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Gun show, decline in quality?

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by exbrit49, Dec 29, 2011.

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  1. exbrit49

    exbrit49 Member

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    Hi all, is it just me or are the gun shows getting rougher and rougher? :cuss:
    I live in the Fort Wayne, IN. area and the CPI Gun shows at the coliseum have become just that! SHOWS. Stupid prices are killing sales.
    There are 2 gun show hosts in this area. One promoter is CPI and they hold their shows at the Coliseum. Parking is $4 and then there is a $6 entry fee. I wouldn’t mind that but the last 6 shows I have attended have been very poor. Prices on new firearms are as high as retail prices with used prices being ridiculous!
    Luckily I don’t need too much in the way of new hardware and usually go to buy Primers, Powder, Bullets and anything else that takes my fancy.
    The last show in December was a joke. Several sellers had primers and powder priced above retail. One guy did finally lower prices but it was the same with all the sellers, they wanted Sky High Prices. Well I observed for a while and saw that there were very, very few actual purchases.
    The other Gun Show in the area is put on by the Mid West Gun Traders and is held at the Allen County Fairgrounds, parking is FREE and admission is only $3, Quite a difference. I attended their last Show In December and purchased a lot of supplies. I got primers, Pyrodex, Cast and swaged Bullets, Powder and am set for a few months again. Most of the sellers at this Show were willing to haggle and had prices marked at much more realistic prices to start with.
    I will not attend another CPI show as there doesn’t seem to be much point, High parking costs, entry fee and high priced items. No way for me!
    I will stick with the Mid West gun traders shows for my loading needs. Maybe another 30/30 this year too
    Sorry to sound so negative about the CPI shows but after years of attendance I have had enough!
    Happy New Year to All and keep the powder dry :)
    Roger
     
  2. P5 Guy

    P5 Guy Member

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    I've been going to gun shows for 20 years or so. And I have to agree with most of your post.
    Price of admittance and parking have gone up. The quality of the vendors has varied thru the years.
    Around here there are three types of shows. A very large collector's club, a chain gun store, and a varying group of little guys. It has always been this way.
    My opinion is that as I have grown more experienced I am more jaded, so to speak. The shows are basically the same I just look at them with a jaundiced eye.
    But that's just me.
     
  3. whalerman

    whalerman member

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    Around here, NY State, the authorities have put so many restrictions on the shows they are very expensive to operate. There are as many law enforcement officials as there are attendees. When leaving a show with a purchase, you get checked more often and more carefully than when boarding an aircraft. It's just not fun, certainly not friendly. The smaller shows are better. Better deals too. Security is there, but not draconian. I used to love to go talk with people, learn, and take something home. Hard to do now.
     
  4. GreySmoke2

    GreySmoke2 Member

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    I live in the Northern End of the Peoples Republic of Illinois and the shows here are of similar quality...LOW.... There should be a sign - Caution - No Bargains Here...LOL and if you're a builder forget it no one ever has parts at any price. Ammo tends to be higher than mail order (including any shipping or tax)..... Maybe this is all normal (I tend to be a critical and resourceful shopper, IE Cheap Bas.....rd) but I think I'm done with Illinois Gun Shows....:banghead:
     
  5. redneck2

    redneck2 Member

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    I suspect gun shows are pretty much a thing of the past. I worked for a dealer that used to have a booth at all the local shows. It's a LOT of work and time to get all the guns loaded into the trucks, unload them at the show, get them priced, man the show, handle the 4473's, tend to all the customers, watch the inventory so it doesn't get ripped off, etc.

    Then you have to load the unsold stuff (typically over 90%) back into the truck and get it unloaded.

    It's too easy to pull out your smart phone and compare prices with a dealer a thousand miles away working out of a warehouse with three people. Of course his cost is lower. It costs the dealer a lot of money to lay out inventory so you can fondle it, then buy from somebody without the overhead.
     
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2011
  6. exbrit49

    exbrit49 Member

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    Hi Redneck2, Yes I agree with most of what you say, I realize the cost of inventory etc as I have had my own retail business. However, the prices I have seen recently have been absurd! As I noted in my original posting, above local retail prices!
    I try and buy locally to keep the local economy going but when I go to a "show" Most of the sellers are small time and operate out of their homes.
    The problem is with the CPI shows is a simple one, OVERPRICING. No wonder they have to pack up 90% of their merchandise and take it home again.
    Some examples: Small pistol primers $35 per thousand, My local gun store has then for $33. Number 11 BP Primers $6 vs $5 at local gun store. Bullets, Powder, all the same story. As I said I wont pay over retail price at any cost! I like to feel that both buyer and seller can find a decent price equitable to both parties.
    An example, I saw a Marlin M99 .22 the guy wanted $150 for it, I can buy a new Marlin for $119. A Ruger P90 $400, I bought mine new for $329! Same with the Ruger P89.
    I did talk to one guy that made me a good deal on Ammo boxes and he said something that I hadnt thought about, He said "People our age(Over 50) are used to shopping hard and dealing on price, he stated that the younger generation doesnt haggle and the sellers know that the person "Has to have it!" so they dont drop the prices. He went on to say that since the recent round of scare talk when President Obama took office that prices went sky high and stayed there. The fear factor being that guns will be banned. Well I have been hearing that for the last 40 plus years and we still haggled on prices. Maybe he was right@!
    I will continue to attend the shows put on by the Mid West Gun Traders as they only charge $3 admission and the sellers are realistic in the pricing and agreeable to finding a price equitable to both parties.

