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 West Coast Armory FFL transfer high cost $50++++ 
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Location: NE Thurston County
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WCA has been broken into twice; as much as I have enjoyed my interactions with them I would hesitate to leave anything I owned there overnight and unattended, transfers, NFA pergatory, or otherwise.

They are irresponsible.


Sun Feb 18, 2018 10:17 pm
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foothills wrote:
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.


Foothills nailed it. Boom, mic drop.

So, if WCA reads this, nobody here is thrilled about their fee and several folks who care enough on WA's premier gun website simply will never patronize WCA over it. I guess that's a business 101 failure.

For me to actually go there, I'd have to be saving well-over $50 on a gun, maybe over $100. That's unlikely. And their prices aren't worth the drive either. So they really have nothing to offer me.

Apparently a couple other FFLs can justify the fee - but that doesn't help WCA a bit. Those FFLs probably won't be going there and are in competition.


To respond to Elk
* No it's not a "free market" so much as a captive forced market with very few games in town. In other words, there are price gougers who know you have limited options so they can stick it to their customers. If it was a real free market, I doubt they could charge $5. Nobody would waste the time and money to do a FTF transfer, b/c I doubt few did. As for a internet order gun, again, it's not a free market. A free market would be shipping to my house and circumvent the FFL entirely.

* As for employees, as a guy who frequents gun stores, the IDLE time is astronomical. And the guy behind the counter probably is not earning the price of a 15 minute transfer every hour. Yeah, I get it, there's overhead. The beauty of transfers is that there's zero overhead (not including sunk costs of the license and storefront). You could literally carry zero inventory and succeed if you just did transfers, all day, every day, if you could get the volume. Sell anything else (ammo, mags, holsters) and it's gravy.

* I've done a lot of 594 FFL transfers. The longest one might be 15 minutes. Zero delays, no issues, etc. And in about 1 in 5, someone bought some other items (guns, ammo, mags, high margin stuff).

My local shop does longguns at $15 and handguns at $20. Washington Surplus Depot in Spanaway. I go there often to window shop. I bet I've never been in there without someone dropping $15-20 on a 100% profit margin transfer, and I've never seen or heard of a delay.

The worst case scenario seems to just never/rarely happen. And I'd suggest that the worst case scenario customer incur additional fees; not the rest of the customers. Local pawn shop over here in Puyallup has a clear sign that if you're delayed or denied it's a $40 fee. I think that's fair-ish.

License, store, and employees are sunk costs.
Frankly, from a business model, I'd rather have a 100% profit of $20 on a zero-inventory service item like a transfer, rather than a 10% profit on a $600 handgun that you've purchased and had sit on your shelf for 5 months. All day. Gonna do far more transfers if you do it right than moving new (over-priced) product. There's inventory holding costs - and as WCA can attest to there's theft risks and insurance premiums. One reason is that to carry that $600 handgun, you also have to be heavily leveraged carrying a wide selection of handguns, rifles, and shotguns. Looky-loos will be in all day tire kicking and handling and going somewhere else. In the morning, employees spend an hour dragging everything out of the safe and setting up. Then at night they spend an hour locking everything away... more wasted idle time.

From a consumer standpoint, I buy guns that are good deals below market. Tack on outrageous fees and I'm not going to buy it through you. And that will not give me incentive to play your game and just pay your outrageous retail prices on handguns. If there's a gun up north, and there have been, the other party and I just coordinate and meet someplace cheaper.

Burning a potential relationship from a customer over $25 is stupid and terrible business practice. The OP got hit with effectively at 33% fee on top of his item, and probably tax too. Totally unreasonable to hit a customer with $100 on a $300 purchase.

I met LOG for a gun transfer at Quantico. They sprung some "gotcha" fee on us for not coordinating in advance - a policy for which there is no legit reason as far as I can tell. They had 1 customer in the store at the time, and two employees. LOG was a gentleman and paid it, but we were both pissed and they wouldn't waive it. I'll never go back there again. Was it worth it for $15 or whatever Qauntico? Poor business sense.

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Mon Feb 19, 2018 12:05 am
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MadPick wrote:
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:


Yes it did...I'm feelin the love Steve! :thumbsup2:

I can't say I got Steve into guns...but I know in the beginning, I sure made it easier for him to jump in with both feet.

I think I'm who initially told him about the TOS, that he joined, then later became a MOD, then admin here...

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Mon Feb 19, 2018 7:34 am
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foothills wrote:
MadPick wrote:
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:


Yes it did...I'm feelin the love Steve! :thumbsup2:

I can't say I got Steve into guns...but I know in the beginning, I sure made it easier for him to jump in with both feet.

I think I'm who initially told him about the TOS, that he joined, then later became a MOD, then admin here...

So... we can blame you for this? :ROFLMAO:

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Mon Feb 19, 2018 7:37 am
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foothills wrote:
MadPick wrote:
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:


Yes it did...I'm feelin the love Steve! :thumbsup2:

I can't say I got Steve into guns...but I know in the beginning I baked one in a cake (and we all know how much Steve likes cake) so I sure made it easier for him to jump in with both feet.

