Just my thoughts - Most important, I like to keep things in perspective. I could have saved, maybe, $50-75 on an on line purchase, after the transfer fee. To me, that's nothing in the life of a rifle. Consider, I plan to put thousands of $s of ammo through it. Ammo, I do buy on line.
I personally try to support the local gun shops. Here on Long Island there are few and they have a tough time. Ranges are closing and there are fewer and fewer places to shoot, especially centerfire rifles.
In my case, I spent about $739 (+tax) on my new All-Weather Ranch. Not the best price, but fair. What's also important to me is how I'm treated by the establishment. I had a slight problem with my Mini, I brought it back and they made it right. A very pleasant experience all around. The kind of place that makes me want to give them more of my business.
South Shore Sportsman, Merrick, NY