Quantcast

Selling on Gunbroker

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by HB, May 14, 2020.

  1. HB

    HB Member

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2007
    Messages:
    2,045
    Location:
    St. Louis, MO
    Good morning!

    Does anybody have tips or a good how-to on selling firearms on gunbroker?

    I am doing some spring cleaning and it seems like GB is the best way to get max $ for items.

    What is the preferred payment method? Do you call an FFL prior to shipping to make sure they will receive from a private seller?

    Any insight would be appreciated.

    -HB
     
  2. Legionnaire
    • Contributing Member

    Legionnaire Member

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2002
    Messages:
    6,648
    Location:
    Texas
    1. Thorough description of the item, including any flaws
    2. Lots of quality pictures; if it isn't in focus, delete it and take the picture again
    3. Be willing to answer a potential bidder's questions; do so quickly and thoroughly
    4. I include in my listing, "Will only ship to an FFL willing to receive from a private seller." I don't call the FFL; I do insist that the buyer arrange for the FFL to send me a copy of his/her license. However, you may find having an FFL ship on your end less expensive if shipping a handgun.
    5. I accept USPS Money Orders only on big ticket items; lower priced, I'll accept a personal check with the proviso that I won't ship until the check clears.
    6. I don't run "Reserve" auctions. Decide on the minimum you will accept and start the bidding there. If it doesn't sell, you know you're priced too high.
    7. I run 10-day auctions set up to cover two weekends.

    Good luck.
     
  3. Poper

    Poper Member

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2006
    Messages:
    1,718
    Location:
    Free state of Arizona
    I'll add my #5: I accept USPS MO, Certified Check, Personal check on any items. Stating in the auction description: "Item will not ship until check clears and funds are deposited. Please allow 3 weeks minimum if you decide to pay by check."
    And my Item #6: Auction configuration - Penny auction (gets lots of attention), No Reserve (many lookers will filter out anything with a reserve price), featured item (a little more likely to be seen), views counter (how is my auction stacking up to similar auctions?), highlighted (just because).

    I have never failed to get a fair price using the strategy outlined in my #5 & #6 above. I have had items sell for much more than my expected price using this strategy on all but one or two auctions, though. On a semi-custom Remington 700 rifle I would have been happy to realize $1,500 and it actually sold for $2,860 after going into overtime (15 minute rule) several times. All it takes is two people wanting the same item.
     
    Last edited: May 14, 2020
  4. dh1633pm

    dh1633pm Member

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2009
    Messages:
    2,299
    Location:
    Central New York
    I was selling brass on Gunbroker. I know brass isn't a firearm. I have sold fireams on Gunbroker as well. I had the brass listed at a set price with free shipping. Crickets. Nothing, nada. Nobody interested. I went back to the drawing board on this one. Ebay buyers love free or reduced shipping. You just make it up on the sale. Price + Shipping. So listed the brass again on Gunbroker. This time with the shipping set flat rate at the USPS flat rate small box rate with my previous price minus the now carved out shipping. Same Price + Shipping. Now my brass was selling like hot cakes. This was during the initial 6.5 creedmore craze when I purchased a 7k lot of new hornady brass and sold 6K of it.
     
    HB, redneck2 and Poper like this.
  5. Rockrivr1

    Rockrivr1 Member

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2002
    Messages:
    1,415
    Location:
    Massachusetts
    Some good advice above. I'd add that you need to be clear on the shipping cost. Many buyers think that shipping is a way for a seller to make a few other bucks. I always state that buyer pays "Actual" shipping cost once shipping address is received. Some people put up a flat rate, but some rates I've seen definitely are inflated. That can turn a potential buyer off.
     
  6. George P

    George P Member

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2018
    Messages:
    4,642
    The thing is that NOW, the USPS has different region flat rates, no longer just the "if it fits, it ships for one price" mantra, so make sure you know what the shipping costs are going to be.
     
    Golfanaticshooter likes this.
  7. HB

    HB Member

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2007
    Messages:
    2,045
    Location:
    St. Louis, MO
    Thanks for the input, especially about payment.
     
