Jan 26, 2006
Feedback: 0 / 0 / 0
I'm a newbie and I'm going to be buying my first gun soon. People have recommended going to 4 seasons in woburn or ag guns in lowell since they are knowledgable. My question is whether you can haggle with the price or is it set in stone? Especially since I might be buying alot of equipment as well. I don't know if it's like buying a car and I'll be the only sucker paying sticker price. Any help would be appreciated. Also, any recs on other places I should be shopping out would be great.
I don't know about haggling at Four Seasons, but they may throw in a free box of ammo with the purchase of a new firearm.

What are you looking to purchase?
I was thinking of a target .22lr and something to carry like a .380 or compact 9mm. Maybe a snub .38. Still haven't made up what's left of my mind.
At Four Seasons and many other shops you can haggle with consignment gun prices, as the prices are set by the gun owner, not by the shop.

At most shops, if you buy a lot of stuff at one time, you may or may not get a small break. But basically buying new stuff in a store is like buying groceries in the super market . . . haggling is not part of the deal.
Here's what I can tell ya from buying guns and working at a store.

It does not hurt to try to get a better price then advertised. A penny saved is an extra round of ammo down the road.

I will tell you that if you shop around at shops that have low prices the chance of them going down further in price is not much in your favor. You can however get extras sometimes. Box of ammo, cleaning stuff ect.

If you go to a shop with higher prices they may be willing to "help" you out a little more. Then when you ask for a box of ammo, they’ll give you the I just dropped the price for you speech.


If you see a gun 20.00 cheaper else where keep in mind the distance you may have to travel to get the gun. We had a person drive 40-50 miles out of the way to save 25 bucks. Didn't hurt our feelings, but now if he has any problems with it he has to drive the distance all over again.

P.S. Four Seasons is a good store to do buisness with.
Best way to do it is simply shop around. Figgure out how many differnt shops are near you and hit them all.

Shoot the breeze with the guys at the shop, and talk about what you want.

Then all said and done, go HOME and go to bed.

Sleep on it, then go back to whatever one you decide on the next day.

I'm happy with my first gun purchass...but I think I may have rushed into it a bit, and I could have gotten a better deal some place else.

-Weer'd Beard
My experience has been that on new guns there is NO wiggle room - the price is pretty much the price. Used guns are a different story. Depending on how well the shop owner bought, he may come down on price to make the sale.

That being said, I would NOT walk into a gun shop alone and say "I want to buy my first gun." You'll end up with something you don't really need, or really want, and maybe pay too much for it. Does that mean that gun shop owners prey on the misinformed? Of course... this is America!

But, if you want to shop wisely, take some initial steps:

1. Decide what you want the gun for. Target practice? Competition? Hunting? Collecting? Some guns will serve multiple purposes.

2. Do some research - both on the models of guns out there, and on local gun shops. This forum is a great place to start. There is a world of information on the rest of the internet, too. Check out,,, or any number of other manufacturer-specific forums, and you'll find alot of opinions! Also try handgunreview. com for some independent observations.

3. Try to get some hands-on time with a few of the guns on your "final" list. There are a few commercial gun ranges out there that will let you rent and shoot on their ranges. Expensive, yes, but so is purchasing the wrong gun. Pay special attention to how the gun fits your hand - and your wallet.

4. If you know someone who has guns, and shoots regularly, ask if you can join them for a range session with a few different guns. Offer to pay for the ammo, and you've made a friend for life!

5. Once you've decided on a gun and gun shops to check out - bring your new friend! He/she will help keep you from making an expensive mistake.

Do these steps guarantee you'll get the perfect gun for you, at the best possible price, and suffer no buyer's remorse? No, but the odds will be better if you do.

My 2 cents.... Good Luck, and keep asking questions on this forum!

Thanks for your responses. Much appreciated. I can see how people start buying more than 1 or 2 guns - hard to get everything you're looking for in just one of them.
A few words of wisdom.

I'll echo what USMA-82 is saying. There isn't much profit margin on new firearms anymore. The dealer may be reluctant to cut you much of a break, but as others have said, sometimes, they'll throw in a freebie for you, or cut you a deal on some ammo.

