November 18th, 2020

How to Sell Guns Online — Web Classifieds and Auction Sites

Gunbroker shooters forum gun classified ads

online sales auctionsThese days, online gun Auctions and Classifieds attract more attention than ever. With so many folks accessing the internet daily, many gun owners find it easier to sell their firearms online rather than in the local gun store. Online selling opens up a much larger audience. With over 53,000 members in the AccurateShooter Forum, we have a very active gun Classifieds area. And then of course, there are the big dogs — Gunbroker and GunsAmerica. You’ll find tens of thousands of guns for sale on those big sites.

Before selling your stuff online, you should survey the major online sales and auction sites, comparing their fees and features. The costs are NOT all the same. For example, though you can list an item on Gunbroker for free, if the gun sells you may end up paying a LOT of money. Confirm this with the Gunbroker FEE Calculator. Using Gunbroker’s Fee Calculator we determined that, for a $2500.00 gun, the seller will pay $93.75 in fees! Yes, that’s for a single sale.

That’s why many sellers prefer to list their rifles on Benchrest.com, or on the AccurateShooter.com FORUM Classifisds. Currently, basic Accurate Forum members get three (3) free adverts in a 12-month period, while Gold and Silver members get unlimited classifieds for 12 months. A $25 Silver membership is less than you’d pay to sell one single $550 item on Gunbroker ($25.50 fee).

SEVEN TIPS for Selling Your Gear Online

1. Include Good, Sharp Photos: A custom rifle or expensive optic will sell two to three times as quickly, at a higher price, if you include good sharp photos. We can’t over-emphasize the importance of good photos. For all products, show multiple angles, and include the original boxes if you still have them. For a rifle, include detail shots as well as a photo of the complete gun.

2. Resize Your Photos Before Posting: Half of users will probably be viewing your ads with a smartphone. So you don’t need huge photos. We recommend you size your photos down to 1000 pixels wide. This will make uploads more efficient and ensure the Forum server can handle the file sizes.

3. Be Fair and Complete in Your Description: Buyers appreciate honesty and thoroughness in product descriptions. Potential buyers want details. For a rifle, list the gunsmith, barrel-maker, round count, and provide the specifications. If the rifle has a winning competition history, say so. Always highlight the positives in your description, but you should disclose significant flaws. A buyer will be more willing to purchase if he thinks the seller is 100% honest.

4. Don’t Forget Contact Info: We’re amazed by how many adverts omit key contact info. In a forum classified ad, include a first name, e.g. “Ask for Dan.” We also suggest you list your residence city and state. Some buyers will prefer to buy from a seller in their home state. When communicating with a buyer, provide your phone number and email address. We recommend that all buyers and sellers actually talk live on the phone before concluding high-value deals.

5. Make the Price Attractive: Buyers, everywhere, are looking for good deals. If you want your item to move quickly, set the price accordingly and don’t expect top dollar. Check comparable listings and then discount by 10-15% if you want the item to move fast.

6. Include a Call to Action: Advertisements can be twice as effective if they include a “Call to Action”, i.e. a statement that directly inspires the potential buyer to respond. Sample calls to action are: “Free Shipping — today only.” Or, you can use a time limit: “Special Sale Price good ’til the end of the month”.

7. Always Follow ALL Applicable Laws: Even in states where private face-to-face gun sales are allowed, we recommend ALWAYS using an FFL for firearms transfers. This will protect YOU the seller. In addition, do your homework. Don’t sell to a buyer in a city or state (such as California) state or city where the particular firearm (such as an AR15) may be restricted

Classified Advert vs. Auctions
For benchrest, F-Class, Silhouette, Tactical or High Power rifles, you may get the best results posting a For Sale ad on a Forum that caters to the right discipline. You want your ad to reach the right audience. On the other hand, a GunBroker.com auction will have tens of thousands of potential buyers. Realistically, however, if you price your rig attractively, it should sell quickly in a Forum Classified Advert. Plus with conventional Classifieds, you can sell immediately — you don’t have to wait for the auction to end. For scopes and reloading equipment (but not firearms, actions, barrels etc.), also consider eBay, which still allows many gun-related items.

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