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Used firearms purchasing question--depreciation?

Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by Mitlov, Sep 13, 2013.

  1. Mitlov

    Mitlov Well-Known Member

    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.
  2. ColtPythonElite

    ColtPythonElite Well-Known Member

    $500 would be fair.

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

    docnyt Well-Known Member

    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.
  4. jmr40

    jmr40 Well-Known Member

    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%.
  5. JFtheGR8

    JFtheGR8 Well-Known Member

    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.

    Posted from Thehighroad.org App for Android
  6. Urban_Redneck

    Urban_Redneck Well-Known Member

    $500 with 3 magazines.

  7. 22-rimfire

    22-rimfire Well-Known Member

    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.
  8. il.bill

    il.bill Well-Known Member

    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?)
  9. jjones45

    jjones45 Well-Known Member

    $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.

    Posted from Thehighroad.org App for Android
  10. Ryanxia

    Ryanxia Well-Known Member

    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.
  11. Tirod

    Tirod Well-Known Member

    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.
  12. rgwalt

    rgwalt Well-Known Member

    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.
  13. Mitlov

    Mitlov Well-Known Member

    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 :)
  14. ColtPythonElite

    ColtPythonElite Well-Known Member

    The ammo and mag evened out deal....Enjoy your new gun.
  15. hentown

    hentown Well-Known Member

    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.
  16. rgwalt

    rgwalt Well-Known Member

    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.

  17. 460Shooter

    460Shooter Well-Known Member

    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.
  18. 460Shooter

    460Shooter Well-Known Member

    Oops, missed that you already made the deal. Congrats amn, and welcome to 1911 country.
  19. Storm

    Storm Well-Known Member

    Mitlov, you also have the immensely valuable advantage of having acquired a pistol that you have previously shot and already "like A LOT". Enjoy.
  20. JFtheGR8

    JFtheGR8 Well-Known Member

    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!

    Posted from Thehighroad.org App for Android

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