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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello all. First off this is my first post so I'd like to say, "Hey".

The reason I'm posting is that I have a couple guns that I would like to trade in/sell to get another more desireable gun to me. I do not have experience doing this and was wondering how it's successfully done by people.

I don't care to deal with eBay and would prefer to do business face to face.

I'm just concerned because I don't want to get hosed with regard to the transaction. When I purchased my last gun, I got an estimate on it from the person (shop) I bought it from. I was shocked at the price offered (not very much).

I read on boards about firearm enthusiasts that trade what seems like on a weekly basis. Are they independently wealthy, or what? It seems like you lose (depreciation) on each transaction you would make.

Thanks in advance.
 

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Welcome to the site.

There are websites for selling firearms like GunsAmerica and GunBroker where you list the firearm yourself instead of relying on a dealer to buy it from you. Downside is you may not get what you are hoping for.

The only other alternatives are to hit the online forums and list what you have in the buy/sell/trade sections or your local newspaper.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks Fernando!

I believe there is some sort of "blue book" that lists the value of firearms. Do you, or someone else know what the name of that publication is...and also if it's available for free on the net somewhere. I'd like to get a ballpark of what price to ask.

Jay
 

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Hello JFF, and welcome.

There is a "Blue Book" and it is called exactly that. There are also other books by other publishers with other names. Unfortunately there really isn't anything free online. Your best bet would be to go to a B&N or Borders book store and page through one while having a cup of coffee.

The online sites that Fernando mentioned will give you an idea of what people are asking but not necessarily what they are getting. Remember a gunshop wants to make a profit too so they can'tut if for the same price that they have to sell it for.

Ed
 

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You can search for your gun, limited to completed auctions, on gunbroker. This will allow you to determine how much they are selling for, and see which listings were so high that they got no bids at all.
 

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I think the actual name of the Blue Book is "Blue Book of Gun Values" by S. P. Fjestad.
It wil give you prices based on condition and you really do need some experience to determine their definations and how it relates to your specific firearm.
Prices at gun shops will also vary from one part of the country to another. I think your best bet is go to the sites listed by Fernando, find your firearm or one similar, then do the completed auction search.
The first buyer will lose money due to depreciation but each subsequent buy should not, as long as the condition and desirabilty does not change.
Good luck.
OK, you didn't ask for the advise, but here it comes. Unless you made a really poor choice initially and purchased firearms of questionable quality, you will probably regrete at some point selling what you have. Save your money until you can buyu what you want. I try to buy used when I can, if the firearm is in really good shape. There won't be much of a price difference between new and 95% of new.
I've been there and wish I had some of the guns I have sold.
 

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It is The Blue Book of Used Gun Values

The web site is http://www.bluebookinc.com

It is a very valuable reference, but it is important to understand that the values they give are (1) full retail and (2) highly subjective (3) regoinal

To be blunt virtually no gun made within the last 25- maybe even 50- years has appreciated to the point where you can trade it profitably.

Dealers have to make a profit so they will only pay 50-75% of what the book shows for any gun. Most people who look at it see only the highest value and may not allow for wear or damage. Values are usually based upon condition expressed as a percentage of a brand new gun. Condition is listed as 100% for new and then decreases pretty fast as the degree of finish lost goes up. Price usually also takes into account whether anyone else wants to buy it. You'll see lots of ads that say "rare" based on a reltaively low number made, but if nobody wanted it the first time they probably don't now either.

Usually the most productive thing is to sell the gun yourself for cash but you have to watch out for local, state and federal laws governing the sale of firearms. It is true that the sites like Auction Arms or Gunbroker may realize prices that are close to-or even about- normal retail but if the sale is interstate you will have to get a dealer to handle the transfer and, understandably, pay a fee for that service.

When you add everything up it usually is clear that the dealer wasn't trying to "hose" you but simply treating as a business something which most of us do on a more emotional level.

I don't know people who trade every week but if someone does they are probably losing money every time. Sadly gun buying is not always a totally rational thing.

In a way it is no different than buying a car where the moment you drive it off the lot it depreciated 25%.

