an offer and say "I've had this quite a while and am motivated to sell it."
    What I don't like is someone asking for a better price and when I give them my "lowest" price they want even more. Those people can go jump in a lake. Similarly on ammo and accessories. I had a guy call about a Glock 19 mag. I had a used one in good condition for 20. He came by and asked me if that was my best price. I asked him "sir, do you want the mag or not?" I just am not going to dicker over a $20 item.
  8. Nathanael_Greene

    Nathanael_Greene Member

    Oct 27, 2003
    I think good-faith negotiating is always fair; it never hurts to ask (or shouldn't hurt, anyway).

    When someone offers an absurdly low figure, though, I see no reason to be polite.
  9. glove

    glove Member

    Sep 25, 2005
    Richfield, Ohio
    Bargain price

    I like to ask $20 to $50 more. Than when you bargain me down a little we are both happy.:)
    Dave Z
  10. crankshop1000

    crankshop1000 Member

    Apr 17, 2007
    The principal that applies is that anything I have for sale is undesirable and worth only a low ball take it or leave it from most "dealers". The funny thing is that those same dealers sell only rare and unfired examples in pristine condition. Funny how things work...I'd think it was a profit scheme if I didn't know better.Always dicker,it's the American way.
  11. raveneap

    raveneap Member

    Sep 13, 2004
    I'll generally offer less than I think I'll end up paying, figuring that the seller will come down a bit to meet in the middle. Usually works. Does he (the seller) know what I'm up to? Very probably - but he also knows that he probably priced it thinking of that. So we both end up happy.
  12. LtShortcut

    LtShortcut Member

    Jun 17, 2008
    South East USA
    Haggleing over a price is a dying art in America. I take it as a given that the seller has over priced an item, so I lowball and expect to work up to somewhere in the middle.

    It's not a gun, but I recently offer the salesman at the toyota dealership 16,000 cash for an 09 camery that was priced at 19,000. He told me that I needed to go across the street to the used car lot and walked away from me.

    I was prepared to spend more than the 16,000 I offered, but he apparently didn't need any money. I don't know why he was selling cars.
  13. Bubba613

    Bubba613 member

    Aug 2, 2007
    Maybe he figured you didnt have a clue what you were talking about and it wasn't worth spending the time to educate you.
    I hate that more than anything else. People come in and throw some absurd number out there just to see if I take it.
    I had one guy on the phone once. He had bought something else on Gunbroker and then called to pay for it. While we were talking I also pitched him a used Bushmaster I had for like $650 in perfect condition (pre-election days). It was a deal at that price and I knew it.
    He wanted to see pics. I sent pics. He asked a bunch of ignorant questions. I answered them.
    Then he sent me an email, would I take $550 shipped for it?
    I told him in no uncertain terms that not only would I not take that for it, I was done with him.
    He wrote several more times apologizing and saying he didnt know the market for these things. I ignored him. I sold the gun for the full price to one of my best customers, who knew a deal when he saw it.
  14. phish

    phish member

    Jan 28, 2009
    I shop at Pekin Guns and Sporting goods, and it's nearly IMPOSSIBLE to haggle with the owner. granted, all of his prices are pretty good to start with, but he won't budge at all!
  15. Floppy_D

    Floppy_D Member In Memoriam

    Jul 4, 2007
    NAS Pensacola
    I love finding one thing marked "firm" (like $400 firm). Because that infers anything not marked firm.... isn't. :D
  16. lamebums

    lamebums Member

    Nov 22, 2008
    Northern Kentucky
    +1 on this. there isn't a single thing I picked up at a gun show that wasn't haggled on, or at least attempted. More often than not, I'll see something for say, $5. The guy will offer $4.50 since he hasn't sold it all day, and I'll counter with 2 for $8 ($4 each). Or something like that.
  17. BADUNAME37

    BADUNAME37 Member

    Aug 10, 2008
    I asked a local dealer how much for a certain NEW revolver, special order. The guy gave me a price, I told him to order it.

