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finchmeister08
Florida Fan
Where the light is...
Member since Mar 2011
17518 posts

Gun store owners, what’s it like being one?
Ive gotten really into guns lately, and I was wondering what it would be like to own and run a store. I’m sure, like any business, you’ll have you’re normal joe blows come in and look/ask for deals.

But I’m more interested in the dealing process along with being competitive with other gun stores. Also, dealing with used guns from trade ins and knowing what to give folks for them and what not.

Then there’s the cost of running a store. You have your normal necessities like electricity, water and insurance. I assume insurance it outrageous compared to a normal retail store.

I had a friend tell me that owning/running a gun store will lower your interest in firearms. Any truth to this?


ChatRabbit77
Baton Rouge
Member since May 2013
4776 posts

re: Gun store owners, what’s it like being one?
Just buy them at the store and sell them from your pickup bed. No license hassle. Do this with NFA items especially. People are always hunting for good nfa stuff without the wait and stamps.

In all seriousness, Prop can answer this. While some here have worked at gun stores, he owns and operates one.
This post was edited on 12/9 at 3:29 pm


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64
LSUdude3756
Member since Jun 2015
439 posts

re: Gun store owners, what’s it like being one?
It's a booming business


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52
PT24-7
Member since Jul 2013
2252 posts

re: Gun store owners, what’s it like being one?
No money in it.


Marciano1
LSU Fan
Marksville, LA
Member since Jun 2009
13317 posts

re: Gun store owners, what’s it like being one?
Just be aware that a lot of people are finding great deals online now, which is causing stores to close down.


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100
Goats and Joes
LSU Fan
Baton Rouge
Member since Dec 2014
250 posts

re: Gun store owners, what’s it like being one?
Very thin margins. Hard to be competitive with big box stores and online prices


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40
Propagandalf
LSU Fan
Baton Rouge
Member since May 2010
2515 posts

re: Gun store owners, what’s it like being one?
quote:

I had a friend tell me that owning/running a gun store will lower your interest in firearms. Any truth to this?


I don't think this is true. I am genuinely excited to go to my shop every day when I wake up. If you think it's going to be all Lord of War or War Dogs you're going to be very disappointed. You're interest in the "dealing process" makes me feel like this may be the case here. The vast majority of it is running a business and the task that come with that. I would only reccomend you doing it if you are passionate about running a business first.

Aside from that, for retail gun sales you will need a lot of capital for inventory since your product is expensive. You will be competitve with other local stores, but you will never be able to sustain a local shop competing with online prices. You're going to be thoroughly disappointed when you see the distributor price list and compare it to online deals. Those guys are either A. dropshipping, never sitting on inventory, and only charging a few bucks over distro pricing or B. they are buying large quantities of SKUs to get freebies and cost average their pricing. You'll start to understand why Jim's prices are what they are. The rerail gun sales market is very saturated so you need to find your niche. Also, make sure wherever you want to start your shop has a large enough demand to sustain it.

If you have a lot of capital to invest and running your own business is something you are passionate about then I say give it a whirl. If you just think it would be cool to embody the lifestyle of a Hollywood gun runner, I would advise not doing it.


finchmeister08
Florida Fan
Where the light is...
Member since Mar 2011
17518 posts

re: Gun store owners, what’s it like being one?
I’m not expecting it to be some kind of glorified business like the movies make it out to be. It would be a career change most definitely. I’ve heard of people doing it as a hobby to start out while keeping their day job.


Boston911
LSU Fan
Lafayette
Member since Dec 2013
815 posts

re: Gun store owners, what’s it like being one?
You’ll make your money on repairs and mods, nowadays online purchasing is king


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Twenty 49
LSU Fan
Shreveport
Member since Jun 2014
10050 posts

re: Gun store owners, what’s it like being one?
I couldn’t handle the stupidity of certain customers. I don’t mind at all folks who ask questions, but too often I overhear fellow customers trying to impress and show how smart/badass they are. I get sick of that crap in a hurry.

It happened one day at Bass Pro. After the morons left, I told the clerk that I bet he hears more bull shite than any other employee in the store. He replied, “Yes, sir.”


Sancho Panza
Mississippi St. Fan
La Habaña, Cuba
Member since Sep 2014
7268 posts

re: Gun store owners, what’s it like being one?
Been in plenty of gun stores, where the clerk doesn't know much, especially about AR15's.

