The same old song is always on the turn-table when it comes to buying or selling a gun. That is that people who are selling thing the gun is worth more than it is and that disease carries over into the buyer in the opposite direction. In the end someone feels like they are being cheated. As you know, the condition of the firearm is 90% of its value, this is not referring to collectible or rare antique firearms. So grading the gun is vital. Often a person who is in the market to sell a gun goes to a dealer or pawn shop and realizes that they may have paid too much for it to begin with, especially if it’s used. While some good buying tips are necessary, we’ll focus today on some good understandings that anyone wanting to get value in their purchase or sale should have on their mind.
- A gun is NEVER New In Box (NIB) except that it has never been loaded or fired. (excluding factory testing) This is a big mistake. If someone has a gun that is in 100% mint condition, that’s good, but it’s not new in the box.
- Gun listings are NEVER a guide to value. I have listed a general model 70 Winchester for $64,500 on gunbroker before just to be funny. Looking at what is BID on items gives you a guideline for what people are paying for an item which drives the value.
- OLD listings and auctions are not good so do NOT google search a firearm and start clicking links. Find credible sites and search for active listings. The inability to find a gun in a current listing is sometimes a bad sign that they are discontinued fro a good reason.
- CHECK the MRSP on the manufacture’s page. It will tell you what the gun listed for new from the maker, then look at the major brand dealers to see what it sold for new. For example, go to Brownell’s or Bass Pro and see what the gun would sell for there. It will never be sold for more new except in small dealers.
- Recognize that the age of a “current” gun does make a difference, but the condition is key. For instance, a Glock 17 Gen 4 that retails on average for $600 new, if the same gun never shot has a holster mark, it’s $450 or less if the finish is worn.
- 90% grade on most firearms yield a 20-25% reduction in new price.
- A gun’s value is only a guide, the market per se will determine the price and value over anything, but the indicators of such things are a good place to start.
All in all be patient and don’t rush to buy or sell a gun. Learn to INSPECT the firearm, especially AR15’s, Semi-autos and revolvers that have many moving parts. We’ll cover some tips on that in the near future along with some of our new reviews and GunGrade investigations of some new dealers and manufacturers. Until then, keep up the GunGrade!