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How do stores price used firearms?

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by ohihunter2014, Apr 14, 2018 at 8:04 PM.

  1. ohihunter2014

    ohihunter2014 Member

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    I am very curious on this one. I went to cabelas tonight just for something to do and see what the bargain cave had and made my way into the gun library. My store puts all used firearms in the library instead of the used racks and there sat a mint Savage model 111 in 6.5x284 Norma. This thing was mint, muzzle break, adjustable cheek rest, etc. $399! I seen a mint Remington 700 wood stock with scope for the same price a few months ago but then you see beat up old Marlin model 30's that look like they went through a wood chipper for $500+.

    Anyways, how do stores figure out how much a firearm is worth when they buy it or sell it?
     
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  2. Sistema1927

    Sistema1927 Member

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    There is the Blue Book, but it is often ignored.

    My best guess, based on experience, is that they buy them for the least amount possible, and price them at what the market will bear.

    All kidding aside, prices are often greatly different based upon locale. Some guns have a greater appeal in some areas of the country.
     
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  3. Wisco

    Wisco Member

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    Here’s what a local store does: they buy at 60-80% of the lower of blue book value or gunbroker sales and price at 120% of the most recent gunbroker sales.

    If they don’t know you and/or you don’t know your guns, they’ll take you for a ride.
     
  4. ohihunter2014

    ohihunter2014 Member

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    If my research was right that savage 111 long range rifle is about $800 new. I cant believe someone let an $800 rifle go for less than $400.
     
  5. shuvelrider

    shuvelrider Member

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    Not everyone working at Cabela's know's what they are looking at, or do not care. Hopefully you threw down on that Savage and did not complain. It might not have been in the "popular guns" genre they are used to seeing. Their loss and your gain, no different than a local gunshop ran by an old Fudd, they will price things on what they know and what they "think" they know.
     
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  6. JohnKSa

    JohnKSa Moderator Staff Member

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    Caliber can make a difference. My guess is that it would have been priced higher had it been chambered for something a little more mainstream.
     
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  7. MedWheeler

    MedWheeler Member

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    I've seen stuff I was surprised to see so low given the store, and other stuff priced ridiculously high. As mentioned above, a lot depends on likely demand for caliber (not many moose hunters in Florida, for example) and trending demand for the product. Used revolvers and wood-furnished hunting-types are coming down around here to some extent, while "black-rifles" and G-locks stay up.

    And, I think some, like the pawn shop I frequent, get to just guessing sometimes.
     
  8. ohihunter2014

    ohihunter2014 Member

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    If it had been in a little more common caliber I would have. I showed my buddy who is a walking firearms history book and he said I've never heard of that caliber. I looked it up and seen it was a wildcat and I said no thank you. 308, 6.5, etc it would be sitting in my safe.
     
  9. jmr40

    jmr40 Member

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    Unless a well known gunsmith put it together custom rifles don't bring much and can be hard to sell. That rifle may be a great rifle, but I wouldn't touch it. It could be a dog too.

    I talked to a Cabelas once about selling one of my rifles to them. It was a less common rifle and I already had a good idea what it was worth. I don't expect any store to give me the actual value, they are in business to make a profit and can't be profitable if they do.

    The guy I worked with was great. He didn't know a lot about my rifle and told me to come back in about 30 minutes. I looked around the store while he got on the internet and researched my rifle. When I came back he was perfectly honest with me and told me that the rifle would be priced at $800 on their rack. Which is exactly what I'd already determined was a fair price. But he told me their policy was to buy at 65% of that and make a 35% profit. Which meant $520 for me. I thanked him for his time and declined his offer. All in all it was a pleasant experience, I just didn't want to part with it for $520. Had they offered anything over $600 I'd have sold it.

    It took a little longer, and I had to pay shipping but I did eventually get $700 for it. Cleared about $650 after my expenses to ship the gun.

    Normally I don't see a lot of bargains in their used racks. Sometimes on new guns. But I did buy a lightly used Tikka CTR in 308 from a Cabelas a few months ago. It was priced very reasonably, not a steal, but a little less than I expected and a lot less than new. And new ones don't pop up very often so I jumped on it.
     
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  10. FROGO207

    FROGO207 Member

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    This is precisely why I float through all the LGS every two weeks or so looking for a deal. Never know what will be on the shelves there. You always have the right to walk on by if the price is too high.;)
     
  11. ohihunter2014

    ohihunter2014 Member

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    Not sure who that was for but, it was an amazing price I couldn't believe the cheap prices on some of the used stuff. $800 rifle for half the price can't be beat.
     