  8. Poper

    Poper Member

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2006
    Messages:
    1,718
    Location:
    Free state of Arizona
    I would like to clarify a little bit about the psychology of my auction strategy noted in post #3 above:
    When using this strategy, (P.A., N.R.) it is advisable to run the auction the longest period allowed and cover two weekends ending the auction sometime Sunday evening or Monday evening at the latest.
    People like to think they see something nobody else does and they often believe they have a chance to score a steal or a cheap item. Some will put a "watch" on the item and attempt to 'snipe' the auction at the last minute. (If you are a bidder, it is advisable you watch any auction where you are a bidder.) Your saving grace is the "15 minute rule".
    If you have a desirable item in very good or excellent condition and you have taken good photos that demonstrate actual condition and blemishes, you will realize a fair price. There will often be one or more bidders that get caught up in the auction action and the price may soar well above fair market value but will certainly NOT sell for less than fair market value.

    Actual story: A few years ago, I had a 2" nickel plated Colt Python in excellent condition, service grips, no box, Colt archive letter, a good cleaning and 27 excellent photos, including with grips removed. When I put it on GB as a Penny Auction, No Reserve, a buddy darn near passed out. He just knew someone would steal it for a pittance. He told me I was a fool, too. I expected the little Colt to sell for about $2,900 to maybe $3,150. It sold for exactly what a fellow on the Colt forum said it should bring: $3,325 as I recall. The point: Desirable items will get noticed and will sell for their market value. There are people looking for them all the time and they will not let them sell for less than fair market value. Keep in mind though, that it is the seller's responsibility to be sure his descriptions are true and accurate and that his auction is worded and spelled correctly. Failure to do so may (and probably will) result in a less than satisfactory auction price.

    I hope this helps someone.
     
    HB, I6turbo, scaatylobo and 1 other person like this.
  9. Captcurt

    Captcurt Member

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2010
    Messages:
    3,094
    Location:
    Ozark Mountains of Arkansas
    I agree with the no reserve. Many buyer's will not look at a gun with a reserve, me included. Several buyer's have passed on a gun because I wouldn't take a credit card. They don't realize that it cost 2 1/2%-3% to use it. That takes most of the profit when you are lucky to make 5%-10% on a gun. The days of getting MSRP are over.

    One thing that we need to mention is that it cost more to ship via Fedex or UPS when the receiving FFL is a home based dealer. I see many guns shipped for $25. Sure, if you don't want it insured. Many of my sales cost $50 when it is home based and I insure the gun.

    I like the idea of 2 weekends. I'll try this on my rare items.
     
    scaatylobo likes this.
  10. whughett

    whughett Member

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2008
    Messages:
    2,974
    Location:
    Rhode Island/Florida
    Input from “buyers” could be valued. As a buyer I’ve used the “Buy Now” button for items I truly wanted.
     
  11. scaatylobo

    scaatylobo Member

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2010
    Messages:
    2,323
    Location:
    Western NYS
    Just sold a S&W model 51 and got a good deal more than I was asking.

    But I now agree that IF its a worthwhile item,and your pricing [ asking or wanted ] is gtg = then no reserve is a GREAT idea.
     
  12. Poper

    Poper Member

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2006
    Messages:
    1,718
    Location:
    Free state of Arizona
    As a buyer, I know what I am looking for and I know how much I am willing to pay for the item. I usually will not enter an auction until there is less than 7 days remaining. I let the automatic bid feature run the auction for me as I set my maximum bid at the most I am willing to pay for the item. If I win the auction, great! I bought it within the price I wanted to pay and not more. If the item sells for more than my maximum bid, oh well! Someone was willing to pay more for it than I was. And that is ok. It is easy to get caught up in the excitement of an auction, especially for an item you really like or want. By setting a maximum bid and sticking to it, you take that mistake out of the picture. It takes discipline, though.

    I must know exactly what I am looking at. If the photos are out of focus or taken from a bad angle, I might email the seller and ask for additional photos. If he refuses or sends additional poor photos, I move on. If he cannot provide satisfactory answers to questions, I move on. Only if I am satisfied I can accurately assess the condition of the item and that it is indeed genuine and the item I am looking for will I proceed to bid. In rare instances a seller may have something mis-listed and/or misidentified and may not be recognized for what it is by other bidders and as a buyer the item may be bought at a much lower price than fair market value. This is a very rare instance, but does happen and it is helpful if you know what you are seeing is not what is described.

