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Online Gun Sales: Is there money in it?

Discussion in 'BlackHat Lounge' started by B. Friendly, Dec 20, 2012.

  1. B. Friendly

    B. Friendly BANNED BANNED

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    Today I happened to be in an Academy Sports Store. In light of recent events, I was curious as to what type or weapons might be available, so I went to the gun counter at the back of the store to see what they had in stock. There was a line of people waiting to be waited on, and not a single non-hunting rifle to be seen, except for one AR-variant that looked like it was about to be sold. I didn't want to wait around just to ask, so I assume they've sold out. News reports indicate that sales are at an all-time high.

    However, my political nose says this time they really mean it. I don't agree with it. I think it's wrong. But it's coming this time, I can feel it. So I accept it. They are going to put together some kind of ban, and then it's going to be a law. I figure it might take a year.

    So, putting on my IM hat, I'm wondering if there isn't a way to use the current dynamic to make some money. Maybe work-out a deal with a brick & mortar shop and sell their inventory online. I did a brief survey of the websites that had weapons for sale, but I think they all sucked. They looked cheesy, grainy, had bad website templates, not nearly enough photos, those they did have were poor resolution, and the items being sold were poorly organized.

    Given the prices of some of these items, as a buyer I would want to buy from a site that made the statement to me that the vendor knew who I was, what I wanted and then delivered it. If they understand me, they probably care enough to deliver the product that I want.

    I think I can do a better website than what is currently available. I think I can do a better job of SEOing it, also.

    What I'd like to know is if there are any special laws, etc... that might make the whole proposition untenable. Interstate commerce laws, special licensing, special liability, etc... Does anyone have any experience with this? Is this worth getting into ? Etc....
     
  2. jazzc

    jazzc Moderator Staff Member Moderator Jr. VIP

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    Do it on a PP Sale or PP Lead way and let the gun business worry about it :)
     
  3. LBrown

    LBrown Senior Member

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    There's a whole bunch of special laws. If you think you can do better than any of the sites online I think you're unfamiliar with the niche (ever heard of Cabelas?). Most of the sites have affiliate programs in place or at least a CPA program for sign ups. This is the best way to get in to see if it is a profitable niche.
     
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  4. Getwhatchuwant

    Getwhatchuwant Jr. VIP Jr. VIP Premium Member

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    +1 for the regulations thing, each state has a different set of laws. I am not familiar with this niche but I am GUESSING there has to be some sort of ID verification and background verification process in place..

    http://www.gunsamerica.com/AboutSelling.aspx

    The way I read this is they can buy online but they STILL have to go into a brick and mortar gun shop to get the info sent to the seller which will give the brick and mortar gun seller the opportunity to sell him the same gun instead of going through the hassle of the online thing.

    The way to monetize it is to find gun stores in several areas of the USA (or contact them after the fact) and collect a lead with the demographic info and sell the lead, I think.. OR perhaps a commission on the sale? Then you are left trusting the gun store owner to tell you the truth.


    I think I found another way-

    Step A) get in contact with gun shops around the US, ask them what commission they would pay for a sale
    Step B) Have a collection of guns on your site with a zip code field
    Step C) when shopper selects gun...then enters ZIP it display gun and price and a buy now button
    Step D) You get paid then they go to the local gun store and pick up their gun, you give gun owner the the cost you agreed upon-your cut

    SO youa re just the middle man, either way looks like they have to go to a brick and mortar store though
     
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    Last edited: Dec 20, 2012
  5. wowhaxor

    wowhaxor Executive VIP Premium Member

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    In the US you still have to pick it up from a dealer, the online store will ship it to a gun store unless you have a dealers license and you have to come in and still do the background check in person, its not like you're some guy and you ship them to people's houses. I've only done it once and didn't save much if anything basically its just for not get raped on a custom order, and it was a pain - lucky growing up in Alaska you can walk in and out with a gun even at Walmart ;)
     
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  6. B. Friendly

    B. Friendly BANNED BANNED

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    I am unfamiliar with the niche. That's a strength, as I represent the guy that sees the ban coming, and for whatever reason has decided that if he's going to buy an "assault rifle", now is the time otherwise they are either going to been illegal to acquire, or so prohibitively expensive that it's not worth doing.

    And when I go to a site like Cabelas, it's a major turn-off. They sell EVERYTHING. "Sporting Goods". I don't want sporting goods, I want an AR-15, or an AK-47, or something like that. There's no "sport" in it. So, the site that I imagine that exists when I go looking for what I want is a site that is talking to ME, the guy that wants a weapon before they become illegal. Not interested in weeding through the multitude of permutations. The most prominent product on the website ought to be the weapon that is highest in demand, and the second most prominent should be the second highest in demand. The 3rd, and other weapons could be buried on a secondary page somewhere. If I see what I'm looking for on the home page, I'll dig into the site. If not, I'll move on.

    I'm going to look into this, as it looks like it can be done with a cell phone and a craigslist account. Thanks and Rep+.

    To the General Topic, I am curious to know how the law regards the various parts of the weapon. One thing I am aware of is that the part called an "automatic seer" for an AR-15 (the part that allows it to become fully automatic) is illegal to make, sell or purchase. But I also assume that it is legal to make, sell or purchase parts like "hand guards" and rifle stocks, sights, etc...

