Used firearms purchasing question--depreciation?


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Mitlov
September 13, 2013, 02:08 AM
A coworker who I've been shooting with is slightly downsizing his collection, and offered to sell me his Remington 1911 R1 (he's got two other 1911s including a Kimber, and I guess he decided three's a crowd). He mentioned that he paid $599 for it new, and it's in very good condition and shoots very well (I've shot it and enjoyed the hell out of it). It's been used, but not a lot; his Kimber 1911 is what he shoots most often, and I think the Remington was something he kept with him when on the road in his fifth wheel. As much as the sensible part of me is telling me I'd be better off for my first handgun with a polymer Springfield or Glock or whatever, I really liked that gun A LOT and I'm probably going to buy it off him.

But I'm not sure what to offer for it. I know cars have this massive depreciation hit as soon as they're not new anymore, but I know guns aren't cars. Considering it's in great shape and shoots very well, should I just offer him the $600 that he paid for it? Offer him $500?

This is a friend as well as a coworker and I don't think either of us wants to haggle. I don't want to throw money away, but on the other hand, I want to give him a fair price for it and not "drive a hard bargain" just to save a few bucks. And this being my first used firearms transaction, I have NO idea how this works.

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ColtPythonElite
September 13, 2013, 02:17 AM
$500 would be fair.

I won't pay new money for a used current production gun.

docnyt
September 13, 2013, 05:08 AM
Yeah $500 sounds about right. If you've already taken a liking to it and worked well enough for you, just buy it off your friend. A new gun may conceivably have issues.

jmr40
September 13, 2013, 05:18 AM
The rule of thumb I use is to pay 50-75% of what an identical new gun would cost. If it is a highly desirable gun in excellent condition maybe a little more. A less desirable gun in below average condition would be closer to 50%, maybe less. Depending on how long he has owned the gun and how much prices have gone up it could well be worth more than the original owner paid even at 50%.

JFtheGR8
September 13, 2013, 05:32 AM
I wouldn't hesitate paying $500 if it's what you want and in the condition that you described. If they're going for around $600 new, not even considering sales tax, then that's not a bad deal. I think Gander Mountain is selling them for $599 right now if I remember the ad correctly. You may be able to find it cheaper elsewhere but then you'd still be paying tax and/or transfer fees. The out the door price can often be considerably higher than buying a used gun from a friend.


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Urban_Redneck
September 13, 2013, 07:26 AM
$500 with 3 magazines.

YMMV

22-rimfire
September 13, 2013, 08:48 AM
First I would ask him what he wants for it. He's selling it, not you.

Assuming the gun is as-new, 75% of new gun pricing is pretty fair in the used market for a currently manufactured gun. If you really want it, then $500. He'd get about 50% of current selling price at a gunshop if they wanted it. Sometimes, gunshops don't even want a gun since they know their own market better than you would and seldom buy to "help you out" unless you are trading the gun on a new gun from them.

From my point of view, anything more than that and I would just buy the new gun and not worry about dealing with him.

Depreciation.... inflation often keeps prices on clean used guns rising in value. I use the 5-year mark as the approximate point where you will likely get what you paid retail for a particular gun if it is in-demand.

If it is a rare or uncommon gun no longer manufactured, then sometimes you can get more on the secondary market on an individual sale.

il.bill
September 13, 2013, 09:35 AM
First I would ask him what he wants for it. He's selling it, not you. ...

That would definitely be my first step, since HE is the one downsizing his collection and looking to sell. Maybe it is just my personal mindset from being self employed all of my adult life, but the SELLER of any item needs to know what he wants for it. Especially with friends or family, I do not want to insult or embarass them and am very reluctant to make an offer without first hearing what they want for the item, whether it is a firearm, a used car, a power saw, etc.

I do not haggle with a friend - I either would say 'I'll take it", or "That is a bit more than I could afford right now". I figure that a real friend is being straight with me about how much he is asking. There have been times an item was grossly undervalued and I would tell him so, offering to pay a bit more than asked.