    R
     
  7. Zundfolge

    Zundfolge Member

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    I've never thought much of gun shows. Like flea markets, swap meets, garage sales and pawn shops, you have to dig through a TON of over-priced crap to find the occasional bargain. I guess I've never had the patience for all that.

    Also I always hear about these awesome deals that you used to be able to find regularly but like most nostalgia, is relegated to "the good ole days" (which is an imaginary time that never really existed).

    I suspect that 20 years ago this exact conversation took place somewhere.
     
  8. redneck2

    redneck2 Member

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    There was a gun show I used to go to every year. Always, the very first booth inside the door was a guy that had the EXACT same guns displayed every year. The tags had been handled so much the prices were impossible to read. This was 35 years ago.
    We're going to the shows to get screaming deals. The dealers are trying to unload stuff. This dealer may have bought these back when primers were sky high.

    Best thing I can say is, if you don't like the prices, don't buy. Everything will even out.
     
  9. Girodin

    Girodin Member

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    I don't even bother to go to gun shows. The last one I went to a couple years ago had nothing but guns that were literally hundreds of dollars more than I could buy them for elsewhere. I had just bought a rifle the week before from classicarms.us and couldn't find one at that show for within $100 (including the shipping and transfer I paid on the classic. The only good part of it was that I got a free hat at the marine booth for doing 20 pull ups and I bought a video game from one table for a good price. The gun selection was generic and overpriced.
     
  10. jackpinesavages

    jackpinesavages member

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    I agree with the Ft Wayne guy. Funny, I live where A LOT of your GM people came from, which is good reason for the "show" prices to be higher near you. AND, here is the flip side of the same coin: I have not been invited back as a VENDOR here in S. WI because the organizers felt my prices were too LOW, and I had sold out before the end of day 2!? I made money, the organizer made money, and the customers were really happy. What's the beef?

    I believe too many gun show vendors depend on this to make 100% of their living and NEED to charge new retail prices for used firearms. Try to bargain with them and they don't move on price. So, if their not moving guns it's their own fault. The Fun Show used to be an exciting thing to do that had great possibilities. Now, it's more of a social thing catching up with old friends. That's cool too.
     
  11. btg3

    btg3 Member

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    ^^^ Truth! I hear a lot of vendors complain that nobody brings their money to the gun show...blah, blah.... But the media has reported that gun sales have surged since 2009 and spiked noticeably late this year. So perhaps the demand is there, keeping it a seller's market with no need to discount prices. Who to believe? For sure, prices are up and firm for the most part.

    If you want to find a deal at the gun show, look up from the tables and talk to the folks walking around with a gun for sale. They came intending to sell a gun, whereas vendors are waiting for someone who came intent on buying a gun.

    All well and good for metallics, but shotshell components are not offered at guns shows here.
     
  12. DammitBoy

    DammitBoy Member

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    I find great deals at every gun show I attend, no matter how big or small, no matter which city or state I go to see a show.

    It takes patience and a system, but I find it fun and rewarding.
     
  13. Brass Fetcher

    Brass Fetcher Member

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    "Let's make a deal" as a concept is a boxer clinging to the ropes to remain standing.

    That's the flip side of the 'rock bottom prices' society - cutthroat competition for shrinking margins (at least for us who are not Mega Corporations).

    I still go to the gunshows that have rare/exotic ammunition. One thing that has killed this market is the change in FL state ammunition laws - the dealers can no longer possess much less sell the exotic shotgun rounds like flechettes, bolo or dragons breath.
     
  14. sgtstryker

    sgtstryker Member

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    Lo, we that were priveleged to attend real gun shows, are missing them the most. The days of wheeling and dealing for ammo, guns and all manner of needed items, are over. It is a shame. Gun shows as we knew them, are history.....At least in Georgia.
     
  15. Evil Monkey

    Evil Monkey member

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    Here in MI.....

