Do on-line gun trades work?


May 4, 2011, 09:49 PM
Let's say I have a gun I want to trade for a similar gun of equal value.
If I put an ad in a forum that says WTT Gun X for Gun Y, and I find someone interested, how does a deal like this get structured, and do they pan out.

What I do not want to do is send the gun to an out of state FFL only for the buyer on the end to change his her or mind, leaving me with my gun out of state in the hands of an annoyed FFL.

If you enjoyed reading about "Do on-line gun trades work?" here in archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join today for the full version!
May 4, 2011, 09:56 PM
Well, there's always the face-to-face route in states that allow it. Meet in a parking lot, swap guns, drive away smiling.

Other than that, you'd have to have some arrangement like a three-day trial period. You both send guns, each gets three days to inspect/handle, and then the deal is either done or the guns are sent back on the dime of whoever backed out.

May 4, 2011, 10:20 PM
I guess there is always some risk. I have traded three times that way. Two worked out great with both parties very happy, and one worked out OK. On that one the gun I got shoots great, but has a blemish that was not mentioned. It was still a fair deal, it's just that surprises aren't fun.

Have an understanding up front about what can break the deal, and always describe your gun well so there are no surprises.

Your gun 98%, call it 95%. If it has a scratch/blemish etc, get a good pic of it. Under promise and over deliver, and hope they do as well.

The first time I sent money to get a gun I had never seen from someone I didn't know I was nervous as a cat in a room full of rocking chairs.

May 4, 2011, 11:53 PM
Using a FFL as an intermediary, I've always had good luck the five or six times I've done a swap, but I tend to go for C&R type stuff, where it's usually an interested/motivated collector eager for what I have, and less thrilled by what they're exchanging for it.

May 5, 2011, 12:29 AM
I've had good luck doing it.

Traded a 1911 for an AR-10.

Traded that same 16" carbine AR-10 for a varminter setup in 223 later.

I traded a glock for an xdm.

All kinds of opportunities. I'm currently hoping to trade a varminter upper for an LCR. That is what is great about forum trading. Locally, you'll never trade for what you want and you will more than likely sell at a loss in a rush to get something you want. With online trading, you can be patient and end up with what you want.

Above all, keep it legal with local and federal laws.

May 5, 2011, 12:55 AM
Hello the camp! This is a topic near and dear to me. My first ebay deal was for a star lubrisizer; he got my 300, I got jack, then compounded my idiocy by waiting past ebay's we'll-look-into-it window.
That was about 5 yr ago. For the past 4 yr, I've had Colts and Winchesters on a guncart sign at Winter Range and Bordertown, on SASSwire and Open Range ads, to no effect. The first time I listed them on AuctionArms, I sold a Colt. I saw an ad wanting to trade an AR for a Colt, and that went fine. I reposted my .44s, somebody saw them, told a buddy and there they went.
Now, with arms, you can ship long guns--indeed, my local po in Hereford, AZ is as accommodating and polite as pie -- but an ffl needs to ship handguns for you, short of bp and antique. With ffl involved, you have a pretty sure destination. I waited until I had the check before I shipped the Colts, but the trade I shpd as soon as I hung up the phone.
I guess I'm saying the $20 I pay my blacksmith [and, yeah, I know I have a good thing, with a better one being he's about 4 mi from me out here in the sticks, and a good blacksmith to boot] is comfort on the receiving end, and his shpg handguns expedites things, worth his price. In trades, I guess you have to pay your nickel and take your chance. I think you can tell a bit from how many posts a fella has--guess I'm not selling any bridges tonite. The Cast Boolits forum has a running thread on chislers and deadbeats.
All else failing, it's part of the guncrank mystique. There's nothing like going to a gun show with a wad of c-notes and a bag full of trade bait--even more fun when you go without a clearcut plan. My .02, your mileage may vary. See ya round the campfire. mm

May 5, 2011, 01:15 AM
but an ffl needs to ship handguns for you

Incorrect. A FFL must mail handguns for you, but you can ship handguns all by yourself. Not trying to pick nits, but there is a difference. ;)

May 5, 2011, 02:09 AM
While I didn't find the source I wanted, these will do. Kindly scroll about 3/4 down and learn that handguns are not 'mailable'. That leaves you with a common carrier option.

Annecdote: My new ROAs had hammers that hit the right side of the frame on their way to the nipple, resulting in light hit/no fire's. I pkg'd them and went to FedEx, cuz I was told at the po I couldn't send bp arms [WRONG] through the mail. FedEx charged me $75 to ship to Ruger.

Sift through the UPS weasel words, and you'll see, if you can fit the narrow criteria, you may get them to handle your shpmt, but at next-day rates, just like FedEx.

Bottom line, I'll pay my pard $40 to ship two handguns any time, over $75, and the $75 was 6 yr ago.

'Nuf said. mm

May 5, 2011, 03:00 AM
I just did this and worked well this time. I had a rifle that I had listed on a couple of forums and was unable to sell(Limited Interest item). I happened to be surfing one of the Gun auction sites and found a guy selling a rifle and he indicated that he would consider trades. I emailed him and after a little negotiation we made a deal. I shipped my rifle to him and he shipped his to me(well our FFL Dealers). We exchanged contact info and I called him once to get feel for things before I shipped the gun, in addition he had a pretty flawless rating and numerous sales on the auction site so I felt pretty good that it would turn out well. I would do it again but If I felt at all uneasy about the deal I would probably not do it. My experience has been pretty darn good dealing with fellow gun people.

good luck with your deal!

May 5, 2011, 01:20 PM
Kindly scroll about 3/4 down and learn that handguns are not 'mailable'.

Yes they are. An FFL (and only an FFL) may mail handguns. Private individuals must use a common carrier.

All of this was covered in my earlier post.

If you enjoyed reading about "Do on-line gun trades work?" here in archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join today for the full version!