Well, OldMan, actually, I base more of my prices on what the surrounding area is getting for the same gun(s). The profit margins aren't what you might think if you haven't been able to look at wholseale pricing up to now. The bulk of the price of any given firearm is there before the retailer even gets his hands on it for resale. Obviously, the quantity retailers can make more per unit sold than someone like me can. I also adjust my margin on the particular sale, giving a bit more consideration to active military and public safety people, all branches. In most cases, with name brands for sure, you will be lucky if you can make between $75-100/gun. Often, you will have to settle for making less than that.
I've been fortunate to develop factory direct deals with five different manufacturers that are willing to deal directly with small retailers and even ship individual units. These type of deals can increase your margins significantly. You have to keep your eyes open and be willing to network. This is [B]real[B] important for little guys to do if they want to survive and thrive in this business.
There's a brick & mortar gun shop near me that stocks reasonably well and does a good business because they price reasonably (considering the pricing in general) and they treat their customer base pretty well. I have a business relationship with the owner and once when we talked, he told me that if he couldn't make $100/gun at least, it wasn't worth him doing it. Now, he has significant overhead to deal with, so I can understand his feelings. I don't have that overhead and still have a day job, so I can afford to have lower margins to build up my client base and reputation until the day that I can expand. I'm looking at ways to expand without having to take out a big loan just to stock. I have my instructor cert now and am getting liability insurance end of the month, so I'll be offering classes. I also have the property to do live fire and no municipal issues to stop me, so it's an ideal situation. If you get inventive, you can make it work being one of the smallest fish in our big sea.
As to the other comment about sales going up now, I spoke to my Davidson's rep the other day after I unsuccessfully tried to get a Taurus 1911 from them for someone buying one. They were out. He told me that they got in 100 ARs and they were scarfed up in 4 1/2 minutes by retailers. Yep....the feeding frenzy has begun again.
I, myself, took in an AK pistol from someone that needed cash this morning. It was listed here in the classifieds and by the time I finished, it was sold pending funds transfer, not to anyone here unfortunately, but to someone that called me.