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View Full Version : A changing market and the death of Dinosaur Gun Shops


ChuckBooty
03-13-2009, 8:30 AM
I was having a discussion with a gun store owner about the over charging of transfer fee's (The Shootist in Murrieta charges $95 for an out of state transfer!) and he gave me some pretty good insight. He said most of the gun shops charge ridiculous prices for DROS and fee's for these transfers because they see it as a threat to their business. He said that people come in, look at guns in their shop, REALLY like the gun, and go out and buy it online for a LOT cheaper. Many times coming back the next day to do the transfer through them....and it pisses them off!

My view on this is that the Internet is changing the gun market. We now are reaching the point where we are going to pay WHAT GUNS ARE WORTH and not paying quadruple mark-ups at these independent shops. Gun shops no longer have the monopoly and we now have options...this is GREAT for the consumer! These shops either need to lower their prices and let the market dictate how much these guns are worth, or go out of business. This is especially true in California with the ten-day wait. Who cares if you buy it from the store? You can't even bring it home that day anyways! We may as well wait for the shipping....it'll be there before the ten days are up anyways!

Thoughts?

theneko
03-13-2009, 8:39 AM
Agreed, the Internet changed just about every other business by opening up markets that were previousy closed or hard to get at. Anybody selling physical goods must adapt. It seems that gun stores are some of the last people to get it. It seems like they would embrace the change or be run over by it. An internet store front is not the complete answer in itself.

gun toting monkeyboy
03-13-2009, 8:39 AM
These guys are driving nails in their own coffins. And I'm sorry, but I don't feel all that bad about it. There are people out there offering out of state transfer fees for much less than that, so they are shooting themselves in the foot. I have been fed up with the idiots that run many of these stores raping us on prices for years. Now there are other options. If they can't adapt to the new market place, too flippin' bad. Nowadays anybody can go online, and see what the real prices of guns are. Not just what their local band of miscreants want to charge.

-Mb

hoozaru
03-13-2009, 8:42 AM
He said most of the gun shops charge ridiculous prices for DROS and fee's for these transfers because they see it as a threat to their business.

right ... like that is gonna work and stop people from doing transfers

Black Majik
03-13-2009, 8:48 AM
I'm going to counter this with a different perspective. What if the small mom and pop shops and all gunstores close. Where do you guys plan to do your transfers from??

Sure, we all like the deals, but we still need to support our gunshops. An internet deal is of no use if there's nowhere to transfer it to.

Or goodness, how bout' if the small mom and pop shop that gives you great service but has higher prices to complete because they have less inventory than the chain stores. What if they're all gone and all we have are chain stores with Turners/Bass Pro/Grant Boys FUD spreading employees to deal with. Transfers are $150, or you pay their high prices for items they have in stock or warehouse.

What're you gonna do then once all the gunshops are gone?

FEDUPWBS
03-13-2009, 9:16 AM
Try transferring an OLL at Bass Pro or big5? It costs big money to be a brick and mortar gun shop and not out of your garage sitting comfortably out of state and out of reach from the DOJ/BOF (read overhead).
Some attitudes on saving a few $ are what have caused the demise of several industries in this state.

To the OP, please rethink your position as there is a happy medium between internet sales/purchasing and in store sales. This is mostly the job of the business owner to figure out but he needs your support too.

Regards, Jeff

Bird of Fire
03-13-2009, 9:20 AM
I'm going to counter this with a different perspective. What if the small mom and pop shops and all gunstores close. Where do you guys plan to do your transfers from??

Sure, we all like the deals, but we still need to support our gunshops. An internet deal is of no use if there's nowhere to transfer it to.

Or goodness, how bout' if the small mom and pop shop that gives you great service but has higher prices to complete because they have less inventory than the chain stores. What if they're all gone and all we have are chain stores with Turners/Bass Pro/Grant Boys FUD spreading employees to deal with. Transfers are $150, or you pay their high prices for items they have in stock or warehouse.

What're you gonna do then once all the gunshops are gone?


I'm with you. I know the local gun shop I deal at charges much more for guns than in other states. That's the price of having to do business in CA unfortunately. I personally buy from them as a safeguard that they will be there tomorrow, the next day, and next year. Anyone in the area that asks about where to buy I gladly point them to where I buy from. I'll take slightly higher prices with excellent personal customer service 8 days a week.

ChuckBooty
03-13-2009, 9:25 AM
I'm going to counter this with a different perspective. What if the small mom and pop shops and all gunstores close. Where do you guys plan to do your transfers from??

Sure, we all like the deals, but we still need to support our gunshops. An internet deal is of no use if there's nowhere to transfer it to.

Or goodness, how bout' if the small mom and pop shop that gives you great service but has higher prices to complete because they have less inventory than the chain stores. What if they're all gone and all we have are chain stores with Turners/Bass Pro/Grant Boys FUD spreading employees to deal with. Transfers are $150, or you pay their high prices for items they have in stock or warehouse.

What're you gonna do then once all the gunshops are gone?

This is EXACTLY what shops like The Shootist want us to think! But I do all of my transfers from an independent FFL (http://www.penningtonfirearms.com) who has great customer service, has VERY reasonable prices, and is a great guy all around. I think instead of supporting the "mom and pop" gun shops, we need to be supporting the independent FFL! The FFL who has another job and maybe does this as a side, simply out of the love of guns and the respect for our freedoms.

Tell me this; what's the difference between the state legislature who wants to make it impossible to buy and sell ammo in our state and the gun shops who want to make it as almost impossible to buy guns from private parties or off of the Internet?

chickenfried
03-13-2009, 9:34 AM
I don't get this argument. If the places I haven't been going to due to high prices or bad service close down, why would I care? I'll keep going to the dealers I've been using. If they raise their prices because there's less competition, then I'll be stuck with high prices and no alternative. Until then I have options.

But going into a shop to fondle a firearm you're going to buy online is rude.
I'm going to counter this with a different perspective. What if the small mom and pop shops and all gunstores close. Where do you guys plan to do your transfers from??

Sure, we all like the deals, but we still need to support our gunshops. An internet deal is of no use if there's nowhere to transfer it to.

Or goodness, how bout' if the small mom and pop shop that gives you great service but has higher prices to complete because they have less inventory than the chain stores. What if they're all gone and all we have are chain stores with Turners/Bass Pro/Grant Boys FUD spreading employees to deal with. Transfers are $150, or you pay their high prices for items they have in stock or warehouse.

What're you gonna do then once all the gunshops are gone?

FortCourageArmory
03-13-2009, 9:43 AM
I was going to go on a long rant about you not knowing what all is involved not only in opening but maintaining a gun shop, but it would be a waste of time. Come back when all your mom and pop shops have closed and your "independent FFL" is out of business.

hotwls13
03-13-2009, 9:47 AM
I buy most of my guns online and do transfers through my FFL out of his house. I have done some of what the dealer above describes (browsing then not buying there). I would say 60-70% of the time the local shop doesn't have what I want anyway. And then when they do, the markup is pretty steep.

I think pointing the finger at the local shops isn't really completely there fault. They have to jump through HUGE hoops to operate a firearms business in CA. They have overhead etc that my "Kitchen Dealer" does not. It sucks that the local shops prices aren't more reasonable (as in in-line with other FREE states). I think the local shops can continue as they have a lot of faithful customers as well as customers that don't want the hassle or don't have the time to shop online. Those customers walk in, see or handle something then buy.

I don't have a Firearms Business so i don't know what the actual overhead is nor what kind of profits they are making on any particular item. They could be making out like bandits or barely getting by. It wouldn't surprise me if it is the latter.

From what I have been told (in the other thread on here similar to this one) is that The Manufacturers and Wholesalers are screwing the dealers over as well. This is pertaining to powders and primers specifically. Evidently, dealers/shop-owners are paying the same as the consumers are for there product.

As for firearms though, if you check prices out of state, they are generally less and sometimes significantly.

Black Majik
03-13-2009, 9:49 AM
This is EXACTLY what shops like The Shootist want us to think! But I do all of my transfers from an independent FFL (http://www.penningtonfirearms.com) who has great customer service, has VERY reasonable prices, and is a great guy all around. I think instead of supporting the "mom and pop" gun shops, we need to be supporting the independent FFL! The FFL who has another job and maybe does this as a side, simply out of the love of guns and the respect for our freedoms.

Tell me this; what's the difference between the state legislature who wants to make it impossible to buy and sell ammo in our state and the gun shops who want to make it as almost impossible to buy guns from private parties or off of the Internet?

Think long term. What happens once these independent FFLs retire. What if the younger generation don't replace the lost FFLs from lack of business or retirement. We're losing gunshops faster than they're opening up. Aside from OLL dealers such as CWS, J&J, Riflegear, OC Armory and other supporting CA vendors, how many "regular/non-OLL" gunshops can you think of that opened up.

While I don't necessarily like it, I do undertsand why stores discourage buying from the internet and transferring to their stores. People come in, fondle the guns they're interested in then buy the gun they like online to ask the gunshop to do the transfer.

Keeping low prices to appease the consumer will run the business out of business. From what I gather by the CA vendors here, its not exactly cheap to run an FFL here. This is with the assumption that backyard FFLs will always be around.

I prefer to have as many gunshops available to me as possible.

dustoff31
03-13-2009, 9:56 AM
I think instead of supporting the "mom and pop" gun shops, we need to be supporting the independent FFL!


Where do you get the idea that mom and pop stores are not independent?


The FFL who has another job and maybe does this as a side, simply out of the love of guns and the respect for our freedoms.

Then he would be operating in violation of the law. I don't remember the exact words, but FFL holders must be engaged in a business for profit.

SanMiguel3
03-13-2009, 10:04 AM
Those of you who have your pet "independent" FFL on your speed dial, good for you.

I suspect, though, these are in a very small minority. I'm deeply troubled by this attitude of, "I got mine, so screw everyone else." As Black Majik says we need to think long term, and in particular the need to bring more new shooters into our hobby.

