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C.J.L.

On-Line gun prices. How over priced are they?

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Samuel Hoggson

Prices realized at the auction houses serve pretty well as basis.  There's usually a 15% buyers atop some sliding seller's commission.  If selling to a friend will value items as price realized minus the buyers 15%.  As noted, with respect to GB follow only auctions with bids that close with sale.  That excludes 99% of items with reserve prices.

 

Buying stuff am never rushed by myopic focus on one particular item.  Research your areas of interest first, becoming comfortable (ie., certain) about facts (condition, originality).  Certainty allows you to jump on deals without hesitation and anxiety.       

 

 

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steveziv

Auction sites and for-sale forums are where the deals can be found.  Prices on dealer websites always seem way high by comparison.  Cabela's runs the gamut from full priced used guns to smokin' hot deals. 

 

Regarding the high priced dealers, I don't bother negotiating with someone who's starting out that high.  Maybe that's a mistake but if I don't buy right I'll get burned if and when I sell.

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OldColonel

Some good thoughts from previous posters.  I agree with Threedogs, stuff is worth what people will pay.  Unfortunately with the exception of auction houses we rarely get to see actual sales prices.  Experience in buying dozens of guns online is similar to Apachecaddilac’s in that I rarely paid asking and about 10-20% under usually got it.

 

a poster on doublegunshop.com (rocketman) Has developed a good method of estimating value in terms of brand quality, build quality, and condition that seems correct to me.

 

Black and Tan is correct that condition is first and I agree w/Urban Redneck that online pics are unreliable.  Sometimes worse, though I have often discovered much better because the photographer was not very good ( I take terrible gun pics myself).  It can be hard to get good pics of proof marks and other stamping.  Also good shot for metal to wood fit are rare.

 

ignorant or incapable sellers is a more common problem for. I focus on SXS guns and rarely does the seller have the wall thickness, much less understand the criticality of it.  Trying to get good answers to other questions through email and on the phone is hard.

 

some of the bigger dealers describe well, but also ask top end and when on consignment more often than not overpriced.

 

Any profit made on a gun is made the day you buy it.

 

I have brought and sold over 50 SXS guns and rarely (only twice) made much money.  I like to look at the loss as gun rental.  In 20-20 hindsight I have learned emotion or affection for a particular gun is what leads buyers astray.  As others have stated patience and knowing the market by extensive window shopping will pay dividends and most times a particular gun passed on can be found again.  

 

Sometimes even the same gun will appear again and again from different sellers.  I finally brought a particular double rifle the third time it was listed in a three year period for much less than it was first listed for.  Note sometimes guns bounce like that because of hidden issues.  In that double rifle’s case it was an obsolete caliber with no known reloading datawhich forced me to learn a whole new set of skills in developing loads.  Fun, but a real time investment, and one I will not go through again.  I plan on keeping it forever, have loaded three hundred cartridges for it.  I got rid of all my other double rifle challenges.

 

the problem with pricing a gun you want to sell is challenging, no one wants to underprice.  At the same time some guns will simple move slowly if at all because of demand.  I agree with Urban Redneck, I have found listing common or low end guns on the sporting clays gun bulletin board a good way to move stuff in the sub $1,000 range.  If you are in a hurry be prepared to cut price hard or to wait.

 

Further timing is is important for some guns.  Common hunting guns, even bargain priced move slowly in the spring and early summer. 

 

One last thought on the hunt for an ideal gun you have always wanted.  I have brought a lot of those and discovered finding it is a luck affair.  Sometimes it appears prefect in stock dimensions, boring, appearance etc.  then discovered I just don’t shot it well.  Then another with the wrong dimensions compared to everything else I shoot well is right on.  Be prepared for trial and error learning on dimensions and choke.  I started out hating the idea of choke tubes and sleeved barrels, but now have a pair of sleeved guns with the wrong the dimensions that are spot on and beautiful as well as a SXS whose barrels were cut brought at a huge discount now with Briley tubes that is my deadly preferred preserve gun.

 

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quailguy
16 minutes ago, OldColonel said:

One last thought on the hunt for an ideal gun you have always wanted.  I have brought a lot of those and discovered finding it is a luck affair.

 

“I know he's a good general, but is he lucky?”

