Selling guns for the small FFL

Discussion in 'NFA/Class 3 & FFL Discussion' started by Voyantus, Feb 6, 2018.

  1. Voyantus

    Voyantus New Member

    Hi All,
    I have my ATF interview coming up and anticipate my FFL not long there after. Other than receiving for friends, family and others in the community I would like to sell firearms as well. I don't have a store front (and likely won't). I understand how I can build relationships with wholesalers to resell etc. I'm struggling to see if there is a way to build an online presence where customers could search an inventory and buy through me ala Bud's Gunshop etc. I don't anticipate that type of volume etc but I'm not sure exactly where to even start looking. Any thoughts or points in a specific direction would be appreciated. Thanks.
    303tom and Dallas53 like this.
  2. c3shooter

    c3shooter Administrator Staff Member

    Am NOT a dealer- so take this with giant economy size grain of salt-if you do not have a shop where folks came come in and browse, you need a virtual shop. Two ways-

    1. Table at gun show. You will be paying for table, paying (so to speak) the time for 2 people to be there at the show, and competing with every other dealer there.
    2. E-commerce. Are you set up as a seller on Gunbroker? Guns America? Thousands of shoppers that look thru what is for sale there.

    So- do you want to sell new guns- where you complete with Cabelas and Bass Pro for the newest Ruger LCP? Or do you want to shop around for used guns that are in good shape- and may appeal to the person that really WANTS that Marlin 39A, the Hi Standard Model B or the Baker side by side?

    Don't forget that a customer buys a gun once- but they will continue to buy ammo, slings, scopes, cleaning supplies, targets- all of which have a good markup- so long as you treat the customer right.

    EDIT: And where ARE my manners? That was your first post! Welcome to the forum- when you get a minute, drop by the Introductions thread and say howdy. We do have some 01 FFL folks around here that will be along presently.
    bluez, CloverLeaf and Dallas53 like this.

  3. Dallas53

    Dallas53 Well-Known Member

    i have to agree with Mr. C3 on this. good points Mr. C3.

    might look at getting with a website designer. set up a website that is professional looking, and easy to navigate and make changes as needed.

    talk to the distributors as well to see about setting up accounts.
  4. jennidianne

    jennidianne New Member

    You could also try leveraging big distributors as a way to increase your offerings, such as with or Davidson’

    I create all the graphics for our company, including our website, product labels, etc. And we are a small shop, but we look big. You could visit to get ideas.
  5. MisterMcCool

    MisterMcCool Well-Known Member Supporter

    Contact gunwatcher and AmmoSeek. Ask how to get your store into their search results.
    Dallas53 likes this.
  6. Voyantus

    Voyantus New Member

    You guys are awesome. This is exactly the kind of feedback I was looking for. I plan to start primarily as e-commerce. I have an LLC already and this will be another "arm" of it. I definitely need to upgrade my website and would really love to have it someone directly linked to some of the wholesalers catalogs etc. Thanks again for the ideas. Really gives me a place to start.
    MisterMcCool and Dallas53 like this.
  7. FFL01user

    FFL01user Active Member

    I myself never wanted a website or storefront. I don't want business from any "people off the street". I've built a good clientele through family, friends, friends of friends, and gun clubs I support.
    Get yourself listed as an FFL dealer at the big online sellers (Davidsons Gallery of Guns, Bud's, PSA, etc.). When persons shop there they'll have the option of choosing you as the transfer agent. GunBroker is huge but cutthroat.
    Word of mouth and top notch customer service that the big boys can't provide are your best friends.
  8. 303tom

    303tom Well-Known Member

    HOW can we HELP if we don't know where you are !........... Oh yeah, welcome Aboard......:)
  9. JimRau

    JimRau Well-Known Member Supporter

    I have had, and currently have, my FFL which I got in 1990 and have been in three states. I have a good re pore with several wholesalers, BUT volume counts. I find some retailers selling for less than my whole sale price, not to mention shipping. I do all the FFL for the FNRA and NWTF in my area for free and I also do free transfers for for all LEO's. The main reason I got the FFL was to sell to my students, as I have taught a Basic Armed SD class for MANY years. Some local areas require a 'store front', but in rural AK and AL that is not a requirement. Good luck, and get as many guns in the hands of 'the people' as you can!!!:)
  10. FFL01user

    FFL01user Active Member

    Yes, this happens often. Even though I get the same price on a single item from one of the major distributors that a "big boy" does, he saves a ton by participating in the numerous dealer programs out there. I had a discussion about this with one of my sales reps not long ago.
    A good example is last years Smith and Wesson sale... PSA was selling M+P's cheaper than I could get them for from a major distributor because they participate in the dealer program. Buy 10, get one free. Buy a thousand and get 100 free. That's a big cost cut per unit that can rarely be beat. I made money on all the transfers I did from persons purchasing through PSA.
    A current example is the SW M'nP #11808. Dirt cheap. Not worth it for me to buy or stock. I'll do the xfers...
    Last edited: Feb 7, 2018
  11. SGWGunsmith

    SGWGunsmith Well-Known Member Supporter

    There's one snag that may affect you getting your license............ZONING. If the zoning authority in your area approves having a firearm business in your residence, you're good to go.
    Dallas53 likes this.