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Recent Gunshop Experience (pricing)

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by vicdotcom, Jul 11, 2009.

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  1. vicdotcom

    vicdotcom Member

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    Hey all,

    I wanted to see what other people feel about this practice. I recently was shopping arround for a handgun. I like to look at a lot of different places for my firearms. There is this one gunshop that had a large selection, but when I asked to see a particular firearm, the prices were all about 100-150 USD more than average. Now after looking it over, the salesperson would say "we can always take 100$ off the price for you on that one". The next handgun "I can take 50$ off that one for you" and so on.

    I don't know if this is a good sales technique or not. I can see how something like this might "hook" a newcommer but someone accustomed to purchasing firearms might find it annoying? I don't know but I did.

    Wound up purchasing from another shop that had fair pricing already marked as is. Funny thing is it "seemed" cheaper seeing it at that store even though I know it was an average price. I even asked if they could take "$50" off for me LOL but they wouldn't. They did give me a free bottle of hoppes 9 though!

    Vic
     
  2. Quilbilly

    Quilbilly Member

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    Kinda odd to see that in a gun store in the states. But thousands of Mexican street vendors practice that technique so it must work, at least part of the time. I bet they can spot the guys who know what they are looking at pretty quickly and let them know of there real prices. Sounds like a shady business to me. I would have gone elsewhere also.
     
  3. bootless

    bootless Member

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    Sounds kind of like a lame ploy. Nowadays, especially with the internet, it's probably difficult to fool most people on prices like that. Probably worked back in the day. I do agree it is annoying. It might just show the true character of the owner. I doubt they have a lot of loyal customers that keep coming back.
     
  4. JimKirk

    JimKirk Member

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    You must have never bought a car before!
    Jimmy K
     
  5. jhco

    jhco Member

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    Just as you said it might work on newcomers or maybe they are hoping newcomers will take the high price and they just have the "I can take this off of that talk" for the people who look like they know whats going on.
     
  6. KenWP

    KenWP member

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    Just think of the noobs that go in and pay the sticker price and walk home happy. I see people buy things in some stores like it was Wallmart and on sale and the prices are so much higher then down the street at a different store. I shop at a gun store that has different prices if you use cash or a debit card or a credit card. I on day didn't have enough cash on me and asked where I could find a bank machine and went to walk out. The guy took what cash I had and let me debit card the remainder.
     
  7. vicdotcom

    vicdotcom Member

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    Actually many of the stores I shop at do this. They get charged 2-3% on each CC transaction. They say it really adds up fast. So they knock a bit off with cash in hand. I am sure there are other reasons why they like cash better also though.
     
  8. Happiness Is A Warm Gun

    Happiness Is A Warm Gun Member

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    Only problem is it is a violation of CC merchant agreement.

    I usually call VISA when I see a merchant like that. If they keep doing that they will lose their merchant account and ability to accept credit cards.

    If stores don't like the fee then don't accept CC. If you do accept credit cards the MERCHANT FEE is a cost of doing business.

    By accepting a CC they don't need to worry about cash (robbery, employee theft, deposit fees), they don't need to worry about the risks of a check.
     
  9. David E

    David E Member

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    Which is probably why there is a discount for cash. They're not raising their price for using a CC, just giving a cash discount.

    Gee, most people outgrow being a tattletale! If you don't like it, shop elsewhere.
     
  10. hanno

    hanno Member

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    When I was looking for a SP2022, I stopped at a local gun shop with cash in my pocket. They had a SP2022 priced at $600. I asked the counter guy what price he would give me for cash and he told me the price was the price and they didn't do discounts.
    I thanked him and left.

    The next day, I bought the SP2022 online for $480 shipped. I used the $120 saved to buy extra mags.

    Haven't been back to the shop and likely never will.
     
  11. krs

    krs Member

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    Back to the OP - it's kind of tacky. The shop is hoping for the people who buy at whatever price is marked and don't quibble. There are people who either just want a quick transaction or who don't really care what the price is.

    So the shop has the high price for those folks, and when he sees that you're interested in something but about to leave he knocks it back to his best price.

    I'd love to find a gunshop that did what's described.

    Also, I do appreciate a place who will give me a cash price. He's passing along the savings in card fee, and he doesn't have to do that.

    If I'm not using a card what business is it of the card company? And what business is it of the card company if my seller discounts his price for my cash? He doesn't have to pay card fees on every transaction, only on those where the buyer elects to buy with the card. The premise that such a practice violates a credit card agreement is absurd, and wrong too.
     