Having said all that, I have a Remington R1 and would be quite happy to give a friend $500 as a fair price for one in very good shape that I have shot and enjoyed. It sounds like you have your priorities in line and realize that a good friendship is more valuable than a 1911. (Wait a minute - did I just actually say that?)

jjones45
September 13, 2013, 09:50 AM
$500 is fair for a used gun that cost $600 new. plus the friend factor is big here. might not be the last transaction between you two. I have two friends that I have traded/bought/sold guns to several times. but anymore the guns I buy I plan to keep since I've lost a lot of $$$ selling guns I bought new over the years.


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Ryanxia
September 13, 2013, 11:20 AM
I have to agree $500 is fair if it's in good shape. Using the 50%-75% would be a horrible idea, take a Glock for example, $525 new, very few people selling their used one would be willing to take $265-$390 for it.

PS: If a seller doesn't give me a price I offer him $50. He either laughs or sometimes takes it but it's a starting point :) Usually after that they'll think of a number.

Tirod
September 13, 2013, 11:48 AM
What is the gun worth on the open market? It's nice to hear what your "friend" wants for it, but if he isn't dealing realistic numbers, then how is that going to work out in the long run?

That's the reason one poster suggested if it's too low, then help them out. That's being a friend. If the gun is too high, then maybe he's not being a friend. Some people cultivate relationships to use other people, they generally do it in a real friendly way. Therefore, if you have an idea of the value of the gun and he keeps asking retail, be the friend again. Don't buy it. You are showing you are as informed as he is, not just a passing victim in a life of using people.

Cynical? No, more like seasoned. I had friends who really weren't. Real friends are a touchstone of reality and let you know you are out of bounds. They don't enable them to keep on doing the wrong thing.

What's his asking price and is it reasonable? Go from there. You discover how much of a real friend he really is.

rgwalt
September 13, 2013, 12:48 PM
Another approach is to use Armslist and any other website available to see what the gun is going for locally. If you see several R1's out there listed at around the same price, then it gives you a starting point.

Now, you know that the gun is functional, you've shot it, and you like it. These factors have value. On the other side, if your friend sells the gun to you, he doesn't have to deal with the hassle of listing and selling it to someone else, taking it to a gun show, etc. This factor has some value to him.

I would ask him if he has a price in mind. If he wants you to make the first offer, I'd offer him $500 and ask him to kick in a couple of boxes of .45ACP with the gun.

Mitlov
September 13, 2013, 01:39 PM
Thanks for the responses!

I talked with him and he wanted $550 for the gun, with him throwing in a box of rounds and an extra magazine. I'm probably overpaying by maybe $50, but last time I went shooting with him was in the middle of the ammo crisis and I probably blew through at least $50 of his ammo (expended a good amount of 5.56mm, 45 ACP, and 9mm over the course of two or three hours) and he refused to take a penny at the time, so I feel like it's a fair deal in the grand scheme of things, and he's happy too. So everybody's happy with the deal; he feels like he's getting a good price for a barely-used 1911, and I feel like I'm getting a decent used price once I factor out repayment of a debt I've been wanting to repay for months.

Thanks everyone for the input...he's bringing the 1911 in after lunch, and I'm eager to get my mitts on it again :)

ColtPythonElite
September 13, 2013, 03:53 PM
The ammo and mag evened out deal....Enjoy your new gun.

hentown
September 13, 2013, 03:55 PM
Willing buyer and willing seller...isn't that what it's all about. I giggle when I see folks' posting in forums like this that they shopped around forever or haggled with somebody over $50-$100 on a used firearm.

I've shot several hundred dollars' worth of ammo at one range session before.

rgwalt
September 13, 2013, 04:22 PM
Sounds like you made a solid deal with a friend who helped get you into shooting. You could have scrounged around and found a better deal, but you know the gun runs well and you enjoy shooting it, so removing the uncertainty is worth something.

Congratulations!

