You are missing my point - the market will set the prices - it always has and always will. Sadly this is one side of a story, there is the other and then the truth.
What is the "right" price for a transfer? Think about this.
Brink and Mortar, with lights, heat, rent insurance licensing fees etc. - that = $$$
Then there is time for paperwork, organizing paperwork, sorting it, keeping records and also sitting through ATF audits that = time which = $$$
Now, if you are a one off walk in transfer guy - sure why not charge what you can - and if you get it great - if not, as an owner maybe he is more concerned taking care of his repeat customers that do more than just transfers....
So look at time - and given the delays with NICS lately, you need to come in for two visits -
Let's say it takes him 1 hour in total to process this transaction end to end - that has to cover his time, electric and all the other incidentals as needed to keep a brick and mortar open - *IN* a state that is not gun friendly.
My time is billed at $ 275.00 per hour....... what is your rate for your time - not including anything else....??
While it is higher than most - there are many things in running a business to support doing a transfer and it is not just abt the NICS check.
I do not like to pay high prices or exorbitant prices - but, if that is what the market bears in the area, expect to have to pay it.
The point being, there are many other mitigating factors that drive prices and possibly the sarcasm you received.
I sat with a client the other day saying that my contractual agreement with them and their organization for my work pre-COVID at $ 14,500 was high now, as their membership is down 25% for the synagogue - oh that's a shame, you contracted for the work, the work is 90% done - you do not get to go back - maybe you should have negotiated better at the start....
For a small shop they have a decent inventory, and there are a few guys working there who are very nice, but it's definitely NOT a "local" gun shop. Prices are full MSRP (or above) on everything, and their transfer fees are close to $100.
With that said, from a business perspective I can understand why they're so expensive/exclusive.
They're in reasonable proximity to NYC and they get a MASSIVE amount of traffic from Gun for Hire, so most of the people stopping in have deep pockets and are anxious to buy toys to shoot.
I personally can't afford to do business there, but i know plenty of people who regularly do.