What happened to the discount tables at gun shows

m70whinchester

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A decade ago I used to purchase most of my guns at gun shows. I recall in the 90's gun shows being the place to go to find the deals. I must of purchased a dozen guns from the small gun tables that were a single folding table with 1 or 2 guns on display and stacks of those guns in boxes head high behind the guy selling them (on day one of the show, buy the end of the second day those tables would be sold out). Their prices were significantly cheaper than you could find at gun stores. It was obviously big bulk purchase discounts that these part time dealers would pass along to the consumers to move product quickly. I don't recall when they disappeared, but thinking back I haven't bought at a show since the 90's. I go to a show once a year or so, and always go home complaining that the prices are higher than the local gun stores, and all the tables seem to be run buy gun stores. There's very few independent dealers. Was there some kind of law passed? Is this a local/state thing or has anyone else noticed this?
 

pyplynr

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Re: What happened to the discount tables at gun shows

The real question is what happened to gun shows? All the gun shows I've been to in the last 10 years hasn't been anymore than dream catchers, beef jerky and old falling apart army clothes. What little guns they have I wouldn't even hang on a wall for decoration.
 

ACK

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Re: What happened to the discount tables at gun shows

IMHO gunshows are experiencing the same fate as conferences and trade shows.
Previously we would visit the later two in order to observe new technologies, get the latest catalogs, watch demos, see the competition. Through the use of the internet we can accomplish 90% of our goals without leaving home.
Likewise, forums such as gunbroker, SH, among others avail the seller a nationwide audience and educate them on the current market rates.
 

*greenhorn*

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Re: What happened to the discount tables at gun shows

gun shows i been to are mostly 10% higher than the local guys, and they get all pissy when you dont buy from them
 

ZLBubba

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Re: What happened to the discount tables at gun shows

<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: Cowboy1978</div><div class="ubbcode-body">gun shows i been to are mostly 10% higher than the local guys, and they get all pissy when you dont buy from them </div></div>

^ This. I'll only go to gun shows now to save myself shipping on reloading materials. That, or if I want to get some jerky...
 

match308

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Re: What happened to the discount tables at gun shows

Nailed it>>>>>><div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: JelloStorm</div><div class="ubbcode-body">The internet happened. </div></div>
 

KillShot

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Re: What happened to the discount tables at gun shows

<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: pyplynr</div><div class="ubbcode-body">The real question is what happened to gun shows? All the gun shows I've been to in the last 10 years hasn't been anymore than dream catchers, beef jerky and old falling apart army clothes. What little guns they have I wouldn't even hang on a wall for decoration. </div></div>

If you frequent the Wanenmacher's Tulsa Arms Show on March 31st -April 1st, on Novemeber 10th - 11th, and the Grand National in August and September...you'll find more guns, ammo, and gear than you have money to buy. I tend to skip the Metcalf and RK shows unless I'm just bored and with nothing else to do because they're exactly as you have described; junk.

<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: Cowboy1978</div><div class="ubbcode-body">gun shows i been to are mostly 10% higher than the local guys, and they get all pissy when you dont buy from them</div></div>

My findings as well. Why am I going to pay the gunshow guys more than I can get it locally or even pay them $2 less when I can support the local small gunshop owner with my money?

<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: JelloStorm</div><div class="ubbcode-body">The internet happened. </div></div>

That has a lot to do with it. When I can get it online cheaper than I can locally, that's the way to go.
 

*greenhorn*

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Re: What happened to the discount tables at gun shows

i wont go or buy from a gun show. the guys roll up, in most cases bring crap they want top top dollar for anything, 1/2 of them tell you what ever to sell something, they talk crap about the other vendors look at you all funny you buy from some one else. wont haggle. i have 3 dealers locally and 1 a short drive. they can get anything, and i mean anything. and when the gunshow in town the knock 5% off the top. gun shows are dead in my area and from what i can tell their that way every where.

yes jerky and reloading about it at gun show
 

bulzeye

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Re: What happened to the discount tables at gun shows

I just go to the gun shows so i can handle what I'm thinking about buying. I then order it through the shop.
 

gathert

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Re: What happened to the discount tables at gun shows

The problem with guns shows as well, at least in my area is that it take $5 to park and $7 to get in. So $12 later that $30/1000 primer box is really $42/1000 plus gas and your time. I can get 1000 primers cheaper from a local store than going to a gun show. Of course the more stuff you buy that cost goes down, but I don't really see it as worth it any more.
 

