Is Buying Online "Worth" It?
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Old 03-31-2011, 08:24 AM   #1
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Default Is Buying Online "Worth" It?

I want to answer that question, and I'm going to try and make it as simple as possible. As many people are aware, buying guns online is a growing trend. But does it really save you money, and if so, how much would it save you? I'm going to compare prices of online vs. LGS attempting to give a legitimate view of prices. This is assuming that a particular gun is available in-store and online. The items are considered NIB at both places. It's not uncommon to find guns online for a relatively cheaper price. We're going to assume that the guns are $30 cheaper online

For the online purchases, we are going to assume that shipping is $25 and the FFL charge is $25, giving a total of $50.
For the in-store purchase, we are going to assume sales tax is 7.00%. It's a nice round number.

Scenario 1: You find a 22 handgun you like at your LGS for $350, but you can get it online for $320.
-Online price: 320+50= $370
-In-store price: (350*.07) + 350= $374.50 (tax was only $24.50)
-Conclusion: At that price range, unless the online price is less by $35 or more, It's not even really worth considering. If the prices are the same, you pay more from buying online.

Scenario 2: You find a nice large caliber handgun for sale at your LGS for $550, and you find it online for $520
-Online price: $520+50= $570
-In-store price: (550*.07)+550= $588.50 (tax was $38.50)
-Conclusion: At this price range, you start to save a decent amount of money, but it's really up to you if It's worth it. If the prices are the same, you pay more from buying online.

Scenario 3: You find a nice deer rifle for about $800 in-store, and you find it online for $770.
-Online price: $770+50= $820
-In-store price: (800*.07)+800= $856 (tax was $56)
-Conclusion: At this price range, you begin to save a substantial amount of money by buying online at $30 less than in-store. If the prices are the same, you pay more from buying in-store.

Scenario 4: You find a beautiful handgun or a decent AR-15 in a store for around $1200, and you find it online for $1170.
-Online price: $1170+50= $1230
-In-store price: (1200*.07)+1200= $1284 (tax was $84)
-Conclusion: At this price range, you can start saving a measurable amount of money, especially if you can find a larger difference in price (which isn't hard to do). If the prices are the same, you pay more by buying in-store.

As a side note, at 7% sales tax, you will begin paying over $50 in tax (the cost of shipping and FFL transfer) at $715 and up.

I hope this helped some people, and I hope even more that I didn't screw any of this up! Let me know If I need to change anything, please

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Old 03-31-2011, 08:42 AM   #2
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It's not always the price, you have to consider availability as well. When I was looking for my S&W 617 there just wasn't one in any store anywhere near me. Also, stores like Bud's (I've bought a half-dozen from them) include shipping in the price. Many will charge you 3% or so if you put the purchase on a credit card but you can always take the time and send a MO if you choose. Bottom line is I'd rather support my LGS when possible and if the OTD price is comparable - I will buy local...

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Old 03-31-2011, 08:55 AM   #3
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While I am for supporting the local firearms dealers, sometimes I cannot get the deal I want.

If the total price is within $50 -$75, then I will go local, otherwise the web gets my business.

Ammo is another consideration. My gas, time, ammo cost versus buying on the web with shipping cost. Do I save any money? Nobody in my area stocks .38Super.

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Old 03-31-2011, 11:42 AM   #4
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I don't have a local gun store. I have a local ripoff mart called gander mnt. Prices there are always a good $100 over gunbroker. So if I buy on line from buds pay $25 to transfer it I'm still $75 ahead. That money then goes to get dies powder and bullets for reloading. Or if it is a rimfire thtas $75 worth of ammo in my safe. That's a lot of federal bulk ammo. The closest lgs to me is 45 min away the selection sucks prices are higher gander mnt. It is not always advisable tobuy from the lgs plus that lgs has ****ty customer service it stinks it's dirty and crammed with crap.

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Old 03-31-2011, 12:05 PM   #5
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The only place I've found that you can get better prices then gunbroker is a local forum where a lot of trading/selling happens. Meet face to face and remove shipping, sales tax and transfer all at once. You often get a box of ammo or a set of grips or something else that helps sweeten the deal a little.
It may take you a little while to find what you are looking for but if you aren't in a hurry it usually pops up.

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Old 03-31-2011, 12:28 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spittinfire View Post
The only place I've found that you can get better prices then gunbroker is a local forum where a lot of trading/selling happens. Meet face to face and remove shipping, sales tax and transfer all at once. You often get a box of ammo or a set of grips or something else that helps sweeten the deal a little.
It may take you a little while to find what you are looking for but if you aren't in a hurry it usually pops up.
I'm truly sorry Spitty. I also told Shihan about the place yesterday...
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Old 03-31-2011, 12:39 PM   #7
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My area is also lacking in local gun shops; there are a couple of smaller shops that are part of a pawn shop, and there is one outdoors store with an odd mix of firearms and pricey outdoors-themed clothing. There is a Gander Pile about 25 minutes away in a nearby small city, but their prices are a bit high in comparison to the pawnshop shops. Ammunition availability locally is also limited, since none of the pawnshop shops carry much ammo at all. I haven't bought any SKS ammo locally, but i do get lucky and pick up some 9mm or 45ACP at the local Wallyworld some times.

The online prices on firearms are frequently over $100 less than what is locally available in my area. Don't even get me started on the SUR prices at the recent gunshow.

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Old 03-31-2011, 12:46 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NGIB View Post
I'm truly sorry Spitty. I also told Shihan about the place yesterday...
Noooooooooooo, IT'S BEEN TAINTED!!!! Nah, it's ok as long as he doesn't interfere with my dealings.
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Old 03-31-2011, 01:24 PM   #9
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I have never paid $50 bucks for FFL transfer.

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Old 03-31-2011, 01:32 PM   #10
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I only pay $10 for FFL, tax here is 8.25%, and most of the time price difference is much more than $50.00. I factor everything when making my purchase and like others, I try to support local stores but not when they try to rob me blind.

NGIB touched the bigger issue of availability, local stores cannot compete nationwide supply which you can tap online.

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