PDA

View Full Version : How much over would you pay just to buy local?


bu-bye
07-13-2005, 4:21 PM
I put up for sale my Kahr K40 that I loved to fund my SU-16CA. Problem was the Kahr never sold in time and I bought the SU out of pocket. Its been a couple of months and the gun just sold today. So now I ask myself do I take the cash or buy another gun. Well I have been flirting with a Spingfield 1911 for a few year now and thats what I'm going to buy. I make it a point to buy everything local to keep the shops open here in cali. Problem is they want $750 for a PX9109L when I can get is for $600 or less off the net. Sure add the extra fees that come with buying out of state but its still lower. With the extra money I could buy part of multi-stage press to load my own 45's.

On the other hand.....
These guys have been very good to me. If I added up all the discounts and freebees they have slipped me over the years it would be around $150 worth.

90% of me says "buy here stupid" but the poor side of me wants to save. Either way, I'm just going to tell my wife it was an even trade with no money so I still have a bed to sleep in lol.

CraigC
07-13-2005, 5:48 PM
The truth of the matter is that local guys make almost nothing on those online transfers. Obviously, they understand if you're getting something special or one-of-a-kind, but we're talking about a current production piece. Some of these local dealers have got a lot of insight into the products they sell, since they deal with other customers who buy other stuff. You can't get that sort of feedback from the internet dealers.

Now, I know that there's this new-fangled thing called the internet forum, but c'mon, who're you really talking to? That "expert" on ARFCOM or The High Road may just be an airsoft monkey who played too much Counter-Strike. A store employee who lied to make a sale would lose his job, and get you a refund if found out.

Support the local guys, or you might not HAVE an FFL to do your transfers in the future.

gunsnrovers
07-13-2005, 6:16 PM
Tough call. In May I bought a Hi-Power for $449 from out of state. The local ones were $679~$699. Even with $15 shipping and a $80 transfer fee, my HP was over $135 cheaper then the local pistol.

I'd like to buy local, but it's obvious that on some pistols, we pay a local PRK tax and I'll work to get around that.

Nosmik
07-13-2005, 9:24 PM
I prefer to drive a few hours and buy out of state. With all the bad experiences here, I am feed-up. Overpriced, employee doesn't have a clue about guns, attitude problem, etc.
I think there's only one place that I would buy in case I find that "have to buy now" item.

pitbull30
07-13-2005, 11:36 PM
Recently I was looking for a new handgun. I called all around my area within about a 30 mile radius. The gun in question averaged about 575.00+ Without tax, state etc.

One guy quoted me 675.00. Another guy told me he wouldnt give me a quote over the phone. Just to drive 20 miles down there and ask. I laughed and hung up. Another well known shop had poor customer service. Didnt even acknowledge I was there.

So after this I gave up, I resorted to gunbroker. Found a guy selling the same exact gun for 470 bucks+15 shipping. No Tax.

Talked to the FFL-70 Bucks No Tax.

So total I pay 560 flat which is roughly a 100.00 plus savings. 200 plus if I wanted to support the local guy and pay his 675 for the gun..

imported_1911_sfca
07-13-2005, 11:45 PM
Originally posted by Nosmik:
I prefer to drive a few hours and buy out of state. With all the bad experiences here, I am feed-up. Overpriced, employee doesn't have a clue about guns, attitude problem, etc.
I think there's only one place that I would buy in case I find that "have to buy now" item.

If the feds find out that you do this, there's one place you will find yourself.... federal prison.

Pablo
07-14-2005, 2:15 AM
Originally posted by bu-bye:
On the other hand.....
These guys have been very good to me. If I added up all the discounts and freebees they have slipped me over the years it would be around $150 worth.

.


It seems that you are good friends with your local dealer, this would be enough reason for me to buy local.

colossians323
07-14-2005, 5:19 AM
It seems you are at an impass, economics, or relationships?
It is great being able to price online, to see what the rest of the free world pays for firearms, but it is also great to have a loocal source that takes care of you.
I personally have never had a relationship with any gun store, but have bought from many.
On the other hand I have used the internet to buy guns and have formed a relaitonship with my ffl transfer dealer, [shameless plug] ROB BLANK [/shameless plug].
If they have given you freebies, because you do business with them, 150.00 bones isn't really all that great of a savings. I would just buy the gun from the store, and call it good.