Last one, to his credit, was quick to admit his limited knowledge.

Owner was very knowledgeable, though.


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20
coonasswhodat
LSU Fan
Gonzales, Louisiana
Member since Dec 2013
1874 posts

re: Gun store owners, what’s it like being one?
You might want to wait for a “gun grabbing Democrat” to get elected president. You know, like Obama. He really snatched and seized a lot of guns!!!


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11
Carson123987
Texas Fan
Middle Court at the Rec
Member since Jul 2011
59232 posts
 Online 

re: Gun store owners, what’s it like being one?
dont do it. in hunting/fishing stores, guns are by far the least marked up items. it's impossible to make money if you just sell guns. if you take used guns in, youll get lots of trash in there peddling shite guns trying to get twice what they're worth.

trust me, do not do it. you will get put to bed by online sites selling the same shite you have at cost with no tax. it's a hard business with the worst margins ever. you have to have some kind of manufacturing capabilities like Sulzer to even think about making money with it
This post was edited on 12/9 at 11:26 pm


finchmeister08
Florida Fan
Where the light is...
Member since Mar 2011
17518 posts

re: Gun store owners, what’s it like being one?
So manufacturers like Anderson and Aero won’t give you deals for buying stripped lowers in bulk?


Propagandalf
LSU Fan
Baton Rouge
Member since May 2010
2515 posts

re: Gun store owners, what’s it like being one?
You can find Anderson lowers on sale online regularly for $29.99, which is considerably cheaper than their dealer pricing. Aero's dealer pricing is tiered and gets lower with quantity. The problem retailers have with Aero, and manufacturers with similar business models, is Aero is their dealers biggest competitor. They will under cut you on pricing without blinking an eye. So, unless you are buying at their highest quantities you won't be able to get under their pricing when they run specials and sales. If you're only going to be doing 25-50 receivers at a time you're better off just doing the transfer for the customer. This isn't unique to lowers, anything an 01 FFL can deal in is going to have paper thin margins. The market is saturated with 01 FFLs and everything is a race to the bottom on pricing. There is a saying in the FFL world, the best way to make money selling guns is to figure out something else to sell besides guns. Like Carson said, your money makers at the gun stores are the accessories, gear, or services the shop offers. Selling just guns locally could be a fun hobby, but there is a 99.99% chance it will always be a hobby for you. It's a volume game and you need a lot to make it work. An 01 FFL is only $175, if you want to try it out it's pretty cheap to get in the game and see what's up. A good collection of hobby gun dealers can be found as vendors at your local gun show. Thier pricing is what they need to charge to make it worth it operating and buying at their volume. Despite online opinion, most are not out there trying to gouge people. They want to be as competitive as possible, but they're just not able to compete on price with bigger fish. Also, notice even guys at that level will have 10s of thousands in inventory on top and under their tables.


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auggie
Auburn Fan
Opelika, Alabama
Member since Aug 2013
9453 posts

re: Gun store owners, what’s it like being one?
If you have a lot of cash,I suggest a pawn shop that leans towards guns. Get the word out that you lend the most on guns. Put your money out there drawing incredible interest,and also get to deal in guns,ammo and such.


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momentoftruth87
Arkansas Fan
Member since Oct 2013
18215 posts

re: Gun store owners, what’s it like being one?
You could do this out of your house if you honestly wanted to try it. Depending on local laws and zoning of course. Look up requirements for FFL.


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White Bear
USA Fan
NWLA
Member since Jul 2014
3997 posts

re: Gun store owners, what’s it like being one?
I once thought about getting an FFL to get wholesale prices. That dream quickly went away when I got my FFL license packet and saw it was an elbow deep anal probe.


finchmeister08
Florida Fan
Where the light is...
Member since Mar 2011
17518 posts

re: Gun store owners, what’s it like being one?
How so?


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Propagandalf
LSU Fan
Baton Rouge
Member since May 2010
2515 posts

re: Gun store owners, what’s it like being one?
quote:

That dream quickly went away when I got my FFL license packet and saw it was an elbow deep anal probe.


I don't know when this was, but things seemed to have changed since then. As long as you're able to operate a business at your chosen location, the ATF "interview" is just them showing up and telling you how to fill out a 4473. Of course this varies by IOI I suppose, but it's a pretty lax process. If you can buy a gun you can get an FFL no problem.


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