"Permanently Closed"

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by TarDevil, Feb 11, 2020.

  1. Flintshooter

    Flintshooter Member

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    THE shop for me for years closed when the 95 year old proprietor passed away. He sold list on guns, and if something was in the rack for a while (rare) he raised the price when the MSRP went up. Except for guns, anything else sold for the price on the sticker when it went on the shelf. I bought quite a few Lyman round ball molds for $9.50 when the retail for new ones anywhere else had gone past $30. If you wanted to sell one, he put a tag on it and you put it in the used rack in the back room. When it sold Roy didn’t charge a single penny. The back room on Friday night was a social gathering place for the hardcores whose tastes in firearms leaned toward refined.
    And there were very few things you might need that he didn’t have in stock.
    The owner of the best gun shop around now is someone I’ve known since before he could walk. Inventory for both guns and supplies is above average, maybe even way above average, but it ain’t Knight’s Custom Gun Shop
     
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  2. HB

    HB Member

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    Academy sells a smith and wesson shield for $429. PSA has them for $299. It all comes down to volume.

    Its not unique to the gun industry but the margin on new guns is notoriously low. Look at Firestone vs a mom and pop tire shop. Firestone buys/sells/transfers tires at a much higher rate.
     
  3. whughett

    whughett Member

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    Its been a number of years since I bought a “firearm”, I’ve bought numerous blackpowder guns in the last 6 years or so. I did buy a LCP at a local pawn shop maybe 4 years ago. Guess I’m out of the loop. Most of my center fire and rim fire I’ve had for decades and many of those came from “hobbyist” FFL holders.
     
  4. loneviking

    loneviking Member

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    It’s hard to beat a retail store like Sportsman’s Warehouse. Order online from a selection of thousands of guns, free shipping, and when the gun comes in if you don’t like it they refund your money.
    In my area it’s tough to find some models of guns. Three inch 1911’s? Good luck, I’ve found 2. My wife just bought the only S&W Mod 60 in the whole area. And with a population approaching 500,00 this is not a rural area. Mostly what’s around are high cap 9’s and Glocks for smaller guns. So, online is the best option.
     
  5. Steve S.

    Steve S. Member

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    People shop their wallet, they chase spending efficiency; intentionally paying more for anything is counterintuitive but I do understand that it is a choice.
     
  6. theotherwaldo

    theotherwaldo Member

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    I'm primarily interested in classic firearms and milsurps.
    I want to personally and thoroughly inspect it if I'm going to buy one of these.
    This isn't something that I can do on-line.
    Thus, gun shops, gun shows and pawn shops are the places for me... .
     
  7. herrwalther

    herrwalther Member

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    I have only ordered one firearm online. Saved me $150 off what the local shops were charging for it, and most of that was caused by a price error on the website. After the issue I had with shipping, there is a good chance I won't order a firearm online again, unless it is a grail gun. In any case, one gun store just opened up in my area a few years ago. Large place, nice indoor range. Another small, long established gun store bought out a competition store. Future plans include closing both to open one large location. 2 gun stores have closed in the last 7 years, both had terrible selection, bad hours etc. More management issue than internet killed the gun store problem.
     
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  8. Old Dog

    Old Dog Member

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    I've seen two gun shops that had been local to me (one in SoCal and one in Western Washington) that were both splendid in terms of selection closed due to either involvement in guns going to Mexico or financial irregularities and running afoul of a certain regulatory agency.

    I've seen a couple others close due to retirement of the owners.

    And, now a couple of our better options in my areas will be closing soon due to the new and pending legislation up here.

    It's all sad. I am a firm believer in supporting small, local business, and I'm at the point in life where I don't need to care about saving a few bucks here or there; I back my principles up by how I spend my money.

    I have a couple shops local to me that I will almost always pay a slight premium to purchase from rather than ordering on-line or going to the big box (Cabela's, Bass Pro, Sportsman's Warehouse, SportCo).

    I get personalized service from my LGS, they know what I like and call me if they get something cool in, and it's not always just about the purchase or the gun -- I can drop in and talk shop or politics or sports with the guys and they don't stress even when they know I'm not gonna buy anything that day.

    For me, the gun shop experience is also about relationships, the social aspect and some camaraderie. For us up here, it's also the first line in grass-roots activism, which is now crucial given the battle we're in the midst of with our own state legislature.

    We are gonna lose all this in the near future. Yes, I can come here and talk to you guys on the internet, but there's still something to be said for face-to-face, in-person interactions with other humans.

    For those whose only interest is saving dollars by buying the cheapest product out there and who don't have a social life aside from the interwebs, you probably won't notice because you've already missed the point.
     