Does this mean I advocate sitting still for unprofessional gun shops? Of course not. But there has to be a happy medium where the brick-and-mortar gunshops can stay in business. Let's face it, most of you with your "independent FFL" has at least once gone to a gunshop to "try out" a new toy, taking up their time, devalued their inventory by handling it, and then got it cheaper elsewhere. Concept of "chutzpah" is sadly alive and well in Cali gun community.

Omega13device
03-13-2009, 10:06 AM
I was going to go on a long rant about you not knowing what all is involved not only in opening but maintaining a gun shop, but it would be a waste of time. Come back when all your mom and pop shops have closed and your "independent FFL" is out of business.
I read your earlier "long rant" before you edited it out, and it was actually quite balanced. So I wouldn't call it a rant at all. So let's say for the sake of argument that higher fees/prices are fair due to your high costs and the need to make a reasonable living.

Here is the problem. The Internet has already changed your business model. That train has left the station and it's so far in the distance you can't even see the smoke. The music industry has made exactly the same arguments you're making and they are failing miserably. Pretty soon the major record labels will be dead and yes, they are complaining bitterly about it but it hasn't changed the trajectory one tiny bit. The history of business is littered with failed industries that couldn't adjust to changing times. You can either adjust and get on the train or stand on the tracks and try to push it backwards.

Again I am not disagreeing with you, and I am quite sympathetic (I own my own business too), I am just trying to point out the bigger picture.

Black Majik
03-13-2009, 10:10 AM
I read your earlier "long rant" before you edited it out, and it was actually quite balanced. So I wouldn't call it a rant at all. So let's say for the sake of argument that higher fees/prices are fair due to your high costs and the need to make a reasonable living.

Here is the problem. The Internet has already changed your business model. That train has left the station and it's so far in the distance you can't even see the smoke. The music industry has made exactly the same arguments you're making and they are failing miserably. Pretty soon the major record labels will be dead and yes, they are complaining bitterly about it but it hasn't changed the trajectory one tiny bit. The history of business is littered with failed industries that couldn't adjust to changing times. You can either adjust and get on the train or stand on the tracks and try to push it backwards.

Again I am not disagreeing with you, and I am quite sympathetic (I own my own business too), I am just trying to point out the bigger picture.

You bring up a good point. I also have FortCourage Armory's initial reply on an different window.

Question is, how can a gunshop (not a backyard FFL) continue to stay in business?

If the gunshop can't stay in business because of changing market and kitchen table FFLs retire or also go out of business and no one replaces them, what do we, gun owners do?

elSquid
03-13-2009, 10:18 AM
If retail dealers complain about transfer-only FFLs now, how are they going to feel when sons-of-Heller roll back parts of GCA68 allowing folks to buy directly from FFLs and distributors out of state? :eek:

In all seriousness, this has been the case in Canada forever: folks can currently buy guns via the internet/mail, and yet there still are retail dealers. The reality is that there are different types of consumers, and retailers who provide a solid customer experience have nothing to fear.

-- Michael

Corbin Dallas
03-13-2009, 10:23 AM
I would like to offer a personal insight as I was once in business for myself, but due to internet sites like eBay, I am no longer.

Mom and pop shops:

I will continue to support your business under the following conditions.

a) You treat me as a valued customer. If you don't understand what this means, you don't deserve my money.

b) Private party transfers should be just as important to you as a standard sale, and as such priced accordingly. If you over price yourself so as to deter PPT paperwork, then refer to "A".

c) You have the right to your opinion and as do I. When I "ask" you about a weapon, I'm not interested in your "Opinion", I want the facts. You may say things like "not my cup of tea, but a fine weapon nonetheless". You may NOT say "Why would you buy such a POS?" or "When you grow up...". If you don't get this, refer back to "A".


Additionally, accessories should be priced competitively. This includes ammo. If your business is unable to compete, please don't expect me to pay 20% more per box of 50 than standard market rate (Not talking about gun shows) because you refuse to order in bulk. If you cannot get ammo for a good price, maybe it's time to re-negotiate terms with your vendor or find another one who can supply your business with your needs.


Lastly, we come to "Out of state transfers".

My position on this is if the weapon is new and it is an item the store stocks, it is the right of the store to refuse a transfer or charge you a buttload to do the transfer. This is taking money directly out of the organization you are supposedly trying to support. Not cool in my book.

However, if the weapon is "used", the company should refer to back section "A".


Cliff notes:

Turners and similar chain stores - Down

Mom & pop stores who understand the value of customer service - :thumbsup::thumbsup:

Fjold
03-13-2009, 10:23 AM
You bring up a good point. I also have FortCourage Armory's initial reply on an different window.

Question is, how can a gunshop (not a backyard FFL) continue to stay in business?

If the gunshop can't stay in business because of changing market and kitchen table FFLs retire or also go out of business and no one replaces them, what do we, gun owners do?

Someone else will open a shop or a kitchen table FFL. If there is a demand for it, someone will try to make money off it.

truthseeker
03-13-2009, 10:23 AM
I think the firearm laws on the 10 day wait kind of kills a lot of sales.

If we had a cash and carry for long arms and a 3 day on handguns, then the business would have the advantage of "the product is here RIGHT NOW", so the customer would be more willing to pay more for an item they can have now instead of later (shipping time).

I wouldnt doubt that soon there will be a internet tax that will make the costs of buying locally the same as buying on the interent.

And the internet tax will be used by .gov to spend on their pet projects.

B.D.Dubloon
03-13-2009, 10:27 AM
If all these stores the stores that are doing the expensive transfers go out of business, it's not like we will all be **** out of luck. New ffl's will fill the void I am pretty sure.

M. D. Van Norman
03-13-2009, 10:34 AM
I’m not sure that the old-time gun shops can be easily saved. By law, they are stuck with what is essentially a 30-year-old business model. The FFL system needs to be reformed.

ripcurlksm
03-13-2009, 10:35 AM
I've never purchased off the internet, i use it as a resource for reviews.

I find myself comparing the prices of gun shops within an hour of my house and the best price and proximity are factored in.

smle-man
03-13-2009, 10:38 AM
There was a move afoot during the Clinton administration to prohibit the sale of firearms and ammunition over the internet. I wouldn't be surprised to see this resurface with the Obama administration. Then the whole issue of internet transfers is moot.

Omega13device
03-13-2009, 10:43 AM
You bring up a good point. I also have FortCourage Armory's initial reply on an different window.

Question is, how can a gunshop (not a backyard FFL) continue to stay in business?

If the gunshop can't stay in business because of changing market and kitchen table FFLs retire or also go out of business and no one replaces them, what do we, gun owners do?
There's nothing wrong with asking the gun-buying public to be supportive, but ultimately it's the responsibility of the business owner to keep himself in business. Asking consumers to help you out of the goodness of their hearts will be fruitless. As the saying goes, "hope is not a strategy".

It's instructive to look at what happened to the retail book business once Amazon changed the book world. Online book selling literally wiped out the small, independent bookstore industry. They simply couldn't compete on cost with online booksellers. Sound familiar?

The brick and mortar stores that survived had one or more of the following characteristics: 1) they were big (Borders, Barnes & Noble) or expanded aggressively to lower their costs, 2) they started selling online aggressively, 3) they specialized in niche markets that were more profitable, or 4) they were in good locations or had some other natural advantage that kept their costs low and revenue high.

If I owned a gun store I would start expanding as soon as the supply chain catches up. Push more volume through the store to get your costs down. Start selling online aggressively. And listen to the customer. The customer is saying "I want to pay less for the same stuff". Stop arguing with him and give him what he wants and he will buy from you. If you don't like the lower margins on guns and ammo then get creative and find more profit elsewhere.

Kid Stanislaus
03-13-2009, 10:50 AM
When I get great customer service from a local gunstore I'm more than glad to pay the extra money if that helps them stay in business near me. I'll pay extra at Alquist Arms in Turlock, Barnwood arms in Ripon, Guns and Ammo in Oakdale or Bilson's Sporting Goods in Turlock because they are great people to do business with and I immensely appreciate having them around.

ChuckBooty
03-13-2009, 12:18 PM
I just think that the market is changing and so a gun stores business model needs to change. In the new market, being an FFL is NOT a full time job (in most cases). It's much like being a notary.

And I understand that there is an overhead...but you can still run a successful gun store, make a profit, and service EVERYBODY. A great example is Faith Armory here in Temecula. I will go out of my way to purchase firearms through them (I already have) because they treat me right AND they have very reasonable prices. In fact, the I have yet to find a gun for significantly less (when you count shipping) in the Internet. And if I DO find it $20, $30, or even $40 bucks cheaper on the Internet, I'll most likely still buy from them.

The Shootist, on the other hand, plays dirty (like buying ALL of the ammo from WalMart and selling it at a major mark-up at their store....ten minutes away).

tyrist
03-13-2009, 7:56 PM
At 90 dollars profit a transfer like some are charging, would seem to make it more profitable doing nothing but out of state transfers. Just a small office space with a desk and a safe.

sb_pete
03-13-2009, 8:23 PM
I get very annoyed about this with the local gun shops. I am willing to pay more to support my local guys and I make a point to always buy something when I go in and handle their stuff, even if its just some cleaning supplies. Often times this punitive transfer stuff just doesn't make sense though. I can understand the desire to make a transfer prohibitively expensive so that people buy guns from the dealer himself, but what if the dealer can't even get said item, or the item is used?

If you are buying a used item, it makes no sense for the FFL to charge crazy fees, it's not like they could get it anyway, it is a used item, it is unique.

If the item is not available in their dist network, but you find it online, then they should be helping the customer, making a small transfer profit and hoping to make more on shooting and cleaning supplies and accessories. It is not the customer's fault that they couldn't get the item. This has happened to me twice. I want to support my local dealer, but if they want to charge $100 or $150 plus DROS (prices quoted by the two local shops) for items they are unable to get or for used items, then I will take my transfer elsewhere. Uncle Paul's is in Ventura and is a half hour drive, but it is a great shop and worth it in cases like this. Moreover, they can usually beat or match the internet prices so I know it is possible. The local stores just won't do it. As a result they get no profit instead of less.

