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Originally Posted By: Gregdownunder
In my neck of the woods local gun shops only tend to deal in modern sporting firearms and have little knowledge or dealings of older military arms or quality doubles.
In fact they generally ring me to come and give them some idea of value.
I always give my honest opinion,irrespective of whether or not I am interested in it.
That said there is a big difference between “what's your opinion on this guns value” and “the seller wants $200 for it,are you interested”

As it happens I know a chap who bought a fine English gun from a dealer that had no idea what it was worth.
To him it was just another “old gun”,albeit quite a nice looking one.
It was later resold for many times the purchase price.
How many would feel sorry for the dealer?


I certainly would not and have stated it many times that someone who puts himself forth as a dealer should have the ability to price items. If not it's just too damn bad. It is the dealer's job.

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I'm dealing with this scenario right now. A friend met a guy at a gun shop who was trying to sell a few guns, and the shop had no interest at all. My friend referred the guy to me as an "expert" (of sorts) and told the guy we might be interested in some of the guns. Seller has no idea of the guns' current value and doesn't even remember what he has, except for the first three pieces. Pretty ordinary guns (although one is a post-'64 Win 94), but he thinks they are golden because he bought them all new in 1968 and they are allegedly unfired in the original boxes. Doesn't sound like any of them are collectible, so I'm pulling numbers off GunBroker and GI to explain to him that none of this stuff is actually selling these days for anything near the asking prices. We'll probably try to buy a few pieces at what we think are fair prices, and the seller will reject our offer. We'll still have our cash and he'll still have the guns he wants to sell. Nobody wins, but at least he gets good info on the value of his stuff. It's up to him what he does with that info.

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Quote:
someone who puts himself forth as a dealer should have the ability to price items. If not it's just too damn bad. It is the dealer's job.


I actually agree with Gnomon. I need a drink.

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Here's a flip-side.
This happened to me about two months ago and has caused my wife to cease speaking with a neighbor. Our across-the-street neighbor is what i refer to as a pretty mid-50's lady, NYC barrio-type accent, with a streak of independence and vigor, who was married to a wonderful gentleman about 15 years her senior. They met at a local bar here after he'd retired from a career in Wall Street. I've taken him shooting revolvers in the past. Genuinely great guy. But he liked to drink often and passed away suddenly in January from liver cancer. Soon thereafter a "friend" started to move in, who remarkably looked like a younger thinner taller version of her deceased husband. I don't mention all this to slight her, but to give you some color! We've only spoken to her some dozen times and been invited over once for a Xmas party.

So about two months ago she visited and we expressed again our condolences. She complained that her deceased husband had left her in a bad situation and that she had had to do a lot of "cleaning up" from the mess. She asked if i could come over and look at "his guns." I agreed and walked over with her. As we walked up the stairs she told me she needed money and wanted to sell them quickly, and again that she needed the money and perhaps I would be interested in buying them.

I sit in her office bedroom and she presents me a Winchester 101 O/U skeet in case, exc++ condition. She then presents to me a beautiful pristine Colt Diamondback 38 spcl revolver. I honestly didn't know the values of these guns however knew for guessing they were somewhere around $1000 apiece but I was quickly realizing I was in an excellent position to buy them low if I wanted. Of course I wouldn't disrespect her deceased husband and her situation, and so my angel told me to do the right thing and I first said I didn't know the values and then thanked her for the offer to purchase them, but excused myself saying I would need to talk to my wife first (yeah, right!). I told her I would get her values in a day or so.

I checked all the usual internet auction sites etc. I wrote up a 2-page document sharing my honest findings of the spread and what was asked and what she may reasonably expect for a quick sale. I also told her she would likely lose profit by selling directly to a gun store or sending these to auction. I also told her about consigning. And about simply selling directly to an in-state resident to maximize the gain. I explained these all take time, whether listing the items on a website (which I offered to help her with) or to shop around for the best price, or to wait on a consignment sale or a pawn shop sale what have you, and especially a brick-mortar auction house. And I mentiond that she could also ask me again if I wished to buy them in that I would check with my wife and give her an offer.