  9. jmr40

    jmr40 Member

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    True, the small independent shop where I've been buying tires for 30 years closed last Fall unexpectedly. I had taken my car in to get a rotation just a few weeks earlier and got a price quote on new tires for my truck. Went back to buy them and the gate was closed and a sign saying they were out of business and referred customers to another place.

    When I went to the 2nd place the owner there told me that the other guy just decided it was time to retire. This guy had purchased all of his remaining stock. The store was profitable, but it was just time to retire.
     
  10. TarDevil

    TarDevil Member

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    There are those who might get obscene with pricing, and they don't deserve our patronage. But all you mentioned is what I enjoyed at my previous LGS...and his prices were always reasonable. We NEVER haggled.
     
  11. Labguy47

    Labguy47 Member

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    There is a lot of concern in the brick and mortar world. Walmart is closing something like 15% of its stores that don't make enough profit, they lost my business when they became gun snobs long before the ammo shortage. But what is really spiraling the closures that I can tell is greed. I went to a local range / store the other day and he said he wouldn't sell a gun if he couldn't make $189 profit on it. That is insane! I direct all my friends to the other store in town where volume of sales is the key to prosperity.
     
  12. Old Dog

    Old Dog Member

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    Yeah, I've seen that in a couple of our region's more up-scale zip codes, but those stores either don't stay open too long or have to just cater to those customers who don't know any better. Those kind of folks aren't really part of our community anyway (yeah, I'm talking to you, you Mercer Island and Bellevue BMW-driving, Birkenstock-wearing Democrat-voting Microsoft-employed liberal elites who don't understand the true meaning of the gun-culture, don't truly support RKBA, and for whom firearms are simply more expensive toys to accumulate to stoke your egos).
     
  13. FlSwampRat

    FlSwampRat Member

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    We always called them SHIBES, Shop Here, Buy Elsewhere.
    In order to not start and argument and get the thread closed, I'll withhold my opinion of such goings on.
     
  14. FlSwampRat

    FlSwampRat Member

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    These hold true for any retail business:
    A brick and mortar store has to be located convenient to its customers which usually means in a higher rent area. An online seller can located where rent is cheapest.
    A brick and mortar store has to employ well trained salespeople, usually means higher wages than are paid for just clerks like cashiers. On online seller just has to have a good IT guy to set up and administer the website.
    A brick and mortar store has to have a well lit, attractively stocked showroom, an online seller just has to have a warehouse.
    For gun businesses:
    A brick and mortar gun shop, mom and pop style, isn't buying by the train or truck load, so their quantity discounts are less. The online seller makes up a lot in volume, so yes, their prices are less. In some cases online ammo sellers are selling at less than my net wholesale from my distributors.
    People, when comparing prices, often don't factor in shipping and transfer fees, I have had smart phones shoved in my face because "Acme sells it cheaper" without giving me a chance to try to explain those factors.

    etc etc
     
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  15. FlSwampRat

    FlSwampRat Member

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    Are we talking gross profit or net profit?
    What was the cost of the item? If we're talking a gun that dealer net is $200, $400, or $2000?
    For example, a gun I have in stock right now MSRP is $724.99. My cost was $420 + $9.24 in shipping. This gun is offered online for as low as $449.99. If I were to match that price my gross profit would be $20.75. Out of that has to come my rent, power, salaries, etc.
    What some online sellers do is they don't stock anything, when they get an online sale, they turn around and order it dropshipped to the receiving ffl. As a business model, this is great, zero money tied up, awesome cash flow. If someone is going to tie up money in inventory to be fondled by customers, there has to be more profit in it to account the the strangled cash flow.

    Basically, if people want local stores to go into and have that face to face business relationship, they need to realize the person behind that other face needs to eat, somewhere to sleep, etc.
     
  16. .455_Hunter

    .455_Hunter Member

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    .455_Hunter's keys to a successful LGS in 2020...

    - Be welcoming to all clientele. The crotchety bearded fat guy on a stool with the "Kill um all, God will sort um out" hat giving people the stink eye doesn't work anymore. Respect teens and 20-somethings who may be new shooters.

    - Operate in the New, Used, and Consignment domains, having a GunBroker account to gain sales exposure for unique items.

    - Accept transfers for a reasonable fee ($30?)

    - Operate across all vintages- Original flintlocks to SHOT 2020 releases.

    - Have a comprehensive ammo selection (Yes sir, we have some 7.65mm Mauser to go with your 1909 Argentine).

    I am sure there are more, but these were just off the top of my head concerning about 75% of the long term successful shops in Metro Denver. A few have also done quite well with a tactical focus, tons of parts/accessories, and extreme customer service.
     