  12. Theohazard

    Theohazard Member

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    I’ve worked at three different shops (none chains), so I’ll tell you the used gun process for each one. My first shop’s procedure isn’t very helpful for answering your question: we had one of the back-office guys give prices for used gun buys and trades. He was a gun guru who knew most values off the top of his head. We’d show him a gun and he’d tell us what to give the customer. Sometimes he’d look it up online, but not usually. We really didn’t know what formula he used to get those values.

    The shop where I work currently has a very loose formula for determining what to offer the customer. If it’s a current production gun, we start with about half the retail price of a new one. But generally the customer gets more than that, quite a bit more. Since it’s a small shop, usually at least one of the owners is always there and is involved in the haggling. And they tend to err on the side of making the customer happy. I think they tend to pay too much for used guns, but they own the shop, not me.

    My previous shop had the most consistent formula of the three by far. It was pretty large and the owner wasn’t usually directly involved with sales, so we managers (and a few select senior salesmen) used the following formula: On a current-production gun we paid 60 to 70% of the dealer cost of a new one, depending on the condition of the firearm and if it had all the original stuff (box, mags, etc.). If the gun wasn’t currently in production, we’d try to figure out market retail value and offer the customer about 70% of that, often ending up giving a little more after negotiations.

    Managers had discretion to offer a little more than these formulas allowed, but if they paid too much for a gun they’d hear about it from the owner. And if that gun didn’t sell, they’d hear about it even more.

    The owner often seemed mildly annoyed with me when he though I paid too much for a gun and more than once hinted that I’d have to buy it if it didn’t sell, but he was just messing with me. And all the guns I ever bought sold eventually. (Besides, the last used gun I took in before I moved to PA was a West German P226 that a customer just gave us for free, so that definitely made up for any guns I might have paid too much for in the past.)
     
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  13. Theohazard

    Theohazard Member

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    There are four main things that many customers don’t seem to realize when it comes to selling or trading used guns at a shop:

    A) I have to pay them less than what the used gun is actually worth since that’s the price I’m going to resell it for and I have to make a profit.

    B) I’m not going to pay them the same amount or more for their used gun than I’d pay a manufacturer or distributor for the same gun brand new.

    C) Aftermarket accessories don’t add much to the price of a used gun in a shop. It’s unlikely that a prospective buyer is going to want that specific holster/laser/slip-on grip etc., so they’re not going to want to pay extra for it.

    D) I have to think about how long that gun is going to sit on the shelf or wall until someone buys it, taking up limited valuable space in the process. If I know a gun is a niche item and will sit for many months until the right person comes in and buys it, then I’m going to lowball you. I’ll be honest that I’m lowballing you and I’ll encourage you to sell the gun on the private market, but I’m still going to lowball you. But if it’s something like a Glock 19 I’m going to offer you a set price that’s pretty reasonable, because that will last a day in the case at most.
     
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2018 at 11:47 AM
  14. Moparnut

    Moparnut Member

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    I think some do research via GB, armslist and other various sites. Some go by the blue books and some just guess. I, like you, have seen the prices on older Marlin model 30's (30as,30aw, etc) for as much, if not more than new Marlins. They typically are noted as JM stamped or pre Remlin. Personally that just seems nuts to me, but it's not my business. As opposed to the Marlins, the Savages just don't hold up their value, even though general consensus is they are great rifles.
     
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  15. 243winxb

    243winxb Member

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    With new Savage rifles at $300 and Remington 700 at $400, it drags all pre-owned rifle prices down.

    When people bring guns to a dealer to sell, they are asked how much they want for their rifle. Some times its very little. Some will sell there collection. Out of 5 guns , 1 may be a hot item. But his buddy wants it for X amount. The seller wants a price on each gun. NO. He wants to sell all. So he is given 1 price for all. His buddy is not picking out the best of the lot.

    An in production gun will have a current dealer price. Dealer price minus 20% to buy, if in new condition. To sell it, dealer plus 20% markup. This leaves some room for a trade-in. If in inventory to long, the price drops.

    Some customers will quote Blue Book price, a joke to a dealer.

    To get top dollar for your used firearm, sell it yourself. But this has its own set of problems.

    The internet has changed things a lot since 2001. Plus more dealers, more competition. Makes for lower prices

    Some go to Cabela's, credit card in hand and dont seem to care about the price , or value of there trade ins. Guy traded 2 revolvers in , a S&W and a Ruger for one 9mm. Had to put out some cash. He took a real beating on the deal. But he was happy.

    My favorite is the seller that wants what he paid for his firearms 20 years ago. :) A steal for a dealer if items are in nice shape.
     
