What does it 'cost' a dealer to do an FFL transfer?

This is a discussion on What does it 'cost' a dealer to do an FFL transfer? within the General Firearm Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; Originally Posted by Yankeejib It's a shame that some FFL's would rather soak you or persuade you not to send stuff to them when you ...

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Thread: What does it 'cost' a dealer to do an FFL transfer?

  1. #31
    Member Array SnareMan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yankeejib View Post
    It's a shame that some FFL's would rather soak you or persuade you not to send stuff to them when you give a perfect example of a store building a stable REPEAT customer base by treating you right.
    And for me, this is a place I've done a lot of business with and given them lots of money. Several thousand now and brought several people who are now members there. And part of my lifetime membership there is free transfers. It's a service I paid for. So when they got frustrated with me for trying to transfer 1 gun in 3 years talking about them losing money, complexity with out of state requirements (whatever those might be as the guns are legal in this state) and taking a week to just send the seller their ffl info it became rather frustrating, especially as one of their good customers.

    That's why I was curious if there were costs to them I was missing. It seems that especially for a regular customer who has paid for the service you shouldn't get all huffy when I ask for a transfer and the seller has to email you 3 times to get the info plus repeated texts from me. It should be part of keeping your regular customers happy. And if im not a regular customer it's a way to get me into the shop to spend my money on other stuff they have.

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  3. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by HotGuns View Post
    It'll take 15 minutes for you to fill out the 4473 then call it in to NICS. Then some more time to log the gun in, log it out, file the paperwork. A straight forward transfer is me getting the gun from UPS or Fed Ex, being there to sign for it, placing it somewhere for safekeeping, calling you up to tell you that it is here, once if I get you the first time, or maybe several times playing phone tag.You walk in, complain about the ridiculous 4473 requirement and how the Government doesn't need to be in your business, stand around while I call NICS and get approved. You admire your gun and leave. It took you 15 minutes to fill out the paperwork. You walk out the door assuming that is all there is to it.

    Its not. Its all about time. Considering that I only charge 25 to do a transfer, by the time I count how long it took, that 25 bucks starts looking awful small. It looks really small when I do NFA stuff, which is a paperwork nightmare when others charge 50-100.

    Most dealers don't do it to make money, they do it as a service to their customers. Some of the local gun-shops in this area don't even mess with transfers because its just not worth it.





    That would work. The easiest way would be to tell people that you don't do transfers. No sense in ticking anyone off. The reason that they get all huffy and frustrated is because they have to listen to a ration of crap from everyone that doesn't agree with them. It gets old fast. Real fast. I'm not justifying it by any means, but I understand where they are coming from.

    I'm small beans. I do maybe 3 transfers a week, more around the holidays or the start of hunting season. To be honest, it they went completely away, I wouldn't care, it wouldn't affect me one bit.

    10 bucks for a transfer? I wouldn't do it. Not worth my time. I have better things to do.
    I'm not disagreeing with you. I know time is money. Charge whatever you want as a transfer fee $25-50. I can take it or leave it. Some of your related tasks seem awfully insignificant though. Sign for it. You have to be there for ups anyway right? Call me. Take 30 seconds to call and tell or leave me a message. Store it somewhere safe. You are a gun shop and must certainly have a safe place to store guns. So that leaves the paperwork.

    Again, charge whatever you want. Just don't complain to me the whole time you are doing it. It has certainly worked on me as in the future I will gladly pay another local shop to take my transfer without the hassles of the shop where I have already paid for the service (benefit of my membership there) and been a regular customer.

  4. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by SnareMan View Post
    I'm not disagreeing with you. I know time is money. Charge whatever you want as a transfer fee $25-50. I can take it or leave it. Some of your related tasks seem awfully insignificant though. Sign for it. You have to be there for ups anyway right? Call me. Take 30 seconds to call and tell or leave me a message. Store it somewhere safe. You are a gun shop and must certainly have a safe place to store guns. So that leaves the paperwork.

    Again, charge whatever you want. Just don't complain to me the whole time you are doing it. It has certainly worked on me as in the future I will gladly pay another local shop to take my transfer without the hassles of the shop where I have already paid for the service (benefit of my membership there) and been a regular customer.
    Depending on the nature of the business, just being there to accept the shipment can be a pain.
    Someone running a small one man show with another job as the primary source of income can't afford
    to hang around to sign for a package.

