Pistol Pay Launches: New way to buy and sell guns

2020 Update: While Pistol Pay no longer exists, we at Guns.com have a new, easier way to buy and sell guns online. In addition to working with local FFLs, we ship ammo and accessories directly to you.

Good news for gun buyers and sellers, a new e-commerce site called Pistol Pay recently launched. It’s similar to PayPal in that it’s a third-party group that processes financial transactions, but unlike PayPal it can actually be used to pay for firearms.

Pistol Pay works like this, when one party has to pay the other email addresses are exchanged instead of sending a check, money order or any personal financial information because the email is linked to a Pistol Pay account. The beauty behind Pistol Pay is that its process molds to a system already in place. For payment to actually go through, an FFL has to verify that the purchased item — a gun or gun accessory — was actually shipped and had arrived. If the item hasn’t or one of the parties backs out, the item ships back and money is refunded.

Again, it may sound an awful lot like PayPal, but that’s because, well, that was the inspiration behind it.

“After losing three PayPal accounts due to nothing more than PayPal’s suspicion that I may be doing something wrong, I decided there has to be a better way,” Pistol Pay Executive Vice President Ira Goodstadt said.

He added that he and his partners were also “bothered by all the scams and having to basically deal with someone you don’t know blindly.”

Pistol Pay is set up for person-to-person transactions. Say, for example, new user JoeBlow posts an ad in 123Gun Forums for a “slightly used” Colt Python for $600. Avid forum-goer Gunner456 wants to take him up on the offer, but is unfamiliar with JoeBlow — in turn hesitant to do business with him. However, his desire outweighs his hesitation because that’s the only Colt snake he doesn’t have.

This is where Pistol Pay is ideal because it manages the transaction. With it JoeBlow won’t get paid until Gunner456 actually gets the Colt Python. Since the process requires money and product to be up front, and Gunner456 will actually have a chance to inspect the gun in person, he’ll know if it’s going to be $600 well spent before everything is finalized.

“Until both parties are happy, no one gets paid,” Goodstadt said.

The idea behind Pistol Pay was conceived by both Goodstadt and his partner Chapman Ducote, owner of Merchant Services LTD, a 10-year-old payment processing company.

“[Merchant Services] processes north of $10 billion a year, so they intimately understand the payment space. When Mr. Ducote and myself identified this void in the marketplace, MSL started building Pistol Pay with technology we have had copywrited and patented.”

Actually using Pistol Pay is simple. It requires basic contact information and, like PayPal, it stores financial information in your profile. In-site it already has a list of FFLs all across the country that can be used in the transactions. And if you’re familiar with buying and selling guns through a website, you’ll know that there’s a price difference between using credit and cash. If the user puts a credit card on file there’s a surcharge of 2.7 percent of the sale price per transaction, and if it’s a bank account the charge is 1.6 percent. In addition, patrons also pay FFL fees.

In the future, Ducote said, Pistol Pay would like to branch out into different markets, but right now they’re happy about “the fact that [Pistol Pay] has come to life through the firearms industry.”

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