Buyers Remorse: Firearms purchases come with certain consumer risks.

Discussion in 'General Firearms' started by d_p_holland, Sep 23, 2020.

  1. Unlike a new TV set you buy at Walmart, you might not be able to simply return it for a full money-back refund if you get it home and decide you don't like it. Guns are a lot like motor vehicles and real estate, very seldom do sellers of such offer full money-back guarantees. I don't know any gun retailer with a truly liberal return policy. Why are guns, cars, trucks, boats, aircraft and homes treated differently than TV sets and electric fans in retailing? The complex laws, paperwork and regulations? If I were to have my way, the buying/selling/trading of a gun, car, horse or a house would be no more complex than the retail trade of Samsung TV sets and Hamilton Beach waffle irons. A Colt revolver is still a consumer product to me as is a Carrier air conditioner or a McDonald's Big Mac.

    Buying a gun online comes with even greater consumer risks. You can't expect it up close firsthand before plunking money down as you can in a brick-and-mortar store.

    Has anybody here been unsatisfied with an online gun purchase in which they tried to return the firearm and perhaps never received a full refund? You may have even filed a dispute with your credit card bank if the seller failed to refund you to your satisfaction.

    Choose your guns like your ammunition like your cars like your trucks like your jobs like your homes like your wives like your dogs like your horses: very carefully.

    Several things can trigger buyer's remorse:

    1. you bought something new that seems exciting to get at the time but as time goes by, and the better you get to know the new product, you discover you don't really like how it looks, behaves, sounds, smells, tastes and/or feels
    2. it is a lemon
    3. it is a hassle to get warranty service for
    4. it is more costly to maintain or troublesome to upkeep than you had anticipated
    5. it is prone to malfunction or breakdowns
    6. having spent the money on the (expensive) merchandise puts you in financial difficulty
    7. you didn't do your homework before making the purchase
    8. you were treated rudely by the seller or manufacturer when trying to get help with a troublesome product: this is especially true of Big Three automobile dealerships; how many Toyota vehicle owners do you know with a case of buyer's remorse over their cars and trucks?

    A dozen reasons my new 1992 Chevrolet Corvette LT1 hatchback coupe (retailed new for $38K then but I got a $10K factory rebate because it was an end-of-year close-out model) sucked royally and why it was dumped for $16,500 by me in 1996.

    1. cheesy ungainly plastic interior with ill-fitting components
    2. sloppy seal installed around the windshield
    3. crappy-looking square taillights that aren't perfectly round
    4. noisy, whiny 6-speed manual transmission
    5. transmission balks at shifting fast
    6. paint on fiberglass hood gets easily nicked by road stones
    7. paint chips easily off of black painted metal trim on removable roof
    8. removable roof prone to leaks
    9. removable roof a pain to take off and put on
    10. when driven the with removable roof removed, the steering wheel and windshield shook badly at all different road speeds, the glass body is so flimsy it needs the roof as a stressed member for support
    11. the engine was like a cat, it hated to get wet; it would sputter for 75 miles after being washed with a hose until the PCM dried out from motor heat
    12. the gas cap location, easy to splash paint with gas at gas station during tank-ups

    I'll make it a baker's dozen,

    13. The cheesy CORVETTE logo was molded into the rear of the body instead of having black CORVETTE letters or chrome CORVETTE letters as did earlier models.

    Last edited: Sep 23, 2020
  2. 410dude

    410dude G&G Evangelist

    Doing your homework before you buy it, would eliminate most, if not all, of the reasons you’ve listed.

    There’s no reason they should refund it just because you didn’t like the looks of it or because you couldn't afford it.

    1. you bought something new that seems exciting to get at the time but as time goes by, and the better you get to know the new product, you discover you don't really like how it looks, behaves, sounds, smells, tastes and/or feels
    2. it is a lemon
    3. it is a hassle to get warranty service for
    4. it is more costly to maintain or troublesome to upkeep than you had anticipated
    5. it is prone to malfunction or breakdowns
    6. having spent the money on the (expensive) merchandise puts you in financial difficulty
    7. you didn't do your homework before making the purchase
    8. you were treated rudely by the seller or manufacturer when trying to get help with a troublesome product:
    MosinRuger and noelekal like this.

