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Gun Broker and other internet auctions safe?

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by springwalk, Nov 21, 2010.

  1. springwalk

    springwalk Well-Known Member

    So what your experience of Gun Broker and other auction site? Are they safe? Have you got burned? Are there alot of lemons being passed around behind the veil of computer images? I'm interested in buying and selling, but I cant shake the dealings of shady sellers passing off something its not for an inflated price. What auction site is the safest? thanks alot for any help you can throw my way :).
  2. JTH

    JTH Well-Known Member

    Good question, afraid if you were taken would feel to foolish to reply. It sure would help many of us though that are leary to buy a weapon from a similar format as Ebay or do they have any built in security measures?
  3. Nivek

    Nivek Well-Known Member

    Have never had an issue with Gunbroker. Just be sure to read customer reviews/ratings of any seller. Email or call them in person as soon as you secure a sale, and use an FFL you trust to do the transfers.
    Also, since you're in oregon, check out SeattleGuns.net or PNW Forum for classifieds. If you find a seller near you, I prefer classifieds, because you can barter/trade as desired, you don't have to worry about bidding, and you can make the transfers in person. I've always been more comfortable with that scenario.
    But to answer your question, Gunbroker is usually safe, as long as you do your homework on the sellers. Can't say about other such websites, since Gunbroker is the only one i've used. Hope that helps! :)
  4. Kman

    Kman Well-Known Member

    I've bought and sold a few,,it's a gut check no doubt,,feedback is not always indicative of your outcome,,look for sellers who offer a three day inspection, or will provide extra pics if prompted,,ask to speak with someone knowledgeable about the firearm in question,,and above all, good luck and happy bidding!
  5. forindooruseonly

    forindooruseonly Well-Known Member

    Buyer beware, as with all online auctions. Gunbroker or whatever auction site is not the seller, so if there is an issue, its between you and them. I would say most are honest, but a bit over optimistic in terms of condition. Their idea of 98% gun is certainly not my idea of the same condition. I also see shill bidding too, here and there, but as long as you place limits on what you are willing to spend and be patient, it doesn't matter.

    Its hard to judge quality without good pics, so know that if you are bidding on something that has crappy pics, you just got yourself into a gamble. It might be as described, it might not. Also, if you want to sell something and get top dollar for it, take good pics. That means in focus and covering all the details. Close ups. I'll bid more on something that I can see clearly, and lower my bids for something that isn't so well documented.

    Pay attention to return policies. I've had one person who didn't honor his return policy for a misrepresented gun, so I ended up eating it. That hurts both pocketbook and pride, but I decided there were no other real avenues available for recourse. Above all, make sure there is a return policy. I won't buy from anyone who doesn't have an inspection period. I want to see it to make sure I'm not getting screwed.

    You gotta look at the feedback too, it'll tell you a lot about the person selling or buying. All in all, i've bought and sold around thirty guns off of auction sites and have had two really bad experiences with sellers. Not that good of odds, really. Be sure to really inspect guns on the day you get them, and don't let them sit at the dealers beyond the inspection period. And most of all, don't feel bad or be scared about sending things back if they don't meet the description or are misrepresented. You'll be out the shipping, but that's better than a POS that you will be stuck with otherwise.

    Generally, the two most popular auction sites are gunbroker.com and auctionarms.com. gunbroker is larger, with more stuff, but there is a lot on auctionarms too. I use both.

    There are deals to be had, occasionally, but not that often. Be patient, and don't get the idea you have to have any one gun. That is how you get burned the quickest. There will be another come up for sale eventually, so wait.

    That's my .02 cents.
  6. FROGO207

    FROGO207 Well-Known Member

    I have made over 100 transactions on GB and have had nothing but positive results from them. In any trade or exchange of money for goods there is some chance of a problem. If in doubt ask questions or get more detailed pictures before bidding. If the person has 100 or more positive feedback ratings of say, 90% you stand a fairly good chance of no problems. I always check the feedback and beware, you may find a GREAT deal only to find that the shipping cost is more than the item would cost total from a different vendor. I found this with a certain company dealing in used brass sales. I recommend GB highly but YMMV.:)
  7. NCsmitty

    NCsmitty Well-Known Member

    Having used Gunbroker a few times, it is as safe as any other site. If you are looking for a firearm or really anything gun related, you need to pay attention to the sellers history and feedback. You also need to be aware of exorbitant shipping costs that may not be evident at first glance.

  8. springwalk

    springwalk Well-Known Member

    Thanks alot guys! :) SO what does Gunbroker charge in commission roughly for a $1,000 sale? Is it crazy to buy from a new seller who has no history? I mean when you think about it that only limits us to dealers who post sale and have a history. The common guy who wants to sell just 1 or 2 guns may have a tough time. I suppose a phone call and familarity would help. Does Gunbroker charge alot to buy and sell?
  9. Erik M

    Erik M Well-Known Member

    One of my shooting buddies swears by GB, he never handles a trasaction though. He is friends with an FFL and if he sees something he wants the FFL will buy it for him and all my friend has to to do is pay the FFL for the transfer and the weapon when it arrives.