My father has a saying "You do your buying where you do your begging". It's true, especially when you're talking gun shops. The local guy where you usually buy your stuff is more likely to help you out with a tough to find item, than he is for someone that just walked in for the first time.
Buying a first gun. What fun that is!!! I can still remember the very fist one I bought; it was a Colt AR15 sporter that I regret ever selling.

I like the idea of going shooting with someone who has a lot of guns you can try.

Are you a member of any gun clubs yet? You will almost certainly want to join one so that you will have a place to practice and learn and hone your skills.

There are some listed here:

and here:

Something that I find very enjoyable is to go to different kinds of shooting events at clubs - events that are open to the public. Sometimes they will have guns you can try and will show you what to do. This is how I learned to shoot trap.

Instead of trying to find the one gun that will do everything you can imagine, think of one type of shooting that you would like to do and buy a gun for that. Then, enjoy it. Like anyting else, as you do it and graduallyt learn more about it, your interests may shift or grow and you'll pick up another type of gun for something else.

As for dickering on price, if you go to a place like Four Seasons, I wouldn't bother. Their prices are fair.
From the four seasons website...

We try to have the lowest prices in the state. If our price is off on an item that you are interested in buying, please let us know. We'll do our best to meet or beat any legitimate in-state store front competitor.

When choosing a shop to buy from, we hope that you keep in mind the excellent service that we provide before, during and after the sale is made. We treat customers the way that we expect to be treated if we were on the other side of the counter.

Four Seasons is great to do business with. I've never heard a bad thing about them. They'll quote prices over the phone. I've always found them to have the lowest price.

Some MASS dealers are real A-HOLES and real PRICEY. Check out the Dealer Forum for more info on who to stay away from.

Getting back to Four Seasons, try to go sometime when it's slow because the store is small and fills up quickly. Might call and ask them WHEN. Every time I go it's always busy, but that's a good thing. :D That way you can handle many guns, feel comfortable, get all your questions answered, etc.

How the gun feels in YOUR hand is important. You can't get that from pictures or the internet.
If you know a little about what you want, the classifieds section of this
forum often has some really good deals that you could never get in
a gunshop because of their overhead costs.

+1 on Firtree's comment

Right after I got my license, I went to a few places to rent guns to try out. I already knew what I wanted to get but just to get any doubts out of the way, I rented about 6+ guns in 40 cal, 357 and 9mm. turns out my initial dream guns were the right ones. Posted a want to buy ad here and within a few days had the Glock I wanted for a long time.

Just to echo the others, new gun prices don't have a big profit margin. I believe AG in Lowell has a program where you can buy at their cost if your gun club (assuming that you will join one) is listed in a particular month.

Good luck in your search.
I agree with the haggling on consignment pieces. You might get more off of that than you will off a new gun. A gun shop is not like a normal retail store. i.e., when I had my store, more everything was double the wholesale price (that's pretty much standard practice), but some things weren't and some things were more than that, depending on the wholesale cost. Most gun shops only mark up new guns, on average, 20%. There's very little wiggle room, but, as has been stated, you might get some extra ammo or cleaning supplies.
Some of the manufacturers, like Remington, changed their MSRPs a bunch of years ago to reflect reaility in pricing. Back then, nobody sold as high as MSRP. Now, you're lucky to make 10-15% profit, after buying and shipping.

An example is Bushmaster. I get parts from them for wholesale. It's a whopping 10%, IIRC. The shipping eats up all of that, and usually a hair more. Not worth the trouble of ordering a part for a customer.
If you can, go to a range with a friend and try some different guns. If that's not an option, go to Kittery (Maine) Trading Post who has a huge selection to compare back and forth.

Get a feel for what feels good in your hands. Then when you find something which feels right, compare that to the intended purpose. In other words, if you try 4 .22's and two feel good, then maybe find out who (on here?) has those and see if you can try them out. If it is for other reasons, determine those (select a caliber and size), then choose from there. You will similarly have a narrowed down group. Then from there, you will have a small set to shop for from which you can see what's a better buy, etc.

Good luck, and don't rush into it.
My advice is to look at several different gun shops and choose one which you are most comfortable in. I would then do most (not all) of my buying there. If an owner knows that you will be coming back he is more likely to give you whatever break(s) he can.

If he doesn't seem to give you any breaks, look for another shop to do your business with.

