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Old October 27, 2013, 08:49 PM   #1
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Join Date: October 26, 2013
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buying online?

i have thoughts of buying online...can this be done...i live in arizona, but found a place that sells guns cheap in north carolina....?

or is better to buy at gun shows...many in arizona.
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Old October 27, 2013, 09:19 PM   #2
Brian Pfleuger
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buying online?

You order from the online store, provide them the information for a FFL dealer in your area, they ship to the dealer, you pick up the gun from them and generally pay a fee of $15-$50 for the transfer. It's done 1000s of times a day.
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Old October 27, 2013, 10:02 PM   #3
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Be certain to let your local dealer know what you intend to do BEFORE you make the purchase.
Did you know that there is a TEXAS State Rifle Association?
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Old October 27, 2013, 10:07 PM   #4
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Posts: 8 was a thought of saving tax....that may not work well then...
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Old October 27, 2013, 10:10 PM   #5
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Buying firearms online....

I've bought several firearms through online retailers & advised others to do so(who also had 0 problems).
I wouldn't buy guns from just any site but there are a few with decent prices/services; (AZ based),
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Old October 27, 2013, 11:02 PM   #6
Al Norris
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While there are certainly legal issue, that doesn't seem to be the case here. Moved to GenDisc.
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Old October 28, 2013, 06:02 AM   #7
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ok,,,if i find a might be worth doing....
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Old October 28, 2013, 06:40 AM   #8
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Once I factor in shipping and the local dealers transfer fees it is rarely cheaper for me to buy something online. I almost always find local dealers that have the same gun for about the same costs.

The only time I've seen anything worth ordering online were a few used guns that were not available locally. Things are obviously different in different parts of the country. Just make sure of the actual cost after paying fees and compare them to local costs.
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Old October 28, 2013, 07:15 AM   #9
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Ross, as mentioned, buying online is easy. Arizona has no "gotchas", so order away.

If you are buying through one of the larger online retailers, there is usually a dropdown menu in their "ship to" page on checkout that has a list of all the FFL's they currently have on file, and you order in confidence that an FFL on the list will accept your transfer. If it's a smaller shop with a lest robust online ordering program, you'll need to have your FFL fax/email a copy of their license to the shop first... which means you need to call/email the shop or go in.

If you can buy a gun online for $500, plus $15 for shipping, and another $20 for FFL, you're looking at $535 in your hands... this is a good "deal" if your FFL is selling the same gun for $550+tax.

Counterpoint: Particularly when it comes to their gun hobby, lot of people place $$$ a few ticks lower on their list of buyer decision-making than with other items. LGS's (local gunstores) should be supported. They serve the industry in a far more significant way than simply being a place you can buy stuff. Even if it's a few dollars more, money spent at your LGS is almost always well spent. If I buy a rifle online, I try to buy my accessories in the shop where I pick it up... all my reloading supplies (when there are any), scope, ammo, case, etc. I want my LGS to be there for my kids, and it won't be if I buy everything online.
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Old October 28, 2013, 07:47 AM   #10
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I have a small guy who also does transfers. When I find something online, I call him and ask him what his OTD price to me is - if his total (including profit) is less than my transfer-in total, I go through him. If not, (or he can't get it), I order and do the transfer. Either way, I get a decent deal and give him first shot at the sale
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Old October 28, 2013, 07:50 AM   #11
Brian Pfleuger
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buying online?

Originally Posted by ronss View Post
ok,,,if i find a might be worth doing....
I don't know your local prices but I don't have to have anything close to a "steal" to order online. First, I can count the decent dealers within... hours... on one hand. Second, most do transfers for $25. Tax on a $500 gun is $40 so I'm still $15 ahead. For $15 (or even $50) I'd happily buy local (from a good business) instead. Trouble is, local prices are usually much worse than $50 higher in that $500 example range. For instance, my Glock 33 was just about $500 on and the lowest local prices were about $580+tax, nonnegotiable pricing. $625 total versus $525.

(Well, it is a steal compared to local prices but compared to on lines prices it's not *that* low )

I've always found it odd that the dealers around here don't negotiate.
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Old October 28, 2013, 08:28 AM   #12
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IF you do plenty of research and know what you're getting, buying a gun online from a reputable dealer from elsewhere via credit card and then receiving it at a local gun shop is quite painless... Just understand that you can't easily be deciding to send it back and void the transaction once you get it in your hands and inspect it... You can't heft it and get the feel of it before you decide like you can at a gun show or your local gun store.

But, then, the upside (of living in this digital era) is that you can list any gun (that you're not particularly fond of) on a site like and sell it yourself locally if you use some common sense and discretion (and a good photo or two).

Gun buying/trading is more "fluid" than it used to be.
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Old October 28, 2013, 05:49 PM   #13
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I don't know about your state, but in some states the state law requires your local FFL to charge your state's sales tax for an internet gun purchase from out of state. Many other internet purchases can avoid sales tax, but internet gun purchases are often a special case. In my state (Washington) state law even requires my local FFL to charge state sales tax on the shipping fee and other fees paid at the other end of the transaction, even though those fees were clearly paid out of state.
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Old October 28, 2013, 06:06 PM   #14
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I recently bought a new Colt AR15 online. On sale with free shipping, no sales tax. Local FFL charged $25. I figure that I saved almost $175. I bought it from Cheaper Than Dirt, they dropped their prices a couple weeks ahead of the local dealers.
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Old October 28, 2013, 08:20 PM   #15
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The sales tax is a neutral, you pay it either way. Even with the sales tax and shipping fees here in Washington state, once you go online you have expanded your area of competition and will find you save a bit of money, over time.

Even if a certain firearm costs you $65 more online, if the local shops have one in 80% condition, and you find six to chose from at 90%-98% online, for the difference in price, you've raised your sales value downrange. (Don't sell, though, that's important!)

Also, consider the cost of gas visiting the local shops.

And, some of the online offers are not retail dealers, they are collectors or heirs wanting to sell at a fair price, but not retail. Again, over time, you will do alright.
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