 Napoléon Bonaparte 

 

 Luck IMHO is vastly undervalued when it comes to gun buying/selling. Finally, and I do mean after 25 years of this, I finally had the great good luck to be looking at a couple AYAs just when (so the gun sales guy told me) Cabelas wanted out of the expensive SXS bidness. The result was I got a new AYA 16 ga #2 and a new 28 ga #2 at a great price. I bought both guns and 2-3 weeks later the cost had almost doubled. Cabelas got out and AYA raised their prices at almost the same time.

  I haven't bought a gun since, I figure I've used up all my luck. I keep looking, but no dice.

  OTOH, if some gun I just had to have showed up for a good price.......

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Urban_Redneck
32 minutes ago, OldColonel said:

 

 

Sometimes even the same gun will appear again and again from different sellers.  I finally brought a particular double rifle the third time it was listed in a three year period for much less than it was first listed for.  Note sometimes guns bounce like that because of hidden issues.  In that double rifle’s case it was an obsolete caliber with no known reloading datawhich forced me to learn a whole new set of skills in developing loads.  Fun, but a real time investment, and one I will not go through again.  I plan on keeping it forever, have loaded three hundred cartridges for it.  I got rid of all my other double rifle challenges.

 

 

 

 

Sidebar for a little story.

 

Again, years ago.... There was an unusual Purdey (self opener w/ Jones underlever) double rifle with 2 sets of barrels that a customer had bought elsewhere and wanted it checked out by us before the inspection period expired. As I was coon fingering it, the owner of the shop walks by and glances at the case and says, "those aren't Purdey barrels". The customer stopped him, reeled him back in, he then explained that the address read in the wrong direction on one set of barrels,  "probably Ferlach" was his verdict.

 

I saw that rifle on three different dealer tables over the course of two years, before it was ever correctly labeled as one set of barrels by "other".

 

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tut

I'm a notorious bottom feeder.  I like small bore Foxes and I like guns that fit.  Accordingly, unless I'm amazingly lucky, I will almost always end up buying a Fox and restocking it to fit me (and sometimes customize it as well).  Everyone once in a while I'll find an original Fox that was ordered with unusual dimensions (say 1 1/2" DAC and 2 1/2" DAH) and will  jump on it if the price is fair and if there is a perceived need.  Even if there is no need I'll quite often buy a Fox at the right price ( meaning ultra cheap) with the idea of flipping it and making a few dollars.   Above said, I've been burned at least twice buying guns "As is" that were nothing like the pictures showed and with stock dimensions quoted to me on the phone that were flat out wrong.  Both of those guns were sold at a loss with all the exposed warts noted.   Both were bought from on line auctions.   

 

Lastly, I went to one auction in Pa a few years ago where the auction listing showed a nice original 20 gauge Sterly with 28" barrels (I was thinking a back up gun).  I arrived and determined immediately that it was a 16 gauge Sterly (serial number not provided on line).  I went to an auction employee and told him that the gun was a 16 gauge.  He said nope its a 20.  I pointed at the serial number in the 300,000 range and said those numbers were for 16 gauge and that 20 gauge Sterly's sn's were in the 200,000 range.  He then went up to the the actual auctioneer and told him and the fellow said the listing said it was a 16 gauge and that was how he was going to sell it (and he did just that).   That gun was sold to an on line buyer "As Is".

 

As the old saying goes, buyer beware.   

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Wyrhair

I have been buying and selling guns on line for a very long time. Sorry to say this but I don't trust most gun dealers and real estate people. To them, what you have to sell is crap and what they have to sell is made of gold. Caveat Emptor ...BUYER BEWARE  especially applies to a lot of these folks.

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gunsrus

Buyer beware .

I have looked at and bought a few and some fairly expensive . Once I found a very high end CSMC Fox at a reputable gun shop and was somewhat interested because it was used and the price was very reasonable . This shop handles many high end guns . Considering these guns and being a Fox , a used gun with multiple nicks and scratches to me means a gun that was used as intended . They don't scare me . 

I handled the gun and the forearm was really loose . I mentioned this to the owner of the shop .

His answer :

"We keep this building temperature controlled and therefore the wood on some firearms does shrink causing the forearm to be loose . Once you take the gun outside in this humidity for a few hours , it will be fine ." 

I questioned his answer and he maintained legitimacy . I gave him back the gun and walked out . 