I think I'm who initially told him about the TOS, that he joined, then later became a MOD, then admin here...


Fixed it :thumbsup2:

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Mon Feb 19, 2018 8:11 am
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leadcounsel wrote:

Foothills nailed it. Boom, mic drop.

So, if WCA reads this, nobody here is thrilled about their fee and several folks who care enough on WA's premier gun website simply will never patronize WCA over it. I guess that's a business 101 failure.

For me to actually go there, I'd have to be saving well-over $50 on a gun, maybe over $100. That's unlikely. And their prices aren't worth the drive either. So they really have nothing to offer me.

Apparently a couple other FFLs can justify the fee - but that doesn't help WCA a bit. Those FFLs probably won't be going there and are in competition.


To respond to Elk
* No it's not a "free market" so much as a captive forced market with very few games in town. In other words, there are price gougers who know you have limited options so they can stick it to their customers. If it was a real free market, I doubt they could charge $5. Nobody would waste the time and money to do a FTF transfer, b/c I doubt few did. As for a internet order gun, again, it's not a free market. A free market would be shipping to my house and circumvent the FFL entirely.

* As for employees, as a guy who frequents gun stores, the IDLE time is astronomical. And the guy behind the counter probably is not earning the price of a 15 minute transfer every hour. Yeah, I get it, there's overhead. The beauty of transfers is that there's zero overhead (not including sunk costs of the license and storefront). You could literally carry zero inventory and succeed if you just did transfers, all day, every day, if you could get the volume. Sell anything else (ammo, mags, holsters) and it's gravy.

* I've done a lot of 594 FFL transfers. The longest one might be 15 minutes. Zero delays, no issues, etc. And in about 1 in 5, someone bought some other items (guns, ammo, mags, high margin stuff).

My local shop does longguns at $15 and handguns at $20. Washington Surplus Depot in Spanaway. I go there often to window shop. I bet I've never been in there without someone dropping $15-20 on a 100% profit margin transfer, and I've never seen or heard of a delay.

The worst case scenario seems to just never/rarely happen. And I'd suggest that the worst case scenario customer incur additional fees; not the rest of the customers. Local pawn shop over here in Puyallup has a clear sign that if you're delayed or denied it's a $40 fee. I think that's fair-ish.

License, store, and employees are sunk costs.
Frankly, from a business model, I'd rather have a 100% profit of $20 on a zero-inventory service item like a transfer, rather than a 10% profit on a $600 handgun that you've purchased and had sit on your shelf for 5 months. All day. Gonna do far more transfers if you do it right than moving new (over-priced) product. There's inventory holding costs - and as WCA can attest to there's theft risks and insurance premiums. One reason is that to carry that $600 handgun, you also have to be heavily leveraged carrying a wide selection of handguns, rifles, and shotguns. Looky-loos will be in all day tire kicking and handling and going somewhere else. In the morning, employees spend an hour dragging everything out of the safe and setting up. Then at night they spend an hour locking everything away... more wasted idle time.

From a consumer standpoint, I buy guns that are good deals below market. Tack on outrageous fees and I'm not going to buy it through you. And that will not give me incentive to play your game and just pay your outrageous retail prices on handguns. If there's a gun up north, and there have been, the other party and I just coordinate and meet someplace cheaper.

Burning a potential relationship from a customer over $25 is stupid and terrible business practice. The OP got hit with effectively at 33% fee on top of his item, and probably tax too. Totally unreasonable to hit a customer with $100 on a $300 purchase.

I met LOG for a gun transfer at Quantico. They sprung some "gotcha" fee on us for not coordinating in advance - a policy for which there is no legit reason as far as I can tell. They had 1 customer in the store at the time, and two employees. LOG was a gentleman and paid it, but we were both pissed and they wouldn't waive it. I'll never go back there again. Was it worth it for $15 or whatever Qauntico? Poor business sense.

I don't think they need your business. They are doing quite well as it is. The high prices are to encourage people to buy from them, not from others. Just something to understand before you go in. You also need to remember that, like Wades, they are in a high income market area.
This isn't meant to defend them or knock on you, it's just the reality of the situation.


Mon Feb 19, 2018 8:27 am
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AR15L wrote:
foothills wrote:
MadPick wrote:
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:


Yes it did...I'm feelin the love Steve! :thumbsup2:

I can't say I got Steve into guns...but I know in the beginning, I sure made it easier for him to jump in with both feet.

I think I'm who initially told him about the TOS, that he joined, then later became a MOD, then admin here...

So... we can blame you for this? :ROFLMAO:



Yeah...me and Robin Masters/Johnny Trouble/ Buddy the Gay Retard and a host of other AKA's...from another time. :ROFLMAO:

Upon further review, it looks like late 2009 is when I popped Steve's cherry. :Admin:

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Mon Feb 19, 2018 8:38 am
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quantsuff wrote:
3584ELK wrote:
As someone on both sides...

This may sound like whining....

It does.


Sorry you feel that way. It was not whining. It was an attempt to clarify a foggy issue.

