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May 21st, 2012

How to Sell Guns and Gear Online

Cash MoneyThe summer shooting season is nearly here. That means many of you need to raise cash or move older items to finance your new toys. What’s the best way to sell gun gear and accessories quickly? In today’s world, the Internet provides the easiest, most economical means to sell precision firearms, high-end optics, and specialized reloading tools. On our AccurateShooter Forum, we have a very active Marketplace with FREE Classifieds for registered Forum members. If an item is priced attractively, even a big-ticket item, there’s a good chance it may sell within 48 hours or even sooner. One Forum member told us: “Stuff sells fast on your Forum. I had a take-off barrel on the Savage Forum for a couple weeks with no takers. I put it up on the AccurateShooter Forum and it sold the same day.”

Free Classifieds

The Benchrest Classifieds operated by Benchrest Central is also a good place to sell benchrest guns (both centerfire and rimfire), actions, scopes, rests, and reloading tools. Benchrest Classifieds listings aren’t free, but the $3.00 basic fee is nominal.

Gun Auction Sites

Gunbroker and Auction Arms
The mainstream gun auction sites such as and Auction Arms have large audiences. These sites are good choices for selling factory rifles, shotguns, or pistols. is a bigger site than Auction Arms, with much more traffic. That means more potential buyers, but it also means you’ll be competing with many more sellers. Both sites allow you to set reserve prices, and offer “Buy It Now” (fixed price) options.

How Much Will It Cost?
Listing fees and policies for the important gun classifieds and online auctions are listed below. Check the pricing structure carefully. and Auction Arms have sliding-scale fees based on a complicated formula. But basically, the higher the auction price, the more you pay. For a rifle with a $1000.00 high bid, the fee is roughly $26.00 at close of auction. For a $2000.00 sale, the fee would be about $41.00. For a gun sold at auction for $3500.00, the fee would be $63.50. GunsAmerica has tiered fees due on sale–$10 minimum plus another $10 each time you pass a $1K mark. For example, the fee for a $1001-$2000 sale is $20, while the fee for a $2001-$3000 sale is $30.00. That makes a FREE listing on or a $3.00/mo listing on Benchrest Classifieds look very attractive.

Classified Advert vs. Auction
For a precision benchrest, F-Class, Tactical or High Power rifle, 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 “niche” audience. On the other hand, a auction will have tens of thousands of potential buyers. For our Shooters’ Forum Classifieds, we’ve found that, if you price your rig attractively (and you provide good photos), your gun should sell quickly. Plus with conventional Classifieds, you can sell immediately–you don’t have to wait for an auction to end. For scopes and reloading equipment (but not firearms, actions, barrels etc.), also consider eBay. Many gun-related items are still allowed on eBay and it does have a huge audience.

Online Sales Options — Classifieds & Auction Sites
Website AccurateShooter AuctionArms GunsAmerica
Service Sale, WTB, or Trade Sale, WTB, or Trade Auction +
Buy It Now
Auction +
Buy It Now
Sale or Auction
No Fee on Sale.
Insert Fees:
$3.00/30 days
$5.50/60 days
$7.00/90 days
No Fee on Sale.

Free for items under $25 price.

Free Insert.
On Sale: $1.25 plus 2.5% of $25-$1000 plus 1.5% of $1000+
$4 signup. Free Insert.
On Sale: $1.25 plus 2.5% over $25 to $1000. Over $1000 is $26 + 1.5% of price over $1000.
$10 up to $1K
$20 up to $2K
$30 up to $3K
$10 minimum
2% of price,
$2 minimum
Photos Free Unlimited
Free Hosting
Up to 3 photos, 300 pixels max
Free Hosting
10 per item
Free Hosting
10 per item
Free Hosting
One Image Free. $2 for
2-5 more images.
Text Limit No limit 1000 words No limit No limit n/a
Time Limit No Limit 30-day terms 30-day Auction 30-day Auction 7 days or 60 days
Comment Good deals sell fast! Very easy to use. But, old ads don’t self-delete. Good deals sell fast. Logical categories. Small photos. Listing process somewhat difficult. Too many commercial sellers. Bad customer service. Must have Credit Card on File. Not many precision rifle buyers. Server can be slow. Small photos, hard to navigate, many outdated ads. Complex upgrade options.
Active Moderator. E-mails answered promptly. Webmaster answers E-Mail promptly. Hopeless.
No Phone #. Confusing FAQs. Emails not answered.
Support person responds to phone and email. No phone #. Extensive FAQs. E-mail sometimes answered after 2-3 days.
Top Level
Yes. 15 newest ads appear at top level. None Yes. $5 extra fee for Showcase. Yes. Java feed of closing auctions Yes. New and Featured Listings (extra fee).
Traffic 8,500+
n/a #1 Online Auction* 55,000+
* While these major auction sites have lots of traffic, their traffic is distributed over many thousands of auctions. It’s easy to get lost on the big sites. and offer a much higher ratio of visits per listing.

To learn more about selling guns and gun accessories online, read our full feature story on Online Gun Selling and Auctions. This story includes Sure-fire Tips for Selling online, plus advice on how to take and upload the right kind of photos. Products with photos sell much faster.

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July 3rd, 2011 Offers FREE Gun-Related Classified Ads is a FREE alternative to and for selling firearms, magazines, optics, and hunting gear. Set up like a Craigslist for gun stuff, lets you place free ads for buying, selling or trading guns, ammunition and parts. Conveniently, you can search ads by state, or even by zip code proximity.

Because is relatively new, there are relatively few listings at present, but we expect that to grow. We clicked on “Oregon” and found a couple dozen listings, mostly handguns. A search for “Colorado” revealed a half-dozen listings, half rifle, half pistol. So has a long way to go to challenge the big players such as and But we’re glad exists — it’s always a good thing for consumers to have more options. classifieds

OutdoorsTrader Charges No Fees, Unlike Gunbroker
We hope becomes successful. is fairly expensive for the seller, who pays when the item sells (at auction). On an expensive rifle, fees can be significant. The cost to sell a $3500.00 rifle on is $56.88.

By contrast, is free to join and entirely free to use. Once an account has been created, the user may post ads of his own and also leave replies on other posted ads. has been around for a couple years. We hope it gains in popularity so it can provide more competition to Gunbroker.

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