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Best Way To Sell Inherited Firearms Legally

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by charlie1931, Nov 17, 2019.

  1. charlie1931

    charlie1931 Member

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    Hello All. My siblings and I recently inherited some rifles and handguns from my father. They are mostly antiques (1873 Winchester Rifle, for example) that we have no idea of the values. I am looking for advice on the best way to legally sell these. I have listed a few on a website (gunbroker.com) for about a week and have gotten watchers, but no bids. I also want to be able to honestly represent the condition of the firearms to potential buyers, as my knowledge is limited. Any thoughts would be appreciated.
     
    Shanghai McCoy likes this.
  2. Shanghai McCoy

    Shanghai McCoy Member

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    Welcome to The High Road.
    Regarding "legally sell", that will depend on which state you live in as some states have restrictive laws regarding private sales.
    regarding the value and condition you have come to a good place to start as there are some very knowledgeable and experienced members here.
    Post some pictures and descriptions of what you have and you should learn a lot.
     
    Merle1 likes this.
  3. charlie1931

    charlie1931 Member

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    I live in North Carolina.
     
  4. Spats McGee

    Spats McGee Moderator

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    Welcome to THR. Shanghai McCoy is right. What is a "legal way to sell a firearm" varies pretty widely from state to state. A few basic rules of thumb:
    1. If you're selling to a resident of another state, you have to go through someone with a Federal Firearms License, or FFL, and it must comply with the laws of both states.
    2. If it's a long gun, it can go through an FFL in either your state or the transferee's state.
    3. If it's a handgun, it has to go through an FFL in the transferee's state of residence.
    4. If you're selling to a resident of the same state in which you reside, then the transfer is governed by state law.
    5. States vary widely in their requirements from:
      1. Nothing except what federal law mandates; to
      2. Requirements that every transfer go through an FFL.

    Hope this is of some help.
     
    Theohazard and 40-82 like this.
  5. WiTom

    WiTom Member

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    When putting guns on Gunbroker, search similar guns, that have sold, not just posted with a reserve price, and that with get you a little better starting point, if you really want them sold. Good luck.
     
  6. Spats McGee

    Spats McGee Moderator

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    There are a couple of ways that you could go about this. Obviously, you know about gunbroker. You could also sell them at a pawn shop, but you're going to get a pittance for them. Have you considered selling them on consignment at the local gun shop? At some point, you're going to have to figure out your balance between ease of sale (pawn or consignment), legal insulation (you don't want to be the guy who sold a rifle to a felon), and getting the most $$$ for them (probably private sale).
     
    bannockburn and GRIZ22 like this.
  7. AK103K

    AK103K Member

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    Ive had the best results selling on consignment at a local dealer Im comfortable with. They know what things are likely to sell for in your area, and will try to get the most they can for them, as they take a percentage. Usually around 15%.

    If you arent familiar with anyone, perhaps someone you know, knows of someone they would trust that they could refer you to.

    The way I do a quick check to get a feel of what things are worth these days, is doing a "completed items" search on Gun Broker, under the "advanced" search tab. Then look at the items that actually sold (not all do), and then I usually throw out the high and low and take the average of the rest. Ive found that gives me a pretty good idea.
     
    bannockburn likes this.
  8. 243winxb

    243winxb Member

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  9. Speedo66

    Speedo66 Member

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    Antique firearms, possibly such as your 1873 Winchester, made before 1899, depending on state laws, can be shipped directly by you to a private buyer. I know rifles can be sent via USPS, maybe antique revolvers also.

    Other newer guns can also sometimes be sent directly to a federally licensed dealer, if they will accept them from a private party. Some do, some don't. Rifles can be sent through the mail to a dealer by you, but not handguns.
     
  10. GRIZ22

    GRIZ22 Member

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    Easiest way to sell a lot of guns is through an auctionhouse with a FFL. You'll most likely get more for some, less for some. Seller's commission is usually 20% where I am.

    The FFL takes care of all the transfers.
     
    94045 likes this.
  11. hso

    hso Moderator Staff Member

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    Best from ease standpoint is to put them with a reputable auction house.

    Best from realized profit is to sell them individually.

    Somewhere in the middle is to have a specialist list them on several online sites and get them a cut since they can post the details most likely to get the best price.
     
    bannockburn likes this.
  12. NIGHTLORD40K

    NIGHTLORD40K Member

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    Uhhhhh, hello....list them on THR!

    Seriously, the quality of potential buyers for old guns is much higher here than in the general populace. Just a thought.
     
    Pat Riot and Demi-human like this.
  13. Mike OTDP

    Mike OTDP Member

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    For relatively common firearms, I'd recommend looking through completed GunBroker auctions and seeing what the guns actually sell for. Start the auction about 25% under that. No reserve.

    For honest-to-goodness high-end antiques, you might be better off with an auction house like Rock Island Auction. Emphasis on high-end...meaning values over $5,000.
     
  14. Dfwkid

    Dfwkid Member

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    Don't forget that the better the condition of your firearms the higher the price you can get. Just because they're antiques doesn't mean you'll get a good price. If they're beat up, scratched up or bubba'd the value will be hurt. If they are in poor condition no reputable action house will touch them. You might want to try a LGS first if the guns are in average condition.
     
    243winxb likes this.
  15. bannockburn

    bannockburn Member

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    I have had great results with selling guns on consignment at a local gun shop. They charge a flat fee (usually 10% or 15% if listed for sale at an online auction), on what the particular item sells for.
     
    .308 Norma likes this.
  16. George P

    George P Member

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    If you want to move them quickly, an auction house will get the best price, but you will lose a certain %.
    If you want to sell them yourself, you will need to take high quality photos. Look on closed auctions on GB or look at GunsInternational.com (a sale sight, not an auction site) and get an idea. CONDITION, CONDITION, CONDITION is everything, hence the need for clear closeup pics and honest description especially for any/all dings/issues.
     
  17. herrwalther

    herrwalther Member

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    Legality is your biggest hurdle. If you live in North Carolina and your father lived (and passed) in South Carolina for example, you have an additional hurdle to go through. There has been some sound legal advice posted so far so I won't beat a dead horse by saying it again.

    Your next consideration is are you more focused to sell them quickly or for the most money? If you want the most money, that is to sell them one at a time, in private transactions where legal. Selling them one at a time or in bulk to pawn shops, dealers, auction houses etc will decrease the amount of money you can make. For example, a pawn shop may take all of them off your hands and give you $100. Where any single piece by itself could be worth more.
     
  18. charlie1931

    charlie1931 Member

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    Thanks to everyone for the feedback. Thanks in particular to 243winxb for suggesting Cherry's. They are located a couple hours from me and I will definitely take a road trip there.
     
    Spats McGee likes this.
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