The NSSF is reporting continued good times in the firearms bidness. Year-over-year, NICS (adjusted FBI background check) search volume was up 17.3% in January. Sure, there are the naysayers who base their claims of lower gun sales on other metrics. But you’d have a hard time convincing retailers, manufacturers or SHOT Show attendees that the firearms market is anything less than robust. To say nothing of the stock market. One of the growing areas in a growth industry: internet sales. The acceptance of which seems to be increasing, particularly among local brick and mortar dealers who buyers have to call on to do the FFL transfer dirty work for them. BUT . . .
As a recent survey of retailers for shootingindustry.com shows, the vast majority of gun stores are agreeing to do the transfers for Internet buyers ’cause there’s money in them there services.
The study showed a dramatic increase in retailer willingness to perform transfers for online sales in recent years. Some 45 percent of the responding retailers indicate that they have begun performing Internet transfers within the past five years – nearly have of those have only begun within the past two years.
The motivating factor: dinero. This is America, right? Sure, there are plenty of gun stores that may grumble and look at an Internet transfer as a lost sale, but they see the service as an opportunity for add-on sales. Not to mention wanting to provide a service to existing customers.
And doing the transfers also brings new customers in the door. What’s not asked: how much the retailers charge for their FFL expertise. A gun store that charges $100 or more to do an Internet transfer technically “does Internet transfers” for the purposes of the survey. In practice, though, they’re using the high price to tell anyone who asks to take a hike.
Which brings us to the question, does your store do on-line transfers? Are you sheepish about asking? Do they welcome the business or do they look at you sideways for not buying from them directly? And how much do they ding you for the service?