When buying a new gun that they have, I would be dumb not to shop around. I am willing to pay a premium to the local guy, but there are limits. When I bought my Taurus 63, it was $200 and in stock at Big5 or $399 and not stocked at the local shop. I'm sorry but my supportiveness of local mom and pop commerce just don't make up for that much of my paycheck. *shrug* I am willing to pay a 10% or so premium over the big box stores, but that is really about it.

When it comes to online shops, the way I think of it is that a transfer should cost $25-$50 plus $35 DROS. I consider what an online place is selling for, plus cost of shipping, plus an extra $60-$85 for cost of transfer and DROS. Then I consider what my local shop is charging including DROS, but excluding sales tax (I don't try to cheat out of the tax on gun purchases). I understand that the volume of an online place creates economies of scale that the local guy can't beat, but if the price premium is much more than shipping and transfer/DROS fees BEFORE taxes, well, sorry, but my purchase wasn't intended as a local charity donation.

Bottom line, I'm willing to pay a premium to the local shop because I want it to be there, but their prices have to be at least SOMEWHAT competitive. Sadly some local stores are not. Others are. I buy from the latter and I don't imagine the former will last much longer than their retirement age owners.

-Pete

GuyW
03-13-2009, 8:33 PM
I remember a local gun store guy telling me that he had to pay more (wholesale) than the big chains sold some guns for (retail).

Kinda hard to be competitive on that playing field.

On the other hand, IMHO, many guns stores rape sellers of guns by paying incredibly low prices (take it or leave it).

I'm glad a free-er market exists via CalGuns...
.

tyrist
03-13-2009, 8:50 PM
I remember a local gun store guy telling me that he had to pay more (wholesale) than the big chains sold some guns for (retail).

Kinda hard to be competitive on that playing field.

On the other hand, IMHO, many guns stores rape sellers of guns by paying incredibly low prices (take it or leave it).

I'm glad a free-er market exists via CalGuns...
.

Then he should buy from the retail chain instead of buying from the manufacturer. Either that or....he is full of BS

AndrewMendez
03-13-2009, 8:50 PM
Same thing happened with the Classic Car market. You had a couple car places, that specialized in collector car parts, then websites like jegs.com, and summitracing.com, come into the picture with No Shipping fees, and 90 bucks less then what they are charging down the street from your house. I can honestly say, that most of the gun shops in the area have the head soo far up there A**, that I dont want to be there anyways! if they really need our assistance, then they need to compete for it!

bruss01
03-13-2009, 10:41 PM
+100

If you could count on B&M store for kind, courteous, professional, knowledgeable service, and ready access to what you want to buy at a reasonable price (even if that is not a "rock bottom" price) I think more of us would use them and willingly pay a little more.

What we do NOT appreciate is misinformation posing as fact, opinion vetted as truth, derision posing as "customer service", and disrespect substituted for "building a relationship with the customer". The way I feel about most brick & mortar gun stores reminds me of Ghandi who said "I would have become a Christian... if it were not for Christians". If more gun stores stocked the merchandise we want, knew a thing or two about it, knew the law, kept their opinions to themselves, keep the prices somewhere below nosebleed level, and provided an atmosphere of respect for the customer - then "internet sales" would only be for weird loners and we would all pity them.

ETA: Wife making me add... "and don't call your female customers "honey", "darlin" or "lil' lady" - I will be happy to be addressed as "Ma'am", "Miss", or "Mrs. Bruss01"! (personally I think that falls under the respect category but then what do I know.... ;) )
I would like to offer a personal insight as I was once in business for myself, but due to internet sites like eBay, I am no longer.

Mom and pop shops:

I will continue to support your business under the following conditions.

a) You treat me as a valued customer. If you don't understand what this means, you don't deserve my money.

b) Private party transfers should be just as important to you as a standard sale, and as such priced accordingly. If you over price yourself so as to deter PPT paperwork, then refer to "A".

c) You have the right to your opinion and as do I. When I "ask" you about a weapon, I'm not interested in your "Opinion", I want the facts. You may say things like "not my cup of tea, but a fine weapon nonetheless". You may NOT say "Why would you buy such a POS?" or "When you grow up...". If you don't get this, refer back to "A".


Additionally, accessories should be priced competitively. This includes ammo. If your business is unable to compete, please don't expect me to pay 20% more per box of 50 than standard market rate (Not talking about gun shows) because you refuse to order in bulk. If you cannot get ammo for a good price, maybe it's time to re-negotiate terms with your vendor or find another one who can supply your business with your needs.


Lastly, we come to "Out of state transfers".

My position on this is if the weapon is new and it is an item the store stocks, it is the right of the store to refuse a transfer or charge you a buttload to do the transfer. This is taking money directly out of the organization you are supposedly trying to support. Not cool in my book.

However, if the weapon is "used", the company should refer to back section "A".


Cliff notes:

Turners and similar chain stores - Down

Mom & pop stores who understand the value of customer service - :thumbsup::thumbsup:

Seesm
03-13-2009, 11:02 PM
Where you gonna transfer to when all the shops close down?

We truly need to support the shops aorund us to ensure they are there later on.

Sometimes they do not get as good a deal as you woudl think....

Like they have something on sale cuz they got a good deal on it and the manufacturer does a e-sale and it f-s up the shop....

There is not as much money in some stuff as you think....


BTW I have said it before and will say it again... Tactical Defense and Survival in Loomis Ca knows the laws and are pretty cool too!!

CalNRA
03-14-2009, 12:00 AM
feel free to transfer your guns through your neighborhood Walmart.

Oh wait...

Riodog
03-14-2009, 12:23 AM
Gee, i didn't know that the only product for sale in the smaller neighborhood gunshops were guns. Silly me. That's usually where I've been buying all my reloading supplies, etc. for years. I think some people are very short sighted.
Rio

randy
03-14-2009, 12:36 AM
What is wrong with so many of you that you get crappy service from your local gun stores? I go to about 5 different gun stores even a TURNERS and get nothing but respect and good service.

what2be
03-14-2009, 1:02 AM
I was having a discussion with a gun store owner about the over charging of transfer fee's (The Shootist in Murrieta charges $95 for an out of state transfer!) and he gave me some pretty good insight. He said most of the gun shops charge ridiculous prices for DROS and fee's for these transfers because they see it as a threat to their business. He said that people come in, look at guns in their shop, REALLY like the gun, and go out and buy it online for a LOT cheaper. Many times coming back the next day to do the transfer through them....and it pisses them off!

My view on this is that the Internet is changing the gun market. We now are reaching the point where we are going to pay WHAT GUNS ARE WORTH and not paying quadruple mark-ups at these independent shops. Gun shops no longer have the monopoly and we now have options...this is GREAT for the consumer! These shops either need to lower their prices and let the market dictate how much these guns are worth, or go out of business. This is especially true in California with the ten-day wait. Who cares if you buy it from the store? You can't even bring it home that day anyways! We may as well wait for the shipping....it'll be there before the ten days are up anyways!

Thoughts?

My thoughts are that you are obviously not a business owner. You have no idea the time, money, and overhead a legitimate retail business has to endure. The only thing the internet has done is drive more brick&mortar stores out of business.
The local store (save some) are not out to get you, they are simply trying to make a living doing something they like and are trying to cover their overhead. They do more for gun rights by their mere presence than any "independant" ffl dealer.

This is EXACTLY what shops like The Shootist want us to think! But I do all of my transfers from an independent FFL (http://www.penningtonfirearms.com) who has great customer service, has VERY reasonable prices, and is a great guy all around. I think instead of supporting the "mom and pop" gun shops, we need to be supporting the independent FFL! The FFL who has another job and maybe does this as a side, simply out of the love of guns and the respect for our freedoms.

Tell me this; what's the difference between the state legislature who wants to make it impossible to buy and sell ammo in our state and the gun shops who want to make it as almost impossible to buy guns from private parties or off of the Internet?

The ffl that does it on the side most likely wont be doing it 5 or 10 years from now. The brick and mortar store has more invested, and im guessing he will be around longer too. (unless everyone starts to think like you).
And the difference between the 2 is that the gun shop is charging what they feel is a fair fee ($75, minus the $35 dros fee, nets them $40). That seems plenty fair to me. Like I said earlier, they need to pay the bills too. The other difference is the "independent" ffl dealer is looking out for himself, not you. Hes got that license most likely to get good deals on guns, and make a few bucks on the side doing ffl transfers and sales to other people. If he was serious about it, he wouldnt have a day job, he would make that his day job.

I was going to go on a long rant about you not knowing what all is involved not only in opening but maintaining a gun shop, but it would be a waste of time. Come back when all your mom and pop shops have closed and your "independent FFL" is out of business.

I too wasnt going to bother, but if I got my point across to just one of them and they realized how they are hurting all the real gun stores it would be worth it.
These are the same people that think walmart is the greatest thing to ever come to their town, without even looking at how walmart conducts their business practices. Its sad the almighty $$ comes before keeping a local economy thriving.

pullnshoot25
03-14-2009, 1:10 AM
Do you think that Costco would ever get into selling guns and ammo?

I would be there every friggin week.

CalNRA
03-14-2009, 1:40 AM
Do you think that Costco would ever get into selling guns and ammo?

I would be there every friggin week.

Costco is about as anti as it comes.

I have been shopping there less and less since the anti-CCW incidents with them that became known to the public.

RECCE556
03-14-2009, 2:38 AM
For the people who think that local FFL's are trying to rip you off, I suggest you try to run a small gun shop before making any comments. Charge the same for out of state transfer as you would for a PPT ($35). Let's see how that $10 profit works out for you. A lot of people who cry about stuff like this really have no idea...logging in items, logging it out, keeping all the paperwork straight, file cabinets (yes, you have to keep ALL those DROS and 4473's at the shop), paying for the lights, internet access, phone access, a cash register, counters, rent, printers, etc., etc....and I haven't even gotten into inventory and purchase minimums, etc....

