Why Don't Other Gun Shops Do this?

Discussion in 'NFA/Class 3 & FFL Discussion' started by cottontop, Jul 18, 2013.

  1. cottontop

    cottontop Guest

    About 10 years or so ago, I worked part time at a LGS selling behind the counter and keeping the books. The owner was very customer friendly and as a result, there were always a lot of "hanger arounder" type guys there. Anyway, this owner never charged anyone a fee to accept a firearm from another seller (a transfer). I asked him why he never charged a transfer fee when all the other GS's and pawn shops charged anywhere from $25 to $50 to accept a transfer.

    His reply was that he would make that money back easily ten fold. The guys who ordered guns and used our shop for the transfer always bought lots of ammo and accessories from the store. They seemed to have a sense of loyality toward us. Mark up of guns is not much, but mark up on accessories is. We had more business than any of the other GS's, and the free transfer was one of the reasons. I have never come across another GS that did this. It only makes good business sense. Why don't other shops do this? I guess human greed or the attitude that, "they ain't gonna make anything on my license," is the answer.
    ct
     
  2. mountainman13

    mountainman13 New Member

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    In my experience most of the small shop owners I have dealt with have very little business sense and are really just out to make a quick Buck. They quickly find out that they are in the wrong business but are already invested and don't know what to do about it.
    If my boss from the last shop had listened to me, he would have been stocked with guns (ARs) and ammo when the shtf. He would have been making a killing and his business would still be growing.
    He didn't want stock, he wanted to purchase and flip.
    Now his business is failing.
     

  3. shadecorp

    shadecorp Active Member Supporter

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    Off topic.
    Years ago I wanted to open a Gun shop.
    After thinking about for awhile,
    realized it would be a BIG mistake.
    I loved and knew about Guns.
    But knew nothing about running a business.
    And having all those people playing with my Guns,
    Didn't do it.
     
    Last edited: Jul 18, 2013
  4. winds-of-change

    winds-of-change The Balota's Staff Member

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    Cottontop, he's a smart business man.
     
  5. John_Deer

    John_Deer New Member

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    Most of the gun shops in this area are showrooms where you can see and handle a gun. Then you go order the gun off the internet. Other than Glocks they are at least $100 higher than I can buy the gun online.
     
  6. flybuddy

    flybuddy New Member

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    I've bought about a dozen guns from one local large store. They were actually quite good during the scare in not raising prices much and having reasonable availability. A few days ago I saw a nice AK at a great price at J&G. The local large store wanted $50 plus fax and background for a transfer. Checked around and found a smaller store locally that would do it for $15 total. I spent a couple of hours in there talking guns, etc. with owner. Bottom line was that I walked out knowing that this is where I will do my future business.
     
  7. AR10

    AR10 New Member

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    Retired now, but I never charged a transfer fee. Some gun stores charge a transfer fee for in house sales. Like car dealerships charge a title fee. I would walkway from those places.

    I was a pawnbroker, and everyone had to fill out a yellow sheet to pick up their own guns. That seemed rather foolish to me. Pawn the same gun over and over and fill out transfer paperwork each time like it was a new owner
     
    Last edited: Jul 18, 2013
  8. cottontop

    cottontop Guest

    I would like some other gun shop owners to chime in and tell why they charge a transfer fee at all. What is your reasoning behind it? Don't you believe it is a good business practice to not charge a fee? Don't you want more business and to keep loyal customers? Don't you get it? I have found the majority of GS owners/workers to be very poor business persons.
    ct
     
  9. winds-of-change

    winds-of-change The Balota's Staff Member

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    When Balota and I did an FFL transfer of my Henry, we were charged a $20 fee. I thought it was reasonable. GAT Guns quoted me $50.
     
  10. Axxe55

    Axxe55 The Apocalypse Is Coming.....

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    as a gun owner and buyer, personally i don't have a problem with a store charging me a transfer fee on a gun i ordered and had sent to them to do the FFL transfer. but what does hack me off is inflated transfer fees for doing not much more than recieving the gun and doing the paperwork. my LGS charges $25 for a transfer and IMO that's reasonable.

    but CT, free is always good and i see exactly where you are coming from. it does seem to make good business sense.
     
  11. texaswoodworker

    texaswoodworker New Member

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    The guy I have do all my transfers only charges $20. That's the cheapest I have ever found in this area, and I think it's pretty fair. He's a real nice guy. That's also the only thing he does. He doesn't buy guns, and he doesn't sell them (at least not that I've ever seen), he only does transfers. He said he does this partly because he enjoys talking to people about guns. It's a nice little side business for him. He owns an insurance business, so he does all of his transfers out of it. It looks a little funny to walk out of an insurance business with a gun, but it works for me. :D
     
  12. pomfirearms

    pomfirearms New Member

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    My experience as a FFL dealer is that handling transfers can be a big hassle sometimes. People want me to tell them why I dont have their gun yet. "Maybe because you bought it off some fool online who does not care about shipping quickly. " I can offer more info and assurance if I handle getting the firearm from one of my reputable suppliers and possibly save the buyer some money.
     
  13. Overkill0084

    Overkill0084 Active Member

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    They are providing a needed service that takes time & effort to do correctly. Charging for that time seems perfectly reasonable. Time is money, I don't expect a free ride. If I, as a customer, deem your charge is reasonable, I will very likely continue to shop at your store. If I feel like you were trying to be predatory about it, you will never see me again. If a shop owner wishes to provide that service for free, good for him, but a customer should not expect it as a rule.
     
  14. orangello

    orangello New Member

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    The best local shop for transfers seems to understand this. Last time I asked him about taking a transfer for a pistol I wanted to order online, he offered to do some legwork and find me a better price or a better seller and to see if they would give him a discount as an FFL. Good guy. I think he charges $20-25. The last three firearms I bought retail came from him.
     
  15. pomfirearms

    pomfirearms New Member

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    I charge $35 for normal transfers which I feel is very resonable. I have had several transfers that were quite a headache for me. One guy wanted to know why I had not received his gun yet and expected me to look into it. I had no clue what shipping company had it or what the tracking number was. I told him it was going to be sent back since he did not provide me with the tracking number and shipping company like I had requested previously. Then he decided to give me the information I requested so the gun was not returned to the shipper which I did not care if hapoended since I had no money involved.

    Another guy wanted me to transfer a gun for $35 but wanted me to buy it from the seller putting my $1300 at risk. I refused to do that and told him he would need to buy it with his money if he wanted me to only charge $35 transfer fee.
     
  16. Overkill0084

    Overkill0084 Active Member

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    It sounds like transfers aren't your problem. It's unreasonable customers.
     
  17. orangello

    orangello New Member

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    Wow, that last guy was really unreasonable. The tracking number problem could be solved with a form requiring all the relevant information (seller phone, shipper phone, customer phone, tracking #) BEFORE your shop will provide FFL information to the seller; incomplete form = no FFL for them to ship to.

    On the flipside, I work a LOT of individual tax returns which are not particularly profitable and certainly not my idea of fun; the firm takes such work primarily to meet clients for our payroll tax services and compilation services, both more profitable and tolerable. In a small business, sometimes you have to do work you don't really want to get people to bring you work you do want. Too much of the "seed work" will sap your energy/enthusiasm for the job and can affect the bottom line as well. It is a balancing act and makes me glad I don't own this business. :)
     
  18. davva360

    davva360 New Member

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    Personally I believe in supporting brick and mortar stores when it comes to guns.

    Imagine if a law passed outlawing buying guns online and all your local stores were already out of business.
     
  19. 7.62 Man

    7.62 Man New Member

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    A new local shop opened up recently that only charges $15 for a transfer. I have paid as much as $50 for a single transfer. The new guy only charged me one transfer fee last time when I had three receivers shipped to me. He told me that he only filled out one paper & made one call he shouldn't charge for each receiver. He's got my business even if he is a few dollars higher. ;)
     
  20. pomfirearms

    pomfirearms New Member

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    I am awaiting the day I do a transfer and the customer is unhappy with the condition of the firearm. My only options will be pay me to send it back or I will buy it supper cheap. I will hold the gun until I am compesated for my time and paperwork. If they chose to buy from a dealer or person they dont know on the internet that is their risk. Buy directly from me and you will see and hold the firearm before paying for it.