The LawLaws Regarding Interstate Firearms Sales and TransfersNRA Guide to Federal Firearms Laws ATF OnlineATF / FFL eZ-CheckClick here to find an FFL / transfer dealer in your area
Doing Business Here
Here's how I do business
I've only got 25 deals here in just over 6 years, but I've never been burned, and I've never had a dissatisfied buyer. Actually, I've got a bit over 25, but some people don't leave feedback, even when I do (and I always do).
The "worst" deal I've ever had was when I traded a holster for some mags. I didn't know anything about the holster I was trading (it was a gift to me), and the guy was mistaken about the mags he had that he traded to me. We had spelled out in advance that if either of us wasn't satisfied with the deal, that we would each pay shipping from our end and undo the deal. We apologized to each other and traded back. Then, a few days later, I get a letter in the mail from the guy with some cash, and a note of apology for the way the deal went. I was a bit floored at his honesty and didn't know what to do. I didn't want to keep the money, as we both had erred, and I didn't want to send it back and insult his integrity. In the end, I spent the money on my kids in the toy department at Walmart. So at least someone benefitted from the deal. BTW, I left him positive feedback (before I got the apology money) because he honored the terms of the deal.
But what has gotten me through the EE without a hitch (so far, and keeping my fingers crossed) is a few simple rules:
1. Be brutally honest, to yourself and the buyer. Better to undersell than to oversell, and the buyer will be happier upon receipt. Be clear about any defects or shortcomings, but also sell the good points.
2. Post pictures. Even crappy pictures are better than no pictures. Do the best you can with the equipment you've got. You can even get useful pics from a low res cheap webcam if you take your time. Photograph every "little" flaw, as your idea of little might be the buyer's idea of serious damage.
3. Spell out every detail of the deal. Price, shipping cost, who pays insurance, what carrier will be used and what level of service. How the payment will be made, what the return policy is, and how return shipping will be handled.
1. Have the money or the trade goods in hand before making an offer. Don't depend on selling something else to raise the money, or working a third party trade to get the trade goods.
2. Request pictures if none are posted in the ad. Make sure you are getting what you want, getting value for what you pay.
3. Spell out every aspect of the deal, as posted above. Leave nothing to chance, or as "customary" or "understood".
For all deals, whether buying or selling:
1. If you make a deal, follow through. If after you make a confirmed deal, you get a better offer or find a better buy, chalk it up to your impatience. Is it really worth your honor (and a possible -1) to save $20, or get $20 extra on a deal?
2. Tag the thread, bookmark the thread, quote the original ad in the thread, do something to record the original offer. Keep a copy of every email and IM sent during the deal. You may need it later.
3. If the deal is big enough, talk on the phone. You can tell a lot about someone from hearing their voice, their demeanor, and just their general level of amicability.
4. At any stage of negotiations before a deal is reached, don't hesitate to bail on the deal if your gut tells you to.
5. Never ship to a PO box. Always get an address or an FFL address. Verify the FFL address.
6. ALWAYS, ALWAYS, ALWAYS leave feedback. If someone does you right, let everyone know he's a good guy (or gal). If someone does you wrong, let everyone know that too. I don't know how many threads I've seen over the years where someone says "he screwed me too, but I didn't want to post because blah, blah, blah [insert lame excuse here]".
7. Try to ship your payment the same day the deal is made, or next day if the deal is made late. Try to ship the goods the same same day payment is received, or next day if the payment is received late.
8. If you use Paypal, you deserve whatever bad things happen to you.
That's my thoughts. Feel free to agree or rebut as you see fit.
FTF sales and trades
Doing a FTF is always
a little awkward.
Meet during daylight in a neutral place so you can take a GOOD look at the firearm. If there happens to be one, meeting at a gunshow or a shooting range works well. Also, believe it or not, if the guy you're doing the trade with is a LEO, the police station is good place. A couple guys fondling a firearm in a PD parking lot doesn't draw much attention as a McDonald's parking lot. Better yet, if you're dealing with a "big cheese", do it inside.
