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Old 08-13-2017, 11:23 PM
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Tips and Techniques for getting good guns at good prices from online auctions Tips and Techniques for getting good guns at good prices from online auctions Tips and Techniques for getting good guns at good prices from online auctions Tips and Techniques for getting good guns at good prices from online auctions Tips and Techniques for getting good guns at good prices from online auctions  
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Default Tips and Techniques for getting good guns at good prices from online auctions

I've been building my collection/accumulation via Gunbroker for about 10 years. Although there have been a few mistakes along the way, most of my recent purchases have been quite satisfying. Here are some of my tips and techniques for getting good guns at good prices from online auctions:

1. Know what you you want. The best start at getting something you will like is to know what you will like.

2. Research the market price. Getting a feel for the market price of the gun you are looking for makes it feel good to get it for about that price.

3. Look for sellers that have a fair amount of positive selling history. A good name is hard to earn, easily squandered and worth protecting.

4. Look for sellers that allow payment by credit card. It is my understanding that many credit card issuers will protect you from a fraudulent seller.

5. Stay away from auctions with fuzzy pictures where the seller will not provide you additional photos that are clear and crisp.

6. I have had good luck buying from FFL's who are in it as a business. FFL's with a storefront are able to purchase at relatively low prices from walk-in sellers and some are willing to put up good to excellent guns at minimum bids that are reasonable (see item 2).
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Last edited by bushmaster1313; 08-13-2017 at 11:24 PM.
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Old 08-14-2017, 12:01 AM
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Tips and Techniques for getting good guns at good prices from online auctions Tips and Techniques for getting good guns at good prices from online auctions Tips and Techniques for getting good guns at good prices from online auctions Tips and Techniques for getting good guns at good prices from online auctions Tips and Techniques for getting good guns at good prices from online auctions  
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thank you.
i need all the help i can get.
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Old 08-14-2017, 01:07 AM
gman51 gman51 is offline
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Tips and Techniques for getting good guns at good prices from online auctions Tips and Techniques for getting good guns at good prices from online auctions Tips and Techniques for getting good guns at good prices from online auctions Tips and Techniques for getting good guns at good prices from online auctions Tips and Techniques for getting good guns at good prices from online auctions  
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I have gotten some good deals because the auction ended around 6 a.m. when there are less bidders active. Less chance of the 15 minute rule bumping the bid up.
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Old 08-14-2017, 07:45 AM
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That's a wise policy, sir, a wise policy.

When it comes to getting low prices, seems to me the secret is finding sellers who put up a lot of stuff you're interested in, with low starting bids. There used to be one on the old Auction Arms that was a huge pawn operation. Where's a good place to find goods that have been given up for a pittance by desperate people, who weren't planning on selling? A Las Vegas pawn shop. I've snagged stuff from them for about half the going rate, more than a couple times. Their listings would come out in big batches, e.g. when they decided to clean out the .22 autoloaders they would have like 20 10/22s and Model 60s up, saturating the market and driving down the prices.

As for bidding on gunbroker or anywhere else, I set it and forget it. I figure out what I'd be willing to pay, then add a few bucks just so I don't end up saying "Aah, man, I coulda got it for $5 more!" and let the autobidding work.

One tip on GB: When there are two identical bids, the one that was entered earlier gets the win. So it accomplishes nothing to put in a bid then come back later and raise it, especially since there's no "sniping" there. I've won a couple that way and have also seen it on one of my auctions.
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Old 08-14-2017, 08:32 AM
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If using gun broker do several searches with various spellings. You'd be surprised at how people post their sales. For example, if I'm looking for a model 10 I'd type in

S&W model 10
S&W m10
S&W-10
M10
M-10
Etc......etc....

Most of the time it's the same listings but with each different search one or two new ones do pop up.

Having said that I don't buy from GunBroker and unless I know exactly what that specific gun is I don't buy online period. I have used GB to look for a few specific hard to find firearms.....not collectable, just not commonly found.....but I've never bought any. I don't want to take the chance of spending hundreds of hard earned dollars to end up not liking it. If I can't hold it in my hand and try the trigger I don't need it

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Old 08-14-2017, 09:00 AM
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Make sure you research the seller if he has multiple guns listed. See who's bidding on them and make sure it's not the same people who keep running them up and then dropping out. There are way too many shill bidders out there and GB will do nothing when you report it.

Last edited by Jim1392; 08-14-2017 at 09:02 AM.
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Old 08-14-2017, 09:16 AM
oneounceload oneounceload is offline
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You might also try to be the contrarian collector - when plastic wonder 9s are are hot and revolvers not, that is the time to buy revolvers.......etc.

Like the stock market - when everyone is selling, I'm buying; and when they're buying, I'm selling.....
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Old 08-14-2017, 09:20 AM
Simson-Suhl Simson-Suhl is offline
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Default Bids

On GB or any other site, at the start of the auction, bid once, or just place the firearm you have an interest in on your "Watch Listing".
At the end of the time frame of the listing, do your bidding, or take note that others have bid far above the price you wish to pay. By trying to remain high bidder early in the bidding, you are just raising the price.
Most sites have the 15 Minute Rule, and I mean for you to bid before the last 15 minutes, and bid the largest amount that you would pay for the listing. At times with a proxy bid by you will fake out other bidders

PS Gunsrc on GB is an excellent seller who has outstanding items as I have purchased several S&Ws from him. MY favorite is my S&W Texas Ranger complete with the knife, However, he will not take a credit card. I have talked with him about this and he was hurt in a returned firearm., (Damaged), paid via a CC.

