Selling on GunBroker - any advice...?

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Selling on GunBroker - any advice...?

#1 Post by AJMD429 » Sun Aug 11, 2019 6:08 pm

Time to do some herd-thinning, and although once I decide what I'm selling, I'll likely post it here first for a bit, how does it work selling on GunBroker if you aren't a FFL...???

Would I have to get a local FFL to ship to the FFL the purchaser would ultimately buy from, or would I ship directly to that FFL...?

I decided I just had to get a Marlin 1894 CST and then sell one of my non-threaded 1894's (gotta figure whether better to sell a 1894 CSS or 1894 CS at this point - I have both, but the blued one has only been fired a few times and is in pristine shape). I'm not sure how much GunBroker buyers are likely to care about ordinary wear, if they are more 'nostalgic' and prefer blued guns vs stainless, or what....wife says sell both, but I'm not THAT ready yet... :D )

Anyway, I watched their tutorial videos, but haven't found one that really talks about the shipping and FFL process yet.
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Re: Selling on GunBroker - any advice...?

#2 Post by Rusty » Sun Aug 11, 2019 9:40 pm

In my experience some FFL dealers will accept a gun to be transferred from a private seller as long as you provide a photo copy of a valid picture ID. It depends on the dealer you are shipping to. I've had different dealers do me both ways. The problem is if the dealer you're shipping thru treats it as a transaction they want to charge you for the shipping and a transaction fee. Some dealers think they should get paid for everything they do, others would rather have loyal customers that don't go any place else trying to beat them down to the lowest price.
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Re: Selling on GunBroker - any advice...?

#3 Post by wolfdog » Mon Aug 12, 2019 4:43 am

Some dealers will not accept shipment from a non ffl but most will. Just put a statement in the add that shipping will be more expensive if it has to go through an ffl, and of course make sure your local ffl is willing to do so and find out how much he will charge.

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Re: Selling on GunBroker - any advice...?

#4 Post by Old No7 » Mon Aug 12, 2019 10:24 am

Hi Doc:

I have a great relationship with my local dealer and together "we've done well" selling on GB.

I will always take from 10 to 14 clear photo's and include a really good description -- as he won't list it otherwise (after all, it's his shop doing the transaction, and he will list it as a "Consignment Sale"). I've found it best to start low-midrange, but set a $$ Reserve if you think you need to get a minimum amount. For instance, I'll set a $700 Reserve and start something at $350; and you may often see similar guns starting at $750 with only 1 or 2 photos --> but with no bids. I've been fortunate and usually have bids go 15% to 20% higher than the reserve, as once folks know "it will sell", those who really want it will jump in and stay in. The low starting price brings them in, and the good set of photos helps to close the deal. (And yes, "condition matters" on what you're selling too.)

My dealer takes credit cards or U.S. Postal Money Orders only, and he's never been burned; he does allow for a "3 Day Non-Firing Inspection" of the items, as some buyers do look for that too. He charges me GB fees and only 10% of sale price, which is way better than selling it for cash at local shops where you easily take a 40% hit..........

Hope this helps.

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Re: Selling on GunBroker - any advice...?

#5 Post by earlmck » Mon Aug 12, 2019 10:26 am

I've sold several guns through gunbroker. I've never run into a problem shipping to the ffl dealer supplied by the buyer. The gun along with a copy of my driver's license goes to that buyers ffl dealer and the dealer completes the transaction at that end. I've heard rumors of ffl's who won't accept a shipment from a non-ffl person but I've never met one.
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Re: Selling on GunBroker - any advice...?

#6 Post by vancelw » Mon Aug 12, 2019 12:02 pm

Don't put a "buy it now" price on it.
Some idiot will end your auction then back out when they realize they can't have it in their jurisdiction.
Then you HAVE to relist it on GB and finally sell it there to get your commission back :evil:

Start it at the lowest price you will accept with both reserve. Keep your shipping fees reasonable and list a set amount.

Handguns are much cheaper to ship FFL to FFL.
Rifles are okay to do yourself

Make sure to state in your ad that the FFL must be willing accept transfer from a non-FFL or it will cost more. (As mentioned above)

The transferring FFL only needs proof of your age, name and address. I redact everything else from my DL. If there is a legal problem, and LEO can find me with the information I have provided.
And it as absolutely none the transferring FFL's business what the sales amount is.
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Re: Selling on GunBroker - any advice...?

#7 Post by Bill in Oregon » Mon Aug 12, 2019 1:38 pm

Shouldn't be an issue, Doc, as long as your buyer's FFL knows the ATF rules. A dealer who refuses to accept a long gun from a non-licensee provided that non-licensee provides a photocopy of a government issued photo I.D. does NOT understand the law, and is absolutely full of prunes. There are some out there. I am not sure they know how to read.
Handguns must ship from FFL to FFL, and the only affordable way to do this is USPS priority. Fortunately, my FFL here lets me run a handgun through his books for a nominal fee and then mails it for me after I have paid the postage.

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Re: Selling on GunBroker - any advice...?

#8 Post by Pete44ru » Mon Aug 12, 2019 6:36 pm


Over the years, I've sold a lot of firearms on GB, and have bought a few - during which I learned a few things.

To register on GB, you must submit a credit card number, so you can be charged for the ad costs and the commission (if it sells).


Clean & polish whatever, so it will look it's best - there's only one chance to make a first impression.

Take & post a LOT of clear/close pics, plus a full-length shot (because a picture can be worth a thousand words).

Read as many other seller's various descriptions as you can to edumacate yerself about how to compose a description that will help the gun sell.

Write out a lucid description statement, including your special input(s).

That said, there's a few things you should always include:

A) the condition as compared to new (NIB, 98%, 70%, etc) of both stock & metal.
B) the chambering
C) the barrel length & the condition of the bore (pristine, worn, pitted, etc)
D) the overall operating condition and any known malfunctions.
E) the disclosure or disavowal (say it has no etc/etc) of any of the known usual suspects that affect condition/value (rust, cracks, scratches, alterations, etc).

F) include this statement: sold in "as-is" condition, your FFL should agree to accept shipment from a non-FFL (me).

I sometimes include the statement : no trades at this time - Thanks

It's up to the seller to set a starting bid point, and a reserve (if desired) and the length of the auction.

I usually do a 7 or 14 day auction, depending on the item and the season (demand varies from time to time).

You can (roughly) figure the cost of shipping, and either add it into your selling point, or list it in the ad's shipping costs.

I usually set a starting bid that's about $100 under average selling prices, unless it's a real hard-to-find rare gun that's in demand right now (do your homework)

Any citizen can, of course, ship directly to any FFL holder, anywhere - except where the FFL won't accept shipment from a on-FFL holder, or a (buyer/seller) state law says otherwise.

Long guns and handguns can be shipped (UPS/FEDEX/etc) interstate; long guns can alternately be mailed (USPS) - but handguns can only be mailed by an FFL holder.

If the buyer's FFL will accept shipment of a long gun, I usually mail it (USPS).

If a handgun is involved, while it can be shipped (UPS/FEDEX) to an FFL, I usually obtain a USPS Flat Rate Box (set fee, for up to 70lbs) and have a friendly FFL mail it.

If I want to sell a firearm that I want to receive a set dollar amount for, I usually list it in one or another classified section of the several forum's I am registered at.

Good Luck Doc ! . :)

Last edited by Pete44ru on Tue Aug 13, 2019 10:27 am, edited 2 times in total.

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