Make sure you describe your vehicle & yourself while you're setting up the meeting, or you're both liable to be passing each other up for twenty minutes.
Most important of all –– trade information when you do a FTF. It protects both of you.
For all the buyer knows the gun is a sizzler... or may have been used in a crime.
For all the seller knows, it's being purchased to be used in a crime, or to be resold to a third person who'll do who knows what
Never let the paper trail end with you –– know who you're selling to! If you're going to do a FTF sale or trade I'd strongly suggest clicking on the appropriate link below and print two copies out (1 copy for the seller, 1 for the buyer) and USE them!
As long as nothing goes wrong, nobody except the buyer and seller will ever see either copy.Firearm Private Bill of SaleHere's a simpler one sent by sWs2Firearm Private Bill of Trade
(Print a couple of them - I don't know how long they'll continue to be hosted)
ShippingUPS ~ TrackingUSPS / Track and Confirm Some thoughts on shipping to AK and HI Want to know if the USPS money order you sent has been cashed yet? Call the USPS M/O status line at: 866 974 2733 before 7PM central time.
Courtesy of scrum
On the USPS web site if you buy and print out your postage for priority mail shipping, you get free delivery confirmation (save $0.55 and the data is automatically entered and emailed to your buyer). While not as good as tracking or registered mail, it is at least something that allows the buyer to know when something gets mailed and the seller to know when it arrived.
Also, FedEx rates for registered account holders are significantly cheaper (small discount is 15%) than FedEx and UPS rates over the counter.
Shipping Parts & Accessories to Addresses outside the US
Courtesy of Forest
We periodically get questions on who will ship parts to people outside of the US in the General AR forum. The laws that govern this are covered in the ITAR (International Traffic in Arms Regulations). A set of regulations that the State Department has about what can and cannot be shipped outside the US. Those of us in the Defense Industry deal with this all the time, but for most folks this is a completely unknown set of regulations.
Right now this pretty much covers just about everything (parts & accessories) made for any semi-automatic firearm.
I recently did some reasearch for a thread in General AR and I thought I'd share the info.
Info on ITAR from the State Department: ITARSpecifics on Firearms & Ammo
These regulations are particularly important: ITAR Munitions List - read page 2 in particular sections (a) and (h).
Section (a) in particular covers all semi-automatic firearms under .50 caliber, and section (h) lists all the parts and accessories of those times in section (a). Thus pretty much listing all semi-auto parts & accessories on the Munitons list.
What does this mean? It means in order to legally ship those items to someone in another country (even Canada) you need the approrpriate licenses. (see the first link on how to obtain the right license).
Of course there are countries that you cannot ever ship items on the munitions list, these countries are on the Embargo list which can be found here: Embargo List
Photography and ImagesPosting photos tutorial
In order to post an image in a thread it must be hosted somewhere online. You can not
post a picture from your computer hard drive.
1) Once your picture is hosted with an online image hosting service, copy the url for it.
2) Paste the url in the message text window in the thread you want the picture in.
3) Type [img ] before the url and [ /img] after the url (without the spaces).
- Example [ img]url for your picture[ /img]
I purposely put a space between the bracket and i to prevent it from turning into a hot link! Leave the space out when you type it.
Also, please note that some sites that host pictures will not allow direct linking to their site. Geocities is one.
If you want to link to a picture or image rather then post it, simply type [ url] between the brackets instead of [ img].
Guide to good photographs
Courtesy of muddle_mann
I built this tutorial because we all know how important good quality pictures are of the items we are attempting to sell. Without good pictures it is a hindrance to sell anything.
This is a quick tutorial on how to take great photos for your auction or forum for your sale items. It assumes you’ll be using a digital camera to take these pictures, however, the most of the information applies to 35mm film photography.
First, here are some absolute basics about photography.
