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I was seriously considering the sale/auction of a shotgun on GunBroker, GunsAmerica etc. Realizing I have to go through a FFL (since I'm no dealer) I just wanted to hear any comments from others that might have done this.

I would appreciate any information that might be of assistance?

Thanks,
David
 

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I've done several transactions, both buying and selling and here are some of my experiences.

Cons:
- You can't see the gun. Sure, pictures can be sent but a seller may leave out a little nick here or a little ding there. It's also difficult to see the true "tone" of a wood stock without seeing it in person. Pictures help, but sometimes the flash or the lighting will alter is slightly.

- Your taking someone's word on the condition of the gun. While one may think it's Excellent, another may only rate it as Very Good. Usually the seller is the one giving it the higher rating. Same goes with a 99% vs. 92% gun. It's all subjective opinion so it's hard to gauge.

- Shipping. UPS is hell on a firearm. I've had much better luck with the USPS. Also, INSURE your shipment. It's pennies on the dollar to ensure your gun gets to you in perfect condition. You're also at the mercy of the seller and how they package things. If someone has good feedback on several transactions, most likely they know what they're doing. You're normally going to pay about $20 - $40 more for shipping though.

- FFL transfer. Most places with charge you a fee to transfer the gun. I've seen free while others charge up to %10 of the value of the gun on a $2000 gun. ($200!!!). Find a reputable FFL in your area that is a good person to not only do business with but who also is a good person. Build up a relationship and they will usually take care of you.

Pros:
- Price. Pricing on the internet, in my opinion is open to some of the best deals you can find. I've gotten what I feel are some of the best deals on the internet that you just can't find at a local pro shop. I've found guns for half their value priced on the WWW and have been very happy with my purchases.

- Selection. You can see just about every variation of every model in ever caliber or gauge on the WWW. Some of the bigger stores like Gander Mountain, Bass Pro and Cabelas will have many of the new models but if you're looking for anything used, your choices are limited.

- Older Guns. Again, the internet allows for a great selection of used firearms that is hard to find locally. Things like Winchester Model 12s, Browning Superposed, Winchester 101s and old Remington 1100s and 870s are abound on the internet and you will be hard pressed to find them locally.

I'm sure I missed some but those are some of the main points I would keep in mind.

Personally, about 75% of my collection was purchased over the internet.
 

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I only bought, never sold .... Still the item which should have been the easiest, gave me the most trouble - finding FFL to receive my gun. Most of the FFL holders will not transfer the gun you are buying or charge a LOT if they also carry the same brand. So, yes it is important to find someone with FFL you can trust and deal with if you are planning on buying more stuff over WWW.
 

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I only bought, never sold .... Still the item which should have been the easiest, gave me the most trouble - finding FFL to receive my gun. Most of the FFL holders will not transfer the gun you are buying or charge a LOT if they also carry the same brand. So, yes it is important to find someone with FFL you can trust and deal with if you are planning on buying more stuff over WWW.
 

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I only bought, never sold .... Still the item which should have been the easiest, gave me the most trouble - finding FFL to receive my gun. Most of the FFL holders will not transfer the gun you are buying or charge a LOT if they also carry the same brand. So, yes it is important to find someone with FFL you can trust and deal with if you are planning on buying more stuff over WWW.
 

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I just recently sold 3 guns and am in the process of selling a few more. It actually isn't bad. Acoording to Gunbroker you do not need to be a FFL, only the receiver needs the FFL. Only negative thing I've found is being in Alaska I have to ship handguns Fedex (about twice the cost). Of the three I sold only hang up was with a guy from CA. His post office lost it and they had to personally go there and have them find it. I was conservative on my grading and got two extremely happies and one I don't know. The one is unknown since he did very little communication even in the biginning when he won it. Hope this helps.
 

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I have bought 2 guns on the 'net, never sold one. I have sold some cheaper items on eBay.

