What does it 'cost' a dealer to do an FFL transfer? - Page 4

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; It's just paperwork. Our most popular LGS is sky high but most people don't know it and won't do the research. I've haven't bought a ...

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

  1. #46
    Distinguished Member Array Brady's Avatar
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    It's just paperwork. Our most popular LGS is sky high but most people don't know it and won't do the research. I've haven't bought a gun from them due to their high prices but I have bought some ammo, accessories and used their range which is the only indoor range within probably 100 miles. They're making a killin'. They charge $40 to do FFL transfer on a gun you didn't buy from them. they probably just don't want to bother with it.
    When I bought my new LCR on gunbroker 2 years ago, it was $390 shipped. Some of my friends couldn't believe it when I told them that. (LGS was $540 out the door because they knew it was a hot item) I was very happy to ship it to my local pawn shop for $25. The man at the pawn shop is also happy as he says it's the easiest $25 he turns all day, no haggling and no returns. Like was said before, vote with your feet, when I can save $125 I'm going to do that. Now to be fair, there have been some used guns at this same LGS that I was interested in but slow to move on and someone else got them. I'll keep watching though.
    ...he that hath no sword, let him sell his garment, and buy one. Luke 22:36
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  2. #47
    VIP Member Array nedrgr21's Avatar
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    I'm with the OP on that he already paid for the service - it the owner doesn't like how the deal is working out, he should, not include it on future memberships. I'll bet he isn't counting how many members never actually use the transfer service that he got paid for.

    Let's face it, the small local guys will probably never receive the volume discount and they are also are behind the 8 ball when it comes to selection. To compete with the big stores, the only way they can separate themselves is personal service. I think we've also seen most, not all but most, local shops are sorely lacking in customer service skills (especially when it comes to women) and knowledge. Maybe they should also consider that the (perceived) difference in worth vs. cost of those transfers are the cheapest, most directed, advertising their dollars can buy not to mention goodwill. While true they can charge higher prices to discourage transfers, in doing so they also discourage future business and reaffirm the buyer's decision to buy off the net b/c they will find they garage ffl that will do it cheap.

  3. #48
    Senior Member Array NH_Esau's Avatar
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    My favorite LGS is also one of the big ones in state - Riley's. They aren't grumpy at all about it, and charge $25 for the service. I think MFL charges the same. That seems reasonable enough. If they charged a lot more, there are plenty of smaller ops that charge less - gunsamerica has a pretty good list.

    What does he get for $25? A nearly-guaranteed sale for one. You've done most of the sales work and research (though maybe you've fondled his stock), selected the item you want, and paid for shipping. While his guy calls it in, waits for the response, and does the paperwork, you walk around the shop and fill your basket with ammo (he's got some of the best prices for practice ammo in the state), a set of grips, a pack of targets, and, during your perusal of the used racks, that phased plasma rifle in the 40-watt range you've always wanted. It costs him labor, building costs, utilities, FFL, insurance, and perhaps the headache of ATF inspections.

    What do you get for $25? If it's a NIB, maybe you save some serious cash (maybe). Maybe you are able to get the used/rare/CMP firearm he doesn't have. More importantly, maybe you start to build a relationship with a great group of guys. The clerk says, "Hey, you know you ought to bring this out to the military large bore shoot we're having next month." Maybe you figure out that the guys behind this business spend a lot of money and time supporting your 2A rights at the state and national levels. Maybe you find out about the cool LEO shop back behind the parking lot, and in the process find out about how they support families of military and law enforcement KIAs.

    I guess I'll pay $25 for that.

  4. #49
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    Y'all think you got it bad...

    I know a guy (Class 3) that charges 5% on a transfer.

    That doesnt sound to bad, as its only 25 bucks on a 500 dollar gun. Fifty bucks on a 1000 gun. An transferable NFA gun that is 15K he gets 750 bucks.
    You get the idea. All for the same amount of paperwork.
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  5. #50
    Member Array NCMedic8617's Avatar
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    My hunch would be that places that quote $50 for a transfer probably don't want to be bothered by it..... There are several places in my area that will do them for $10-15, some of the larger "well known" stores will charge $50...

    Sent from this... Using that...

  6. #51
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    From a retired executive retailer a few thoughts on this matter for the gun store owners lurking on this subject. Just how much does it cost you to get a customer to walk through your door? 20 years ago it cost my company close to $20 dollars in advertising cost to create a new customer. Now just because you hold a FFL in a certain zip code you get a new online gun buyer walking through your door for free. Let me restate something here so it might sink in "gun buyer". This is already a qualified spender of dollars for the type of products you sell. This is a quality resourse that any marketing executive would pay to get in the store. I would suggest you not squander this opportunity to reel in a new asset. In business you have to give a little to gain a lot. Most buyers are online today, and most buyers are aware of what fair pricing is today, but many are hungry for great service too, give them both, and you will be the winner.

