Buying Your Gun: Does Where Matter?

Buying Your Gun: Does Where Matter?

This is a discussion on Buying Your Gun: Does Where Matter? within the General Firearm Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; When I was shopping around for my G27, the first thing I did was write e-mails to a bunch of dealers in the area. Some ...

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Thread: Buying Your Gun: Does Where Matter?

  1. #1
    Member Array silo's Avatar
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    Buying Your Gun: Does Where Matter?

    When I was shopping around for my G27, the first thing I did was write e-mails to a bunch of dealers in the area. Some readily gave me price quotes over e-mail. Many came in the $495-$530 range (not including tax) for the standard G27, but would have to be ordered. Another local shop, kind of out in the Boonies, said they had just gotten one in stock, and I could come in to look at it. I went, it looked beautiful, and we talked price. She said something around, "Normally they're $580, but I'll do $560 for you." To which I responded, "I have some price quotes of around $495 for this model. Can you go any lower?" She responded, "Oh, no. I would only make $30 on it. I bet that's just some guy in his garage doing it as a hobby. Those people hurt you and me both." I thanked her for her time and left.

    A couple days later, I placed an order for a G27 with night sights for $500. He explicitly told me, "Here's my dealer prices. My price to you is $20 more than my cost, plus shipping to get it here and taxes, of course." So I ended up with a G27 with night sights for less than the regular G27 from some other dealers. And, yes, this was a guy selling guns per order out of his basement. Extremely nice guy, very customer service oriented. Said if I had any problems, just let him know. Quick and easy transaction.

    My question to everyone is: what's the bottom line for you when buying a gun? Do you go for price, customer service, selection, or what? Do you believe or care about the impact to smaller, mid-sized, larger, or even the garage/basement guy? Just wondering others' perspectives.

  2. #2
    Member Array kracker's Avatar
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    Jul 2007
    I buy from my local pushers, if there is a problem with the gun they take care of it. I pay a few bucks extra to get good service. In the long-term I think you come out better dealing with smaller shops, after a couple of purchases they'll probably give you a little better price on their merchandise and it will all even out in the end.

    Just my 2 pennies worth....

  3. #3
    Senior Member Array 380ACP's Avatar
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    Nov 2008
    Auburn, AL
    It depends. There are three local handgun shops in the area (two local, one a major chain - Academy) and I've bought from all of them.

    One has the 'common' buys...such as Taurus, Glock, Springfield, Smith and Wesson, etc, (Academy), one of the others has the milsurp and used military rifle/pistol or just general used selection, and the other sells the 'common' stuff higher priced than Academy...but they also carry the high quality stuff like H&K, Kahr, Sig, Colt, Kimber etc that you (or I) can't find at Academy.

    So I guess for me personally, it depends on the type of gun I'm looking for. I can find the "odd" or high quality stuff at the local shops much more readily than at Academy, but Academy has some super prices, and great customer service.
    An intruder will be incapacitated by tear gas or oven spray, but if shot with a .357 Magnum will get angry and kill you.

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  5. #4
    Ex Member Array BikerRN's Avatar
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    For me, it depends.

    Sometimes one of the brick and mortar stores will have something I want, and I'll buy it. Other times I order from a "basement dealer".

    It's a combination of service, selection and general overall attitude that will make the sale for me. If I don't like the way you treat me, and I'm not asking anyone to kiss my rear here either, I don't care how much cheaper you are. I will spend more at a place that wants my business than give a penny to someone that I don't like.

    I have a small selection of brick and mortar stores I will do business with. Most of my shopping is done online and in the case of firearms, will be shipped to my FFL Dealer that works out of his basement. I will give the brick and mortar store the opportunity to match the price first however.


  6. #5
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    Silo, I think you enjoyed just about the best kind of gun purchase transaction and bought that G27 "right." By being willing to forgo instant gratification in favor of ordering your firearms choice you got what you wanted and can be pleased with the deal you made.

    I'm a low-maintenance gun buyer and expect nothing from a retailer so I go for price. Comparison shopping isn't a concern since I already know what I want when I decide to make the purchase.

    Patience is a virtue when seeking a firearm to buy (or vehicle, house, or anything else for that matter). Early on in my gun buying efforts I learned that the hard way.

  7. #6
    VIP Member Array jwhite75's Avatar
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    I am lucky enough that I have at least 5 friends, and/or business associates with FFL that I can always get what I need at a reasonable deal. If it has to be ordered. Gunbroker has treated me well with enough looking. My minimum maximum I pay is cost +10%, and is a pretty much standard thingas far as pricing goes in my area.
    Friends don't let friends be MALL NINJAS.