    Running a small business can be arduous; and 9 of 10 fail their first year. You want service, you have
    to pay for it. And sometimes the true cost is way above what you are willing to pay, even if you can't see
    where the components of that cost come from.
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  5. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hopyard View Post
    It seems that you decided you wanted an old shotgun from Dinglehopper Heights, but didn't adequately
    consider that there would be additional costs; some substantial--such as the shipping of the shotgun and
    the services of the FFL. Had those been thought of up front, you might have decided that you really don't
    need that gun from Dinglehopper Heights. Small business people in this country have a hard time making
    it. They compete with big box stores that can easily undercut them. They have to deal with myriads of local
    regulations without benefit of a corporate office full of legal eagles. They can't afford to self-insure.

    It is your choice whether or not you need that gun from Dinglehopper Heights and are willing to pay the transfer
    fee. And if you are unhappy with the transfer fee, find someone who will do it for less or don't go through with
    the transfer.

    As I wrote earlier, time is money, and I'll add that it is costly. IT may look like the dealer isn't doing much,
    but there is a lot going on; including the need to make sure he stays legal.




    ^^^^^Hopyard^^^^^^^^^^^^

    I'm fully aware of all of that, and I can appreciate a shop charging $20-25 for a transfer, I pay $10, I get a great deal.
    As has been mentioned in a previous post, if they treated it(the transfer) as a current/potential customer, instead of a firearm they weren't able to sell, they may make more return business in the future, but something over $30 is rather high.
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  6. #35
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    Taken in the context with which I wrote it, my statement still stands, if a LOCAL STOREFRONT DEALER doesn't have what I have in mind, IE: an older firearm
    they shouldn't get all bent out of shape.
    I didn't ask you to retract your statement, and agree with you in one respect, that is, if they cannot offer the same unique weapon they should not get bent out of shape. My LGS understands that, and they do not get bent out of shape. If they do get all warped out, that is their problem, not yours. Go find someplace else that is nice.

    My point was: You can always leave. Vote with your feet. If that dealer does not like to help you as a customer, find another. If they get all nasty and grumpy, just leave. It is a free market. They can run their business the way they see fit, and if that includes having a chip on their shoulders, fine. Don't do business with them. Darn simple. Life is too short!
    Last edited by Rock and Glock; June 24th, 2012 at 06:30 PM.
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  7. #36
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    Again, charge whatever you want.
    I do.

    Just don't complain to me the whole time you are doing it.
    I dont.

    but something over $30 is rather high.
    It may be high to you. It may be high for the area. If you go to GunBroker and look at the fees, they are all over the place. They go from 10-100 bucks. You charge what the market for your area is. In my area 25 is par. In Little Rock, 50 is common. If you charge too little it wont be worth your time, if you charge too much you wont have much to do.

    So, when some guy from Podunk Hollow in Arkansas with a population of 12 counting 3 coons dogs tells me that 25 is too high, I just consider the source. If some guy from New Yawk tells me that 25 aint enough because where he lives everyone charges 75, I consider the source. When so guy tells me that he only pays 10 bucks from his brother in law, I consider that too.

    Its all relative.

    As Rock and Glock so eloquently stated, if you dont like the going rate, or that way that your LGS does buisness, or the fact that he didnt call you sir and offered to polish your shoes, then go somewhere else. It aint rocket surgery.
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    Seems to me that if you feel like you are getting ripped, why not find someone else cheaper? Don't get me wrong here I am not trying to be an ass but chances are I could sell you a firearm for the same money or less straight out. [This is assuming I had rapid access to your choice of firearm.] Suppose I have a Glock 27 for say, $490.00. You have bought one on the internet for $505.00 and I charge you $20.00 to receive it, do the paperwork, make the phone call and transfer it to you, you would have been better off to buy it from me initially since there would have been no transfer fee at all. The gunshop owners time and effort is worth something. While he or she may well be sitting there doing nothing at the time, the rent, light bill, heat, cooling, insurance and general operational expenses continue whether a sale is made or not. Small gunshops have one hell of time staying open and profit margins, regardless of what you read on the internet, are quiet low. On-line buyers often fail to consider transportaion fees, transfer fees and problematic issues. If I am to receive a firearm for you and for what ever reason it is held up, it is on my end to see where the problem is, what is necassary to resolve it, correct it and get it to you. For that I receive absolutely zero for my time and effort. There is more to receiving a firearm and transfering it, if you value the customer, than you think.

