FFL transfer fees

Deatons in Loganville will stick it to you on a transfer $50
So will South Georgia Outdoors in Cairo. They didn’t have the gun I wanted so I ordered it and had it shipped to SGO. I was shocked when the transfer fee was $50. $25 I’d be okay with but $50 to fill out a form??
 

bullgator

Darn Flankee
Prices around me have creeped up, $25 to $30, now.
When you think about it, it kind of makes sense. If they can’t get the inventory to sell themselves, they need to make a profit somewhere to keep the lights on. If the LGSs go under we won’t have them to do transfers. I don’t like it either but we’re all in a strange time.
 

specialk

Senior Member
When you think about it, it kind of makes sense. If they can’t get the inventory to sell themselves, they need to make a profit somewhere to keep the lights on. If the LGSs go under we won’t have them to do transfers. I don’t like it either but we’re all in a strange time.
i chuckle every time i see a guy belly aching about any transfer fee on a 1000.00 rifle......
 

rosewood

Senior Member
When you think about it, it kind of makes sense. If they can’t get the inventory to sell themselves, they need to make a profit somewhere to keep the lights on. If the LGSs go under we won’t have them to do transfers. I don’t like it either but we’re all in a strange time.
I agree, but at $25-30, maybe not so bad, but at $50, that sounds to me like they don't want your business. That makes the deal you thought you got online, not such a good deal.

Rosewood
 

rosewood

Senior Member
i chuckle every time i see a guy belly aching about any transfer fee on a 1000.00 rifle......
This is a good point, if you are spending that much, a little more for the transfer isn't that big of a deal as it would be for a $300 gun.

Rosewood
 

Clemson

Senior Member
I have been watching this thread with some interest for the duration. I think you all should hear from a dealer's perspective the other side of the story.

I am a gunsmith. I have a Federal Firearms License, and I am authorized by that FFL to sell guns. I choose not to do transfers. Here is why.

1. It takes about an hour to do a transfer from start to finish (and that includes the bookwork on my end -- not just the 4473 that you fill out in the store). My hourly rate has to cover my expenses: Rent, insurance, license fees, shop supplies, internet access, utilities, advertising, accounting, etc. At my shop I have to get around $25 per hour just to cover those expenses. Anything over that can be called earnings. If I had a $6.50 per hour counter man whom I could trust to do transfers, I might be able to get by with $25-35 per transfer, but I am a one man operation, as are many local gunsmiths.

2. What do you think happens to those 4473 forms that you fill out? They must be maintained on file at the place of purchase for 20 (Yes, that is TWENTY) years.

3. I am subject to ATF audits to assure that I am in compliance with Federal law on all the sales that I make. An ATF audit is a day (at a minimum) shot in the ***.

4. While concealed weapon permit holders can be processed without making a separate call to the FBI NICS system, about half the folks who want to buy a gun are not permit holders. Delays, refusals, etc., mean that I may not get paid at all for my work. People lie on applications. "Well, ****, that was 30 years ago, and my record was supposed to be expunged!"

5. My posted labor rate is $100 per hour, covering man and machine time. When I am tied up doing transfers, I am not making that hourly rate. (By the way, your local LGS isn't making any money when you go by to chew the fat with him either!)

Given all the above, I have to charge around $100 per transfer just to keep from losing money, and that is before the storage issue for records. If it bothers you to pay $35 to get a transfer made, you have your head up somewhere that it doesn't smell too good!

Bill Jacobs
Bolt&Barrel Gunsmithing, LLC
Greenwood, SC
 

specialk

Senior Member
I have been watching this thread with some interest for the duration. I think you all should hear from a dealer's perspective the other side of the story.

I am a gunsmith. I have a Federal Firearms License, and I am authorized by that FFL to sell guns. I choose not to do transfers. Here is why.