    I am just as nice as anyone lets me be and can be just as mean as anyone makes me. - Quoted from Terryger, New member to our forum.

  8. #7
    Mic is offline
    Senior Member Array Mic's Avatar
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    On loan from Arizona
    I will shop on-line ( I do like to see what the average price is then I visit my local gunshop, most time the price is compairable after tax, shiping and FFL fee, once my guy even told me he could get me a better deal on-line for an AK47 if I didnt mind waiting 2 weeks to get it.
    Timid people sleep peacefully at night because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf.

    Molôn Labé!

  9. #8
    Distinguished Member Array Rugergirl's Avatar
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    Jan 2009
    I've dealt with two gun shops in my area.
    The first one I purchased two guns in two weeks and had a problem with the ammo for one of them. I called and he told me to bring back what was left and they would exchange it. When I got there, the owner of the store looked over the ammo and a few of the bad rounds I had shown him, toe with bad crimps and one that was struck twice and never fired. He told me that there was no way those three rounds came from the package I had bought and I must have picked it up off the floor. I pay for range time and I don't spend it crawling around on the floor looking for ammo somebody else may have dropped.
    That was the last time I set foot in the store. The other 9 firearms have come from the other store, I never have a problem with products or the service there, and I have never been insulted by any of the employees.
    When you buy a firearm, you get a free 6 month membership and reduced range fees. With the last purchase, they update our memberships to lifetime, and I can't remember the last time we were charged for range time. With three of the handguns, the owner threw in a box of defense ammo at no charge.
    No reason for me to go anywhere else.
    Disclaimer: The posts made by this member are only the members opinion, not a reflection on anyone else, nor the group, and should not be cause for anyone to get their undergarments wedged in an uncomfortable position.

  10. #9
    kpw is offline
    VIP Member Array kpw's Avatar
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    We have a bunch of options here from the sporting goods chain stores to the garage type dealers. Most of the owners are decent guys but there is one place I probably do 90% of my business with. He's the best gunsmith around here and he'll fix any firearm bought at his place for free. He installed a new Wilson safety on my Kimber for $40, price included the saftey. I didn't buy it there. Did a great trigger job on my BHP, never would give me a price for that.
    "In a republic this rule ought to be observed: that the majority should not have the predominant power." -
    -- Marcus Tullius Cicero

  11. #10
    Senior Member Array Shadowsbane's Avatar
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    North Carolina
    Customer service just about rules all. To a point anyway.

    Nobody wants to be treated like trash, despite what H&K would like some to believe.

    I have when purchasing weaponry for my wife, have spent more at dealers that would treat her with respect than those that chose to ignore her. Then I went and made sure what exactly cost them the sale.
    Now, we must all fear evil men. But there is another kind of evil which we must fear most, and that is the indifference of good men.

  12. #11
    Member Array jc80la's Avatar
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    Nov 2009
    I've been buying from a private 1 man operation for years. He's been a big help but any issues I have had, I have taken to the manufacturer. For the amount of money saved this is a small price to pay and I have never had any issues.

  13. #12
    Member Array oldogy's Avatar
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    East TN&OH
    I patronize one local shop. They treat me the way I try to treat my customers. As a small business owner I know the expenses of keeping a brick and mortar business open. Commercial real estate does not come cheap nor does insurance and compliance with all the rules and regulation mandated by government.
    Government is out of control
    "If gun laws in fact worked, the sponsors of this type of legislation should have no difficulty drawing upon long lists of examples of crime rates reduced by such legislation. That they cannot do so after a century and a half of trying -- " Sen Orrin G. Hatch

  14. #13
    VIP Member Array dukalmighty's Avatar
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    As long as it's not some guy in a back alley saying yo bub I gots a sweet deal fer you on a nice gun
    "Outside of the killings, Washington has one of the lowest crime rates in the country,"
    --Mayor Marion Barry, Washington , DC .

  15. #14
    VIP Member Array goldshellback's Avatar
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    Back home in Louisiana !!!!
    I'd love to know a few 'basement businessmen' with FFL's.

    I've delt with mostly local gun shops. Attitude and price plays heavily in my decision making.

  16. #15
    Senior Moderator
    Array RETSUPT99's Avatar
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    Central Florida
    I buy from the same gun shops all the time (either one of two). I buy all my ammo and weapons from these two places. I get very good deals, and if there is ever a problem, the will make it right.
    They alway welcome me by name and make be feel appreciated.
    Proverbs 27:12 says: “The prudent see danger and take refuge, but the simple keep going and suffer for it.”

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