Davidsons Puts The "Gun Genie" Back In The Bottle

Whiskeywon

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maybe it is not clear how davidsons works. they are first and foremost a gun distributor. they sell the same stuff other distributors sell plus a few distributor unique SKUs (most big distributors have unique SKUs and/or are part of TALO).

They also have a "retail" website in the gallery of guns. This site allows any dealer that buys from davidsons to setup retail pricing on guns. A consumer goes to GoG and buys "from" a local gun shop. Davidsons then ships the gun to the local gun shop who sells it to the person who ordered it. Yes, the LGS sets the price.

The issue is that Davidsons backend pricing SUCKS. Other than glocks and P320s you can expect them to charge up to 6% more than any other distributor. They also have no free shipping. Most distributors give free shipping at $500 in purchases. Davidsons always charges $15.00.

Because their pricing is higher and they charge shipping, no one buys from them if they have any other choice. As a result, they will be the last distributor in the country to have certain guns still in stock. That is the only time I will ever use them and I pass the cost on to my customers (and tell them why).

GoG is a trap. I don't enable it because it is a sure fire way for my customer to either over pay or me to make no money. If I set the price to an acceptable margin (including shipping), no rational customer will buy. If I set to a reasonable price, I will make no money. So Davidsons can just go away.

If you buy from GoG you are either a) paying too much or b) your dealer is making no money. (a) happens when they are the only distributor left with something in stock because of their high price.
Based on the few conversations we have had in person about a few of the distributors, I have accounts with basically everybody as well. Based on what was said and what I have seen they are very much at the bottom of my list. MGE isn't my favorite either needing over $2,000 in handguns to get free shipping. I understand being smaller and not being able to compete with Lipseys or Sport South, but if I buy, for example a Sig P210 Target that retails for around $1400-1500, and I still have to pay $20 shipping when basically all the real competitors would ship that free without even blinking an eye. Hence going elsewhere if possible.
To add to your list of woes about GoG, I am most certainly not going to wait around (time invested) for shipping services to make some of the money I have seen quoted as margins as a nontraditional shop.
Edit to add second quote to post:
Gallery of guns is an extension of the firearms distributor Davidson's.

When I used to run a small time FFL out of my home, when I lived in CT, I used Davidson's in certain specific circumstances.

They were typically 3% to 5% higher than my other distributors Jerry's and Lipsey's. But they offered a lifetime warranty on any item that came through them.

On certain items that was of zero value. Like a Glock or Ruger. Solid guns made by companies with great customer support.

At the time I was doing a good business buying FN SCARs, doing CT AWB compliance work and reselling them. The SCAR was an unknown entity, made by a company that was known for TERRIBLE customer service. So I advised people to spend the extra $75 on the SCAR from Davidsons vs one of the other distributors.

I advised my clients to do the same with the other "hot" gun of the era, the Tavor.

So Davidson's has its place. But for most guns, supported by solid companies like S&W or even HiPoint. Its not worth the extra cost.
That's one neat thing I wasn't really paying much attention to honestly. At this rate it feels like most reputable manufacturers also have moderate to exceptional customer service. Not really too sure about FNs current customer service though. But we're also comparing the markup of a gun that is $3,000 to the markup on the 90% of $750 or under guns.
 
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It doesn't matter. You can get a $200 gun from a company that provides an exceptional warranty. (HiPoint- lifetime, unlimited, even in rental applications). Or a $10,000 gun from a company that does not commit to any warranty, but generally repairs guns within 5 years at no cost. (FN)

You are incorrect that most reputable manufacturers have moderate to exceptional customer care. In some cases the quality of customer care is fine. Its simply the warranty that isn't very good.

A company like IWI is a good company with good customer service. You won't have any trouble getting in touch with a helpful knowledgeable person. But that person will tell you that their products have a 5 year warranty. After that you are on your own.

So paying an extra 3% for a gun to get a lifetime warranty is a good thing.

As a side note, if you if you need to have a warranty repair done. With some companies, you are on your own for shipping, which can run $80 to send even a hand gun. Companies like S&W, Ruger, HiPoint, Savage, will all provide a prepaid shipping label.

Also, at the time I was selling Tavors in CT, IWI-US was a new company. If they disappear, so does the warranty. They are a separate entity from IWI in Israel. They are certainly more established now. But at the time paying 3% to avoid the risk of buying a new gun from a new company, was certainly worth it.
 
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