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The Demise of Local Shops

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by HarryRod, Jul 2, 2003.

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  1. HarryRod

    HarryRod Member

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    Dec 27, 2002
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    Location:
    Alabama
    After spending part of my day off today browsing through my two local gun shops i realized why more and more people, including myself, are turning to the internet to buy their firearms.
    They were so overpriced as to not even be funny. I can deal with that if they are willing to haggle a little bit but they act as if you are asking them to trade throw their first born in on the deal.

    The first that i went to is known to be high on their prices so I expected very little. They had a NIB S&W/Walther PPK/S in the cabinet for $599. I almost fell over when i saw the tag. After talking to them for a few mintues the lowest i could get them too was $579 and "that was at their price". They also had a Rock Island .45 Govt. model for $439.

    After walking out of there in disgust i went to our other local shop which has a much larger selection but i think i must have "please screw me" tattooed on my head when i walk in there.
    The first thing that i saw was an Custom Eclipse II....i thought that had potential till i saw that they wanted $900 and wouldnt budge on that price.
    I searched some more and found a decent looking CS45 but gasped when i saw that they were wanting $599 for it. I was told that they would sell it to me for their price of $549 plus tac and that was as low as they would go.
    I see these things regularly going for around $400 on gun broker and this one had a half inch of dust on it from sitting there for so long.

    It is things like this combined with the monkeys that they have working the counter, One shop here has a salesperson who is fond of spinning the cylinder and flicking it shut on revolvers, that are the reasons i have all but quit doing business with our local shops here in N. Alabama. Is this the same kind of things that you guys are seeing in other locations? I know that this is a hard business to run but come on, how can you expect to be taken seriously and sell ANYTHING when you do business like this?

    Sorry bout that, i just had to rant for a bit.
     
  2. BallisticTip

    BallisticTip Member

    Joined:
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    123
    Have to agree with you to a point of the gun monkeys, went to a big local shop, and asked to check out a 1911 .45, when the gun monkey took it out of the case he cleared and checked the weapon, while pointing it at my chest !!! I unloaded on that gun monkey about safe gun handling, and I will not go back to that shop.

    On the other hand I try and support the small local dealers.
     
  3. 4v50 Gary

    4v50 Gary Moderator Staff Member

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    Most guns I buy, even from a dealer, are used. Affordable and I can work on it myself.
     
  4. euclid

    euclid Member

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    Apr 24, 2003
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    108
    Location:
    Oklahoma
    I have found that once you add in shipping and ffl fees the price difference between the online auction houses and my local dealers gets considerably smaller. The local shops still charge more but at least I can paw the firearm I am interested in over and take it back more easily if something goes wrong. Also, local shops will allow me to place something I am interested in on lay-away. An online broker typically wont do that.

    That said, I still purchase some of my firearms online.

    cheers
     
  5. bad_dad_brad

    bad_dad_brad Member

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    Location:
    The Midwest
    I live in a community of about 120,000 thousand people. We have only one really reputable local gun dealer. All the rest have died out. He is competitive, has knowledgeable staff, and it is a small store that also delves in fishing and archery. Last of breed, because they are service oriented, I am very loyal.

    We got big Gander Mountains and Gaylans close by, but I will stick with what I know. And the price, even online, is not that different and not worth the extra hassle.
     
  6. MoNsTeR

    MoNsTeR Member

    Joined:
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    790
    Location:
    Lakewood, CO
    If the internet price plus shipping and transfer becomes competitive with the local price plus tax, you don't have it so bad. On the other hand...

    Beretta 92G Elite II
    'net NIB price: $725+$25+$25= $775
    local NIB price: $850+7.3%= $912.05

    STI Eagle 5.0
    'net NIB price: $1615+$25+$25= $1665
    local NIB price: $1800+7.3%= $1931.40

    Colt 1991A1 new rollmark blued
    'net NIB price: $550+$25+$25= $600
    local NIB price: $630+7.3%= $675.99

    SIG P226
    'net NIB price: $650+$25+$25= $700
    local NIB price: $750+7.3%= $804.75

    CZ 75B
    'net NIB price: $340+$25+$25= $390
    local NIB price: $430+7.3%= $461.39
    (though I have seen these on sale for $300 once or twice)

    Never mind the stuff that no one around here bothers to sell at all...

    Then add the plethora of great used guns listed on the various forums, GunsAmerica, GunBroker, and AuctionArms, and compare those to what I typically find locally. S&W 686 with no M stamp that looks like it was run over by a truck, $400. Rebuilt G19 with one 10rd mag, $450. Colt King Cobra with a bent ejector rod and lockup so loose it rattles, $350. Remingon 1100 LT-20 with a broken sight rib and the bead gouged off, $400.

    Yeah. HOORJ FOR THE INTARWEB!!!
     
  7. Zundfolge

    Zundfolge Member

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    Location:
    Colorado Springs
    I hate shops that pull that crap ... NOBODY SELLS AT "THEIR PRICE" EXCEPT AT GOING OUT OF BUSINESS SALES, even then there's usualy a couple of percent markup.

    Don't pee on me and tell me its raining. :scrutiny:
     
  8. Arub

    Arub Member

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    Location:
    Southeast Alabama
    I'm in Lower Alabama (Dothan area). Most of the smaller dealers are highly competitive (Howell's, SOS, Hardens[Newton], Pawn City, The Outpost). I have bought almost all my handguns for Hardens and Howell's. We also have the "Den of Theives", a relatively new gun shop, selection excellent, which prices their wares about $100 more than the others. They survive, I guess, because of their availability of both handguns and long guns. People who aren't willing to wait for the other, more reasonably priced, dealers buy to satisfy a craving.

    I have had no need to buy ala net. Add shipping and handling plus FFL to the net advertised prices, and I can definately save by buying local.
     
  9. Standing Wolf

    Standing Wolf Member in memoriam

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    Location:
    Idahohoho, the jolliest state
    Most of my local gun shops seem to think I'm stupid enough to pay sucker prices. I think they're stupid enough to go out of business.
     
  10. Penforhire

    Penforhire Member

    Joined:
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    Location:
    So. Cal a.k.a. PRK
    I don't mind paying maybe 10% more than mail-order-plus-shipping to support a local retail shop. There's a tiny shop near my work that gave me a free 38 Special A-Zoom snap cap (my 686+ takes 7) rather than sell me the whole package I was willing to buy. They don't know me at all but I'm certain to buy my next 'something' from them for that gesture of good will.

    But you also got that monkey comment right. A kid at another shop was showing me a folding knife I was interested in and ended up closing it on his finger. He was tough though. Didn't make much noise but I winced. Not too smart though. I could tell right away it was a deep cut but it took one of the female employees to convince him to wash and bandage it (he was starting to drip and must've thought it was macho).
     
  11. jims98z28

    jims98z28 Member

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    Location:
    San Diego, CA
    I know what you are talking about. I've been shoping around for a Ruger for the past week and I've been to 3 local shops. The first shop was selling a used all blue P89 for $325 and a used all blue P95 for $350. The 2nd store had a stainless used P95 for $315. Both stores were selling them new well over $400. I went to the 3rd store and got a brand new P89T for $329. About $100 less than the other 2 stores and about the same price as the used ones.
    I guess I am lucky that we have that one store that seems to have fair pricing.
     
  12. makdaddy03

    makdaddy03 member

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    My local gun shop closed its doors 6-30-03. The owner didnt drop his prices at all. Now there is only one shop in my county and its a pawn shop that sells "New and Used Guns" at reasonible prices. But I have a feeling that that is about to change with no competition in the neighborhood any more.:(
     
  13. capt_happypants

    capt_happypants Member In Memoriam

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    FWIW, the Internet allows customers to snag some incredible deals, and local gun shops can use the FFL transfers to generate new business.

    Some THR members use Blast-O-Rama to receive FFL transfer guns. It's quick, easy, and the $25 covers our expenses. The smart shops use this opportunity to add on holsters, ammo, spare magazine, books, or gunsmithing. Eventually, the customers who buy over the Internet will buy locally, too - the opportunity exists.

    I happen to know of the King Cobra with the bent ejector rod. Let's just say that it will be a permanent resident in the Blast-O-Rama display case.
     
  14. Spot77

    Spot77 Member

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    What is Blast O Rama?


    I've had great luck on prices in my area, considering Maryland is ALWAYS higher than most other states.

    We have a lot of choices within driving distance. I just have to be patient and not "jump the gun" (nice pun, huh?) when looking to seriously buy.
     
  15. MoNsTeR

    MoNsTeR Member

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    Location:
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    Admittedly that King Cobra is on consignment, and I'm sure the staff at Blast-O-Rama informed the poor misguided soul that it wouldn't sell. Consignment prices seem to be much more sane on average, although there are still a significant number of wackjob prices.
     
  16. Classified00

    Classified00 Member

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    Location:
    DFW, TX
    Hello all,

    This thread is timely. I spent yesterday shopping for a new Glock 19. The prices I found ran about $100, or so, more than what I'd pay at a show. I'm a "knife guy" too and it's the same in that industry. Brick and morter stores, unfortunately, are pricing themselves out of business.

    I realize that B&M's have significantly more overhead but in this age of the internet where customers know dealer costs and have literally unlimited options for buying, the B&M's will have to eventually evolve or perish.

    The truely sad thing is that if just one of the stores I visited had dropped the price to about $40, or so, above rock bottom they could have had my money. I would have been willing to pay a bit extra to support a local dealer and have my gun now. Instead they made $0 profit off me.

    The good news is, I may have found what I'm looking for at the right price :)

    Brent...
    :scrutiny:
     
  17. tetchaje1

    tetchaje1 Member

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    Location:
    Utah
    I buy both ways -- frequenting both the shops and the internet when I am interested in purchasing a new toy. In the end I have purchased at least half (probably more like 75%) of my guns from local shops when they have had good deals. Then again, I live in Utah so there is no shortage of shops to frequent. :p

    Some gun stores are consistantly more expensive than others, and as a result I don't buy from them. I would give all shops an equal shake if they were willing to price their firearms competitively with other local shops, but if they don't, and they are unwilling to haggle, they don't get my business. I will buy accessories or ammunition from them, though. (With the exception of two local shops here who also charge $3-4 more per box of ammo than everybody else... :rolleyes: )
     
  18. foghornl

    foghornl Member

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    I tend to poke aound a bit on the 'net, to get an idea of what's available at what price.

    But then I get it at my local gunshop. Why? While prices are a bit higher than the 'net, I prefer to keep my local guys going. And my local guys are courteous, professional, and will be around to help me if I have any issues with said guns.

    Last time I looked, NIB Ruger KP-90 was $429 in local shop.
     
  19. dav

    dav Member

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    Location:
    San Diego, PRK
    That's how I usually do it, too. My local shop is also my indoor range. I know them now, after dealing with them for almost two years. They know me, and what I need. I can't buy used, don't know enough about what to look for. But some of them do, and steer me clear of the consignment junk.
    I tell 'em upfront I'll pay their prices, just because I want them to stay in business. It can be really hard to find somewhere to shoot here in the PRK.

    But not ammo. I couldn't afford to shoot if I bought all my ammo from them.
     
  20. braindead0

    braindead0 Member

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    A shop up in Cleveland had $399 marked on a hi-point carbine, must be catering to idiots at that store.
     
  21. Boats

    Boats member

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    Location:
    Oregon
    Here in Salem, Oregon it was Sportsman's Warehouse, not the internet, doing in the overpriced locals. Four that I know have gone under in the year and a half since SW did the Wal-Mart thing on them.

    Of course if one does not diversify to carry that which a big box retailer does not and then prices unrealistically in a market where the wholesale prices are pretty much a known commodity, one deserves to perish for gouging and inflexibility.

    My problem with the internet and warehouses blowing away competitors is that it gets harder to find FFLs for internet transfers.
     
  22. Sheslinger

    Sheslinger Member

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    Location:
    Nashville
    We try to give business to local shops but...

    if we are looking at something C&R that you can only find online, we go that route. Also, I don't mind paying a bit extra to keep the local shop open but it really depends on the price difference. With 9.75% sales tax, when you are looking at $700-$1000 gun that is overpriced at a local shop, it matters. The average price difference on Kimbers we looked at after all said and done was around $200-$250. That's way too much, don't you think?

    Now, if we are looking at something in $300-$400 price range, $30-$50 price difference is acceptable.

    Sheslinger
     
  23. W Turner

    W Turner Member

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    Location:
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    Hey Harry...... I don't know where you are in AL, but there is a good shop in Florence that has been there for quite a while. Prices on new glocks are kinda high, but with shipping and transfer fee match up well with the internet guys. There is also one in Decatur that is decent, just don't ask the counter guys for advice.....:barf:
     
  24. LiquidTension

    LiquidTension Member

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    Location:
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    In another thread on here a few weeks ago, there were some people complaining about customers that come into their shops wanting a deal. My response was similar to those here - I'll spend a little more to support the local guys, but not excessively more.

    Dealers that say "that's our price" are either lying or don't know about computers and the internet. If I can get the same thing for cheaper withOUT an FFL, how come they can't get it WITH an FFL??? Like I've said before, the shops here in Columbia all know me now, and they know that they can either cut a deal and make some money, or not cut a deal and I'll walk. Sometimes they just can't give me the price I want, and I understand that. There is one store in town that isn't willing to negotiate (Wateree Arms on Garners Ferry) with me, and they're also the only shop I haven't bought a gun from. EVER. I've bought at least 3 firearms since Wateree opened. That's three chances they've missed to make some money, just because they want ALL the money instead of SOME money :rolleyes:

    If store owners would get it through their heads that lower profit margin = more sales (enough to make up the difference and then some), they wouldn't go out of business. Besides, just like in any other retail store, the real money is in ACCESSORIES, not in the main product.
     
  25. michiganfan

    michiganfan Member

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    Bought a glock 33 this week at Galyans. It was 494 with tx. they got a deal where you sign up for thier credit card and get 10% off. The same gun at my local gun shop is $619.
     
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