  3. Jay

    Jay Old man, No tact... Staff Member

    "Doing your homework before you buy it, would eliminate most, if not all, of the reasons you’ve listed."

    Bingo.... end of story.

    When contemplating a firearms purchase, "didn't think of that" should not be among the reasons for dissatisfaction..... uneducated, perhaps, but that's no reason to be able to return the firearm. We're talking a deadly weapon. Just my two cents.
  4. Txhillbilly

    Txhillbilly G&G Evangelist

    I've had very few buyer remorse purchases when it comes to firearms.
    Mainly,The only ones have been handguns. I've bought a few that felt great in my hands,fit me like a glove so to say,but when it come to shooting them I couldn't hit a barn with them.
    You can do all the research that you want,but some firearms just aren't going to work like you expect them to when it comes to shooting them.
    blaster likes this.
  5. noelekal

    noelekal G&G Evangelist

    Caveat emptor.

    Let the buyer beware.

    One's education is his personal responsibility and not the seller's, just as it's also not up to legislators or federal agencies and certainly not up to electronic gadgets, something an increasingly mindless and ignorant nation which so thoroughly embraces nannying cannot comprehend.
  6. don5544

    don5544 G&G Evangelist

    Guns or air conditioners(Carrier you mentioned) are all serialized peace of equipment that has a registered start date for warranty.

    If you return a firearm can they be sure that it hasn't been fired/used in a crime. I have no issue with a no return policy.

    I am pretty sure of my purchase before I buy.

    Have I ever wanted to return a vehicle? Yes, Im arguing with a dealer where I bought two trucks in June. They didn't come with spare tires. I want my spares.

    I bought a 1911 that I wanted to take back after I shot it about 100 rounds. A 45 with a short ported barrel is not what you may want.

    Know before you buy.
    noelekal likes this.
  7. TXplt

    TXplt Gun Toting Boeing Driver Forum Contributor

    A prospective firearm buyer could simply peruse this very site and get a very candid track history and range report about just about any mainstream firearm. As well as potential pitfalls and service history.

    And then ask a few questions from people who have had experience with it.

    An hour or two of research could easily prevent later chagrin.
  8. But it's OK to return an air conditioner to Walmart or Lowe's because it's NOT a deadly weapon? I think the reason most gun retailers disfavor gun returns is due to the BS gun laws and civil liability laws. There is not a lot of legal red tape with an air conditioner or a home stereo.

    If you closely examine a gun in a shop with good light and a magnifier at a brick-and-mortar store before the purchase you are at least at much less risk for cosmetic dissatisfaction. Some here would not be bothered by scratches on even a brand-new gun. Whether the rifle (that passes your own cosmetic standards and that you continue on to purchase) shoots MOA or better with any factory or hand loading under the sun is a whole nother horse of another color. If your new rifle only shoots 3 MOA and you are happy with it then more power to you.

    I bought a new wood stocked Ruger Model 77 in .257 Roberts in 1996 at Walmart in CA. Even Leupold scoped, it shot something like 3 to 5 MOA (I can't remember which but it was well over 1 MOA and 1 MOA was the gold standard for out-of-the-box bolt action rifle accuracy even then) even with expensive Federal premium ammunition. It kicked a bit hard even with a rubber butt pad. I also noticed that the barrel was not perfectly centered on the stock. It was pinching the forend wood toward the right side of the barrel. I brought it back to Walmart for a full refund. The young man at the gun counter argued against taking the gun back (due to bad craftsmanship in his own words) so I asked for the manager and he reluctantly approved of the refund. I used the imperfectly bedded barrel to negotiate the refund and not the sloppy groups at the range or the recoil. I then bought a new Browning A-Bolt II BOSS in .25-06 and mounted my Leupold on that. 1 MOA at the bench rest. No recoil but loud crack. I took it hunting couple times in the fall of 1996. Killed my first buck ever and a number of ground squirrels on a norCal rancher's spread. Fun gun but the cheesy Japanese quality showed. I was very careful handling that rifle in the field but I noticed a few small mars on the high gloss poly-finish stock after that hunting season. I've sworn off high-gloss poly finish stocks ever since. I would only own a natural-finish/hand-oil-rubbed wood stocked gun if I should ever buy one again over my lifetime. This type of natural beautiful wood finish is much less prone to scratching and brush scrubs afield. Many bolt-action wood-stocked rifles, from Weatherby, Winchester, Remington, etc., can't be gotten without a poly-gloss stock these days.