Veer_G

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Re: What happened to the discount tables at gun shows

I sat through most of a day with a vendor at one locally, in fact the last time this particular one was ever going to occur, as the venue was being "repurposed," and the sponsors weren't included in future plans.

Somehow, I had never really noticed just how much of a creepshow the thing was, and how many people there were coming through who were either probably prohibited or who should have been anyway. With crowds like that, I'll bet that a lot of firearms vendors jack the prices to try and make their ends on the few sales that result.

I'm sorry to see them starting to go the way of the buffalo, but not taking place is almost better than being a sad parody of what they used to be.
 

152

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Re: What happened to the discount tables at gun shows

Last week end in Southaven,Ms. was kind of ,no good for the show..There were some deals but had a lot less tables than the show before that at the same arena..
There were some deals,they were mostly walking around tho,
Some guy had a $12-1300.00 ,30-06 rifle built by someone in Shelby Ms..
Dayum as many times as I have been thru there and never even heard of the guy..
Discount table had some real cheezy M1a mags from God only knows where.
But I met a former Marine and his daughter,and a retired Navy pilot and fed ex flight instructor....
Ammo was about what it always is ,high.
Yeah,I bought a very used 60s era pilot survival knife for 25.00
I thought it was a bargain..
The show before this one tho cost me $1600.00.....

And i do not go that much either for reasons of quality,and price..
Some of the older crowd that do the circut ,for recreation,hobby,or whatever I can respect..
The internet must be a big reason,then economy,for the scaled down versions ..
and I still plan on the show in Oklahoma some time..
But for the for sale forums on some of these forums are keeping me busy and broke..
 

OZZY.40

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Re: What happened to the discount tables at gun shows

I went to the Indy 1500 last year. it is advertised as the midwest's largest. After realizing how much I spent to just to get in the door($5 to park $10 at the door) I realized that it was just the local gunshops with the same prices. I don't plan on going back. I think the people who organize these things have allowed way to many different vendors to attend which causes the spaces to become worth more to those who want to sell their items, but all it will do is drive away those who had the "deal tables" because they don't want to pay the high price for the space.
 

SturmHead

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Re: What happened to the discount tables at gun shows

One thing that has hurt gun shows that no one has mentioned is the fact that back in the 90s during the Clinton administration (not political, just history), one of the anti-gun laws passed was a crack down on hobby/basement FFL holders. Restrictions, zoning, and buisness requirements made it difficult for the guy that delt out of his basement, and therefore many of them gave up their licenses. These were also the same guys that set up at gun shows with the big deals in an effort to get some cash flow. This is how many established dealers I know got started.
With little or no overhead a basement dealer could get good deals on guns and ammo and then sell them with little mark up at gun shows with high traffic, because he doesn't have to pay rent for a shop. If they were very succesful they could afford to make a full time buisness, if moderately successful he could put some extra money in his pocket, otherwise it was a hobby and a way to buy guns and ammo at wholesale prices.
Now that the basement dealer is gone, there is no one with inventory that has to be sold at the gunshow to keep the cash flowing.
Now when you go to a gunshow and walk up to several tables being rented by one dealer with so so prices; remember, he had to empty his store for the weekend, pack it up and drive to the show and setup. Then he has to take it down, pack it up, drive back to his store and put it back on the shelf. Gone are the days when the basement dealer had everything packed already and just loaded it in the truck and drove to a different show every weekend where he made most of his sales because he charged less and the gunshow was his store.
 

sam626

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Re: What happened to the discount tables at gun shows

There hasn't been a deal at a gun show since the early 90's. You can occasionally do ok on reloading components, But the only reason that I go anymore is for the freak show.