I've had pretty good success at selling my 'gunsafe queens' (ie guns that just don't seem to get out of the safe much) at gun shows. Much better than at shops, that's for sure!
I have a few ground rules I try to stick to:
- Advertise. Wear a sign that announces your intention to sell but don't post a price.
- Have an I Want price and an I'll Take price in mind. The I Want price should be fair and your I'll Take price should be a deal but not a steal. If you've taken good care of the gun and its' not seen much action then asking for something in the region of its' new-sale price (the I Want price) is just fine. Remember that you are adding the fine quality of this being a private sale to the gun you sell. Law abiding citizens recognize that there is a value to this. You are also offering something that none of the dealers at the show can provide.
- Don't veer from your I Want price for a while. Take a circuit or two through the show and stick to that price. If someone seems genuinely interested maybe start negotiating. Try to stick to your guns, so to speak for a while, though.
- Don't worry if you don't sell. Really, the best way to get the best value for your gun is to be prepared to go home with it. A reasonable I'll Take price usually makes this a non-issue, though.
- Don't get desperate and sell to a dealer. They will give you an insulting price and then jack it up $300 as soon as you walk away.
- Sell the Goodies seperately. You rarely get their value from a package. The last pistol I sold somebody said, "Throw in the two hicaps and we have a deal" when said mags were worth over $90 apiece! Again these things have value. You don't have to give stuff away!
- Some types of guns sell better than others, often depending on the venue. I had a brief love affair with Glocks, bought a few of them in a hurry but then decided I liked SA-only pistols better (ahhhh, Hi Powers...). I asked for and got what I paid for them because they're popular. Then there was the time I hit a small town Legion of Honor show with an HK USP Compact where no one hit all evening...
- Keep track of your potential customers. As people ask you what you have to sell and how much 9 times out of 10 they'll say 'OK, thanks' and move on. Keep your eye out for them as you walk through the show. If you get to the point where you think you would go for your I'd Take price seek them out and ask them if they're still interested.
- Although this is a private sale I ask a few questions just to stay clean (for all guns). First is I never sell to anyone out of state (nowadays I ask about them being US citizens, too). I'll ask them if they've ever been convicted of a felony. If it looks like an issue I'll ask if the buyer is over 21. I don't ask to see ID or ask for a name and I rarely give one. In the end I only sell to folks that seem on the level.
Well, that's all I can think of. What are your show selling secrets? Come on, share 'em all!
I would never sell a gun....
That would be silly.
I only sell what I know I won't shoot.
They go to good homes!
Christ, listen to me, what are they, puppies!!!!
I'm with Mark...
I sold a gun once!! And regreted it ever since... as a matter of fact I am trying to buy it back from the guy!!
I have sold over 20 guns "private sale" I regretted almost every one of the sales because I just love firearms!(Except the POS first guns I bought when I could only afford the cheapos) Ever since I was 6 years old and started shooting for the first time with a single shot bolt action .22 then upgraded to a Ruger 10/22 a year or so later. I actually looked in my safe recently after selling my Ruger Mini-30, My Vepr II and a .22 cal pocket pistol I had and felt sad as I realized I missed them.. :-(
But, when crap hits you financially you have to do what you got to do to pay the rent!
Here's a strange thought...(You guys can see how my mind works)
If you by 2 of everything you buy then when you have to sell something sell one of the pair. You will always have the same amount of different guns in your collection and prolong the life by keeping one unfired and selling the shooter when the need arrives to sell.
am I a whacko or what? LOL!!
Your supposed to tell them your secrets to how you sell guns at shows...
Wouldn't that secret be "ME"