Tips on how to sell guns.

Discussion in 'The Ask the Pros & What's It Worth? Forum' started by LorrelMae, Dec 10, 2009.

  1. LorrelMae

    LorrelMae New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2009
    Messages:
    5
    Hello!

    My name is Sandi, I am looking to liquidate my father's gun collection. I have no clue about values. Is there a good informative book I should look at? Should I be concerned about the purchaser? In order to get the most $ out of them, I'd like to sell them myself.

    Anyone have any suggestions?


    Thank you!

    Sandi
  2. Mosin_Nagant_Fan

    Mosin_Nagant_Fan Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2007
    Messages:
    1,842
    Location:
    Montgomery, AL
    Well, that depends on the laws of your state/county/city. These days, you have to be careful how you deal with guns.
  3. Helix_FR

    Helix_FR Active Member

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2009
    Messages:
    3,740
    Location:
    Imperial, MO
    Blue book of gun values is a start but how to sell depends on where you live
  4. sck

    sck Member

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2001
    Messages:
    180
    Dear Ms. Sandi:
    Your's is a good question. I've been collecting guns for over fifty years and in that time I've helped quite a few people in your position. In the 1950s, '60's and '70's when a collector passed away, the other collectors often purchased tables at the next big gun show and put their friend's collection out for sale, usually at premium prices and sometimes 10%-25% above current market value, if the family was in need of money. Generally, all went pretty well. Unfortunately, that doesn't happen these days. Now the general pattern is for "friends" to descend like vultures and offer the family pennies on the dollar and then brag about what a great "deal" they made. In reality, I look at that as theft and the people who engage in this kind of behavior as the worst kind of vermin. Well, that leaves you with a few options.
    1. Find a good gun shop that will take things on consignment. Pros: realitively eazy, very safe in that no one is going to steal the stuff, and you get a price pretty close to current retail. Cons: hard to find a good gun shop, money trickles in a little at a time, may take a long time to sell everything.
    2. Sell everything to a gun shop or collector. Pros: get your money all at once. Cons: Hard to make sure you're not taken advantage of, won't get the best possible price--often about 50 cents on the dollar of current value.
    3. Consign with a local auctioneer. Pros: easy, get your money relatively quickly. Cons: Hard to find a good auctioneer, really a gamble that the auction will be will advertised, well attended and realize good prices, all round big risk.
    4. Sell on-line at a site like Auction Arms or *********. Pros: generally get top dollar, you control the process in terms of pace. Cons: Extremely labor intensive, generally very slow for large collections, shipping is often a problem, returns can be an even bigger problem, getting payment can be a problem.
    5. Consign with one of the large national gun auction houses. Pros: realitvely easy, generally get near top dollar sometimes more, generally get your money in one large sum. Cons: have to transport collection some distance to auction house, commission can range from 10% to 22% depending on the size of collection and desirability, some items may not sell, auctioneer may hold on to some items for several months to put in particular auction.
    Having said all of that, in early 2007 I took the bulk of my collection to Rock Island Auctions. I had a certain price in mind that I was hoping for, but was fearing that it might be 10 to 15% lower. The final total was almost three times what I expected. Yes, I was happy, very, very happy. Unfortunately, I invested all of that in the stock market and most of it is gone now, but that's another story.
    Good luck and keep us posted.
    Steve
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2009
  5. Jim K

    Jim K New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2009
    Messages:
    6,397
    A lot depends on the size of the collection. Unless there are only two or three guns, the worst way is the newspaper ad. This attracts buyers with whom you might not want to deal, and also can attract burglars. In addition, it may involve you in an unintentional violation of the law, especially if there are handguns or NFA weapons (machineguns, short barrel rifles or shotguns, etc.) involved.

    For a dozen guns or so, the dealer consignment route is probably the best. It gets you out of meeting potential buyers and worrying about laws. If you know the dealers with whom your father did business, contact them first. Basically, you and the dealer work out what the gun is worth and what you want to get out of it. Then the dealer sells it for you and takes whatever he can get above what you want for it.

    For a larger collection (20-50) of general guns (a few shotguns, some rifles, some handguns, all fairly modern), the local auction route is probably best.

    But for a collection of, say, a thousand prime Colts, including a Paterson or two and assorted Walkers and Dragoons, the best route is one of the big national auction houses. They are the only ones capable of giving the auction the necessary publicity to get the best prices. Your father may have subscribed to Arms and the Man or The Gun Report, collectors magazines which run auction ads. If not, come back and I will give you phone numbers of several.

