Local gun shops. And greed. grrrrrrrr......

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wecsoger
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Local gun shops. And greed. grrrrrrrr......

#1 Post by wecsoger » Fri Jun 14, 2019 11:18 am

Pls note I am always a big supporter of local business - I'm always buying at the downtown farmer's market, go to the coffee shop (non-chain) when I can, etc.

Local gun shop downtown I've bought multiple firearms there, myself, my wife, and daughter, including several holsters, accessories, and ammo.

Did an order once and I knew going in he did transfers for $30. High yes, but I don' t do it that often.

Hit a sale, ordered three AR lowers (hey, buy cheap, stack deep) and went by to pick them up

'hey, I'm here to pick up my lowers'
'yes, they're here, fill this out, etc.', paperwork done
'ok, total on this is $120, plus tax, I charge transfer per serial number'
'are serious?!? $120 (plus tax) for twenty minutes total work?
(other polite but firm comments exchanged)
'ok, I'll cut you a break on this, it's...pencil scratching...$48.04.
I put my money on the counter, say, 'we're square and I'm done.' and walk out.

It's his place and his rules, I understand but he needs my business more than I need his product.

Wonder if he notices I never came back in.

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Re: Local gun shops. And greed. grrrrrrrr......

#2 Post by harry » Fri Jun 14, 2019 11:48 am

I’d find another shop, mine charges 9.00 per serial # .
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Re: Local gun shops. And greed. grrrrrrrr......

#3 Post by gamekeeper » Fri Jun 14, 2019 12:04 pm

Transfer fees are going up over here too and there's seems no way round it. :evil:
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Re: Local gun shops. And greed. grrrrrrrr......

#4 Post by harry » Fri Jun 14, 2019 12:35 pm

But then I don’t due transfers on ar lowers
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Re: Local gun shops. And greed. grrrrrrrr......

#5 Post by mikld » Fri Jun 14, 2019 2:38 pm

Still just $10 here n Oregon, but I have not purchased multiple firearms at one time. But I can understand each is a separate transaction. In OR the serial number of the gun is on the NICS form/check, so 3 guns, 3 checks, but I would prolly balk at the shop's "policy" too...
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Re: Local gun shops. And greed. grrrrrrrr......

#6 Post by AJMD429 » Fri Jun 14, 2019 2:56 pm

Around here depends on the dealer.

As far as "greed" - when I see patients who complain that I charge around $180/hour for "even simple things" addressed at an appointment lasting 35 minutes, I just figure I'll start feeling guilty about my charges when I make more money per hour than my patients do. With a fairly-low overhead for a primary care office ($4.00 a minute we estimate) 35 minutes of time with a patient will require 15 minutes of chart-time on average in addition to the visit, so my cost to provide that visit I so 'greedily' charge $180 for will be $200, and if you do that all day you are $250 poorer than when you started your work-day 12 hours earlier. But if we raise fees to $220 so I could take home (pre-tax) $20 for my efforts for that visit, the patients would really scream how 'greedy' we were... :roll:

Maybe that gunsmith is taking home $50 grand a year, or more, or maybe not, but running a business isn't always profitable, even when the fees charged appear 'greedy', or even if the guy down the street does the same thing for less (maybe the guy down the street is making up the loss elsewhere, ethically, or not...).
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Re: Local gun shops. And greed. grrrrrrrr......

#7 Post by wecsoger » Fri Jun 14, 2019 3:58 pm

You got a point, doc, but......

Got no problem paying real money for professional people to do their job - dentist, plumber, electrician, lawyer.

Smartest thing you can do is admit you ain't *that* smart and pay money to get someone smarter than you.

In this case there is no 'smart. It's signing for a package. One signature. It's making a phone call that covers all three. It's filling in *three* serial numbers on a form and in a book, not one.

That's it. Being generous in saying it's twenty minutes of work.

Within 15 miles of my location, my one dealer has 6 FFL's on record, *none* of them has a $30 transfer fee

Like I said, his shop, his rules, but he just chased away a customer that over four years had bought four pistols, one long gun, several gun cases, three holsters, and several boxes of ammo.

