Take a Shot at History

Getting Your Firearm Ready to Sell

by Harry Viezens

I have been dealing and selling firearms for quite some time now. One of my pet peeves is going to a gun shop, gun show or a private seller, and handling a dirty firearm! Many times I cannot even see what the bore looks like. I have had guns that were full of grease and oil, full of cobwebs even bird droppings! The owners cannot understand it when I refuse to even look at their “fine” firearms, let alone handle them. As I have gotten older I find myself less inclined or willing to accept the excuses for that gun’s condition.

Let’s look at it from another perspective, If you want to sell your car and be able to get the best price for it, what do you do? First off, you detail it. Then clean it out top to bottom, then do all the thing that will make your car stand out. this way you can ask a higher dollar for it and maybe get close to what you want if not that price. This principle also works for firearms. I do want to clarify one thing however, I am talking about cleaning and servicing modern type firearms. When you are dealing with antique or very old guns it is much better to leave them alone. If you do need to have a antique worked on, make sure that the person you pick to work on your gun is fully certified to work on that particular firearm. So many rare and important guns have been ruined by over cleaning or so called restorations. If you do not know how to work on a particular gun, best leave it alone! Now that we got that understanding out of the way, let’s get back to the article.

Most modern guns can be taken apart or field stripped fairly easy. This is as far as you need to go. If you are not familiar on how to take your gun apart, you can get a manual from the manufactorer or get one of those books on how to dismantle guns, just make sure your gun is included! Cleaning the bore, getting the old gun powder residude wiped off and a thin coat of oil to lubricate the action usually will do the trick. If your gun needs some work or repairs this is the time to get it fixed. If your firearm is not ready to shoot for the customer, expect to take a beating on the purchase price. Many times it is a simple fix or adjustment that is needed. The customer however will feel that he is taking a chance on the cost of repairs and will cover himself for unforseen expenses. The price that person will be willing to pay will reflect that, so keep that in mind. Many times the investment in those simple repairs can give you a better return for a more desireable gun and higher market value. If you find that your gun needs major repairs, there is two ways to go with this, sell it “as is”, or find out the cost of repairs and figure out if the repairs are worth doing for you to make a profit. If too expensive to repair then sell for parts or “as is “.

If you do not have the time, or not mechanically inclined, you can always take your firearm to a good gun shop and have the gun serviced. The final thing you as the seller should do is if you are not familiar with what you have, find out! I have talked to sellers on the phone and in person and asked them, what they have for sale. They had no clue as to the calibre, the maker, the style or model of their gun, or even condition, but they saw one like the one they have in a book etc, and they wanted a $1000.00 for it! Write down all the information you can find out on each gun, the maker, model, calibre, condition, items that may go with the gun plus serial number of each firearm you have for sale. This will make it easier for you when potential customers call, or ask you in person, as to what you have for sale. This way, if you forget, you will have the information handy. It is the responsibility of the seller to do the homework on what they have for sale.  Work with a person or dealer you can trust to identify and give advice on how to sell or market the firearm. If for any reason you do not want to do the selling yourself,work with someone you can be comfortable with. Hope this article helps you in selling your gun. At least you will see how serious buyers look at your guns for sale. If you the reader, wish to contact me concerning this article, please do. I would be glad to help advise you on the best course of action to take on marketing your firearms.

Until Next Time