    In 1999, I sold all three of the Japan-made "Browning" long guns I had, the aforementioned A-Bolt II with a few mars other stock as well as two shotguns bought new in 1996 that I never fired. A Citori over/under and an A-500G. The $1,600-retail Citori had a crappy barrel selector/safety switch on the tang that summarily scratched off all the bluing surrounding the switch when the switch was operated by me a few times. You also had to break the gun open over your knee it was so stiff. The semi-auto had cheesy Japan-Browning gold paint trim on the receiver sides that easily rubbed off when handling the gun. I got Browning to fix that under warranty with a little bit of a hassle over the telephone with some unfriendly folks in Utah. Those arrogant Mormons!!

    Avoid Japanese-made guns like the plague. The Japanese are no quality gunsmiths and neither are the Chinese. Russian-made AK's are far superior to Chinese ones I've been told.

    Browning was top-dog when it was made in Belgium. Think Superposed, Auto-5 and BAR. Weatherby was top-dog when it was made in America, I believe California originally. When I was much younger I once thought Weatherby was an English brand by the sound of its namesake and its premium price tags.
    Last edited: Sep 23, 2020
  9. austinjoe13

    austinjoe13 <------------<<<-

    Do you have any guns that you’re happy with?
    Gun Junkie, K75RT and TXplt like this.
  10. Yes, all of them, so far. Except my happiness with the Remmy 870 police pump is fair to middlin'. It's a reliable shooter, puts baseball-size holes in paper at ten feet right where I point it but it's a mule-kicker with 00 buck loads and pinches my fingers putting in and taking out shells. The whole point of this thread is guns are totally different from TV sets and steam irons when it comes to relative ease of returning to the store. Seldom are there liberal return policies for firearms. Of course, you can't defend yourself or hunt deer very well with a steam iron or a TV set. So help me though, if you should spend a thousand dollars or more on a new bolt-action rifle and it throws 3-5 MOA groups on paper you will truly have something to cuss about.

    I still have yet to test fire my two new Ruger Americans to see what level of bullet hole tightness they are projecting on paper. They've already made my cut in the cosmetics department. Probably before Halloween. I'm too busy with other things now. I have to go check out my new Super Nova bird gun (that just came in today) tomorrow morning.
    Last edited: Sep 23, 2020
  11. austinjoe13

    austinjoe13 <------------<<<-

    I call the manufacturer and talk to them. They’re typically more than happy to repair or replace with issues like that.
    455rocket and PaleHawkDown like this.
  12. That's good. That's what they should do. Hopefully, I won't have to do that with any new addition to my own battery of shootin' irons. If my new Colt King Cobra, in double-action mode and isosceles stance, can consistently hit a beer can at 15 feet fed on a steady diet of Freedom Munitions .38 Spc., I'll be plenty happy. Still have yet to test fire the snake gun.
  13. in some states there are lemon laws for motor vehicles .... I've been aware of the rigid return policies of gun (and car) retailers for quite a number of years. I bought a new Oldsmobile in 1990 and the salesman told me the car had a 3,000-mile money-back guarantee and that it was supposedly the only car make with such guarantee. I never had to or felt compelled to make a claim under that guarantee.
  14. Some things you really won't know until you try. In many instances you can't try guns before you buy. Often you can test-drive cars first, though. I test-drove a new 2003 Toyota Tacoma extended cab truck in late 2003. The deal-breaker was that the protruding cup holder molded into the center console poked me in the side of my resting right leg otherwise the truck was a byoot. I ended up getting a more comfortable low-miles 2002 Ford Ranger from the same dealership.
  15. Jay

