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Old February 27, 2021, 07:30 PM   #1
Bill DeShivs
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Has anyone used Proxibid for a gun purchase?

I won a handgun auction today and got an invoice for the sale.
On the invoice it states they will not do shipping-it must be arranged by the buyer!
You would think they would make this plain BEFORE you bid. I certainly didn't notice it.
How in the world would one "arrange" shipping? The only thing I can think of is to have a local FFL physically pick up the item and ship it.
Can anyone help?
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Old February 27, 2021, 08:23 PM   #2
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I can't help. I have never heard of such an arrangement.
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Old February 28, 2021, 08:25 AM   #3
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I've used Proxibid for firearms, but only at a local auction house. They're just the payment guarantor. The auction house should make the transfer process clear. They may be the FFL that transfers the gun to your FFL.
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Old February 28, 2021, 02:56 PM   #4
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I've bought a couple. All the large auction house will package, ship and insure for you and you'll usually get a separate charge for each...

Which auction house is it? Proxibid is just a large online marketplace that hosts the auctions.
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Old February 28, 2021, 03:29 PM   #5
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Compass Auctions.
Further research shows they charge $15 to ship handguns, so I'm good.
Thank you.
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Old March 3, 2021, 03:18 PM   #6
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Further research was wrong. The $50 pistol ended up costing me over $100 with auction fees, tax and shipping!
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Old March 3, 2021, 03:41 PM   #7
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And likely an FFL transfer fee.

My rule for auctions and anything is 1) determine what the maximum amount I will pay is
2) subtract the auction fees. I've noticed these have gone up from 10 to 16% for many places
3) subtract sales tax (you may notice depending on the auction house you pay a percentage of sales as part of the auction fee, so 10% sales tax becomes 11.6 or so)
4) subtract shipping
5) in the case of firearms subtract the FFL transfer fees

What is left is the max I will bid.
Do I lose a lot auctions? Yes.
Do I lose sleep of excessive costs? No.

And never bid on anything where there are questions about shipping costs. I've seen some Ebay auctions where the "seller" will list shipping of $999 for an item that weighs may 6 ounces and does not have any "insurance" involved.
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Old March 3, 2021, 07:05 PM   #8
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Quote:
Further research was wrong. The $50 pistol ended up costing me over $100 with auction fees, tax and shipping!
Yea, I saw that auction and had to go with a big, fat, "No!"
Always read the auction terms before bidding on hibid, proxibid, probid, etc. Some of the fees are insane. Shipping can be even worse. And if they don't talk about firearms, specifically, it means they don't sell many or may not have ever sold them before.
Bad, bad things come from that.

I was involved in a proxibid auction last year where it was the auction house's first time selling guns. So, of course, "go big," right? They had 1,300 firearms in that auction.

About 50 guns were "removed from the auction" by the auctioneer, during live bidding, because he wanted them at the current bid - and didn't want further competition or higher bids.
Over 20% of the guns went missing in transport to the FFL.
At least 300 (THREE HUNDRED) were shipped to the wrong FFLs (only two of those ended up with the correct buyer, that I know of).
Buyer's premium was 29% (!).
And "buyer pays actual shipping costs" turned out to mean, "buyer pays the FFL handling fee of $50 per item, plus $25 packaging fee per item, plus Next-Day-Air rates ... even though everything showed up with USPS labels."
Most of the winning bidders had to pay $150-250 *per item* for shipping and fees, and still did not get to see their firearms until 80-90 days after auction close.
It was a nightmare.

But that's not all. They were so disorganized that throughout the entire ordeal, which didn't officially come to a close until about a month ago, the auction house kept reporting bidders as non-paying and getting them banned from proxibid. Most of those buyers only found out about this when they got collections notices or credit notifications. More people are now reporting getting the same collections / credit / banned account notifications, 6 months later.

I had 13 winning bids in that auction. Over the course of the 68-ish days it took for me to finally receive the final product, I only had three of them in my hands. The auctioneer "reclaimed" a few. Two were sold to other bidders, after auction close. And the rest just disappeared. I did get refunded for those. But it was pure insanity.

Always, always, always read the auction terms.
If the terms are not clear, reasonable, and easy to understand, stay the @#$! away.
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Old March 3, 2021, 08:07 PM   #9
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I stay clear of ALL gun auction sites. People get over zealous in their bidding, get into bidding wars, and prices usually get higher prices higher than they should be. I guess the exception would be if I found something I'd been looking for that was rare, and was willing to pay the big bucks for it.

I've used Guns International exclusively and have had nothing but great luck with the site. I will only buy from either their highly rated sellers after I speak with them as well. Sometimes I buy from a newbie seller, but only after speaking with them, and doing my own extensive vetting. If I feel comfortable, I go for it. Never an issue with them either.
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Old March 3, 2021, 08:15 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by FunGramps View Post
I stay clear of ALL gun auction sites. People get over zealous in their bidding, get into bidding wars, and prices usually get higher prices higher than they should be. I guess the exception would be if I found something I'd been looking for that was rare, and was willing to pay the big bucks for it.

