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Will online gun sales eventually replace local gun stores?

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by jpruitt, Dec 8, 2013.

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  1. Elkins45

    Elkins45 Member

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    There's an additional and significant factor at play here: Amazon doesn't have to search out a specific licensed receiver for the books you buy. It can just send them through the mail. There's no legal alternative home delivery system for guns like there is for books, and no digital delivery method.

    Expedia doesn't need to find a licensed travel agent shop to mail you a plane ticket, but Bud's, CTD or others do have to find an FFL.
     
  2. dogtown tom

    dogtown tom Member

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    +1
    There is zero reason to involve a travel agent to book a flight from Dallas to Houston. Going around the world via planes, trains and automobiles? You'll pay big $$$$ to have a travel agent book each mile you go.

    The John Grisham novel you buy on Amazon has the same number of words as the one you can get at a bookstore.

    Music? Kids DOWNLOAD it. They don't buy CD's,their grandparents do.;)
     
  3. Ashcons

    Ashcons Member

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    I've read through a few posts regarding this question or one similar enough where we get two types of FFL holders replying: those who embrace industry changes and welcome transfers coming their way through Internet sales while also looking for ways to increase store revenue on those transactions and those who are confused, angry, and stubborn about adapting to the reality that the Internet has changed their marketplace and those damn transferees better get off their lawns. :rolleyes:

    In the end, the bottom line will speak for itself. With transfer requirements on out of state sales and the desire of many (most?) firearm buyers to fondle the goods before they commit the cash, I think LGSs have a good amount of control over their own destiny.

    Maybe I'm doing it wrong, but the online prices for comparable firearms are close enough to LGS prices that the only thing I use online stores for is research (except when buying AR parts). The only real issue is availability! It's expensive keeping firearm inventory - I'd think most owners would be happy to reduce inventory and charge $25-50 for transfers, adapt inventory to what their customers are buying or interested in, and be relieved that their cashflow is freed up.
     
  4. Teachu2

    Teachu2 Member

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    While this is a worthy thought, most gun shop owners want to have guns in their gun shops.

    The LGS that I use most has a range attached. Membership at the top tier gets you discounts on firearms and related stuff, and I've bought a substantial number of guns there - when they've had them. I had them order me a 2022 with night sights, and got it quickly, but everything else has taken weeks to get. And they've ALL cost more than Bud's, even after the discounts. I've gotten to the point of asking if they can locate one right now, and if the answer isn't "The distributor has it, shall I get it coming?", I will thank them for trying and order it myself.

    I've been buying the top tier membership to support the store. $275/year. They were putting on competitions/fun shoots about six times a year, and had a GSSF Indoor match in the summer. These little matches encouraged me to purchase several guns and practice more - and buy more ammo. The membership also allowed me to use all the range rental guns for free, just had to purchase their ammo. That prompted me to buy more guns, and bring newbies there to try and buy. More sales.

    When the Banic hit, they rapidly ran out of handguns and ammo. Then they quit doing the matches, as attendance was down. Then they started losing employees. Now they sold off all the rental guns, and haven't determined when they will replace them.

    I will not be renewing at that membership level.
     
  5. JohnBT

    JohnBT Member

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    "Music? Kids DOWNLOAD it."

    True, but I'm certain you've noticed that even some the most tech savvy of the kids still go stand in line all night at the Apple store when new hardware is released.

    There's just something so right about taking your purchase home the same day.

    I understand that a lot of people are fixated on the price and only the price. I used to be that way. Now it's all about me, I'm retired.
     
  6. HOOfan_1

    HOOfan_1 Member

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    You might want to make your way to Hopkin's Gun and Tackle...the original owners of Green Top have opened their own store now

    http://www.hopkinshuntfish.com/
     
  7. 22-rimfire

    22-rimfire Member

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    I agree with the "right" part. In a regular store, you handle the product you are buying and make a decision on purchase. Price matters. But service matters more to me (within reason). The only time I will order "online" is when I can't find the gun locally.

    For the record, I have never purchased a new gun from a online dealer or seller. To me, it is all about "used" guns when buying on line.