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  9. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by Diddle View Post
    Seems to me that if you feel like you are getting ripped, why not find someone else cheaper? Don't get me wrong here I am not trying to be an ass but chances are I could sell you a firearm for the same money or less straight out. [This is assuming I had rapid access to your choice of firearm.] Suppose I have a Glock 27 for say, $490.00. You have bought one on the internet for $505.00 and I charge you $20.00 to receive it, do the paperwork, make the phone call and transfer it to you, you would have been better off to buy it from me initially since there would have been no transfer fee at all. The gunshop owners time and effort is worth something. While he or she may well be sitting there doing nothing at the time, the rent, light bill, heat, cooling, insurance and general operational expenses continue whether a sale is made or not. Small gunshops have one hell of time staying open and profit margins, regardless of what you read on the internet, are quiet low. On-line buyers often fail to consider transportaion fees, transfer fees and problematic issues. If I am to receive a firearm for you and for what ever reason it is held up, it is on my end to see where the problem is, what is necassary to resolve it, correct it and get it to you. For that I receive absolutely zero for my time and effort. There is more to receiving a firearm and transfering it, if you value the customer, than you think.

    Diddle..
    Not sure who you are directing this at. If the prices are semi close I'll give the business to the local guy every time even though I'll have to pay tax. I definitely believe that small guy profit margins are low. I'd think though that if the gun didn't show up that it would be on the shipper/seller to figure out where it went. At least that's who I as a customer would go to to sort it out. And as I've said, charge me whatever you think your time is worth and if I don't like it I'll go else where. No problem. But if you're going to provide the service, don't complain to me as the customer about it because after all, I am paying you what you've asked.

  10. #39
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    Do you get a lot of complaining from dealers?
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  11. #40
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    If he is open for business, it costs him.... bills, payroll, etc. It all adds up in the end...
    I bought 4 AR lowers in a group buy several months ago, the FFL agreed to do the transfers for $5 a form, so I had 4 lowers transferred for $5, It was a group buy for 100 lowers that was split between 3 regions. So let's just say he got 30 of the lowers, he maybe made $150 off of however long it takes to receive, log, and do all the paperwork for 30 lowers.... He really didn't make anything off the deal, but he did get a lot of people who came into his shop he just opened. I went back later that week and bought a pistol from him... So it got me into the store along with others.
    Sometimes its just about customer service...

    Sent from this... Using that...

  12. #41
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    Thumbs up A Parable

    I hear what ya'll are saying. Let me share a short story:

    Wife owns and operates a retail store in a prior life. She carries optics. Knows her optics stuff inside out, upside down, and right side out. Carries Bino's from say, $35 for cheapies to $1,500 plus.

    Customer comes in, knows NADA. Takes two hours of wife's time to learn about Binos. Settles on a $1,200 pair of Swarovski's. Then, after taking full advantage of wife's knowledge, skills, and experiences for two hours on a very busy day, pulls out add for out-of-state retailer and wants wife to knock off more than her entire margin and fraudulently not apply sales tax.

    Wife spends another half-hour explaining grey-market, blah blah blah. Idiot whines and leaves. Idiot comes back 6 weeks later with grey market Binos with big problem and wants wife to fix.

    Hahahahahahahahahaha............... Hahahahahahaha.................

    That is the Parable of the Swarovskis as told by Rock and Glock.

    Please consider how you treat and relate to local retailers, and how you like to be treated. Also remember that if you need to call the police or fire department, that you may not have been paying the sales tax which supports the police and fire departments. Hmmmmmm.............

    Just sayin'

    Having said that, I realize the Internet affords some unique buying opportunities, and additionally, America was built on Competition and blah blah blah..............yea yea yea blah blah blah.................
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  13. #42
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    I missed the part in the OP where you said you had a membership that included free transfers.

    My statement still stands but I can now see why listening to them whine while doing something that you had already paid for would be annoying.
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  14. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by HotGuns View Post
    Do you get a lot of complaining from dealers?
    Who? Me? I've transferred 2 guns in my life (bought the rest locally).

    1 transfer I did to a place I'd barely heard of but that a friend had used. $20 (might have been 30 or 40 - can't remember exactly) and couldn't have been easier.

    The other one I did at my local range where I've spent thousands of dollars, have a lifetime membership and can call/text the owner on his cell phone. Took a week, 3 emails from the seller and at least as many texts from me to get him to send the FFL info and then complaint to me about how I couldn't expect him to make it a priority, he loses money, complex out of state requirements (I don't think there are any), he shouldn't have included this benefit, etc, etc... That's what made me wonder all this and pose the initial question. Just wanted to make sure there wasn't something about his end of the deal I was missing.

  15. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rock and Glock View Post

    That is the Parable of the Swarovskis as told by Rock and Glock
    I'm with you on the parable and try to be careful not to do that. I learned my lesson buying camera stuff grey market some years back. After 1 bad experience I generally won't buy grey market and certainly won't take up a local's time only to buy elsewhere.
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  16. #45
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    I'm with you on the parable and try to be careful not to do that. I learned my lesson buying camera stuff grey market some years back. After 1 bad experience I generally won't buy grey market and certainly won't take up a local's time only to buy elsewhere.
    Retailers everywhere thank you and respect you.

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