    Several weeks go by, I call and the gun is in. I go to pick it up at the price quoted only to have the owner tell me that "his new worker" didn't know the real cost of the gun and he would have to charge me another $25.:barf:

    I told him the price quoted was the price quoted -- it is not my fault that your guy is quoting guns below what he should be. I was prepared to buy the gun at the lower price, but certainly NOT at the higher price. I will give you what was quoted and no more than that. :banghead:

    So, I'm a jerk and it wasn't even my own fault.:fire::fire:

    Last time I ever went there to buy a gun.:)
  18. BamaHoosier

    BamaHoosier Member

    Mar 8, 2008
    Though I never dickered over prices,my boss would when I worked in his gun store in the 80's,and that was part of the fun working there!
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2009
  19. Cannonball888

    Cannonball888 Member

    Jun 7, 2007
  20. 22lr

    22lr Member

    Aug 3, 2008
    Worst deal I ever got was a $50 dollar marlin 51 ($50 dollar sticker) I asked for $50 out the door and he said, sure. Never hurts to ask. Only thing I hate is when guys offer way below what my gun is worth. I know personal worth and everything but im not taking $150 for a gun im trying to sell for $250. But that said I never get mad about a low ball, I just politely counter offer.
  21. tuckerdog1

    tuckerdog1 Member

    Dec 1, 2005
    The 7 magic words:

    Is that the best you can do?

    Has saved me hundreds at Best Buy, Conn's , Wal-Mart, Sams, etc etc ( never works at Fry's ).

    And it has saved a few bucks at the guns shows as well. The gun buying process can be almost as fun as shooting the gun.

  22. Gambit88

    Gambit88 Member

    Feb 10, 2009
    I Went to an antique arms show a few weeks ago and picked up a replica 1851 navy revolver. The cylander didnt rotate right and the grip needed to be refitted. The guy wanted 150 for it and its holster and belt(csa buckle). I talked him down to 80 as it was the last day and he wanted to get rid of it, then my neighbor pointed out all the work to be done and he dropped it to 60. Hell the holster and belt are worth that.

  23. DCR

    DCR Member

    Jan 10, 2003
    Always ask. Period. Don't treat it like a used car deal, though, and point out every little niggling "defect" in the gun, because the seller probably already knows it and can recognize "tire kicking." Don't bring your buddy who's an "expert" along to look at it and point out any actual or perceived flaw to the seller. Don't allow your "expert" buddy to enter into the negotiations. Don't go ask your "expert" buddy what his Blue Book says - blue books aren't reflective of the actual market. Don't bring your Blue Book and try to convince the seller his gun is worth $X because "the Blue Book says so" or that you think he's asking primo for a rough gun. Speaking from 30+ years of experience selling, sellers who have been at it for years know what the market price for a given gun is because they've been watching/buying/selling on auctionarms.com or gunbroker.com. You may live in a market where you don't see particular models of guns come by very often, so expect to pay a little more than what you see it going for on the auction sites because they brought the gun to your market, and you'd have to pay an FFL for transfer fees if you bought it online. But always ask. And always ask at pawn shops, because even though many of those guys actually know a lot more about guns and the market than you would believe, they only have a dime on the dollar into the gun and have lots of wiggle room on the price. Good luck and happy haggling!
  24. hemiram

    hemiram Member

    Dec 29, 2006
    Toledo, Ohio
    I've had people go ballistic over gun, ham radio, and even pet supplies, when I tried to dicker.

    The last one I can remember is when I went and had the "nerve" to offer this old guy $400 on a not perfect, but very nice S&W model 28 he had a price of $500 on it. He started yelling at me, and after he was all worn out from his tantrum, I said, "Jeez, all you needed to do was say..no!" An old guy next to him started laughing when I said it, and the guy went off on him next. I ended up going over to the table next door and buying a couple of Beretta 92 mags from him, talking about how "some people" need to get a dose of reality in their prices. The guy with the 28 glared at us the entire time, muttering. It was fun, but I sure would have liked to have bought that 28.
  25. searcher451

    searcher451 Member

    Jun 15, 2007
    In this day and age of inflation and running-scared buying and selling, a man who doesn't dicker a bit is a man who is either paying full price ... or is getting gouged. While I'll seldom question the price of a gun I truly want, I'll sometimes ask about the shipping costs. On the last two purchases I've made, I was able to save more than $50 in shipping, which amounts to a tidy bit of ammo (when you can find it).
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