online gun sales

ScottS

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Since we're on Henry's, can I ask the owners if the lack of a loading port on the breech bothers you? Loading through the magazine is one of the things that keeps me from warming up to the rifle. Am I making something out of nothing?
 

headednorth

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Whoa! You're assuming the price online and at the LGS are the same. Now do your math when the online price is almost 30% cheaper than the LGS. See how that works out for you. In July, a local gun store quoted me a price of $569 for a S&W M&P 2.0 Compact 3.6". I paid $429, shipped, from Smoky Mountain Guns & Ammo. (A little more patience would have gotten it from Sportsman's Outdoor Superstore for $399 shipped, but I wasn't patient.) $20 transfer. How does your math hold up now?
I'm sure that's probably true a good amount of the time, but it gives me a way to take into account the true costs.
 

CoastieRon

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Since we're on Henry's, can I ask the owners if the lack of a loading port on the breech bothers you? Loading through the magazine is one of the things that keeps me from warming up to the rifle. Am I making something out of nothing?
Mine is going to be a range toy, so, no, not really. This thread ended up being choc full o' info

School me on Lever Actions (please?)
 

ScottS

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I'm sure that's probably true a good amount of the time, but it gives me a way to take into account the true costs.

Agree 100%. I may just be a bit anal, but I can't understand the people who don't "do the actual math" on purchases. The info's all right there. There's no reason not to know the actual cost of something you buy, whether it's guns, or tires, or TV's. (And don't get me started on the concept of "free shipping" vs "shipping included." o_O)
 
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In the end, do the math. This is why I don't usually get excited when I see the $30 Anderson lower sales online. $30 + transfer fee (lowest I've ever paid is $15, but I've had two free transfers; usually it's $20) and usually add on shipping and you're in the $50-$60 range which is equal to or greater than many shops' prices. But, if one party offers some sort of of quantity discount, or whatever, then it's a different case. For most items, selection and base price is going to be better online. Then you do your own calculation on the difference.

This is not to say I'm a slave to the cheapest price. My first day off after I moved I picked up a pistol at a higher price in a shop than online just because I wanted to check out the store and I wanted to enjoy the day off cleaning/shooting it.

Last thing, if you find an FFL you like that mainly/only does transfers, you can avoid the whole "I could have gotten it for [xxx]!" The FFL I usually work with has you just email him after you order something so he can send his FFL and expect the package. No squabbling or guilt trip or anything like that.
 

Varmint

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No. Even used in those calibers you won't find that price for Henry. You may get lucky and see a little below $600 (like I did). Even if you do find one for $500, shipping and transfer fees are going to bring that up. Then dealing with the transfer agent who will be like "I could have gotten you one of these for $XXX, why didn't you just call"....

Stop using North Shore Firearms.
 

92G

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Since we're on Henry's, can I ask the owners if the lack of a loading port on the breech bothers you? Loading through the magazine is one of the things that keeps me from warming up to the rifle. Am I making something out of nothing?

^this
having owned levers with loading gate and HRA tube loading style, I almost prefer the tube system now. it's simple, reliable, easy to clean and eventually if the spring needs replacement you just get a new brass rod. the HRA does require one to have their hands up near the muzzle during reloading. a few safety precautions and it's a non issue although i could see someone making a big deal of it.

IMO the only upgrade the HRA needs is a skinner peep rear sight. the stock buckhorn rear sight isn't my thing.
 

40 caliber

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Then dealing with the transfer agent who will be like "I could have gotten you one of these for $XXX, why didn't you just call"....
You're in NH? i know the dealer you speak of. :). I was at the shop and someone bought something from Bud's and picked it up. He got the full line of I could beat that price.....blah blah...

I don't transfer through that guy. I use DW419 with their $20 transfer fee. As a CR collector, however, I buy some unique things that can't be found in the distributor network/ LGS
 
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Only way to shop IMO. MA has terrible selection of the types of firearms I'm looking for. Online shopping has better prices and the selection is infinite. Find a dealer who isn't scared of their own shadow with a decent xfer fee and carry on.
 

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You're in NH? i know the dealer you speak of. :). I was at the shop and someone bought something from Bud's and picked it up. He got the full line of I could beat that price.....blah blah...

