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Old January 4, 2013, 08:40 AM   #1
jason_iowa
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Haggling

Do you haggle on your gun purchases? I would say I haggle on about 80% of my purchases. I want the guy to make some money and I don't want to beat him up so bad he think gah I don't wanna see that guy walk through the door again. I also want a fair price. So I try to balance the two things. Taking care of the local gun shops is important because if we don't we are going to lose em to the superstores whos politics blow with the wind and may pull guns off their shelves at anytime.

Gun sellers, what is the best way to get a fair price? Do you price haggling into your retail prices. I know on new guns the margin can be quite slim sometimes especially with easy access to internet gun sales. What is the best way to be a good customer that gets "special treatment" ie phone calls if something cool comes in used. First shot at components when they are scarce...
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Old January 4, 2013, 09:11 AM   #2
Rifleman1776
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Too broad a question for a pat answer.
First though, you will never "beat" a dealer down so far he is hurt on the deal. He knows his limits and won't go below a certain amount.
I try to know values and prices before ever entering into a negotiation. Same rule applies for any item.
My #1 rule is to be willing to walk away from the deal. If you are not able to do that you will pay the price the seller wants.
Rule #2 is show cash. This tells the seller you are serious and able to make the deal and can work in your favor. Plus cash gives a dealer a 4 to 5% margin extra to work with if he doesn't have to pay band credit card fees.
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Old January 4, 2013, 09:55 AM   #3
chiefr
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I have haggled at gunshows before. Rarely do I ever go to a gunshow with the idea of buying a firearm. Usually to buy reloading supplies.
If I do haggle, it is on milsurps. Often I see a gun I want and ask if the price is negotiable. 80% of the time it is not. Thus I walk.
I have had guys ask me how much I will give for it and quote a price I am willing to pay imediate cash for. If they accept, out comes the cash. If not I walk.
If I really am interested in something, I go back to the show Sunday a couple hours before the show closes and ask again. It is then I sometimes make a favorable deal or more often, walk away.
Agree with Rifleman 1776: cash on hand is king.
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Old January 4, 2013, 11:01 AM   #4
MonkeyKnight
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At gun shows, if I see a fair price for a gun I want - I buy. If the price is close, I ask if the price is negotiable. If not, I walk. I only go to gun shows for used guns anyway though.

At my LGS, I never even ask. If it is a gun I want I buy. But then again, my family has been buying from her for the last 26 years. I was in little league with her son. My first gun came from her shop, just like my last purchase did. I also do my homework though. I would venture to guess that 70 percent or more of the time she has a better deal than online.
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Old January 4, 2013, 11:07 AM   #5
evilleprichaun
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i dont haggle a whole lot if i see something thats outrageous i just keep walking. but if i see something that might be a little on the high side of what its worth. and he doesnt want to go down any. i always ask if i can have it for the price tag AFTER tax. and that can save a fair amount, and most dealers will allow it. i hate being suprised with how much i pay when i forget about tax.
the most important thing like what was said above is to go in knowing what things are worth, you need to know what something is at its cheapest and what something is still worth at its most.
i feel like dealers probly really dont care as long as you dont completley lowball them.

or just be in the military, dealers tend to like people in the military and help us out
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Old January 4, 2013, 11:32 AM   #6
leadchucker
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Most gun sellers know what they have to get for a gun, else they ain't much of a seller. Most gun sellers tag or initially ask some amount higher than this. It's "negotiating room", or it's "gravy money" if they sell to someone who pays their asking price. Any reasonable seller should not be insulted by an offer, unless the offer is a ridiculous low-ball offer. (He may turn it down, or counter though.)

Bottom line, what do you have to lose by haggling?
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Old January 4, 2013, 12:45 PM   #7
Yung.gunr
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I don't bother trying at the gun shops, I'm not good enough at it and if you have ever witnessed an aggressive haggler at work it can be a little embarrassing and silly looking. I don't generally care what people think about me, but I'm not gonna make a clown of myself by trying to talk the shop down $20.

I have asked them to throw in a box of ammo and that went good.

Big box places there's no point in even trying.