The best way to handle this is to only buy things that you know you like and are willing to keep a long time. In other words ask yourself how bad you rally want it and are you willing to take a bath if you're wrong?

The other thing to do is to buy used guns and let someone else bear that initial depreciation.

Hope this helps...
 
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I'll chime in here a little seeing I'm a Gun Store Counter Monkey.

I'll have to second Charles anology of a car. Another thing the Dealer considers is how well that particular firearm sells.

Example (older generation gun v current generation gun)

Say you have a first generation Glock 17 that you paid $450 for.

A new, third generation Glock 17 goes for $565.

A Dealer could probably sell your Glock for at most $400. Glocks sell very well. However, for $165 difference, the majority of people would opt for the new one (with warrenty and updated features.

So you go in to trade. Realize that the Dealer has to make a profit (it is a business). He probably also has a minimum profit he wants to get out of the gun... lets say $75. He also knows that most people would opt for the newer gun. He knows he can mark this gun at $400 but probably won't move fast so he'll have a minimum price he will sell the gun for... lets say $350 ($200 difference btwn old and new). He would then back out the his minimum profit of $75 and offer you $275 for your Glock.

Now that is with a gun then is very desirable and people want.

If you have a firearm that is not as desirable and doesn't move that fast the price offered is going to be much lower. The reason being is that what ever the Dealer puts into the gun it is considered tied up until the gun sells. If the gun isn't a fast mover he will have to price it low to move the gun. If he prices it low that means after he backs out his profit from the minimum price he is willing to sell it for you are not going to get much for your gun.

A good example was a guy that came in with 4 rifles, all military surplus... I remember a the AK. We sell AKs for about (IIRC.. they are over in the Tactical Section where I'm not allowed :? ). The others were not quite as desirable being bolt guns. All the guns were well used (not abused but very well used). We offered I think $450 for all of them. The guy went ballistic!! He wanted $1200... said we were selling AKs for over $400. What he failed to take into account were the condition of his guns (verse the condition of the ones going for $4XX), the desirability of the bolt surplus guns (verse a sproting bolt gun), and the retail profit needed to keep the store open.

We try and do the best deals we can... you don't build a profitable business without repeat customers, and having fair prices. However, problems arise when one side of the transaction is looking at it from a emotional aspect and the other from a economic aspect.

I don't know people who trade every week but if someone does they are probably losing money every time.
We have more then a few customers that do! One gentleman has owned every Kimber (at one time) and been through numerous other guns (H&K, Springfield, Sig (sorry not Glocks for this Gentleman!)). He'll buy one, shoot it for a while, deside if he likes it or not and if not trade it on another. Each time he losses (what some would consider a lot for the time he had the gun) money... but he understands the economics of it. To him it is simple, he doesn't like the gun so he gets a different one... same day, no hastle, no hidded fees, no worries about whom he sold to. Fast, easy, his hands are washed of the gun and he can try out the new one.

I have people ask me if they can try out a (new) gun. I tell them yes, the rental is $250. You buy it for $750 (say an H&K), take it out and try it out, if you don't like it well buy it back for $500 cause it is now a used gun. :p They then kind of realize why they can't.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks for the info…I guess it boils down to what Charlie mentioned: “Buy things (guns) that you know you will like and are willing to keep a long time.

I can’t go the used gun route as mentioned. There’s always that thought lingering in your mind as to why to previous owner got rid of it. Is it really flawed? But, this would make sense if you have the experience from being in the hobby/business a long time.

The blue book does not look like a good investment at this time. I do not plan to trade/sell/buy a large number of guns. I like what Ed & Tim mentioned about cruising completed auctions and seeing what price the market is bearing at the moment. This seems like the most pertinent way for me to determine the going rate. Or, I could do what Ed mentioned and browse the local book store.

David, is that your real name? Yikes, what a b$tch if by happen-stance it is. You sound reasonable/informed/and well balanced. This is, of course, if it is truly you giving this advice, and not your dog. I can understand the seller’s remorse thing that you bring up, but one of the guns is built for carry, and I’ve lost confidence in it.

Well, once again thanks. I’m going to “push back” and wait. I don’t like the taste of taking the hit of depreciation. Perhaps I’ll come across someone locally that just can’t live w/o the gun(s) I’m trying to get rid of. Plus, there is the emotion thing that might change as time marches on.