Don't even think he realized it when I left. His problem, not mine.

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Re: Local gun shops. And greed. grrrrrrrr......

#8 Post by AJMD429 » Fri Jun 14, 2019 5:11 pm

Here's the deal, though - 'forced loss-leaders' - for ME, it is the 45 minute visit with Anthem Blue Cross (which the patient will mistakenly think is 'great' insurance). Anthem forces the physician to commit fraudulent underbilling under threat, in order to boost their profits, so the most you can code that visit for will be a 99214, which may pay $71 or so and the patient's co-pay will be $20. So you get $91 for what will ultimately take over an hour of your time at an overhead of $240/hour. You just can't do that all day long without doing something profitable to offset the loss. So.....the next patient has a few precancerous skin lesions that need frozen off. Since that price was set by 'specialists' and may be reimbursed at $60/lesion for a dermatologist, I may get $40/lesion, and I freeze four of them off in under two minutes, using $8.00 in overhead, $2.00 in liquid nitrogen, and about 5% of my brain power. $160 minus $10 = $150 profit for THAT visit.

That's my equivalent of "an FFL transfer" - It may be a 'greedy rip-off', but that's how I survive. At least I don't pretend things need frozen off that don't (many doctors over-do that big-time). If I could set the prices, I'd do the skin cryos for $10 each, but I'd charge $350 for that hour-long complex visit that saved the patient a heart attack, but maybe the gunsmith would charge alot more for fixing guns and less for the FFL if he had a choice.

Anyway, I won't guess at how gunsmiths set their prices, but I wouldn't be surprised if they take a loss on some of the time-consuming things they do that require expertise, and then they of course over-charge the no-brainer paperwork to compensate.

Same reason a $0.05 soft drink and $3.50 burger are retailed at $1.75 for the soft drink - so they can sell a "$2.00 burger" and appear competitive.
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Re: Local gun shops. And greed. grrrrrrrr......

#9 Post by Sixgun » Fri Jun 14, 2019 5:48 pm

$30 is the going rate around here.

This is what I have observed in my 64 years......

When I was say....under 25, the only thing that was semi expensive were doctors/dentists. Lawyers have always been expensive.

I remember when auction houses charged 10 to maximum 15% to sell your gun. It's now 20-30% PLUS a buyers premium that ultimately results in a lower top bid.

As the years went on...ALL businesses raised their rates because today, everyone wants to be a DuPont. The money was rolling in. The Feds and lawyers noticed how many businesses were making the big bucks so THEY enacted laws that allowed other entities (usually themselves) to get a piece of the pie.

My BIL who builds houses told me a house would cost half of what the rate is if there were not so many hands in the pie, usually "specialists" who demand it be "done this way.

$30 ain't bad...about normal.....I personally know two owners of gunshops and it's no walk in the park. They are living good but today, so is everyone else. I've never seen so many expensive foreign cars on the road and 5,000 sq. ft. houses like I've seen in the past..------6
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Re: Local gun shops. And greed. grrrrrrrr......

#10 Post by octagon » Fri Jun 14, 2019 6:34 pm

Local dentist said I needed a procedure on a tooth, but would just take the hygienist 15 min to complete, for 300 bucks. Being a quick study, I figured that rate at 900/hr for the assistant. Id rather go to my shop, put my head in a vice, and pull it with linemans pliers. Never went back, see em around all the time, and the tooth is fine :roll:

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Re: Local gun shops. And greed. grrrrrrrr......

#11 Post by crs » Fri Jun 14, 2019 7:12 pm

Mmm, maybe I am confused, so surely someone will clear this up for me.

My LGS is at a local country shooting range and they sell a lot of guns and ammo and have a fair gunsmith on site. They also teach classes for youngsters and do concealed carry classes and qualifications.
They sell me quality NEW rifles and pistols at prices below list price. Maybe 4 new pistols and 3 new rifles in the last three years.
I do fill out the same old form every time, but that takes only a few minutes per gun.
They never mention a transfer fee.

Is that normal?
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Re: Local gun shops. And greed. grrrrrrrr......

