How much is your gun worth?
It’s very unlikely that any average person is an expert in firearms valuation, meaning it can be a big struggle knowing what price is acceptable to put your gun up for. You don’t want to overestimate its worth as the gun will never sell, but at the same time, if it’s dirt cheap someone will snap it up straight away, resulting in a loss of money for yourself. We’ve looked into some of our own data, plus the best help on the web to give you some tips on how to price your gun, where to go to get an accurate valuation, and what to do should you finally sell it.
Finding out about your gun
The best place to start is by finding out a little bit more about your gun; the extra details that give it a story, so you can judge its worth on the history of its design. The most effective way to do it is by locating the gun's serial number - most should have one unless they're antique. This serial number was given to the gun when it was first produced, allowing its attributes to be archived. When you find this serial number, you can use it to search on a number of different identification sites. Most brands will have their own serial ID lookup section on their site. For example, if you own a gun by Heritage Manufacturing, you can use their ‘find model’ site page to learn more about your gun. You can also use Google to make a direct web search, this often brings up a good level of information. Search for the phrase ‘gun serial number’ and then follow this up with the first section of your serial number. The search result should bring up your gun's make and model instantly. You can then look for more info about its history and origin.
Once you know more about your guns manufacture date, location, class and specifications etc., you can begin to think about setting a price for it. Although you might be comfortable with valuing it yourself, it’s always advised to seek professional advice. There are a few options you can look into.
Ways to value your gun
There a variety of solutions you can use to find out the most accurate pricing of your weapon. Depending on whether you prefer to do the research yourself, or you’d rather have a one to one conversation with someone, each method can beneficial.
- Go to a local gun dealer or store, to speak with someone who works with firearms. This can allow you to have a real in-depth chat with someone who lives and breathes guns, without having to travel too far or take a whole day out. They might even offer to buy the gun off of you themselves and if you’re into shooting they could teach you a thing or two whilst you’re there. You can search online for your nearest gun dealers here.
- Attend a roadshow or specialist event, to get a valuation from a true professional. These are great days out for a full shooting experience and you can learn a lot about auctions and antiques too. Services such as the ‘Gunmakers Roadshow’ put on spectacular events that include craftsmanship workshops, talks from brand representatives and shooting tuitions so that you can make a full experience of it, whilst finding out a little more about what your items may be worth.
- Use online search platforms to get quick, rough estimations. These are great ways to get an idea of pricing your weapon without even leaving your home. As there’s no direct contact or interaction with your gun, the estimation may not be quite as accurate, but they will never be too far off and is the approach that most people will take. You can use websites like the Blue Book of Gun Values to compare your item against hundreds of previous cases. This site charges a small subscription fee to use their tool but is definitely worth it as you can valuations that are far more accurate than any other site; they’re guaranteed to make you more money and a quicker sale.
- Price it yourself with your own knowledge and use selling platforms to compare your item against common listings. This is probably the simplest method to use and the results you get will always be fairly reliable, as they allow you to compare against items that are currently on the market. Sites like our own offer hundreds of listings that are up to date and well-priced. To give you an idea of the data we have, see this infographic below on the average prices on our site:
Condition, rarity and grading systems
When you sell a gun, you’ll be asked to give it a condition grade; this is a universal scale that will be the same on any recognised gun trading site. The scale is as follows:
New In Box (NIB) ➜ Excellent ➜ Very Good ➜ Good ➜ Fair ➜ Poor.
Where you place your gun on this scale or where it is deemed to fit on it by a professional, can noticeably affect its selling price. The jump between certain sections can almost half the guns value. For example, if you bought a rifle that’s £1500 brand new (New In Box) but you’ve used it a few times without damage or wear, it would probably then be classed in the ‘Excellent’ section. Here it would probably be worth between £1000 - £1200. Further down the scale, obviously the cheaper it becomes. This is why it’s important to keep your gun in good condition, as you stand a better chance of retaining its value.
Another factor that greatly affects the price of your gun is its engraving. If your gun features intricate engravings or pattern, they will be most attractive to any dealer. As it was introduced in much earlier periods but has carried through to today’s designs, the value of a weapon is determined much by its visual attraction as well as technical capabilities.
Rarity can also be greatly affected by the manufacturing date. Any guns produced in recent times will likely be sold for an RRP, meaning they are much easier to find online. But the history of weaponry suggests that 19th/20th-century firearms could be very valuable, as guns were given as gifts from people of power to other notorious individuals, therefore they had to be lavish and extravagant. If you have weapons that you think may be of historical significance, you should definitely get this valued and inspected by a professional right away.
Another really important thing to think about when valuing yourself is the date of your evidence or sources. The value and demand for firearms have risen quite noticeably in the last 5 or 6 years, so trusting recent information is mandatory. Using information from before the 2010s could mean you miss out on a decent bit of extra money.
Delivering a gun safely and securely
Once you’ve managed to sell your weapon for a good price, you might need to find the best way to deliver it to the new owner. If it’s possible, organising a drop-off, collection or meet up with the receiver would be advised just to avoid complication, but sometimes this just isn’t possible, so you’ll need to find another way of doing so. This can be tricky and there are very little options available. Generally, all firearms are prohibited items when it comes to public delivery and collection. This is even including imitations, paintball, tasers and toy guns etc. Some courier services allow section 1 and 2 weapons (hunting or sporting rifles) to be transported from a World Zone 1 nation to another World Zone 1 nation. Unfortunately, this does NOT include the UK, but nations in African, American and Asian regions. Even then, the courier service demands that both the sender and the receiver are registered arms dealers, which must be proven with documentation.
For UK delivery, you have to act through an RFD (Registered Firearms Dealer) in order to get your firearm transported. An RFD can ship your gun, but they too are only allowed to send it to another RFD. This means that you’ll have to go to your nearest gun store that accepts public deliveries, and the buyer will also have to contact their nearest RFD to see if they’re happy to accept it. You can find local gun dealers here.
That’s a brief overview of everything you need to consider when pricing your gun and sending/selling it. To compare your weapons with our current listings, or to buy a new weapon, check out our guns for sale here.