So how many of you think you can survive on $10/transfer in your current situation (providing you're not living with mommy and daddy or under a trust-fund)? How many transfer would you have to do per day in order to pay for your bills? Now how many transfer do you think you can per day with all the paperwork involved? How about answering questions and dealing with customers all day long?

I'd love to see the same people who complain about FFL's become a FFL. I can guarantee that their complaints will change VERY quickly....

Seesm
03-14-2009, 2:45 AM
For the people who think that local FFL's are trying to rip you off, I suggest you try to run a small gun shop before making any comments. Charge the same for out of state transfer as you would for a PPT ($35). Let's see how that $10 profit works out for you. A lot of people who cry about stuff like this really have no idea...logging in items, logging it out, keeping all the paperwork straight, file cabinets (yes, you have to keep ALL those DROS and 4473's at the shop), paying for the lights, internet access, phone access, a cash register, counters, rent, printers, etc., etc....and I haven't even gotten into inventory and purchase minimums, etc....

So how many of you think you can survive on $10/transfer in your current situation (providing you're not living with mommy and daddy or under a trust-fund)? How many transfer would you have to do per day in order to pay for your bills? Now how many transfer do you think you can per day with all the paperwork involved? How about answering questions and dealing with customers all day long?

I'd love to see the same people who complain about FFL's become a FFL. I can guarantee that their complaints will change VERY quickly....

Here here!!

pullnshoot25
03-14-2009, 4:40 AM
Costco is about as anti as it comes.

I have been shopping there less and less since the anti-CCW incidents with them that became known to the public.

Really? Orange County and San Diego have been pretty friendly about it from what I hear.

What are the anti-CCW incidents?

tankerman
03-14-2009, 4:54 AM
This great if "cheap" is the only thing you're interested in........Kind of short sighted if you ask me.I was having a discussion with a gun store owner about the over charging of transfer fee's (The Shootist in Murrieta charges $95 for an out of state transfer!) and he gave me some pretty good insight. He said most of the gun shops charge ridiculous prices for DROS and fee's for these transfers because they see it as a threat to their business. He said that people come in, look at guns in their shop, REALLY like the gun, and go out and buy it online for a LOT cheaper. Many times coming back the next day to do the transfer through them....and it pisses them off!

My view on this is that the Internet is changing the gun market. We now are reaching the point where we are going to pay WHAT GUNS ARE WORTH and not paying quadruple mark-ups at these independent shops. Gun shops no longer have the monopoly and we now have options...this is GREAT for the consumer! These shops either need to lower their prices and let the market dictate how much these guns are worth, or go out of business. This is especially true in California with the ten-day wait. Who cares if you buy it from the store? You can't even bring it home that day anyways! We may as well wait for the shipping....it'll be there before the ten days are up anyways!

Thoughts?

CalNRA
03-14-2009, 5:04 AM
Really? Orange County and San Diego have been pretty friendly about it from what I hear.

What are the anti-CCW incidents?

http://ccwnebraska.yuku.com/topic/1948/t/Help-with-Costco.html

http://ohioccwforums.org/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=24009&start=0&st=0&sk=t&sd=a

http://newsgroups.derkeiler.com/Archive/Rec/rec.guns/2006-04/msg01948.html

http://www.xdtalk.com/forums/xdtalk-chatter-box/26440-costco-anti-gun.html

http://progunprogressive.com/?p=241

http://www.migunowners.org/forum/showthread.php?t=10775

Costco does not believe that it is necessary for firearms to be brought into its warehouse stores, except in the case of authorized law enforcement officers. For the protection of all our members and employees, we feel this is a reasonable and prudent precaution to ensure a pleasant shopping experience and safe workplace. Our policy is meant to protect our members and employees in all warehouses around the world. This is not a new policy and we do not customize the policy for each individual city/county/state/country where we do business.

Our primary goal at Costco Wholesale is to keep our members happy. If you believe that our policy restricting members from bringing firearms into our warehouse stores is either unfair or excessively burdensome, or you cannot agree to abide by this policy, or you are dissatisfied for any other reason, Costco will promptly refund your annual membership fee in full.

ChuckBooty
03-14-2009, 7:52 AM
This isn't socialism...it's a free market. And, like I said before, if it's a difference of $20-$40, and the shop treats me right, I'll be more than happy to buy the firearm through them. But when you start getting into $100+ in savings (shipping included) why would ANYBODY throw their money away? Especially in this economy??!

My problem is that a lot of these shops are trying to HURT the online sales community instead of competing with it. They're ultimately hurting the gun owners and the consumers by charging almost $100 or MORE for an out of state transfer.

Again...look at the music industry. They fought and fought against the internet and just came out wasting their time and resources. You're NOT going to be able to beat the convenience and the selection that the internet offers the consumer. When my option is to drive into a shop with less selection, be fed FUD and misinformation regarding a lot of the issues surrounding gun ownership in California, pay an exorbitant price for a gun, and be treated like they're doing ME a favor by selling me this firearm -OR - sit on my couch with my laptop, sip some coffee, have unlimited selection and very competitive prices, click a few buttons and pick it up at my FFL ten days later.......hm....not sure I'm really caring about your "overhead". Don't mean to sound like a dick...but the market is what it is.

RECCE556
03-14-2009, 9:54 AM
hm....not sure I'm really caring about your "overhead". Don't mean to sound like a dick...but the market is what it is.
So where are you going to go to pick up your guns once your FFL is out of business?

ChuckBooty
03-14-2009, 10:18 AM
So where are you going to go to pick up your guns once your FFL is out of business?

Why would he go out of business? It's a weekend job for him anyways. And if he DID go out of business I'd find another one. There are no shortages here. I refuse to pay $100 for an out of state transfer...it's GOUGING!

chickenfried
03-14-2009, 10:24 AM
Recent shopping experience Les Baer TRS. Retail store quoted me $2400 before tax and dros! Online and through an ffl with great service/friendly folks $1900 OTD. Fairness, gouging, outrageousness, etc. has got nothing to do with it. It's either at a price I'm willing to pay or it isn't.

AngelDecoys
03-14-2009, 10:35 AM
Here is the problem. The Internet has already changed your business model.

The bigger problem is that long time businesses do not recognize that shift in the market. My grandfather owned a chain of dry cleaning stores in NY city in the 1940's. He lost every single one of them because he refused to except that cotton clothing would replace wool as the leading material for garments. My mother calls it 'Stubbornness to extinction.'

As examples. Has anyone ever gone to a gun store and seen a computer kiosk for buyers to order online? Or seen a sign posted listing prices, or something that says "We do cheap out of state transfers here" to draw the internet customer for transfers? Or a sign that says, "Buy three guns from us, and the next transfer is free." I haven't seen any strategies to adjust to the market with firearms, but I've been to many a store that would price match something else I found online.

So here's the real kick in the groin. What will the traditional store do when (or if) Big 5, Turners, or any other gun chain decides to adapt their business model (allowing interstate transfers, or online purchases)? Will they bemoan their situation more? Or get it in gear?

That train is long gone......

BTW - The police could do background checks easily. They've done them before in CA cheaply (and could do them again). While I sympathize with small gun stores to an extent, the key to being successful is to adapt to a new paradigm if the old one doesn't work.

MikeinnLA
03-14-2009, 10:42 AM
Here's my policy, and I think it's a fair one. If I handle a product in your store thus benefiting from your stocking costs and overhead, I will buy it from you. If the item is something that you don't carry, I will order it from where I can get the best deal. In my opinion, if you walk into a store, engage a salesperson, handle several guns (books, motorcycle helmets, etc), find the one that fits you perfectly and then walk out and buy it online, you're just a shmuck.

Mike

chickenfried
03-14-2009, 10:44 AM
agreed
In my opinion, if you walk into a store, engage a salesperson, handle several guns (books, motorcycle helmets, etc), find the one that fits you perfectly and then walk out and buy it online, you're just a shmuck.

Mike

cal3gunner
03-14-2009, 11:25 AM
Here is my view of it. The gun shop owners work hard for their money. I also work hard for my money and I want the most for my money.

The town I grew up in had 2 gun stores in it. The older of the two, had a small inventory but he would order you anything you wanted but you were going to pay MSRP plus tax and dros. I never bought any guns there because his prices were too high. Who's really going to pay $670 for a glock 17 out the door?

The other store had a great owner that was willing to deal with you. He had a large inventory and moved a lot of guns at not much profit, but everytime I went in there was someone buying a gun or picking one up. I once bought a pistol there for $20 over his price just because it was my first pistol and he knew I would be back, which happend. This store was sold by the owner but he had another store about an hour away from my house. I continued to drive to him to buy guns until he sold that store. Now both of his previous stores are owned by separate people, their inventory is reduced, their prices are up and at one of them, if you aren't buying something today, they won't give you the time of day.

Lucky me, I found an at home ffl that has great prices and is always willing to come down on price and throws in a free box of ammo with each sell. On my last rifle purchase he even through in a free used gun case someone gave him. He actually carries just about as much inventory as the other stores and is the friendliest guy ever. He even carries a large selection of ammo and accessories which are reasonably priced.

The point of all this is that the change in gun buying isn't bad. Its all in how you run your business. Costco and Walmart sell tons of product at not much mark up. Gun stores can do the same. They need to have a large inventory and keep people happy so they will want to shop there. Both the gun store that I bought from and the at home ffl were great salesmen and I always felt welcome just to stop in and say hi and to fondle the newest guns. now you go into stores and if you don't want to buy something today, they don't want to talk to you

When I wanted to buy a glock 17. I called the gun stores, neither of them had in stock but could special order it, charge MSRP or close to it, plus tax and dros and one even said plus SHIPPING because it was a special order. I called the at home ffl that basically has a fully stocked gun shop in his house. He had a 17 in stock and I bought it that night out the door for a lot less than MSRP.
Who do you think gets all my business now?

BillCA
03-14-2009, 11:40 AM
RECCE556 made some on-target comments.

This subject comes up all too often and mostly by people who have zero concept of what it is like to operate a gun shop.