CaliTheKid
07-14-2005, 8:58 AM
Do whats best for you. In this case it sounds like buying it online and having some extra cash to purchase what you need to hand load and thus save even more cash. You'll do more business with you local gun shop-- just not this time.

bear
07-14-2005, 9:26 AM
Are you taking into account negotiating price with the local store. Sometimes they are susceptible to actual green money instead of credit card or check, for example.

If the local place can come sort of close to the internet sale + 'import' fees, that's good enough for me, they don't have to meet the price.

bu-bye
07-14-2005, 1:47 PM
You know they really have been good to me. When I first wanted to start reloading a worker there, who I'm now friends with answered all my questions and even let me borrow some of his equipment like dies and priming tool and even gave me a box of .224 bullets he had at home and didn't plan on using. He also said If I wanted to come over to his house after work he could just let me use his presses and see if I like reloading before I bought. If I'm there buying ammo or something under $20 and they are busy a lot of times they just tell me to pay the next time I come it. Not many places let you do that. I think I should just pay the extra money and keep the relationship strong. If something goes wrong with the gun I know their Smith will take care of me and deal with Springfield directly.

Thanks guys for all the advice. I guess its kinda true, money can buy friends.

07-14-2005, 2:26 PM
Originally posted by GunsnRovers:
Tough call. In May I bought a Hi-Power for $449 from out of state. The local ones were $679~$699. Even with $15 shipping and a $80 transfer fee, my HP was over $135 cheaper then the local pistol.

I'd like to buy local, but it's obvious that on some pistols, we pay a local PRK tax and I'll work to get around that.

Hi Jeff,

I own apiece of a company that sells to LE's so I get to go to SHOT show and have access to wholesale prices. The price you mention is wholesale cost on the FN Hi Power, and well below wholesale on the Browning Hi Powers so it’s no surprise that a local retailer didn’t do that for you. I would think a 15% mark-up would be minimum for any retail gun store.

BTW, currently both Rettings and L. A. Guns has the FN HP for about $525 so that's about what you ended up paying after all was said and done, unless you didn't pay tax which is due.

gunsnrovers
07-14-2005, 2:58 PM
Uh, you need to look around. CDNN has been selling FN HP's for $399 for over a year now. There are a few guys who are getting the same pistols and selling for a bit more to the PRK.

Was in Rettings on Tuesday. No FN's in the store. Only Brownings and all new Brownings were above $675. When I bought the FN, LA Guns could not get the FN and they refused to assist me in bringing one in. Rettings is the shop that brought in the FN for me and they have a policy of NOT transfering pistols from out of state that they carry in house.

Just hung up the phone with Ted at LA Guns and did say he could get them now for between $525 and $550 (they do not have them in stock), but that didn't do me much good 6 weeks ago.

And yes, I realise that Brownings retail for more then the FN pistol, but the FN HP-SA is the exact same pistol as the Browning MkIII except that is is assembled in Belgium and not Portugal.

If you have access to wholesale prices, why are you buying all your guns at retail plus over at LA Guns?

Gisherwitz
07-14-2005, 4:05 PM
GunsnRovers, my thoughts exactly. I will take this one step further after reviewing the posts of ShorePaul and LAGUNS comparing language, knowledge base and the plugging of one store in particular that ShorePaul = LAGUNS.

CaliTheKid
07-14-2005, 4:16 PM
x1 on the Gisherwitz theory.

07-14-2005, 4:44 PM
Jeff,

I am not an FFL holder (nor do I want to be) so I can only look at the wholesale prices of two different wholesalers that gave me catalogs at SHOT.

As for the FN vs Browning, I would have to say the FN guns look a little nicer, plus they come with the cool case and three magazines. http://calguns.net/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

TonyNorCal
07-14-2005, 4:45 PM
I think most people are looking to get the best deal they can. It's largely the American way. Consumers want a bargain. Businesses want to maximize profit.

However, I do think there is a great deal to be said for customer service and being able to get good advice/support. People will often pay for that. Far fewer (if any) people will pay to support a local business which provides lousy (or no) service.