Last edited by Simson-Suhl; 08-14-2017 at 09:25 AM.
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Old 08-14-2017, 04:25 PM
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I did buy a lot of used guns off the net and only got stung a couple of times. I once bought a S&W M-15 4" .38 special that was dirt cheap and the pictures were poor but I thought I would take a chance. Got the gun and the hammer was chipped, the rear sight mangled, and the whole gun had been refinished with some cheezy do-it-yourself product. I traded it and pretty much got my money back. Right now I see a lot of GREAT deals on new guns and most of the used guns I want are still selling pretty high.
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Old 08-14-2017, 06:31 PM
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Tips and Techniques for getting good guns at good prices from online auctions Tips and Techniques for getting good guns at good prices from online auctions Tips and Techniques for getting good guns at good prices from online auctions Tips and Techniques for getting good guns at good prices from online auctions Tips and Techniques for getting good guns at good prices from online auctions  
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i've never bot from an auction site.
just from online sellers.
i can't afford great condition so i never get burned.
when i got my 15-4, i knew it was a prison guard turn in n that's what it looks like.
doesn't matter to me because i wear the bluing off my new guns in a few weeks.
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Old 04-06-2018, 06:25 PM
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A lot of good advice above!

As Arik pointed out above there's little to no fuzz in GB's algorithm so you see exactly what you ask for.

Sometimes I search just "S&W" and then sort by barrel length and caliber.

My local LGS guys are pretty much retail plus kind of operators so even if I pay shipping and my local pawnshop's ffl fee I still usually come out ok.

Look for a pic of the recoil shield and the extractor rod to spot wear.

If a no-shoot inspection/return policy is not stated pm the seller and ask. It never hurts and I think some sellers just forget to check the box.
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Old 04-06-2018, 08:13 PM
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One of the tools I regularly use is to submit questions prior to bidding. In my experience the good sellers will quickly respond with accurate information, while the less-than-good sellers will either fail to respond or send minimal information in response.

If the seller won't be up front and responsive prior to the sale I don't expect that seller to be responsive after the sale is completed.
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Old 04-06-2018, 08:26 PM
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Scored many good guns off GB over the years.
Watch out for shill bidders.
Type in your top bid....and let it ride.

Say you bid on a nice Smith 19.
You throw out a bid of $750.

Auction rocks along with no other bids.
Around 12-14 hours before the close
of the auction a bidder with a NR rating
throws in a higher bid. That smells to me.
Beware of chasing a bid.

Last edited by Xfuzz; 04-06-2018 at 08:27 PM.
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Old 04-06-2018, 08:31 PM
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Have only bought 3 guns off GB. Two of them about 10 years ago and one about 4 years ago. All went extremely well. A seller from Georgia even called me after I received the Model 63 to make sure I was happy with it.

Most of my recent purchases have been at local auctions in person. The one auction house I deal with also accepts absentee bids as well as on line bidding. So in person you may be bidding against someone on line. Makes it interesting. Bidding in person has a lower buyers premium. Attending one in the morning and hope to come away with at least one. In live auctions have a set price in mind (which includes buyers premium and taxes) and stick to it. Be careful not to get caught up in the fast action or you may pay more that you intended.
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Old 04-07-2018, 08:43 AM
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Avoid any add which states that all sales are FINAL. When I sell a gun on my local forums I always say "3 day return policy if not completely satisfied". I've never had a gun returned and never had an unhappy customer, and I usually get top dollar.

Last edited by Farmer17; 04-07-2018 at 08:45 AM.
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Old 04-07-2018, 02:49 PM
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On any given day I'm following 12 to 15 auctions on GB and a few other sites. If I'm going to bid I wait until 15 minutes before the auction closes. I've noticed the earlier bidders are often "out" by that time, and I've seen more late-comers win auctions than the early bidders.

I "get" the concept of setting a limit, but I don't "get" running up the price five or more days before the auction ends. Near the end if my limit's been exceeded I simply don't bid. I don't get emotional; a missed auction simply means I have that money for the next one.

Everyone seems to have a tactic or a technique that works for them.
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Old 04-08-2018, 10:11 AM
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I always look to bid on no reserve auctions ONLY.
Most auctions I see where seller sets a reserve are usually overpriced and don't sell.
Don't bid early in the auction... you are only raising the final price.
Wait towards the ending time, see what bid is then, and then decide if you want to raise that bid.
I see what I consider "clowns" placing a bid on a 10 or 13 day auction on the first or second day. Some people have no concept.
I've gotten lucky a number of times on GB. Misspelled auctions usually work in your favor, as others may not find it as you did.
Also, auctions that end in the middle of the night or midday when most people are at work, offer better chances to snag a good deal.
As previously stated by some, don't bid if you see lousy pictures. It's a great way for a seller to disguise true condition. Ask for them to email some good, clear pics to you, and if they don't, move on. Most honest sellers will place clear pics with honest description. I've found most sellers on GB to be honest.
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