Firearm startup lanches new site and takes a pot shot at anti-gun mega corporations
“AR 15, AR 15, where can I buy an AR 15? That’s all I kept hearing last year, even before the [Newton] shootings,” recollects Rob Valli, owner of Florida Discount Guns Inc, “so we began working on a website called For Sale AR 15, never thinking that by the time it was finished, we wouldn’t have any rifles to sell, or any way to process our orders.”
Today, http://www.ForSaleAR15.com only offers two models of AR 15s, but the website is up an running. “Granted, we don’t have a big of a selection at the moment,” jokes Valli, “but at least they are both from top manufacturers, and they are reasonably priced,” referring to the two brand name rifles featured on his website. “But just so you know,” he quickly adds, “we also only accept US Postal Money Orders for AR 15 purchases – we do not accept credit cards."
Valli then explains, "once a customer submits an order, they get a call from me to confirm it and I email them their invoice. Then they have to actually snail-mail it in, along with their US Postal Money Order. Once we receive it, we mail the firearm to their neighborhood gun dealer for pickup, and that's it.”
Valli concedes his online sales conversions will suffer, and that maybe it’s a little old fashioned, but he is quick to point out is simple and secure for both parties, with regards to fraud concerns. “More importantly, it’s $40-$50 I don’t have to add to the invoice, and that helps us be more competitive in the marketplace.”
“We learned early on,” Valli explains, “PayPal, Amazon, eBay, Google, and Bing are not 2nd Amendment friendly companies, in the sense that they do not allow companies, like ours [who sell firearm accessories and firearms to the public] to advertise our websites on their advertising networks, or list our products for sale on their auctions, or even allow us access to technology to process perfectly legal transactions on our own web sites.”
For those that think he exaggerates the difficulties, Valli illustrates his argument with a simple example, “hypothetically, if I owned a non-firearm startup, I could go to KickStarter and raise VC, or drive traffic to my eBay store using AdWords, or do some keyword advertising on Bing, or offer mobile checkout using PayPal or Amazon - but because my company is involved in the firearms industry, none of these companies will service me, which obviously makes doing business more difficult for me (at best) and in some cases, even prohibitively expensive.”
“Whether they are from Wall Street, or University Avenue, they are all hucksters,” laughs Valli, as he clicks on the order button on his website, and an AR 15 is placed into his shopping cart. Satisfied, he leans back, points at the screen and says, “it might not be hi-tech, but for now we are content to do business the old fashioned way; Molon Labe, PayPal.”