Unfortunately, this is an area in which a number of gun stores seem to fall woefully short. Granted, there are stores that are simply wonderful (BigMac's always gets high praise from board members I will get there at some point...I'm a good hour and a half away). For me it was Tuans Corp (Southern Cal, no longer exists, which was absolutely first rate in the customer service area) However, it does seem that some phenomena exists by which some gun stores don't feel obligated to provide a satisfactory service. Imagine if you went to buy a couch and got treated the way you do in some gun stores (not a perfect analogy, but you get the point). Seems some gun stores operate in some nether world where the physics of normal customer relations are strangely absent.

Maybe some gun stores feel that since their ranks are few they can behave as they do and you'll still come groveling after them. Well, not this grasshopper.

Bottom line for me is this. When I have the financial means to do so I am willing to pay a reasonable (not overly excessive) amount to purchase something from a local business provided they treat me well. I don't expect a gun store to spend hours going over things with me (afterall, they are running a business). However, I do expect to be treated in such a manner that I feel like a valued customer.

If a gun store treats me like crap and has high prices then I not only wouldn't support them, but I hope they go out of business (as it's what such an operation deserves). People say FFLs are hard to get. I am sure this is true, but I know of 3 people here in Sonoma County that all received FFLs in the last 2 years. One got his (and all the associated state/county BS in about 3 months). All 3 run basically non-retail establishments (one sells some guns in his hardware store). All 3 offer good FFL transfer rates. All 3 are also nice, friendly guys. So, I necessarily buy the argument that I need to support gun shop lest I end up with no place to buy a gun. Seems FFLs are still available and it's like any business...treat people well, offer reasonable rates and I'll come. Otherwise I'll order off the net and go get a cheap transfer from someone who treats me well. Maybe the issuance of FFLs is different in cities.

So there's my long-winded answer. Yes I'll pay more (within reason) for a shop which treats me well. No, I won't pay a dime to be treated like crap. If that someday means that I don't have a shop/transfer agent near me (which as I've said, I don't find likely) then I'll order C&Rs and CMP and plan longer drives for the rest.

07-14-2005, 5:02 PM
Tony, good post.

Gisherwitz, I went and looked at some of your posts, seems bashing L. A. Guns is a hobby of yours. What ever works for you I guess.

CaliTheKid
07-14-2005, 5:28 PM
Where there's smoke there's fire ShorePaul. You're stories just don't add up. Sorry-- but they don't. What does add up is what Gisherwitz has suggested. And honestly, if I had got as much bad press on this board as la guns has-- I'd be doing the same thing. Problem is leopard can't change his spots no matter what name he posts under and in this case, your spots are rubbing people the wrong way.

07-14-2005, 5:43 PM
My friends are right, I've gotta get a new hobby and a wife. http://www.calguns.net/banghead.gif

Gisherwitz
07-14-2005, 5:49 PM
Oh, come on ShoreTed we already know that you are married to Helene.

rkt88edmo
07-14-2005, 6:46 PM
Originally posted by CaliTheKid:
Where there's smoke there's fire ShorePaul. You're stories just don't add up. Sorry-- but they don't. What does add up is what Gisherwitz has suggested. And honestly, if I had got as much bad press on this board as la guns has-- I'd be doing the same thing. Problem is leopard can't change his spots no matter what name he posts under and in this case, your spots are rubbing people the wrong way.

Hey, he just happens to like shopping there a lot despite owning a chunk of an LEO supply store that gives him access to wholesale prices http://calguns.net/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

pre-aklon
07-14-2005, 8:00 PM
With all the gun shops that have gone out of business in the past few years, it's imperative we support the local shop that's still open. In the gun industry, the profit margins are paper thin and the paperwork is a nightmare, so if it costs a few more bucks than the internet, that's because it supports the guy that supports you. That's why I'd rather do business with the "brick" than the "click."

(And you can't BS with folks on the internet like you can in a gun shop)

dwtt
07-14-2005, 9:20 PM
Originally posted by bu-bye:
You know they really have been good to me. When I first wanted to start reloading a worker there, who I'm now friends with answered all my questions and even let me borrow some of his equipment like dies and priming tool and even gave me a box of .224 bullets he had at home and didn't plan on using. He also said If I wanted to come over to his house after work he could just let me use his presses and see if I like reloading before I bought. If I'm there buying ammo or something under $20 and they are busy a lot of times they just tell me to pay the next time I come it. Not many places let you do that. I think I should just pay the extra money and keep the relationship strong. If something goes wrong with the gun I know their Smith will take care of me and deal with Springfield directly.

