Open a gun shop

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HDRider

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Is opening a gun shop a bad idea?

When I lived in SC I bought all my guns from a guy that ran a basic no frills gun shop. He sold x% above his cost.

I was thinking about doing the same thing.

A friend of mine is a gun collector and he will be my partner in this.

What do you think?
 

Rafter S

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There are too many variables to give a good answer.

Do you and/or your partner have the cash to open it and keep it going for a while, or do you plan to operate on borrowed money? It's hard enough to make money for yourself with a small business without trying to support the bank at the same time. I'm not saying it can't be done, but it makes a difference.

Do either of you have any experience owning, or at least managing, a business?

Can you find a location that's affordable?
 
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HDRider

HDRider

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Do you and/or your partner have the cash to open it and keep it going for a while,
Yes
Do either of you have any experience owning, or at least managing, a business
Yes
Can you find a location that's affordable
Yes
Can you find enough guns and ammo to make it profitable?
Ammo might be tough. We'd have to research that with suppliers if we move the idea along.

We think we can with guns, but hard to say without more research.
 

callmefence

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A non perishable inventory that's not going to lose value. Hard to beat that.
The partner part is where I would pay attention. Over time partnerships tend to get lopsided. Especially when there's not enough meat on the bone. Someone starts feeling like their either doing all the work or investing all the money. Lay all that out and establish a solid exit plan for when it's time to dissolve the partnership.
 

Lee VanRoss

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It goes without saying your business model will be of tantamount importance. I pray you have a good secure location and knowledgeable
dedicated personnel available. If you try to do it yourself it will be like milking cows with no days off. Best wishes however it comes out.
 

SmokinM

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The having an ATF license is a bit of a drag because you are subject to inspections even at home I believe. It is a lot of paperwork. Also depending on your area theft is a problem. That is what drove my buddy out is the break ins and the insurance hikes. We are 6 hrs. from NY and that’s what they were doing, steal them here then sell them there.

Otherwise it should be a good business to be in, lord knows they are selling like hot cakes now and I don’t see that slowing up. Profit margin is ok, not great but ok, make it up in volume and all the other stuff you sell like clothes etc.
Best of luck if you decide to do it.
 

Mrcopier

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To sure how much the ATF gets involved, but my office building was a gun shop and the ATF help him design the building and it has bullet proof windows, Kevlar covered heydoc walls , sensors every 15 feet both on windows and walls for shock and motion detectors in the ceiling. 22 cameras inside and out. Roll down metal door protector and those pipes painted yellow in front of the main door, etc.. not sure how much was mandated but it’s all there
 

Buck Randall

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Would the gun shop be expected to provide a living, or just pay for itself and support your hobby?
 

Brute 23

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I think it's a loser. Most small gun stores wont compete with a big box store or the enet. If I know exactly what gun I want I order it online. If I want to buy a gun that I need to feel in my hands I go to one of the largest stores I can to touch as many guns as possible, then order it online. 😄

If I'm hunting deals I go to pawn shops.
 

Caustic Burno

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Is opening a gun shop a bad idea?

When I lived in SC I bought all my guns from a guy that ran a basic no frills gun shop. He sold x% above his cost.

I was thinking about doing the same thing.

A friend of mine is a gun collector and he will be my partner in this.

What do you think?
Around here a competent gunsmith would make a killing.
I think you would make much more with an ammo shop and internet sales.
Too many people want cheap crap guns out of box stores.
That’s why we don’t have real quality American made anymore.
Most of the shotguns today are coming out of Turkey and China.
Ruger and Mossberg still American made for the most part.
 

greybeard

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Will it be in a rural setting?
How much competition in the immediate area?
We had a small but great one owner gun shop here for well over 3 decades and he did ok, tho sales were slow each day. It was the only real gunshop in this part of the county and everyone knew where it was. Behind his house in a nice building, concrete parking lot lighted sign out on the hiway. He had one employee to help with sales. Never saw more than a couple vehicles out front any given day but over time, he made $$. Then around 2016, a bigger one opened a few miles up the road, with a range out back and had big $$ behind it and the old shop basically just dried up and had to close.
Security will be a big $$ input on your shop.

The old shop:
bbgunshop.jpg


What ran him out of business. It's 4 miles away (as the crow flies)
 

Atimm693

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I think it's a loser. Most small gun stores wont compete with a big box store or the enet. If I know exactly what gun I want I order it online. If I want to buy a gun that I need to feel in my hands I go to one of the largest stores I can to touch as many guns as possible, then order it online. 😄

If I'm hunting deals I go to pawn shops.

This is the unfortunate truth. It's tough to make it work, next to impossible to make a living on it solely. Like in most sectors, the small businesses scrape by, while the box stores flourish.

There's been a couple that have set up in this area but eventually folded. There's one in town, according to the owners, they are really just getting by. Both (husband and wife) have separate jobs and are planning on running the store after retirement. They have told me that their cost for guns is often higher than what Academy and the bigger chains sell them for.


One good thing about buying over the internet, a local dealer still needs to file the paperwork and collect a fee for it, so you've still got a piece of that pie.
 
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Ky hills

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This is the unfortunate truth. It's tough to make it work, next to impossible to make a living on it solely. Like in most sectors, the small businesses scrape by, while the box stores flourish.

There's been a couple that have set up in this area but eventually folded. There's one in town, according to the owners, they are really just getting by. Both (husband and wife) have separate jobs and are planning on running the store after retirement. They have told me that their cost for guns is often higher than what Academy and the bigger chains sell them for.
No experience with a gun store, but several years ago bought a paint store and that was what we ran into, our cost for stock was as more than what the big chain stores could sell for. They are able to buy at such a volume it puts small shops at such a disadvantage that it's nearly impossible to compete. That was over 20 years ago, now some folks have bought a local hardware store that is the last of the old downtown stores. It was struggling before they bought it, and from what I understand they are really struggling with it.
 

Brute 23

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This is the unfortunate truth. It's tough to make it work, next to impossible to make a living on it solely. Like in most sectors, the small businesses scrape by, while the box stores flourish.

There's been a couple that have set up in this area but eventually folded. There's one in town, according to the owners, they are really just getting by. Both (husband and wife) have separate jobs and are planning on running the store after retirement. They have told me that their cost for guns is often higher than what Academy and the bigger chains sell them for.


One good thing about buying over the internet, a local dealer still needs to file the paperwork and collect a fee for it, so you've still got a piece of that pie.
Yup. Too many gun shops wont do it for you because they think hold the key and you will have to buy from them. Around here there are 2 or 3 guys that are ffl dealers and will charge me $50 to handle it out of their house. I can go on Buds and just select their name, click click, here it comes. I text the guy and tell him what will show up at his house. He texts me when it arrives. It's so easy.

What we lack is a good gun smith. These shops that pop up just want to sell the same junk guns as academy and that doesnt work. Do ffl transfers, do gun smith work, the suppressors are big now... do the stuff Academy and WalMart wont.
 
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