460Kodiak
September 13, 2013, 04:33 PM
As much as the sensible part of me is telling me I'd be better off for my first handgun with a polymer Springfield or Glock or whatever

This is nonsense man. If you like the 1911 platform, there is absolutely no reason not to buy one for your first handgun. You just need to familiarize yourself with the gun and platform and be patient with yourself so you don't end up with an idiot scratch or over polished this and under polished that.

$500 sounds like a fair offer if it is nearly new.

460Kodiak
September 13, 2013, 04:34 PM
Oops, missed that you already made the deal. Congrats amn, and welcome to 1911 country.

Storm
September 13, 2013, 04:57 PM
Mitlov, you also have the immensely valuable advantage of having acquired a pistol that you have previously shot and already "like A LOT". Enjoy.

JFtheGR8
September 13, 2013, 05:16 PM
Not a bad deal with ammo and an extra mag. You're not paying sales tax, shipping charges, transfer fees or using any gas driving around shopping for a better deal that may or may not materialize. Enjoy!


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Mike J
September 13, 2013, 06:15 PM
Sounds like a good deal. If you figure $500 for the gun, fmj .45 acp ammo runs about $25 dollars a box for 50 rounds around here & depending on what brand you choose a 1911 magazine runs $20-35 dollars from any of the online sellers plus shipping. I believe you got a good deal. Congratulations.

Now pic.'s or it didn't happen.

Mitlov
September 14, 2013, 02:39 AM
As requested! Just taught myself how to field-strip it (thanks to Hickok45 and the wonders of YouTube) and gave it a once-over quick cleaning.

http://i.imgur.com/fqH1UFI.jpg?1

$500 sounds like a fair offer if it is nearly new.

Turns out it was essentially new. In fact, he mentioned that I'd put more rounds through it than he ever had (the afternoon I went shooting with it I put, gosh, maybe 20-40 rounds through it, don't remember exactly), and he's not the sort who fibs or exaggerates.

TahoeDust
September 14, 2013, 03:26 AM
Beautiful gun man. Congrats! Sounds like a good deal for both parties. A 1911 is next on my list.

Mike J
September 14, 2013, 04:06 PM
Very nice

il.bill
September 14, 2013, 05:25 PM
Congratulations on a nice looking purchase!

It is a 'win-win' situation. From the info in your post it sounds like you both are nice folks, neither of whom wanted to take advantage of the other. I see many rounds of happy shooting for you, your 'new' 1911, and your good friend and co-worker.

smalls
September 14, 2013, 07:48 PM
I talked with him and he wanted $550 for the gun, with him throwing in a box of rounds and an extra magazine. I'm probably overpaying by maybe $50, but last time I went shooting with him was in the middle of the ammo crisis and I probably blew through at least $50 of his ammo

That's the thing about buying things off a friend. You probably owe him somewhere, and he owes you somewhere, so as long as both parties leave happy, it's all good.

USAF_Vet
September 14, 2013, 09:41 PM
Wow, nice looking 1911. I'll get one myself one of these days. Congrats!

RetiredUSNChief
September 14, 2013, 09:45 PM
Honestly, that's a sweet deal.

I bought my Colt 1991A1 in (drum roll) 1991. I think it was $450, tax and all, if I remember correctly...bought it new.

$550, with what amounts to more than $50 worth of ammunition plus an extra magazine really means you paid a wee bit less that $500 for the pistol...which, as you found out, was essentially new.

My only advice now is to get out there and shoot it. Have fun!

:)

Fremmer
September 14, 2013, 09:52 PM
Yeah, 500 or 550, either is fine, don't worry about the exact amount if you like the gun.

Baba Louie
September 16, 2013, 04:29 AM
I predict you'll get at least $555 worth of fun and joy out of your new R1 within the first year of shooting it. Maybe $600 worth of fun and good times. :D

Quite easy, heck it ought to be a rule, to spend more in ammo than the actual arm itself in the first year of ownership. 20 - 30 boxes of ammo...

Nice score. Money well spent on your inaugural 1911.

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