    Beware of bidders with less than 10 transactions. Don't shun them, though! Just be careful. Most of them are individuals just getting started and we have all been "that guy". Good buys can often be found with the first or second time sellers. It is also possible a first time seller is a scammer. Be sure to carefully analyze the item and description. If something feels fishy about the terms or transaction, move on. There are plenty out there to choose from. No need to take a chance. If the deal sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

    ETA: Know what the shipping for the item you are buying should be (and insurance), know what your FFL charges for a transfer (around here it can range from $25 to $75) and know if there is sales tax to pay. All of this is part of the total cost of your purchase and will come out of your pocket. Sometimes, when all of these things are factored in, it may save you some money to buy it from your local gun store.
     
    Last edited: May 15, 2020
    George P and whughett like this.
  13. jmace57

    jmace57 Member

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2011
    Messages:
    916
    Location:
    Texas
    Make sure you spell everything correctly, and get model numbers correct. Many a good deal/steal has occurred when someone misidentifies or misspells the description.
     
    LocoGringo likes this.
  14. hemiram

    hemiram Member

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2006
    Messages:
    1,419
    Location:
    Toledo, Ohio
    Make sure you know what it actually is. I've seen quite a few guns misidentified over the last 15 years or so on auction sites.
    Be honest with the flaws it has, don't delete any pics that show those flaws.
    At least wipe the crud off them before you take pics of them. I don't have it on this machine, but if you saw the original pics of my very nice S&W 28-2 I bought in '18, you probably would have passed over it as it looked awful. I asked the seller something about it, and he sent me pics of it after cleaning it. I pounced on the "Buy it now" after that.
    No reserve, it just seems to annoy a lot of people when you put one on.
    Start with an opening bid about where the absolute minimum you would take for it is.
    The two weekend auction length is a good idea.

    Of about 35 pistols and revolvers I've sold on GB and a couple of other sites, I lost money on one single gun, a Sig P229 in .40. Other than that one, I made a little, or in some cases, so much it made me laugh when I saw the posting. Bid wars can be great, it it's your stuff they are fighting over.
     
    George P likes this.
  15. X62503

    X62503 Member

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2019
    Messages:
    50
    Location:
    Vermont, U.S.A.
    I agree with most of the recommendations offered so far. I also think that, if the gun has an interesting history or other provenance then you should mention it. Most buyers would want to know but, more importantly, these details indicate your connection with the gun and reflect that likely have cared for the gun, and that's important when you're asking a knowledgable buyer to part with their cash without the benefit of an in-person inspection. I once bought a Brauer Bros. holster for a war-era M&P that cost more than most on the eBay, not only because it was in good condition but because the holster had belonged to the seller's grandfather. He lamented letting it go and wanted to make sure it went to a good new home.
     
  16. Mosin77

    Mosin77 Member

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2019
    Messages:
    140
    Take good photos and don’t fluff it up with a bunch of BS. “Gorgeous addition to your collection” etc.

    Having sold around 400 firearms on Gunbroker in the past year, I have found that they seldom sell for anything less than a fair-high price if they’re older, out of production guns (whether junky 22 rifles or Pythons). So be realistic with your pricing and they will move. If you start the auction at high retail, they may or may not eventually sell but it’ll be a weeks-months long process.

    If they’re new guns or used, current production (eg a Glock, Beretta 92, etc) be prepared to take a bath or have it sit for months before it sells (still prob for less than you were hoping for...) There’s no scarcity factor so if the gun retails for $450-550, nobody wants to pay more than $225-350 as a rule. That’s just what the market says they’re worth, cant argue with it unless you get lucky with a FTF on Armslist or can sell it in a retail store.
     
  17. Elkins45

    Elkins45 Member

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2009
    Messages:
    5,362
    Location:
    Northern KY
    I’ve sold more guns here, and a lot more on Armslist than I have on Gunbroker. In fact, I’ve only sold one gun on GB and that’s because I really needed them to reach my target audience. CT has a loophole in their “assault weapons” ban that allows the purchase of pre-94 guns that weren’t named on the ban list. I had one of those guns and GB found my buyer (who was in CT) for me.