#12 Post by wecsoger » Fri Jun 14, 2019 8:43 pm

Yes, perfectly normal for when they have something in stock, or when they order something for their stock.

Other situations for transfers, they'll have their FFL on file with a dealer or large distributor.

Order something, the dealer/distributor ships legally to the FFL holder who received the firearm, logs it in.

Buyer fills out the 4473, pays the dealer a little something for their trouble for the phone call/computer log in, and writing down in their logbook.

Obviously I have a problem with what that "little something" is.

My world is a capitalist world and there's not such a thing as price-gouging - it's whatever the market will pay.

But to spring something on a repeat customer, take them for every penny they can, a dealer only does that to me once.

A number of my acquaintances will hear about this too, so the effects may be larger than expected.

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Re: Local gun shops. And greed. grrrrrrrr......

#13 Post by vancelw » Fri Jun 14, 2019 8:44 pm

crs wrote:
Fri Jun 14, 2019 7:12 pm
They sell me quality NEW rifles and pistols at prices below list price. Maybe 4 new pistols and 3 new rifles in the last three years.
I do fill out the same old form every time, but that takes only a few minutes per gun.
They never mention a transfer fee.

Is that normal?
Yes, it's normal.
They are making money on each gun they sell you. No one would pay a transfer fee to an FFL for a gun purchased from that same FFL.

My FFL charges $20 for each transfer, whether it is 1 gun or 10, the charge is $20.

It's a small price to pay for him enabling me to buy from his competitors.
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Re: Local gun shops. And greed. grrrrrrrr......

#14 Post by Old Savage » Fri Jun 14, 2019 8:48 pm

Bitch, complain, bitch. Do you realize what governments are laying on gun shops? Pay the freight.
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Re: Local gun shops. And greed. grrrrrrrr......

#15 Post by Fisher-Price » Fri Jun 14, 2019 9:42 pm

CRS, transfer fees are for using your local FFL to do the paperwork to receive a firearm purchased elsewhere requiring shipping to you.

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Re: Local gun shops. And greed. grrrrrrrr......

#16 Post by Bridger » Fri Jun 14, 2019 11:05 pm

$25 is the going rate here, which seems fair. Don't know if that is per serial or not though. Only ever done one at a time.
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Re: Local gun shops. And greed. grrrrrrrr......

#17 Post by new pig hunter » Sat Jun 15, 2019 12:23 am

The problem is definitely not "greed."

Rather, the situation is running a store-front business. The owner has to pay rent, water, gas, electric, liability insurance, telephone hookup, internet connection for paperwork processing and VISA cards and all that, new paint, janitorial services, security systems, employee salaries, employee benefits, employee other stuff, Xerox machines, cash registers, accountant(s), lawyer(s), toilet paper, paper towels, soap ..... and whatever else I'm forgetting, or don't even know about and can't even imagine.

Back when I did some consulting, a "multiplier" was used. In general, if I could get a 2.3 multiplier, I could collect a salary. If I was paid $25/hr, the firm had to collect $58/hr from the client. I got $25, the firm needed every other dime collected to keep the doors open.

So yeh, the fees can seem "unreasonably excessive" for a "tiny" job requiring just a few minutes of actual time. It's all the background "noise" that the customer does not hear which is the problem.

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Re: Local gun shops. And greed. grrrrrrrr......

#18 Post by wecsoger » Sat Jun 15, 2019 7:12 am

Interesting comments, all.

Short version: which is a better business decision, to charge a long term customer $30, or $120 for the same transaction? Former is advertised price, the latter "store policy"

Short term, the answer is the $120, grab the money and go. Customer retention is not an issue, money coming in, is.

It's business owner's choice, but also customer's choice where they go.

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Re: Local gun shops. And greed. grrrrrrrr......

#19 Post by Ray » Sat Jun 15, 2019 7:40 am

Internet gun sales where you actually buy from a distributor and pay a f.f.l. a modest transfer fee for his time and trouble were new to me in 2010 when I first tried it and I have enjoyed the sense of freedom it brought. A local pawn charged $15 per transfer and was glad to get it. Most of the time I gave him $20. That shop went out of business when the owner/manager/clerk had to get a real job for the health insurance.