1. The camera has a lens that "sees” the object of which you will be taking a picture.
2. Inside the camera is an "aperture.” The aperture is like the iris of your eye, or those cool round doors in movies like Alien. The more it opens the more light it lets in. Conversely, the more it closes the more light it blocks out.
3. Then there is the shutter. Shutter speed is what is referred to for how long the aperture will remain open. Here is an example: If it is a bright, sunny day the aperture will be closed far down and the shutter will open and close quickly.
If your camera has an optical view finder (like a traditional 35mm camera) and an LCD on the back of the camera keep this important fact in mind: Sometimes you’ll see 100% of the picture area through the optical viewfinder, but may NOT see 100% of the picture area using the LCD when framing the shot. Sometimes LCDs can be as low as 85% of the picture area. With newer cameras this is not as serious of a problem, but keep it in mind. Use one or the other to frame the picture. If you frame it using the optical viewfinder and then switch to the LCD and make any changes you may dramatically change the actual picture that is taken.
The first ingredient for a good photograph is light. Light, light, light! The more light the better. There are three sources of light:
1. the camera’s built in flash
2. ambient light (i.e., outdoor sunshine)
3. direct purpose light ("studio” type lighting specifically for the pictures you’ll be taking)
The camera’s built in flash is fine if you are taking a shot of the entire item from an intermediate distance (3-5 feet). However, if you try and use the flash to take up-close pictures (know as Macro) it will "blow out” the highlights. More on this later…
Outdoor natural sun light is best for any photograph, Macro or otherwise. Be mindful if you are taking pics of a weapon of some sort and being outside. This may not be the best solution if the neighbors are going to call the Police on you.
Direct purpose light (referred to from now on as "studio light”) is best for inside pictures. Studio light can be something as simple as a couple of lamps. Place a lamp on either side of the your object to give equal lighting and snap the picture. I use clamp lamps with 150 watt bulbs for my studio lighting. The lamps can be clamped just about anywhere and 300 total watts is bright enough to take great pictures of anything. I usually clamp my lamps on to a tripod.
Using the camera and it’s functions.
If you don’t have strong light inside you can still get a good picture. Most cameras have an "EV” setting. You can add or subtract light using this feature (it may not be available on some lower end cameras, check your manual). If you have poor inside light you can up the EV to it’s +2 setting which will add more light to the camera’s sensor. Keep in mind this will open the shutter longer, so you will need to use a tripod for the camera.
Low light and "camera shake” are your two worst enemies. Some folks have low light and try to hold the camera by hand. Once the shutter speed gets down to 1/60th of a second or lower, camera shake can become a real problem. This problem can be solved by mounting the camera on a tripod and using it’s self timer to take the picture. This way your hand will not be touching the camera when the shot is taken so there will be no camera shake.
Macro mode and why it’s important.
Macro mode is used to take a picture of detail very close to the object. The Macro mode is present on almost every camera. The symbol for Macro is usually a flower that will be a button on the camera or on a dial for different settings.
This mode is great for getting an up-close picture of that one flaw or scratch or other detail. An example might be getting a picture of a detail from a larger picture you already took that was requested by a potential buyer.
Light is even more important in Macro mode. First, it’s important to note that the camera’s flash may not operate well in Macro mode. The light is usually harsh and can blow out highlights. Studio or sun light is best for Macro mode.
Lighting is most important for success. That is a fact that I don't have to mention if you are familiar with photography! The easiest ways we have found to take pictures of a gun are:
Close-up photos are often better than showing the whole gun.
Show all sides of the action, the grip, the fore-end, the muzzle and the stock.
If your camera lets you get close enough, show all of the markings. (Filling the marking with a white grease pencil makes them easier to see)
Use a neutral, light background. Avoid wild patterns.
Reflect the light from above with a white foam board to soften the shadows.
Make sure your image is in perfect focus. Always use a tripod!
If the image does not look good to you, try again - digital images are inexpensive!
Save your pictures in JPG/JPEG format - it has become "the" standard format for internet images.
AR15.com Media Server
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