I had a discussion yesterday with an old friend and it became apparent a refresher on how to find the best deals on firearms might be in order. I’ve hinted around at several methods over time, but guess I haven’t spelled it out before. First off you must decide if you want to buy local or buy online. There are pros and cons to both methods. I typically let the price decide since I don’t have a local gun store nearby who treats me right each and every time. If you buy local you will more than likely have to pay taxes when you purchase. You know what your tax rate is so figure that into the cost. In NC we are required to report out of state purchases on our taxes and pay the tax. In reality most people fudge factor that reporting since they don’t want to keep up with everything they bought on the internet. If you buy online you will have to ship the firearm and then pay to have it transferred at an FFL. I have chosen a local FFL for my transfers due to their price being reasonable and they call me the second the firearm arrives. Often I get to open the packaging.
Before you decide upon local or online you should determine a reasonable price. The easiest method I have found to find that price is by checking a few websites. Bud’s Guns, GunBroker, and CTD are easy places to find prices. I have not yet bought from Bud’s and will never again buy from CTD. So after a few minutes searching you should now have the budget. Now let’s find the very best deal possible.
I like to start by doing a search on SlickGuns. At times the deal listed will be over, but it will typically let you know just how low the price has been. You can always go to your local shop and use that as a bargaining tool however getting firearms for the past year has been difficult and some shops are just not willing to haggle. Their prices are take it or leave it and the nice thing is you can always walk away and return later if needed. After checking SlickGuns I typically check a few other places just to be sure. I like to check Sportsman’s Outdoor Superstore, Lanbo’s Armory, PSA, and CDNN. Keep in mind if you find a great deal to include the shipping costs, the transfer costs, and if the store is in your state you may still owe sales tax. Sometimes there are hidden fees which I find irritating. I was about to purchase a firearm from an online store and they had two prices, a CC price and a cash price. So to get the best deal I was going to have to mail them a cashier’s check or a money order. Neither of those are expensive, but they are costs which factor in the deal. Then when I went to check out shipping was free, but insurance on the firearm was not. Basically the CC up charge and the insurance charge added was a deal breaker. The insurance disclaimer said, “If customers choose not to add insurance, the store is not responsible for any lost/damaged shipping items.” Bah humbug on that line of thinking. I didn’t ship it, I didn’t package it, I won’t even have proof you sent it, how can I be the responsible party?
So if you find a screaming deal do a little checking to be sure it is the firearm you want and there are no hidden fees or issues. I’ve purchased many firearms online and have never had one issues, but I do my homework beforehand. I’ve gotten some screaming deals and I’ve gotten firearms online I could not locate elsewhere so don’t be afraid of the web.