  7. #52
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    Good business is a fine line between survival and service. I can't compete with the volume online stores. They get the hot products first. They get discounts. They don't pay incoming shipping. They can earn a little extra shipping out. Their out of state customers don't have to pay sales tax at point of sale. Even after I mention to a customer that he is obliged to pay use tax in lieu of sales tax, he normally just wants the lowest immediate out of pocket deal. That's fine with me. What's best for the customer, or student, usually works out to be best for me. My $20 transfer fee (free to NRA Lifers and active military) is competitive for the area and nearly compensates for the occasional online nightmare.

    I disagree with some retailers who profit by the ignorance of customers. At the same time, I refuse to deal with time vampires. Sometimes I can score on a large LE FET exempt sale. At other times I'll run warranty interference pro bono for someone who didn't buy from me. Until you run a business, chances are you won't realize the value of time. How many members here appreciate the time and wisdom donated by the corpse (oops, i mean corps).
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  8. #53
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    I do them for $20.00. It is absolutely a service for you, so that you can buy what you want. Remember that rarely does a transfer only involve 1 call from you, you call to let me know, we visit, I fax an FFL, 50 percent of the time the fax on both ends works right, they refax or call me with the shipping info, I relay the shipping info to you, I receive the gun, you come and fill out the paperwork, you pay me and take the gun, unless there is a problem, which happens, ID theft, Joe Blow jr versus Joe Blow sr, you have an overdue library book, records problem, then there are a couple extra steps. Yep, just takes 5 minutes and just that easy. Guess I should add that most of the time we BS for 15 minutes......

  9. #54
    Member Array SnareMan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ranch23 View Post
    I do them for $20.00. It is absolutely a service for you, so that you can buy what you want. Remember that rarely does a transfer only involve 1 call from you, you call to let me know, we visit, I fax an FFL, 50 percent of the time the fax on both ends works right, they refax or call me with the shipping info, I relay the shipping info to you, I receive the gun, you come and fill out the paperwork, you pay me and take the gun, unless there is a problem, which happens, ID theft, Joe Blow jr versus Joe Blow sr, you have an overdue library book, records problem, then there are a couple extra steps. Yep, just takes 5 minutes and just that easy. Guess I should add that most of the time we BS for 15 minutes......
    Can't tell exactly if you're being facetious or not there. The 15min BS time can happen with any customer who randomnly comes in. At least with this one you are getting guaranteed money for it.

  10. #55
    Senior Member Array bklynboy's Avatar
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    garwha, excellent point. Not only is the person seeking a transfer a fully ' qualified' buyer, but he is a buyer of a product that requires lots of consumables and accessories. On top of that is the fact that none of us have one gun, we have lots of guns and we are more than happy to buy them at our LGS if they offer the right value proposition.

  11. #56
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    in my state and area, Rochester NY many dealers are about 35-45 dollars BUT state very clearly that if it comes from say BUD GUNs the transfer fee is 60-80 dollars. They are keeping themselves competitive by charger MORE if a gun comes from a certain retailer. Maybe cuz its eating too much into their business, maybe its cuz again NY being a restrictive state has more paperwork/ and/or buds may make it a pain in the ass for them.
    Who knows but thats whats happening around here. Not all have done it but about 30% so far that Ive seen.....

    If you cant be competitive I guess MAKE yourself competitive cuz once you add a $60 ffl fee........LOL
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  12. #57
    Distinguished Member Array Agave's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SnareMan View Post
    It doesn't actually 'cost' them anything other than the time to stand there and to the paperwork right? They make $40 for doing ~10 minutes of paperwork.
    Do you go to work for free? We don't around here. If you are my friend, I will gladly help you for free if it is just some work. If you are my customer, you are engaging in business; and business is the transfer of money for goods or SERVICES.

    We charge $20 for transfers.
    The preceding post may contain sarcasm; it's just better that way. However, it is still intended with construction and with the Love of my L-rd Y'shua.

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  13. #58
    Distinguished Member Array Agave's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SnareMan View Post
    Can't tell exactly if you're being facetious or not there. The 15min BS time can happen with any customer who randomnly comes in. At least with this one you are getting guaranteed money for it.
    His assessment is 100% accurate.
    The preceding post may contain sarcasm; it's just better that way. However, it is still intended with construction and with the Love of my L-rd Y'shua.

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  14. #59
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    Tax returns are "just paperwork" too.
    HotGuns likes this.

  15. #60
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    This is only vaguely thread related but; Are there states that charge the FFL for the NICS check? I remember a sign in a gun shop in Norfolk, VA that said there would be a charge($10.00 IIRC) for a denied NICS response. I've never seen that anywhere else.
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