My biggest question has been answered. There is not a “magic wand” out there for those people that trade/sell guns frequently (not necessarily every week).
 

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I can't go the used gun route as mentioned
With just a little learning that is still the best way. Very few guns are traded in because they are "flawed". The owner has done exactly the same thing you're doing... gotten tired of it.

I think a lot of guns are impulse purchases and that is rarely a good thing. A little research can save you from buying a duck when you really wanted a goose... :)
 

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JFF said:
I can't go the used gun route as mentioned. There's always that thought lingering in your mind as to why to previous owner got rid of it. Is it really flawed?
From what I've seen -- since gun buying and selling can be emotional-- most people sell their guns because they have to! Financial problems or marital problems or whatever. Of course everyone now and then gets a gun that just doesn't feel right or work right according to some preconcieved notions but if you know what to look for there's plenty of "finds" out there.

Ed
 

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Charlie Petty said:
A little research can save you from buying a duck when you really wanted a goose.
I want a flock.
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:pigsfly: :pigsfly: :pigsfly: :pigsfly:
:pigsfly: :pigsfly: :pigsfly: :pigsfly:
:pigsfly: :pigsfly: :pigsfly: :pigsfly:

One should be careful what one wishes for...
 

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CP said:
With just a little learning that is still the best way. Very few guns are traded in because they are "flawed". The owner has done exactly the same thing you're doing... gotten tired of it.

I think a lot of guns are impulse purchases and that is rarely a good thing. A little research can save you from buying a duck when you really wanted a goose...
Every gun I've sold or traded was done because there was another one I wanted more - at the time. There's been many I regretted turning lose and a few I rue not trading for like a Singer 1911 in 90% condition and a $600 price tag some years back or even further back a Luger with an American Eagle on the breach and a $60 asking price. Let's not discuss the multitude of Colt SAAs at less than $50 a pop. :(

The only rifle I ever regretted buying is in a caliber Charlie likes, a Remington 700 BDL in 300 RUM. Makes my aught-six seem like a rimfire.
 

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The only rifle I ever regretted buying is in a caliber Charlie likes, a Remington 700 BDL in 300 RUM.
The recoil may have addled me a bit, but I don't recall being overly enthusiastic about that one...

I bet that when you passed on that Singer $600 was all the money in the world but you'd have been hard pressed to find a better investment since nice ones are $25-30K these days. Of course back then most Lugers were $25 but if you had put that same $600 in American Eagles that might be even better.

Don't even talk to me about SAAs. Back then you probably couldn't have given me one but now I just love shooting those old long Colts and other ancient cartridges.
 

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I have an RG Ind. 14s. It's a nice little 22. I'd be willing to trade it for..............anything. :bolt:
 

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David, is that your real name?
Yup, sure is, only I had it first. I feel sorry for that other fella, having to live with the reputation I started.

You sound reasonable/informed/and well balanced. This is, of course, if it is truly you giving this advice, and not your dog.
Those who know me would probably disagree. But it was me offering the advice. My dog quit talking to me years ago. Stupid to think a dog could really talk.
Now, the cat, on the other hand...
 

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I'm a frequent trader. I have some guns that I vault... and some guns I keep in temporary status... toys to be enjoyed and then swapped for something different. I love them all but some just speak to me more and if I trade for one of those I vault it.

I spend a lot of money in transfer fees and shipping and what not... but I consider it like a vehicle lease... I trade for something different all the time I'm always shooting something new and different. Another upside is that I am always learning the ins and outs of guns I wouldnt' be about to just buy outright and I really get to know them.
I've been called a "Gun Slut" for my trades, but at least I don't catch any diseases.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Mad Ogre,

That is exactly what came to my mind...leasing of a car...which I don't participate in. I'm on the other end. I buy a car, and run it into the ground. Getting rid of it when it is cost prohibitive to repair. I drive down the highway with a smile on my face for numerous years in a paid-off vehicle...that is my pay back.

Thanks again to all of the wise/informed/personal experiences of those that have posted to my original question!
 
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