I placed the letter in her mailbox, fully expecting she would contact me to thank me for my help and honesty and IMPORTANTLY I felt she might ask me if I wanted to buy them for a reasonable price. I was prepared to pay 80% of their "value" (as deemed by the average gunbroker site or sumsuch valuation to my best ability...).

I never heard back from her. Until when my wife stopped her in the street one day driving by to chat, she saw me, and only out of embarrassment then did she thank me for the letter.

We saw her about two weeks ago and I asked what happened to the guns? She told me she consigned the guns to (what I know of as one of the most expensive) gun store in the tri-county area! I was shocked a little - felt like she used my letter to shop the best price (which was the intent right?)

In this situation, my wife and I both felt I was taken a little advantage of to do all the homework to maximize her profit. It was obvious she did not need the money right away since those guns are going to sit for a very long time in that store's shelves. On the other hand i did do my duty and helped her, but again i can't help but feel used a little for not having been asked to buy them again. If she had appeared to have been cosmetically more loving of her deceased husband when he was around and had spoken more well of him, I probably would have cheered her for trying to get the very best top dollar price for the guns. I guess in the shadows of my mind I believed I might have yet still been able to have gotten a fair deal on some nice guns, but lost out to the profit-motive in all of us. It's a conflicting thought!

Last edited by rrrgcy; 06/22/12 09:26 PM.
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Originally Posted By: HomelessjOe
I wish I could find me an old widow woman to screw out of a Purdey.


I once screwed a neighbor lady out of a single barrel 16. It did not lock up tight and was not the prettiest thing. but I was young, and would shoot just about anything back then.

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Originally Posted By: rrrgcy
Here's a flip-side.
Our across-the-street neighbor is what i refer to as a pretty mid-50's lady, NYC barrio-type accent, with a streak of independence and vigor, who was married to a wonderful gentleman about 15 years her senior.


Sounds like the perfect widow to screw...out of a something.

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These stories tend to be urban legends or myths most of the time. Sure, someone will recall the exact same story and swear that it is true. Perhaps it is a true story. I just never seem to come across a ten grand gun, car or piece of art that is selling for 5-10% of its value.

Many see a moral question in these "myths". Should you inform a seller of the value of a item? Just a personal choice based on circumstances and how you were brought up to many people. I would but that is must me. I do not take advantage of widows, orphans or children. Most people who try to outsmart a dealer or professional find out that most of the times they are not as smart as the pro. How many dealers stay in business if they can not recognize the value of what they are selling. None in the long term.

If you want to not have your "widow" sell your guns for less that a fair price make arrangements before you die or just out live her. Put it as part of your will or attach notes to your life insurance policy in a lock box. It can be very simple or very complex. Mine is a ledger that has a complete inventory of my stuff, guns as well as other things that will have to be disposed of after I die. Serial numbers, purchase price, estimated current value as of a certain date and how to sell the items. Some go to dealers or auction houses and some go to family or close friends.

We all die so you might as well make plans. If you figure out how not to die please keep that information to yourself. My wife might hurry my demise if she thought I had figured out something like that.

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Originally Posted By: Gnomon
Originally Posted By: Gregdownunder
In my neck of the woods local gun shops only tend to deal in modern sporting firearms and have little knowledge or dealings of older military arms or quality doubles.
In fact they generally ring me to come and give them some idea of value.
I always give my honest opinion...


I certainly would not and have stated it many times that someone who puts himself forth as a dealer should have the ability to price items. If not it's just too damn bad. It is the dealer's job.



I'd hope the dealer could seek out advice for specialty areas outside their expertise. Isn't the old widow the 'dealer' of her estate sale. Can she set prices as should be her ability, or is it too damn bad if she can't.

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The only conclusion possible is that she was a communist or she would have charged market value.

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Originally Posted By: Gnomon
The only conclusion possible is that she was a communist or she would have charged market value.


Just my opinion, but I do not believe this affected the price she put on the guns. This seems to be off topic, so it comes as a surprise to be the only possible conclusion, but I suppose some folks may find it important.

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