How do you judge what a gun should be worth?


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TheOtherOne
December 11, 2003, 12:48 PM
Coming from someone who a year ago couldn't of told you if a milsurp SKS should be $99 or $999, I'm definitely learning but there are a ton of guns that I just don't know what I should be paying for them so what I always do before I go out to buy something specific is take a look at gunbroker.com and see what they are selling for. I figure as long as I keep close to the price on there, then I won't be getting ripped off too bad?

But, what if you're just browsing the local pawnshop and see something. How do you judge what a used gun should be worth? It seems like they are always close to new price. Like a used Glock 17 (with just low-capacity mags) I saw once for $429, while you could get it new at the same place for $489. Is $40 all new is worth?

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simon
December 11, 2003, 01:08 PM
Pick up the Blue Book of gun values, a great reference guide.
Also the Gun Traders Guide.

CJ
December 11, 2003, 01:16 PM
I asked this question recently after seeing a local shop with Walther P22s on sale for $199, then found an ad with people trying to sell the same item for $235 used on a forum.

Many people claimed that "whatever you're willing to pay is what it's worth", which has some truth, but falls short of practicality. Yes, in a desperate time (or for a felon or something), $1000 for a makarov would be 'worth' it to someone, but I enjoy capitolism, and would prefer to not get screwed very badly. I'll pay more to support a friend or local shop, but I'm not going to pay a 50% markup.

So, with that rant out of the way, the useful answers pointed to Blue Book, and to auction sites like auctionarms.com and gunbroker.com to get a slightly better idea of what they may go for.

QuarterBoreGunner
December 11, 2003, 01:27 PM
the useful answers pointed to Blue Book, and to auction sites like auctionarms.com and gunbroker.com to get a slightly better idea of what they may go for

Exactly correct. The Blue Book and Gun Trader books are great for general purpose, but I use the auction sites to determine a more current market value, and a great way to tell if something is overvalued also.

But I guess bottom line is: what is it worth to you? I've paid over Blue Book value for a few pieces out of sheer nostalgia or desire; just had to have them. Never regretted it as they were rare and not available in any other way.

lee n. field
December 11, 2003, 01:54 PM
Standard Catalog of Firearms is another price source.

Check through _Shotgun News_, but realize that there's a lot more that's going to add to your cost.

And, of course, here. "Price check on a CZ97?"

Majic
December 11, 2003, 02:12 PM
First you must learn about the particular firearm. Many come in different models or with different options. That alone can affect pricing. An example is the S&W M27. You can find them for under $400, but if the one you are looking at is a 3 1/2" nickel model then the price rises drastically as they are more desirable.
The Blue Book is an excellent pricing guide, but if it's not current it won't show the latest price being put on desirable models today. They constantly change as the market dries up.
Some people say they refuse to pay over Blue Book value, but that means they may never get an example of the firearm they desire if the market price has rose on them. So yes a firearm is worth what you are willing to pay for it, but that only applies to the potential buyer. Deals come and go and some never show up again. Since you can't see the future you take your own risks at spending your money.

Sunray
December 11, 2003, 02:15 PM
"...Pick up the Blue Book of gun values..." Good place to start, but any annual book will be at least a year or two out of date. Nor will it reflect regional price differences. Shotgun News is better as it's published more often. Cruising gun shows and shops comparing prices is best though. There, now you have reason to spend Saturday going from one shop to the next.

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