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Gun Superstore? Why Not?

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by cbrgator, Mar 6, 2010.

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  1. cbrgator

    cbrgator Member

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    Why are there no giant gun stores that make there money in volume instead of markup?

    I was just shopping with my old man today because he wants a carry gun and I'm the one with all of the knowledge. We went to a couple of small stores, both of which we hate, because they ask very high prices and don't negotiate. As such, I see the same guns in there over and over and they have very little turnover. At the local gun show, some of the dealers actually take an attitude if you attempt to haggle. It would seem logical to me to slash a price 20 or 30 bucks and actually move merchandise.

    I would say I won't frequent these places anymore but I don't have much of a choice, these practices seem to pervade every local shop. Online is the only alternative. So we got to thinking, how come there isn't some giant store that takes less of a markup but actually moves guns and makes money on volume?

    Thoughts?

    EDIT: I know a lot of us love the small shop feel and the customer service and comfort that come with that, so please don't knock my question for that. I'm just curious from a business perspective. I'm not planning on opening a shop.
     
  2. ljnowell

    ljnowell Member

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  3. Ragnar Danneskjold

    Ragnar Danneskjold Member

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    There are not enough customers in a given area to warrant the cost of a large brick and mortar store. A store like Best Buy appeals to nearly everyone. A gun store appeals to a much smaller population. There for to achieve the same volume of customers as a store like Best Buy, the customers would have to travel from a much wider area to get to the store, which most are not willing to do.

    It should be noted that Buds Gun Shop, from the above link, has quite a prolific online sales department, which no doubt helps offset the cost of their meatspace store.
     
  4. Starship1st

    Starship1st Member

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    Yes, Buds great.:cool:
     
  5. cbrgator

    cbrgator Member

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    I wasn't thinking of a Best Buy sized store, but definitely bigger than the strip mall shops I'm used to. Like the size of an average restaurant maybe? I don't know. Just big enough that volume is a specialty, like Buds.

    It just seems to me that all of my local shops stock like 100 guns and they are all $100 more than online. If they made them all $50 more, they'd sell me so much more quickly. Why do small stores sit on their inventory and hold out for that high price? Wouldn't they do better with higher turnover?
     
  6. 9mmepiphany

    9mmepiphany Moderator

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    it's because the markup on guns is too thin for them to try to make it up in volume
     
  7. Texas Gun Person

    Texas Gun Person Member

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    Best thing we have around Fort Worth/Dallas as far as size is Cabela's and a Bass Pro. I do enjoy going to Cabela's...
     
  8. cbrgator

    cbrgator Member

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    Then why are things so much cheaper online?
     
  9. Texas Gun Person

    Texas Gun Person Member

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    Because millions of people have the internet, and can shop on a website if they want. Any store is not going to get as near as many customers as any popular website is. Internet always wins.
     
  10. Crash_Test_Dhimmi

    Crash_Test_Dhimmi Member

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    I always wanted to open a chain of stores, selling alcohol, tobacco, firearms and fireworks. I would call it ATFE.
     
  11. mesinge2

    mesinge2 Member

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    There is a local shop near me that has about 1400 guns in stock and he has the highest prices in the area.

    He figures if he is the only one that has a specific gun, he can charge what ever he wants. For example he has 4 mosin-nagants the cheapest one is $298.00 and long-barrel m91/30 is $380.

    The problem is that he still makes a lot of money from people that know nothing about firearms.

    He'll mark-up an EAA Windicator to $475 and then have the customer haggle down to $410. They think they got a deal until they find out the new price from someone else.
     
  12. earlthegoat2

    earlthegoat2 Member

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    Buds does not have a "meatspace" store per say. Just as a formality they have a showroom where you can look at their used guns and such. They really are just an online store that drop ships everything.
     
  13. Larry Ashcraft

    Larry Ashcraft Moderator Staff Member

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    Ding, ding, we have a winner!

    Liquor stores can make it on volume. One near my business sells a semi load of Bud twice a week. But, you're not going to do that type of volume in a gun store.
     