Since then I have had varying results with the process including situations like the o.p.

The main shop I use now ($15) is reluctant to send in his license copy to a new distributor even though it is just a click or two of the mouse and a few keystrokes to e-mail it.

Sometimes you have to pounce on a deal and there is no time to beg and plead an obstinate person to act. So I have had to use other shops.....

One was listed by the wholesaler as charging $20 but he did not like the deal I had found or was envious and tried to charge me $75. After a bit of discussion I paid the $20 and since then his shop has been deleted from that wholesaler's f.f.l. search engine for similar complaints.

You see shops deleted and yet added again later from Davidson's Gallery of Guns system for abuses like attempting to charge more than agreed upon.
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Re: Local gun shops. And greed. grrrrrrrr......

#20 Post by marlinman93 » Sat Jun 15, 2019 7:49 am

mikld wrote:
Fri Jun 14, 2019 2:38 pm
Still just $10 here n Oregon, but I have not purchased multiple firearms at one time. But I can understand each is a separate transaction. In OR the serial number of the gun is on the NICS form/check, so 3 guns, 3 checks, but I would prolly balk at the shop's "policy" too...
$10 is Oregon's fee, and doesn't include what a gun dealer adds on for his time. Most add another $20-$25 on top of Oregon's fee, but not sure how they'd handle multiples at one time. Regardless, there's no way they'd charge less than what they pay to Oregon. So if it was 3 checks, it would be $30 plus whatever they want for themselves.

Fortunately my gun club has a FFL and only charges Oregon's $10 fee, and the rest is free for members.
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Re: Local gun shops. And greed. grrrrrrrr......

#21 Post by piller » Sat Jun 15, 2019 11:57 am

Local Gun Shop about 1.5 miles from me charges $25 per visit when I order fron CDNN and have it shipped. He has to make a living, it would cost me more to get my own FFL, and he has given some good advice on guns.

If I were the type to go to a bar, I would probably get upset at the prices. A shot of whiskey is about 30 ml, or an ounce for those who are not in my field of endeavor. A fifth of whiskey holds 750 ml, or about 25 shots. My favorite whiskey costs me about $30 at the liquor store. Approximately a dollar and some change per shot. Since it is a brand and not just a cheap house brand that the bar would get for about $10 to $15 per bottle, I paid $6 for a shot the last time I went to a bar. $150 per bottle, and they pay quite a lot less per bottle than I do. It has been ten years since I went into a bar.
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Re: Local gun shops. And greed. grrrrrrrr......

#22 Post by piller » Sat Jun 15, 2019 12:25 pm

AJMD429 wrote:
Fri Jun 14, 2019 5:11 pm
Here's the deal, though - 'forced loss-leaders' - for ME, it is the 45 minute visit with Anthem Blue Cross (which the patient will mistakenly think is 'great' insurance). Anthem forces the physician to commit fraudulent underbilling under threat, in order to boost their profits, so the most you can code that visit for will be a 99214, which may pay $71 or so and the patient's co-pay will be $20. So you get $91 for what will ultimately take over an hour of your time at an overhead of $240/hour. You just can't do that all day long without doing something profitable to offset the loss. So.....the next patient has a few precancerous skin lesions that need frozen off. Since that price was set by 'specialists' and may be reimbursed at $60/lesion for a dermatologist, I may get $40/lesion, and I freeze four of them off in under two minutes, using $8.00 in overhead, $2.00 in liquid nitrogen, and about 5% of my brain power. $160 minus $10 = $150 profit for THAT visit.

That's my equivalent of "an FFL transfer" - It may be a 'greedy rip-off', but that's how I survive. At least I don't pretend things need frozen off that don't (many doctors over-do that big-time). If I could set the prices, I'd do the skin cryos for $10 each, but I'd charge $350 for that hour-long complex visit that saved the patient a heart attack, but maybe the gunsmith would charge alot more for fixing guns and less for the FFL if he had a choice.
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My LGS has given me a few tips on upcoming manufacturer sales and deals. I ordered a couple of times and paid much less than Bass Pro Shops advertised on sale in their sales flyer. I feel as if he is trying to help his customers. I want him to make a profit and stay in business.
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Re: Local gun shops. And greed. grrrrrrrr......

