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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have never sold or purchased online I would like to know the correct procedures for doing so. I dont ever want to buy something "hot" or misused.
 

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I buy and sell via the net now and then. There are several "levels" or styles of internet gun exchanging.

1. Buy from a regular gun store like Cabelas or Bud's in lexington, KY or many others. They have a website and do business as a retail outlet for their regular stores. They will ship your purchase to your local FFL where you usually pay a transfer fee and take the gun home. This format is pretty safe, as the dealers have a reputation for being trustworthy merchants.
You can sell(trade) to a retail store also, but expect to receive the absolute minimum value for your gun...like trading a car, the dealer wants to maximize his profit, at your expense.

2. Some of the gun-marketing websites charge a fee to register and then a commision on your transaction when your gun sells. This insures that the buyer (or seller) has a vailid email address, and in some cases a valid credit card registered with the site. This IS NOT solid identification, but it is a major step above some of the non-verified addresses on some sites. Guns-America and Gunbroker are typical of the 'E-Bay Clones'. I have used them both over the years and they are ok, but their fees have gone up a lot recently, and that adds cost to the buyer and the seller.
If you use them, accept no Paypal payments. PP charges a big transfer fer to the seller (not the buyer). Personal checks are a risk also, unless you hold shipping your gun til the check clears All Banks. Shipping is a pain in the butt. But for a valuable gun it can work. I use a local FFL for shipping anything I sell. I give him the gun, and the buyers FFL and address info. He boxes it up and ships it to the other FFL...for a flat $30. I pass that charge on to the buyer.

3. More often, and a bit more risky is the FTF exchange using a site like Armslist to post your selling/trading/buying questions. Free to post any gun and reasonably well organized by State and Catagories, it works to get the info out to the customers...but there is no screening of the buyers or sellers. I get about one out of four 'meet-up' to close a deal turning out to be a no-show. Some folks seem to get-off on crank deals. This format is the closeest thing to yard-sale haggling that I have seen.
Some hints.
A. be sure your customer has agreed to specific terms and payment before agreeing to meet. Get an email address and a phone number, and call him, before going to meet the person.
B. Do a bill of sale that has your name and address and his and a description of the gun with Serial Number. Make a copy for both of you...and save yours.
C. Meet in a public place, preferably in daylight, for safety. I just completed a trade this morning, using the parking lot of our local Ryans Steak House as a meeting place. There is risk in the face to face meetings, but you can minimize that with phone exchanges and planning. Let you senses guide you ..if it feels wrong, back out politly.

Hope that helps. I enjoy meeting my Armslist friend...and will continue to do so.
 

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I did not address your question about the condition of the gun you are considering.

If you have an element of trust between you and the dealer or seller, then accepting that persons descriptor can be enough for a buyer. If you have a question that you feel is not answered by the dealer use the return policy that covers that particular deal.

My FTF meetings allow a buyer to examine the gun personally before closing the deal. In all my deals I have had only one buyer disagree with my description, and reject the gun. That's fair to both parties.

I currently have nine guns on Armslist. I enjoy the give and take that makes each deal unique. It is a hobby for me, not a business, but it is fun, and I have learned an immense amount about guns I probably would never have handled had I not begun to trade on-line.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thx Al that helps. I just want things to go smoothly and u know how fast that can turn into bumpy and shady on some deals.
 

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Good stuff Al. I would only add that PayPal is not just a poor choice it's actually not even an option at all. PayPay policy bans the use of PayPal related to the sale of firearms. Accessories are OK but not actual guns. I learned this the hard way. The first online gun purchase I made was through GunBroker and the seller stated he accepted PayPal. So I made the payment through PayPal and somehow it got flagged in the PayPal system and couldn't go through. The seller didn't know and I didn't either. We worked it out with a wire transfer and we both kept our heads and our patience but it didn't make for a very smooth transaction for sure. Besides charging higher fees PayPal is clearly anti-gun and for that reason alone I would avoid using them. Unfortunately there are not better alternatives in the world of eBay, etc. Even my son's Little League uses PayPal for registration fees - you can't seem to avoid it.
 

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I have never sold or purchased online I would like to know the correct procedures for doing so. I dont ever want to buy something "hot" or misused.
If you are not willing to take risks, you are not a good candidate for online buying/selling, may not even for buying/selling used merchandise.
There is always an element of risk involved. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 · (Edited)
Not afraid of risks just of failure itself. Getting in the shower is a risk. I just want to carefully examine all aspects of any and all predicaments that may or may not present themselves.
 

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I've sold a bunch online and for a non-licensee selling handguns, my advice is not to. Ever since FedEX and UPS started requiring priority overnight, the only cost-effective way I've found to ship is through a third-party FFL, and it's been a total PITA. I would have come out ahead on my last few sales if I had sold locally for less money.

Then there's buyers who seem to think you can just drop a handgun in the mail. Shipping-counter clerks who don't know the law or their own policies, freak out when you tell them you're shipping a gun, or even refuse to ship your gun in defiance of their own company's policy because they don't like them (that's happened to me.)
 
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