I don't transfer through that guy. I use DW419 with their $20 transfer fee. As a CR collector, however, I buy some unique things that can't be found in the distributor network/ LGS

I like the guy two blocks down. He's great, too.

[smile]
 
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So much skinflinting going on around here... People are so hard up to save every god damn penny... Soon enough local shops are all going to raise the transfer fee's and stop doing local sales because you people want everything for $50 less because "online"... I get it. Competition is good. But one thing you don't get is 99% of the online stores you're buying from have minimal overhead compared to a local brick and mortar. Hence the lower costs. It's not price gouging. It's called doing business.
 

ScottS

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So much skinflinting going on around here... People are so hard up to save every god damn penny... Soon enough local shops are all going to raise the transfer fee's and stop doing local sales because you people want everything for $50 less because "online"... I get it. Competition is good. But one thing you don't get is 99% of the online stores you're buying from have minimal overhead compared to a local brick and mortar. Hence the lower costs. It's not price gouging. It's called doing business.

Kind of condescending, don't you think? Guess what? People get it. From my perspective, I just don't care. Why should I care if a store--whether it's a book store, or a tire store, or a gun shop--clings to an outmoded business model that is no longer competitive in the market place? Am I supposed to subsidize that decision? Why? Because I "owe it to them?" Walmart used to be the largest seller of firearms in the country. In many areas, they're no longer in that business. And guess what? Guns are still being sold in record numbers. Someone else stepped in to fill the demand with adequate supply. And guns are cheaper now than ever before. (I just saw an ad for a factory S&W M&P10 for under $700. Shipped! A factory AR10 for under $720 into my safe. Sweet Jesus. Is this a great time to be alive, or what?)

Successful businesses figure out a way to survive. They discover value they can add that others (including the internet) can't. Tire Rack offers great prices. Guess what successful tire shops do? They become certified installers for Tire Rack, so people who want to buy online can do so, but still come to their shop. It gets them in the door. They make money they might not have otherwise. Or, you can buy tires there, the old-fashioned way. They found something of value to add. I can't install my own tires, or transfer my own guns. I need someone else for that, and businesses have popped up to add that service.

Have you seen Barnes and Noble's latest commercials? God only knows why B&N still exists, but their commercial promotes their knowledge of books, and the ability to recommend appropriate or interesting titles, answer questions, and guide the book-buying experience, helping make sure you find a book that's a "good fit." That's value they think they can add that maybe Amazon can't (although Amazon tries damn hard).

I'm going out on a limb here, but I predict this "internet" thing isn't just a passing fad. It's going to be around for a while. It's the new reality. Businesses who can adapt to the realities of the marketplace survive. Those who don't...don't.

TL;DR version: Compete or die. No skin off my ass.
 
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The waiting is the hardest part

You can get a bargain on auction sites if you are willing to keep watching and waiting for what you want. With a popular gun like the Henry, this could take a couple years
Buying new from an online dealer, I don't think you will find the price you are looking for
 
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Since we're on Henry's, can I ask the owners if the lack of a loading port on the breech bothers you? Loading through the magazine is one of the things that keeps me from warming up to the rifle. Am I making something out of nothing?

So I had both. A '92 with a gate and a Henry with a tube.
Sold the '92, still have the henry.
The loading gate is a nice feature, but, unloading is cycling the action until its empty.
With the tube, its just dumps out. Plops in a pile.
Comes in handy if for some reason you have to clear it out quickly.
Get a case stuck, extractor tears a chunk out of the case rim, and now you have to completely dissemble the rifle to empty it out if it has a loading gate.
Both are great woods and range guns.
 
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So much skinflinting going on around here... People are so hard up to save every god damn penny... Soon enough local shops are all going to raise the transfer fee's and stop doing local sales because you people want everything for $50 less because "online"... I get it. Competition is good. But one thing you don't get is 99% of the online stores you're buying from have minimal overhead compared to a local brick and mortar. Hence the lower costs. It's not price gouging. It's called doing business.

ScottS already had a good response but mine is a little less wordy.

1. You call it skin flinting.. I call it not getting raped. Gun store prices in MA on ANYTHING out of the ordinary as ridiculous. A good example is if I want to buy a CZ Bren I can pay 1,335 xfer included or I can pay 1,850 in a gun store. I can pay 17c a round from TSUSA for 9mm or I can pay 25c a round at a gun store for worse ammo. Its not small amounts of money we are talking here.

