Best way to thin-out a collection?


July 24, 2011, 07:27 PM
OK, I have decided that my interest in firearms has changed a lot in the past few months, mainly because my son is 4 years old and I find myself wanting to go fishing more, ride bikes, camp, etc. Plus, baseball will be coming-up in a year or so, then hunting, and cars........not enough time (or money) for the next 20 years to be "in to guns as much as I used to be".

I have decided that I want to sell enough guns to pay for Ed Brown to build me a 1911 that I can pass down to him, and maybe he can pass it down too. Anyway.......

What is the best way to go about selling about around half a dozen guns? Now, this would leave me with about a dozen guns, and I'm fine with that. I would still have several firearms in the safe. And the Ed Brown (Executive Elite).

Thoughts on the best way to do this?

Also, anybody looking for anything special :D

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July 24, 2011, 07:30 PM
i've alway done better selling on gunbroker than trying to sell local or on any of the forums.

July 24, 2011, 07:30 PM
i would put up some fliers at some local gun clubs,gun show, maybe some classified adds.....

i would try to sell them on your own before you brought them to a gun shop or pawn you will generally get better prices if you sell them privately.

July 24, 2011, 07:36 PM
I've used locally with pretty good results. I've sure it varies from region to region just how popular it is. I like the FtF aspect and not having to use a FFL.

July 24, 2011, 07:53 PM
Selling them yourself FTF will yield the most money. Selling to a gun shop will yield less but it will be immediate - time becomes your deciding factor

Ignition Override
July 24, 2011, 07:54 PM
Selling in person can work well, if the potential buyer(s) reads the "WTS" forums on your regular gun websites and live nearby.

Via THR, I met a guy 2 1/2 hrs. from home behind a McDonalds, to buy my SKS in early '08, and sold a Mini 14 in a Kroger parking lot just 10 min. away in early '09.
The last was the Mini 30 just 15 min. from home.

All of these were daytime in fairly quiet areas of well-frequented parking lots.

You might not have luck at gun shows because most guys assume that you will sell a gun for about half what it normally sells for, or is listed for in the "book of military gun values" etc.
Many of them are too selfish to "do unto others, as you would...."

Jim Watson
July 24, 2011, 07:55 PM
Most of my friends have admired one gun or another and said "If you ever sell that one, give me a call first." Do you have any shooting friends?

July 24, 2011, 08:00 PM

best way


July 24, 2011, 08:07 PM
The for sale forum right here on THR is a pretty good place to start. I've done it many times and had good luck. However when I decide to sell a gun, I price it to sell and it goes pretty quick.

Shipping isn't really that big of a hassle unless you're in a big metro area.

The Lone Haranguer
July 24, 2011, 08:14 PM
Gunbroker worked fine for me when I had to do it a couple of years ago.

July 24, 2011, 09:43 PM
since youre not in a bind for the money just take them to your local gun store and sell them on consignment. here they get 10% you just tell him what you need out of it and he marks it up from that to cover his cut. works well because the gun shop gets a lot of traffic on weekends. ( our lgs is only open part time cause the owner has a 9-5 job) so if youre patient the right person will wander in.

putting up an index card on the bullitin boards at the grocery store and gas stations and at work is also a good way to go.

July 24, 2011, 10:36 PM
P.M sent your way

July 24, 2011, 10:41 PM
The best way to thin your collection is a Box shipped straight to my house!!!

July 24, 2011, 11:06 PM
Smith Revolvers sell great at

Trapguns sell well at works very well if you set your minimum bid a a reasonable level below the market price.

What are you selling?

July 24, 2011, 11:21 PM
P.M sent your way

P.M. replied to.

July 24, 2011, 11:29 PM
What are you selling?

This is the tricky part. I have to sell 3 first to ensure I get close enough to having the money for the E.B. before I sell any others. Everything I have is like new, with all paperwork and the boxes. A NRA Edition Mini-14 with 8 mags (6 are NIB), ProStaff scope and 900 rds of mostly Federal ammo. A Springfield Range Officer that had a few things done at SA's custom shop......probably 75 +/- rds through it and a Remington 742 in .30-'06 that's probably around 90%. It also has a low rd Grandfather bought it NIB back in the 60's and ran less than 1 box through it; I have run a couple more through it (after my 'smith broke it down, oiled it and de-burred the rails (common problem on those).