Thanks guys for all the advice. I guess its kinda true, money can buy friends.

If the local guys treat you this good, buy from them. You'll really be sorry if they go out of business. These guys sound like real shooters who love the sport and ready to share it with others, especially new shooters. I have to say that there are almost no stores like this one in the bay area that I have found, but one comes close. I doubt Reeds in San Jose would give you some bullets they are no longer using just so you can try reloading, while using their press, to see if reloading is right for you. I have ordered a lot of my guns from SGN because so many of the local stores are not pleasant to deal with or knowledgable.

imported_1911_sfca
07-15-2005, 2:30 PM
Tony wrote:
(BigMac's always gets high praise from board members I will get there at some point...I'm a good hour and a half away).


Excellent post, Tony. I agree and will pay a little extra to support local stores.

As for Bigmac's, he did get a lot of praise on here, and after his store was robbed I purchased a gun there even though it's far away from where I live.

Unfortunately, I was very unimpressed by the operation. When he made a mistake on my DROS, he first tried to blame it on me, then followed by a string of expletives while he called the DOJ to figure out how to file a correction. Half an hour later, it was taken care of, but his demeanor and expertise, IMHO, leave something to be desired. I definitely won't be shopping there again. Just wanted to share my experience, since everyone else on here seems to glow about the shop.

TonyM
07-15-2005, 8:18 PM
I've seen the praise for Irvington Arms, so I decided I needed to check them out. After going in and meeting Martin I have decided that anytime I can utilize his services, either with purchases, or transfers, I will. Right now I have 1 transfer and 2 purchases sitting in his shop during the 10 day period.. I was completely satisfied with the service and conversation I received.

After talking with Martin, and the obvious "regulars" a bit I really got a good feeling from the shop. It's just normal people, working and from what it seems, not getting hung up with attitudes. Was the selection huge like a WalMart of firearms? No. Does it need to be? Not for me. If they don't have it I can wait for them to get something I want.

Mainly, I didn't feel like I was taking up precious time by asking questions, and never felt like I was bothering anyone. The attitude I've witnessed and experienced at a few other places is "Yeah, Yeah... Whatever... Sign here, fingerprint here, Give me your money, Get out of here for 10 days." It was really more of a conversation that felt like I was talking to one of my friends I've known for 20 years.

While I was there the first time, he actually turned a customer away... The customer came in with an older rifle that was "hanging out under the bed" and asked about having it torn down, cleaned, etc. Martin took it out of the box, checked it out and told him it was in great shape, it was clean, just to basically clean it again, oil it, and go shooting. The customer was obviously happy and had about 20 more questions for him. He could've taken that guy for some money, but didn't. That's good business in my eyes.

I'm definately going to be going back many times. Since it's only about 2 or 3 miles out of the way from my daily commute, how can I not?

"I'm gonna need a bigger safe......"

imported_booknut
07-17-2005, 10:21 AM
Originally posted by San Francisco, 1911:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Nosmik:
I prefer to drive a few hours and buy out of state. With all the bad experiences here, I am feed-up. Overpriced, employee doesn't have a clue about guns, attitude problem, etc.
I think there's only one place that I would buy in case I find that "have to buy now" item.

If the feds find out that you do this, there's one place you will find yourself.... federal prison. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Easy there SF1911!
The way I read their post was that they go shopping out-of-state, pay for the firearm and go back home to wait the arrival of purchased firearm at their FFL here in California.
That's how I've done some of my purchases.
Nothing illegal about that.


As for the original question...
I've paid the sort of price difference you've mentioned just to buy locally.
I haven't done that very often though.

You shouldn't have any worries about shopping somewhere else.
You're not bashing your friendly FFL, you have just found a better price somewhere else.
It sounds as though you shop with them anyway, so they are not LOSING money on you, they are just not getting this sale if you buy online.
If you use them for the transfer, they make a few bucks and it sounds as though you buy from them other times.

Sounds like you're a loyal enough customer. Loyalty doesn't mean you HAVE to buy from them and ONLY them.

