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Thread: Local gunshop closing its doors.

  1. #21
    Boolit Master
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    I see both sides of the story and it boils down to service from the owner. When we lived in Alaska I bought all my guns from a local shop (Boondocks, Eagle River). All I had to do was to call them and tell them what I wanted. We never even had to discuss price. They would order it and sell it for a very reasonable price. Never a hassle. One time I bought a cheap 9mm to try and first day at the range the hammer cracked. Went back to the store and they gave me a refund. Not some run a round story about how it would have to be mailed off, etc. Now thats service with a capitol S. If I bought a gun at auction they would handle the transfer for $25. But every new gun was bought at their shop.

    If I found that level of service again would never order online. But I havent so our local stores eat dust and my FFL transfer guy makes $25 a pop.
    Tennessee

  2. #22
    Boolit Master
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    A shame for sure. I try to support local businesses alf all types. Having been a small business owner as well as my family always having been in business, I know very well the challenges it presents, especially when trying to compete with the large chain stores who get better pricing, 90 day billing, etc. Kudos to this folks for trying to do it on the side but at some point, too many pressures make a person have to decide the important things they need to concentrate on.

    Nope, they can't always be competitive price wise . . . but like you say . . . now you have to drive 50 miles to deal with folks who are less than pleasant to deal with. I remember well, many, many years ago, when a local service station went to sell a set of tires a local guy who complained about the price and that he could order a seat of tires from Sears for much less. The guy ordered the tires from Sears and then wanted the service station to mount them for him . . . huh? The guy at the service station wouldn't do it and the guy had to drive 15 miles to find someone that would mount them. Several months later, he needed to fill them with air so he stopped at the local service station where the guy always had an air hose inside for the convenience of his customers. When the guy with the Sears tires asked to use the air hose, the service station fellow just smiled and said no. When the guy with the Sears tires asked why he couldn't use the air hose, he was told . . . "You ordered your tires from Sears and they mailed them to you . . . go to the post office and get your air."

    Maybe it's because I was brought up in a small town . . .but it's a shame how the small businesses have been put out of business by the large stores and the internet sales. My family had a lumber yard / hardware store for several generations and we eventuallyhad to call it quits like so many others. We provided good service and could answer questions and help someone when they had a job to do but not quite sure about what they needed or how to go about it. Today, you go to most lumberyards or hardware stores and they don't even know how to make change or do they know anything about what they are selling - if you're lucky enough to find someone to help you.

    A lot of times, I hear fellows say they ordered on-line because an item was "cheaper" - but was it really? With shipping costs today, what did it really cost in the end? If the price is close, I'll buy from the LGS every time. They try to keep their prices down the best they can and I know that if they go out of business, the only ones I'll have to deal with are the large box stores.

  3. #23
    Boolit Master
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    Here's another point to ponder. When the local gun shops go out of business because they are outcompeted by Internet sellers and kitchen table transfer FFLs, what are we going to do if the Democrats get their wish and close down Internet sales?

  4. #24
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    We have a local shop that is sometimes a bit much, but where they really make their bucks is they do their own financing - they make a killing selling gins on time and half the folks that do that trade 'em back in when they read about the next coolest gun in some gun ragazine !

  5. #25
    Boolit Master RED BEAR's Avatar
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    snow wolfe just bought wife new 32mag went to range and wouldn't work would only fire 3to 4 rounds per cylinder. called shop were i bought it and got the you mail it in. this was a brand new gun. last one i will buy from him. i did find a small shop about 20 miles away ( us gun works hopewell va) that is great. easy to deal with and very helpfull. anyone in the area might want to check them out. it is hard to find anyone who isn't totally out for his self anymore.

  6. #26
    Boolit Master
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    The real “deal killer” with me anymore buying locally is the sales tax of 9.5%. This alone is helping to kill off most of the Mom and Pa shops. If I order online the price is lower, no sales tax, then pay a $25 transfer. If I have a store order it the price is higher then have to pay sales tax on top. The only way to level the playing field is to make people pay their states sales tax rate (if they have one) for transfers.
    Tennessee

  7. #27
    Boolit Master





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    I have to ask to all the online buyers. No local Gun shop ? who is the FFL doing your transfers for nothing or 20 bucks ? wont be your local pawn shop as soon as the charge 50-100 or any big stores.