Private sellers yeah I will haggle. I have cash and they want more money than a shop will give em. Sooo... There is room for it.
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Old January 4, 2013, 01:33 PM   #8
KMAX
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I have two shops locally that I buy from. I usually ask "What's the best price you can give me." They usually come down some. If it is still too high for me, I usually say "That is still more than I can come up with." or something similar. I give them a chance to lower their offer, but don't ask them to. I don't want to annoy or insult them. Sometimes they come down more, sometimes they don't. I don't want them to not make any money. It is just a matter of how much I feel I can pay for a gun. I need to feel good about the deal too, not that I overpaid by too much anyway.
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Old January 4, 2013, 01:52 PM   #9
Fox1
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I always haggle with the guys at the LGS but not at the big box stores.
When I haggle though, I also toss out things like, "Would you be willing to knock off $100 on the rifle if I also buy a set of rings and a bipod?"
If they know I'm going to pick up accessories from them for the firearm I'm buying from them it usually goes a long ways toward knocking the overall price down.
When "selling" a used gun to the LGS I usually ask what their best cash price is and ask if I can get more in trade. Ie. the last gun I sold they said they would pay $200 cash, I asked if I could pick out $250 in merchandise as trade and they were more than willing to go that route.
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Old January 4, 2013, 01:55 PM   #10
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It depends on where I might be. If I'm in a box-store, I don't haggle. If I'm in a pawn shop looking at a used gun, I certainly haggle. There's one shop in particular that I've used over the past 10 years, and I'll look at the gun, look at the tag, then ask "Okay, what's my price?" It's generally considerably less than the numbers on the tag.
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Old January 4, 2013, 02:34 PM   #11
colbad
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Like many others who posted, I don't waste my time haggling in the big box stores. Usually the price is set at minimum profit, but mostly because the employees don't give a sh*t if you buy something or not...they get paid the same (attitude).

Gun shows I always haggle. I feel if I spend the gas, admission and parking fees there should be some consideration. I tell them "if you are not willing to negotiate why should I just not go to one of the local stores for the same price". I will not buy from someone who is not willing to deal at a gun show.

I find small pawn shops are most likely to deal. Pawn shops generally "own" the gun (if used) for VERY little money. A friend in the business once gave me an example using an nice Remington 870. The guy pawning the gun will only get @$50. If it is not taken out of pawn they sell it using retail gun prices. The longer the item sits the more willing they are to sell. Don't be shy about making an offer. Most will look up how much the item cost them and negotiate.

I just picked up a really nice Marlin 336 last week in a little mountain pawn shop for $240 plus tax. The tag on the gun was $430 and I offered $200. We settled on $240. Happy haggling!
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Old January 4, 2013, 02:45 PM   #12
Ben Towe
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The prices in the big stores (Gander, Bass Pro) around here are so insanely high I never even attempt to buy there, but I highly doubt they would haggle. Too many dummies in there that will pay retail or over. Most of the local guys will haggle a bit on the used stuff, even if it's just a few bucks. New guns are generally priced at their minimum.
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Old January 4, 2013, 08:34 PM   #13
Joe_Pike
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I never haggle on new guns but will on used. I was looking at a uses Hi Power a couple of weeks ago that had been setting on the used shelf at a shop for a while. I asked him what the deal of the day was on it and he said, "There are no deals of the day anymore. The deal of the day is that I have it here to sell to you." I told him that thankfully I didn't need to do any business with him and left. I stopped in there yesterday and it is still there. I smiled and walked out the door.
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Old January 4, 2013, 09:06 PM   #14
Edward429451
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When I used to go to gun shows, I'd take money in four or five different pockets, start at 1/2 or maybe 2/3 of the tag price and haggle. If I had to dip into another pocket I'd make a comment, there goes the Wife B-day present, there goes my lunch money, and so forth. Seemed to work pretty good.
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Old January 4, 2013, 10:32 PM   #15
Aguila Blanca
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jason_iowa
Do you haggle on your gun purchases? I would say I haggle on about 80% of my purchases. I want the guy to make some money and I don't want to beat him up so bad he think gah I don't wanna see that guy walk through the door again. I also want a fair price. So I try to balance the two things. Taking care of the local gun shops is important because if we don't we are going to lose em to the superstores whos politics blow with the wind and may pull guns off their shelves at anytime.
I approach any purchase with an idea of how much the gun is worth to me, totally irrespective of prevailing market price. If it's within my price range, or very near, I may ask if that's the best he can do. If he takes a bit off, I'm happy. If he won't budge, it's still within my price range so I'll buy anyway.

But I don't do gun shows for guns, just for parts, and general window shopping. I buy from two small, local gun shops. With them, I don't even ask if that's their best price. If I want it, I'll buy it. Because I'm a regular and they know it, if they can come out okay after taking a few bucks off, they'll often do so without my asking.