    Jim
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2009
  6. LorrelMae

    LorrelMae New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2009
    Messages:
    5
    Thank you thank you thank you ALL!

    My dad used to compete, most are pistols. I have only come across a small antique revolver, and according to the search I did (that led to this site) it isn't worth much.

    If it says on the barrel "short barrel rifle", that means it's in the NFA category? There are a few that say that, even though they are pistols.

    I'll research local gun dealers.

    Thanks again!

    Sandi
  7. gazzmann

    gazzmann New Member

    Joined:
    May 16, 2009
    Messages:
    147
    Location:
    So. Fla.
  8. LorrelMae

    LorrelMae New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2009
    Messages:
    5
    Abstract question, I think :/

    Because my father had a permit to carry concealed, is it possible that every gun he has is traceable back to him?

    AND: is it possible if I sell them, the gun would be traced back to him, especially in the event of a crime? Do I need to file something on record, or write something to someone that my father is incapacitated and the weapons in his possession are to be sold? Should I do something about his permit to carry concealed? Especially since his identity has been stolen?

    Thanks again. Sorry if these questions are too newbie, or annoying!

    Sincerely, Sandi

    P.s, We are in Oregon, but many of his permits and purchases were in North Carolina. If it helps in answering.
  9. pinecone70

    pinecone70 Active Member

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2008
    Messages:
    4,729
    Location:
    Minnesota Gal!
    No question is too annoying, Sandi. Folks around here would rather have everything transacted legally and properly, and it's great that you came here for advice!
  10. LorrelMae

    LorrelMae New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2009
    Messages:
    5
    Thank you Pinecone70!

    I FEEL like a N00b!

    I used to shoot with him on occasion, and have a love/hate with this passion of his. I should have become as knowledgeable in the firearms arena, as well as the motorbike one that I picked up! I guess I'm more into riding than shooting! Though I am certain it will change, presently.

    Your Hello Kitty avatar is hilarious, by the way!

    Sandi
    Last edited: Dec 13, 2009
  11. pinecone70

    pinecone70 Active Member

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2008
    Messages:
    4,729
    Location:
    Minnesota Gal!
    Thanks. We are all n00bs at some point though, and gun people are great!!
  12. mikem@tls.net

    mikem@tls.net New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2009
    Messages:
    1
  13. Mandrake

    Mandrake New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2009
    Messages:
    1
    Hi, Sandi. I'm a little late joining the discussion, but would like to help. I go to gun shows on a regular basis, rent a table, and buy, sell and trade. It's a fun hobby and I get good prices for the ones I sell, because I have plenty of time to wait for the right price. How much you can make depends on how much time you have for the effort. It also depends on how many guns you have, too, of course. You didn't say and I hate to pry.

    If I were you, I would get a copy of the "Blue Book of Gun Values" at a book store or gun show. The values in there are not rock solid, but they are usually close. Depending on local demand, you can sometimes get better than the book price.

    As for record keeping, sometimes buyers will balk at giving their names. But they have to show you an ID at most gun shows to prove they are from your state. When they do, just memorize their name and write it down after they leave with their gun, along with the serial number and description of the gun. If a month or year from now the cops come knocking, you can tell them who you sold the gun to.

    On the issue of short rifles and other NFA weapons you don't know about, ask someone you trust or a random person at a gun show. On the off chance that your dad, knowingly or otherwise, has something illegal, you don't want to ask the BATF about his collection.

    If you decide to sell at gun shows, and the guns are all of a collectible quality (no significant wear on the finish or wood, boxes included) price them at 95% to 100% book value. You might want to take a list of your guns to a show first and see what other sellers are asking for their identical guns.

    I'd be glad to look at a list if you want to email me one, but I'm in Ohio so probably wouldn't buy any (besides, I'm broke this close to Christmas <G>).

    But good luck with it however you decide to go. And Merry Christmas. Jim
  14. LorrelMae

    LorrelMae New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2009
    Messages:
    5
    Thank you Jim, you are QUITE helpful!

    Sincerely, Sandi
Similar Threads
Forum Title Date
The Ask the Pros & What's It Worth? Forum Colt .45 SAA Selling Tips? Nov 21, 2008
The Ask the Pros & What's It Worth? Forum Iron Sight Tips Nov 21, 2005
The Ask the Pros & What's It Worth? Forum 38 S&W Special CTG - Value and where to sell? Nov 28, 2013
The Ask the Pros & What's It Worth? Forum I need a value for an old shotgun I'm wanting to sell Oct 25, 2013
The Ask the Pros & What's It Worth? Forum T. Bissell Shotgun Jun 19, 2013

Share This Page