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How To Work With and Deal with A Dealer

by Harry Viezens

I have been a gun dealer for a long time. When I go to gun shows, gun shops, auction houses, pawn shops and so on, I see so many do’s and don’ts that customers do when talking to dealers that I decided to write this article on that subject.

There are so many things dealers can help you with as a buyer or seller. For example, to help you with your collection, with research, and locating items you wish to acquire. Dealers can also help to dispose of a collection or evaluate a collection for insurance or sale purposes. Really knowledgeable dealers can help you with spotting possible fakes and altered items. One of the things you as a customer should consider, is what kind of a dealer you need or want. Not all dealers will meet your needs. If you are a collector let’s say you should deal with a collector dealer that deals in your subject matter. If you are a serious shooter, pick out a dealer that specialize in your shooting sport. I am sure you get the idea now.

If you are at a gun show let’s say, you as a buyer should be aware of a few manners or courtesies that are expected of you as a showgoer. There is nothing more annoying to a dealer than someone picking up an item without permission. It is a simple courtesy to ask to see the item. You will be showing respect to the dealer and his products. The upside will be a more friendly dealer. Another annoyance is to interrupt a conversation that may be going on. There is nothing more irritating than having your sales pitch or conversation interrupted by another party or worst yet! having a complete stranger get into your conversation or appraisal. I guarantee that will not go well for the offending party! Another thing, do not put your gear on a dealers table. If you want to look at something put your stuff on the floor. One other suggestion that will help you as a protentional buyer is to dress neatly and cleanly. Looking like you got off of the garbage truck is not going to impress anyone at the show let alone getting a dealers attention. This insight goes for the buyer as well as the dealer!

When at a gun shop, sporting goods store, auction house or pawn shop the same rules apply there also. Most dealers will go the extra “mile” to help you make a purchase. I see no wrong in asking a dealer to field strip a firearm for better examination of the internal parts. This is also true for asking to have the grips taken off of a pistol to check to see if the grips are serial numbered to the pistol. This only applies to firearms that can be easily field stripped or having the grips taken off. However, with a new unused firearm that should not be neccessary. Another group of firearms that should be exempt is rare collectable guns, and minty early firearms. Those should be left alone and intact. If the dealer knows his subject concerning the firearm you are interested in, listen! No matter how much you may know about that gun you just might learn something new! I have found, that many dealers are more than willing to discuss what they know if given the chance to talk about the subject of interest. This can make for a fun discussion. Being polite and not acting like a showoff will go along ways in working a deal or getting information on a firearm.

As for internet dealing, this is getting to be really big business now. Most of the time you as the buyer never get to meet the dealer face to face. This makes it much harder to evaluate the seller and the goods you are interested in. One rule that seems to work well with internet sales is to pretty much stay away from dealers that will only conduct business by “E” mail. If you cannot have the ability to talk to the seller by phone to ask questions work out details or problems, would you feel comfortable dealing with that party? In sending funds or giving out your credit card information to a dealer for a purchase requires a good amount of trust! Not having the ability to contact that person for any reason does not inspire trust at all!

When you find something of interest to you on the internet it may be a good idea to take notes of the things you may want to ask concerning condition, shipping, purchasing, or paying for the item. This way, you will not forget something you wanted to cover. You should be able to talk to the dealer on the phone and be able to ask anything you need to know to help you evaluate the potential purchase. If the dealer is freindly and polite and is willing to answer all your questions more the better. If you get someone on the line that is evasive, not willing to talk, or discuss the item, best thing to do is to walk away from that site.

You as the buyer also have certain manners that should be instilled when using the internet. If your “E”mail a dealer that you wish to purchase a item and then change your mind, let that party know! Just because you never saw that person and you may feel you are dealing in a vacuum you are not! If you enquire about a item by “E” mail make sure that you are really interested in the information and not “E” mailing dealers because you are bored and using the computer to entertain yourself. One other thing that is really annoying to us as dealers is trying to contact the person that “E” mails us and gives us a phone number to call. The dealer calls back, leaves a message to call back. The party being called does not pick up or return calls. Do not waste the dealers time and effort trying to contact you if you are not a serious buyer or have legitimate questions!

Until Next Time