Once , I had thought of consigning my guns there . 

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quailguy
21 minutes ago, gunsrus said:

Buyer beware .

 Absolutely right.

A coupla illustrations: I've been on the look out for a 20 gauge Parker (as lots of y'all know.) I spent some time in this year's Bloomsburg, PA gun show, and found little of interest (how do some of these people make a living at this??) Finally found one guy with some Parkers, one of which was a 20 gauge VH. Not in great shape, but nothing terribly wrong, he wanted $9.5k. Way too much for a gun I'd have to spend a couple $$k to put right. Then there was the guy at a well known SxS event who had some Parkers including a 20 gauge VHE with a replacement stock done to some style other than Parker + the action had been recently reblued instead of case colored. $9800 are you for real I asked. Oh yeah, thats a nice Parker. That was a POS Parker and I walked away. Some of these guys are the worse crooks on earth.

  Buying classic American guns (and apparently Purdey rifles) requires sometimes very good gunsmith help. I glad I found Dewey Vicknair to help look these deals over; I used Kirk Merrington who is really good and I believe Dewey is going to be very good as well. 

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C.J.L.

Thanks all for the good advise.  Found a nice Purdey 2 barrel set out of New York with an asking price of $57,900.  I made a reasonable offer of $15K to kick off the haggling.  I'm thinking it will go for $19,500.  More to come..

 

CJ

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tut
9 hours ago, C.J.L. said:

Thanks all for the good advise.  Found a nice Purdey 2 barrel set out of New York with an asking price of $57,900.  I made a reasonable offer of $15K to kick off the haggling.  I'm thinking it will go for $19,500.  More to come..

 

CJ

 

I need to take you shopping with me.  If I get 20% off on anything at a gun show worth having I think I have really done something.   You are offering him .23 cents on the dollar for what he is asking.   PS.   There are few dealers on Gunbroker that have had the same guns listed for years and years.  I asked one time on another forum if the fellow would come down any and they said no, he is proud of his guns (which means he expects top dollar).  I not sure how one can stay in business utilizing a business model of high inventory and no sales. 

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GB Jack
On 8/8/2018 at 4:20 PM, gunsrus said:

I never specifically look for bargains . Sometimes they just come along . 

 

 

I’ve never witnessed a bigger lie in the history of the universe, at least TRY and have some truth to the comments Al.

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mccuha
On ‎08‎/‎08‎/‎2018 at 5:20 PM, gunsrus said:

 Condition was everything .

 

 

 

Like I've said before. My FIL is a very big collector and you took the words straight out of his mouth.

Condition is everything. 

That's  really the only guns that will increase a large amount in  the shortest amount of time.

Yes, Big money guns are hard to sell to the average joe but to a big time collector will jump all over a gun that is mint or close to mint and to make it even more tempting to be a odd or strange configuration . When or where on average will you find another. It's not like they are still making the old foxes and the such. I don't have the pockets he has or some of his gun collector friends. if you are in there click they talk to each other all the time and know what guns ea are looking for. If they find something they are not interested in they let the others know.

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Longrifle

I work in an auction environment where we sell companies, and always say something is worth what the highest bidder will pay for it, in a reasonable amount of time. 

 

The guy with the sky high price is not trying to sell it to everybody, just that one guy, which leads me to our other saying; the guy that thinks it's worth the most usually ends up owning it, and a lot of times that's the original owner.  

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walt lister

Prices too high? Another perspective. When I turned 80 I decided to sell most of my collection of Winchester mdl 12s and 42s and a few other guns. Over the years I had upgraded my collection so that most of the guns I sold were in excellent original condition.  I know that Mdl 12s aren't bringing the interest that they did years ago, the guys that like them are getting old like me and the younger collectors don't seem to be as interested in them so the prices for them have been flat for several years.   I listed them with an AZ website that I had confidence in and was pleasantly surprised how well I came out. I had in mind what I thought the guns would sell for but the  people I trusted to sell them put prices on many of the guns that were much higher than I thought they would bring. To my delight many of the guns sold quickly at the listed price, some with a waiting list. The website has been in business long enough to have a list of clients whose interest they knew and just a phone call was all that was needed in some cases. Proves that they knew the market better than I did and they earned their commission and more.

As has been said there is a butt for every seat and CONDITION IS EVERYTHING.

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