If these sell and I need more money then my 1894C, FNP 45 USG, 3" SP101......who knows.

p.s. No box or paperwork for the 742

July 25, 2011, 12:21 AM
I take mine into consign at the local gun shop. Good excuse to see an old friend, and they sell quickly and for good value.


Doubting Thomas
July 25, 2011, 12:42 AM
I have had decent luck with consignments at the GS. I try to price them to where I would want them to be if I were a frugal browser...which is still better than I would get from Scheels.

Sav .250
July 25, 2011, 08:32 AM
I see a lot of guys walking around Gun Shows with a sign with information on what ever it is they are trying to sell. Seems to work well. lots of potential

Sock Puppet
July 25, 2011, 09:42 AM
I've also had good luck consigning guns at the LGS.

July 25, 2011, 11:21 AM
I'd try Gunbroker - it seems to be the easiest way to go about it.

Selling to pawn shops is the worst way - you will rarely get much money from them. If you do go that route though know that they'll ALWAYS "talk you down". You'll never get what you initially ask, so don't start there. If I wanted $150 out of a gun I'm going to go in and say I am "Hoping to get $275". Let them balk at it and make a counter offer. Sometimes I've gotten more out of it than I originally even wanted :).

July 25, 2011, 12:09 PM
Depending on what you LGS charges for consignment that is often a great way to go.

99% of the time I simply post stuff here in the classifieds. If you are active here people know your rep and you get much closer to real market value for your guns.

July 25, 2011, 12:24 PM
\I've used locally with pretty good results. I've sure it varies from region to region just how popular it is. I like the FtF aspect and not having to use a FFL.

yup, here in oklahoma, my guns always sell the SAME DAY on armslist, and i don't get haggled to death. i can sell a gun here same day for almost what it cost new if its in good shape.

which in retrospect is bad, i've let go of some very very nice firearms when i was in a pinch, because it was so easy to do. wish i hadn't now, as im very low on toys now :(

July 25, 2011, 12:30 PM
It really depends on the firearm.

For rare or collectible pieces, a national database like GB will be better than a local swap and sell forum or gunshow.

For workaday pieces the local swap forum with a FTF sale is better and will save on shipment and other costs.

Consignment at a shop is cumbersome and you'll lose money on the process, but it can be very useful in case of clearing up an estate or other process that needs to be arms length and transparent.

July 25, 2011, 12:43 PM
There are a variety of methods, depending on how much time/effort you want to put into making the sales yourself (and trust me, that time/effort CAN be considerable).

1) Self sale via local advertising, message boards, etc.

Gives you full control, =may= be relativity low cost, no shipping / FFL involvement. But, you end up answering the phone all hours of the day and night, even weeks after the item has been sold. And, since you are dealing with a local market, you are casting a small net that might not yield your best price.

2) Self sale via Gunbroker, Auction Arms, etc, etc.

More work (need to do photography, write the ads, place the ads, monitor the ads), but casts a wider net and will likely get you a better price. But, you now have to deal with packaging/shipping, and if we are talking handguns that can get pretty expensive. You might be able to get a local FFL to handle the shipping for you.

3) Consignment sales --- local. Local gun store accepts items on consignment and sells for you for a fee. Least amount of work for you, but you still have the "small net" issue. Often they just sit in the display case with no "effort" made to sell them.

4) Consignment sales --- national. This a service that I offer, and maybe some local FFL there does as well. I do consignment sales, but use the internet to cast a nationwide net. I do all the work (photography, write and place ads, monitor, answer questions, collect funds and ship the guns) and collect a 15% commission when the sale is complete. I have the proper packing materials, and can insure the items arrive at the customer in tip top condition.

Good luck! (Wish you were local to me! :) )

Brett Parks
Columbia Arms

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