2. Most gun stores don't carry the stuff I am looking for. Pinned magazine ARs, Nikon Scopes, and S&W handguns with 10lb triggers as far as the eye can see is not really my thing.
 

Mark from MA

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Very rarely are there Henry rifles in the WTS,and if there is they go to quickly,and for close to full price

Not really. I put a nearly new in box one up here for sale for $450 in 45LC with dies and brass and box and papers. I wanted a quick sale, and left it three weeks on here and not a sniff, except for some a**h*** wanting to buy it for $400 who I didn't even reply to.

I ended up trading it at KTP for more than that.....if there are some skinflints here, its in the used firearms section. But I understand that, not really bitching, because I usually get what I need for it on a trade in.
 
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Mark from MA

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Lets say you purchase something on grabagunfor $560. Shipping is $9 and say the transfer is $25. Thats $594 total.

If you buy something local for $560, MA sales tax is 0.0625% which adds $35 with no transfer fee, so total $595.

So anything with a cost > $560 grabagun is cheaper, < $560 local is cheaper. Whether its worth the hassle depends on how much youre saving obviously. On a $700 gun, youre saving < $9 going with grabagun. On a $1000 gun, $28 saved. ($1000+tax=1062.5 vs $1000+$9 shipping+$25 transfer=1034)

Everybody's different, but I'd rather put a few extra dollars in a local guys pocket and walk away with a new gun right then and there than have to order, wait and in the end, save just a few dollars. Bigger the purchase, the bigger the savings, but I cant afford big purchases so its irrelevant, lol.

That would be real skinflinting...but that's not what happens at least for me.

First off I don't have many dealers that are close to me. So online saves me money by not driving all over creation looking for something. Im not driving 1.5 hours to some of the better stocking stores to pay over $100 or more than online, unless its a really expensive gun and I want to look at wood and finish. Why would I?

Your assuming GAG or other online dealers are the same price as a local dealer. Not even close. Your saving way more than tax. My last 3 guns I saved over 100 -200 dollars each from local. 2 out of the 3 local dealers did not even have in stock.

In another case I saved over 300 dollars on a Citori and the only place I could even find it was KTP in Maine, where it was overpriced from GAG by 300 dollars and they would not match, I gave them the opportunity....they declined. I bought the new Citori online on my phone in their parking lot, because Browning had another 10% rebate on top of that and I wanted to get in on it. Tax savings on that was considerable as well, another 100 dollar bill...so 400 bucks. That's not skinflinting.

All my online purchases have been 100% trouble free, the guns have come in nicer than I could have picked them, with some nice wood.

The shop I deal with does not sell guns for a living....they gunsmith mostly, do transfers, and sell some used or consignment. They also have another main business, I am supporting them by doing transfers there. Call it pennies or whatever, its still
money they take in out of my pocket. Also money not going to the man in the form of sales taxes.
 
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Lot's of talk about "SkinFlinting" here. And it's valid.

Yet....

Last time I was interested in a particular firearm locals did not have it, couldn't/wouldn't be bothered to order it (it was Mass Legal), and were quoting $40 to $70 Transfer Fees if I purchased it on the net.

The ones that would order it, had long waiting lists. Yet I could buy one on GB that afternoon. For less.

And when one of my guns broke, they told me they had "no time" to repair it.

When I wanted to ship another out-of-state for a specialized service they were unwilling and incapable of providing, they refused. Too "busy".

And each time had me wait 20 minutes in their shop before they bothered to acknowledge my presence. And I had to physically visit because they never answered the phone.

I am sure we are all familiar with other popular shops that actually are busy, and twenty minutes is a brief wait. God bless them, but a visit is not a pleasant experience.

Yes, giving a local my business is certainly a good thing.
 
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Mark from MA

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So much skinflinting going on around here... People are so hard up to save every god damn penny... Soon enough local shops are all going to raise the transfer fee's and stop doing local sales because you people want everything for $50 less because "online"... I get it. Competition is good. But one thing you don't get is 99% of the online stores you're buying from have minimal overhead compared to a local brick and mortar. Hence the lower costs. It's not price gouging. It's called doing business.

This is totally understood, and why I would not want a brick and mortar gun shop unless your doing full service gunsmithing or something. But even nowadays with Youtube....I pretty much fix my own shit if I can find it online.