#23 Post by Sevastopol » Sat Jun 15, 2019 1:24 pm

I've always assumed transfer fees were per gun.

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Re: Local gun shops. And greed. grrrrrrrr......

#24 Post by 6pt-sika » Sat Jun 15, 2019 1:38 pm

The transfer fee in Virginia is $2 per form and usually you can put half dozen or so on a form . The transfer fee is just that and if you buy a gun from us or order it from us it’s $2 . HOWEVER if you buy one on your own and have it shipped to us it’s $35 and again that’s $35 for one or if you got six on the same form still $35 . Of the $2 that goes to the state we get less then 50 cents which is okay if we sell it to you . HOWEVER if you bought online and have it shipped to us you better believe you’re going to pay the $35 how else do you expect us to make money and stay in business .
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Re: Local gun shops. And greed. grrrrrrrr......

#25 Post by 6pt-sika » Sat Jun 15, 2019 1:46 pm

wecsoger wrote:
Fri Jun 14, 2019 11:18 am


Hit a sale, ordered three AR lowers (hey, buy cheap, stack deep) and went by to pick them up



It's his place and his rules, I understand but he needs my business more than I need his product.
If you order from someone else and have them shipped to any dealer you are not buying HIS product . He’s helping you . Now I don’t exactly agree on being charged per serial number , but if you think $30 is high you’re mistaken .
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Re: Local gun shops. And greed. grrrrrrrr......

#26 Post by 6pt-sika » Sat Jun 15, 2019 1:49 pm

Sevastopol wrote:
Sat Jun 15, 2019 1:24 pm
I've always assumed transfer fees were per gun.
Before I got involved in a gunshop again I had a couple dealers I used and I’d buy a good bit thru the net . I’d let them get three or four in the back for me before I filled out the paperwork and always got a better price on the transfer . Takes the same amount of time to enter a form with one gun as it does with six .
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Re: Local gun shops. And greed. grrrrrrrr......

#27 Post by wm » Sat Jun 15, 2019 2:07 pm

Besides the obvious over head (taxes, rent, electricity, etc,) don't forget about the liability insurance these dealers have to carry. That is a good deal of the monthly nut they have to make in order to stay business.

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Re: Local gun shops. And greed. grrrrrrrr......

#28 Post by Larkbill » Sat Jun 15, 2019 3:00 pm

My LGS is happy to do transfers for $25 and I have done a couple. But twice I found something I wanted at Bud's and asked them if they could come within $25 of Bud's price (was actually prepared to go higher) and both times they beat Bud's price. We both won. Hard to beat that.
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Re: Local gun shops. And greed. grrrrrrrr......

#29 Post by jeepnik » Sat Jun 15, 2019 4:35 pm

For almost three decades I had a shop I dealt with. The owner passed and the family tore the business apart. I, luckily, found another. This lasted almost two decades. He too passed. (Note to self, find a guy younger than yourself next time). Since then I've used a variety of shops with varying degrees of happiness. The old style shops seem to be gone.
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Re: Local gun shops. And greed. grrrrrrrr......

#30 Post by cas » Sat Jun 15, 2019 5:35 pm

Price here is around $25+ before tax. Driven down to that by competition and FFL's adapting and taking to the new business model. For ages the going rate around here was $40-$60 (with one guy asking $100, though I don't know how many he did)
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Re: Local gun shops. And greed. grrrrrrrr......

#31 Post by 3leggedturtle » Sat Jun 15, 2019 11:02 pm

The shop here doesnt charge tranfer fee if you buy from them. For firearms mailed to them from other sources its $20 for the 1st time and $15 therafter.
30/30 Winchester: Not accurate enough fer varmints, barely adequate for small deer; BUT In a 10" to 14" barrelled pistol; is good for moose/elk to 200 yards; ground squirrels to 300 metres

250 Savage: The Original short action, compact, high velocity cartridge.

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