I've used Guns International exclusively and have had nothing but great luck with the site. I will only buy from either their highly rated sellers after I speak with them as well. Sometimes I buy from a newbie seller, but only after speaking with them, and doing my own extensive vetting. If I feel comfortable, I go for it. Never an issue with them either.

I’ve found the first part can definitely be true. I’ve also found auctions where people just didn’t notice the item and I was able to get it at a very good price. You have to be willing to stop bidding when it goes over the price you’ve set for yourself.


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Old March 3, 2021, 10:37 PM   #11
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It was a Galesi .25 in bad condition. I happen to have, brand new, all the parts to convert the gun to a rarer .22 short model.
I won the auction at $50. I guess the 100+ I paid isn't too bad, considering today's prices.
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Old March 3, 2021, 11:10 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by TunnelRat View Post
I’ve found the first part can definitely be true. I’ve also found auctions where people just didn’t notice the item and I was able to get it at a very good price. You have to be willing to stop bidding when it goes over the price you’ve set for yourself.


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I'm sure there are those instances where guns are overlooked. I've not seen it other at live civilian FFL and police auctions our state was once allowed to have. Today, with thousands having internet access to on line auctions, and their ability to first check out current values...plus the mad dash we have going to day for anything weapon related, it's tough!
Does your state allow live gun auctions? Our state has police seized weapons destroyed. It makes me ill thinking about it. They could bring in some great revenue selling to lawful citizens instead of destroying perfectly good weapons. The mindset of our ant-gunners....well, you can't have a mindset without a mind, so there's that.
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Old March 4, 2021, 09:58 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by FunGramps View Post
I'm sure there are those instances where guns are overlooked. I've not seen it other at live civilian FFL and police auctions our state was once allowed to have. Today, with thousands having internet access to on line auctions, and their ability to first check out current values...plus the mad dash we have going to day for anything weapon related, it's tough!
A couple of years ago(2015ish) when online auctions like proxibid were becoming popular you could definitely find some steals. Some auctions just didn't have a good turn out, bad pictures allowed you to take a chance on something that might be a gem, guns placed at odd points in the auction, or just falling through the cracks allowed you to find some deals. Now it's just a mad house of people duking it out. Auctions have gotten better with pictures and descriptions. The buyers premium is constantly increasing, new fees crop up, and now many states require the marketplace facilitator to collect tax. With people stuck at home all day, looking at gun auctions is something to do to kill time and drive up demand for these guns.
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Old March 4, 2021, 10:09 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by FrankenMauser View Post
I had 13 winning bids in that auction. Over the course of the 68-ish days it took for me to finally receive the final product, I only had three of them in my hands. The auctioneer "reclaimed" a few. Two were sold to other bidders, after auction close. And the rest just disappeared. I did get refunded for those. But it was pure insanity.
Wow, just wow! I'm glad I missed out on that one. It sounds like getting your money refunded might have worked out better in the long run versus paying $150+ per item in shipping.
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Old March 22, 2021, 09:15 PM   #15
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I use proxibid all the time but have never bought anything on it. several local auction houses use it and its great to view items and research items several days before the auction and decide if it is worth driving sometimes quite a distance for that item. I would never pay the buyers premium, shipping, ffl fees. It is a bit of a double edge sword. I was talking to an auctioneer several years ago and he was so happy because they had $40,000 in sales before the auction started. You can pretty much kiss and steals goodbye.
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Old March 22, 2021, 11:14 PM   #16
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I bid on something on proxibid once. It was a Martini Henry of some description. Think I paid like $100. Well then I read the listing and found out that I had read it wrong and was not the whole gun but a barreled receiver. Ended up that it was going to cost me over $80 in shipping and auction fees.

I called the auction house and politely asked them not to ship it, that I would pay the cost and the fees and then I would like them to relist it at the next auction and I could take what I could get out of it and take the loss for my own failure to read more closely. They told me no problem, they'd accept my payment and go ahead and list it in the next catalog.

The next day I get a notification that it shipped to my house (antique) and I had been charged the $80+. So now I have a useless Martini-ish action (no doubt a copy) with a smooth bore and a wobbly stock, and it would have cost me more money to ship it back to them than I could ever hope to recover.

Still have it around here somewhere. Think the last idea I had on what to do with it was glue it to a stand and run a cord up the barrel to turn it into a lamp.

Maybe that will make you feel better about your own experience.
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Old March 23, 2021, 06:20 AM   #17
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I used to buy some on proxi early on. Mostly it's a sellers market now though....
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