    Good luck on your CHEAPIE transfers. Having an FFL takes work seems you guys need your own. Again Good luck wish you the best.

  8. #28
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by snowwolfe View Post
    The real “deal killer” with me anymore buying locally is the sales tax of 9.5%. This alone is helping to kill off most of the Mom and Pa shops. If I order online the price is lower, no sales tax, then pay a $25 transfer. If I have a store order it the price is higher then have to pay sales tax on top. The only way to level the playing field is to make people pay their states sales tax rate (if they have one) for transfers.
    Don’t worry. There’s a case in front of the Supreme Court right now. I have no doubt that they’re going to rule that a merchant must collect sales tax regardless of if they have a physical presence in the state. This means all online merchants will charge you the same 9.5% sales tax that you’d pay at a local store.

    The states are losing millions upon millions and playing field will be leveled. Not to save the local stores. So the states can fill their coffers.

  9. #29
    Boolit Master





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    Sales Tax??????

  10. #30
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by Geezer in NH View Post
    Sales Tax??????
    And people in other states will ask you what property tax is? There’s no free lunch and there’s currently another thread about taxes.

  11. #31
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    already repercusions. Went to the gun shop yesterday that's 50 miles away that run my what I call the ninja brothers. I was in there two week ago looking at guns and yesterday the price on all three guns that I was interested in was up 10-20 bucks. I asked them if its because they don't have competition anymore and they said they never raised the prices. We walked out.
    Soldier of God, sixgun junky, Retired electrical lineman. My office was a 100 feet in the air, closer to God the better

  12. #32
    [QUOTE=Lloyd Smale;4387083]already repercusions. Went to the gun shop yesterday that's 50 miles away that run my what I call the ninja brothers. I was in there two week ago looking at guns and yesterday the price on all three guns that I was interested in was up 10-20 bucks. I asked them if its because they don't have competition anymore and they said they never raised the prices. We walked out.[/

    Yes, competition definitely has its place!

  13. #33
    The Brass Man Four-Sixty's Avatar
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    I would say the small shops closing would hurt the big on-line retailers because there would be fewer shops available to accept transfers, but Academy and Walmart let you special order guns. The big box stores are poised to poach Bud's business for sure. I'm surprised I can't order on-line for local pick up at Academy already.
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  14. #34
    Boolit Master


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    For nearly 40 years I worked in an industry that is having it's share of troubles with online sellers. Most folks lose sight of the fact that a local seller employs local people, pays local and state taxes, purchases local goods and services and supports local causes. As a rule they also provide a higher level of service. Price isn't everything, there are no winners in the race for the bottom. Online sellers have their place but can never truly replace the local seller, they can only take away his livelihood.
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  15. #35
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by Geezer in NH View Post
    I have to ask to all the online buyers. No local Gun shop ? who is the FFL doing your transfers for nothing or 20 bucks ? wont be your local pawn shop as soon as the charge 50-100 or any big stores.

    Good luck on your CHEAPIE transfers. Having an FFL takes work seems you guys need your own. Again Good luck wish you the best.
    My local pawn shop charged $25 per transfer. But then I found a dealer closer to me who operates out of his house and he charges $25 for all transfers and that includes the background check fee.
    Last edited by snowwolfe; 06-12-2018 at 09:59 AM.
    Tennessee

  16. #36
    Boolit Master

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    For the last 5~10 purchases, my local guy charges $20, has for the last 3 years that I know of and it helps him pay his licensing fee and small amount of overhead.

  17. #37
    Boolit Master RogerDat's Avatar
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    As a character in a Robert Heinlein novel once pointed out, you can't outrun compound interest. Small shop has to carry inventory. Money for that inventory will be either borrowed and is then required to generate sales at a rate sufficient to repay the loan plus interest over the time it took to sell. Or the inventory is paid for using the owners own funds and needs to return a profit sufficient to compare favorably to the return on other investments that could be made with the money.

