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 West Coast Armory FFL transfer high cost $50++++ 
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I know a couple local kitchen table FFL's that said they would do an occasional $25 transfer for me as a repeat customer, but don't want to be in the business of doing it.
Guess it depends on whether $25 is a little or a lot, what they feel their time is worth, and if they need the money.

Now if I had a brick and mortar store with hourly counter people standing around with their thumbs up their asses, advertising $25 transfers would be a good way to cover a lot of their salary.

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Sun Feb 18, 2018 9:45 am
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they want to sell you the gun not be a distribution point if you do not contact them in advance it is $150 not like the original OP stated
so that is $600 an hour check there gun prices are they out of line?


http://www.westcoastarmory.com/specials-archive/2018

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Sun Feb 18, 2018 1:30 pm
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Never bought anything from wca but do remember being surprised at their b&m pricing on some stuff. I only came by for the rifle league - which stopped for some reason.

Personally I'd much rather sell labor over products. Margin is super low with firearm stuff unless you got huge buying power or a customer base that don't give a fuck about price, wades cough cough.

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Sun Feb 18, 2018 3:19 pm
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As someone on both sides of the counter, I accept that some will charge more for a transfer than others. We have a free market system which encourages competition, but allows for high prices.

I recently sent my father a shotgun for his birthday. As it was out of state, I had to find an FFL that would be both convenient and less expensive for my father. I could have paid in advance, but my father is stubborn and refuses to allow anyone to pay what he perceives as his cost. After calling around I found 3 FFL's willing to do the transfer- two of the 3 wanted $50. One wanted $6. The cheaper FFL was about 15 miles further down the road, but I know my father, he was happy with the process and the cost to get his new shotgun. Point is, you always have to do your research. The cheaper FFL told me he was not charging more than the state charged him to run a state POC background check. The other 2 FFL's have store fronts to maintain, employees to pay, rent, utilities, taxes, etc. I don't begrudge them their fees, I simply chose to go elsewhere.

Being an FFL here in WA state, I can assure you that customer time studies will never bear the facts out when it comes to performing transfers. Yes, it is fairly simple to receive an interstate long gun and do the transfer. Nonetheless, it still requires me to send the shipper a copy of my FFL, and the attendant phone calls with the buyer and the shipper. Then, someone has to be available to sign for the weapon upon its arrival (anytime between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m.). I have seen the simple process of getting FedEx to deliver a package take 4 days and numerous phone calls (more time spent). Someone has to unpack (and you should see some of the packaging techniques people use!) the gun, verify and log the serial number, make and model, and well as the senders information. Someone has to secure the weapon, call the buyer, arrange a time for the transfer, and provide a facility for the transfer. Many customers cannot tell time or estimate a trip length. I have set aside time for them which they abuse by being late, with all the attendant excuses. Then, some customers need help with the 4473 form. Some have unique circumstances which require your knowledge (resident aliens with a Green Card). That knowledge took previously spent time to acquire. Now we enter the information into the NICS database and pray for a PROCEED. If we get that result, now comes the payment for the transfer. A professional FFL will have a professional invoice made out, or at the minimum, a receipt. This equals more time, more materials. Receiving that firearm from out of state involved knowledge of, registration with, calculating, and paying use tax to WA DOR. It also involves the time to figure and file quarterly taxes. Then there is the audit that I spent weeks preparing for, a day lost to the audit, and corrections. Most folks want to pay with their debit card. Do you know what it costs, and how much effort is expended maintaining a PCI compliant system and paying for a credit/ debit card processor? It is way over the 3% which some gun dealers charge.

The above is the process for a simple long gun transfer. If someone orders a handgun from Bud's, and they have no CPL, the real fun begins. Now, I have all the items above to handle, plus the extra WA State Pistol Transfer Application, explanation of what 10 business days means, and the processing of the pistol transfer application. As most police departments still live in the 1980's, they want the pistol transfer form faxed to them. Not every PD has an easily accessible fax number. So more time is spent calling, asking for the fax number for the Records Dept., and then scanning and faxing the form. There is the follow up call on day 2 to ensure the form made its way to the records department and is being processed. Then, on the 10th business day, or when the PD clears the applicant, another phone call, appointment, and additional signatures are required. CPL holders make things easier by eliminating some the work detailed here. Beyond dealing with BATFE, your local PD, WA State DOR and DOL, we now have to report to the WA Association of Police Chiefs and Sheriff's if there is a denial.

