10 May 2011

Buying guns online

I have been shopping around for a small caliber pistol or revolver for my wife.  We are going to go to the indoor range and renting a few of handguns first so she can try them out and see what type of handgun she likes best. What I was fairly disappointed in is the fact that purchasing a gun online is often no cheaper than buying one in a local gun store or big box sporting outlet.

Take, for example, a Charter Arms Pink Lady in .38 special.  On a popular firearm auction site, the average price of a Pink Lady up for auction right now is $360.  Add in the shipping which appears to average approximately $25 and the FFL transfer fee, which we will assume is another $30, although most places are charging more these days, and we are up to $415 to order the gun online.

If I go to my local pawn shop, they don't have on in stock but they will special order one, brand new from the manufacturer (actually through Davidson's) for $395 including all taxes and fees.

The big-box-superstore in town has one for sale for $405 (before taxes).

And finally, my local family owned gun store has a new one for sale for $415 (before taxes).

That brings me to the question, is it worth spending hours searching the web for a deal? I have yet to research a gun I wanted that I couldn't find at least $30 cheaper locally.  I know the more expensive the gun, the more room online retailers have to play with pricing, but it really doesn't seem like it is worth the time I would have to spend searching the internet for deals that don't appear to exist.

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