    Put another way if I the LGS owner have to use wages from my labor to pay the bank or accept 3% return on my own money it won't make sense to do it. So the shops close. I seldom sort through brass to sell or swap what I don't need anymore. Too much money to purchase bucket of brass, then time to sort, and the prices are not high enough to make it worth doing. I could mow a couple of lawns and buy brass with the money and get better return on my time. Don't make sense so I won't generally do it.

    One can discuss and debate the why's and wherefores but people have a fairly strong inclination to not work really hard for no profit.

    The surviving small shops in the age of internet and big box sales will be those that sell to a niche. Be that specialized good such as high end firearms, muzzle loading, used firearms, or even the much loved mall ninja gear and weapons. Markets where knowledge is key to making a profit, not access to discounts from wholesale suppliers. And as some have pointed out providing services. Gun smith, lessons, range, rent on the range before you buy, and yes FFL transfer service. However both goods or services, or a combination require sufficient volume of business to pay the bills.

    Have been in business before where my "profit" as a percentage of sales was good but my volume of sales wasn't making me a living so I did it part time. Now after some additional customers were added it at least paid a living. Or did until one account went bankrupt with 30 days of labor and material sunk into it. Boy howdy being your own boss is swell. No downside there, not at all.

    Most folks can't afford a large premium to purchase local, a little something extra yes, and the bigger the purchase the more that extra works against the LGS or other local store. So I buy what I can from local businesses, and will pay a bit of a premium to do business with vendors that I like at gun shows. What I can't do is buy 3 $18 Lee Molds for $25 each. One yes, three no.

    Same with powder or primers. Will probably buy a pound or box of primers just because I stopped in the store. When I want 5k primers and 12# of powder I'll order it. Partly because LGS unlikely to stock many powders in 8# jugs, ties up too much capital. Has a lower profit than 1# bottles too. And partly because the $4 difference in price on all those items dings me for $60 or more over buying online.

    Can't compete then will fail, it is what happens in a marketplace. Some shops are in building owned by proprietor which might allow them to eek out a living due to not having rent to pay. But hard for most of them to come up with a replacement to keep shop running when they want to retire. Up and coming gunsmiths are few and far between.
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  18. #38
    My favorite (local) gun shop’s owner died years back and I still have not been able to find a place that I like. One most people refer to as ‘high dollar’ where something on ‘sale’ is marked down to retail. Another one just closed and there is one remaining. That one is mostly an AR store, which while I like ARs, there are other types of firearms.

    The gun shop that closed was small and only carried a limited supply of firearms, but did have reloading supplies. He would order any firearm and to compensate for it not being in stock would mark it up 15% over his cost. It was a win-win since the buyer got a decent discount and the owner didn’t have to have higher priced inventory that he didn’t know when it might sell.

    Like has been said, I continue to purchase items at my local gun shop, but also have made purchases from some of the larger online businesses when the prices are significantly different.

  19. #39
    Boolit Buddy
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    Some gun shops at the time the 1968 Gun Control Act became effective saw the law as helping their business as before that every hardware store carried a few new guns and some ammo, and many gas stations took in used guns to resell and they sold ammo. But gun restrictions, including that 1968 law, hurt all Americans whether they are shooters, retailers or manufacturers. As Americans we need to push back or we will see done to us what happened in Canada, England, Australia, CA, NY, CT, MD and MA. The 2nd Amendment - the entire Bill of Rights - grants nothing; it acknowledges those rights exist and no permission is needed. But if we don't defend them in the political process we will one day either lose them or have to defend them with blood spilled. The situation is that clear and that stark. The rights that were taken away in 1968 have now become the normal state, and that is a lesson for all.

  20. #40
    Boolit Master am44mag's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ickisrulz View Post
    It's a new world with internet ordering. You can locate almost any gun, accessory and reloading component online and have it shipped for less than the local guys want. In other words, the local stores are too expensive and have limited selections.

    I'm sorry local businesses are closing, but I am unwilling to pay significantly more for something than I have to. A penny saved is a penny earned.
    I'll pay $20-$30 more. MAYBE $50, but that's pushing it. I like local businesses, but there's got to be a limit as to what's reasonable. Instant gratification and the feeling you get for buying locally is only worth so much. I'll go in and chew the cud all day, but I'm not paying $450 for a $300 rifle or $30 for a $20 box of ammo.
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