How to Sell A Gun Collection
Selling a gun can be challenging, but when you’re faced with selling an entire gun collection – well, that can seem impossible. Some of the difficulties of selling a large amount of guns aren’t so obvious at first, and depending on the size of your collection and who you sell it to – you may find out the hard way that you’ve done something illegal. Take this recent example of a Los Angeles, CA gun collector who started selling his collection to the wrong people; it landed him in trouble!
The Easy Way
If you don’t have the time, know-how, or resources to navigate the complexities of selling an entire gun collection; the safe, easy and legal solution is to use CashMyGuns.com. We’re FFL licensed by the U.S. Government to help people with selling/transferring guns and gun collections. Our process is discreet and fast and can be done in the comfort of your own home. Simply tell us what guns you have and we’ll help you with the rest of the process! Get started now!
The Hard Way (but we’ll tell you anyhow)
If you are the do-it-yourself type and want to learn the ins and outs of how to sell a gun collection, keep reading!
Finding a Gun Collection Buyer
Finding a buyer for your gun collection is easy. Finding a buyer for your gun collection that isn’t looking to cheat you is another story. Plenty of gun enthusiasts are looking to purchase a single used gun, and they’re willing to pay a fair price for it. When you try to sell an entire gun collection, though, the pool of buyers looking for a fair price astronomically decreases.
Why are honest gun collection buyers harder to come by?
For one, there isn’t usually an immediacy for selling a single gun. When neither the seller nor the buyer is in a big hurry to initiate a transaction, the selling price often winds up being pretty reasonable for both parties.
When a person is looking to offload an entire gun collection, the sharks of the gun buying world are opportunistic. It’s common for a non-gun enthusiast, widow or young person to inherit a sizable collection of guns that he or she knows nothing about. The prospect of becoming not just an owner of one gun, but a bunch of guns, can be intimidating to someone who doesn’t relish the scent of gunpowder in the morning. Gun buying sharks easily detect when a gun seller is especially eager, in some cases desperate, to not be responsible for weapons that can be dangerous to the uninitiated.
Another factor that can make it harder to sell a gun collection is location. Selling a gun collection in Texas might be a piece of cake but selling one in California or Massachusetts might raise some eyebrows. If there aren’t any gun shops or pawn shops in your part of town, do you really feel comfortable transporting them over a sizable distance? If you get pulled over, are you allowed to be transporting so many guns? If a criminal discovers that you have a bunch of guns in your car, are you prepared to defend yourself?
Can I Appraise My Own Gun Collection?
To properly appraise your own gun collection, you need to begin by answering a series of questions.
- Where did each gun in the collection come from?
- Who was the original owner of each gun in the collection?
- How did you, the current owner, acquire each gun in the collection?
Establishing ownership history for single guns and entire gun collections can inform the prospective buyer of a number of things. Guns that can be proven to have seen historical events, war for example, or cultural events, a movie set for example, can possess additional value beyond the same make and model that holds no historical or cultural significance. Should a gun be passed down and cared for through multiple generations in a family, that may also be of interest to a prospective buyer.
In a similar way that there exists the desire to learn about a used car’s ownership and accident history, prospective gun buyers seek assurances that the investment they are considering is a good one.
We have a great article specifically on determining gun value. In case you haven’t read it, here’s a quick recap of the factors that determine a gun’s value: make, model, caliber, condition, original or modified, popularity, and supply / demand. The same article includes some great gun appraisal resources for those who enjoy sometimes tedious research.
How to Maximize Your Sale Price
The resources we listed above are a great place to begin assessing the value of single guns in your collection, but when does the whole become greater than the sum of its parts? In other words, how does the value of a gun collection differ from the value of single guns?
First off, selling a collection of guns generally attracts more buyers. Purchasing one gun comes with a series of procedures, usually contingent upon where and from whom you buy the gun. Gun collection buyers avoid the hassles of several background checks, several wait periods, several transactions, etc. by buying more than one gun at a time.
Quantity isn’t the only factor that influences the sale value of a gun collection. The configuration of the guns in the collection is also relevant. As satisfying as it might be to alter and modify guns in a collection, maintaining original factory condition is generally the safest best in combating depreciation. Although some modifications can increase value (adding a quality scope), most modifications will decrease value (sawing off your shotgun).
You might not guess it but selling guns in their original boxes and with their original manuals and accessories can greatly increase their value. The ‘complete package’ is always going to be more attractive than the partial package.
What Motivates a Gun Collection Buyer?
People buy guns for all sorts of reasons. Trying to tap into your prospective gun collection buyer’s motivation will allow you to make your collection more attractive. The following are some of the reasons why buyers want to purchase a gun collection.
• Is the buyer looking to preserve a piece of history?
• Is the buyer looking for ornate display pieces?
• Is the buyer looking to shoot the guns once, a few times or often?
• Is the buyer looking to hunt or target shoot with the guns?
• Is the buyer looking to sell the guns for profit after purchasing them from you?
• Is the buyer looking for related guns?
If may not matter to you the buyer’s intent or reasoning for wanting to buy your collection, but it’s good to know when trying to make your collection more appealing to your target market.
Selling a gun collection poses several challenges but with careful attention and choosing the right buyer it can be a successful experience. We favor using a simple, safe, and discreet process like CashMyGuns but there are a lot of buyers out there. So be careful and get selling!