I buy most of my firearms and what equipment he can carry from the store in my town. But he knows that I do check out other stores for the occassional good deal. But if I want "X", and it is available in this state, I go to my home town store.
Nickle said:
...There isn't much profit margin on new firearms anymore. The dealer may be reluctant to cut you much of a break, but as others have said, sometimes, they'll throw in a freebie for you, or cut you a deal on some ammo.
Gun selling has got to be one of the toughest businesses for retail. In most businesses you won't get near a "dealer price list" unless you are a legitimate member of the trade (just try getting a look at the "dealer pricing" on brand name bicycles, shoes, diamonds** etc. - it's not going to happen). "Dealer" pricing on guns is readily available to outsiders and, although the bigger dealers can get better terms, you can still get a pretty good idea what stuff goes for. A dealer can't start with 60 point margin, cut it in half, and still have a "big sale" while getting 30 points. If you're the kind of shop which is price competitive and deals with a well informed clientele, you're dealing in the 10 to 15% profit range on new guns.

If you're the kind of buyer who knows value well enough to negotiate, you probably already have enough knowledge to go to one of the several gun shops in the state which is already operating at near single digit margins on new guns.

If you're a serious shooter, it pays to have at least one dealer who considers you to be one of the customers who is "worth of favors". Who are you going to call and ask to set aside something scarce for you when the next ban flag goes up, or squirrel a few cases of primers for you if there is another great primer famine? Or, who will you get to make you their "representative" if you decide you want to take a trip to the Shot Show and need "industry credentials?"

** - Not the "rap sheet" any Boston jeweler will show you, but the actual prices the jewlers are paying ... which is always below the Rapaport Report price presented as so called "wholesale".
Yup, agreed. Thanks for the back-up. I work part time helping my father, he's a class 01 FFL and a class 6 manufacturer (ammo). That's how I know the real mark-ups.

One place where the dealer may be able to cut you a deal is optics (scopes, bino's and spotting scopes). There is sometimes a bit more mark up on optics.
When I lived in Mass.,........

I bought all of my pistols at AG Guns in Lowell. They sell at 10% above cost all the time. They are knowledgable and sell a load of guns. See Greg Danas or Dennis Mills. If you're buying new, check their website for prices. Carl at Four Seasons also has great prices. In comparison AG has always been cheaper by $20.00-$30.00. See Carl or Jimmy. Northeast Traders in North Attleboro is another good one. Great owner. Lots of reloaded ammo they do on the premesis. If they have a factory rep in, and have a weekend special on a manufacturer like Smith and Wesson, you will get a fantastic price. :D
My one buying experience at AG Guns (Bushmaster AR15) in 1998 cost me ~$75.00 more than Four Seasons was selling them for (same exact model). They also charged me $100.00 for a single battle pack of South African (or South American) .223 that sells elsewhere in the $39-49 range.

They had the same 10% over cost policy when I bought and I spoke with both brothers (before one unfortunately passed away at a much too early age) at length about GOAL, their radio show, etc. Real nice people, NOT nice pricing.

Edited to add: I didn't know that Four Seasons existed when I made this purchase. A few months later when I found Four Seasons, I was less than pleased about what I had paid (and driven further to get to AG as well)! I've been back to AG once or twice since then, found no bargains! Four Seasons runs circles around them on pricing, at least in my experience.
From my somewhat limited perspective, I'd have to say that Four Seasons is probably the best gun shop in Massachusetts. Their only limitation is tha they are 105 miles away from me.

But perhaps that is a good thing for my wallet.
I'll second that trip to the Zero Hour Arms guys. No only did George spend way much of his time talking to me and my son, but he did an excellent trigger job on my Sig220ST. These guys are really into what they are selling. If you're into HK, Glock, or other not too common firearms, a visit to ZHA is in order.
Hey, any gunowner worth his salt doesn't mind a few extra miles to get a deal or a sweet firearm.

Unless he's a pussy.


Who's calling who.....

Whew, for a minute there I thought I thought my evil twin would win! [oops]

Anyways, back to the topic at hand. I have a very nice but small gun shop about one mile from me. That's "one" as in So 98 (99 - 1 = 98.0) extra miles is more than a few. But, I would not rule out visiting Zero Hour if something calls my name enough from them. Will they be up to the Big E Gun Show in West Springfield in March?

In any case I will remember your name and drop it if I ever get the chance.

Daisy. [lol]
Top Bottom