This may sound like whining, it is only a detailed and factual explanation of what happens during a transfer. You may only see an employee working for 15 minutes, but there is MUCH more behind the scenes. If $50 doesn't sound more reasonable by now, nothing will convince you. I don't charge $50, but I don't charge $25 either. I take some of the costs on the chin as part of being in business. I think most FFL's do the same and have the same attitude.

Being a one man show, I don't have employees. I frankly don't know how large gun stores make any profit, except by sheer volume.

Hopefully this sheds some light on the transfer process.

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Last edited by 3584ELK on Mon Feb 19, 2018 8:58 am, edited 4 times in total.



Sun Feb 18, 2018 5:35 pm
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3584ELK wrote:
Hopefully this sheds some light on the transfer process.


It does. :thumbsup2:

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Sun Feb 18, 2018 5:52 pm
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Need some ECON101 in here.

They charge more than some because:

a) they can get away with it due to demand

and/or

b) they don't really want to do transfers and are disincentivizing the service

Keep in mind a lot of shops simply don't do transfers at all. As noted above, it's quite a hassle.

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Sun Feb 18, 2018 6:10 pm
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3584ELK wrote:
As someone on both sides...

This may sound like whining....

It does.


Sun Feb 18, 2018 6:41 pm
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quantsuff wrote:
3584ELK wrote:
As someone on both sides...

This may sound like whining....

It does.


Not to me. I think it's helpful to understand everything that happens, both at the counter and in the background.

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Sun Feb 18, 2018 6:49 pm
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It is my opinion, while they are free to charge what they want, I am free to chose which business will get my $. They will get more flies with honey.

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Sun Feb 18, 2018 6:52 pm
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MadPick wrote:
quantsuff wrote:
3584ELK wrote:
As someone on both sides...

This may sound like whining....

It does.


Not to me. I think it's helpful to understand everything that happens, both at the counter and in the background.

Agreed, helpful information. No disrespect intended. Whining, like value, is in the eye of the beholder.


Sun Feb 18, 2018 7:01 pm
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MadPick wrote:
3584ELK wrote:
Hopefully this sheds some light on the transfer process.


It does. :thumbsup2:


It does. I agree.

It ALSO points out the hassle created, and I hate to say it but some people actually take joy in creating as much hassle (and expense) as possible for firearm owners. They are scheming more as we speak.

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Sun Feb 18, 2018 7:23 pm
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3584ELK wrote:
As someone on both sides of the counter, I accept that some will charge more for a transfer than others. We have a free market system which encourages competition, but allows for high prices.

I recently sent my father a shotgun for his birthday. As it was out of state, I had to find an FFL that would be both convenient and less expensive for my father. I could have paid in advance, but my father is stubborn and refuses to allow anyone to pay what he perceives as his cost. After calling around I found 3 FFL's willing to do the transfer- two of the 3 wanted $50. One wanted $6. The cheaper FFL was about 15 miles further down the road, but I know my father, he was happy with the process and the cost to get his new shotgun. Point is, you always have to do your research. The cheaper FFL told me he was not charging more than the state charged him to run a state POC background check. The other 2 FFL's have store fronts to maintain, employees to pay, rent, utilities, taxes, etc. I don't begrudge them their fees, I simply chose to go elsewhere.

Being an FFL here in WA state, I can assure you that customer time studies will never bear the facts out when it comes to performing transfers. Yes, it is fairly simple to receive an interstate long gun and do the transfer. Nonetheless, it still requires me to send the shipper a copy of my FFL, and the attendant phone calls with the buyer and the shipper. Then, someone has to be available to sign for the weapon upon its arrival (anytime between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m.). I have seen the simple process of getting FedEx to deliver a package take 4 days and numerous phone calls (more time spent). Someone has to unpack (and you should see some of the packaging techniques people use!) the gun, verify and log the serial number, make and model, and well as the senders information. Someone has to secure the weapon, call the buyer, arrange a time for the transfer, and provide a facility for the transfer. Many customers cannot tell time or estimate a trip length. I have set aside time for them which they abuse by being late, with all the attendant excuses. Then, some customers need help with the 4473 form. Some have unique circumstances which require your knowledge (resident aliens with a Green Card). That knowledge took previously spent time to acquire. Now we enter the information into the NICS database and pray for a PROCEED. If we get that result, now comes the payment for the transfer. A professional FFL will have a professional invoice made out, or at the minimum, a receipt. This equals more time, more materials. Receiving that firearm from out of state involved knowledge of, registration with, calculating, and paying use tax to WA DOR. It also involves the time to figure and file quarterly taxes. Then there is the audit that I spent weeks preparing for, a day lost to the audit, and corrections. Most folks want to pay with their debit card. Do you know what it costs, and how much effort is expended maintaining a PCI compliant system and paying for a credit/ debit card processor? It is way over the 3% which some gun dealers charge.