Quote:
Gun sellers, what is the best way to get a fair price? Do you price haggling into your retail prices. I know on new guns the margin can be quite slim sometimes especially with easy access to internet gun sales. What is the best way to be a good customer that gets "special treatment" ie phone calls if something cool comes in used. First shot at components when they are scarce...
I'm a buyer, not a dealer, but I believe I rank as a special customer at the two shops I haunt. They both call (or e-mail) if they get something in they know I'll be interested in. I would say I got that way by buying almost exclusively from them, and by NOT trying to beat them down on every deal.
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Old January 5, 2013, 12:12 AM   #16
4D5
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At pawn shops I always haggle, it's expected. At one in particular, the new guy there was helping me with a used shotgun. Before we even discussed "my" price, he said he'd heard of me and that my negotiating skills are legandary

At the LGS, on new guns I don't try to negotiate, not much markup on new. On used guns I always ask if there's any wiggle room. If not and it's in my price range I buy, otherwise it stays where it is.
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Old January 5, 2013, 01:07 AM   #17
KyJim
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I don't typically haggle any on new guns. The local dealers I frequent are already toward the lower end on most new guns and they don't have much room to haggle. I do haggle a bit on used guns where they have more leeway to bargain.
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Old January 6, 2013, 06:08 AM   #18
natman
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There's not going to be much room on new guns at a dealer because there isn't much margin on new guns. Used guns have a bit more.

A couple of suggestions on haggling in a gun store:

Start realistically. If it's marked at $500, he's not going to take your offer of $200.

If you make an offer, be prepared to pay up if it's accepted. This is a cardinal rule of haggling, but some guys seem to think it's OK to walk away mumbling "I'll think about it". It's not.

The owner at the gun store where I worked hated haggling and wanted to ban it, but I explained to him that some guys would rather pay $850 on a gun they haggled down from $900 than buy it outright at $800, so in order to accommodate them, we had to allow some haggling.
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Old January 6, 2013, 07:34 AM   #19
CajunBass
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At the store where I buy most of my guns, I can pretty well look at the tag and figure what they'll take, but there are factors that might change that.

For example, if they just got a let's say a pristine Model 19, in the box with papers, I don't expect them to knock anything off right away. Why should they? They just got it in. The next guy through the door might pay the sticker price for it and everybody will be happy as a clam in mud. Now, let that same gun hang around the shop for a week or two, and give people a chance to look it over and have the opportunity to pay full price, then they're more willing to drop the price. Of course you run the risk of losing the gun if you wait.

Is it a week before Christmas? Don't expect much off. Sorry but if you don't want it, the guy behind you probably does. And he's willing to pay full price. I'll give that to the store. They make a lot of their money in those weeks. If it's something I really want, I'll just bite the bullet and pay the freight.

If it's something like a Glock, that they get in every day, it's one thing. If it's that pristine Model 19? Not so often. All those things play into how much they're willing to dicker.
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Old January 6, 2013, 08:27 AM   #20
TheNatureBoy
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If I'm dealing with a private owner I will haggle with them. Not at gun shows though. Gun shops/stores no.
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Old January 6, 2013, 09:16 AM   #21
FALPhil
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I always haggle. I figure the answer is 'no' if I don't ask. The amount of haggling varies with my percieved value in relation to the price.
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Old January 6, 2013, 10:59 AM   #22
globemaster3
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I think it just comes down to respect. If you haggle, do your research, notice the environment, and make a reasonable offer. Don't insult the guys with an offer than even you, if you really stop and think about it, know is too low.

I've haggled on pretty much everything subject wise, but I don't always haggle. I only haggle when the money is tight. And that include big box stores, where i have bought a couple new and used firearms. case in point, i got a pristine Remington 11-87 compact 20 ga for one of the kids. It hadn't even been shot enough to break it in! I got the gun, box of shells, case, original box with all materials for $450. Not the steal of a lifetime, but not bad for a practically new gun.

They need to make a profit, and in the case of my LGS, the guys there are great and have jumped through hoops for me to find some guns and specific ammo.

Keeping all of that in mind, the most you can do is ask. The worst they can say is no, if done with respect. No harm, no foul.

And getting the calls on good deals comes from repeated, long term business you have brought them, where they get to know you and your likes. Don't expect to get a call on anything if you've only been in a couple times and hardly bought anything.

Last edited by globemaster3; January 6, 2013 at 11:05 AM.
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Old January 7, 2013, 10:19 AM   #23
Skans
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I haggle when it's appropriate. I know, within +/- $20, what a "fair price" is for a particular firearm. Regardless of how the firearm is priced, I will generally offer a fair retail price - take it or leave it. I don't waste time with the folks that are looking for suckers.

Now, on occasion, I will come across a gun that is truly unique. The seller will know its unique and there may not be anyway of knowing really what a fair price is. This happens more with low serial numbers, early production dates, low production number guns, and older guns that are in excellent condition. That's when the real haggling takes place.

Last edited by Skans; January 7, 2013 at 10:27 AM.
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Old January 7, 2013, 10:34 AM   #24
LockedBreech
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My LGS has a fair price. I could haggle, but they're giving me a fair deal, so why?

For instance, a Smith & Wesson M&P (pre-panic) for $499. They were $452 on Bud's, but with the FFL fee that's $477. I understand that my LGS doesn't have the buying capacity of Bud's, so I don't see a reason to argue with 'em.
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