1. It takes about an hour to do a transfer from start to finish (and that includes the bookwork on my end -- not just the 4473 that you fill out in the store). My hourly rate has to cover my expenses: Rent, insurance, license fees, shop supplies, internet access, utilities, advertising, accounting, etc. At my shop I have to get around $25 per hour just to cover those expenses. Anything over that can be called earnings. If I had a $6.50 per hour counter man whom I could trust to do transfers, I might be able to get by with $25-35 per transfer, but I am a one man operation, as are many local gunsmiths.

2. What do you think happens to those 4473 forms that you fill out? They must be maintained on file at the place of purchase for 20 (Yes, that is TWENTY) years.

3. I am subject to ATF audits to assure that I am in compliance with Federal law on all the sales that I make. An ATF audit is a day (at a minimum) shot in the ***.

4. While concealed weapon permit holders can be processed without making a separate call to the FBI NICS system, about half the folks who want to buy a gun are not permit holders. Delays, refusals, etc., mean that I may not get paid at all for my work. People lie on applications. "Well, ****, that was 30 years ago, and my record was supposed to be expunged!"

5. My posted labor rate is $100 per hour, covering man and machine time. When I am tied up doing transfers, I am not making that hourly rate. (By the way, your local LGS isn't making any money when you go by to chew the fat with him either!)

Given all the above, I have to charge around $100 per transfer just to keep from losing money, and that is before the storage issue for records. If it bothers you to pay $35 to get a transfer made, you have your head up somewhere that it doesn't smell too good!

Bill Jacobs
Bolt&Barrel Gunsmithing, LLC
Greenwood, SC

i could only ''like'' this post once, but if i could i would like it 100 times.....
 

bullgator

Darn Flankee
I have been watching this thread with some interest for the duration. I think you all should hear from a dealer's perspective the other side of the story.

I am a gunsmith. I have a Federal Firearms License, and I am authorized by that FFL to sell guns. I choose not to do transfers. Here is why.

1. It takes about an hour to do a transfer from start to finish (and that includes the bookwork on my end -- not just the 4473 that you fill out in the store). My hourly rate has to cover my expenses: Rent, insurance, license fees, shop supplies, internet access, utilities, advertising, accounting, etc. At my shop I have to get around $25 per hour just to cover those expenses. Anything over that can be called earnings. If I had a $6.50 per hour counter man whom I could trust to do transfers, I might be able to get by with $25-35 per transfer, but I am a one man operation, as are many local gunsmiths.

2. What do you think happens to those 4473 forms that you fill out? They must be maintained on file at the place of purchase for 20 (Yes, that is TWENTY) years.

3. I am subject to ATF audits to assure that I am in compliance with Federal law on all the sales that I make. An ATF audit is a day (at a minimum) shot in the ***.

4. While concealed weapon permit holders can be processed without making a separate call to the FBI NICS system, about half the folks who want to buy a gun are not permit holders. Delays, refusals, etc., mean that I may not get paid at all for my work. People lie on applications. "Well, ****, that was 30 years ago, and my record was supposed to be expunged!"

5. My posted labor rate is $100 per hour, covering man and machine time. When I am tied up doing transfers, I am not making that hourly rate. (By the way, your local LGS isn't making any money when you go by to chew the fat with him either!)

Given all the above, I have to charge around $100 per transfer just to keep from losing money, and that is before the storage issue for records. If it bothers you to pay $35 to get a transfer made, you have your head up somewhere that it doesn't smell too good!

Bill Jacobs
Bolt&Barrel Gunsmithing, LLC
Greenwood, SC
I’m going to disagree on some points. First, not all LGSs are offering $100/hr gunsmith services. Many are just retail goods sales. I doubt they sell the $300 guns with a $100 mark up which takes the same process as a transferred firearm. There are, in normal times, many small two man gun shops that may go hours without making $100 in sales. They make what they can when they can and doing transfers helps with income without having to stock the items. Like I said earlier, in these strange times where inventory is hard to come by, a little increase may be understandable from dealers
 

groundhawg

Senior Member
Even at only $10 for a transfer, if the FFL holder is twiddling his thumbs, that is easy money for him. Now if he is swamped with other purchases, then it might be cutting into his revenue. But as others have said, support them whenever you can.

