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Old July 8, 2023, 01:24 PM   #1
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Best Bang For Your Buck - Selling Firearms

I recently moved within state and despite the fact that I knew exactly how many and of what kind of firearms I had in my collection, it was different physically seeing them all at once. Some of them I have never even taken to the range. I think it's time to liquidate a few of them.

What is the best way to get the most bang for ones buck so to speak? I considered taking them to a shop but I know from previous experience that they'll offer me about 1/3 of what the collection is worth. I have dealt with others before as well that offer an insultingly low price.

I'm not in any rush so I figure I could sell them one by one via GunBroker or something but that could take a year or more.

How do you sell your firearms/accessories when the time comes?

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Old July 8, 2023, 02:16 PM   #2
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The process may vary !!!

How do you sell your firearms/accessories when the time comes?
There is a current thread, that you might find to be of assist. Then there will be additional replies. This is a very common situation and the bigger the collection/investment the method does vary and involved. Currently, I am assisting two widows on the suggested direction.

Good Luck and;
Be Safe !!!
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Old August 31, 2023, 09:36 AM   #3
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I have lots of dies and cases for the old Sharps cartridges,and need to find a place to sell them. Will probably find a gun show locally,if I`m lucky
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Old August 31, 2023, 10:14 AM   #4
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In a rush, I have a local shop that pays about 70-80% of market value.
They also consign at, I believe, a 20% fee. But I haven't done that.
Best I've seen from any gun shop. So, I am lucky to have that option; but I know that not everyone can find a shop like that.
Check around.


Gunbroker will get you good value *if* it is listed well, you include many *good* photos, describe it well, shipping is as low as you can reasonably get it*, you pay for a "featured" listing, and it is a model that people are actually buying. If it is a desirable model, a long listing (2 weeks, minimum) and penny starting bid will get the most interest and a higher closing price. It feels terrible to know that the item could sell for pennies, but that just doesn't happen unless it is not a desirable item and/or it is listed badly.

Some things go through periods of low sales and just don't move on gunbroker or other marketplaces - especially C&R stuff. For example, trapdoor Springfields are down right now. No one is quite sure why, but they are not moving and the average sale price is below pre-covid levels. Penny starting bid, bad photos, high shipping cost, and a short listing time would be an absolutely stupid thing to do with a trapdoor Springfield right now.

*With gunbroker, remember that shipping is something that many regular users (especially the younger crowd) check before even looking at the photos. $100 shipping on a handgun is an instant rejection, unless a rare and desirable collector's piece. $80+ shipping on a rifle might be a little easier to swallow, but it is still a turnoff for regulars. Try to keep it as low as possible - generally under $50, and even lower for handguns.

Photos, photos, photos. Good photos. People will buy a rifle with more damage and the same or higher price, but well documented in good photos, before a rifle with one mediocre photo but a description that says, "barely used, not a scratch on it".
'Does that mean there are no scratches, but the bore is a sewer pipe?...
And why is he only showing one side of the rifle?...'

And keep in mind that unless you use a dealer to ship everything, you're going to have to send a copy of your ID with each of the firearms. So, it may or may not be worth the risk of identity theft, or the cost of masking yourself behind an FFL, depending upon your personal risk level and the FFL's fee for such.


Normally, I end up not getting top dollar, because I sell to friends and family more than anyone else.
But online forums and gun groups can be good places to move niche items or seemingly common items that are desirable, for whatever reason, to a group of highly focused idiots collectors.

Those highly focused idiots collectors have allowed me to obtain some very rare or common-with-very-rare options or factory modifications, though. Cuts both ways.


Re: the link to the other discussion
LSB gets top dollar on gunbroker, due to their reputation and exposure.
But you don't see all of that, because they have to take their commission. They make it easy for you and will get you likely the highest return possible from a consignment auction. But your return could still be lower than if you sold the items yourself.
Check the numbers and see how it works out.
Don't even try it. It's even worse than the internet would lead you to believe.
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Old August 31, 2023, 09:26 PM   #5
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I always sell on GunBroker, after offering to friends and family first. You can also sell here on the forums.
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Old September 1, 2023, 02:35 PM   #6
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after offering to friends and family first. You can also sell here on the forums.
Hopefully you are in a state that still allows private sales.

