Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Should you bargain with the gun shop owner?

Call it bargaining, haggling, dealing or whatever, some folks will never feel comfortable doing this and some will try to talk you down from a dollar. Should you bargain on the price of a gun?

I do retail in a similar business (militaria and military fine art prints). MOST customers will ask if they can "get a better price" or "can you do a bit better for me?" I'm not offended. Our prices are right in the middle (by and large) but we do have room to move especially for repeat customers. We also offer a 20% military/leo discount on non-consignment items (not services like framing) which are not on sale or marked down.

When I buy guns I'll often do the same IF the price is above the middle or if the condition isn't consistent with the price. Sometimes, dealers mis-identify their guns. E.g. there is a local dealer with a British Enfield "sniper" rifle. It is actually a run-of-the-mill Ishapore .308 (actually 7.62mm NATO), VERY run-of-the-mill. He intially marked it at nearly $1000! It is now down to about $500. I asked point-blank how he had IDed this gun as a "sniper". He said he'd read of the guns the Brits had converted to 7.62 and since this was a 7.62 it must be a sniper... So, sometimes, you're just not going to suceed at negotiating even if you're right on about the value.

Do remember one very important thing. If you speak with a smile, don't accuse the dealer of intentional deception, and are frank and honest you are likely to get the same treatment in return. Whether you do or don't get any particular gun, wouldn't you really rather have had a good time in the process?

Whatever you may think, take a "shot" at it. You can't hurt yourself. The worst they can do is say "no".

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