What is the advantage of purchasing from a dealer vs online. The dealer I checked out near me was sig. pricier than online at say- impact guns.com. What are some advantages of a dealer and are they worth the extra hundo?
About the only advantage of buying from a local dealer is that you get the see the actual gun BEFORE you purchase it. The only guns I have purchased online have been brand new so this is generally not an issue.
As far as Cabelas is concerned, DO NOT go there looking for advice! I have bought guns at Cabelas, but I went in knowing exactly what I wanted. The only issue was whether or not they had it in stock. When they put something on sale and it is what you want (not what they want to sell you!), you can generally pick up some good deals.
When you buy locally, you do have to pay sales tax, but on the plus side, you can take it home right away (depending on your state). When you buy online, you don't have to pay sales tax (unless the online dealer is in the same state as you are) and some even include shipping. On the down side, they are required to ship it to a dealer with an FFL (Federal Firearms License) and you will usually have to pay a small fee ($20-$25) for them to process the paperwork.
Advantages of local dealer: get to handle the handgun, get to take it home quicker, keeps your money in your area (to some extent) and helps to keep a local business in business, develops a relationship with a local gundealer
Advantages of ordering online: lower price
Not all local dealers are worthy of your business. If yours is, then at least let them have a chance to compete for your business before you buy. OTOH, a lot of dealers aren't worth the shoes they fill, and I for one would not have any problem with ordering online. Just keep in mind that you have to have a decent FFL to do the transfer. If you don't, then the point is moot.