Best way to sell a gun collection???


July 10, 2006, 07:55 AM
I have a friend that is in ill health and want's to sell his rather extensive collection of handguns and rifles.Should he put them on consignment at local shop or shops??On-line auctions are another option but don't think he wants the hassle or has the time.Are there any Companies that deal specifically with estate firearm appraisals and sales?? Any help would be appreciated.

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July 10, 2006, 08:02 AM
If he's interested in selling the entire collection, but does not want to wait for auction, Cherry's, Cabelas, etc. purchase collections outright.

July 10, 2006, 08:47 AM
any faster than an auction and may bring less money. A good firearms auction house knows how to market the guns and targets a very specific, but larger, market.

If the number of firearms is significant, I'd opt for a firearms auction house.;)

July 10, 2006, 09:44 AM
What kind of "collection" does he have? That makes a difference.

If the collection is an "accumulation" of relatively recent production commercial guns, that are all either still available or are more valued for their utility then their scarcity or collectability, I'd go with putting ads in the paper or putting them on consignment at a local shop. I'm talking about modern hunting rifles, recent production pistols and things like that.

If the collection includes recently imported, common, mil-surps (Mosin Nagants, Yugo Mausers, SKS's, etc), I'd probably still go with ads in the paper and putting them on consignement.

If the collection includes good quality U.S. military surplus rifles and pistols, I'd contact Scott Duff (do a web search). He could list the good quality Garands, Carbines, 1903 Springfields, military 1911's, etc, on his website. I believe he buys outright and resells, but he may do consignment. He only does collectable military stuff, with an emphasis on U.S. arms. The nicer the item, the more he would be interested.

Now, if he was a true "Collector" of something that there is a decent amount of collector interest in (but aren't USGI stuff), and where the prices per firearm typically are at least the $1,000 apiece mark, then I'd start looking at speciality auction houses. Collectible shotguns, high-end sporting rifles, etc.

If the collection includes Colt SAA's or collectible S&W revolvers, I'd contact Jim Supica at Old Town Station. He puts out a catalog several times a year of firearms and buys whole collections. He's also done mil-surps and commercial guns, but specializes in the older Colt and S&W guns.

If he has internet access and is computer savy, he could put them up for sale on the various gun boards. For mil-surp stuff, is a great choice. THR would be a good place for defensive pistols and assault rifles, etc.

Hope this helps.

July 10, 2006, 09:49 AM
How about selling them through the "Guns for Sale" sections of these forums that permit it.

July 10, 2006, 09:58 AM
In my area the best way would be to sell them at public auction.

All you need is a local auctioneer that has been in business long enough to have well advertised and attended auctions.

Most of the time the guns sold in this manner bring top dollar ,and all is handled localy with little hassle.

July 10, 2006, 09:59 AM
What state are you in?

Find a gun store near you that specializes in internet sales. Sell the guns on consignment via such a store.

You'll have a wider audience and the merchandise will move faster.

For example, if you were in Texas, these guys do well:

July 10, 2006, 10:12 AM
I've stopped attending auctions because the guns bring higher prices at auction than I can find them through other sources.

Therefore your friend would probably make the most money though an auction house.

Snake Eyes
July 10, 2006, 10:28 AM
Most reputable gun stores will buy collections outright. Get 3-4 of them to give bids. Of course, this method will bring less money but has the advantage of being fast and requiring only one transaction.

July 10, 2006, 10:47 AM
I don't know what gun auctions you have been to, but around here, I see guns going VERY cheap. I bought a Colt Mustang Plus II for #
$200 plus 10% commision just last year and have bought dozens of guns cheap from auctions. If you want to sell them fast and have good stuff, rent a table at a gun show. I have done this when I wanted to clear my collection. If you price things right, you will sell a ton. The other nice thing is you can sell other, minor items as well as guns, like scopes, rings, etc.

I love auctions cuz around here, the guns go cheap. Good for a buyer, lousy for the seller.

Also, if you go to an auction and prices seem to be going high, watch who is bidding. Often, they will put shills in the audience to get the gun over a target price. If the gun sells to the shill, they just toss it back in inventory. I have seen this happen at a number of auctions and I avoid these like the plague.

A good example ive seen at a local antique auction I attend, if the buyer is number 139, its a fake number and the auctioneer looks past the audience, pretends he sees a bid and then hammers it closed with a nonexistant bidder. And he always uses number 139.

July 10, 2006, 10:56 AM
I have had success selling on gunbroker. My local dealer handles all aspects of transacrions for $30 a picture plus 10 percent of sale price. So far this has netted me more than I expected to receive. I have heard that one can expect to receive about 60 % of value if you sell to a dealer. Some friends have had good luck dealing with an auction house in Waco. This guy , whomever he is has realized some outstanding prices I understand. But the items sold were real collectible firearms.

Vitamin G
July 10, 2006, 11:26 AM
List them here! I (we) always need more.

July 10, 2006, 03:47 PM
I have to agree that an auction will likely net lower prices but being able to
liquidate them quickly is worth something. A lot of it depends on the types
of firearms in question and the availabilty of those types of guns in retail
stores in your area. In some regions an auction would do pretty well if the types of guns in the collection aren't easily bought locally.

Plus, its over in one day rather than dragging out the liquidation process over
many weeks and months. Thats got to be worgn something.

July 10, 2006, 04:27 PM
Thanks for the replies. My friend is terminally ill and the family has little interest in or knowledge of firearms. His main concern is that his heirs get fair value and they go to someone that will appreciate them.I don't know specifically what's in his collection but he has a total of 60 different guns.I know he hasn't bought anything new in 20 years and always bought high end stuff. Sounds like an estate auction might be the way to go.

July 10, 2006, 05:53 PM
One last suggestion, Bob. If you have the time, you could check GunsAmerica for how much your friend's guns are selling for on the open market.

Then you could post them in THR classifieds for equivalent prices.

Firearms receive fair prices, here.

Ala Dan
July 10, 2006, 06:01 PM
Very Carefully~!:eek:

Don't invite potential buyer's into the sellers home, that is a big time NO-NO.
Agree too meet at a neutral location, don't be lured into a trap~!:uhoh:

Demand CASH $$$$$ dollars for each item sold; accept NO substitutes.:cool:

Both parties should demand a bill of sale for said goods, firearms, etc.;)

Most gun shops will give an apprasial on firearms, so know what you've
got and what its worth, before entering into any type of contract with
potential buyer's.

Offer a detailed description of each firearm (and accessory) to be
sold. Honesty is the best policy, try not too cover up any details
that may be prudent to the sale.

July 10, 2006, 06:14 PM
Ala Dan has a very good point. I had an uncle who died about 8 years ago and he had a very nice collection of military firearms he took home from WWII. Him and his wife never had kids, so when he died she just looked for someone to take the thinks off her hands. Somehow she got hooked up with an FFL that showed up and offered her $1000 for the collection. Not knowing any better she took it and the FFL was gone with his collection. I don't know exactly what everything was worth, but I've heard his brothers were so mad when they found out because the collection was worth at least 10 times that amount.

The biggest thing though is that he has to know what each firearm could reasonable go for if he's planning on just selling the collection to an FFL, Collector, etc. Just to make sure he doesn't get ripped off.

Seriously though, if you want to help him out, I would post them in the Guns for Sale section of this site. I'd bet those 60 firearms get whittled down to nothing pretty quick. Not to mention they'd go to people who would actually enjoy having them.

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