And after reading most of the comments, this is what comes to mind;

http://i241.photobucket.com/albums/ff111/BillCA/Hobby/misc/kidWhineCheese.jpg

I doubt all that many members complaining here were old enough to remember buying guns in the pre-Klintonista years. The Klintons increased the cost of an FFL tremendously AND changed the rules to reduce or eliminate the so-called "kitchen table" dealers. Those so-called "independent" dealers with no store-front that so many Calwhiners are talking about.

In the days before this restriction, and coincidentally, before the CAWB, Handgun Roster and other silliness, prices in California were only marginally higher than other states. If your local dealer didn't stock Sig-Sauers, you could find one in Shotgun News, then negotiate with the dealer to send his signed FFL with your order. Cost of doing this was usually $25 or 20% of the price you paid. If that Sig was a $500 gun retail and you were buying it for $306.50 the dealer's cut was $61.30 for handling the transaction, including the paperwork (DROS wasn't invented yet). You paid the dealer and still saved $132 over the price charged by Numbnuts Firearms on the other side of the valley.

There were enough "kitchen table" dealers around that worked by appointment only (one thing that killed them was the Klintonista requirement of posted "public walk-in" hours) who could help you order anything you wanted. If a gun shop didn't want to hassle with a particular vendor you could easily go elsewhere.

All of that stopped by '95. Fully 80% of the "independent" or non-stocking dealers folded shop due to the high cost of renewing their FFL and requirements to be "engaged in the business" (for profit). Believe it or not, BATF tried to prosecute one such dealer for not making enough profit!

Then comes the idiocy of the AWB and the Handgun Roster. This adds complexity to selling certain types of guns as to what is legal and not. Selling some guns may open the dealer up to extraordinary scrutiny by Cal-DOJ and BATF. No dealer wants to be in a urinating match with either agency and for good reasons.

If you walk into a dealer looking for an HK P30 pistol and the dealer has one at $859.99 and you then ask him if he will help you buy one from Al Bundy's Gun Shop in southwest Tennesse for $545, do you think he will just jump at the chance to lose $315? Even if he charges you $150, plus DROS, he's still losing $165 on the gun sitting on his shelf. Remember, he may have purchased that gun with "borrowed" money from the bank or by cutting his own income to keep money available for the business. Every day that gun sits there, it "devaluates" the cash he used to buy it and any profit he makes.

And you think he's beeing an a-hole for trying to maintain a profit margin? Think again. You'll have to buy a hellva lot of "cleaning supplies" to make up for just one purchase.


Out of the selling price you pay for a gun, before the dealer eats, he has to pay at least;

Store rent
Business insurance
Extra insurance because he sells guns
Electric & Gas bill
Telephone & internet bill
Garbage collection bill
City business License fee
State business license fee
State gun shop License fee
FFL fee
Lawyer's fees (for any business/FFL questions)
State/Federal forms used (DROS & 4473)
Office supplies - paper for the printer, staples, fingerprint pad, ballpoint pens, register tape & ink
Lease on a cash register (if leased)
Business banking fees
Business checks
Firearms wholesalers
Parts wholesalers
Distributors of cleaning supplies, ammo, magazines, holsters, etc.
Facilities maintenance (a/c, plumbing, electrical)
Any advertising he does
Employee payroll
CAL SDI for employees
Payroll taxes
State and federal witholding taxes
Social Security taxes
Is that enough? What does your "independent" FFL have to pay? Very little. He may need a city license as a business and pay for forms and a few office supplies like a receipt book and a business stamp. And he has to file everything like the FFL but his volume is much lower.

The Future:
Were I going to open a new gunshop, the model I might use would be a small storefront that carried lots of used guns on consignment and a small handful of "sure-to-sell" new guns (i.e. S&W 642, 67 and 686, a few Glocks, medium priced 1911's and perhaps 9mm XD's).

You want something brand new? I'll order it for you. If you found it with a wholesale price in SGN or internet from a company where I do NOT have to establish an account, then markup is $35 or 20% whichever is greater, plus the DROS fee. If your order goes awry and has to be returned, that'll cost you $35 for the return service. This includes things like the wholesaler shipping in high-cap magazines with the gun, the gun not on the roster, or failing the DROS check.

I would seldom buy used guns from people trying to liquidate them. I'd prefer them to go on consignment. If a gun is rostered with an expiration date coming up within 6 months, you get a low price offer to buy it because I could be stuck having to sell it out of state, maybe at a loss. But don't expect to sell your gun for anything near what it's worth. I have to sell it to someone and still make a profit that lets me eat.

If you come in and want to buy your Glock 26 wholesale while I have one or two in the display case and you don't want to haggle over the price, then expect to pay a higher charge to order the gun in order that I cover some of my costs. Expect that I'll want at least 60% of the profit I'd get for my stocked gun.

Trying to buy a gun off a friend to help him out? Or maybe buying dad's Glock from him, fine. Just let me know. Expect to pay a 15% handling fee, plus DROS. That fee covers my time to log the gun in, log it out, fill out and do all the paperwork and inspection to make sure the gun is legal in CA.

In return, if I find out you're a web-designer, I will not ask you to spiff up my website for $8.25/hr. And if you're a mechanic, I won't ask you to fix my truck's automatic transmission for $50 plus parts. And if you're an accountant/CPA I won't ask you for free tax advice or expect you to do my personal taxes for $30.

B.D.Dubloon
03-14-2009, 11:42 AM
Here is my view of it. The gun shop owners work hard for their money. I also work hard for my money and I want the most for my money.

The town I grew up in had 2 gun stores in it. The older of the two, had a small inventory but he would order you anything you wanted but you were going to pay MSRP plus tax and dros. I never bought any guns there because his prices were too high. Who's really going to pay $670 for a glock 17 out the door?

The other store had a great owner that was willing to deal with you. He had a large inventory and moved a lot of guns at not much profit, but everytime I went in there was someone buying a gun or picking one up. I once bought a pistol there for $20 over his price just because it was my first pistol and he knew I would be back, which happend. This store was sold by the owner but he had another store about an hour away from my house. I continued to drive to him to buy guns until he sold that store. Now both of his previous stores are owned by separate people, their inventory is reduced, their prices are up and at one of them, if you aren't buying something today, they won't give you the time of day.

Lucky me, I found an at home ffl that has great prices and is always willing to come down on price and throws in a free box of ammo with each sell. On my last rifle purchase he even through in a free used gun case someone gave him. He actually carries just about as much inventory as the other stores and is the friendliest guy ever. He even carries a large selection of ammo and accessories which are reasonably priced.

The point of all this is that the change in gun buying isn't bad. Its all in how you run your business. Costco and Walmart sell tons of product at not much mark up. Gun stores can do the same. They need to have a large inventory and keep people happy so they will want to shop there. Both the gun store that I bought from and the at home ffl were great salesmen and I always felt welcome just to stop in and say hi and to fondle the newest guns. now you go into stores and if you don't want to buy something today, they don't want to talk to you

When I wanted to buy a glock 17. I called the gun stores, neither of them had in stock but could special order it, charge MSRP or close to it, plus tax and dros and one even said plus SHIPPING because it was a special order. I called the at home ffl that basically has a fully stocked gun shop in his house. He had a 17 in stock and I bought it that night out the door for a lot less than MSRP.
Who do you think gets all my business now?

Whereabouts is this guy? He can have my business to if he is close enough. It sounds like a great place.

chickenfried
03-14-2009, 11:51 AM
Hey take it easy on the gun store owners :p

And after reading most of the comments, this is what comes to mind;

http://i241.photobucket.com/albums/ff111/BillCA/Hobby/misc/kidWhineCheese.jpg

BillCA
03-14-2009, 12:01 PM
A friend has stopped by during my reply above and reminded me of an incident in a Sacramento shop.

Seems the customer ordered a gun from a distributor for a low price, using the FFL's license. We were in the shop when UPS arrived with a huge amount of packages for the shop. We even pitched in to move many of the boxes inside. Five minutes after the UPS guy leaves, in comes the special-order customer, asking if his gun has arrived. The owner has seven customers in the shop and says "It might be in that pile that just arrived, we have't gone through it yet."

The customer paws through the boxes and finds two from "the distributor", but it they're large boxes. He asks the owner, who's in the middle of showing a rifle to a customer, if he'll open the boxes to find his gun. The owner says "Just as soon as I'm through with these customers."

Now the guy throws a hissy fit about "shi**y customer service" and that he's been waiting five days for his gun to arrive. He doesn't have a lot of time to pee away waiting for the owner "to get around to it at [his] leisure".

I was surprised he didn't get his butt chewed up like a Rottweiler found steak juices on him. Instead the shop owner simply started unpacking the boxes while telling the guy that he undercut the dealer by a couple hundred and he expects the dealer to ignore other customers to cowtow to his tantrums.

But when the gun was not in either box he demanded the dealer call the distributor and find out why it wasn't there. That sent most of us looking for cover. The owner told him that since he (the customer) ordered it, that was HIS job and next time he comes in, his manners better be a lot better if he doesn't want to wait an extra day to pick up his gun.

Now... was the dealer out of line? Or the customer?

BillCA
03-14-2009, 12:03 PM
Hey take it easy on the gun store owners :p

Nice jab... of course I was not pointing a finger at the gun shop owners. Quite the contrary.

AngelDecoys
03-14-2009, 12:06 PM
And after reading most of the comments, this is what comes to mind;

http://i241.photobucket.com/albums/ff111/BillCA/Hobby/misc/kidWhineCheese.jpg

Bill, even though I agree with most everything you've posted above, that doesn't change the fact that the traditional business model has become endangered due to the change in the market place.

It would be nice to hear from a few FFL's on how they have changed their business model to adjust to the market shift. What strategies have they used that compensate for increased internet competition? (That is, other than an online store which seem common place). After all, we all benefit from more successful gun stores.

BTW - Great picture. It reminds me a lot of all those 'once' mom and pop business owners who couldn't (or wouldn't) change with the times. So sad, so sad.

chickenfried
03-14-2009, 12:08 PM
LOL, it's whining to state you're not going to pay more than you have to or might if you were in the right mood. But it's not whining to type out a rant about why we should gladly pay more for the same product?