    If a gun doesn’t sell it’s likely because on one of these reasons:

    a) It’s so common you can find one anywhere, so why pay shipping?
    b) You have it overpriced compared to other sellers
    c) Your pictures are bad, or the gun itself is in poor shape
    d) You don’t have much (or any) feedback as a seller

    Nothing you can do about the last one really. The buyer called me after my one GB auction closed and chatted for a few minutes. I’m pretty sure he was feeling me out before sending me any money. That seemed like a smart thing for him to do since I didn’t have any feedback as a seller.
     
    HB likes this.
  18. Captcurt

    Captcurt Member

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2010
    Messages:
    3,094
    Location:
    Ozark Mountains of Arkansas
    It is amazing that what you think will sell never does and the next item you list gets in a bidding war and goes for twice as much as it was started at. I had that happen a couple of weeks ago. Listed a Premium Mitchell's Mauser for $700 and sold it for a little over $1200. On the other side, I have had a couple of Bergara Woodsman online for over 4 months and have not had a sniff.
     
  19. MCFLYFYTER

    MCFLYFYTER Member

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2011
    Messages:
    258
    I dont bid on gunbroker due to the 15 minute rule. People just get stupid, and there is literally no end in sight. Might have to start selling there though
     
  20. Jessesky

    Jessesky Member

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2016
    Messages:
    954
    I sell on GB all the time. My one take away is this: DO NOT run a reserve. It is unmotivating to buyers. I used to do this in fear of my precious firearm going under market value. The market will be established by the bidders. It draws much more interest if it’s a no reserve
     
    HB likes this.
  21. Jessesky

    Jessesky Member

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2016
    Messages:
    954
    See that’s one of my favorite things about GB. I don’t like bid sniping although I’m guilty of it (you have to play the game if you want to win). Real in person auctions don’t have sniping either. They give you a “once, twice, sold sold sold!!”. For that reason I think GB is more like a real auction
     
    Poper likes this.
  22. Mosin77

    Mosin77 Member

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2019
    Messages:
    140
    In general stuff on Gunbroker goes for what it “should” -usually with a little premium. Which is great for sellers and covers gunbroker’s fees. The win for buyers is that they can find exactly the gun they want. They might check out their local gun shops for 6 months and not see that model. I also find the very long auctions don’t do as well as a shorter one. If you list it for two weeks people lose interest or forget to check back. “0.99 and ending in 11 days” isn’t near as compelling as “137.50 and 5 days to go.”

    Of course, the very nature of an auction is variability. One slow night a pristine model 36 S&W might bring $450, another time it might bring 585. Ya gotta be ok with that. If you go into it assuming that type of gun must be worth $650 all day long because that’s what a book said, or that’s what you saw one priced at when you were in the local gun shop, you will be very disappointed.
     
  23. George P

    George P Member

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2018
    Messages:
    4,642

    If ANYTHING doesn't sell, it is because it is priced more than a seller is willing to pay - plain and simple and nothing more. Doesn't matter if it is a Glock or a Renoir painting; on auction sites, the buyer sets the price
     
  24. Elkins45

    Elkins45 Member

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2009
    Messages:
    5,362
    Location:
    Northern KY
    No, it’s not that simple, at least not for things that aren’t rare or unique. A well-priced item will still often not sell, at least on the first attempt if the photos are bad or the seller uses poor grammar in the listing. I’m not giving Toothless Joe who has one photo that looks like it was taken with a potato my money when Bob’s Professional Guns is selling the same thing at the same price with 14 good clear pix and 1000+ feedback.

    Also there is an element of variability in that the most motivated buyer might be too busy to check the auctions during the one week you decide to sell your gun. Sometimes you catch a guy willing to pay the high end of market value and sometimes you only catch the one willing to pay the low end.

    The very best is when you find TWO guys who really want it.That’s what happened with my AR. It was $499 with 5 minutes left and by the time the smoke cleared it was over $800.
     
  25. mnrivrat

    mnrivrat Member

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2002
    Messages:
    4,907
    Location:
    MN
    Take a number of good quality photo's. A complete and honest description. Then put the item in the correct category and don't go nuts with shipping cost.
     
  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice