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where do small dealers buy their new guns?

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by machinecraig, Feb 9, 2012.

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  1. machinecraig

    machinecraig Member

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    How do small FFL dealers purchase their new guns, and what sorts of costs are they getting them at?

    By small dealers I mean, the dealers who maintain an inventory of new guns and that are regulars at local gun shows - but who do not maintain a store front. Where do they purchase their new guns from, and how much of the MSRP are they paying on average?
     
  2. mortablunt

    mortablunt Member

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    If they import, they then would need to be purchasing from an importer. Otherwise, a really small gun dealer could just purchase secondhand guns through things like other stores and private transfers. It is very hard to be profitable as a small timer and it's not really worth the FFL fees and other such bills to only do a bit of part time selling. In order to make serious money in order for gun trading to be your livelihood, or even a significant piece of your income, you would need to be a very good salesman and do a lot of sales. If you want to survive as a small individual shop, them you need to provide something special and unique that nobody else does, otherwise you won't last long. In many industries like brewing and automotive, small shops that survive normally do special pricey things on request.
     
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2012
  3. drsfmd

    drsfmd Member

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    They buy from wholesalers like Bill Hicks and Accusport.

    I won't tell you about pricing, as that's closely guarded in the business. I'll just say that it's a lot less profit than you think it is...
     
  4. gym

    gym member

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    Distributers
     
  5. drsfmd

    drsfmd Member

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    Actually in re-reading, my initial post may not be accurate... those types of "dealers" may not make purchase minimums to stock items from the larger (and thus better priced) wholesalers and distributors.
     
  6. rule303

    rule303 Member

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    They are buying from the same distributors as the big shops, but they aren't getting the same quantity discounts. Firearms are a pretty low margin item, 10-15% usually.
     
  7. mortablunt

    mortablunt Member

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    ^ I'll agree with what rule303 said. If you purchase a firearm, hold onto it and shoot it for a few months, and then try to sell it off, don't be surprised that you only pull even or barely get away with a +10% profit. Guns also tend to depreciate in value rather poorly. If you want to make some extra spending money by selling guns, just get rid of some you already have.
     
  8. russ69

    russ69 Member

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    Where I live the difference between a small shop and a major city discounter, is about 50 bucks on a 500 dollar gun.
     
  9. The Lone Haranguer

    The Lone Haranguer Member

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    They buy from pretty much the same wholesalers/distributors that big shops do. Gun makers don't sell their products directly to dealers.
     
  10. drsfmd

    drsfmd Member

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    Nonsense.

    There's a lot of direct-to-dealer sales from manufacturer, but it's not on a one or two piece at a time basis.

    A dealer buys a dealership-- the right to stock that brand, and in turn receives a higher percentage off the item at wholesale than the shop buying through a distributor. They are also required to stock minimum amounts of product from that manufacturer (I know personally of some as low as $5000, others as high as $100,000... but I'm sure there's even greater variation out there).
     
  11. machinecraig

    machinecraig Member

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    Thanks for the insights, guys - seems like a tough business for a smaller shop.
     
  12. Isaac-1

    Isaac-1 Member

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    The successful smaller shops that I have seen over the years tend to specialize in some way they either offer better variety, better support of find some niche market which could be anything from gold plated AK's to obscure european shotguns.

    Ike
     
  13. MtnSpur

    MtnSpur Member

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    I'm friends with my FFL who does not have a storefront and he orders from distributors or wholesalers just like any storefront operation would. What he marks them up to I have no idea as it's none of my business and I'd never presume to ask him. I do know he sells for less than a LGS in the next town and I can pretty much bet his markup is minimal. His business is built on solid, reliable customer service and a reputation as an honest guy who will bend over backwards to find what one wants.
     
  14. gym

    gym member

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    Kimber was asking for a 10,000 dollar minimum order, So considering you have a lot more brands to sell, it's a lot of money to lay out for 10 or 15 guns.That's why distrubtors or big guys like shoot straight, come in,they have the cash.
     
  15. mgkdrgn

    mgkdrgn Member

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    They get them the same places the "big dealers" do ... they just don't get the "big dealers" prices.

    Brett Parks, Columbia Arms (small dealer)
     
  16. writerinmo

    writerinmo Member

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    I've spent the last few days contacting all the smaller local gun shops around my area within a 50 mile radius trying to locate a Ruger P95. I get the same response (from those who take the time to respond, I guess the other's have a different type of "customer service") all of them saying that their distributor doesn't have any. Since I can find them on various online seller's website as in stock, I would have to assume that either somebody bought a whole lot of them and it wasn't their distributor or there exists and actual shortage of them as new. The same with a couple of other handguns that I contacted them about
     
  17. jmstevens2

    jmstevens2 Member

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    Or they hoped to sell you something sitting on the shelf that is 'just as good as'
     
  18. mgkdrgn

    mgkdrgn Member

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    Yep, none of my distributors have any either.

    And remember, just because the on-line guys -say- they have them, doesn't mean they really do... or they could have ONE. Opera ain't over till the fat lady sings.
     
  19. orionengnr

    orionengnr Member

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    What are you smoking?
    Really..inquiring minds want to know. :rolleyes:
     
  20. Onmilo

    Onmilo Member

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    Buy new, keep for 3 months and sell for 10% profit?!?
    Not even in a pipe dream and maybe once in a lifetime.

    20 years ago I could realize 25% profit on used guns and 15%-18% on new.

    With the current value of the dollar at a standing low a dealer is lucky to get 15% across the board.
    Dealers buy from distributers and import houses & when it comes to the import houses he will mainly do transfers & keep very little C&R on hand anymore as so many people have received C&R licenses now.
     
  21. Ole Coot

    Ole Coot Member

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    Years ago I ordered few new guns and made a larger profit on used firearms. I couldn't stock lots of new ones so I only ordered one of what I thought would sell and discovered I could pick up used firearms and resale much faster. This was at a time when you could sell out of your basement with minimum hassle from the BATF. I quit when the regs started to cost more.
     
  22. oneounceload

    oneounceload member

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    Or, since those stores are all in the same area, they may all be using the same distributor -and if he doesn't have any, then they won't either. There aren't that many big distributors but some seem to have a lock on certain regions for certain brands - and that might be a deal they have with the maker
     
  23. dogtown tom

    dogtown tom Member

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    So..........if i take my new guns out of the box, shoot them for a few months....they increase in value?:scrutiny:

    This has to be the most bass akwards advice I've ever read on a gun forum.
     
  24. mgkdrgn

    mgkdrgn Member

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    And I hope he brought enough for everybody!
     
  25. mgkdrgn

    mgkdrgn Member

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    mmmmm not so much. Such shortages START at the manufacturer. They generally don't continuously produce ALL guns in the their catalog ALL the time. When the distributors run out, which they have in this case, there is a "shortage" untill next time there is a production run. Any dealer can order from any distributor they please (well, at least the brick and mortar ones can ... not quite the same for us small fry).
     
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