  12. Jim K

    Jim K Member

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    It is bad practice (IMHO) for a merchant to tell some people he will reduce the price. If he can reduce the price for some, he can reduce it for everybody.

    The reason? Let's say Joe buys a gun at The Gunner for $400. Pete buys an identical gun at the same store on the same day for $300. Joe and Pete meet at the range and compare guns and prices. Joe is really p***ed off, having been soaked a C-note more than Pete, and never goes back to The Gunner again. The best thing a dealer can do is set a fair price, and stick to it. If he wants to have a sale, post sale signs and give the same sale price to everyone.

    But a note on internet sales. Very often, by the time the buyer pays shipping and pays a dealer a handling charge, the internet "bargain price" has vanished and so has the dealer's good will. And if anything is wrong with the gun, the dealer won't make good since he was not the seller and didn't make full profit on the gun. Worse, I have seen a number of "bargain" guns bought on the "net" that turned out not only to be no bargain but to be so defective that the deal was clearly fraud. In one case I know about, a "brand new in the box" Model 29 S&W turned out to have a warped frame, a scratched cylinder and broken parts, plus the wrong box. (I think it had been run over by a car, but can't prove that.)

    The buyer contacted the seller who replied, in effect, "F**k you, sue me." The dealer who handled the transaction is normally not a vindictive person, but he couldn't prevent a little smile as he told me the story.

    Jim
     
  13. David E

    David E Member

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    Some years ago, I went into "The Firing Line" in Aurora, Colorado.

    As I was looking at their high prices, I was asked by a smug elderly clerk if he could help me. I advised I was just comparing prices.

    "Oh, well, you'll find our prices are pretty low," he proclaimed confidently.

    I replied, "Actually, they're higher than store X and store Y"

    His demeanor changed as he became defensive and condescending: "They may have run a sale, did you ever think of that? And, we offer a 10% discount for members, did you ever think of that?"

    I just looked at this moron, as he knew I knew his game. Sounds like the same one on the OP.

    Because of this and other reasons, I never bought a gun there and advised everyone I knew that was in the gun market to avoid them, as well.
     
  14. freakshow10mm

    freakshow10mm member

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    It is perfectly within the merchant agreement to offer a cash discount for merchandise. Read one some time.

    And as such a cost of doing business, like any other overhead, it can and does get passed to the customer. Same with paper, pens, ink, rent, insurance, labor, water, heat, electricity, etc. It's called overhead which is built into the product or service price.

    Handling cash is a lot easier than credit cards. There are fees associated with CC, as noted above. There is less protection with accepting CC than accepting check. The CC companies and merchant companies do not care about the merchant. There is no safe payment. With so many people relying on their CC and check cards, you just about have to accept them these days.
     
  15. vicdotcom

    vicdotcom Member

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    I don't quite agree with the above though Jim_keenan. In the USA it is not an accustomed practice to "haggle" a price. But it is done on occasion and I personally have done it on more than once. Heck in some places it is expected such as "china towns" etc. Or what if "Pete" did some extra legwork and found the same firearm at a competators and requested a price match. Life is not fair and "Joe" can throw a fit if he wants to, but Pete is the one who put in the legwork and deserves that extra discount. Heck the "because I like you" discount is always especially nice to get. I think that is why family owned places are so much more appealing to me than chain stores.
     
  16. Jim K

    Jim K Member

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    As a rule, gun shows are where haggling takes place and some of those guys could teach middle eastern merchants a thing or two.

    Obviously, not all dealers want to operate the way I described, but quite a few do so. Sure, some dealers will be able to undercut prices, especially if they also sell trucks, boats, or porn movies. And if haggling is an acceptable way to do things at that store or in that area, and everyone knows it, fine.

    But I have seen that "Joe and Pete" situation happen and I can just about guarantee that Joe will not simply accept that Pete somehow deserved the price break, and continue to patronize the dealer. He will bad mouth the dealer, the store, and Pete to anyone who will listen and that (IMHO) is not good for the dealer in the long run, especially in a small city or town. And the more "Joes" who feel cheated, the worse for the dealer.

    Jim
     
  17. BMF500

    BMF500 Member

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    Sounds like the dudes hustling the Faux-lexes (fake Rolex's) on the streets of Hong Kong. Have fun with them and see if you can't turn the tables....
     
  18. ArfinGreebly

    ArfinGreebly Moderator Emeritus

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    Super Pawn

    On the south side of Reno there's a little pawn shop with an assortment of sidearms and long guns.