    The big deal on gun sales that makes local gunshops less competitive is state and local sales tax. Once this issue is resolved nationally, then the playing field wiill be more level again.

    I don't like taxes, but I know some tax is necessary to support state and local functions. On a $1000 gun, that's pushing $100 in tax when you include the transfer fee ($10 in TN), plus if the dealer charges anything for their part which most do or about $25 total if you buy a gun from them directly. That $100 or potentially a bit more is often enough to make the local dealer uncompetitive to the most cost conscious shopper.
     
  8. kvtcomdo

    kvtcomdo Member

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    Hope not.

    Love visiting the LGS and visiting with those of like mind and interest.
     
  9. Blade First

    Blade First Member

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    Extraordinarily interesting thread. May I expand on something suggested in several replies?

    We who share a common interest like to convene regularly to discuss, share info, complain about personal travails and...most importantly, hold a show and tell about our latest acquisition. And what we want next. And how to get it.

    In other words, there will never be a substitute for the Local Gun [or whatever] Store or the Local Gun [or whatever] Show as long as we exist in a free and fluid society.

    Some may deem it silly to suggest that individuals willingly interact with their peers in a social situation instead of engaging in a series of on-screen clicks ...and freely choose to pay more for the product they want at their local retailer.

    They would be wrong.
     
  10. jpruitt

    jpruitt Member

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    ...he said as he typed his reply to a thread on an online message board

    (just razzing you ;) )
     
  11. larryh1108

    larryh1108 Member

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    I agree. Different strokes for different folks.
    The older, pre-internet people like to handle and fondle before they buy (not all of course). The internet savvy people are comfortable with the internet way of things. We are a diverse group and everybody does what works for them. That's a good thing.

    The original discussion seems to suggest that the internet shopper has changed the ways of the LGS and those who adapt with superior customer service succeed and those who have no desire to change will disappear. There will always be LGS out there but not as many and those who are there will probably be a better place than 15-20 years ago due to the competition from the internet. It's actually a win/win for many. The kitchen table FFLs also play a large part in the new climate. We, as a group, will actually benefit from all the changes.
     
  12. Blade First

    Blade First Member

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    "...he said as he typed his reply to a thread on an online message board "

    Heh...not exactly like we can get together at your favorite shop or mine on any given morning, Joe. But that would be nice!
     
  13. Steel Horse Rider

    Steel Horse Rider Member

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    I have been thinking about this since it was originally posted. I do a lot of work for the florist business around here, but their numbers have been dwindling since the advent of internet flower delivery. However, in talking to the owner of the largest floral company in Northern Colorado I have learned that most of the online flower places subcontract with a local florist to supply and deliver the arrangements but they have cut most of the profit from the prices they pay to the local store. At some point it is going to eliminate a portion of the locally owned stores which will then throttle the ability of the online sellers to stay in business. This makes me think of the online gun business which also depends on a local FFL to complete their sale. At some point both need to survive or the industry will suffer as a whole.
     
  14. joeoim

    joeoim Member

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    No
    A lot of people have a loyalty to local businesses. Then there are others who like to see what they are buying.
    Internet gun sales have a negative affect on price gouging, and help small gun dealers buy guns for resale as well.

    Joe
     
  15. gym

    gym member

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    As much as anything else bought online. honestly I would prefer to buy locally, but not when it's 30-50% more. That's what is going on here in S FL. I can pick up CZ for $510 new on buds, they wanted $525 for a 10 year old one scratched to hell. New ones are $750+ if you can find one.
    The LGS needs to be in the ballpark at least. Not more than MSRP on a new gun. I called a store I bought a Glock from last week about a CZ, he really tried to tell me that it's very normal to pay over retail for a gun, "not some exotic" just a normal pistol like a Colt or SR1911. I paid more for a couple of corvettes, but that was because they were backed up a year, and it was only 1 or 2%. Not for something that is in stock in a dozen stores.
     
  16. orionengnr

    orionengnr Member

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    As long as there are good local gun shops, they will do fine.
    The ones that do not treat their customers well...they may die off.
    But as in most other things, that just allows the good ones to thrive.

    I have a great one nearby. I don't foresee them ever going out of business, or even having any difficulty.
     
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