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  16. buck460XVR

    buck460XVR Member

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    Looked at brand new 111 in 30-06 at my LGS with a Nikon TH 3X9 and it was $499 OTD. Many times, guns are priced to sell, not collect dust. Many times those odd ball niche guns that cost more when new, are harder to sell on the used market because the demand is not there at the used level. Better to sell it for less, than to sit on it forever. My LGS will take most any operable firearm in trade. For the most part, the selling price is determined by what was given for it. That's why I look at the used gun case every time I go in. There are some guns that have been there as long as I remember, and some that don't make it till the next time I get there. I'd assume the owner likes those latter guns best.
     
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  17. ohihunter2014

    ohihunter2014 Member

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    Was it the long range hunter? The one I seen is different than a normal model 11/111. I thought this one was a normal 111 but found out after doing some research its the one linked.
    https://www.basspro.com/shop/en/Savage-11111-Long-Range-Hunter-Bolt-Action-Rifle
     
  18. ohihunter2014

    ohihunter2014 Member

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    I did make another trip back to the store today for a few fishing items and one little thing in the bargain cave that caught my attention. Savage mark 2 magazine for $9 because it didn't have its box.
     
  19. PapaG

    PapaG Member

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    We start with the Blue Book, check online auction prices (sold, bids, etc) and if taking in on trade also use experience relative how easy to sell it might be. If we take in trade or buy, we try never to have more than 70 % of what we can easily expect to get out of it. Some companies kill resale values when they bring out improved models. Example: original LC9 was in the 350-370 range when new. Before the LC9s they would bring 275-325 used. After, we could hardly move them at 225. Now the EC9S is out and 229-250 retail makes both old values moot.
    In our area, centerfire deer guns are not high demand as we are a shotgun deer state.
    In the end, at our store, price is factored by perceived demand, condition, and the book and auction prices. No problem getting big bucks on Snakes, collectable Smiths and decent rifles and shotguns. Small operation.
     
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2018 at 6:32 PM
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  20. boom boom

    boom boom Member

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    One thing to remember is that pawn shops have a whole different way of figuring prices for used guns and how much they will buy them for. Most of them make more in financing than in the merchandise itself. So, a lot of them prefer to keep their money moving rather than have stuff sitting on the shelf. Others will have prices sky high on relatively ordinary items that they bought really cheap. I suspect that you might get much less of an offer from a pawnbroker. If you are a seller, you might get more from a consignment sale by pawnbroker than a straight out purchase.

    The risk is that as a purchaser you might get a lemon that way too as don't expect them to be gunsmiths.
     
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  21. FL-NC

    FL-NC Member

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    Its like any other business transaction. Based off of what it costs new, what they have in it, potential profit, and how bad they want to move it.
     
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  22. Caplock

    Caplock Member

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    A LGS here in Colorado that I use for transfers is sky high on the very few guns that they have in stock. I'm guessing they are just to have something to look at while waiting on your background check. Always a line of people picking up guns from internet orders.
     
  23. Elkins45

    Elkins45 Member

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    Demand has a lot to do with it at a LGS. I’m not sure if an outfit like Cabela’s will bargain on a used gun that has been on the rack for a while, but most of the shops I frequent will.

    There’s a large shop I visit that has three H&K 40’s with DAO triggers that have been sitting there since before Christmas, which is an eternity for them. The prices on the tags haven’t changed, but my guess is that a fellow who wanted one could offer 70% and probably take one home.
     
  24. buck460XVR

    buck460XVR Member

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    I'll refer back to my original post.........

    I believe there is already a newer version of that specific model out........without the big thumbscrews on the stock. PapaG's post told the tale of what happens to used prices on models when newer models are released, even when it's not a niche type gun. Most of those folks that want a niche gun are like those that want a custom motorcycle.......they want them new. Look at then prices of used customs bikes.......generally not much different than the price of used standard models.

    Could it be the manager didn't realize what he had....maybe priced it as a standard 111? Very well could be, especially knowing the big box stores. A short while back I bought a brand new 4" 686 for $499 'cause someone priced it wrong. Kinda why it pays to stop and look even when you're not in the market. Manager realized the error after the transfer........
     
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  25. SSN Vet

    SSN Vet Member

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    I think it's very much like antique furniture... some is valuable and some is junk. The person who wins in the transaction is the one who knows exactly what the heck it is that their looking at, and what the market price is for that.

    I'd guess that the Cabelas goober who valued this, thought it was a straight Model 111, which used to sell for $400 new back in the day, and didn't realize that the stock, cartridge chambering or muzzle break made it a different critter.

    Does it have a heavy barrel?
     
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