    Most of their prices are unacceptably high.

    Used Ruger Blackhawk, priced at MSRP. Used RIA 1911, missing the magazine, for $75 below MSRP. And so on, and so forth.

    I looked over the selection, concluded that I wasn't going to find a bargain there, and turned to go.

    A graying, petite lady with a pronounced accent (Romanian, as it turned out) asked if she could help me. I said, "well, no, your prices are higher than I would consider paying."

    She smiled and said, "This is a pawn shop; we expect you to counter offer -- we expect you to haggle over the price."

    I said, "thanks anyway."

    To which she replied, "Come back any time, and don't be shy about the prices. We can always work something out."

    I concluded that there had to be people who didn't haggle and who paid the marked price or they wouldn't engage in that practice.

    I went back from time to time, but they never had anything I felt like expending the effort to dicker on the price.

    It looks like she's not the only one doing it.

     
  19. nitetrane98

    nitetrane98 Member

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    That kind of pricing scam reminds me of a local KIA dealer that is always running ads saying he'll give 4,500 bucks for any old car for trade in on a new KIA. He's just giving you the rebate for your car. I always wonder why they don't just put a price on the damn things and sell them. OTOH, there is always the odd idiot who walks in and writes a check straight off the sticker price, reminding us again that, "A fool and his money are welcome everywhere." Once in while, somebody will walk in and say, "How much for the MEGA BLASTER?" "I'll take it." A shrewd owner will be able to size up a hesitant customer quickly and then give him his best deal, regular retail price. "Hey, they knocked 150 bucks off the price."
    But having said all that, sometimes I'm the guy that says, "I'll take it." If I want it, I want it now.
     
  20. tdowell

    tdowell Member

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    I ALWAYS haggle price, even at Walmart I got 10% off the Wii I bought by talking the manager into his discount. I don't pay full price for anything except maybe a cheeseburger. (Wendy's, The one place who won't haggle)
     
  21. w_houle

    w_houle Member

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    Pawn shops:barf: Not only are they charging an arm and a leg for their product, but they mose likely gave next to nothing to get it. I remember the first pistol I bought. I didn't tell anyone that I was buying it. Spent $70 in 1997 on a Jennings .22, the pawn shop salesman told me that I didn't have to worry much about cleaning it and to just "Scratch the carbon off the bolt face an call 'er good". I could not get it to run two rounds consecutively through it to save my life. I eventually figured out how it disassembled, and wow eas that thing packed with gunk. It didn't help much and it still had a nasty gritty sound when cocking. I couldn't sell it to anyone, and eventually ended up selling it back to the shop that sold it to me. A while later I went back in and saw it on the shelf... for $70:barf:
     
  22. stevemis

    stevemis Member

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    Credit card fees can really add up for a business owner. The merchant account itself probably costs several hundred dollars a year (all of the monthly fees added up) then there are transaction fees (50 cents to run a transaction) and/or batch fees, and then the credit card company wants a few percent (3% typically) of the total sale for themselves.

    It only makes sense to offer a cash discount. This is a different terminology from a "credit card surcharge", which is typically against the merchant agreement.

    Ever seen a gun shop take American Express? Me neither. Why? Their fees start at 5 or 6 percent.
     
  23. JohnBT

    JohnBT Member

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    An article in the morning paper quoted the owner of the 7-11 store next to VA Commonwealth University. She said students tend to use mostly debit cards and the fees are costing her $1200 to $1400 every single month.

    JT
     
  24. vicdotcom

    vicdotcom Member

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    I talked to a gas store owner about that. And it is only part of the reason. The other part of the discount for cash is to get more "foot traffic" through the door. Apparently the gas station only makes about a penny or two per gallon from the sale of gasoline at the pumps. Most of their profit comes from consession sales. So more people paying at the pump with CC means less foot traffic inside. Cash sales get a lower price because 1) they get less fees and 2) it creates foot traffic.
     
  25. TiredOleMan

    TiredOleMan Member

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    I guess I'm surprised by all the folks that are surprised at this practice. A lady I knew years back told me she had never paid list price for anything other than food or a few other commodities or at chain stores, she would always ask "Is that your best price?" and 90% of the time it wasnt. I started doing that at certain places like gun shops and I never found one that wasn't open to a little haggling. As far as pawn shops, NO ONE should pay sticker ... there can be excellent deals in pawn shops if you know what something is worth new and you make the seller aware of that. No matter what the item is you know the pawn shop has basically stolen it from the original owner and marked it up 300%.
     
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