View Full Version : Gun shop question
10-07-2009, 09:35 PM
Ok say one was to open a gun shop and has a building. how would one go about acquiring said inventory from manufactures at dealer prices? Would you have to wait for your FFL to go through and how would you avoid the runaround when talking to large firearms manufactures?
10-07-2009, 10:49 PM
Well for starters, yup you will need your FFL.
Once you've got it set up, you'll be wanting to contact some of the firearms wholesale outfits (like J&G, Lipsey's, Keisler's, etc...). Get in touch with them to set up your account and get a copy of your FFL on file with em. A small shop will probably be dealing mostly with outfits like these instead of maufacturer direct.
For the big name brands, most of them do wholesale their products/imports/etc but from what I remember a few years back (and my experience in the home electronics retail market) a lot of them didn't deal direct with small volume buyers like an individual shop. They typically do large volume sales to other wholesalers that will break up that big order to smaller shops. Yep, the middleman will get a cut of that action...but the other option is a large volume order that may take you several years to move. that's okay if you've got a big pile of capital to work with, but most small shops don't.
I'm sure there are some makers that are exceptions to this too...but that's where hours on the phone contacting reps and sending letters/email will be needed.
I don't have my FFL, but I did work with a local shop through my college years. I wasn't directly in charge of ordering but I did learn quite a few things about dealing with wholesalers that I later applied to my electronics biz.
So far, what's your battle plan?
Are you looking to target a specific niche or are you looking at carrying a "general" mixture of all firearms? New, Used, gunsmith work, ammo, misc equipment, etc...?
Would a "basement/garage business" be suitable? (It will likely be more profitable than a retail storefront due to a much smaller overhead for the store...)
10-08-2009, 02:30 AM
turn your attached garage into a gunshop. those are some of the best gunshops around i reckon
10-08-2009, 04:50 AM
having 1/2 owned a shop for years and still a holder of a ffl, Bindernut is right on. yes you need your ffl before starting to order. you'll be able to find plenty of distributors to deal with. and john said it best a "kitchen" dealer will be one of the best types around to deal with. less overhead and able to pass on savings to customers. i still order guns for a select number of friends. they use the big shops with tons of guns to get an idea what they want and order the guns from me. less of a mark up. hell i only charge 25.00 per gun above the wholesale price after shipping and taxes. imagine the joy of getting a surplus sig p-6 380.00 out the door or a brand new taurus model 85 for 300.00
10-08-2009, 03:37 PM
well its only about another 2 months for the FFL to go through then we are contacting the MFGs direct cause its not a small shop what so ever ;)
10-08-2009, 05:57 PM
Go to the Shot show in Vegas in January, around the 31st or so. Google shot show 10, It was held in Orlando Fla last Jan, so it was convenient for me.
Massive show for sure, get to see it all, but It did strike me as a closed shop type industry.
I'm sure there are others, and I'd be interested in other shows and opinions on the shotshow also.
I had both the federal and state licenses in upstate New York.... until the state made it a true misery to attain a renewal and then several years later I rec'd a lovely letter from the ATF stating that the IRS records demonstrate a very minimal profit ..... and why don't you stop down with all your records for a chat.
Dealing with firearms today is a royal pita.
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