    Jay Old man, No tact... Staff Member

    The quality control employed in the manufacture of firearms far exceeds the vast majority of off-the-shelf products....... so yes, I would think that non-firearms are much more likely to be returned. One can test drive a vehicle, and I have fired at the very least, a representative example of virtually every firearm I own..... and I have had zero issues with any of 'em. You might not be able to shoot the gun of interest at your local dealer, but If you have an interest in a given firearm, it's a pretty safe bet that you can find one in private hands, reasonably close to test fire. As posted.... do yer homework.
    austinjoe13, 455rocket and TXplt like this.
  16. TXplt

    TXplt Gun Toting Boeing Driver Forum Contributor

    I think you'll find that some manufacturers specifically avoid a warranty (Ruger comes to mind) due to some screwy law that actually made it worse for firearms manufacturers in terms of being able to rope themselves into litigation by so doing.

    I think you'll find few--if any--manufacturers that don't do their dangest to fix a gun and make it right by the customer. I've had to send guns back and with a few exceptions most of the manufacturers went above and beyond to fix the situation.

    Taurus has (or at least had) a lifetime warranty; this has been mixed in practice. Customer service kinda sucked for awhile, got better and then I've heard rumors it went downhill from there (can't verify this and the slide is hearsay). I've sent a few pistols back to them (all for accuracy or fire control issues). It's always been on my own dime (to send; the return shipping's paid for). The first gun I sent in it took way long to get back; the last one (several years ago) they couldn't fix the problem and sent a BRAND NEW gun which works great--so the customer service in that case was great. Tauri come back fixed but for awhile it was a craps shoot as to whether the guns would need service.

    Never had to send a Ruger back. Or a Glock (that should tell ya something lol).

    I've had a couple of issues with Smith parts (springs) on a long gun; when I called they sent out replacements free of charge.

    Had an issue with a cylinder pin on a Charter Bulldog years ago; return was a few weeks as I remember and fixed--happy with their customer service.

    Sig has always been outstanding for me; I had some issues with the meprolight sight on my P365 SAS (namely it was dim and intermittent for night work) and they immediately sent me a prepaid shipping label for the slide. Door to door in one week with a brand new sight and fixed. Works like a champ now and is a primary CCW gun.

    Most of the reputable gun and optics manufacturers really DO go above and beyond to make a customer happy. Granted most of my stuff is REAL issues (not cosmetics or something trivial) but I've had incredibly positive experiences from most of the manufacturers I've had to deal with.
  17. PaleHawkDown

    PaleHawkDown G&G Evangelist

    There are several major difference between TVs and guns that you may have missed:

    1.) For most retail items - including TVs - the markup is between 50% and 300%. If I sold 10 Samsung TVs at $500, at 50% margins, and only one is returned, I have still made $2,500 before expenses. On top of that, many retail items can be returned to the manufacturer by the dealer just as easily as they can the buyer.

    The markup on most brands of firearms is around 18%, and in a competitive market it might actually be lower. The overhead is comparatively higher thanks to licensing and regulations. It might even be worse in states where there is an additional luxury tax on guns, or annual tax requirements.
    If I sell 10 guns at $500 each, I make $900 before expenses. I might get to keep around $600 of that. Then you come in with your $500 return and I have $100 dollars to show for an output of $4,100.
    Manufacturers of firearms are usually happy to fix a firearm for the buyer. If the firearm is opened in the store by the store owner, and there is a problem, the manufacturer or distributor will take care of us. Once you take it home, and we take it back, we are completely on our own. It is ours, and we might not be able to ever recover even a portion of that cost.

