Is Buying Online "Worth" It?

Discussion in 'The Club House' started by TheSadPanda, Mar 31, 2011.

  1. TheSadPanda

    TheSadPanda New Member

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    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 :)
     
    Last edited: Mar 31, 2011
  2. NGIB

    NGIB New Member

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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...
     

  3. danf_fl

    danf_fl Retired Supporter

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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.
     
  4. cpttango30

    cpttango30 New Member

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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.
     
    Last edited: Mar 31, 2011
  5. spittinfire

    spittinfire New Member Supporter

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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.
     
  6. NGIB

    NGIB New Member

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    I'm truly sorry Spitty. I also told Shihan about the place yesterday...
     
  7. orangello

    orangello New Member

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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.
     
  8. spittinfire

    spittinfire New Member Supporter

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    Noooooooooooo, IT'S BEEN TAINTED!!!! Nah, it's ok as long as he doesn't interfere with my dealings. :D
     
  9. Colossal Urprising

    Colossal Urprising New Member

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    I have never paid $50 bucks for FFL transfer.
     
  10. Poink88

    Poink88 New Member

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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.
     
  11. cpttango30

    cpttango30 New Member

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    If I were to buy another Remington 700 VLS in 243. Here is the prices (REAL prices)

    Gander: $949.99 Plus Tax at .05 = $997.50

    Buds: $775.00 shipped for free to my one local range that charges $25 for the transfer fee. so that is a total of $800 out the door. That is a savings of $197.50

    Sounds like your numbers need a little work.

    My next buy is going to be an xd 40.

    Buds: $443.oo +$25 transfer fee. = $468.00 out the door.

    Gander: $599.00 plus tax = $628.95

    So by buying at Buds and having it shipped to the local gun range I save $161. I don't know about you but I just saved enough on 2 buys to support a third buy of a new Browning Buck Mark 22lr. Browning 051-410490 BKMK 22 MIC MS STDSSURX $330.00 SHIPS FREE

    I dunno about you but I think it is well worth it to buy on line.

    I did buy my AR-15 on line for $975 and a $75 transfer fee. for $1050.00

    If I had went to gander I would have ended up with a Remington R-15 for $1799 + tax = $1888.95 for a savings of $838.95 I must say I then purchased a Nikon 6-24x50mm Monarch for $550 and Rings for another $50. I still saved $238.95 on an entire gun with a scope and rings for the price of JUST the gun at The local store.

    Next time Try using real world prices and real world shipping and tax. It might work out better.
     
    Last edited: Mar 31, 2011
  12. IGETEVEN

    IGETEVEN New Member

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    If you have researched and handled the firearm your interested in, better yet, fired it as well, if it's what you want, then buying online is worth it if the shipping, tax and transfer fee does not price it out over what you can get it locally.

    The guys here have given you some great intel as to the savings involved if you do your research and buy online, and there are several online retailers that will carry you on various lay-a-way plans as well.

    I live in Oklahoma. The local gun shops here have all the business they want, so if I can't get a smoking deal from them, they get my transfer fee money, which my local gun shop has no problems with at all. "C'est la vie."...:cool:
     
  13. NGIB

    NGIB New Member

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    I probably get 75% of the stuff I own from private party trades and buys - which is the way to go if you know what you're looking for...
     
  14. TheSadPanda

    TheSadPanda New Member

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    It was assumed that availability was fair in both places. OBVIOUSLY if you can't get it locally, online is the place to go. I thought that went without saying. As for realistic prices, these are close enough to realistic prices to get my point across, which was: as the price of the item increases, the more and more money you would save by buying online. It's a no brainer if you can find it $200 cheaper online that you buy it there. I could not possibly accommodate all of the possible scenarios with different price, price range, tax, shipping, and FFL costs. I just don;t like you all THAT much :p
     
  15. kenhesr

    kenhesr New Member

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    I know a lot of people who do and they seem happy, I just never tried it. On new weapons I've used the same dealer for 40 years. If he doesn't have one, I just tell him what I want, where he gets it I don't know, but he always gives me the best price I can find anywhere.

    AR stripped lowers I pick-up at the local gunshow from my Superior Arms dealer. Any custom work I have done locally too.

    On used, surplus weapons or even new AKs I need to see them, inspect and fondle them a little before I dig out the cash.

    One thing I do buy online is Ammo. Surplus ammo in particular! Places like Century have Free S&H on orders of $501.00 or over. Others like Aim have free shipping every now & again, mostly around christmas. Some like Ammoman figure it into the price and give "free" s&h all the time. I am always on the look-out for some real good ammo deals! :)

    Gun parts are another thing I buy a ton of online. Its just so darn easy!
     
  16. zebramochaman

    zebramochaman New Member

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    A good portion of my collection was purchased on line. Generally speaking, the prices charged by gun shops in the SSR of Maryland for firearms are absurd.
    Even with the high price that is charged for the transfer, in most cases, it is cheaper to buy online.
     
  17. cpttango30

    cpttango30 New Member

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    You didn't do anything. You use fake prices that fit what you wanted to say "BUY LOCAL". You don't even put out the guns names just a 22 cal pistol.

    I really do understand the buy local first but, like I said mine are all way over priced.

    I proved you wrong on every account really. You used the exact same price point for all of them $30 cheaper on line. Not all guns are going to be $30 cheaper on line vs in the LGS.

    I just fail to see where you did any kind of research other than shipping and tax.
     
  18. TheSadPanda

    TheSadPanda New Member

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    Ok I get what you're saying. But I wanted it to be as simple and general as possible of a representation of the savings that you can see when buying at different price ranges. There is supposed to be a consistent price difference to show the difference in gains at the greater price ranges. If you wanna start on "holes on the findings" then you only represented one of the many many places that firearms are available, AND you used a reputably high priced store as a comparison which will easily throw off your usual savings and differences. OBVIOUSLY it could have been more in depth, but I didn't go there for a reason. So please, no need to be a negative nancy about it.
     
  19. freefall

    freefall New Member

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    Cracking a beer and throwing some popcorn in the microwave...
     
  20. cpttango30

    cpttango30 New Member

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    I used that store because that is the closest gun store where i have purchased guns before. What you save is going to be determined by the store you have in your area correct. I used buds because it is a major online retailer and more than a few members here have used it. I could have used gun broker. You can't use a set savings as the differ for each gun. I have a store about 35 miles from me that only sells glock handguns. You can get a brand new g19 there for $365 the last time I looked. Transfer fees are different the place I got me AR sent to charged me $75. And was an hour and a half away. I messed up and didn't send it to the range 10 minutes from my house.

    By simplifying it you didn't give an accurate account of prices.