The overhead is too much, the risk vs. reward too little. There is not enough markup in a gun to make a living off a small shop, unless your in a high traffic area. Most of the shops in my neck of the woods are finding that out.

Unless.......your doing VOLUME at lowest prices. Then the little amounts add up. That is the market on COMMODITY guns nowadays. People say its the internet........ but places like Four Seasons built their reputation on just that. Guys driving 2 hours to save 50 bucks.

Don't blame the internet...its what people want. In most cases a gun is not a "need" its a want and most people want to pay the least possible for it.
 

Mark from MA

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Lot's of talk about "SkinFlinting" here. And it's valid.

Yet....

Last time I was interested in a particular firearm locals did not have it, couldn't/wouldn't be bothered to order it (it was Mass Legal), and were quoting $40 to $70 Transfer Fees if I purchased it on the net.

The ones that would order it, had long waiting lists. Yet I could buy one on GB that afternoon. For less.

And when one of my guns broke, they told me they had no time to repair it.

When I wanted to ship another out-of-state for a specialized service they were unwilling and incapable of providing, they refused. Too busy.

And each time had me wait 20 minutes in their shop before they bothered to acknowledge my presence. And I had to physically visit because they never answered the phone.

I am sure we are all familiar with other popular shops that actually are busy, and twenty minutes is a brief wait. God bless them, but a visit is not a pleasant experience.

Yes, giving a local my business is certainly a good thing.

This is what I never got either....I can order a gun for less online and have it in my hands in 3 days.

Why would I wait a month or more..... wait time and pay more for a local dealer to order it????? And in most cases, as I have been quoted over 100 dollars more? Why? Cause that dealer is likely dealing with probably one warehouse, and he finds the one where HE gets the best deal...even though it may take more time to get it in, instead of dealing with the more expensive one that will get one quicker..........yeah.....and we are skinflinting.
 
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Keep being a skinflint and you won't have any local FFLs anymore or they will all charge enormous transfer fees.

In my experience the majority believe $50 is fair. Or more.

Find one for $30 and you have a keeper.

Here's a tip: Screwing me on Transfer fees on firearms you can't / won't even sell does not earn you a loyal customer.
 
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This is what I never got either....I can order a gun for less online and have it in my hands in 3 days.

Why would I wait a month or more..... wait time and pay more for a local dealer to order it????? And in most cases, as I have been quoted over 100 dollars more? Why? Cause that dealer is likely dealing with probably one warehouse, and he finds the one where HE gets the best deal...even though it may take more time to get it in, instead of dealing with the more expensive one that will get one quicker..........yeah.....and we are skinflinting.

I thought one local guy was "my friend".

Told him I wanted such-and-such, he quoted a price, I said sure - call me as soon as it arrives.

After two years of waiting for him to call me (yes, I reminded him frequently), I gave up.

In the meantime hundreds came and went on GB for what I wanted to pay. And that's where I finally bought it, and had it shipped to the only local FFL out of a dozen who would transfer for $30.
 

Mark from MA

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I thought one local guy was "my friend".

Told him I wanted such-and-such, he quoted a price, I said sure - call me as soon as it arrives.

After two years of waiting for him to call me (yes, I reminded him frequently), I gave up.

In the meantime hundreds came and went on GB for what I wanted to pay. And that's where I finally bought it, and had it shipped to the only local FFL out of a dozen who would transfer for $30.

Ive heard many stories like this.....maybe not 2 years but 3 months or more.

Then you punch up an online skinflint dealer and show them its in stock for alot cheaper and their head explodes

Here is a story of my very last transaction with a local dealer who was new in business and I wanted to give some business to. This was when Eseries 1911 was in moderate demand. Wanted to try this dealer he was local to my house, I usually use the one local to my work. But give this guy a shot....OK

Went to said dealer.....you have Eseries 1911? This wasn't owner, but counter guy.
No haven't seen in a good while. We could order you one.

I say...OK...what is price and time? Price is $950 time is not sure, at least 3 months.

OK....let me think on it. If I find one online will you transfer it in?

Yes, for 25 dollars on out of state transfers inbound. Posted right at the shop as well.

OK great.

Find gun online for $790 something....150 dollars less minus fee. No shipping. In stock. Order and will be there in 2 days.

