3 Tips for Buying from an Online Gun Auction

3 Tips for Buying from an Online Gun Auction

Online gun auctions are places where you can find some incredible deals on collectible firearms you’ve always wanted. There are certainly upsides to shopping through gun auctions. If you’ve done your research and you know how to bid, you can walk away smiling and satisfied.

That’s why we put together a list of tips for getting the most out of your online auction shopping experience.

Do Your Research

For starters, you should know the value of the firearm, not only the manufacturer’s MSRP – if that is relevant to the type of firearm you’re purchasing – but also the “real-world” value of the gun. Often times the MSRP of a gun is much higher than what you can find on the shelves of brick and mortar gun shops and online retailers.

Knowing the real-world price will make you a more informed buyer and ultimately helps keep you within your budget. When it comes to antiques and collectibles, you might find yourself digging a little deeper than just the manufacturer’s website — especially in dealing with guns with a significant history behind them. There are many great books for collectors of all types, though, that will help determine the value of antiques.

Auction Day

A quality auction house will have plenty of photos available for buyers prior to the actual action. Additionally, a reputable auction house will also allow potential buyers to call for more information about the condition and any other significant markings or data related to the gun.

While you can score some great deals on auction day, it’s also where things can go awry. It’s easy to let adrenaline take hold and when the thrill of getting that one gun you’ve been researching overrides logic, your wallet could be hurting. That’s why it’s important to come in with a game place and set a price range you’re willing to spend. Define the floor and ceiling price of each gun you’ll be bidding and, most importantly, stick to it.

Read the Fine Print

Auction houses often have many hidden fees and fine print. For example, a buyer’s fee which can tag on as much as 15% to the final purchase price of the firearm. Other considerations to keep in mind are typically credit card fees, and shipping and handling fees. All of this can result in hundreds of dollars tacked onto the actual price of the gun. Prior to buying, know what fees you face so you aren’t blindsided after it’s said and done.


Backed by research and armed with a game place, you can be successful at gun auctions. That being said, if you’re looking for an easy way to nab some used or antique guns, check out the Certified Used Guns in the Guns.com Vault. We put all our Certified Used Guns through a rigorous review process — plus we offer a no questions asked return policy.

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