Nosmik
07-25-2005, 5:32 PM
Originally posted by booknut:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by San Francisco, 1911:
[QUOTE]Originally posted by Nosmik:
I prefer to drive a few hours and buy out of state. With all the bad experiences here, I am feed-up. Overpriced, employee doesn't have a clue about guns, attitude problem, etc.
I think there's only one place that I would buy in case I find that "have to buy now" item.

If the feds find out that you do this, there's one place you will find yourself.... federal prison. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Easy there Scooter, lol!
I am an AZ resident stationed in CA (unfortunately) so I am within law when driving to my home state, buy a CA approved firearm and come back without problem so do not go jumping to conclusions.
In CA, even when buying and putting a lot of money with a gunshop, they will still treat you like **** so it is not worth it.

icormba
07-27-2005, 1:10 PM
I don't have time to spend everyday in a gun shop to get to know all the guys. When I go in, I do NOT look like a gun guy! I actually look like a noob/sucker when I go into a shop!

So when I meet a guy like Martin on a online gun forum, a place I CAN spend everyday, I feel more comfortable going to a shop like that.

Heck, Martin doesn't even remember me each time I go in there! But I still have positives each time I leave or shoot him an email. He's only been doing this, what, a year or so? He's still a novice shop owner, but at least he's honest... I hope he stays that way.

As for supporting our Ca FFL's... I look at it this way... not all Ca FFL's have a "Gun" store front or even sell guns as a principle income. So, I don't feel bad about buying over the internet and using one of these other FFL's.

mike452
07-27-2005, 7:37 PM
Just buy it from your local gun shop! Only if they are good to you! They need your support to stay in business.

I just came back from Turners and they want $899 for a HK USP45 with night sight. Final price will be almost a grand. The best I can find on the net is around $850 including transfer fees. It is the sales tax that is killing local business! Same with computers! I have not bought any computer stuff locally for years.

Everyone is selling on the Web! Other states also buy from CA and save on sales tax. LA Guns sells plenty on the net.

I haven’t had much good experience with local gun shops. It really bugs me when their attitudes changed after I ask them to see more than two guns. I would expect them to be buddies after I buy a few guns, but that’s not how you do business.

I just don’t like paying our government sales tax for something they don’t want me to own.

bu-bye
07-27-2005, 9:07 PM
Yeah I did buy it from my local guys. They even gave me a 10% discount on the gun for always buying from them. I went down there the other day to buy some reloading junk and asked about ordering some 45 brass. They gave me a bag full of a few hundred once fired brass for free!!! I cleaned it all and they look new.

I bought this gun THIS GUN (http://www.springfield-armory.com/images/pistols/PX9109LLarge.jpg) . I get to pick her up on Tuesday. It has felt like Christmas this past week http://calguns.net/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif

C.G.
07-27-2005, 9:26 PM
Originally posted by bu-bye:
Yeah I did buy it from my local guys. They even gave me a 10% discount on the gun for always buying from them. I went down there the other day to buy some reloading junk and asked about ordering some 45 brass. They gave me a bag full of a few hundred once fired brass for free!!! I cleaned it all and they look new.


I bought this gun THIS GUN (http://www.springfield-armory.com/images/pistols/PX9109LLarge.jpg) . I get to pick her up on Tuesday. It has felt like Christmas this past week http://calguns.net/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif

Your wife has got to fall in love with this one, in spite of not wanting to shoot! Never shot a 1911, how does it compare to a P220?

bu-bye
07-27-2005, 11:10 PM
Originally posted by cg:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by bu-bye:
Yeah I did buy it from my local guys. They even gave me a 10% discount on the gun for always buying from them. I went down there the other day to buy some reloading junk and asked about ordering some 45 brass. They gave me a bag full of a few hundred once fired brass for free!!! I cleaned it all and they look new.


I bought this gun THIS GUN (http://www.springfield-armory.com/images/pistols/PX9109LLarge.jpg) . I get to pick her up on Tuesday. It has felt like Christmas this past week http://calguns.net/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif

Your wife has got to fall in love with this one, in spite of not wanting to shoot! Never shot a 1911, how does it compare to a P220? </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Never shot a P220 myself... http://calguns.net/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

Oh yes, a range day is in order for sure http://calguns.net/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif