Long Island Shooters Forum banner
1 - 20 of 41 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
278 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm checking out prices for a gun I'm interested in and I noticed that one store is selling it for 50.00 more than another store. What's that about? It's nice to build a repoire with just one store but for 50.00 dollars it's worth traveling a little further and paying less.

Do these local stores compete on price? Do they try and beat the competition? Is it worth asking or just go where it's cheaper? Both stores have a good rep,

Please don't ask what gun because I don't need anyone talking me out of it, and yes it's a Glock.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
4,860 Posts
Some stores will work with you a little on price, especially if you are buying a bunch of mags/ammo/etc with the gun, and especially if you have a rapport*, and especially if hes the coolest lgs around. I recently purchased a lever action, nib, that the lgs ordered for me, and it was over a hundred bucks below the cheapest I could find anywhere, including gunbroker, and thats without including the added shipping and ffl fees it would have cost if I went that route. Probably helps that Ive made a large pile of purchases from him in the past.

Other stores wont budge at all for any reason, but have a larger selection available on hand.
 

·
moved to greener pastures
Joined
·
10,824 Posts
I've found differences in stores. Not so much on guns, although more than once I've traveled some to save considerable dollars on a gun.
The other necessities is where I see vast differences and to be honest, that leaves a mark when I see i just paid 30% more for something at my "go to store".
If my go to store is selling the ammo I buy quite a bit of for $26 and another store is selling it every day, day in and day out, for $20, it makes me think I need to check all prices more closely at my "go to".
And it has me going to the second store a whole lot more often when I need something else.
If you like the store that's $50 more, be up front and tell them and see if they'll meet the price. Or possible there is added value in the store you think is worth the difference.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,105 Posts
......and online is even cheaper. Go where you want for loyalty and where your wallet will allow.

Usually not much difference in price on cheaper guns especially after factoring in transfer fees. You really start to see the difference when the price tag goes over 1K.

Bottom line is, if you can afford to, try and support the local guys who give you the best customer service. That is worth something IMO. Sometimes I have to buy online because the savings is in the hundreds, but I always buys some ammo or something else from the LGS because I want him to stay around.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
12,335 Posts
I've been buying guns for over 25 years, the owner at T&T Marty always gave me the lowest price. I like South Shore Sportsman for service. Where I am upstate, the prices are advertised cheaper on the website from when you go to the store. I showed the employee the ad "salesman said we make commission on every firearm we sell in the store. We sell many at the listed price which is MSRP".
If you have the time shop around.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
11,831 Posts
It's your money. You have to decide what's worth what. I'd rather pay extra at a place that has it in stock for me to see, offers good customer service and is convenient to the police for the permit nonsense.
Less aggravation is a commodity.
 

·
Zombtac Operator
Joined
·
12,108 Posts
Brick and Mortar v. Online
Brick and mortar specialty shops often have higher prices than discounters. The online sales market changed business majorly. With big outlet stores that can discount and get exclusive deals, you'll never get better prices than online from any of the big stores like AIM, Centerfire Systems, Classic, etc. or auction sites and other shops with online sales (and with great, affordable, friendly transfer-specific places like Volko and Jerry's it makes it easier for many gun enthusiasts who buy online).

Local Pricing, some competitive, some looking for suckers
Now, that doesn't mean that many local shops can't often competitive prices. Many do. Many are official dealers of many manufacturers and will work with you on price.

Then again, many have that "boutique" pricing for newbies, which is basically "mark it up and see what sucker we can get to pay that amount". I've seen some stores sell rifles that go online for $150 for double that price. Some won't match handgun pricing of others. We all know who they are (check out the gun shop feedback section of the site).

Supporting LGS, if they deserve it
Now it's great to support your Local gun shops...if they deserve it. You can develop relationships, drive there and try stuff out, have the owners/employees show and explain you things. If it's the right type of store.

You can break the "type" of LGS into two categories. The friendly, competitive, willing to work with you stores that get rave reviews...and the gruff, nasty, will ignore you will chatting with regulars, over price things, won't do transfers, etc. stores. Do those stores really earn your "support" for 150% markup, "just because'? It is no surprise that super friendly stores passionate about their product with competitive prices are flourishing. Just look at Dark Storm Industries and the mark they made on the Long Island gun scene since their arrival. The old excuse of "it's a gun store, deal with it" with poor rude customer service and price gouging won't cut it in the internet discount era.
 

·
Gunecologist
Joined
·
2,251 Posts
Brick and Mortar v. Online
Brick and mortar specialty shops often have higher prices than discounters. The online sales market changed business majorly. With big outlet stores that can discount and get exclusive deals, you'll never get better prices than online from any of the big stores like AIM, Centerfire Systems, Classic, etc. or auction sites and other shops with online sales (and with great, affordable, friendly transfer-specific places like Volko and Jerry's it makes it easier for many gun enthusiasts who buy online).

Local Pricing, some competitive, some looking for suckers
Now, that doesn't mean that many local shops can't often competitive prices. Many do. Many are official dealers of many manufacturers and will work with you on price.

Then again, many have that "boutique" pricing for newbies, which is basically "mark it up and see what sucker we can get to pay that amount". I've seen some stores sell rifles that go online for $150 for double that price. Some won't match handgun pricing of others. We all know who they are (check out the gun shop feedback section of the site).

Supporting LGS, if they deserve it
Now it's great to support your Local gun shops...if they deserve it. You can develop relationships, drive there and try stuff out, have the owners/employees show and explain you things. If it's the right type of store.

You can break the "type" of LGS into two categories. The friendly, competitive, willing to work with you stores that get rave reviews...and the gruff, nasty, will ignore you will chatting with regulars, over price things, won't do transfers, etc. stores. Do those stores really earn your "support" for 150% markup, "just because'? It is no surprise that super friendly stores passionate about their product with competitive prices are flourishing. Just look at Dark Storm Industries and the mark they made on the Long Island gun scene since their arrival. The old excuse of "it's a gun store, deal with it" with poor rude customer service and price gouging won't cut it in the internet discount era.
But do they give you a certificate?
 

·
Grand Poobah
Joined
·
21,090 Posts
having had a retail store i can tell you that different stores can have different pricing for a variety of reasons.
Many have been mentioned, some think it's just one store trying to get more profit than another and while this may be true it isn't always the case.
One thing someone does not see is what the product costs the store.
It varies for several reasons.
Some stores may do more business with a particular manufacturer. this will give them better pricing.
Others that do less, will pay more so for the same produc,t so using the same mark up or even less they are higher to the consumer.
Sometimes for these reasons stores will sell at less markup to increase sales and get a better price point thereby saving money.
Sometimes a manufacturer lowers costs to move product and one store took advantage of it and another did not.
What I'm trying to point out is that just because a store is $50 more than another it does not mean they are gouging you. You really can't tell from the price differential because you don't know their cost.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
278 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
All good comments. Both stores are reputable and I've already dealt with one of them. I will speak with the one I know and discuss the price to see what they say. I would buy from an LGS before I would buy online and pay more, not a problem. But when two LGS are so far apart in price, it doesn't sit well. And you're right, I don't want to feel like I was ripped off.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Greencvo

·
Uh-oh...
Joined
·
12,517 Posts
The markup on new guns is probably not as much as most people think it is. There is also a minimum advertised price mandated by the manufacturers, that can jam up the merchant if they are found to be consistently undercutting that price. Some shops care, some, (especially online retailers) don't.

I often suggest to newbs to not shop on price alone. Saving $50 on a new gun from Buds is just not worth it if you have any trouble with it. The FFL who received it for you has no reason or obligation to show you how to handle, clean, or operate your new toy.

South Shore Sportsman actually uses their own money and insurance to rent an entire room at Mitchel Field once a month to teach people how to operate their newly purchased firearms. They even allowed me to bring a used handgun I was having problems with in an attempt to diagnose it, and I didn't even buy it from them. Just one reason I will continue to support them.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
3,775 Posts
I sell everything in my store below my cost, but I make it up on volume.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9,982 Posts
I was in an LGS yesterday and they had a pistol I like for $20 less than another LGS I sometimes go to.

Is that worth the travel distance? I dunno.
 
  • Like
Reactions: llaara

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,016 Posts
As a retailer I do understand what you are asking, so don't be upset by my answer. I'm not trying to browbeat you.
I retail more than one kind of product including power tools and firearms so price comes up all the time. I have worked in retail since 1973, so I know about these questions. So here we go:
I have 30,000 individual items (we call them skus) in my inventory. Exactly how would you like me to compare prices on all those items with the all the stores that you might shop in? Just because you decided to buy a particular gun today, and some other store owner decided it was going to be his special price gun today, how would I know? Small retailers don't shop each other's stores very often mostly because we're in our own stores 70 or 80 hours per week. How would I do it exactly, if you wanted me to shop the price of my 30,000 skus? Call and ask for an excel file from another store? Close my store and drive around bothering the other owners? How many times do you think I can go to another shop and ask them for a list of every firearm they sell and their price? What you are asking, that all store owners know the price of all their items in all their competitors' stores is simply impossible and ridiculous. Don't be angry, just think about it. We don't have a crystal ball.

The only way I know another dealer's price is when a customer remarks that we are higher or lower. Both happen equally every day.

So what does happen and how are prices decided? It's really not that complicated. Every category of every item is assigned a margin. For example, in a small restaurant, food cost is 20% of the menu price or less. In furniture, the selling price might be triple the actual cost. In a large grocery store, the margin might be 10% on packaged food and cheap beer, and 50% on fresh fruits an prepared food. In most retail of guns it's 10% to 15% margin, quite small compared to most.

So the store owner puts a price on the gun without knowing if a competitor has an unusualy high or low margin on the same sku in his store. He just knows what he has to have, by percentage, in markup, in order to keep the lights on. Other variables are typical in all businesses. With Glock for example, dealers have an opportunity to buy about 15 guns once a year at a lower price, with the idea that the dealer has a special opportunity to make more margin, or offer more discount.
Dealers are free to pick their own choice of guns, maybe the same as the one you like, maybe not. Different dealers will then have paid different prices for the same models guns. It's not personal to you and your chosen transaction.

That being said, there is another list of variables. For example, the overall volume of business done in a particular setting is the biggest variable of all. If all the stores pay the same rent and fixed expenses, but one store does a million dollars more business is a year than his competition, then a smaller margin will still bring enough money to pay the rent. That's not very likely in this specific scenario, but you get the idea.

So please, don't take it personally, the higher price gun shop is probably lower on just as many things as he is higher on, you just chose a higher one today.

By the way, if all the dealers got together at a meeting and set prices, that would be a federal crime. It would be anti-competitive pricing in nature and the collusion would be criminal.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9,982 Posts
In the fishing business some manufacturers, especially rods and reels, set a price range for their items and if word gets back to them a shop is selling their item before the range they get a warning and then can be dropped as a retailer.
 
  • Like
Reactions: llaara

·
Registered
Joined
·
278 Posts
Discussion Starter · #18 ·
As a retailer I do understand what you are asking, so don't be upset by my answer. I'm not trying to browbeat you.
I retail more than one kind of product including power tools and firearms so price comes up all the time. I have worked in retail since 1973, so I know about these questions. So here we go:
I have 30,000 individual items (we call them skus) in my inventory. Exactly how would you like me to compare prices on all those items with the all the stores that you might shop in? Just because you decided to buy a particular gun today, and some other store owner decided it was going to be his special price gun today, how would I know? Small retailers don't shop each other's stores very often mostly because we're in our own stores 70 or 80 hours per week. How would I do it exactly, if you wanted me to shop the price of my 30,000 skus? Call and ask for an excel file from another store? Close my store and drive around bothering the other owners? How many times do you think I can go to another shop and ask them for a list of every firearm they sell and their price? What you are asking, that all store owners know the price of all their items in all their competitors' stores is simply impossible and ridiculous. Don't be angry, just think about it. We don't have a crystal ball.

The only way I know another dealer's price is when a customer remarks that we are higher or lower. Both happen equally every day.

So what does happen and how are prices decided? It's really not that complicated. Every category of every item is assigned a margin. For example, in a small restaurant, food cost is 20% of the menu price or less. In furniture, the selling price might be triple the actual cost. In a large grocery store, the margin might be 10% on packaged food and cheap beer, and 50% on fresh fruits an prepared food. In most retail of guns it's 10% to 15% margin, quite small compared to most.

So the store owner puts a price on the gun without knowing if a competitor has an unusualy high or low margin on the same sku in his store. He just knows what he has to have, by percentage, in markup, in order to keep the lights on. Other variables are typical in all businesses. With Glock for example, dealers have an opportunity to buy about 15 guns once a year at a lower price, with the idea that the dealer has a special opportunity to make more margin, or offer more discount.
Dealers are free to pick their own choice of guns, maybe the same as the one you like, maybe not. Different dealers will then have paid different prices for the same models guns. It's not personal to you and your chosen transaction.

That being said, there is another list of variables. For example, the overall volume of business done in a particular setting is the biggest variable of all. If all the stores pay the same rent and fixed expenses, but one store does a million dollars more business is a year than his competition, then a smaller margin will still bring enough money to pay the rent. That's not very likely in this specific scenario, but you get the idea.

So please, don't take it personally, the higher price gun shop is probably lower on just as many things as he is higher on, you just chose a higher one today.

By the way, if all the dealers got together at a meeting and set prices, that would be a federal crime. It would be anti-competitive pricing in nature and the collusion would be criminal.
Thanks for taking the time to write up such a thorough answer to my question. So as a retailer, when a steady customer tells you another store is priced lower, do you work with them on the price if you're able?

I take no offense to anything you're saying. I've already paid this store higher prices on multiple items because of their excellent service so none of what you're saying is foreign to me. I prefer to shop with an LGS, but they are both reputable so it may be worthwhile to get to know another retailer... My ultimate goal was to find out everyone's experience as to whether LGS are flexible with price...
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
3,171 Posts
As Li Ammo said, Please don't take offense but often the buying public tends to have a narrow and one sided view of business.

Let me give you an example (not Cottage related). Many of you know that I also own a NYC parking garage. Over the last 8 years business has been down, we are in a purely residential neighborhood on the Upper West Side. Many of the customers knowing that the economy was down and that it was a "buyers market" demanded that I lower my posted price and give them large discounts. I had a choice to make; have empty spots (non performing assets) or take their cars in at a lower rate. Many other customers who had vacation homes in the Hamptons refused to pay for their spots in the summers when their families left the city. When I told them that if I find people to fill their spots then they may not get back in in September they all told me that "I'll take the risk".

I understood, I didn't much like it but I understood. My customers had the leverage! They paid their reduced rates on time and I appreciated the fact that I was still able to pay my bills and still make a profit albeit not what I had been previously used to.

Over the last year, the market has changed, many of the stand alone garage buildings have closed and been torn down to make way for high rise luxury buildings. The remaining garages all started to fill up, the car owners are primarily well healed and don't like parking their $100,000.00+ cars on the street and dealing with snow and alternate side of the street parking. The leverage has shifted, the prices to park in Manhattan have sharply increased (supply and demand). The customers who pulled out for the summer no longer have parking spots and are now forced to go uptown or downtown to find parking. The customers who forced me to lower my prices (below posted prices) are now at market rate or are also looking ten blocks uptown or twenty five blocks downtown.

And I have become, according to these poor souls a heartless Son Of A B with no conscience, no loyalty, and simply the most miserable a$$ hole they have ever met. I think my kids still love me but I'm not sure.
 
1 - 20 of 41 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top