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

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; Many local dealers are becoming more and more frustrated with people buying guns off the internet from places like gunbroker or buds and having them ...

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

  1. #1
    Member Array SnareMan's Avatar
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    What does it 'cost' a dealer to do an FFL transfer?

    Many local dealers are becoming more and more frustrated with people buying guns off the internet from places like gunbroker or buds and having them transferred. Local dealers will usually charge $20-40 to do the transfer paperwork. Obviously they are not making the money from the sale of the gun, but otherwise what am I missing with their frustration? They just have to do the paperwork right? 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. It doesn't seem so hateful. My dealer said that it costs him money to do the transfer and said there was some delay because of "the out of state requirements". There are out of state requirements? I thought it was just a matter of sending the FFL info to the sender. I would have bought the gun from him but he didn't have access to this brand. Can someone shed some light on this for me? Thanks.


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    Senior Member Array Crescentstar's Avatar
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    I don't know the answer to your question, but many of my local shops are shamefully overpriced, so if they want to sell to you instead of doing the transfer, they could start by being competitive.
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    Member Array SnareMan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Crescentstar View Post
    I don't know the answer to your question, but many of my local shops are shamefully overpriced, so if they want to sell to you instead of doing the transfer, they could start by being competitive.
    Well yea. There's that....

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    Senior Member Array beni's Avatar
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    There may be some extra labor involved processing the transfer item once the dealer receives the item. I would imagine that they have to log the transfer into their inventory before they can transfer the gun. Although I have a feeling that if some dealers are able to charge $20 to $25 then the total labor isn't that much.

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    VIP Member Array NC Bullseye's Avatar
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    They need to recoup their costs for the ffl license, their insurance, and general costs of doing business. If they are not getting the business of selling the gun they can't get enough volume to get better pricing to allow them to get competitive with the on line dealers so it's a chicken and egg thing. When you have a small dealer that can't buy in the quantities to get a better discount and you want them to transfer in a brand and model they sell that does more than take away the profit, it cuts their buying power.
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    Distinguished Member Array Burns's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Crescentstar View Post
    *snip* many of my local shops are shamefully overpriced *snip*
    Is there anything gun-related that isn't overpriced anymore? :(
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    There are out of state requirements if you send something into a restricted state. Sending something that is restricted into that state can get one in a lot of legal issues so one must be aware of the requirements.Its a pain in the butt. The dealer contacts the sender for details of the transaction. Sometimes its pretty straight forward and easy, other times it isnt, it takes awhile. If I take in a transfer, I have to sign for it. Then I must log it in. When it goes to the buyer, I have them fill out the 4473,t do the NICS check, get approval, then log it out.

    I charge 25 bucks to do all of the above. Most charge what the local going rate is, some charge higher to discourage people from having them go it. Sometimes the fee is easy, other times its not worth it. In that case, you just continue on and hope that the next few will make up for your time.
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    Member Array SnareMan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by beni View Post
    There may be some extra labor involved processing the transfer item once the dealer receives the item. I would imagine that they have to log the transfer into their inventory before they can transfer the gun. Although I have a feeling that if some dealers are able to charge $20 to $25 then the total labor isn't that much.
    Well, labor cost... They are standing there in the shop already. Already going to be there for their shift. Log the gun in when the store isn't full of customers. I can't really see it as a true labor cost. I mean, its not costing the shop anything extra than what they are already paying the person to be there.

    Quote Originally Posted by NC Bullseye View Post
    They need to recoup their costs for the ffl license, their insurance, and general costs of doing business. If they are not getting the business of selling the gun they can't get enough volume to get better pricing to allow them to get competitive with the on line dealers so it's a chicken and egg thing. When you have a small dealer that can't buy in the quantities to get a better discount and you want them to transfer in a brand and model they sell that does more than take away the profit, it cuts their buying power.
    What does an FFL license cost? They have to have that anyway just to sell guns in general right? So its not really truly a factor of the transfer. I'm all about giving the local guy my business assuming his prices are at least reasonable. I've bought a bunch of guns from this dealer and tried to buy this one from him. He just doesn't have access this brand. I get what you're saying though. I'm just trying to figure out if there is some hidden cost to the dealer that I'm missing.