    Personally I only buy FTF. More footwork but I know Im not buying an obvious lemon.
  10. The Lone Haranguer

    The Lone Haranguer Well-Known Member

    There is potential for adverse transactions or even fraud (just as with any monetary transaction), but the odds are low. I myself had 26 perfect transactions. (Unfortunately as a seller :banghead: but that is another topic.)
  11. Zombiphobia

    Zombiphobia Well-Known Member

    make sure you read the seller feedback.
    Gun Broker has an insurance program, and they require a seller to have a CC on file with them to help get them paid for services rendered as well as to help track somone trying to scam buyers.
    BUT tey have a policy regarding sellers/buyers who've had problem in the past. Has something to do with if that user has ever had their account shut down for things such as not shippin an item, or improper discription or what have you, you won't be covered for a loss. I can't remember it exactly, but they have this policy posted on their site.
  12. AKElroy

    AKElroy Well-Known Member

    I have made several GB purchases, and I would agree it is safe if you follow the rules. I recently won a bid on a WASR 10/63, and after looking at it closely, I asked the seller if it was a 10 round. I should have asked PRIOR TO BIDDING. The listing did not indicate it was a single stack gun. The seller did have a 3 day inspection period, and I informed him that I would be returning the gun for that reason. He agreed to re-list the item & call the transaction void.

    I had one other seller send the wrong gun, and then not inform me when the correct gun would be sent. I complained, and he refunded my money rather than responding to my requests for an ETA. He clearly did not have the item advertised.

    Many sellers on GB are non-stocking brokers, meaning they buy wholesale when you order an item and then send it to you when they recieve it. You can identify these sellers as the ones that require that any factory defects go back to the factory. They also frequently show pics from the manfacturers website rather than in-house pics. That's a good indication that not only you are bidding on an unseen item, the seller may be selling an item they have not seen either.
  13. springwalk

    springwalk Well-Known Member

    SO what roughly would GB take from your credit card on a $1,000 sell? Is it a fixed price or some progressive varying formula that becomes a suprise to one after the transaction?
  14. Bubbles

    Bubbles Well-Known Member

    The fees will vary based on the options you pick when you set up the auction. They are listed at http://www.gunbroker.com/User/Fees.aspx - scroll all the way to the bottom of the page for a summary.

    I have had nothing but good experiences on GB as both a buyer and seller.
  15. heeler

    heeler Well-Known Member

    Never had a problem and I have bought several rifles,pistols,shotguns and scopes through GB.
    In fact I just bought a nice Marlin model 25 .22 rifle last week and am currently waiting for it's arrival.
    As far as buying from someone who has no transaction history my first purchase was from a guy that had never sold anything before on GB.
    The transaction was smooth.
    But now that I have purchased over 25 items on GB I truely do look at a persons feedback and all the fine print of their auction.
    Look let's face it,before these internet auctions came about a guy could wait a very long time before that special model of firearm he has been looking for a long time would finally surface locally,that is if it did at all.
    Now it's just a matter of time because you have a 50 state network of people selling.
    Works for me.
  16. springwalk

    springwalk Well-Known Member

    Is it to assume shill bidding is a common tactic? The owner under a different identity or friend bids on their item to bump up the price so the true prospective buyers pay more to the seller? It just seems that tactic would be so easy to do and not be caught in the process:(. So in essense one never really gets a killer deal. Heck I see alot of stuff on there I can get at the local store cheaper.
  17. heeler

    heeler Well-Known Member

    I suppose that's a possibilty Springwalk and I am sure somewhere that has happened and if it has happened has backfired on the seller as well.
    I have bought several firearms in the last year and a half and got some truely great deals because money is tight for a lot of people and also people are unloading some of their guns to make ends meet.
    If they dont have a reserve auction and dont start the bidding too high on a non reserve item some times things just pan out for the buyer and he gets a really sweet deal.
  18. achildofthesky

    achildofthesky Well-Known Member

    100+ deals and all but 1 was good. The bad one was a tool that wanted me to ship hi cap ar mags to Ca. and left me negative feedback because I wouldn't violate law (even though my ad said NO SHIPPING to Ca and a host of other places).

    I have scored some FANTASTIC deals on rifles and some on reloading supplies.

    Buyer beware not buyer give up.
  19. hemiram

    hemiram Well-Known Member

    I've bought and sold about 25 or so guns on GB and Auction Arms, without a single real issue. I've never gotten a gun that wasn't as described, and most were better. The worst thing I can say about some of the guns I've received are that a couple were incredibly dirty. One had so much unburned powder inside it, I could barely cock it.
  20. springwalk

    springwalk Well-Known Member

    hemriam, I'd rather have a filthy gun than one from an over zealous cleaner that scratches the barrel or chamber:(

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