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Estate sales

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by valnar, Jan 11, 2012.

  1. valnar

    valnar Well-Known Member

    Two of my best (condition) guns that I purchased off the gun auction sites happened to be from an estate sale, where the person passed away. This makes sense since when most people need money, they tend to sell the guns they like least and keep their favorites. The only time you get the crown jewels of any collection is when someone dies, and their family members don't care for guns and sell them. At least, that's how the logic plays in my head.

    So that being said, what is the best way to tap into these collections when they come up? What do most widows or family members do when they sell a gun collection? Put them up on Gunbroker? Or is there another place I should be perusing to find these?

    If you were to pass away and you knew that your family wouldn't be keeping your guns, what would they do with them? Sell them to a LGS or somewhere else?

    Yes this is a morbid subject, but somebody had to ask!
  2. The Sarge

    The Sarge Well-Known Member

    I have a living trust that owns all my firearms. This allowed me to specify what happens to the guns. Also allowed me to speak with the kids that will inherit the guns and discuss the responsibilities and more importantly.....their desires/wishes also. My lawyer set it up for about $500 bucks.

    For your question specific....I look at the Friday paper every week for Estate Sales. I have purchased some of my most cherished guns from Estate Sales.
  3. btg3

    btg3 Well-Known Member

    I googled and this popped up...

    Estate Sales by Vivian Gun "We will notify list members when we have weapons, guns, rifles, shotguns, etc for sale when we have a private gun sale. "

    Seems you can get on member lists with various folks that handle estates sales and auctions. Then either sit back and wait for email or keep googling.
  4. Bubbles

    Bubbles Well-Known Member

    Look for estate sale auction advertisements in the paper. Our local auctioneers also have web sites with future auctions listed. Once does a nice spread with pics.

    Our best scores have been tools not guns. Also, know what the guns are worth - I've seen prices go stupid-high for some things.
  5. jdietz

    jdietz Well-Known Member

    Auction Site

    There is a site http://www.auctionzip.com/ that lists auctions of all types by zip code.

    It is real popular here but some areas seem to not use it.
  6. joed

    joed Well-Known Member

    OK, so you get some nice guns at estate sales. But do you end up over paying for them? Curious as I've never been to an estate sale.
  7. AABEN

    AABEN Well-Known Member

    There is a BIG gun auction in Evansville IN every spring and late summer. You can bid on the phone or send in a bid on what ever guns you want. Some times they have safes and ammo and reloading equipment on the sale.
  8. blarby

    blarby Well-Known Member

    Generally, estate sales aren't hard to find.

    Getting the good guns out of them can be, however.

    Estate sales don't happen overnight. Usually a processing crew takes between 3-5 days cataloging and pricing everything in the home.

    Thats the part where a lot of the goodies get separated and brought to the attention of the family from a value perspective. A lot of times this is where special sales occur.

    " I can see that your Father was quite the collector. A lot of these firearms have substantial value- but are also fine pieces of history in their own right...thats why your Father kept them in such good shape. I happen to know someone who will not only give you a fair price, but also keep them in a manner your Father would have loved" This is a miracle statement.

    My best friends GF works on one of these crews, and we've gotten advance notice on some really nice pieces .... some we took, some we passed. Ahhh, for unlimited funds *dreams*
  9. countertop

    countertop Well-Known Member

    Sadly, most estate guns do not wind up at auction. Rather, in my experience, the executor and decedents family - who often times know little about firearms - end up taking them to local gun stores to ascertain the value and/or sell them.

    One of the best way to get those guns is to get to know estate attorneys.
  10. O C

    O C Well-Known Member

    I've had good results with estate sales, but more luck than knowledge. One had a complete Colt Snake collection (including a Boa, most NIB).The other had 43 handguns, most NIB upscale guns, (Colt, S&W, H&K, Hipower, ect). But you have to have lots of cash, right now, to strike a deal. I paid an average of $350.00 per for one and $800.00 per on the other. I also found a prewar Browning Hipower, with a history, German holster, Nazi proofmarked magazines, for $325.00. But, most were a matter of being at the right place, at the right time. I've considered travelling around to estate sales, but you have to wade through a lot of crap to get to the guns, and compete with a person who will bid $800.00 for a 2" Rossi because "It looks cute".
    However, if you have the time and patience, it can be fun. Look at AuctionZip, and see if there are any in your area, sell your kids, close the bank account, mortage the farm, and hit the road.
  11. velobard

    velobard Well-Known Member

    Here's a great site for finding estate sales in your area.

    In my experience, guns aren't that common (but they are out there, some in a sale this weekend), however I have had a lot of success with furnishing my house nicely on a budget.
  12. oneounceload

    oneounceload member

    You can take the initiative by posting ads in the OBIT section of the newspaper saying you buy estate items, list particulars if necessary. Also make friends with several of the funeral homes in the area - they might steer someone your way.

    It sounds cruel, but as mentioned, in times like those, folks will rely on others for help to handle certain affairs.

    If you want this to be successful, you also have to be fair and NOT totally ripoff some unsuspecting bereaving family as well
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2012
  13. Shadow 7D

    Shadow 7D Well-Known Member

    huge auction listing/hosting site

    Rock Island is HUGE, but you also pay for it in the buyer fee.
  14. 7thCavScout

    7thCavScout Well-Known Member

  15. fpgt72

    fpgt72 Well-Known Member

    If the people know nothing about guns I agree....then there is the thing when the estate has to be liquidated and everything divvied up.

    When they go to a dealer it will likely go into the owners collection or on the shelf at double the price.
  16. MADDOG

    MADDOG Well-Known Member

    I have picked up boxes full of reloading supplies at Estate Sales for very little money. It works for me.
  17. btg3

    btg3 Well-Known Member

    ^^^ Same here. But the guns had already gone to a family member.
  18. splithoof

    splithoof Well-Known Member

    A very good reason for having a trust in place: I have seen more than one nice collection go to the furnace because the family didn't have advance directives on how the collection was to be disposed of, or didn't care. In California, more than one of the larger agencies gets a call from the surviving widow, the guns are thrown into the trunk, and off they go. Don't let this happen to your collection; be prepared!
  19. FROGO207

    FROGO207 Well-Known Member

    I live a short drive to James D Julia Auctioneers here in Maine. They are always having good estate auctions on firearms and are world famous for their high end firearms auctions. I go often and would be even more broke if I took serious cash with me every time. Some items go for cheap and others are stupid expensive for what they are. I always learn something however and that is the fun part.
  20. Twiki357

    Twiki357 Well-Known Member

    I've gone to a few estate auctions that included guns. Every time, the prime guns listed on the flyers were gone before the auction and the ones that were auctioned went for well above market value. Add to that a 10% buyers premium, sales tax, and a $25 to $50 FFL transfer fee and they are nothing but a bad joke.

    I gave up on all auctions for guns after that.

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