    FUN FACT: one reason Wal-Mart is dropping firearms has to do with insurance. That little gun counter at your local Wal-Mart costs them three times the insurance rate of the entire rest of that massive store.

    2.) Car dealers and major retailers have multiple safety nets in place that aren't available to gun dealers, or are available at such a high cost they are prohibitive, such as:
    A.) deals with the manufacturer where a certain amount of repair or return is expected and covered at manufacturer's, or distributor's cost.
    B.) Replacement insurance for lost, damaged or stolen items. Some insurers even offer replacement for the value of stolen cash. There are maybe three insurers that will cover gun stores and the cost is so high you better find a new organ to sell on the black market each month to cover the cost. On top of that, this might be the only business on earth where you can be arrested and/or have everything taken away if you lose an item or it is stolen without you noticing.
    C.) In most retail you can mark down damaged or non-returnable items on your taxes. Compliance for the firearms industry is covered by the Commerce Department. Their stance for gun stores is more along the lines of, "well, sucks to be you."
    D.) As stated, the warranty and the return policy for firearms generally apply only to the buyer - not the retailer. The manufacturers will make it right if you receive a lemon.

    3. Anyone with money can purchase a TV, or nearly anything else, as long as they have the money. There are numerous restrictions on to whom you can sell firearms.
    n Alabama, for example, it is illegal to sell a firearm to a drunk, a dullard, a mental deficient, someone under the influence of substances, anyone under the age of 21 for a handgun, or 18 for a rifle, someone suffering from emotional distress, or anyone telling you that the purpose for which they will use the item is illegal. You also cannot sell to illegal aliens, felons, or anyone who checks a "yes" on any of the wrong spots on the form. Nor can you sell a firearm to someone whose driver's license does not match their current address. Doing any of these can open you up to both state and Federal charges.
    You can sell a TV to a retarded chimpanzee with an expired travel visa from a terrorist country, covered in blood, holding a bottle of Jack in one hand, a joint in his mouth and who hands you a note that states he will use this TV exclusively for kiddie porn. There is no restriction.
    With a car you need; 1.) a drivers license, 2.) to be a legal adult or have one sign along side you, 3.) insurance (and only with actual dealerships), and 4.) money. If you have those things you are apparently responsible enough to drive off with several thousand pounds worth of one of the deadliest objects in America.
    Last edited: Sep 23, 2020
    blaster, K75RT, austinjoe13 and 3 others like this.
  18. There was a time in American history when automobiles and guns, both the same, weren't any more regulated or subject to any more legal complications than toasters, bed sheets or washing machines. This is still the way it should be. I long for the days when guns were sold new over the counter at hardware stores cash and carry.
    blaster likes this.

    Bud' has emailed me stating that they have refunded me in FULL ($796 and change) for the returned "Winchester Vanguard" rifle that didn't make my cut upon inspection at the local FFL in terms of gun cosmetics. Their chat rep originally stated that I would be hit with the shipping charges and a 10% restocking fee but I threatened them with filing a dispute with my VISA Bankamericard credit card bank, Bank of America, for possible chargeback actions. I guess they got the point. They may have also given me a break because I did in fact buy one other gun (Ruger American Ranch Rifle in 5.56) from them which I went ahead with the transfer and decided to keep. Ruger American makes my cut. Japan guns don't CUT IT FOR ME and that
    included Howa, Browning and Vanguard.

    Bankamericard is your friend whenever merchants get unscrupulous or threaten to get cute. I have
    purchased five firearms this year all on Bankamericard VISA. One of those new guns got resold by me at a $31 loss after owning it unfired in box for only five days.
    MosinRuger likes this.
  20. blaster

    blaster G&G Evangelist

    occasionally I get a gun that I decide later that I don't like for some reason. I put it on consignment at my LGS. usually I can recoup most of my loss but in these panic buying days, I often come out ahead.
    MosinRuger and 410dude like this.