It seems to me that most of the risk falls on the buyer, and very little on the seller. The seller has his money in hand before he ships the gun, so it would be hard to lose anything on the deal. OTOH, the buyer is paying in advance for a gun he has never even seen, and he really can't be sure what he is going to get - in fact, the buyer can't even be sure he is going to get anything in return for his money.

That said, I must add that both of my internet gun purchases turned out great. Both were in even better condition than I expected from the description and pictures. Both were the exact gun described in the listing, and were shipped promptly. My local club has an FFL for the convenience of the members, with a transfer fee of $25.

Maybe I have just been lucky.

If you are looking for a specific gun that is not available new, the internet is the place to go if you are going to have any hope of finding it.
 

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Like state above,most of the risk is on the buyer.Insist on certified funds or money order. You need not be an FFL dealer to ship a long gun, unless shipping to an area with local laws probhiting it, but you must ship to an FFL nolder You need not ship to an FFL dealer to recieve a long gun within your state borders. Be sure your buyer is aware that you are not an FFL holder, some dealers don't know the laws very well.. BUSHROD
 

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My experiences have all been good. It is not for the truly risk adverse, though. If you are an experienced trader, and follow your own rules there is a lot of selection and value to be found. You need to read and be able to interpret feedback ratings and if you have any doubts, pass on the deal.
I think there are mostly ethical guys that value their buyer/seller relationship. If you don't maintain your reputation you will be avoided. Some people like to pay with a postal money order so if there is fraud the Feds may render some aid. I think all the sites have FFL dealers listed. In my area there are guys that charge 10%(cough) down to $12. My guy is $15 and he's a great guy to boot. It's fun to peruse the offerings and it's an easy way to sell if you like to change horses from time to time. Sure beats want ads and the parade of tire kickers with stories about how they used to own whatever it is you have. The internet has extended the market to your terminal. I love it.
 

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I've bought and sold on several sites. The only problem I ever had was buying a Remington 3200. The gun was not what it was advertised to be and the seller mysteriously vanished after the sale. Additionally, he took almost three weeks to ship the gun after having received a MO. Otherwise, all other transactions have been positive, which I find to be the case with most hunters and sportsmen.
 

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I have both bought and sold with no problem. Just a little common sense and caution should get you through. As a buyer, communicate with the seller before sending any money. Look him up in online phone books, etc., to verify that there's a real person at a real address.

My only hassles have been as a seller, shipping to an FFL who insisted that he would only receive shipment from another FFL. AFAIK, this is not the law, just a way for the receiving FFL to cover his butt in case it's a stolen gun, etc. I had to ship through an FFL at my end, at extra cost to me which I couldn't pass on to the buyer because that wasn't in my original auction ad. Just something to be prepared for--you might want to put something in your ad about charging extra if the buyer's FFL insists on receiving only from another FFL.
 

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Toivo, if my buyer's FFL refused to accept shipment from me, I would simply tell the buyer that if he wants the gun he can find another FFL.
 

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Seamus O'Caiside said:
Toivo, if my buyer's FFL refused to accept shipment from me, I would simply tell the buyer that if he wants the gun he can find another FFL.
Or use your FFL and pay the difference. Your choice. Splitting the additional cost would be the most fair option under the circumstances.
 

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Seamus O'Caiside said:
Toivo, if my buyer's FFL refused to accept shipment from me, I would simply tell the buyer that if he wants the gun he can find another FFL.
I could've, because I already had his money, but in the end I just shelled out the extra myself. The FFL that shipped the gun took care of the packing and dropping the gun off at the PO, so it was almost worth it.
 

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I have both bought and sold firearms over the Internet. For the most part, my realatively few transactions have gone smoothly. I've lost a couple of $'s on the shipping.

The one down side is that you have no actual recourse if the buyer doesn't deliver as promised.

Example, I purchased a Beretta SP II in August of this year listed in the FS forum right here on this site. The buyer stated that he had the original Beretta box along with a Browning case. I'm still waiting, after several e-mails and four months, to get the original box and paperwork. :roll: The guy got the $'s and that was it as far as he was concerned.
 
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