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I’m just curious. What’s the investment to open a gun store. Forget about getting an FFl. Assume you did. Forget rent. What’s it cost to stock a new store? Is it like my peanut stand. Where I only pay the distributor for the peanuts I actually sold? Is it cash up front for all your stock?

I’m just curious. Not looking to open a store. I sell peanuts. What’s your experience?

Also I’m curious on profit per gun. I bought a gun at $500 below msrp. There’s got to be a big mark up on some guns. I’m sure there’s very little on others. Tell me what you know.
 

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there's very little profit margin in most guns and ammo. Too much competition. Right now it's a seller's market is all... by the time you get your FFL - the wave will be down.
 

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You own your inventory and markup is around 50 per gun. If you're in an area that has several shops competition will be tuff. The hard part wont be opening a store, it will be keeping it open until it starts turning a profit. If you can't survive a year without making a dime you are under capitalized .
 

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No way dood. The only ones making it are those that have been in business for a long time, or they are big box stores that survive off all of the other stuff.
Internet sales clobber every brick and mortar store I have seen and none will work with you on price. Open a pawn shop, that way you can play with guns but make your money off guitars and tools. You could sell your peanuts too!
 

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No way dood. The only ones making it are those that have been in business for a long time, or they are big box stores that survive off all of the other stuff.
Internet sales clobber every brick and mortar store I have seen and none will work with you on price. Open a pawn shop, that way you can play with guns but make your money off guitars and tools. You could sell your peanuts too!
Yea, the best gun shop in my area by far is a pawn shop. And I’m talking new guns.
 

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You own your inventory and markup is around 50 per gun. If you're in an area that has several shops competition will be tuff. The hard part wont be opening a store, it will be keeping it open until it starts turning a profit. If you can't survive a year without making a dime you are under capitalized .
I think it’s way lower than 50% markup
I think glider meant 50 dollars per gun, not 50%. :)
 

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My gun shop lets me see his cost mainly because I bitch a lot. If he makes $100 on a gun it is a lot. They make their money on holsters and ammo and such. Now your best bet, especially in these times is to open a gun shop with at least a 5 bay indoor range, You will make a lot more renting guns, ear protection, eye protection, and range time that you will ever selling guns. Plus you can pick up the brass and either sell for weight, sell to reloaders, or clean and sell yourself.
 

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You could also open a non-stocking shop. The guy (shop) I use does not stock new guns. You buy on line and for a fee he will transfer it through his books. Has a little bit on knives and ammo. He also is so busy he can hardly keep up with the paperwork.
 

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1911Momo said:
I’m just curious. What’s the investment to open a gun store.
Basing my observations on Jensen Arms in Loveland CO, you had better plan on several
million, to get started. - - - Bob "opened" his store by selling guns from his mother's house.
After it got going, he opened a regular store, which was WAY too small. He then moved
to another store that was at least five times as big. The new store became too small
because he was doing very well. Prices, selection, and most of his staff.

He outgrew the second store in a few years and moved to the North of town. Expanded
that one, twice. He then sold the business to John (so Bob could live to retire).

I remember one day when Bob and his lead guy got back from SHOT show. They had
ordered 1.5 Million in guns, half of which still had not arrived in September.

My best guess would place it at three to four million as a starter. Then add in the store
itself, people to help you run it, advertising, utilities, and maintenance. If five million is
pocket change, to you, go for it.

P.S. The REAL money in a "gun store" is in the accessories and ammunition. Mark-up
on the guns themselves is not that much.
 

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I honestly don't know how gun stores manage to stay in business. The margin on guns and ammo is usually really low... under 10% in many cases. The only profitable items are holsters, magazines and aftermarket parts. Then you have to pay your employees, the landowner, and the light bill. Any profit you make is razor-thin, and you don't see many gun shop owners towing boats on trailers. Online competition only makes it worse.
 

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I work in a local shop. It is true that there's not much profit in each new gun sold. Theres not that much profit in the holsters and ammo either. Your not putting your kids thru college selling "Accessories". Used guns is where the monies at in our shop. You don't buy old POS German, Spanish and off brand crap either. If you want to open a shop, I believe its really hard to do with out something else to sustain it. Our shop is also a pawn shop, although we have the biggest gun selection in our area, the pawn shop side of things is the bread and butter.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Interesting info. Some of you guys must live near better stores. I can only think of one store near me with $1 million worth of guns in stock. Mostly Mom and Pop type stores.

I think the shooting range is the way to go. The one I go to said he sold 70 guns last Saturday and the range is always packed.
 

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Open a gun store in California. You'll make your profit off the DROS fees.

Just kiddin...a little. But CA guns are at a premium right now. For example, in a CA store I saw a Springfield Professional for about 10% above MSRP, where Bud's was at or below. Same with a Les Baer. Other more common 1911s were at least 15% above MSRP.
 

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If you can afford to sit on certain types of new firearms until it is time to sell then there is money in new guns. Otherwise $25-$50 a piece if you want them to sell. The Internet will beat your prices - at least for now. For me used collectible guns that I buy and sell or sell on consignment is more profitable than new guns for the most part. It takes years to build up a customer base. You have to sort out the guys that are worth keeping around and getting them what they want. If you are knowledgeable about antique and collectible guns then there is some money to be made, but no guarantees.
 

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I honestly don't know how gun stores manage to stay in business. The margin on guns and ammo is usually really low... under 10% in many cases. The only profitable items are holsters, magazines and aftermarket parts. Then you have to pay your employees, the landowner, and the light bill. Any profit you make is razor-thin, and you don't see many gun shop owners towing boats on trailers. Online competition only makes it worse.
It’s also one of the reasons why when you bring in a used gun they offer about half of what they will mark it for when they put it in the case they aren’t ripping you off, they have to make up margin somehow.

It’s also why I always consign.

Consign is win/win for everyone.
 

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In order to make a small fortune in the firearms business, you will need to start with a large fortune!!!
This right here. It's one of the most competitive businesses around. You're up against big box stores that order guns and ammo direct by the train car load. Then you've got the internet sellers. Some of them have made their niche by making $25 off of each firearm and selling 100's per day.

Accessories? Yeah, right, you're never going to have the right holster for the guy looking for one, you're not going to have the right style or size for most people that walk through the door. Cleaning supplies? Not a chance, Walmart has them cheaper.

Reloading? You're going to get killed by the selection and prices offered by Graf's, Midsouth, Midway, and several other online sellers. Unless you're going to commit to carrying the full like of Accurate, Hodgdon, and Alliance powders, in both 1 lb and kegs, you'll never have the right powder for the guy walking through the door. Also you'll need to carry Winchester, Remington, CCI, and Federal primers. The full line of each.

Your main saving grace if you have all that powder and primers is that the big online sellers now have to charge sales tax. So if you invest around $250k in powder and primers you should be able to undersell the big guys by $1-2 per 1 pound container and $10-15 per keg....and still make less than investing the same amount of money in the S&P 500.
 
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