New laws in Minnesota that just went into effect (August 1, 2023) require some state mandated goofy paperwork for some sales (I'm not sure which sales) and you have to keep the paperwork and produce it on demand for 10 years.

I really haven't looked into it yet but I suspect I'd run any private sale thru an FFL which will add to the expense.

That said, I am a devout believer in Cheapshooter's rules of gun ownership #1: NEVER SELL OR TRADE ANYTHING!
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Old September 2, 2023, 05:55 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by '88Scrat View Post
. I think it's time to liquidate a few of them.
You'll be sorry ;-)
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Old September 2, 2023, 06:56 PM   #8
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How much is your time worth? Figure gas to meet FTF for a sale too.

I've sold some in the past by placing an AD in the paper, or online. But it can be a real hassle. Everyone wants to lowball you. They want to meet you 10-15 miles from home and very often don't show up. Or if they do show up bring less than the agreed upon price.

Lately I take mine to a local gun shop. They give me cash. Sure, I MIGHT be able to get 10% more if I sold them myself, but with all the other hassles it just isn't worth it to me.

There isn't enough money out there for it to be worth me selling one of my guns to someone who couldn't legally own it and later learn they had killed someone with it.
"If you're still doing things the same way you were doing them 10 years ago, you're doing it wrong"

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Old September 2, 2023, 10:51 PM   #9
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For better or worse I elected to slog it out via Armslist and GunBroker. The local shops were just killing me with what they'd be willing to pay or even go for in trade value.

For example, at two different locations I was offered $550 for my BNIB never fired GHM9 compact. You can't find one at a dealer right now for less than $1,600...
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Old September 3, 2023, 03:40 PM   #10
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I don't know your location in Kansas. I have sold a few through Kull Auction near Topeka. And for Specialty guns, I've actually had decent luck selling to Cabela's (after doing some home work to see what it was worth--not all Cabela's employees are well versed in firearm values
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Old September 3, 2023, 09:35 PM   #11
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KC area is where I'm at.

Used to live in Lawrence and work in Topeka so I'm familiar with the area. Might have to check out the auction place.
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Old September 4, 2023, 11:52 AM   #12
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If I could get 70-80% market value, I would be thrilled. Now, the best I see is about 50% and 20% consignment fee in my area.

For expensive things, that's a lot of money, so GB.

Shipping cost for handguns is a problem unless one is a FFL, so there is this to consider, too.
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Old September 5, 2023, 10:50 AM   #13
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Second for a local auction house if you want money by a specific period. Use one that has an FFL and then your potential headaches go way down.
A lot of auctions are on-line and so have much wider reach than 10 or 20 years ago. And the prices show it. Seldom get anything resembling a "great" deal. May see better than 70% depending on what you have.
All data is flawed, some just less so.
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Old September 5, 2023, 12:07 PM   #14
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Gun Shops

I call the ones I like fun shops.
Overall I have had good luck selling to Cabela's, and even better luck buying guns from them.
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Old October 10, 2023, 08:58 PM   #15
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Try Langham Bro. Auctions in Greenville IL

You might contact Langham Brother Auctions in Greenville IL. They do a couple gun auctions a year. It's all on line and people from all over the country bid on the 400 or so lots they usually have. And these guys are the operative definition of honest. Give them a call.

Life is good.
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Old October 11, 2023, 06:20 AM   #16
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Popular guns sell well on Armslist.

Unique or special value guns sell better on Gunbroker.

Consignment works best if you want or need a background check.
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Old October 11, 2023, 11:31 AM   #17
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I consign with a local dealer. He adds his fees in front of my asking price. He deals with the paperwork and it saves me concerns about liability. For me it's a good deal.
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