The above is the process for a simple long gun transfer. If someone orders a handgun from Bud's, and they have no CPL, the real fun begins. Now, I have all the items above to handle, plus the extra WA State Pistol Transfer Application, explanation of what 10 business days means, and the processing of the pistol transfer application. As most police departments still live in the 1980's, they want the pistol transfer form faxed to them. Not every PD has an easily accessible fax number. So more time is spent calling, asking for the fax number for the Records Dept., and then scanning and faxing the form. There is the follow up call on day 2 to ensure the form made its way to the records department and is being processed. Then, on the 10th business day, or when the PD clears the applicant, another phone call, appointment, and additional signatures are required. CPL holders make things easier by eliminating some the work detailed here.

This may sound like whining, it is only a detailed and factual explanation of what happens during a transfer. You may only see an employee working for 15 minutes, but there is MUCH more behind the scenes. If $50 doesn't sound more reasonable by now, nothing will convince you. I don't charge $50, but I don't charge $25 either. I take some of the costs on the chin as part of being in business. I think most FFL's do the same and have the same attitude.

Being a one man show, I don't have employees. I frankly don't know how large gun stores make any profit, except by sheer volume.

Hopefully this sheds some light on the transfer process.


That's a fairly accurate summary of what CAN be a worst case scenario transfer situation (other than a denial). My experiences in over 30 years of having an FFL is a bit more subdued.

Most transfers are pretty quick and easy deals. Sure some can be a hassle, but in my case that's the exception to the rule. I have and keep an extensive list of PD fax numbers. Most buyers anymore know the gun is at your facility before you do, due to tracking info. So repeated phone calls are unnecessary.

For me transfers were a good way to meet new customers or just make new friends. I encouraged buyers to find their own deal and just let me know it's coming. Saves me the time and hassle of trying to find the best deal and shelling out my capital for maybe a 5-10% profit. So $20 for a transfer was quick easy money and a good way to build repeat business. It also enabled me to buy lots of nice used guns that buyers were seeking to trade or sell to pay for their new purchase.

I've been a 1 man show for a long time. And internet transfers contributed immensely to my customer base.

Just my experiences...your results may vary.

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Sun Feb 18, 2018 7:26 pm
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foothills wrote:
For me transfers were a good way to meet new customers or just make new friends. I encouraged buyers to find their own deal and just let me know it's coming.


And it worked. :cheers2: :4couple:

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Sun Feb 18, 2018 7:48 pm
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hkcavalier wrote:
Need some ECON101 in here.

They charge more than some because:

a) they can get away with it due to demand

and/or

b) they don't really want to do transfers and are disincentivizing the service

Keep in mind a lot of shops simply don't do transfers at all. As noted above, it's quite a hassle.


But in this case, the real gotcha is a matter or process and a penalty. In many cases, the FFL will fall under general search from zip code. Some customers will have a reasonable expectation of price for a transfer, and on this front, $50 is high but fair. Adding a penalty on top for not contacting them first, is just... spiteful... to their customer. They can do what they like, but I think less of them for doing it.

Either take the customer or do not. Penalties are for when the relationship with your customer has turned sour and you're ready to burn your bridges. In this case, it's very likely the very first interaction with a customer!


Sun Feb 18, 2018 8:11 pm
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Thanks for all the input from everybody. I did not mind the $50 that much just thought the additional $50 for not asking them if they could do the purchase was bad business. I wanted this item that was hard to find and the stock came in on the internet. It was a small item but something I wanted. So ended up paying an additional $100 on a $300 dollar purchase. They could have made a customer for life by charging only $50 and not the penalty have having them call and match the item the next day. They might have made $25 dollars on the deal. Yes the information was there on website about the penalty of $50 but I am in the bellevue caring for somebody and picked WCA never guessing they could do that. I messed up for not checking and thinking a store that had a good reputation would not bend me over and throw some at on it before they rode me like first cousin. So they could of been a hero and not charge me the penalty but want to spank me like a little kid.

So I learned a hard lesson about being excited about finding something and thinking that WCA were nice people. The people at the counter were very nice. The person that called me on the phone sounded like he really enjoyed holding my stuff hostage till I payed a extra 30% of the total purchase cost.

I do like how you guys toss it around. Thanks. So whats next on a new forum topic.


Sun Feb 18, 2018 9:40 pm
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