    I walk into a gun show, see a 50rd box of 45acp FMJ for $30, turn around and go home. :cuss:
     
  16. AlexanderA
    • Contributing Member

    AlexanderA Member

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    Zundfolge wrote:

    If you're serious about finding guns and gun-related stuff at bargain prices, venues like this may be more fruitful than actual gun shows. That's because of "arbitrage," which means taking advantage of differing prices in differing markets. Another legendary place to look for gun stuff (unfortunately, it may be drying up now) is estate sales in rural Pennsylvania. There were a lot of WWI and WWII veterans out there in those farms and small towns, they were dying off, and they had lots of war bring-backs and hunting guns that their relatives didn't know the true value of.
     
  17. ExTank

    ExTank Member

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    Went to a Gun Show here in St. Louis yesterday, and was kind of disappointed.

    The place they held it was normally a banquet center, and it was reflected in the lighting: great for a nice evening at a wedding reception or organizational "dining out," but for a gun show? Not too good.

    Then, there was the crowding. Tables were so close together that two people could not stand back-to-back inspecting wares on either side of an aisle without some intimate butt-cheek rubbing.

    Factor in prices, and the increasingly mercenary attitude of gun dealers. Actual conversations I've had with gun delers at gun shows:

    Example 1: "You're just looking? Not buying? <deleted> off, then."

    Example 2: "I don't know a gosh-darned thing about this gun, except that I'm selling it for $700. I don't give a flying footbal if the MSRP is only $500, I'm selling it for $700. Don't like it? <deleted> off."

    Example 3: "No, you cannot cock it, rack it, open it, or otherwise check the trigger action." It's like a car dealer telling me that I not only can't even test drive a car on the dealership's parking lot, but that I can't even open the door and check the interior, or look under the hood. Heaven forbid that I should check the tires.

    There used to a bit of a sense of community at gun shows. You could chat with dealers (if they weren't too busy with other customers). But now, if you aren't buying (wheeling/dealing), they don't even want to talk to you.

    They want the scared suckers. The guys who have never owned/handled/fired a gun, and have never supported gun rights activism, but who are now afraid of the Obama administration and want to buy a gun, any gun, like, right freaking NOW!

    Now a days, I'd rather go shopping at Cabela's or Bass Pro. At least there, the employees have some sort of incentive for treating a customer politely.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 10, 2012
  18. mgregg85

    mgregg85 Member

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    I remember going with my dad for the first time. This must have been about 17 years ago, Midland had the biggest gunshow in the state. The past few years its become tiny and only about 2/3rds of the tables are occupied. Prices have also gone crazy. The last time there was a guy selling "pre-ban" Pmags for only $35 a piece. Window Pmags were just $5 more. Glock 18 mags are probably the worst, prices run from $50 to $85 for one. One guy wanted $40 for the scherer version.

    Oh yeah, I had a almost new LCR with a tritium front sight. I tried offering it in a trade to a dealer selling a chrome .40 S&W SUB-2000. He offered me all of $150 in trade value for it.
     
  19. JVaughn

    JVaughn Member

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    I don't know about you guys; but I have a personal rule that I refuse to purchase a gun at a show from an FFL. Shows are supposed to be about free citizens buying, selling, and trading personal stock - not dealers looking to expand their tire-kicker customer base. I don't pay tax or gun check at shows, cash only, person to person only. Just a pet peeve of mine I suppose.
     
  20. gun addict

    gun addict Member

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    you've really gotta look and bargin for deals at gunshows nowadays. Just came back from the one in town and picked up a set of M4 KAC RAS rail, panels, grip, and a surefight weaponlight in an ARMS mount, all together for $150.

    It's not just the dealers putting up absurd prices at gunshows, alot of people walking around with their guns are demanding dumb prices "i'll give you this used in pretty bad shape S&W66 for $700, that's a good deal there fella......"
     
  21. PapaG

    PapaG Member

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    And to top it all off, the different show promoters are warring with each other...last weekend, here in central IL, a show was scheduled for Sat/Sun. People came from miles around and were shocked to see a sign that it had been cancelled. The local Gun Collectors Assn had a show scheduled about 28 days later and had inserted in their contract with the event center that no similar events could be held within 30 days of theirs. Many had commented that the shows held by the first group were generally better than the second and are now PO-d and probably won't go to the show in Feb. I think that there would have been plenty of people at both.
     
  22. Strykervet

    Strykervet member

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    That's good advice. Also look for the single table with the guy trying to get rid of a few items --not the regular tables.

    I completely agree. Shows are DEFINTELY not what they used to be 20 years ago, and the local ones in WA have gone downhill in the last ten too. I went much of the decade not getting much at gunshows, BUT I did run across two great deals back to back in Nov. and Dec. Still, two deals in a decade is hardly worth going, I could have gotten better deals buying them at retail ten years ago and foregoing the show.

