Got this from a guy in the firearms subreddit at Reddit. FC stands for Firearms Concierge, his screen name: FC Protip of the day 10/25/12: How to handle Q4 OBAMAMANIA/HUNTING/CHRISTMAS HOLY ****ING SHITBALLS Gun Buying Hysteria ALRIGHT SNOWFLAKES. Listen up. You're special and unique and your mommy loves you very much and if you just applied yourself I'm sure you'd go real far (as if that's somehow a compliment). But guns are guns and this year we have a number of factors going into Q4 that everyone should be aware of if they haven't spent the past 10 years under some mother ****ing rocks. I'm FC, I got into guns right after high school. I saw it all. I saw the biggest fear being John Kerry, I saw the biggest fear being GWB, I saw the biggest fear being Barack "The Islamic Shock" Obama. I've been in the gun business for a few years and there are a few constants every year even if you take the election out of the equation. I'm here to tell you meatwads what to expect. This is what happens EVERY ****ING YEAR. THERE IS NO EXCEPTION TO THIS PROCESS. Q4 is where gun dealers like me pay the bills. Any gun dealer worth their salt is doing double/triple/quadruple the business they were doing in July/August. Retailers order heavy from wholesalers. This is to meet demand for hunting season and Christmas. THIS CLEARS OUT THE WHOLESALE CHANNEL. THE WHOLESALE CHANNEL DOES NOT REPLENISH QUICKLY. There is no telling what this season will bring so BE PREPARED. Wholesalers run out of stuff for days/weeks/months on end. That gun that you've been thinking about? I'm not telling you to run to your local retailer and buy it immediately. I AM telling you to BE PREPARED. THINK AHEAD. PLAN IN ADVANCE. A joke I love to tell people is that if they went to the Olive Garden and they ran out of pasta people would laugh and never go back because what kind of restaurant runs out of pasta? That can't happen! Guess what? In the firearm industry: It can happen, it does happen and it will happen EVERY YEAR. You may think a Glock 19 is an easy gun to buy, but for Q4 and Q1 2013 I can guarantee you you will see shortages. Especially since I'm talking to a lot of my vendors and they're all telling me the same thing. DEALERS HAVE ALREADY STOCKED UP DUE TO ELECTION PARANOIA. What this means: The wholesale channel is not as complete as it typically is. This is going to put a crunch on hard to find items presently. Should there be a post election rush, the retail channel will clear out and Christmas shoppers won't have much selection. Again - PLAN. AHEAD. HUNTING SEASON: This is the first thing that usually kicks things off. Deer/Turkey/Upland Bird are going to be in full swing in a few short weeks. The fudd's of the world will buy up any 12ga that has camo and plenty of steel shot and potentially others. What this means: If you want a hunting gun: PLAN IN ADVANCE. Start figuring out what you want and decide what you want sooner than later. Maybe start a layaway of some kind. GET YOUR MIND MADE UP AS TO WHAT YOU WANT NOW. The worst thing you can do is be midway into season and you want a new gun and nobody can find one because Dicks/Cabelas/Whateverbigboxhere bought them all cheap and blew them out cheap. But what if you're not into hunting and you are afraid of Barack Obama? ELECTION SEASON: We got an election in two weeks. I have a slap bet, a dinner bet and a 300 electoral vote over/under on with friends in favor of our lord and savior Barack Obama. This is not a political statement so much as it is a realization that Mitt Romney is not going to win. He sold out MA gun owners and he became an NRA member when convenient. It is of my opinion that if Mitt Romney wins and there's a deal that he wants that involves selling out gun owners, it is a done deal. My opinion is based on his voting record and comments on the subject, not an attempt to be a fear monger. I can't compete with the NRA in that department. What this means: Anything AR15 is tough. Stripped lowers are tough to find presently. 223 and 556 is somewhat hard to find. Anything tacticool is going to be tough to locate. I cannot speak for everyone but this is my THEORY. I may be wrong for all you know, I may be right. Obama victory: People are going to clear the shelves. Dealers WILL raise prices in light of new demand. Romney victory: People are going to clear the shelves. Dealers MAY raise prices in light of new demand. If you want to buy into this demand aka a reliving of 2008 - you will pay through the nose. You will not get it back any time soon. When I opened my door in 2010, I had people wanting to trade stuff in they bought the day after Obama won "Just in case" and they overpaid BIGTIME. If you want to be part of this mass thundering herd, go ahead. I HIGHLY advise against it. If you are fearing a legislative shift, you should already have one or two items that would grandfather under such legislation. Should demand