In your example the store owner was very patient. The jab was yours I just redirected it.

cal3gunner
03-14-2009, 12:18 PM
Whereabouts is this guy? He can have my business to if he is close enough. It sounds like a great place.


PM sent

GuyW
03-14-2009, 12:31 PM
Trying to buy a gun off a friend to help him out? Or maybe buying dad's Glock from him, fine. Just let me know. Expect to pay a 15% handling fee, plus DROS. That fee covers my time to log the gun in, log it out, fill out and do all the paperwork and inspection to make sure the gun is legal in CA.


PPTs are fixed charge in CA, yes? And Dad's gun doesn't need to be DROSd either? (submit form to DOJ)

Otherwise, good defense of businesses...
.

ChuckBooty
03-14-2009, 12:48 PM
This isn't about being anti-gun shop. Consumers deserve good service and competitive prices. If you can't provide that than you don't need to be in business. I'll give you a PERFECT example...

I was just at The Shootist where I was looking at a new XD45. They wanted $679 plus DROS/Taxes/Fees...whatever. I drove ten minutes away and bought the gun at Faith Armory for $512 (after my military discount). Yes...you heard correctly...I JUST BOUGHT A GUN FROM A GUN SHOP! I was treated right and was given a great price.

elSquid
03-14-2009, 1:14 PM
Try running a business, any business. You need to make a few thousand dollars a day just to keep the lights on, cover payroll, insurance, fees, and taxes. You people will gladly give some tosser with a massage table $125 an hour without batting an eye, but god forbid you pay $100 for a transfer.

You think that's bad? Try raising a family in urban California on a single income, and God forbid if you have kids in a private school or in college...

-- Michael

tankerman
03-14-2009, 5:54 PM
Recent shopping experience Les Baer TRS. Retail store quoted me $2400 before tax and dros! Online and through an ffl with great service/friendly folks $1900 OTD. Fairness, gouging, outrageousness, etc. has got nothing to do with it. It's either at a price I'm willing to pay or it isn't.I'm not sure where your price quotes came from, but asking for a quote from say an SF Bay Area shop, where property values and the cost of living is extremely high as well as high sales tax, then calling a shop in Moss Point, Mississippi where you can buy a house for $30,000 and rent for a shop runs $300 a month, the outcome of such a price comparison is fairly obvious.

If purchasing decisions are based primarily cost, Californians are going to continue losing out, businesses and consumers. Shops will close their doors, making it more difficult to find a transfer dealer, and more difficult to get guns into this state. This creates exactly the situation our state Democrats want, without as many in-state dealers, state government just needs to keep making transfers into the state more time consuming and difficult in order to reduce firearm sales and discourage vendors.

Like I said, I have no idea where your price quotes came from, but I have seem some CGN members trying to compare price between California and parts of this country that economically are closer to third world countries.

what2be
03-14-2009, 6:44 PM
This isn't socialism...it's a free market. And, like I said before, if it's a difference of $20-$40, and the shop treats me right, I'll be more than happy to buy the firearm through them. But when you start getting into $100+ in savings (shipping included) why would ANYBODY throw their money away? Especially in this economy??!

My problem is that a lot of these shops are trying to HURT the online sales community instead of competing with it. They're ultimately hurting the gun owners and the consumers by charging almost $100 or MORE for an out of state transfer.

Again...look at the music industry. They fought and fought against the internet and just came out wasting their time and resources. You're NOT going to be able to beat the convenience and the selection that the internet offers the consumer. When my option is to drive into a shop with less selection, be fed FUD and misinformation regarding a lot of the issues surrounding gun ownership in California, pay an exorbitant price for a gun, and be treated like they're doing ME a favor by selling me this firearm -OR - sit on my couch with my laptop, sip some coffee, have unlimited selection and very competitive prices, click a few buttons and pick it up at my FFL ten days later.......hm....not sure I'm really caring about your "overhead". Don't mean to sound like a dick...but the market is what it is.

Everybody has their price point where they feel its worth it or not. Yours may be $100 more than online, mine might be $200. And yes, I agree, it would be foolish to throw away money in any economy, let alone the one were in now. But its also fair to give the gun store a chance. Simply explain to him you really want to buy it from him, but its hard when its $300 more than online. Maybe then he will meet in the middle to make both of you happy. Its worth a try. But there is a fine line between asking someone to be "fair" and grinding on him where he isnt making any money on the deal.

As for selection, You cant expect a gun store to have EVERY gun for every person. Its simply not economically feasible. There is nothing wrong with browsing the internet, but the internet will always win if all your looking for is the best price. The simple reason is they dont have overhead. Its all virtual space. compare that to your local gun store that pays $1 a foot or more and has to sit on the guns. Did you know alot of these "online" gun shops dont even stock anything? they simply call a distributor and get the gun for you.
You cant expect a local store to be able to compete with that.

If your experiencing that many bad things at your local gun shop (sky high prices, FUD information, Rude salespeople, etc,) then you really need to find a different gunshop.

And the music industry is like comparing apples to oranges. The music industry is selling something of little value, (under $20) something that is
not going to need service, support or additional purchasing for add ons.

Recent shopping experience Les Baer TRS. Retail store quoted me $2400 before tax and dros! Online and through an ffl with great service/friendly folks $1900 OTD. Fairness, gouging, outrageousness, etc. has got nothing to do with it. It's either at a price I'm willing to pay or it isn't.

Did you even try to go to your local retail store and tell them that you would really like to buy from them but the price difference is making it really hard, and maybe you guys could come to a middle ground so he can make the sale and you can support the local store?

Here's my policy, and I think it's a fair one. If I handle a product in your store thus benefiting from your stocking costs and overhead, I will buy it from you. If the item is something that you don't carry, I will order it from where I can get the best deal. In my opinion, if you walk into a store, engage a salesperson, handle several guns (books, motorcycle helmets, etc), find the one that fits you perfectly and then walk out and buy it online, you're just a shmuck.

Mike

Agree 100%. (except for the part where if they dont carry it, you find the best price online and order it) I dont know how many times I see someone check something out at a retail store, then go home and order it on the internet. I've even seen them tell the salesperson they are going to go home and order it!

My policy is usually I find what I want, then go to the local gun shop. Most likely I know they DONT have it in stock, as I have pretty expensive tastes. Then I ask them to see about ordering it for me. If they can, I let them order it, if they cant, I find it online and have them do the FFL transfer.
Either way, im supporting them one way or another.

You think that's bad? Try raising a family in urban California on a single income, and God forbid if you have kids in a private school or in college...

-- Michael

Ive done both, and running a business was a heck of alot more time consuming and challenging. At least the kids appreciate you:)
I've found the general public wants it all for nothing and is alot less appreciative.

chickenfried
03-14-2009, 6:54 PM
I gave them a chance when I got the price quote. They're not running a charity and neither am I. If it was closer in price sure I'd see what we could work out. But $600 difference isn't a very encouraging starting point.



Did you even try to go to your local retail store and tell them that you would really like to buy from them but the price difference is making it really hard, and maybe you guys could come to a middle ground so he can make the sale and you can support the local store?

I. M. Nobody
03-14-2009, 7:57 PM
I have a Question for all of you retail experts. What percentage do you think the dealer gets on a new firearm ? And don't forget he has to pay shipping on that item and that comes off of the retail price.

gwl
03-14-2009, 8:03 PM
I have a Question for all of you retail experts. What percentage do you think the dealer gets on a new firearm ? And don't forget he has to pay shipping on that item and that comes off of the retail price.

Probably not as much as the general public thinks. I would say maybe 10-15 percent . . . and that's on the high estimate.

ChuckBooty
03-14-2009, 8:22 PM
I have a Question for all of you retail experts. What percentage do you think the dealer gets on a new firearm ? And don't forget he has to pay shipping on that item and that comes off of the retail price.

I have no idea what they make. But that's not the point....what is the consumer supposed to do? Feel bad and drop the extra $100+ to keep a shop afloat?

But I keep going back to Faith Armory in Temecula. They have almost the same prices you'll find on the Internet....even less in some circumstances and they still seem to make a profit. I've bought two hand guns from them in the last couple of months! THEY are doing what the Dinosaurs are refusing to do. The Dinosaurs have blinders on and refuse to accept that they can no longer set the value for guns....the MARKET sets the value.

elSquid
03-14-2009, 10:06 PM
Ive done both, and running a business was a heck of alot more time consuming and challenging. At least the kids appreciate you
I've found the general public wants it all for nothing and is alot less appreciative.

Everybody has problems. I work for a large corporation, and they just don't give me money for free either. ;)

-- Michael

tenpercentfirearms
03-14-2009, 11:02 PM
I really think the online crowd overestimates this "market shift" they claim is happening.

First, think of the gun shops that charge rediculous prices for new guns. Why aren't they out of business? Why aren't the guys who charge a huge fee for transfer out of business? Why do they seem to continue year after year?

Not everyone is a savy online shopper like you is why. Some people hate the Internet, want nothing to do with the Internet, and simply want to go down to their local store and be treated fairly. They might not know that they could save money online or out of Shotgun News. They might know if they had the time and energy they could find a better deal, but they have more money than time and they just want to make things happen.

Honestly, I think you guys put too much weight into online shoppers. The mark up and market is out there for higher priced merchandise. People are willing to pay it and they do.

A good comparison is that everyone at a continuation high school thinks that everyone smokes marijuana. They don't hang out with people that don't smoke marijuana, so everyone must do it.

You online shoppers don't hang out in gun stores that charge MSRP plus and don't hang out with people that have more time than money. So you think all of these gun stores are going to go out of business. Yet, they continue to thrive year after year.

Personally, I don't think there should be this "charity" attitude that you have to deal with a local gun shop to keep the money local. If you want to save money, then use a cheap transfer dealer. There should always be cheap transfer dealers and I don't see them going away anytime soon.