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Mon Feb 19, 2018 8:56 am
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" It was a dark and stormy night, when Foothills and assorted cronies laid the cake bait trap for an innocent young toilet engineer. "

Annnddd - the rest is history, as the brightest and the best wandered off TOS to create a home where you can spit on the mat, and call the cat a bastard.

They called it " WaGuns ", and it was good. After a meal of bacon cake, whiskey, and after dinner cigars, they rested.

And, in the morning that was the beginning of the Second Day of WaGuns, when they had the same meal for breakfast, and went off to the range.

Except for Dan, who slept in, and buggered off to Maui with Joelle, to work on his tan lines.

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Mon Feb 19, 2018 8:56 am
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3584ELK wrote:
quantsuff wrote:
3584ELK wrote:
As someone on both sides...

This may sound like whining....

It does.


Sorry you feel that way. It was not whining. It was an attempt to clarify a foggy issue.

You did clarify, thanks for that. You are also the one who first used "whining."
I was merely confirming your statement, no disrespect intended.


Mon Feb 19, 2018 10:19 am
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RENCORP wrote:
" It was a dark and stormy night, when Foothills and assorted cronies laid the cake bait trap for an innocent young toilet engineer. "

Annnddd - the rest is history, as the brightest and the best wandered off TOS to create a home where you can spit on the mat, and call the cat a bastard.

They called it " WaGuns ", and it was good. After a meal of bacon cake, whiskey, and after dinner cigars, they rested.

And, in the morning that was the beginning of the Second Day of WaGuns, when they had the same meal for breakfast, and went off to the range.

Except for Dan, who slept in, and buggered off to Maui with Joelle, to work on his tan lines.


:pray:

foothills wrote:
Yeah...me and Robin Masters/Johnny Trouble/ Buddy the Gay Retard and a host of other AKA's...from another time. :ROFLMAO:

Upon further review, it looks like late 2009 is when I popped Steve's cherry. :Admin:


Yep, September 21st I went to meet Don and pick up a Sig P220 Stainless Elite and a CZ-82, both transfers. :thumbsup2: I was looking for a dealer to do transfers, and he was the man. I ended up doing more transfers later, and buying four guns directly from him too.

My ex-wife called Don my "dealer." I never saw a pager and he never gave me a freebie to get me hooked . . . but it was still a good title!

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Mon Feb 19, 2018 8:46 pm
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foothills wrote:
Upon further review, it looks like late 2009 is when I popped Steve's cherry. :Admin:


Am I the only one seeing a sig line here?

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Mon Feb 19, 2018 11:08 pm
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MadPick wrote:
RENCORP wrote:
" It was a dark and stormy night, when Foothills and assorted cronies laid the cake bait trap for an innocent young toilet engineer. "

Annnddd - the rest is history, as the brightest and the best wandered off TOS to create a home where you can spit on the mat, and call the cat a bastard.

They called it " WaGuns ", and it was good. After a meal of bacon cake, whiskey, and after dinner cigars, they rested.

And, in the morning that was the beginning of the Second Day of WaGuns, when they had the same meal for breakfast, and went off to the range.

Except for Dan, who slept in, and buggered off to Maui with Joelle, to work on his tan lines.


:pray:

foothills wrote:
Yeah...me and Robin Masters/Johnny Trouble/ Buddy the Gay Retard and a host of other AKA's...from another time. :ROFLMAO:

Upon further review, it looks like late 2009 is when I popped Steve's cherry. :Admin:


Yep, September 21st I went to meet Don and pick up a Sig P220 Stainless Elite and a CZ-82, both transfers. :thumbsup2: I was looking for a dealer to do transfers, and he was the man. I ended up doing more transfers later, and buying four guns directly from him too.

My ex-wife called Don my "dealer." I never saw a pager and he never gave me a freebie to get me hooked . . . but it was still a good title!



His influence over me began in the mid 60's............


Fri Feb 23, 2018 7:45 pm
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PinSniper wrote:
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!


It's the difference between a process and a service. The NICS check is the process. It has to be done a certain way to be legal and satisfy requirements (yes I know I'm being pedantic here).

The service part is basically unregulated, the way it should be. Imagine the state or the BATFE mandating that all FFLs have to perform transfers at X price? I'm not one but know they already have a shitton of rules to live by.

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Sat Feb 24, 2018 7:08 am
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The penalty makes sense after the first time someone doesn't give you the courtesy to let you know that they are using you for a transfer. Then the sender (this has happened with both other dealers and individual/private sellers) don't tell you who the gun is for or give any contact information. At times, not even bothering to put in a copy of their driver's license so you have to spend the time sending a letter to the return address hoping they get back to you.
Then getting yelled at after the gun sits in your store room for three weeks because you never called the buyer and now he's pissed about it.
It's simple courtesy to let someone know you are going to use them so they expect it and know how to reach you when it gets there.

We have an unannounced fee.... though it's never been charged. Mostly it's there as a deterrent for the repeat offender who does what I just described.


Thu Mar 01, 2018 11:15 pm
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