Email shop....tell them I had talked with the counter guy and I have Eseries coming in.

Get kind of nasty email from owner....explains since this is a gun they can order, I must pay a tax (yes he used the word tax) of 50 additional dollars and transferring is monkey work...etc...etc...

Tell him, that's not what counter guy told me, your shop has inbound at 25 dollars, etc.......big argument, but I never once stated that his shop was 150 dollars more, and a stated wait time of who the fXck knows when. Whatever, pistol is on the way, you've got me by the balls and you know it Fine.

Turns out Pistol was not delivered as shop wasn't open at that time.....perfect.

I go online and reroute delivery to my normal FFL.

I send email, to local guy and tell him that since it seemed like it was an inconvience to do that transfer. I'm not going to waste your time. I rerouted the pistol to my normal FFL, who I will continue to do business with. Sorry I wasted your time with emails back and forth, but you should clearly post your transfer policies.

Get a nicey nice email back trying to make things all better. Totally 180 of the first email.

Bad First impression.....never have gone back.
 
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Life's too short to deal with curmudgeony shops. When I was in MA it was a quick call to the shop I used to verify they'd transfer it, and a $30 fee.
In NH the FFL I use charges $20 and says order whatever you want and just email him so he can send his FFL. I emailed him on Christmas and the selling FFL confirmed receipt of license on Dec 26. Shops that charge more than $30 in my opinion are showing that they view transfers as inconvenient, undesirable, or know their prices are so noncompetitive they need to recoup the money and/or compel you to buy their product. For a $30 fee, if you have an employee doing nothing but one transfer an hour for a 40 hour work week you'd take in $62,400, which I assume is more than most counter employees make per year. It seems reasonable to me.

North Shore's website says they charge $80 to transfer "if you insist on buying it elsewhere." To me it's very clear you either pay their markup and buy it in store, or they don't want your business. No sane person is going to pay $80 to transfer, so they effectively don't do transfers.

$35 is about as much as I'd pay for a transfer. I'd maybe pay $40 if the shop is convenient or otherwise exceptional. States like CA that have other transfer hoops to jump through could charge more and I would say that's fair.

I'm all for supporting local businesses but it's not a blanket justification to charge $50+ for a transfer fee.
 
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Ive heard many stories like this.....maybe not 2 years but 3 months or more.

Then you punch up an online skinflint dealer and show them its in stock for alot cheaper and their head explodes

Here is a story of my very last transaction with a local dealer who was new in business and I wanted to give some business to. This was when Eseries 1911 was in moderate demand. Wanted to try this dealer he was local to my house, I usually use the one local to my work. But give this guy a shot....OK

Went to said dealer.....you have Eseries 1911? This wasn't owner, but counter guy.
No haven't seen in a good while. We could order you one.

I say...OK...what is price and time? Price is $950 time is not sure, at least 3 months.

OK....let me think on it. If I find one online will you transfer it in?

Yes, for 25 dollars on out of state transfers inbound. Posted right at the shop as well.

OK great.

Find gun online for $790 something....150 dollars less minus fee. No shipping. In stock. Order and will be there in 2 days.

Email shop....tell them I had talked with the counter guy and I have Eseries coming in.

Get kind of nasty email from owner....explains since this is a gun they can order, I must pay a tax (yes he used the word tax) of 50 additional dollars and transferring is monkey work...etc...etc...

Tell him, that's not what counter guy told me, your shop has inbound at 25 dollars, etc.......big argument, but I never once stated that his shop was 150 dollars more, and a stated wait time of who the fXck knows when. Whatever, pistol is on the way, you've got me by the balls and you know it Fine.

Turns out Pistol was not delivered as shop wasn't open at that time.....perfect.

I go online and reroute delivery to my normal FFL.

I send email, to local guy and tell him that since it seemed like it was an inconvience to do that transfer. I'm not going to waste your time. I rerouted the pistol to my normal FFL, who I will continue to do business with. Sorry I wasted your time with emails back and forth, but you should clearly post your transfer policies.

Get a nicey nice email back trying to make things all better. Totally 180 of the first email.

Bad First impression.....never have gone back.

Some people are Bipolar. You never know how they will react. That's not a good place to be.

A consistently nasty person is preferable to one that's your buddy one day and your nemesis the next.
 
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