Rosewood
Wrong! Lots involved other than thumb thiddling. What do you think happens to those 4473 forms that you fill out? Cost the dealer/LGS to have someone compile and complete the records.
 

rosewood

Senior Member
I remember back when I was in college and I worked in a car stereo installation place. I got paid whether my employer had any business or not. Whether I was installing a cell phone car mount or installing a stereo head unit, he paid me the same but he made different amounts on what was being done. I remember many times I was twiddling my thumbs, sweeping or otherwise killing time. He would have loved for me to have paper work to file for him that was at least bringing in some cash. The employees at those stores get paid hourly. Any work is better than none in the down times if the owner is getting paid for it. I couldn't tell you how many times I have been in a gun store/pawn shop and seen employees standing around. Those are the down times they can be filing that paper work.

Rosewood
 

rosewood

Senior Member
This reminds of a buddy of mine that bought a small apartment building. Had like 6 units and he lived in one. He was wanting like $700 a month for rent, but he had a few vacant units. I told him, why don't you lower the price. He said "I can't rent for that, I am losing money". I am like well, you aren't making any money if no one is paying rent. So, he would rather let his units sit empty with no income than lower his price and get some income. That is losing money to me.

Rosewood
 

killerv

Senior Member
This reminds of a buddy of mine that bought a small apartment building. Had like 6 units and he lived in one. He was wanting like $700 a month for rent, but he had a few vacant units. I told him, why don't you lower the price. He said "I can't rent for that, I am losing money". I am like well, you aren't making any money if no one is paying rent. So, he would rather let his units sit empty with no income than lower his price and get some income. That is losing money to me.

Rosewood

I don't know....less tenants to deal with or mess your stuff up isn't a bad thing. You make the rent too low, you arent exactly bringing in the best of crowd either....
 
This reminds of a buddy of mine that bought a small apartment building. Had like 6 units and he lived in one. He was wanting like $700 a month for rent, but he had a few vacant units. I told him, why don't you lower the price. He said "I can't rent for that, I am losing money". I am like well, you aren't making any money if no one is paying rent. So, he would rather let his units sit empty with no income than lower his price and get some income. That is losing money to me.

Rosewood
what if his unit gets damaged? he is losing money

The cost is the cost. If he rented the units for $200, and it cost him $600 a month, he is still losing money. And when the people paying $700 find out, guess whut... they are gonna want a decrease in their rent. So now all his units are losing money.

This is the classical race to the bottom, and the business owner never comes out in those situations.
 

rosewood

Senior Member
what if his unit gets damaged? he is losing money

The cost is the cost. If he rented the units for $200, and it cost him $600 a month, he is still losing money. And when the people paying $700 find out, guess whut... they are gonna want a decrease in their rent. So now all his units are losing money.

This is the classical race to the bottom, and the business owner never comes out in those situations.
I would have never suggested $200 a month, that would be plain stupid. But he wouldn't even lower it to $600 a month to get more tenants.

A sitting unit cost money just like a gun store cost money to just sit there. The point is, making a little for a FFL transfer is better than making nothing when you are doing nothing.

Rosewood
 

Clemson

Senior Member
So, what would you consider to be a reasonable break-even point for assembling and filing a 4473, keeping it in safe storage for 20 years, attending a BATFE seminar once every three years, renewing a license every three years, taking the time to change a password on a government website every 90 days, procuring 4473 forms every time they change (frequently), occasionally going through the approval process and having the request denied, thus eliminating any payment at all?
 

rosewood

Senior Member
No idea, but it is part of doing business. You make more money on some things, and less on others. You cannot make the same amount or percentage on everything you do.
 
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