  14. gym

    gym member

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    Is Edlemans still around? They were the first ones I remember. Supermarket for guns in the 70's
     
  15. mljdeckard

    mljdeckard Member

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    We have Sportsman's Warehouse here, I know a lot of guys who will go fondle guns at Cabela's, and then go to Sportsman's to buy them. They are surviving here, I understand they declared bankruptcy and closed the stores everywhere but Utah.
     
  16. ljnowell

    ljnowell Member

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    They do dropship alot, but to say their store is a formality is BS. See following links:
    http://range.budsgunshop.com/

    http://www.budsgunshop.com/catalog/bps-retail.php
     
  17. oneounceload

    oneounceload member

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    We had a chain of drug stores where I used to live that was close - no fireworks, but add all kinds of mood scrips with booze and guns in a one-stop shop..... :D......(with never an issue)

    The closest around here you'll find to a superstore is going to be along the lines of a Gander Mtn or Bass. Why don't others? Inventory carrying costs for one; no one wanting to pay a retailer the retail price for another........
     
  18. cbrgator

    cbrgator Member

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    So why aren't there more shops like Buds?
     
  19. jl1966

    jl1966 Member

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    We have a gun store in my area, sells a pile of guns, hand over fist. He guarantees the cheapest price, if you find it cheaper elsewhere, he will match it. Bought my AR there for cheaper than sportsmans warehouse, asked him how he does it. He says his whole overhead is less than their light bill. I get sick of gun shop owners trying to charge outrageous prices and crying hard times," Oh, im just barely breaking even on this stuff."
     
  20. Ragnar Danneskjold

    Ragnar Danneskjold Member

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    Because any other store like Buds would have to have online sales on par with buds. And competition is cruel if fair. Would the internet really be able to handle an online store like buds for every big store that opened an actual storefront? I doubt it. Because that's what they would need to do to remain viable, as Buds gets most of their sales from their online department. But that's the catch 22, if so many stores opened online shops like Buds in order to fund large brick and mortar stores, business would be divided between them, and then none would be viable.
     
  21. oneounceload

    oneounceload member

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    If you think it is easy and a great way to get rich, then open up your own shop and give them competition. Most small stores can't buy guns for what larger ones sell them for. Most people have no issue paying regular retail prices for goods from every other type of store, but for some reason, gun folks think they should be able to get guns for not only less than retail, but basically at cost............
     
  22. Ky Larry

    Ky Larry Member

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    I think the reason there aren't more stores like Bud's is because there aren't more people in the business like Bud. Sharp business man, in it for the long haul, and treats everybody fair and square. He's one of the most honest people I've ever met but you can't believe a word he says. I asked him last fall if he was going to open any more stores . He told me he was getting old and tired and Bud's Police Supply would be his last store. Then he bought a store in Richmond and is in the process of building a big new store and range in Lexington. He's an original.
     
  23. LS240

    LS240 Member

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    My favorite local shop sells everything at a claimed $10 over cost, and seeing his prices, I believe it. I'm talking cheaper than Bud's or any online retailer for that matter, but with all the advantages of a local shop including customer service and no shipping or transfer fees. To be fair the business is also a pawn shop and used car/atv/motorcycle/rv/etc. dealer, but based purely on my own experiences going in there quite often I'd say at least 90% of his customers are there for firearms. Everybody should have a shop like this down the street.
     
  24. 9mmepiphany

    9mmepiphany Moderator

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    but are they buying or looking?

    the pawn business is very profitable

    they are making 30-50% on things they buy to say nothing of what they are making on short term loans
     
  25. Trebor

    Trebor Member

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    Don't forgot that large volume buyers, like Bud's, get better prices from the distributers. That allows Bud's to lower their retail prices a bit.

    But, to get that discount from the distributers, you have to buy A LOT of guns. Most smaller stores don't have the resources to tie up that much operating capital in guns. Even if they don't pay up front, they do have to pay eventually, and if the guns don't sell in their retail store, they don't have the money to pay the distributer. That's how some stores wind up going out of business.

    Bud's isn't the only store doing the "online volume sales" thing, btw. But it does take a lot of capital to get started.
     
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