    Quote Originally Posted by HotGuns View Post
    There are out of state requirements if you send something into a restricted state. Sending something that is restricted into that state can get one in a lot of legal issues so one must be aware of the requirements.Its a pain in the butt. The dealer contacts the sender for details of the transaction. Sometimes its pretty straight forward and easy, other times it isnt, it takes awhile. If I take in a transfer, I have to sign for it. Then I must log it in. When it goes to the buyer, I have them fill out the 4473,t do the NICS check, get approval, then log it out.

    I charge 25 bucks to do all of the above. Most charge what the local going rate is, some charge higher to discourage people from having them go it. Sometimes the fee is easy, other times its not worth it. In that case, you just continue on and hope that the next few will make up for your time.
    Good to hear from a dealer. Thanks. I could appreciate sending to a restricted state. Thankfully I don't live in one. So really the "cost" to you is just the time of filling out the paperwork. It can't seem to take more than 15min assuming its a straight forward transfer right?

    I guess the other way to discourage people from using you for a transfer besides the cost is to just get all huffy and frustrated when at the customer when they ask you to do it.
    Last edited by SIXTO; June 24th, 2012 at 01:19 PM.

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    Member Array hinkleid's Avatar
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    My local FFL guy charges me $10 to fill out the ATF form and do the transfer. You guys are getting ripped.
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    Quote Originally Posted by hinkleid View Post
    My local FFL guy charges me $10 to fill out the ATF form and do the transfer. You guys are getting ripped.
    Or you're getting a good deal.
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    Senior Member Array GreyGhost's Avatar
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    I asked the shop owner where I had my first online sale transfer done if it drove him crazy when people bought online and he did the transfer. His answer, No! He said $25 bucks for 15 minutes work that was pure profit was awesome. He loves doing it. He can keep his inventory low and its gets lots of folks in his store that might not have ever been there before.
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    I'm not a dealer and do not have an FFL but I am a small business owner and have been a retailer in some flavor on many occasions.

    As far as looking for hidden costs, don't. The cost is not hidden. It is called the cost of doing business.

    "They're already standing there." Yes "they" are, and every minute that an employee is standing and not selling is costing the business money. It may not be a lot but it is outflow with out inflow. The same is true if it is the Owner/operator you are talking to. The more volume in sales a shop does, the less they have to charge for their products and services to make a profit. If a gun shop spends a good amount of time doing transfers with out sales, the transfers necessarily cost more to do.


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    Member Array hinkleid's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NC Bullseye View Post
    Or you're getting a good deal.
    It's for filling out the front of the form and checking no boxes. I sign, he writes down my CWL# and signs. Takes less than 5 mins.
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    If your LGS is reluctant & pricey, search out local pawn shops. Those that sell guns are likely FFL's & not offended that you purchased a new gun on line since they mostly deal in used firearms (on a very small scale), in addition to many other items.

    My local pawn / FFL transfer fee is $10.
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    Quote Originally Posted by NC Bullseye View Post
    They need to recoup their costs for the ffl license, their insurance, and general costs of doing business. If they are not getting the business of selling the gun they can't get enough volume to get better pricing to allow them to get competitive with the on line dealers so it's a chicken and egg thing. When you have a small dealer that can't buy in the quantities to get a better discount and you want them to transfer in a brand and model they sell that does more than take away the profit, it cuts their buying power.




    ^^^^UNDERSTANDABLY, so^^^^^^^^^


    But if he doesn't have an "old pistol/rifle/shotgun" that I want/need and a dealer in Dinglehopper Heights USA has one, at a price I want to pay, then they should knock the chip off their shoulders.
    Now if its a NEW firearm,sold by a dealer in another state for a whole lot cheaper, they should @ least be given the opportunity to knock their price down somewhat, to come close.
    I have done that in the past, with two revolvers.
    Local shop wanted $420 for each, a 442 & 642. He came down to $405. I could have still got them cheaper from say CDNN, but not by much and then still would have had to pay the "exorbitant" price of $10 an FFL by me charges out of his house.
    I am in and out of there in 30-40 minutes, tops.

    Check Gunbroker for an FFL by you. This guy was listed in their listing and I got real lucky. Will he go up in the future?
    Most likely, but even still, for $15-20, its still would not be too bad.
    These guys charging $30-40+ are just gouging.
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