    How much of a (for example) AK-47 can you legally sell without any special licensing and legal restrictions?

    And, assuming that there are certain parts of an assault rifle that are tightly regulated, etc... how much would those highly regulated parts sell for through an legal, authorized dealer, and what percentage of the overall rifle cost does that part(s) represent.

    In case you missed the subtext, I'm wondering if it might be possible to sell everything BUT the "hot" part and a dramatically reduced price, and then leave it to the buyer to figure out how to get the "hot" part. Maybe it's possible to cash-in on this developing dynamic in a way that does not involve risk of violating the law, etc...

    Jeez. I'm on a caffeinated roll now. Now I'm thinking about doing a site that breaks down the parts of a (for example) AK-47 and spells-out a road map on how to build one yourself.

    1) Buy legal parts "here" at dramatically reduced price.
    2) Buy regulated parts "here" at fair market value (but still legal).
    3) Follow instructions "here" on how to assemble these parts in order to make a fully-functional weapon.

    Throw in an ad-sense block and my site is complete.

    You could ship the parts via UPS. Get some (most?) of an AR-15 delivered in the mail. Back in the day I could field-strip and reassemble an M-16 in 44 seconds, which included the time it takes to clap both hands between disassembly and reassembly. In case anyone thinks that assembling a weapon is a big deal.
     
  7. Roparadise

    Roparadise BANNED BANNED

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    You could make a website on how to build a ak47 or ar15 by hand,starting with creating a homemade forge to melt scrap metal all the way to the plans to mill out the metal into individual parts.
     
  8. Zapdos

    Zapdos Power Member

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    How is that useful? The parts to make an AR have skyrocketed as well. What was $60 is now $300+. Magazines that were $10 are now $100. Also, do you think that many people have precision milling equipment? If you get the barrel wrong you can blow your hand off/kill yourself.

    Better to buy it in the store if you don't have the exact equipment.
     
  9. Roparadise

    Roparadise BANNED BANNED

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    That's why you had both a milling course info and safety course as well as putting disclaimers. And either sell or become an affiliate of a site that sells metalworking products. A drill press to mill out metal is under $100,it will be slow but can get the job done.
     
    Last edited: Dec 21, 2012
  10. Aaric

    Aaric Elite Member

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    Not sure about money in it.
    But there are bullets in it.

    you can convert bullets to green.
     
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  11. B. Friendly

    B. Friendly BANNED BANNED

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    I trip on the fact that AK's & AK parts are made by numerous manufacturers. If the Chinese can copy iPads, they ought to be able to mill-out some metal parts. It's my assumption that the spike in prices is the result of scarcity due to high demand, and restrictions on the whole item. So it's my thought to side-step the big issue by breaking it down into smaller pieces, i.e. importing various parts from various manufacturers around the world.

    The idea of going into manufacturing is a bit nutty. It makes no sense to invest in infrastructure to create one set of products when the parts can be easily had for dramatically less than retail. I'm focused about finding cheap and legal sources for parts and marketing them in a way that takes advantage of current political and market conditions.
     
  12. ButcherPete

    ButcherPete Regular Member

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    This guy is right. I know Brownell's has an affiliate program. I'm not sure if Cabelas does, but maybe. Even though Amazon does not sell guns themselves, they sell plenty of gun accessories. I'm a gun guy myself and I've bought from them many times.

    Given the regulations about online firearm sales, maybe you'd be better off making a site promoting firearm accessories such as after-market parts, magazines, slings, gun cases, scopes (many of which run into the tens of thousands of dollars!)
     
  13. ButcherPete

    ButcherPete Regular Member

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    For what it's worth:

    An AK-47 is not hard to make. You don't need "precision" milling equipment. It's not a precision gun; it's a sloppy gun. That's why it has a worldwide reputation for reliability.

    Here's a thread about someone who made an AK-47 out of a shovel. Yes, a shovel.

    http://www.northeastshooters.com/vbulletin/threads/179192-DIY-Shovel-AK-photo-tsunami-warning
     
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  14. The Scarlet Pimp

    The Scarlet Pimp Jr. VIP Jr. VIP Premium Member

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    make a comparison/review site and charge gun stores to run ads on it.
     
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  15. B. Friendly

    B. Friendly BANNED BANNED

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    It's a great thread. I think the thread makes the AK-47 build from a shovel look simpler & easier that it is. From what I saw, the shovel provided the buttstock and the upper reciever, and you can buy both of those easily for much less than the cost of the tools to make the parts yourself.

    So, other than to make a nice, viral thread, why bother?

    Also fails to mention that there are parts that simply CAN'T be home-made. It's a nice fantasy. Like a good porn movie. Yeah, she's hot and that guy got her and really got her good, but YOU aren't going to, and neither am I. Better I think to focus on a more realistic approach and think about the process of purchasing individual parts and assembling them yourself. Acquiring an AK, or selling parts to an AK, is not an end unto itself, but rather a means to an end. No point in making a career out of making just one, when you can make a career out of selling thousands.

    Jeezus. As an aside, just now they are blowing off explosives outside. Happy Mexican New Years, everyone. It's only 7:00 pm and it sounds like they are blowing off dynamite next door. Sounds like shotgun blasts. At midnight, I'll be listening to the sounds of the extended 30 round clips being shot off in less than 5 seconds. Drunken retards with guns.