    They've really become a hassle for me. Funny thing is I'm not just hearing this on here where folks come to gripe. I heard it JUST THE OTHER DAY at the counter at a gun shop --from a guy buying his first. It is pretty bad when you've succeeded in running off the new guys that have money and not much of an idea about how much to spend on what. I guess the guy went to a few stores first, then saved up for the gunshow, then left disappointed and went back to the store.

    However, had this guy REALLY done his homework, he would have known that this dealer is the same dealer that sets up a table at the show and sells store items for HUGE markups and WILL NOT COME DOWN. He defends his prices instead with a story, expecting you to say, "well, since you put it that way..."

    I'm fed up with them too. I think they'll be getting the point this year, a LOT of folks are getting upset with how bad they've become --almost all the old timers, the ones that made it a "show" are gone. But I could be wrong it being an election. This will be the last time I renew at least. I like the show and supported the show but I can go spend extra at the gun shop and at least have a place to return it if I need to. I can also go to flea markets for free, no membership or background check required, and most of the same dealers are there. As for the "show", most of the old timers are on here now with their pictures.

    I actually remember getting up at the crack of dawn to drive 100 miles to a gunshow, excited. Maybe I was young, maybe times were different. Or maybe it wasn't such a crowded overpriced hassle full of stuffed animals. It was during the ban, and they were still more fun!
     
  23. Strykervet

    Strykervet member

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    And the best ones used to be in the South. That I went to anyway. In Huntsville AL, units from Redstone Arsenal used to bring out gear they had in inventory or were testing. It was pretty cool. Here in WA, where we have Ft. Lewis and real infantry units, they don't even bother. Not even to recruit, and that should tell you something. The recruiter ALWAYS had a table when I was younger, and they always had something to sucker you in to stopping too, whether you wanted to join or not.
     
  24. chez323

    chez323 Member

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    I guess I'm lucky to live near a great show location (Oaks, PA). Their last show was really nice, with lots of vendors (guns not socks) selling a wide variety of items. The aisle's are well spaced so as not to jam everybody trying to check out displays. On the flip side, having room to look at the displays has caused my wallet to decline in its contents. :)
     
  25. Mike Sr.

    Mike Sr. Member

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    --------------------

    I've been going to GS's for nearly 40yrs and what I see from the vendor side looking out: out nothing has changed about the buyer...nothing...absolutely nothing:

    ---Too many consumers want something for nothing!

    ---Too many use check's instead of cash...TO STOOPID FOR WORDS TO EXPLAIN.

    ---Too many have NO clue in the art of DICKERING

    ---Too many consumers have no clue on REAL cost's

    ---Too many consumers think their item is gold and the vendor has lead...and the reverse is also true. With one BIG difference!!! The vendor know's where the niche is to sell ''your junk....:) " you don't! So when you decide to be a tunnel vision about values the chances of the Vender steering you to that niche is ZERO.... On the other hand with a spoonfull of honey not a bucket full arragonce you just might find the path you needed to be on!



    A Seller has hundreds if not thousands of dollars on the table for a buyer to study and give respectful consideration to, not some jerk who just wants to pick it up and look at it with absolutely no intention of buying. a Vendor has hundreds upon hundreds of hours finding his items...his time has value just as your time does. A Vender, In 5 minutes or less, sometimes before the end of the first sentence, after dealing with hundreds of personality's can tell the difference between a bottom-feeder, tire-kicker, skin-flint, cheap-skate, time-waster and the astute buyer. Then there is the aisle-bumb with his moronic kids coming to the table and his off spring pick up everything on the table thinking it is candy.

    Then there is the buyer who can not READ: PLEASE DO NO HANDLE WITH OUT PERMISSION OR PLEASE DO NOT HANDLE.....numbskull moron's, the products of omama education. And these critters outnumber readers: those who ask: 7 to 1....

    So YOU sit behind the table for 48 hrs, or show after show after show and watch the dirt, grime, scratches and put-downs, happen to YOUR BLOOD SWEAT AND TEARS EFFORT... ! Let's see if you have the courage to walk away unencumbered with frustration of dealing with dolt's!

    Me, I'm a Duck, water just rolls off my feathers. I've heard it all, I've seen it all, I've delt with it all....and now I am too old to care about not selling.


    I know one thing: that stainless, NewHaven model 70, CRF, 30-06 that you've been looking for during the last the 3 yrs...and you would not buy it for $750 off my table...KEEP LOOKING ANOTHER 3 YRS...tell me your time is worth ZERO! Next year the value can be near $1,000 ....cause you forgot: there ain't no more NewHaven Model 70's... ...

    Oh and the astute buyer I mentioned, when you walked away grumbling cause I would not accept your out of town check, well he laid 7 c-notes on the table and walked away with that NewHaven M70, Stnlss, CRF 30-06....
     
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