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taihawk 06-22-2011 09:47 PM

General "Shopping" advice requested
Folks, as I mentioned in another thread, I'm looking to buy my first handgun (first gun of any kind actually), and plan on building on that foundation as the not so distant future approaches. I have a friend that is a licensed dealer, so am getting my first through him as he knows his stuff. However, is there a "best way" to make sure that I'm getting a good deal on these, or if I'm getting taken to the cleaners?

knfxda 06-22-2011 10:16 PM

I would think that if the licensed dealer truly was your "friend", you shouldn't have much to worry about. I would think that he would have your back on this. Now, if you mean acquaitance instead of "friend", then that might be another story.

I think that there might be a list of questions that would be answered in order to give you good advice. 1st of all is what are you looking for (what have you narrowed your list down to)? Are you looking at new or used? etc?

Minimally, you should:
  • Know the MSRP of the item that you are buying.
  • Know the "street price" of the item that you are buying. (Using sites like buds or auction arms to determine what the going price of something is, can be helpful)
  • Find out what the local competition is selling it for

You don't have to get the literal "best" price to get a good deal, you just don't want to pay an exorbitant amount over the going price. I think there is a premium to be paid when buying locally and you have to determine if there is value in that for you.

moonpie 06-22-2011 10:25 PM

what he said. its not a bad idea to pick up a BLUE BOOK or at least a gun traders guide from walmart.

sweeper22 06-22-2011 10:32 PM

Look at what Bud's is asking for guns. They're competitive on pretty much everything and always have an excellent selection, so that'll give you an idea.

I'm willing to spend 10-15% over Bud's price locally. But if the price increase starts creeping toward 20% (which usually translates to $100+), then I order through Bud's. I'm fortunate to have a connection where I only have to pay $20 total for the BGC and transfer...and Bud's ships free.

utf59 06-23-2011 12:16 AM

As long as you're buying new, it should be simple: do what you read above. Look up the MSRP, check online sites, check auction sites, check at least two shop locally, and maybe look at a forum or two that is like this one but focused on your area. It won't take long to establish a "baseline" for the value of a new gun this way.

Now, if you're looking at used guns, you need to do a LOT of research.

Flat4sti 06-23-2011 02:22 AM

It's just like buying a tv, dish washers, anything. Do your research, try em out, read reviews, ask us, compare prices online. If your friend is a real friend he should give you a bro discount. I love those.

I have always been one that would rather support my local business where i can. Even though I know that I can probably find a better deal online at some nameless shop.

therewolf 06-23-2011 10:16 PM

1)Know what you want

2) Know what it's worth, and how much you're willing to pay

3) When feasible, support your LGS. Or soon, all that will be left is

Gunbroker and Wal-Mart...

sweeper22 06-24-2011 04:00 AM


Originally Posted by therewolf (Post 528245)
3) When feasible, support your LGS. Or soon, all that will be left is

Gunbroker and Wal-Mart...

I agree. I've ordered one gun through Bud's and it won't be my last. But in general I use the site primarily to window shop for my interests, gather info on said firearms, and as a price barometer.

Very few local local shops will meet Buds' prices. The truth is, very few deal in the volumes where they can afford to. But if they simply come within 15%, they'll get my money. It's good for the store, the local economy, and my own networking opportunities. But if they don't have or can't get what you want for a competitive price...that's where Bud's becomes the go-to.

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