  17. shoobe01

    shoobe01 Member

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    Another part of the pricing for online is that it's not the pricing. If I wanted a commodity AR, sure, any old gun store will do. But what if I am a remotely informed consumer, and want something specific? Good luck.

    It's much like all other shopping. Especially in the pre-internet days, you might go to a few stores to find the right appliance, tool, TV, etc. Forget price, just the right ITEM. Maybe you'd decide from a catalog to get something else, and find an authorized dealer to order it. And just wait a month or six for it to show up.

    Well, we've seen the light. We don't have to put up with that anymore, so we don't. Some retail is doing okay, and note it's not regulatory capture (like guns: things you have to use locally) but those that meet customer needs. Everyone else suffers for the good online stores. Yeah, bad online stores also go away for the same reasons. Lie, be slow, be overpriced, don't communicate, don't fix problems? Word gets around. You die.


    For example... I have in the last year stopped going to my LGS of decades. New owner, mostly good stuff, but also higher prices, purged the staff so no one knows me or is especially personable. Bought a new gun from them to be nice and out of tradition, but it was an order, not on the shelf (because despite a big place: ZERO RDS-capable guns on the shelf).

    They barely cared. Could not do it for me, I had to push buttons on their website from my phone while standing in the store. I had them check, and yes it's in stock at the distributor yet took 4 weeks to get there. And I had to call repeatedly to ask where it was.

    Or, I can just go to AIM or GB or wherever (which I have since then!), and order it with a card, have it shipped to the much smaller LGS a mile away with cheap transfers and a guy in the back who does nothing but that (so: they are optimized for profit off internet/transfers), and get what I want within a week.

    Oh, and that weird little store: they carry whatever comes in, so I bought a Golani (Galil import parts kit "clone") off the shelf as they had it, have found odd holsters, accessories in the grab bin. The big place wouldn't have even sorta bothered to keep that stuff around, so they get less of my business all the time.
     
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  18. JERRY

    JERRY Member

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    always "busy" doesn't always mean that the people are buying. lots of looky loos in gun shops, and most have a cousin that was a Navy Seal....
     
  19. AlexanderA
    • Contributing Member

    AlexanderA Member

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    Yes, they reopened (under a different ownership, as I understand it) but they're about to close again. They're having cash flow problems to the point where they're delaying or refusing payment to people whose guns they sold under consignment. When things like that happen, businesses are not long for this world.
     
  20. JERRY

    JERRY Member

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    that's sad. when Bernie owned it, this was 15 plus years ago..... it was my favorite shop in NoVa.
     
  21. Ignition Override

    Ignition Override Member

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    OP: Yes, in Bartlett TN, right by Memphis.
    Over a year after the new store/range "Shoot Point Blank" (Whitten/I-240) opened just >>>>approx.three miles away<<<, good old "Range USA" suddenly closed. I had wondered how long this old place would survive.

    People Lost Their Guns which were on consignment (or otherwise) in Range USA when it closed.
    *** Bye bye to your guns, with no warning. These gun owners should have suspected that the New, other store/range would doom this older business. Maybe they expected a "Closing" notice to be posted on large signs, all over Bartlett?
     
  22. CoalTrain49

    CoalTrain49 Member

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    Yep, ATF has closed a few by revoking the license.
     
  23. GBExpat

    GBExpat Member

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    Yes, according the info on the website, the original owner is back in the drivers seat.

    Sad news.
     
  24. SlowFuse

    SlowFuse Member

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    Last year was a rough one in this regard for the shops I dealt with.

    I bought and transferred almost all of the stuff I own through a local pawn shop, bought my first rifle there at 18 or 19. If I ordered something, they transferred for $10. Closed mid 2019. Within a month or so another shop about 10 miles from me that was a class 2 sot closed, they were who I used for other transfers... And Last, my local kydex bender sold his equipment. I used to go to his house and watch him make whatever I was wanting at the time.

    I've always liked supporting the local guys even if I spend a little more doing it. There's nothing like going in person and holding what you're looking for in your hands.
     
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  25. Pat Riot
    • Contributing Member

    Pat Riot Contributing Member

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    I moved back to SoCal just over a year ago after being gone for 14 years. A couple of gun shops I used to frequent had closed since I left. One was consolidated with the main store 15 miles away. The other is just gone.

    But, I have found that a couple of other stores have opened. There’s a brick and mortar Rifle Gear and a store called Rifle Supply who are trying to get an internet presence going. I really like that store. They mostly sell tactical firearms and accessories. They are a great bunch of guys. They have given me some good deals. So, when I want to buy a revolver or guns they don’t stock I could go online and buy it and then have it shipped to them but I prefer to have them order it for me. This is one LGS I want to help keep around.
     
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