I don't understand used gun pricing

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Loyalist Dave

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New in the box or NIB should mean exactly that new and unfired , it is still second hand , which can cause warranty problems, and if in current manufacture should be sold for approximately wholesale price , unless it has a rarity value .

So the problem with this, is many firearms are test fired before being sold by the manufacturer, and some come with a test target.
HOW does one know the "wholesale" price? Most if not all of the manufacturers won't tell you that price, unless you yourself are an actual business AND in some cases, there are two wholesale prices. The first is for a single unit or several, and the other is for bulk ordering. ;)

I am thinking lack of availability ( Covid pricing ) is more at play here than anything else?

Actually it's demand vs. availability which may be amplified by COVID, plus quality, and that's then impacted by condition.

IF factory made muzzleloaders, and cap-n-ball revolvers were just sitting in warehouses, then they'd go on sale to move them. You mentioned Classifieds here..., you can see on some of the items the price drops over time when few or no inquiries are made about the item.

Add to that quality. A well known manufacturer or a well known custom maker, and an item that is very well made, boosts that price. You payed more for a Hatfield or a Remington flintlock, even though both were made by Pedersoli and are Frontier rifles... because Hatfield and Remington had Pedersoli do more to the rifles' finish and the choice of wood, than merely changing the name on the box.

Provenance can up a price too. I saw an old, beat up, vintage pistol for 10X what the price should be, at a gunshow. Asked the seller, and he showed me the documents that went with the pistol showing it had once belonged to a rather well known historical person. Celebrity use would also a factor..., although not authentic, one of the rifles used by Fess Parker when he played Daniel Boone or Davey Crockett, would likely fetch a pretty price. How about the 1858 Remington used by Clint Eastwood in Pale Rider? 😮

When it's a private individual, you get a lot of quirks too (imho). I've seen folks asking current pricing for factory made muzzleloaders, and in their photos you can see the serial number, and check the manufacture date. They are asking top retail dollar for a thirty year old, used gun. Even if it was just a wall hanger in fantastic shape, it's not under warranty. SOME want more than the current retail price, having convinced themselves that theirs is somehow "collectable", just due to age. What's bothersome is that the current "used going rate" for what they are selling is normally equal to if not more than what they paid thirty years ago (shipping and sales tax included), but they somehow take offence when that price is offered.
Some quirky thinking is worse. For example I saw a used Perdersoli Bess for sale, at slightly less than current retail price. Obviously a restocked musket, because the 42" barrel was there, but the Shmendrik ran the stock up to the muzzle and omitted the nose cap. When I asked if they had the nose cap, and offered less because I was going to need to redo the stock so the barrel would take a bayonet, I got a very nasty reply about how the musket was "done by a well known builder" (he failed to mention who) and was "authentic"... "denial" is also a river in Egypt....,
Lastly is condition, which we all know. A beat-up Seneca won't go for nearly as much as one that looks like it came right out of the box, today. Sometimes this works in the buyer's favor though, when it's reversed. I have a "defarbed" Pedersoli Bess. It has the after market, rounded brass sideplate resembling a LLP Bess, and was retro fitted with a butt plate with much longer brass on the stock comb. The engraved date on the lock was changed to an earlier date, so that the musket would more resemble a modified LLP Bess (lots of LLP's were shortened from 46" barrels down to 42"). It had a lot of surface rust, and the seller was "dumping" it..., and I got a very low priced used Bess, and after an application of Evaporust, and some polishing of the brass, she's good to go.

LD
 

Jason60chev

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In January, I picked up an older, used Navy Arms marked 1777 Charleville pistol. Vendor didn;t even know it was missing a top jaw and screw, but still wanted $150 for it. I bought it, because it was just about what I was looking for and you don't see them often. A couple of weeks ago, after thinking about a long arm, to go with that pistol, I decided that I wanted a carbine length long gun...preferably, a military style. All of the India made vendors were out of stock and I didn't much like the reviews. I found a gunsmith who made some recommendations and who will be doing the work, so I ended us buying an older Dixie Gun Works, Japan made 1766 Charleville musket. It was definitely used, but still in good condition. But the price was a LOT more than I thouhgt that I would pay for a used reproduction musket. As I searched, I saw that prices in general were quite high. Didn;t see hardly any repro muskets around, so I went ahead and bought it, in a live / on-line auction. My Gunsmith will shorten it, based upon a known French Artillery musketoon....barrel length about 30".
So, YES! Prices arehigh....even for used, used black powder arms.
 

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CaptainKirk

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JMO, but if I want a "NIB" gun I'll buy it from a distributor at retail price and not squawk about it. No matter the condition, if somebody already took that step, the gun is no longer "new" and I won't pay retail for it...sorry.
Sellers should not expect to get retail for a gun they purchased regardless of condition. You have no warranty or legal recourse on the gun because you were not the purchaser. A NIB gun hasn't been fired, de-preserved or cleaned, or even removed from factory packaging. That's what the buyer is paying for.
Only time I would consider paying retail-ish pricing on a gun is if it's out of production (example; I paid retail for my Rogers & Spencer 10 years ago or so...and it's worth double that now on the used market)
 
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Actually it's demand vs. availability which may be amplified by COVID, plus quality, and that's then impacted by condition.

Bingo!!!

i attend a lot of estate auctions and seldom see black powder firearms up for auction.