ramp up going into/after the election, I WILL raise prices as will others. This is because even with a Romney win we have....... CHRISTMAS/HANUKKAH/TET/RAMADAN/KWANZAA SEASON: This gets me every year. I will inevitably get a call from a woman who ends up wanting a gun that I could not get the first 11 months out of the year and she expects it a week before Christmas. Because I can just call it in and order it and its here! The supply chain does not work this way. I can deal with stupid. I can deal with unrealistic. If you are stupid enough to call me wanting a S&W shield a week before Christmas, I'm going to sell it to you for $875+ tax so PLAN THE **** AHEAD. I run out of Glock 19's EVERY CHRISTMAS. No matter how many I order, I run out. GET WHAT YOU WANT ON LAYAWAY. HAVE DEALERS PUT YOU ON WAITING LISTS. PLAN AHEAD IN OCTOBER/NOVEMBER SO YOU DO NOT GET BLINDSIDED. Ammo, Mags, etc - all stuff you can shop for in the meantime. On hard to find guns, magazines can be very problematic. This is why it is important to PLAN AHEAD. If you find that unicorn and you want it and it is reasonably priced, take it home right away and hide it in the crawl space. Don't expect it to be there after the election or after black friday. BLACK FRIDAY Some retailers use this as loss leaders to get you in the door. I don't do this sort of thing. Margins suck as it is. If you see what you want on a Black Friday ad - JUMP ON IT. Get all your crap done before December. I'm telling you this because every year things get stupid. EVERYTHING IN THE WHOLESALE CHANNEL RUNS OUT. Even when you deal with 12 distributors like I do, it can be very difficult to manage supply chain logistics. This means more work for me and more markup to you because of it. PLAN. THE. ****. AHEAD. WEATHER This is not a joke. I am 100% serious about this. Fedex routes every overnight/2day package through Memphis. UPS does the same through Louisville. Should there be massive snowstorm development in these area, the supply chain GRINDS TO A ****ING HALT. It does not slow down, it STOPS. I have had dozens of guns stuck at the hub waiting for the weather to clear in the summertime due to thunderstorms. Large amounts of snow can and will do the same thing. If you tell your dealer to have that special gun for your dad overnight express on December 21 for delivery December 24 and there's a snowstorm headed towards Memphis, you're not getting it. You might not get it until New Years. This is a serious problem. People do not understand Christmas logistics. UPS package volume TRIPLES. Lower your expectations. PLAN IN ADVANCE. Oh, and that delivery guarantee? It gets suspended every year due to package volume. What this means is that package you paid overnight service for on the 20th for delivery on the 21st - has no guarantee of getting there on the 21st, nor do you have a way to get your money back for it not being delivered overnight. Welcome to Christmas supply chain logistics. BACKGROUND CHECKS This is not a joke either. Call volumes to get background checks done increases exponentially. A background check that takes 5 minutes in July takes 45-60 minutes during any of the three seasons above. Some things you can do to avoid lengthy background checks: Know what you want, pay for the gun, leave and come back. You can always come back later in the day. Sometimes the system goes down. This is not the dealer's fault. Everyone is out of business. Fill out the form, leave your info. Come back later. You can do other shopping/errands in the meantime but TRY TO MAKE THE GUN PURCHASE FIRST. If you are planning other things aka "Okay, I'll just pop in and buy this gun and I'll be out in 15 minutes - just in time to get Timmy from his santa photos!" - GUESS WHAT? TIMMY IS GOING TO BE STRANDED AT THE MALL WITH DRUNK SANTA AND HE WILL NEED YEARS OF INTENSIVE THERAPY. DO NOT BUY ON A FRIDAY, SATURDAY OR SUNDAY. SATURDAY IS THE BUSIEST DAY OF THE WEEK FOR MOST FIREARM RETAILERS. Show up first thing in the morning on Monday/Tuesday/Wednesday/Thursday. If you cannot do so, BEFORE 5PM on a weekday is better than after 5PM. PAYMENT BRING YOUR FIREARM RETAILER CASH. Preferably covered in body glitter and hooker sweat. You will get a better deal 99/100 times. If you cannot bring cash, do not bring a checkbook it takes too damn long. Take your plastic, make sure you have a wide credit limit and be prepared to pay the convenience charge. Now, lets go on to the FAQ..... Your lack of money is not my problem. If you can't plan in advance, you're going to pay more if there is a run on product. Period. Sorry if you didn't budget accordingly. Lady, shut the **** up. Stop wasting my time. Just ask him and tell me what you want me to order. I've got other customers to help. We'll see. There is the potential for a perfect storm here, and I'm telling you all the writing is on the wall. To be forewarned is to be forearmed. I love you too.