Personally I would rather my shop be a mid priced stocking shop that focuses on good customer service combined with having what you want to touch, taste, and smell in stock. If you are a bargain shopper and all you do is Internet sales, my shop really isn't for you and I really don't want to cater to you. Will I do a cheap transfer for a loyal customer. You bet. Heck, I even waive the transfer fee if you buy any other long gun from me.

However, as Adam from Freakshow mentioned in a thread the other day, the cheap customers often tend to be the worst customers. He noted those people are good to price out of your shop so you don't have to deal with them. It actually makes sense. It might not be a popular attitude around here, but it is what it is.

In the end, there is no need to feel obligated to shop at a local store. There is plenty of business to go around that all the different facets of gun buyers will get covered.

And that is my take on the issue.

cal3gunner
03-14-2009, 11:07 PM
.

A good comparison is that everyone at a continuation high school thinks that everyone smokes marijuana. They don't hang out with people that don't smoke marijuana, so everyone must do it.


Did you go to continuation school? ;)

Mssr. Eleganté
03-14-2009, 11:47 PM
Did you go to continuation school? ;)

He still goes to continuation high school, five days a week. ;)

Sunwolf
03-15-2009, 6:52 AM
Did you go to continuation school? ;)
Yeah,it`s called U.C.L.A

DMCA
03-15-2009, 7:06 AM
I'm a transplant from a mid-western state and will stipulate that the apparent "attitude" in some gun shops is prevalent accross the country. However, there are also good places to do business.

I've purchased one gun over the internet in 10 years of living here and before I did, I asked the FFL I was using if he could or would match the price. He couldn't obatain the product so I went ahead with my transaction. These types of deals, from what I can tell, have their economic value hinge on whether the FFL chooses to collect California sales tax. Look for California, because of budget woes, to start clamping down on sales tax collections from internet vendors of all products. If you have to add sales tax and the FFL fee on top of Bud's selling price, we'll see how economical it is.

A major proportion of complaints against local dealers seem to center around PPT's, with people who conduct these generally lamenting that they get treated like stepchildren when they try to pull one off at a gun shop. If I was a store, these would go to the back of the line for all but my best customers. I don't care how much some rationalizers want to go on about how they "might" turn into good customers. As someone else pointed out, Retting, Gun World, Turners et al, appear to remain in business year after year. For the most part, they have inventory that you can see, touch and buy.

No one is compelled to buy what they have for sale.

I may be biased because I'm not active in the frequent buying and selling of used guns and even though I have a reasonable number, $50- $100 here or there on the price of a gun over the course of my life won't keep a roof over my head.

Gun laws in California make life tough for the "hobbyist" into buying and selling all of the time. LAws in California impose these transactions on gun store owners and I think that's why you get a fair bit of attitude.

The good news is, people like FCA and Tim in Simi Valley make seeking out and forming a relationship worthwhile.

BillCA
03-15-2009, 8:25 AM
There are several shops here in the Bay Area that won't quote prices over the phone. Why do you think that is?

Lately, I've seen a lot of internet businesses that sell brand name accessories (holsters, lasers, lights, etc.) display the product with "in stock" status, but when you look to see how much, it says P.O.R. (price on request). Why do you think that is?

I've seen some gun shops where the displayed guns have two prices. That Sig pistol might be $685 with a second price of $660 "cash price". Why do some shops do that?

I went into a shop fairly recently and found Blazer Brass .45 ammo for $16.99 box. An okay deal if you add shipping cost to an Internet sale. But when I asked about a case-lot that price dropped to $16.01/box. But he didn't advertise that price break. Why do you think he doesn't advertise case-lot sales?

The trick here, before you answer, is to think like a businessman -- or at least like you're the one selling the products so you can feed your family.

I have a Question for all of you retail experts. What percentage do you think the dealer gets on a new firearm ? And don't forget he has to pay shipping on that item and that comes off of the retail price.
I know one of our local retailers, who is considered a bit on the "high" side at times, prices his guns at about 13%-15% off the MSRP. That's pretty close based on the "new" S&W M1917 he had for $850 when the MSRP was $1,018. Since he can discount that much off the MSRP and still make a profit, my presumption is that dealers get between 25-35% off the MSRP as a wholesale price. That can translate into a per-sale "margin" of anywhere from $80 to $200 per gun, less shipping and his overhead to log it in, tag it and put it out for display.

AngelDecoys
03-15-2009, 8:50 AM
I really think the online crowd overestimates this "market shift" they claim is happening.

Wes, I'll try and dig out the statistics from the Economist and the IRS, but the shift for retail has roughly been close to 30% over the last 10 years. And, that number is still increasing. And more so in states with higher sales tax. I'll PM you when I find it. My copies of the Economist are at the office.

With a quick search online here's a couple of graphs that make the point.
U.S. Online Retail Sales
http://www.goecart.com/images/scale.gif

U.S. Online Users
http://www.goecart.com/images/scale1.gif

Not everyone is a savy online shopper like you is why. Some people hate the Internet, want nothing to do with the Internet, and simply want to go down to their local store and be treated fairly. They might not know that they could save money online or out of Shotgun News.

Older consumers yes, younger ones.... not so much. Every study confirms that the younger generation has embraced technology. Yes, you'll always have those with whom price is not an issue. If most gun stores can run only catering to the high end, great. Personally, I'd like to see more younger shooters as that furthers the shooting sports long term.

So you think all of these gun stores are going to go out of business? Yet, they continue to thrive year after year.

If the gun store has no competition in the area, they'll stay afloat virtually by being the only game in town. We already see this with the threads on various stores poorly run. I know the economy is great right now for gun stores, but I don't think you're trying to suggest that there's been a sudden rise in FFL's or gun stores. :) Or are you seeing a rise in gun shops in Taft? ;) :thumbsup:

Will you at least concede that there are less FFL's in CA, and that the number is unlikely to rise exponentially in the future?

However, as Adam from Freakshow mentioned in a thread the other day, the cheap customers often tend to be the worst customers. It actually makes sense. It might not be a popular attitude around here, but it is what it is.

I think most around here appreciate the work you, Adam, and Tim amongst others do. FFL's who tend to post here already have a working business model, varied transfer fees, online strategies, and great customer service.

My take on this thread was more about brainstorming ways to get the dinosaur 'traditional' gun stores into the 21st century so that more will be around 20 years from now.

So lets fast forward a bit. Let's say in 10 years, the cost of doing business here in the Golden State is that much more worse. Sales tax has gone to 15%, mom & pop gun stores are all but gone, the cost for running a brick and mortar store is 30% higher than before, and online sales accounts for 60-70% of all accessories. The youth, now in their 30-40's who have grown up on computers are now buying mostly online. That's the unfortunate trend and potential end game for retail stores.

What strategies will FFL's do to be competitive then? Just raise prices? And for everyone else calling posters whiners, that's not really helpful is it?

I. M. Nobody
03-15-2009, 8:55 AM
Your a little high on your guess. The average markup is 22 to 25 %. Glock is a great seller dealer cost is $440.00 MSRP #544.00. Out of that the dealer pays the shipping and insurance on the firearm. And then don't forget he must pay insurance to cover loss if it is stolen while in the store.

If you don't want to pay him to stay open just leave him alone and stay away
He will do just fine without you and you will be happy. A win win for all.

And as I have always said open your own shop and show us how it is done.
Were all into firearms so the more the better off we are.

ajaffe
03-15-2009, 9:03 AM
This has a very simple fix, charge lower transfers for items that you (the gunstore) will either not order for the customer or do not stock in your shop. Then charge a separate, higher fee for items you do stock and can order for the customer.

halifax
03-15-2009, 10:16 AM
I thought you needed a commercially zoned brick and mortar building with lots of security bars and alarms to get an FFL in Kommiefornia?

You must be in the business of selling guns. You can't get one for your personal use only. If your local codes allow it from your kitchen-table and you aren't near a school zone, you can become a dealer without the same security requirements a brick and mortar store has to meet.

fr0ng
03-15-2009, 12:43 PM
The market is becoming globalized. If local store owners can't figure out how to add value to their products/services, and get customers to buy from them, it's their own fault for going under. That is capitalism, and that is what our entire economy is based on.

Sunwolf
03-15-2009, 4:46 PM
If the market is so globalized why can`t you buy ammo from China or Hungary direct?

tankerman
03-15-2009, 4:50 PM
If the market is so globalized why can`t you buy ammo from China or Hungary direct?He just likes the word "Globalized", doesn't really understand it though.

halifax
03-16-2009, 2:53 AM
...
So lets fast forward a bit. Let's say in 10 years, the cost of doing business here in the Golden State is that much more worse. Sales tax has gone to 15%, mom & pop gun stores are all but gone, the cost for running a brick and mortar store is 30% higher than before, and online sales accounts for 60-70% of all accessories. The youth, now in their 30-40's who have grown up on computers are now buying mostly online. That's the unfortunate trend and potential end game for retail stores.

What strategies will FFL's do to be competitive then? Just raise prices? And for everyone else calling posters whiners, that's not really helpful is it?

You'd better figure into your ten-year scenerio that states will have found a way to get their sales tax on retail internet sales.

ParallaxTactical.com
03-16-2009, 3:41 AM
There are several shops here in the Bay Area that won't quote prices over the phone. Why do you think that is?

Lately, I've seen a lot of internet businesses that sell brand name accessories (holsters, lasers, lights, etc.) display the product with "in stock" status, but when you look to see how much, it says P.O.R. (price on request). Why do you think that is?

I've seen some gun shops where the displayed guns have two prices. That Sig pistol might be $685 with a second price of $660 "cash price". Why do some shops do that?

I went into a shop fairly recently and found Blazer Brass .45 ammo for $16.99 box. An okay deal if you add shipping cost to an Internet sale. But when I asked about a case-lot that price dropped to $16.01/box. But he didn't advertise that price break. Why do you think he doesn't advertise case-lot sales?

The trick here, before you answer, is to think like a businessman -- or at least like you're the one selling the products so you can feed your family.


