Thursday, June 30, 2005

Negotiation 103; or the time I almost got us shot

Courtney and I agreed that I could buy a pistol. I knew exactly what I wanted: Glock .40 caliber compact. I knew how much it was worth from pricing through the net: about $450 street price.

I found a gun dealer that sells pistols online. You pay this guy, he ships the gun to a local gun dealer. You pay the local guy a transfer fee, and he gives you your pistol. The problem is finding a local dealer who will allow you to do the transfer, instead of insisting that you buy the gun from his shop. Not many people are going to help you buy a $500 item from someone else. And, there are the additional costs.

The cheapest I could find the gun in town was like $530. That's $80 difference. Surely I can do better than that.

What? There's a gun show this weekend? A place where individuals go to buy and sell guns. A veritable swap meet for guns? I am so there.

Courtney and I go to the gun show. We find one individual who has a 9mm compact, and the .40 caliber full size. Then, I see the mecca of Glock pistols. A gun dealer who apparently travels around from gun show to gun show selling glocks, instead of setting up a store in a building.

I approach the guy, and ask to see a .40 caliber compact glock. I ask him how much he wants for the gun. "$490". I walk away, saying thank you. I wander for a while, so the guy doesn't think I'm anxious to buy the gun. I come back, and play with it some more. I ask the current guy how much. "$475". Woah. That's $15 in ten minutes. Clearly these guys don't have set prices. Great, this is the perfect opportunity for negotiation. I might be able to get the gun for the online price, but miss the shipping and transfer fees.

Then it happens. The curse rises up and smacks me in the face.

I tell the guy "I'll give you $450". He takes the gun, looks at the marked price(MSRP $599), and tells me he could just raise the price back up to the normal price of $599. I tell him "Whatever, no one sells Glocks for that price". He tells me that he does.

He says "Well, I'm not going to lose money on the gun, so I'm not going to $450". Yeah right. So this guy is trying to tell me that the markup on Glocks is only $20. Sure. I believe you. And car dealers really are losing money when they pay more than they want for your trade in.

"Ok", I say to Courtney, "I'll just order it online". Keep in mind I'm talking in a low tone to Courtney, not to the guy.

He overhears me, and yells "Go ahead and buy it online. Once you've paid shipping and dealer transfer fees, come back, and we'll see who lost money".

At this point, I get mad. Not only is the guy a dick, but he's yelling at me in front of like 100 people.

So, I start yelling back. "You'll be the one losing money, when you pack that gun back up tomorrow, and take it with you, instead of selling it. What kind of jackass business approach is that?".

At this point, Courtney gets nervous, and pushes me away from the guy, towards the door. Apparently, she didn't think it was a good idea to get in an argument with an armed man, who was surrounded by guns, in the middle of a gun show. She was worried that the FBI was about to appear and tackle me.

The curse is alive and kicking.
Listening to: Aliens exist - Blink 182 - Enema of the State (02:48)

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