BTW: Guys here often bid modern firearms hundreds of dollars above their worth in order to obtain an "unregistered" firearm. i watched a well used modern rifle with Tasco scope sell for $850.
 
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Bingo!!!

i attend a lot of estate auctions and seldom see black powder firearms up for auction.

BTW: Guys here often bid modern firearms hundreds of dollars above their worth in order to obtain an "unregistered" firearm. i watched a well used modern rifle with Tasco scope sell for $850.
Yup :thumb:
 
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Being just across the Mississippi River from Illinois, at estate auctions, all firearms and ammunition are sold at stupid high prices. Illinois buyers have restrictive gun laws, FOID cards, etc. They come to Missouri to avoid those. Haven't seen a decent M/L sold at one in years.
 

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A lot of individual people don't really know how to accurately value and price things they want to sell. With the crazy fluctuating prices everywhere they go on line and see something listed for way over what it is worth so they mark what they have for sale the same. I can't tell you how many times at a flea market I have asked someone how much they want for something and they will come back with well on Ebay it sells for.....
 
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A buyer can always say "that's a little more than I want to spend right now", and usually a negotiation begins. That, and I usually have a good idea what the going price is and what I'm willing to spend. And if I buy something I try to never look back on it, because Murphy shows up a week later with an even better deal!
 
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I am thinking lack of availability ( Covid pricing ) is more at play here than anything else?
Exactly HOW can the pricing of a "used gun" be influenced by "AVAILABILITY" ! The gun is for sale , hence , it is AVAILABLE ! The pricing is the desire of some huckster to take the un-knowing for a ride ,(in my opinion) , so he can buy a new gun with little layout of extra cash for his purchase . Since this inanety started with covid taking the blame i steadfastly refuse to buy a USED weapon at ridiculously inflated prices !
 
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Exactly HOW can the pricing of a "used gun" be influenced by "AVAILABILITY" ! The gun is for sale , hence , it is AVAILABLE ! The pricing is the desire of some huckster to take the un-knowing for a ride ,(in my opinion) , so he can buy a new gun with little layout of extra cash for his purchase . Since this inanety started with covid taking the blame i steadfastly refuse to buy a USED weapon at ridiculously inflated prices !

If many of the same item are available, the lower priced ones sell first & some of the sellers may be eager enough to sell that they will agree to a discounted price. When only one or two of the same items are on the market and future production/import is in doubt, the seller can ask whatever they think the best heeled buyer might pay. Supply & demand.
 

mmull56

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I must have stupid crazy luck! Yesterday I went to look at a used Traditions .50 cal cannon for 150,00 , the seller said he had a lot of extras with it, so I bit of course. When I got there he had 3 boxes of BP shooting acc.s. 25 or so cans of powder and an old cva 51 navy in .36 brass frame. He said for 175.00 he'd throw in the 51 but I had to take everything! The caps, 2 flask, powderhorn,capper (all new) and a new ball mold. I said why don't you keep the 51 and some caps and powder and he said he no longer had any interest so I took the deal, 175.00 for all. The 51 is old and has no date code anywhere but the timing is right on, nothing was froze up and came apart easy, (even the cones) made by ASM for CVA. The mixed powder lot I haven't a need for,. so it's going to be donated to the local BP club. The main thing about buying is knowing when to jump on a deal, (or not) and you both walk away happy!
 

SDSmlf

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Exactly HOW can the pricing of a "used gun" be influenced by "AVAILABILITY" ! The gun is for sale , hence , it is AVAILABLE ! The pricing is the desire of some huckster to take the un-knowing for a ride ,(in my opinion) , so he can buy a new gun with little layout of extra cash for his purchase . Since this inanety started with covid taking the blame i steadfastly refuse to buy a USED weapon at ridiculously inflated prices !
Prices are high because of lack of supply. Individual guns, used or new, very few if any are for sale or available. Pretty simple. If enough folks stop buying, demand will go down and prices will fall. Unless demand (number of folks wanting guns) decreases or supply increases, expect prices to remain high or rise.

Maybe a pictorial explanation will help. The higher the quantity available, the lower the price. Lower quantity available, the higher the price. Economics 101.
1648787616128.jpeg
Have a question for you. Say three years ago a used gun sold for 50% of new retail. Today you have a used, but never shot gun still in the box. Would you sell it for 50% of current retail today? Remember, no one knows when new guns will be available or what the future cost will be. Ready to put your collection up for $0.50 on the dollar? There are plenty of buyers on the internet and this forum. You could sell out quick with your un-inflated prices.
 
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Prices are high because of lack of supply. Individual guns, used or new, very few if any are for sale or available. Pretty simple. If enough folks stop buying, demand will go down and prices will fall. Unless demand (number of folks wanting guns) decreases or supply increases, expect prices to remain high or rise.

Maybe a pictorial explanation will help. The higher the quantity available, the lower the price. Lower quantity available, the higher the price. Economics 101.View attachment 131417 Have a question for you. Say three years ago a used gun sold for 50% of new retail. Today you have a used, but never shot gun still in the box. Would you sell it for 50% of current retail today? Remember, no one knows when new guns will be available or what the future cost will be. Ready to put your collection up for $0.50 on the dollar? There are plenty of buyers on the internet and this forum. You could sell out quick with your un-inflated prices.
And if you had sellers remorse at some point in the future you would be buying at replacement cost. The new replacement cost…
 

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