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5 Tips To Buying At A Gun Show

Not a gun show, but the NRAAM

While going to a gun show can be intimidating the first time you go, there are a lot of crazy deals to be had if you know what you're looking for and how to spend your time while there. I've put together this short list of tips for you, so next time you go to the gun show, you'll be prepared to take advantage of as much as you can.

  • Bring Cash — You are much more likely to get a better deal on something if you bring cash with you. As a bonus, if the booth takes credit cards, you can haggle your price down to as low as they'll get, and then ask them, “well, what would you take if I paid cash?” You may be surprised, but many folks are willing to take a lower price if you pay cash because not as much is required on their part, and they won't have to pay high prices to use the credit processing service.
  • Go on the last day — This seems counter-intuitive, but if you go on the last day you're actually more likely to get good deals. The only downside, is that there isn't as much stuff left. The key to this, is to also go earlier and take note of the booths that have things you want to buy. Then, just go visit those booths on the last day. Those guys are more likely to sell because they'd rather sell something than have to pack it up and go home with it.
  • Make a list — Before you go to the gun show, make sure you know what you want to buy, and know how much it's worth. This isn't always the easiest thing to do, especially if you're in the market for a collector's item, like something from the early 1900s or late 1800s where the gun's condition is key to getting a good deal.
  • Have a phone — You can find what you're looking for and then call for back up, or look up comparable items on Gun Broker or similar. I've actually done that before with an old 1903A3 Springfield. I knew nothing about them, but have two friends who are heavy into collecting firearms from that era. I found out that the rifle was a great deal at $600, and that it was worth approximately double that in its condition.
  • Don't be afraid to haggle — You may be surprised, but most booths are willing to come down on price a bit. And, if they aren't, don't be afraid to walk away. You can then visit at a later time and see if the item is still available. If it is and they remember you walking away, they may be willing to take your price to prevent you from walking away again.

What tips do you have for shopping at a gun show? Have you ever bought from one? Give us any tips you have in the comments below. Also, I'm assuming that you've entered modern times and own a smart phone. If you do have a smart phone and don't have our FREE app, you're missing out. Check it out here:

Concealed Carry App

I can just about guarantee that it's the best one out there and offers tons of stuff that everyone else is charging people for.

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2 Responses to 5 Tips To Buying At A Gun Show

  1. Danny Willard June 26, 2018 at 11:25 am #

    Do not go to gunshow thinking every vendor is getting rich. The markup on new guns is typically 15 to 30% maximum from cost to dealer’s posted retail price. Do not play games with vendors. When they are busy please move on. If you want to go to an internet site and check a price remember that is also an asking price unless and until the item sales, IF IT DOES at that price. Gunshow vendors have to pay for tables so they have to make money, none are there for fun.

  2. Ross June 29, 2018 at 10:21 am #

    Also remember that it may be difficult to actually check the condition of a used gun at a gun show. Many shows require that the guns be zip tied in a manner which makes it impossible to fully close a bolt, a slide or a revolver cylinder. Manipulating the gun to check for slide fit, dry firing (after asking permission) etc. may be impossible and you have to take a chance on certain things.

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