I know one of our local retailers, who is considered a bit on the "high" side at times, prices his guns at about 13%-15% off the MSRP. That's pretty close based on the "new" S&W M1917 he had for $850 when the MSRP was $1,018. Since he can discount that much off the MSRP and still make a profit, my presumption is that dealers get between 25-35% off the MSRP as a wholesale price. That can translate into a per-sale "margin" of anywhere from $80 to $200 per gun, less shipping and his overhead to log it in, tag it and put it out for display.

It's not as insidious as you suggest. The shops that don't quote prices over the phones don't usually have a computerized inventory, or don't have enough staff to go look at everything asked. I've seen this happen first hand, usually because the staff are busy helping walk-ins.

The P.O.R. ones are usually because the seller is bound by M.A.P. (Minimum advertised price) policies and can't give you a price online without breaking their contract, which will lose them dealer status. The policy is intended to let retail outlets compete with internet sales, and for internet sellers to compete with larger wholesalers. Again, something most people don't know.

The cash discount is because again, merchants are bound by VISA, Mastercard and other card companies policies that no surchage can be made for taking credit cards. Some merchants don't read their contracts and do it anyways, which is illegal. That's why gas stations have cash discounts, because they technically aren't surcharges. Also, in most places, customers paying cash are paying the surcharge for credit card users, as it is priced in.

The price reduction for lots is because some businesses value volume, while others value profit margin.

I do agree with alot of the merchant's posts here. Alot of consumers do not see what the true costs are to run a business as they only see price. Price does not equal cost, and vice versa.

Hope this helps!

SoCalGunNut
03-16-2009, 10:23 PM
I'm going to counter this with a different perspective. What if the small mom and pop shops and all gunstores close. Where do you guys plan to do your transfers from??

Sure, we all like the deals, but we still need to support our gunshops. An internet deal is of no use if there's nowhere to transfer it to.

Or goodness, how bout' if the small mom and pop shop that gives you great service but has higher prices to complete because they have less inventory than the chain stores. What if they're all gone and all we have are chain stores with Turners/Bass Pro/Grant Boys FUD spreading employees to deal with. Transfers are $150, or you pay their high prices for items they have in stock or warehouse.

What're you gonna do then once all the gunshops are gone?

I'm with you on this one! We have to support our local gunshops. There used to be 5 local gunshops here in the Temecula-Murrieta Valley for years, and The Shootist is the only true gunshop still standing after 10-15 years! Those folks must be doing something right! These idiots need to do there homework, the little independant wanabe FFL's running a kitchen sink opperation outa their garage don't have the overhead, firearm insurance, theft, repair service that an actual real gunshop has. The Shootist charges a total of $95 out the door for a out of state transfer! Turners, Bass Pro, Iron Sights, and Duncans all charge $125-150. Plus if you shop at The Shootist like I do, they come to know you and yer buddies real well. They've given me deals and all I have to do is ask! You have to half more then half a brain to do business and not be affraid to ask for price matches or a better price.

One Shot, One Dropped
03-16-2009, 10:57 PM
The way I see it, there is a problem with people thinking that gun shops can't charge higher prices than online. Just like any other retail business, having a retail location where customers can inspect the merchandise costs a lot of money (overhead). They have to pay their employees, pay their rent, pay their utility bills, maintain their product display and products and establish themselves with vendors in order to obtain product. In order to recoup these costs, they have to add a premium to their prices. Most of them attempt to remain competitive, but offering the same prices as the online distributors who can just keep pallets and pallets of boxes of guns in a warehouse with high ceilings, no climate control or lighting and no displays is completely impossible. If you can't find a gun locally and they can't obtain it reasonably, but you find it online, then feel free to buy it. However, you should understand that they should charge you enough to make it worth their effort. Sure, an FFL running out of his garage and only handling transfers can offer better prices, but you will not be able to handle the merchandise first. All of this logic is the same reason retail shops in any other sector still exist.

That's just my opinion...

CalNRA
03-16-2009, 11:00 PM
The market is becoming globalized. If local store owners can't figure out how to add value to their products/services, and get customers to buy from them, it's their own fault for going under. That is capitalism, and that is what our entire economy is based on.

what line of work are you in? Because I am certain I can import someone who will do your job for cheaper.

Full Clip
03-17-2009, 5:36 AM
The music industry has made exactly the same arguments you're making and they are failing miserably.

Actually, a better example would be what happened to local/indie book and camera stores. The music industry — selling an intangible intellectual property — has been decimated by the rampant piracy of their product (as well as their own foolishness). They sell software, not hardware.

gbp
03-17-2009, 7:11 AM
as a side to this, internet sales are very much like the big majors comming in and basically running out the small personal shops. case in point is sportsmenswerehouse when they opened. they basically forced "three rivers" in rocklin to shut the doors. i don't know how many here remember 'three rivers' but they used to specialize in cooper and other fine rifle makers and the owner was an exceptional person. so we lost a gun shop to this. now sportsmens is closing 23 stores and selling off 15 more. tell me how we came out ahead? The closing of any gun shop will eventually hurt us.
just my 2 cents

tenpercentfirearms
03-17-2009, 4:15 PM
as a side to this, internet sales are very much like the big majors comming in and basically running out the small personal shops. case in point is sportsmenswerehouse when they opened. they basically forced "three rivers" in rocklin to shut the doors. i don't know how many here remember 'three rivers' but they used to specialize in cooper and other fine rifle makers and the owner was an exceptional person. so we lost a gun shop to this. now sportsmens is closing 23 stores and selling off 15 more. tell me how we came out ahead? The closing of any gun shop will eventually hurt us.
just my 2 centsBig chain stores are only an excuse for mom & pop FFLs to fail. Bakersfield was supposed to get in a Bass Pro. Are they going to sell AR15s? Are their minimum wage employees going to offer superior customer service?

Really, a simple gun shop with decent employees should never fail. You should always be able to find plenty of business to stay afloat. Find a niche and you might even make decent money.

I still disagree that catering to the online crowd is going to be productive to a retail store. Having an Internet kiosk and helping customers find guns on a $25 or $50 transfer is not as profitable as making 20% on a special order. It certainly doesn't beat stocking an item and making 30%-40%.

In the end you either run a business or a charity.

AngelDecoys
03-18-2009, 2:50 PM
You'd better figure into your ten-year scenerio that states will have found a way to get their sales tax on retail internet sales.

I say good luck for states on that. I wonder what the compliance is already with Californians and their state taxes... ( near zero????). Most of what I've read centers around a national sales tax which still favors locations/states with low overhead/low taxes. And you'd get the added bonus of favoring Mexico/Canada/off shore businesses who do not pay tax at all.

I still disagree that catering to the online crowd is going to be productive to a retail store.

I wasn't thinking so much of 'catering' as finding strategies to make the internet level the playing field for shops in CA. Embracing the technology (instead of fighting it) is the way to make it work for the small retailer. I'll grant you background checks, OLL's, and unique firearms give the small shop an edge (so long as bigger store businesses don't adjust their models), but will that edge be enough to stay in business if they make 30% less profit without the other items?

BTW - They just closed a nearby mall in my area for lack of profitability (Internet competition is the reason given). Many of those stores had great customer service which tells me anyway, that a friendly smile only gets you so far.

I'm a numbers guy and I hope I'm wrong on this. But the numbers don't look good long term for most small CA retailers. I think we'll just have to agree to disagree on this.

dac41
03-18-2009, 5:19 PM
Here is my view of it. The gun shop owners work hard for their money. I also work hard for my money and I want the most for my money.

The town I grew up in had 2 gun stores in it. The older of the two, had a small inventory but he would order you anything you wanted but you were going to pay MSRP plus tax and dros. I never bought any guns there because his prices were too high. Who's really going to pay $670 for a glock 17 out the door?

The other store had a great owner that was willing to deal with you. He had a large inventory and moved a lot of guns at not much profit, but everytime I went in there was someone buying a gun or picking one up. I once bought a pistol there for $20 over his price just because it was my first pistol and he knew I would be back, which happend. This store was sold by the owner but he had another store about an hour away from my house. I continued to drive to him to buy guns until he sold that store. Now both of his previous stores are owned by separate people, their inventory is reduced, their prices are up and at one of them, if you aren't buying something today, they won't give you the time of day.

Lucky me, I found an at home ffl that has great prices and is always willing to come down on price and throws in a free box of ammo with each sell. On my last rifle purchase he even through in a free used gun case someone gave him. He actually carries just about as much inventory as the other stores and is the friendliest guy ever. He even carries a large selection of ammo and accessories which are reasonably priced.

The point of all this is that the change in gun buying isn't bad. Its all in how you run your business. Costco and Walmart sell tons of product at not much mark up. Gun stores can do the same. They need to have a large inventory and keep people happy so they will want to shop there. Both the gun store that I bought from and the at home ffl were great salesmen and I always felt welcome just to stop in and say hi and to fondle the newest guns. now you go into stores and if you don't want to buy something today, they don't want to talk to you

When I wanted to buy a glock 17. I called the gun stores, neither of them had in stock but could special order it, charge MSRP or close to it, plus tax and dros and one even said plus SHIPPING because it was a special order. I called the at home ffl that basically has a fully stocked gun shop in his house. He had a 17 in stock and I bought it that night out the door for a lot less than MSRP.
Who do you think gets all my business now?


The first sentence really sums it up, there is no arguing with it. The basis of unscrupulous capitalism = You pay me as much as I can possibly convince you to pay for something, regardless of its material cost of production. If you work for me, I try to pay you as little as you will possibly accept for your time.

The average person working and buying things they need is getting shafted on at least two levels here. . . And we all know how much it sucks to operate a business of any kind with the regulations and the overhead. Seems like both sides are justified.

Norcalkid
03-18-2009, 6:25 PM
I buy guns online. I have always gave my local shop a chance to price mach before ordering. Assuming they have it in stock. But a few months back I asked them if they could find me a Saiga 7.62x39. They told me they were illegal and they wouldn’t get me one or do the transfer. I found one out of state and another shop to do the transfer. I don’t feel bad for them if they go out of business. Not all mom and pop shops deserve our business.